moments in focus…

Posts tagged “b&w

Studio Lighting…kit? continuous? strobe? Advice please :)

It’s that time to invest in some studio lights.  I have been researching, but I am still not sure.  I would love to hear your suggestions.

At the moment I am thinking of umbrellas (shoot through) instead of soft boxes because they seem easier to handle and do produce a similar effect.  I am also considering continuous lighting (it seems easier…am I coping out?).  I do have two (cordless) Nikon flash units- should I use those (not sure how exactly, the TTL, iTTL, guide numbers… confuse me. I could learn)?  Will strobes be better than continuous and/or my flash units? What wattage is best? What about Kelvin- 5500? Which brand is good, without breaking the bank.  Help. :)  I welcome any comments on the matter.

One more thing.  I don’t think I have ever posted a post (is that right?) without a picture.  So, I include an image of a little squirrel that comes with his friends everyday to enjoy a few (who am I kidding, they eat a lot!) sunflower seeds.




March (the month) in Austin

ISO 100   1/80   F2.8


ISO 3200   1/80  F2.8


ISO 100   1/1600    F2.8


ISO 050   1/125   F14


It is hard to believe this is my first post for the month of April.  You would expect me to say time flies, but actually it has been standing still to me lately.  Not sure why, my brain seems to be on overtime, but my body says no.  I have had some type of cold/allergies on and off for the past 2 1/2 weeks, and I am about sick of it.  Unfortunately, I have not been the best patient, because as soon as I start to feel better…well, off I go to do something.

Today a nice cool front came in, 59 degrees, so I opened the back door and decided to blog.  The pictures added are from my Spring Break trip to Austin (except the plant, that is in my yard), all taken with the Sigma.  I am beginning to really love that little camera.

the road…


“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” ~Buddha

more flowers, not more color, just more flowers…

Here is another picture of the tulips I took earlier this week.  This one had a little different perspective and was a bit bright in color, so I decided to change it to b&w (with a very slight sepia tint).

When I think of black and white images, I can not help think of Ansel Adams and to be honest, my Father.  My Father took some beautiful pictures during his lifetime, mainly his younger years, and developed them himself.  Ansel Adams, well… I don’t think any explanation is needed.

In one of my photography books, The Photoshop Darkroom by Harold and Phyllis Davis,  they give a suggested  Channel Mixer Setting, that has been called the ‘Ansel Adams’ effect as: 160% Red, 140% Green and -200% Blue.   Even though I tell you this, I did not apply this ratio to the image you see.  Actually, I did apply it, but it did not look right, so I ‘mixed’ my own.   I have applied the ‘Ansel Adams’ effect to other b&w’s and it does look nice.

Just for comparison, here is the original:


“In my mind’s eye, I visualize how a particular… sight and feeling will appear on a print.  If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph.  It is an intuitive sense, and ability that comes from a lot of practice.”  ~Ansel Adams

“Bloom where you are planted.”



This week has been a bit busy, so I am posting two pictures from a trip back in August.   I love taking pictures at the beach, hey I just love going to the beach.  I am fortunate it is so close, 20 minutes or so. Some people complain about our beach, it’s not 7 mile beach (Grand Cayman), but it has all the elements: water, sand, birds, wind, sun… just to name a few.

I am looking forward to my next trip.  :-)

The quote: “Bloom where you are planted.” author unknown, just reminds me to be happy wherever you are and with whatever you have.

TrYinG SoMEthInG neW: ParT 2

When I posted this image several people wondered what exactly it was, so here is the final product followed by the steps use to create it:

Original Image:



Change to B&W in PS:


Crop down to bird prints and place a frame around image:


Drag and drop onto original image (which I had already placed a frame on):


Adjust image in PS:


This was my first attempt at this type of editing, I like the b&w frame within the color frame image, I hope to create more like that.  This one did not seem to work in the b&w and color step, so I decided to alter it significantly in PS.

Walking in Circles



During the Christmas Holiday we took a trip to the Menil Museum in Houston (a wonderful museum), then walked over to the University of St. Thomas where we found this maze.


“Real obstacles don’t take you in circles. They can be overcome. Invented ones are like a maze.”     ~ Barbara Sher

Before and After





Above is a before and after of an image I took in Austin last March.  I love working with black and white film, which I have not done in years, so I am giving photoshop editing a try.  I can still see my Dad in the bathroom of our old house in Houston, windows blacked out, chemical odors in the air, working on his black and whites.  One day I will post a few of his black and white images, they are my inspiration.