Hum….I been busy, building the business.

Setting moon at Trona Pinnacles Mojave Desert

Crescent moon with Venus and star (?) setting at Trona Pinnacles 2015

I’m not avoiding everyone, just been setting up the admin stuff for Google and other parties to help me learn to track my website usage/visits.

Since I am building a business that will let me travel with my 90 yr. old father around the world (his love of life, see his map in earlier post), I have a lot of things to do. (yeah, I’m chasing travel stuff on the internet for him too, coffee breaks, so to speak.)

Since this a NEW business, I got a lot of work to do to make it happen locally as well. Got pay to play, so I’m accepting requests for local work. (is you head spinning yet?)

AND OF COURSE, I’ve got to shoot photos and do photography business and blogging as well. (sometimes I remember to eat and sleep)

So the photo is a kind of burning the midnight oil, kind of thought for this post. Shot with my Tamron SP 70-200mm Di VC USD with the 2x tele-converter  at Trona Pinnacles last week.

I got a couple posts in the works, hopefully I have one up later today, some photo challenges I’ve entered.

Till then,

Creative Shooting,

Peter

My test of the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom Lens with the Tamron 2x teleconverter

fighter jet Chino Planes of Fame

Money Shot! Yep the Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens works for me.
2x teleconverter used. Manual Focus. Note that the bomb bay doors are open. A slow pass (if you call a jet slow) for the crowd. 2014

I did some reading before buying the Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens. Most everyone agreed it was a good sharp lens. Several said it was as good as the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, but a $1000 less. I’m not rich.

I also have spent enough years seeing great photos from photographers on really poor cameras and photographic equipment, to realize it is also personal preference and ability.

I was at the L.A. Big Photo Show and one of the venders had the Tamron 70-200mm SP f/2.8 Di VC USD Zoom lens on hand. Put it on my camera. Shoot some shots and zoomed in on the LCD on the camera to see what I thought. I liked it enough to buy it on the spot.

After going out in nature and realizing that I wanted further reach for some bird or animal shots, I read up on teleconverters.

Canon’s 2x converter would only work on the 70-200mm. The Tamron not only matched my lens put claimed to work on other lens as well. It was a little less expensive too.

So I got it in and around that same time my Dad tells me he wants to go to an Air Show. One of my Meetup.com camera groups sends me invite to shoot Chino Planes of Fame.

I’m not too slow or dumb, Hey Dad, Here’s an air show! It may not be an animal or bird but I was going to have lots of moving targets.

Chino Planes of Fame air show air plane

Right at the top. You can read the sponsor on the wing top. 2014

Chino Planes of Fame air show airplane


While a bit blurry, I love the artistic effect. 2014

All of these shots are manual focus, no the auto focus with the 2x just doesn’t handle it. It was easy enough to zone focus to get ready and adjust as the planes came in to the shot I wanted.

Chino Planes of Fame air show plane

Down low, nice effect. 2014

That first shot of the jet was 374mm effective focal length, 1/250 a sec, f/13. Hand held, manual focus. I shot a little on the ground of planes but, I spent the afternoon shooting flying planes. I’m going back through them for this post, and yes I still think it is a great lens specially at the price.

I will be selling prints and ? of photos from this show on my e-commerce site. More info coming soon.

Here are some more photos:

Chino Planes of Fame air show jet

Low Jet, Whoosh! 2014

Chino Planes of Fame Air Show WWII fighter

WWII fighter plane. Chino Planes of Fame Air Show 2014

Chino Planes of Fame WWII plane

Well liked old bird. Chino Planes of Fame Air Show 2014

A couple of group shots

Chino Planes of Fame air show planes

Not too bad. 2014

But I like this one better, note the focus is on the nose of the jet.

Fly by of Chino Planes of Fame Air show planes

Fly by, shallower depth of focus and motion of not quite sync-ed speed of planes. Nose of jet is fairly sharp in RAW file. 2014

Fly by of Chino Planes of Fame air show planes

Deep depth of field here. 2014

Bomber B-17 Chino Planes of Fame ai show

World War II bomber (B-17?) 2014

Bomber in Chino Planes of Fame air show

Another bomber shot. 2014

Anyway, as you can see, for being a test, I got some good shots. With a bit of practice on that combo I know I would be having a lot of fun. Sure I’m getting old, reflexes aren’t what they use to be. Birds are tough to follow, got hummingbird season coming. So, yes I do need tight and sharp focus with some speed as well as the f/stop being fast too.

I’ll be out there shooting, practicing for a up coming visit to a botanical garden to see the annual return of the hummingbirds.

Hope this post helps someone decide if this lens is for them.

No, I don’t get anything from Tamron for this post. If they say Thank You it would be nice.

Till the next post,

Creative Shooting,

Peter

Update Feb. 25, 2015: I should also note that these are the full frame shots shown. Not cropped. All shots taken on Canon 7D (APS-C sensor 1.6 crop factor would make the 374mm lens focal length a equivalent crop of 560mm+). You are seeing what I was seeing and shooting in this test. Click on photos for a larger view.

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Wildflowers, a tease from past years.

Wildflower season is coming!

macro shot of cactus flowers

cactus flowers with macro. f/2.8, 1/1600s, ISO 160, 100mm

This shot is from Joshua Tree N.P., a favorite spot of mine. In tight with a shallow depth of field, light background bokeh, one flower in focus and one just out of focus causes un-balance in the photo. Which makes your eye move around the photograph and come back to the focused flower.

wildflowers in landscape fine art photograph

Wildflowers, Red Rock Canyon 2015

Here is a photo, similar idea, purple flowers are on level plane, little tighter f-stop, but dark background bokeh. This time I put the flowers on an angle and 3 clusters. 2 ancient tricks to make interesting images in your photograph.

fine art photography

Red and yellow flowers on bush. Shallow depth of field. 2014

flower fine photography

Same flower different angle and deep depth of field. 2014

While these two photos are not wildflowers, they are the same bush, different styles of photos.

wildflower fine art photography poster

Poster I made from trip to Joshua Tree. 2014

wildflower fine art photography

Version 1, tight in on three buds. Sierra Nevada Mts. 2014

Same wildflower, little bit further back.

wildflower fine art photography

Thistle buds and dead blooms. Sierra Nevada Mts. 2014

Or there is the wide view.

wildflower landscape fine art photography

Wildflowers and dead tree stump. Sierra Nevada Mts. 2014

wildflower landscape fine art photography

Sometimes the insects help out and make a more interesting photo. Trick! Be Patience, Move slow. Take shots as you move in. Red Rock Canyon, Calif. 2014

So, these are just a few of the wildflowers I’ve shot and I am NO expert on the subject. This season I want to try and spend more time doing macro shots and the deep depth-of-field shots like the yellow flowers and dead tree photo. I also hope to learn a few tricks from my Sierra Club Camera Committee members as we all do some trips and share our photos.

I hope these photos give you some ideas of ways to creatively shoot wildflowers this year. Here in Southern California, we are getting a little rain and more coming so I’m expecting it to be a good year. Just might be chasing the flowers all over the place as different areas bloom. If you live in the SoCal area and see some wildflowers worth chasing after, leave  some info in the comments or send me and email.

Anyway, ask questions, leave me a comment, Love to hear from you. (it’s late, I’m going to bed)

Creative shooting everyone,

Peter

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Stars, Light Painting And Wildflowers! Mojave Desert

Wow!

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers landscape fine art

Red Rock Canyon, Mojave CA. What a find! Wildflowers, was not expecting it at our lunch stop out to Trona Pinnacles. 2015

Yes, we were seeing green in the desert around us as we were driving up from LA. Small patches here and there, But this took us by surprise…..

Red Rock Canyon with wildflowers lanscapce fine art photography

Carpets of yellow wildflowers. Red Rock Canyon Mojave CA 2015

So, we stayed a little longer than planned and decided to check on the wildflowers when we came back from Trona if we had time. We were in a remote-er area and wondered what would be over the hills in the main canyons.

On to Trona Pinnacles, got the spot we wanted just in time. Couple vehicles pulled up and talked of having dozens of cars following to that spot. Explained we were doing night photography, won’t work too well. They moved on.

We set up camp and got ready to shoot sunset and stars.

Trona Pinnacles Mojave Calif lanscape fine art photography

Thin crescent moon set. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Trona Pinnacles moon set landscape fine art photography

Setting crescent moon and I think Venus in the top left corner. Trona 2015

Trona Pinnacles light painting on rocks with stars.

Looking South, orange glow is light pollution. Light painting green and purple flashes on pinnacles. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Then the clouds moved in. Could not see much myself but, you can see the effects in this photo.

Trona Pinnacles night photography light painting

Clouds moving in, softening the stars, orange glow. Trona Pinnacles 2015

So we called it a night, 2 am and shut down. Next morning, 5:30am alarm for sunrise. We figure we got 2-2.5 hours sleep.

Not much of a sunrise, coffee time.

Trona Pinnacles campsite

Ah, coffee, fresh air, even birds singing. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Then as the BIG group started showing up we realized our peace and quiet had ended.

Still while that night we had some VERY different light in our photos……

Fireworks going off behind our light painting. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Fireworks going off behind our light painting. Trona Pinnacles 2015

And during the day,

Trona Pinnacles light painting with stars landscape fine art photography

Hole shot! Found a hole to climb into. Note kids running up the hill. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Scenic Trona Pinnacles landscape

Trying to work the clouds. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Trona Pinnacles landscape fine art photography

Yes, little bit of greenery out here. Have to look careful for the flowers. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Trona Pinnacles Black & White landscape fine art photography

Playing with black and white out in the field. Later doing a conversion myself. Trona Pinnacles 2015

So it was a good trip, timing was good. The group of people and a film crew Sat. morning broke up the quiet of the place, but it is a favorite of mine to study light. Very primitive camping out there, no water. Here are some more photos from the trip.

Trona Pinnacles light panting

I use a remote trigger, so here I am walking down from checking a flash unit. Trona Pinnacles 2015

This time I'm walking down with my red light on and the flashes triggered too. Trona Pinnacles 2015

This time I’m walking down with my red light on and the flashes triggered too. Trona Pinnacles 2015

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers landscape fine art photography

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers 2015

Red Rock Canyon wildflower fine art photography

Macro of wildflower. Red Rock Canyon 2015

Trona Pinncales light painting

Light painting Trona Pinnacles 2015

Red Rock Canyon landscape wildflower fine art photography

Red Rock Canyon wildflowers. 2015

Red Rock Canyon Mojave desert wildflowers

Wildflowers, Red Rock Canyon 2015

Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos. Leave me a message in my comments if you have questions about any of the photos.

If you would like to hire me as a guide of sorts, contact me and we will see what I can arrange for you and what you want to learn about photography.

In the mean time,

Creative Shooting,

Peter

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Going Photographing… Stars, Light Painting. Camping.

landscape at sunrise

Trona Pinnacles at sunrise. 2014

Photography, just can’t get enough.

My photography buddy wants to go shoot stars and get out of town.

Been almost 4 weeks since my surgery, me too! Got to get out. Flexible enough to get into and out of my tent.

So for the next few days I’ll be in the Mojave Desert shooting strange formations at Trona Pinacles.

I will be careful of my surgery, my 90 year old Dad is going too. If I make sure he can walk where I go, I won’t be pushing myself too much. Not taking a lot of equipment so I won’t try carry too much.

Everyone is reminding me to be careful.

But, I do hope to bring back some interesting and maybe even great photos to share with you all.

There are other photos in my earlier posts about my photography adventures in the Trona Pinnacles and Red Rock Canyon areas.

black and white landscape Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon, Mojave Desert Calif. 2014

Light painting, Milky Way stars night landscape

Light painting, Trona Pinnacles. 2014

So stay tuned, I’ll try to get a post up Saturday or Sunday.

Till then,

Creative Shooting,

Peter

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Low light, moving objects…..Shooting the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, Calif.

Aquarium of the Pacific, Photographer"s Night. A lesson in high ISO shooting. 2013

Aquarium of the Pacific, Photographer’s Night. A lesson in high ISO shooting. 2013

Photographer’s Night!! Wow, Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif. does a Photographer’s Night.

Bring your own gear, nothing but other photographers around. OK, so it sounds better than it was.

October 6, 2013.

I was in the first group, had my wheeled cart with gear. In the introduction lecture I saw that there were hundreds of photographers. Tons of equipment, from people with point and shoot cameras to pro systems. The second group would be an hour behind. Both groups together till closing with access to most of the exhibits.

I quickly found myself, being pushed around by other photographers, jumped in front of, and had shots ruined by other’s camera flashes going off and messing up my exposure or reflecting off the glass.

My gear was a liability, I would have been better off with just a couple lens, tripod, camera extras in my vest and backpack, a small 3 or 5-in-one reflector and camera. I used my reflector to block light reflections on the glass a couple times after the crowd thinned out. Oh, some water. I use a hydration backpack (large storage and water).

So, I’m Taoist-Buddhist, I wandered around, looking for where the others hadn’t reach yet. I was patience knowing, if I was pulling around too much equipment others were too. Others would take the snap shots their tablets, point & shoots and yes cell phones photos and go home. The crowd would thin out, just wait.

Group of Nautilus in tank. 6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/30 sec. 2013

Group of Nautilus in tank.
6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/30 sec. 2013

Single nautilus, spent 20 minutes chasing these around to get a decent shot. 6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/60 sec. 2013

Single nautilus, spent 20 minutes chasing these around to get a decent shot. 6400 ISO 100mm f2.8 1/60 sec. 2013

The tanks holding the fish, sea creatures, had a variety of lights, coloring the internal scenes. Black lights to show off the bio-luminescent. Here is a sample of what you get to shoot. AND YES, it is worth it, just be patience, wait for the crowds to thin out. Most of the people left after a couple hours and it was much easier to move around and get shots.

Sea Dragon, exhibit closes early, so go there and get your shots in the beginning when few are there. I found it late and the crowd had thinned out, but the light went out while I was there.  6400 ISO, 50mm f1.4 1/80 sec. 2013

Sea Dragon, exhibit closes early, so go there and get your shots in the beginning when few are there. I found it late and the crowd had thinned out, but the light went out while I was there.
6400 ISO, 50mm f1.4 1/80 sec. 2013

As you can see, these sea creatures and their backgrounds have movement. A faster lens lets you use a faster shutter. Flash just bounces off the glass, if you direct it in at the object and are too straight on and at angle you don’t get much light in. Bouncing the flash doesn’t get enough light in to the tanks (most are rectangle hole in the wall) to do much good. Of Course, everyone will thank you for the flash in their photos and faces.

I borrowed the 50mm F1.4  from my brother, but found that the Canon 100mm F2.8 did much better for the small animals.

Yes, that one you want shoot just moved to the back of the tank. Might try my 70-200mm F2.8 zoom just for the fun of it sometime.

Wild colors! 2013

Wild colors! 2013

BIG fish. People in the frame to show size. 2013

BIG fish. People in the frame to show size. 2013

Bright colors, fun to shoot! 2013

Bright colors, fun to shoot! 2013

Hypnotic to watch these jellyfish. Several tanks, different color lights, styles of tanks for different effects. 2013

Hypnotic to watch these jellyfish. Several tanks, different color lights, styles of tanks for different effects. 2013

Can't forget the seahorses. 2013

Can’t forget the seahorses. 2013

Shark egg case with hole to see baby shark growing in egg.  2013

Shark egg case with hole to see baby shark growing in egg. 2013

So, as you can see there is a lot of fun things to shoot. If you are patience you can try these kind of shots during regular hours, I don’t think they let tripods in so, High ISO cameras, fast lens (F/2.8 or better), and the patience to wait for everything to come together for a photograph. The new mirrorless cameras and latest generations of major DSLR cameras are raising the bar for ISO levels. Cell phones are getting more and more complex cameras in them, too.

If you have questions about any of these photographs or the techniques used to get them. Please ask me, leave a question in the comments. I love to heard from all of you the readers.

If you live in the Southern California area and want me to shoot for you, I am taking reservations for photography shoots after I get off my restrictions for this hernia surgery, and I am back up to carrying my gear. Photo-journalistic event coverage, environmental portrait/group shots, Street photography (I like cityscapes more than people, looking for good areas to chase the light. Post coming soon), and camping to do landscape, star and light painting. Of course, if you plan to visit the So. Cal. area, I would be happy talk to you about your needs as well. Got to pay for my photography habit somehow. End of March and forward I should be up and running. Limit myself in carrying gear, but looking for work. Till then,

Creative Shooting,

Peter

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Up the coast, location scouting.

Point Vicente Lighthouse, Catalina Island in the distance. 2014

Point Vicente Lighthouse, Catalina Island in the distance. 2014

Well, there was not much of  sunrise this morning. But I drove up the coast a couple of miles, looking for places to come back to shoot in better light.

Sometimes you just have to go out and see where the light is and where it will be at sunrise or sunset to decide if a shot might work. Getting out there and looking through the viewfinder, (in the old days they had and sometimes still use cardboard frames and loupes) to see THE crop.

The above photo, I walked around for a couple minutes, then spent a couple more minutes framing up the shot.

Shot a few frames, changed my mind and moved to horizontal, slowed the shutter way down. Got out a cheap graduated neutral density filter. I use cheap plastic ones because I can stick one or 2 in my vest. Fast grab, just hold it up in front of the lens. Stuff it back in the pocket. Throw it out when it is too scratched. Most of the time I shoot, I have my vest, but I don’t always have a backpack with the filter holder and filter wallet. Saved a few shots that way. When I’m rich and have porters carrying my gear, I’ll have the $10,000 glass filter set in it’s special padded box. Maybe sooner, just leave the box in the truck and take only what I need after this surgery heals and I can carry A LOT more of my gear.

Anyway, note the blur on the splash on the wave over the rocks below. Slow shutter and tripod. Shot some shots with a fast shutter just to have some. Nice thing about digital!

Started walking again.

Walk path Point Vicente Lighthouse. Catalina Island in distance. 2015

Walk path Point Vicente Lighthouse. Catalina Island in distance. 2015

Walking a little farther along the path I came to this. Oh, just calling out to be shot. Diagonal lines of the fence lead the viewer up to the lighthouse on the point. The Point leads out to the island in the distance. I make it a personal view by putting the viewer on the path itself at a low eye level. A little Lightroom magic to pull the shadows in the bottom left corner up, pull the highlights down in the upper left corner sky. A travel poster shot?? Postcard?? Needs a better sky.

But I know where this place is and can get there in short order if I see a great sky building. Of course I might not get Catalina Island in the next shot, it’s 22 miles out. Maybe, just maybe the muse will be nice and I’ll be there at the right time!!

I’m hoping to check out some old haunts, parks that had little Neat areas. Going tomorrow morning, chase some early morning light.

Till then, Please leave me comments, I love to hear from all of you.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Please tell your friends about me.

Creative Shooting,

Peter

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