Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wow doesn't time fly. I havent had a chance to update this blog in.. umm.. quite some time.

5DmkIII 400MM 5.6L 12800ISO
Since we last saw our heroes, the world of photography has changes pretty substantially. Early this year, I became the proud owner of a Canon 5DmkIII body to replace the 5DmkII that got a little wet and died.. Its a long story, and I don't want to talk about it. Anyway, this new camera is amazing. Just had a shoot at Merritt Island High School covering the marching band specifically. It was at night under the lights, which is pretty challenging for any camera/lens combination. I was using a 400MM 5.6L telephoto and the 70-200F4L IS primarily, with a side of 24-105 F4L IS. Needless to say, none of these are particularly fast lenses. This is where the MKIII shows its colors... No pun intended. It was happily shooting at up to 12800ISO with some manually set trips to 20000ISO. I am continually impressed at its ability to produce useful images at those ridiculous ISOs. I had my trusty 50D with me as well, but it really falls down above 1600ISO. This gives the Mkiii a 3 F-stop advantage in poor lighting conditions. Many thanks to Kimberly Budnick for the invitation to the event. She felt the band doesn't get the respect they deserve. I must say they looked like they had it together, and were having LOTS of fun.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Run For Your Life!

We will be taking pictures at the Run For Your Life 5K event at 50 and Barna. We will be covering two different areas of the course so we will get a good shot of everyone. Joe will be shooting the 5Dmkii with the 70-200F4L IS at the mid point. This should give the good flexibility of people coming and going at various distances. I will be at the start/finish line with the 50D with the 85F1.8 for tight shots with selective focus. I will also have the XSi with the 17-55F2.8IS for any big groups that come through, and random ambiance shots. As a bonus, we should have "golden hour" light with the race starting within an hour of sunrise.

50% of all proceeds from this shoot will be donated back to the event organizer.

We will have a laptop on site if anyone wants to donate right then and there. I finally got the website PayPal capable with a shopping cart. Ahh e-commerce.

I hope to see you there!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Photography is always an adventure

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday shooting a test at Kennedy Space Center. We were floating a capsule mockup in the water outside hangar AF. The booster recovery guys were "playing" with different methods of recovering the "crabtrap" as they called it.The first day started out very rainy, with more on the way, but it did start to clear out. This allowed Joe and I to really capture some good shots. We were shooting with 4 camera bodies, and 5 lenses. We had a T1i, a 50D, a XSi and a 5Dmkii. We had the 400 5.6L, the 17-55F2.8 IS, the 100 F2.8 Macro, the 17-40 F4L and the 70-200 F4L IS. We took well over a thousand stills and even exercised the video potential on the T1i and the 5Dmkii.

Friday, September 3, 2010

News News News...

My head is here, and it is pretty wonderful. She needs a little makeup to make her less, ummmm, yellow. Can you tell which is which?  Anyway, I think she'll do nicely. My daughter has taken a liking to her, so she gets her hair brushed a couple of times a day now...

Speaking of my daughter, She got a load of new outfits from Grammie, and put this on this morning. It was so cute, I had to set up some lights real quick. This was an AlienBee 800 just above and to her left with a shoot through umbrella. It was triggered optically with my repaired 580EXii on camera. It was set to manual 1/32 power just to fill in some shadow. Not bad for a 2 minute setup. My daughter was trying out some of the poses she is learning in "hip-hop" dance class. These were taken with my 100mm F2.8Macro since I had loaned my 85 F1.8 out to a friend.

Just for grins I popped one off without the key light, just to show the fill flash's power... Whats interesting, it also showed the reflection off the fish tank.

Anyway, in other news, Florida is a fabulous place to live, especially here.. Took the family out to Playa Linda to see how much damage Earl had done. Short anwser is none. There were some nice waves, and lots of surfers... Then there was also this little guy... He was nice enough to pose, right in the golden hour light.

Just goes to show, there is a nice photo anywhere you look...

Rory Duncan

Monday, August 23, 2010

We have a new pet....

While cleaning out our pantry of expired food, we cam upon a can of cashews that was around during the first four years of the W. administration... It had a hitchhiker. About a thousand really. THis was taken with the canon 100mm F2.8 Macro lens with a 580EXii flash with a homemade mini softbox, triggered with "Pocket Change Wizard" ebay flash trigger.

I can't say too much nice about this guy (girl) other than she has never sent me to the doctor... Which is less than I can say for this guy...

This thing that looks like a Wookie dropping looks to me like an Asp. It has the characteristic tear drop shape that denotes this hideous beast. He is about an inch long, and reeking with evil. I once knelt on a *piece* of one of these when we lived in Houston, and my entire leg swelled up. A family friend happened to be a doctor who opened up his practice late on a Sunday to give me a antihistamine shot. Yikes.. Very unpleasant.

I must say that I love macro photography. This particular lens gives a 1:1 magnification ratio on a full frame camera, and 1.6:1 on a crop body. That means that whatever the size in real lift, it can reproduce it at 1.6 times the size on my camera sensor. Since the Canon 50D has a 15.1 megapixel sensor, I can get a lot of magnification out of the system. Combine that with the homemade softbox that is about 6"x6" and you get some nice shots.. That doesn't sound big, but when your subject is an inch or less, that's HUGE.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Just got word from the canon service center that the damaged 580EXii speedlite is on its way home.

Speaking of flashes, I am seriously considering picking up a ringflash from alienbees. I love the look it gives, and it can be reconfigured to work as a normal strobe. Anyone have any experience with this guy? Its only 120 bucks more than an 800... Now, who wants to be our first subject to get a nice glamour set?

On a related note, the sunrise this morning was gorgeous. It was about 6:40 and I was going over the railroad bridge on US1 near gardenstreet. A little sliver of sun was poking out through a cloud, leaving a gorgeous firey ring outlining the cloud. I knew I was about 3 minutes away from being able to stop and shoot it. The light at garden street was green, and there was no extra construction traffic over the max-brewer bridge. I pulled off, but man does 3 minutes make a big difference in a sunrise... I still like how it turned out...

Rory Duncan

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sometimes you wonder...

I was looking at manikin heads for testing lighting setups, when I had a thought. Here I was comparing.. (Does it need real human hair? Eww).. contrasting.. Well, she's pretty, but her lips are too big... I thought to myself, I wonder what Staci would do when she opened a box from Amazon, and inside she found a human head? We have been watching a lot of Bones lately...