The way my eyes once worked

December 12, 2008 | Category: Photography | 2 Comments


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Innovation: a Product Shoot

November 20, 2008 | Category: Photography | Comments Off on Innovation: a Product Shoot

Here are some commissioned photos of an International Innovation trophy that Haws Corporation won for a emergency shower design. The shots are to appear in international advertisements for the company.

For multiple reasons, lighting the trophy was a difficult task. The “innovation” text is dark gray, almost black, making it very difficult to show against a black background (use of a light specular highlight was used to make the text stand out). Also, the text is printed on two layers of glass creating a double-text ghosting effect.  straight on white angled on black straight on blackangled on white

As always, comments are welcome.

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The 400 megapixel project: part 2

October 30, 2008 | Category: How To...., Photography | Comments Off on The 400 megapixel project: part 2

Today I had some time to modify the CIS housing with the goal of eliminating the “keyhole” vignetting issue that the scanner had. I was able to eliminate half of the vignetting (see photo below).

Post CIS mod image area 

After the modification, I tried my first medium-low resolution scan (50 megapixels at 1200dpi, 16bit grayscale). Anything higher quality would’ve taken too long to scan since I still haven’t designed a way to mount the scanner to the camera. I had to basically hand hold it. The scan took about 30 seconds and I moved a little bit. Also the focusing was done in low light without a loupe and the camera was working at a fairly wide open aperture for the format, so the photo is a bit softer than it could be.

Here is a rough crop from the photo above compared to a similarly composed photo taken by my 12mp D300 with a roughly equivalent focal length.

Early comparison, 50mp vs 12mp

Keep in mind that this project is still a very early work in progress. I plan to eliminate the rest of the vignetting as well as the banding and eventually the camera will shoot color 400 megapixel images.


For part 1 of the project, click here.

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Imagine having the capability to shoot an image with a resolution higher than most $20,000 cameras! Using a budget of about $250, my plan over the next 2 months is to build a 400+ megapixel camera out of a scanner and a vintage 8×10 view camera.

An old 8x10 camera, soon to be a scanner camera

Check out the concept and my progress after the break….

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A Lack of Focus

October 27, 2008 | Category: Photography | 1 Comment

Needing to break the monotonous routine that has kept us glued to our house lately, Kris and I joined a friend on a day-trip to the Black Rock Desert. Photography was our secondary objective next to relaxation, but I still managed to have some fun with my camera.Focus Study

I tried to stick to a minimalist theme, shooting towards the sun with no lighting, a single lens and no photoshop treatment (just a bit of toning in lightroom). At one point I turned the focus off on my camera and just shot without any focus. Those photos are my favorites from the trip. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more.

Focus Study Focus Study

Focus Study Going Away  

Yoga Leaping

Model: Kristina Wiggins. Comments welcome.

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I was going to wait until I had the magazine in my hands, but I thought I’d share this early. I’ve got a couple photos and the cover of the November 2008 issue of “Practical Photography.” I found a shot of the cover in their November 2008 Preview of “Practical Photography.” I’ll scan some more photos of my shots when I finally get my copy, until then be sure to check it out at news stands. For a better view of the photo used on the cover, look here.



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Below is a poor attempt at a time-lapse video consisting of around 1000 stills from many of my star trails photos. The video was thrown together in windows movie maker and the stills were taken with a Nikon D300 over the coarse of the summer. Comments welcome.

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I thought it would be fun to put together some “behind the scenes” photos from the various photography outings and shoots over the last year or so. Most of the photos have the regulars from our “group.” Not all of the photos are mine and if anyone wants to add or remove a photo, email me.

Here is the result of a D2x with a fisheye tossed into the air. Photo by Fielding. This was our playa photo group. The next photo is my perspective of this shot.

Lots more photos after the break…

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With winter approaching, I’ve really been trying to take advantage of the nice clear skies and warm nights while they last. So when a fellow night photographer invited me to go camping near an old Nevada military fort for some night photography, I jumped on it! We were granted access to the monument after dark and both of us got some great shots!

One thing that is different about the exposures below is that I’m now using a different stacking technique. Instead of firing off a sequence of 30 second exposures at a higher ISO (800-1600), I’m using an intervalometer to shoot 5-min exposures at ISO 400. This results in better noise performance and more control over the brightness of the sky. The intervalometer also eliminated an issue that most Nikon D-SLRs have: a limited number of continuous shots in a row. No matter what quality and exposure length, all of the Nikons that I’ve tested (D3, D300, D200, D2x) have a limited maximum frame count when shooting continuous (my D300 is 100 and if memory serves me right, the D3 has a 125 shot limit). Once this limit is reached, the camera stops shooting and the remote must be unlocked, then locked. This makes exposures longer than an hour (at 30 seconds) very difficult. Now can take an unlimited amount of shots for any exposure length and just walk away (see the second shot down for example). I plan on posting directions on how to use both Nikon and Canon intervalometers soon. Until then, enjoy the photos… 

Fort Churchhill at night 

Above: A stack of 5 min exposures adding up to just over 1.5 hours. We gelled the inside and outside of the old captain’s quarters with our pointing north to get this photo.

Our camping spot for the night - 2 hour exposure

Above: This is where we camped for the night, finally getting to bed around 3:45am after a long night of shooting. For this shot we decided to just let the cameras stack through the night. Exposure time: 2 hours, 15 mins using 5 min exposures. Gelled like the previous shot, this time facing south-east.

Jupiter over Bonsai Rock

Above: Finally, here is a less serious (noisy) shot taken at ISO 3200 for 30 seconds with the D300. This is the iconic Bonsai Rock at Lake Tahoe taken a few weeks ago. Jupiter is setting near the center of the frame.

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Realizing that its been quite a while since I posted anything new, I’ve finally let my conscience get the best of me and decided to share some photos from a recent shoot. About a year ago, I met the official photographer Hummer’s off-road racing team, John Pappenfort. John’s a great photographer and was nice enough to get me in as the second team photographer for the recent “Vegas to Reno” race put on by Best in the Desert Racing Association.

Explosion of dust, 2000 class racer.


It was a great couple days! Using radio and GPS, we chased the race trucks for 12+ hours, setting up on the track and shooting the whole time. At night I set up strobes and experimented with the artificial light in the pits with good results (see the first two photos below).

By the end of it, my cameras were pure white with dust (no kidding). The race ended with three out the four Hummers finished first in their class with over 200 vehicles in the race.

Be sure to click the photos for captions and more details, comments always welcome!

Josh Hall passes through a pit. He finished 1st in his class. Chad Hall finished 1st in his class too. Lit with two remote strobes. Josh Hall flying by as the sun begins to set.Josh entering pit 2  This section of track was extremely soft dirt! We watched this obstacle transform from a minute whoop to a dangerous jump in a matter of minutes!Where you at dog?  This crash happened about 10 feet from where I was standing, I have an awesome sequence of the truck tumbling! Whats amazing is that the truck eventually was rolled back over and finished 2nd in its class! John, seconds after the dust settled. Help arrives. He eventually finished 2nd in his class!On our way to Vegas, John's Hummer. The dust was like this after every vehicle! Good thing there were only 200+!Emily Miller, offroad racer, babe extrodinaire

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