Silent Sunday Returns
Why do some people think Christmas is just one day? Christmas is a season, starts on December 25th and runs through Epiphany. I’m going to try and post a photo a day for all the days of Christmas.
May the God’s angels watch over you, protect you, and guide you this Christmas season.
Sometimes a photographer just has to laugh at themselves or the industry, or else they would go crazy. So what is a camera buff do when they don’t have a camera in their hands? Read about photography, and not just serious technical stuff either.
Here are my favorites, again, Christmas, Birthday, Mothers Day, anniversary, or just any time is perfect to give a gift to someone you love, or want to poke fun at just a little.
1. What the Duck: I’ve been reading this comic online for quite sometime and it’s well worth having on the coffee table.
2. What the Duck, Rule of Nerds: If you haven’t gotten enough of the first book try adding another to the collection.
3. Awkward Family Photos: This series has gone viral and taken the industry by storm. What poses, props, and settings we once thought were cute have now become a bad joke. Really good for a laugh. There are now Awkward Family calenders, games, and even puzzles. But the puzzle might be stretching it a bit.
4. Awkward Pet Photos: The partner to the Awkward Family Photos, just as funny and we wonder why our kids grow up weird and our pets look at us funny.
5. PhotoJojo: Now it’s time to get off the couch and actually create some unique and funny photos. This book is full of DIY (do it yourself) photo projects that will keep anyone busy for the afternoon. Even the dog. Is that a camera cam on his head?
6. I Can Has Cheeszeburger: Now it’s the cats turn. Why is it cats are so funny in posed photos? Maybe because they can be posed and propped with everything from beer cans to books and everything in between. Dogs won’t do that, that’s why they wear the video cam on their head (see above). If cats were to wear a video cam it would be VERY boring.
All of these books and more great photo stuff can be purchased directly on my 3 Quarters Today Amazon Store. If you’re going to buy it online, might as well click through a friends page so she can earn some extra $$$ for a new lens or two.
If you live in Nebraska, the Midwest, or are a fan of college football you may of heard how passionate Husker fans are about their football, the players and their coaches. One person in particular strikes a solemn awe in Nebraskans, and that would be Tom Osborne. However, this is NOT your typical football blog post.
My husband is just a little bit passionate about “his” team, me I like college football, but I grew up in Connecticut and went to Oklahoma State during the Barry Sanders years. (It was awesome!) So I’m not a dyed in the wool Nebraska fan. I do enjoy it though, for many reasons. First off, I like watching my husband enjoy a game. It’s like he’s back in college again.
Last Saturday I was lucky (and thankful) that a friend from church offered to sell me their football tickets. In fact the conversation went a little bit like this.
“Hi Dawn, I heard you might be interested in our Husker tickets this weekend?”
“Sure Betsy, Randy was going to be up in a tree stand deer hunting..” I look back at Randy in the kitchen, “..but judging on the look on his face I think he’d rather go to the game. It will be an early birthday present.” (I’ve been told I can’t say how old he’s turning, anyone want to guess?
We got to the game early, it’s been said that only Nebraska fans show up in the stadium and hour early so they can watch warm ups. Well, we were there at least an hour ahead of time. That’s ok, I had my camera to play with and there was plenty of photo ops. The atmosphere in Lincoln Nebraska is like no other experience. Fans start tailgating at 9 am for a 2 pm game. Nebraska fans are also know for their hospitality towards visiting teams.
Today we played Minnesota, and for one of the few times this season we were pretty much assured a win. By how much would be the question. (Gotta keep reading to see by how much)
Saturdays attendance topped out at 85,330 and the Huskers still lead the NCAA record for number of sell outs for a college football team. An added bonus is getting to watch our local Elmwood-Murdock graduate play for the Huskers. Sam Burtch (below) is officially a freshman coming out of his red shirt year and graduated with my son David. Sam has won Scout team MVP several times and has seen playing time during many games.
The game also represented Tom Osbornes 500th official game and tribute ran from the pregame, to halftime and post game. Many people shed a tear, including my husband. The stadium reverberates with excitement and it’s something only to be experienced.
Below are just a few of the (cough, cough) many photos I took that day. I used a 4 Gig card just to let you in on a secret, but I was shooting in RAW. Let’s say I have enough for many posts to get us through Bowl season. My Canon Rebel XS 70-300 lens got a workout and during the course of the day and afternoon I went from a 100 ISO to a 1600 ISO. My manual skills are getting better and I can blindly set my settings when I meter. I did all my post work in Lightroom 4 and processed all (cough cough) images in just an hour and a half. Some special effects took longer, but by that time I was playing.
BUT, back to the game. Taylor Martinez completed 21-of-29 passes for 308 yards on the day, his third 300-yard passing day on the season and the fourth of his career. His favorite target was Bell, as the sophomore wide receiver hauled in a career-high nine catches for a career-high 137 yards with two touchdowns.
By the way Nebraska won 38-14, in case you were wondering.
Nebraska notched its fifth consecutive victory to improve to 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big Ten. The Huskers registered their fifth straight nine-win season under Head Coach Bo Pelini and moved a win away from clinching the Big Ten Legends Division title. NU closes its regular season at Iowa in the Heroes Game on Friday, Nov. 23 at 11 a.m. That game will be televised nationally by ABC.
- Nebraska Husker Apparel and Gifts (Amazon)
- Osborne leads Huskers out of tunnel before kickoff (sfgate.com)
- Shatel: Jogging the memories across a state (omaha.com)
- Nebraska Legacy – Tom Osborne (astonesjourney.com)
- ‘Unbeatable’: The story of Tom Osborne’s final five years (omaha.com)
- Huskers WRs are ‘perimeter warriors’ (espn.go.com)
Black Friday is just around the corner and here are 10 (ok, it’s now 11 ) awesome gift ideas for that serious photographer in your family. Not just what we want, ok a few we want, but what we need. Not giving anyone any hints, but some of these are on my Amazon Wish list. They are in no particular order, and I invite you to share this list with your friends and add to the bottom your most wanted photo gift for the Christmas season. Who knows, I may add it to the bottom.
1.Lens Strap Holder: This is a must have for me. I’m always misplacing, losing and forgetting where I put my lens caps. Often I find on in a coat pocket, in the glove box of my car, or even under the seat.
3.Bokeh lens: This is kinda a throw back to the film days when photographers would put colored filters and covers on their lenses to get special effects. Just a fun effect to play with when life gets boring HA!
4. White Balance Cap: Oh this sounds so dreamy. Ever been in a setting where the color just doesn’t turn out right. Yellow cast in a room, gymnasiums with that awful yellow wooden floor, or the grey days that make skin tones blue. Just shoot a photo with this cap and automatically set your cameras white balance. Perfect tones.
5. Super Spy Camera Lens: Where do they find this stuff? Perfect for street photography or camera shy people, I wonder who those might be, family members maybe?
6. Remote Shutter: Ideal for those long exposure night shots, a macro image,or even during the day to get the super crisp image. It’s amazing how much camera jitter you can get even during the day with a high shutter speed.
7. Camera Bag Insert: With as many times as I change purses why wouldn’t I want to change camera bags. This insert will fit into any large size pouch purse or fun shopping bag, all while keeping your camera and gear protected. Makes sense to me!
8. Photojojo! The Book- This book is full of DIY (do-it-yourself) photo ideas along with photography tips and tricks. It just looks fun and I always need a book on my wish list.
9. Bounce Flash Adapter: Don’t know about you but I have a love hate relationship with my flash. A fill flash is wonderful, but inside in close range I have a tendency to “flash burn” faces. This looks like it would be the perfect answer.
10. Spyder 2 Express Calibration System: Ever wonder why the prints you get back are not the same color as what you saw on your screen, or what you saw on your friends screen? It’s because monitors go out of calibration and mess with our heads. Extremely important if you’re adjusting skin tones and really need the magenta to be accurate. Lately I designed something that contained burgundy. But when it was printed the color was brown. I liked it still the same, but not what I expected. Hint, hint to any of my family who is thinking of something for Christmas.
11. Luma Loop: Nope, couldn’t hold myself to 10, I have a love/hate relationship with my camera strap. It’s a pain to wear around your neck, but it’s a pain to carry the camera separately. This camera strap is ergonomically friendly and I think I would like it better than what I have now, in fact I might even write a review if I found it under my tree. Shoot I might do that with anything camera I find under the tree.
Now that I’ve gone over my limit, and can see what I consider essential camera gifts for the photographer, what else would you add? I, on purpose, did not add any iPhone accessories, since I don’t own an iPhone, but there are tons of very cool gadgets for iPhones for the casual and serious iPhonetographer. (is that a word?)
I have a 3 Quarter Camera Store on Amazon with all the cool stuff that you may not be able to find in your local “big box store”
- 10 DIY Photo Filters on the Cheap (content.photojojo.com)
- Photographing Christmas Lights (photolisticlife.com)
- White Balance: What’s it all about (pixelogist.me)
- Is a DSLR right for you? (fatwallet.com)
- Getting Creative with White Balance (nikonusa.com)
So if a business card makes your business official, then I guess I’ve taken the leap. I’m not changing jobs, I love working at Hamilton Color Lab, but I am filling in some of the gaps in the cash flow side while supporting and partnering with my place of employment.
Our primary business at Hamilton is professional printing for photographers and commercial graphics for trade shows and displays. When we have time we will edit images and do graphic design, but it’s not our core business. That’s where I can help in the “off hours”.
The same is true of scanning and restoration. Hamilton Color Lab specializes in museum quality scanning and large format reproductions. Often customers call and have many photos they want scanned and digitized, upwards in the hundreds. While the Eversmart scanner at work is amazing in it’s clarity and density reading it’s overkill, and expensive, for someone who just wants digital images to share or wants to print a 4×6.
I love the post production side, as anyone reading this blog can tell. So this Saturday, November 24th, I’m setting up a table at the Holiday Extravaganza Craft show in Elmwood Nebraska.
I will be offering the following services and products:
- Photo Cards (area photographs, including “The Barn”)
- Senior Photo printing (die-cut rounded corner wallets)
- Photo Restoration
- Shoebox Scanning
- Professional Printing (through Hamilton Color, bring your USB, CD etc)
- Collage Wall Designs
- Galery Wrapped Photo Canvas
- Decorative Wall Groupings
- Christmas card designs
- Graduation announcement
- Senior Collages
- How to turn your photos into art
If the initial response has been any indication of success this might just work. I have had two jobs and two people set up a meeting with me next week for a canvas layout, just by announcing this on my personal Facebook page.
Have a project in mind? Send me a message, or drop me an email.
RAW doesn’t mean I don’t wear clothes, RAW is a type of image format a digital camera uses to capture and store photographs. Every camera “takes” a RAW image, but most point and shoot cameras then process that image into the popular JPG format.
Up until last Christmas I didn’t have the ability to shoot RAW, and all my images were shot in jpeg format. I love getting a shot perfect SOOC, (straight out of camera) it saves time on the post processing side. But even professionals in the film days spent hours in the darkroom burning and dodging negatives to get the print quality they desired. Ansel Adams and other photography masters spent a lot of time retouching negatives to get the amazing images that have become iconic.
Even the best photo with the perfect exposure can benefit from a clean “pop” of contrast and sharpening.
Today the RAW image format gives professional and serious amateurs the same options in a virtual “digital darkroom”
1. Photographers excitement: Sometimes the excitement of an event will cause the photographer in you to forget all about settings and metering. I can easily over or underexpose a shot. This happens to me more often than not. THANK goodness for RAW
2. Wider option of enlarging an image: I take a lot of scenery photos and my camera is only a 10 megapixel, so I need every pixel. The JPEG compression algorithm is lossy . That is, when an image is JPEG-compressed, data is discarded, and the image is permanently degraded. Apply enough JPEG compression and the degradation will become visible. If you want to enlarge your image a lot, JPEG artifacts could be a problem. Because raw files are not compressed, you never have to worry about this.
3. Control my white balance: Ever get that yellowish hue when you take photos inside at night? When shooting in RAW that yellow hue can be removed. The same with the blueish cast that sometime tints the skin on cloudy days.
4. Non destructive editing: Did you know that every time you open a JPG tiny parts of information are lost. When editing RAW files the program only records the edits and creates a new file. Your original is not lost.
5. Higher level of photo quality: In the JPG compression artifacts occur which can throw tiny dots of obtrusive color into unwanted areas. (more on this later) Your camera probably captures 12 to 14 bits of data per pixel, but a JPEG file can only hold eight bits of data per pixel. This means that, when you shoot in JPEG mode, one of the first things your camera does is throw out a bunch of data that it captured. This can also lead to “banding” as evidenced in my previous example.
The digital photography school gives the best definition and explanation of RAW files
A Raw file is…
• not an image file per se (it will require special software to view, though this software is easy to get).
• typically a proprietary format (with the exception of Adobe’s DNG format that isn’t widely used yet).
• at least 8 bits per color – red, green, and blue (12-bits per X,Y location), though most DSLRs record 12-bit color (36-bits per location).
• uncompressed (an 8 megapixel camera will produce a 8 MB Raw file).
• the complete (lossless) data from the camera’s sensor.
• higher in dynamic range (ability to display highlights and shadows).
• lower in contrast (flatter, washed out looking).
• not as sharp.
• not suitable for printing directly from the camera or without post processing.
• read only (all changes are saved in an XMP “sidecar” file or to a JPEG or other image format).
• sometimes admissible in a court as evidence (as opposed to a changeable image format).
• waiting to be processed by your computer.
- Raw vs. JPEG: Which should you shoot and when? (techhive.com)
- 10 Reasons to Shoot RAW
- Adobe expands DNG spec with lossy compression … and why it matters to you (gizmag.com)
- ‘Shopped? Don’t Sweat the Ingredients and Preparation, Just Enjoy the Meal (petapixel.com)
3 Quarters Images, is now an offshoot of my photography and editing passion. I’m taking the leap and going to launch a side business as a secondary stream of income. This is in addition to being surrounded by photographs where I work at Hamilton Color Lab in Omaha.
Although I love taking photos, I enjoy the post production side even more. I will be concentrating on helping people make the most of the images they take themselves through digital darkroom techniques. This could be using Lightroom 4, Photoshop, Portrait Professional, or other various editing and enhancing tools.
Some of my services will include scanning, restoration, design services for senior announcements, collages, anniversary gifts and wall groupings. Prints, canvases and prints will, of course, be provided from Hamilton Color Lab.
The official launch of 3 Quarters Images will be at the Elmwood Nebraska craft show, Saturday November 24th at the Josoff Social Hall. I will have examples restoration work, greeting cards for sale, and will be taking submissions for projects.
My dream? To create and generate a stream of income I can continue while I am retired and traveling the United States. Oh to sit on a deck, overlooking a beach and work at something I love. Yup, that’s my dream.
Stay tuned for more and if you have an idea, or want to learn more please feel free to ask.