Preparing for Christmas

I’ll give you three guesses as to what the ladies did this afternoon after returning from shopping.  Here are the clues:

Technical details: Canon 50D, 50mm f/1.8 lens, ISO800.  Some tweaking after capture.

I think we now have about 10 cookie varieties including these cutouts.  And me watching my figure!

Playing with my new Christmas Toys!

I spent much of the last two nights playing with my new USB Midi keyboard which interfaces to my music mixing program, and my new Sennheiser headphones. What a hoot! I have access to great Steinway piano samples, Hammond B3 and even Moog synthesizer setups, and a bunch of music clips I can mix together. This is a lot of fun, and I can see I’ll have to use it as a reward for work done or else I’ll never get anything else accomplished. I’ll be posting some MP3’s of my compositions and mixes soon.

But hey, this is a photography blog, so I’ll talk about a couple other things that Santa brought me. One was a flash bracket for my camera which allows me to raise my flash off the camera to help reduce red-eye and improve lighting. The other toy is called a Lightsphere and is used to diffuse the light from the flash to soften the impact on the subject. This will really help some settings where I need to use the camera flash, such as sunset and shooting into shade.

This photo is of our trusty dog Emma, a german shepherd / yellow lab mix, to our best guess. We rescued her from the pound 9 years ago and she is truly a wonderful and smart mutt. She was my willing model today as I tested out my new gear. You can see very natural lighting here, with no sharp shadows or blown out highlights, even though I was shooting indoors in a basement lit only with overhead flourescent light. This was ISO800 f/3.5 and 1/160 sec exposure with my attached flash sporting a new Gary Fong Lightsphere.

Good Dog!

Merry Christmas to All

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.