Monday, May 4, 2009

Portraits from this weekend...

For Mothers Day I am doing portraits of each of my three daughters.

This weekend I brought Emma (aka "peanut") to the beach for her images, and as we were unloading the van what runs by us but a fox! As we stood there with our mouths open a little fur ball skitters by after her (about 10 feet in front of us), then a second, a third, and finally a forth little fox brought up the rear.

It was only then that I realized that I had a camera in my hand and should start snapping images. But by then they were a bit far away and what you see are rather unremarkable.


On the other hand, the pictures of Peanut are remarkable, as she is a beautiful young woman, but maybe I am a bit biased.

I did use an off camera flash (held by my voice activated light stand) for just a little fill light.



5 comments:

Mike said...

It's not always a bad thing to miss out on shots like that. I'm guessing the experience of simply watching the foxes walk by was more rewarding than taking a few pictures of them would have been.

Anonymous said...

I LOOK AWESOME! thanks dad

The Camera Fanatic said...

Outstanding blog. My personal favorite camera is the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. I wrote a review for it, please let me know what you think:

UPDATE: This camera is currently on sale at Amazon. You can find the link here:

http://tinyurl.com/canonpowershot1100

If you need a solid, reliable, and stylish point-and-shoot ultracompact digital camera that produces high-quality images, then the new Canon PowerShot SD1100IS may be right for you.

I am an advanced amateur photographer and own 2 Canon digital cameras (G2 and 20D). Both have served me well over the years but recently I have found myself needing a decent ultracompact camera that I can easily carry with me at all times for unexpected photo-ops.

Other current Canon models that I also researched before my purchase of the "bohemian brown" SD1100IS included the SD950IS and the SD1000.

Here is my take on the SD1100IS:

Strengths:
- 8MP CCD sensor with DigicIII processor (excellent resolution images with good dynamic range)
- Solid construction (most of body made of anodized aluminum)
- Feels sturdy and well-balanced in the hands
- Easy to use (logical user-interface) with minimal need to consult owner's manual for basic operation
- Multiple shooting modes to fit variety of situations (action/sports mode is a glaring omission but read section below to see possibly why)
- Advanced metering system with accurately exposed pics in even "tricky" situations (great balance of highlights and shadows)
- Tack-sharp images (much more so with sufficient lighting and use of built-in flash)
- Macro mode can result in stunning close-ups with outstanding level of detail
- Optical IS feature helpful when shooting in either low-light conditions with flash off or at telephoto lengths
- Fast start-up with acceptable shutter-lag (when not using flash)
- Bright 2.5" LCD monitor (100% coverage, 230k pixels) made of polycrystalline silicon; fairly scratch-resistant (can't vouch if this applies to keys and coins)
- Optical viewfinder (though only a tiny peephole, it is essential when LCD glare and washout become an issue shooting in bright sunlight or when LCD cannot be used as battery power is nearly depleted)
- Camera made in Japan (at least those from the 1st shipment; this easily may be subject to change)

Limitations:
- Lack of manual control over aperture, shutter speed, and focusing (for the obssessive control-freaks)
- Noise is noticeable beginning at ISO 400 (ISO 800 still useable but probably for only 4x6 images; ISO 1600 mostly unuseable)
- Fastest shutter speed is 1/1500 sec (not fast enough to stop action for some sporting activities)
- Auto-focus speed inadequate to follow fast-moving subjects
- Shutter-lag accentuated with flash on (precious Canon moments lost while waiting for flash to recharge)
- Cannot adjust focus or optical zoom while shooting in movie mode (focus is fixed for distance selected at first frame, and digital zoom is permitted instead, resulting in significant image quality deterioration)
- Battery/memory card cover and hinge made of plastic (no safety latch that needs to be de-activated first before sliding cover out, in order to prevent accidental opening)
- Minor vignetting and chromatic aberration (albeit, difficult not to expect from compact p&s)
- Pincushion and barrel distortion at the extremes of the focal lengths
- No RAW shooting mode

Battery power in camera mode with LCD monitor on is mostly as advertised, allowing for approximately 240 images. If your budget permits, I recommend investing in a few spare batteries as backups and replacing the supplied 32MB memory card with a pair of 4GB SDHC memory cards--vital purchases if you plan to use the movie mode frequently.

Overall Impression:
Even with some serious limitations inherent to virtually all digital cameras in this class, I am recommending the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. It does what it's supposed to do. This camera allows one to take beautiful photographs in an ultracompact, reliable, and elegant device that is both easy and fun to use.

http://tinyurl.com/canonpowershot1100

Chuck said...

Yah Dad, she does look awesome.
Love your VAL also. :C)
I had just posted some pics of "my" brood on my blog.
arppworks.blogspot.com
Scroll down to meet the "Kitchen Fox"
We've had snow or rain for the last 2 weeks. (2 inches this morning)
Boy am I jonesing to get out.
Anybody have any comments on Monitor calibration? Specifically the ColorMunki?

Chuck

Michael Palmer said...

Great Shots Scott!!