Mar 23, 2011

Covering all of the bases

One of the fun things of all the technology and photo sharing capability we have these days is seeing the shots other photogs get at the same events.

And, I must admit, it can get competitive. Not that it amounts to anything, but it keeps me, especially as the newspaper guy, on my toes and looking for good shots. It also lets me know when I am not on my "A" game :-).

Case in point, baseball last night as Terrell travelled to Forney. Jim over at Terrell Daily Photo was on hand and posted these shots...

Ah.. for me, not so good. The curse of really good and fast autofocus is that if you get off your mark, the grass makes a great focus target.
Baseball vs Forney-2652

And, if you focus on the opposing team's player, well.. your guys are just fuzzy. This has to be within a millisecond of Jim's shot... makes it fun to go back and forth between the two for the different perspectives.
Baseball vs Forney-2792

OK, enough of that. It has been nice now that with Daylight Saving time in effect. The games start in beautiful evening sunlight, so the first two innings are great.

Here is about the best I could take advantage of it on an off day.
Bouncing one off of the dirt..
Baseball vs Forney-2613

.. and a reach for the out at first base.
Baseball vs Forney-2883

Don J.

Mar 21, 2011

They grow up so fast!

One fun thing about taking kid pictures is seeing them grow up in photos.

For example.. near the end of April last year I had this young man in front of the lens, and already he was quite a model. At this point he was just a crawler.

He happened to be here last week and I grabbed a few quick photos... time does fly. Now he enjoyed running around the studio space.


With our first baby due in about three weeks, it will be fun to share pictures, techniques and kid photo ideas here on the blog. Which is to give fair warning... there will be a lot of baby photos on the blog for the next couple of years!

Don J.

Mar 20, 2011

Mooned part 2

Soooo... the lovely wife was gracious enough to join me for some moon watching on Saturday. As I was going to find a bridge to observe from, but a place with water seemed like a better idea. (That is true of a lot of photography... water makes photos more interesting in almost any situation.)

The longest lens I had at home was a 70-200mm zoom, so there would be no real astro-photography going on. It was more of a date, and looking for some shot other than just the moon.

The moon did rise dramatically enough.. caught it with some brush in front.. not much to it except finding an exposure and ISO that worked. (this is a very small crop of the frame)
Super! Moon-2218

Once the moon was high enough, the reflection became more interesting than the moon itself. This is also heavily boosted in Lightroom to get some neat shadow detail.
Super! Moon-2260

This one is closer to what it looked like, also getting down close to the water with the camera.
Super! Moon-2259

After that, the ADD kicked, so I started playing with slow shutter speeds and the moving water (it was quite windy). This is 1.6 seconds open shutter.
Super! Moon-2285

Even slower, 4 seconds, little different processing in LR3
Super! Moon-2286

OK, I hope everyone had a great weekend.

For some really nice supermoon shots, check this entry in the Flickr blog... amazing stuff there.

Don J.

Mar 18, 2011


Look out everyone, tomorrow is Supermoon!

Just in case we have clouds, I got this shot tonight. Looks like it might be time to get a telescope and camera converter to really get into the details. This is only at 200mm on the 1D, equiv to about 260mm on 35mm full frame.

Morning trip to the arboretum planned for tomorrow... that is always a fun, photogenic place to shoot.

Have a great weekend,

Don J.

Mar 16, 2011


There are many times when being stuck in one place can help you find interesting photos.

To get inside the fence at our softball field, you are pretty much stuck inside the dugout. The one convenient 'door' is fine to shoot out of, although the view is often blocked by an umpire or first-base coach.

But if you sit in one spot long enough, secondary pictures start to jump out at you, like this one of the coach sitting in the other dugout opening, making expressions as the game progressed.

There were claps of encouragement, but as the score went the wrong direction, a more telling picture was there for the taking...

Or maybe it was just a headache?

Either way, when you get stuck in a spot, look around for the less-obvious photos. Get a different angle or start to look past the main subjects for graphic elements, colors, shadows, lines... whatever grabs your eye.

Don J.

Mar 15, 2011

Quick Pic - Hoops for Heart

Some teachers really go all out for the Hoops for Heart fundraiser at Long Elementary.


And, while I often mention watching the background for better pictures, this colorful addition was completely by accident. I was trying to get him without people or obstructions, but color can be just as problematic (or helpful) if you aren't careful.

Happy Tuesday everyone,

don j

Mar 13, 2011


Photographing birds in flight with long lenses is hard to do well, but I think I have found something harder... capturing flying butterflies.

It is easy enough to get them enjoying a snack in the Jasmine...

But once they take off, they are out of the depth-of-field for the focus spot you just had...

I still had better luck using single-shot focusing rather than continuous tracking because of the erratic flight, but in general, the little fliers were at least partially out of focus before I could react with a shot.

Our back yard is abuzz with the sights, smells and photo opportunities of spring thanks to Mrs. Easttexasphoto's tireless gardening efforts. Be sure to look around at the emerging springtime and look for the amazing creation awaiting your artistic interpretation!

Don J.

Mar 11, 2011

Quick Pic - Jump into spring break


Have an excellent weekend, everyone!

Mar 4, 2011

Quick Pic - Cliff

Former Tribune sports editor Cliff Gibson stopped by to say hello and stepped in to be a model for testing a light setup... Thanks Cliff.

Lighting is a single monolight (elinchrom 400bx) with a 10 degree grid slightly behind camera right for the spotlight shadow.