Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rejected Photo

It is unfortunate that hist picture is slightly out of focus, I was watching the spider weave it's web, so I ran and got the camera, but it was extremely difficult to see and focus on. This photo is just slightly out of focus, plus some of the sites stated it wasn't stock material. Oh well, I still like the picture, it kind of looks to me like the spider is dancing a jig!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Photos

As I search through my library looking for possible stock photos, I occasionally come across several that I like but can't use for lack of model releases or the quality is not high enough. This first one was taken on my way to work one morning, my coworkers were waiting for the manager to arrive to let us in, who was running late as usual. To me it captured the overall vibe of the morning shift, and the angry glare from the trash man, who unfortunately is slightly out of focus and blurred, fit with the overall sense I had of the "Real" Santa Monica vibe. I received many glares, even when my camera still had the lens cap on and was hanging around my neck, nobody wanted their picture taken!

The following two are of my Grandmother, a few years ago at a small family reunion. These were all taken available light at 1/60th of a second at f1.4, so unfortunately they are a little soft and the focus is not at the best located with such a shallow depth of field, and with the slow shutter, a little bit of motion blur. However I still think they came out nice, and I think the 3/4 one might be a nice Black and White or sepia.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Download from iStockPhoto

Had my first download from iStock today, the image below of the black widow.

My house seems to be crawling with them, just going outside tonight I saw 5 full grown black widows and 7 baby black widows... Being slightly arachnophobic, in hindsight I wonder if it was such a good idea to go exploring...

There have been a couple of Orb-Weaver spiders around the house as well, I don't know if it is just the summer heat that is bringing them out or why I haven't noticed them before, the I am seeing a lot more spiders around my house than in previous years, maybe I am just paying closer attention.

This guy was pretty tough to capture as the wind was blowing him around quite a bit. Overall he is about 1.5-2 cm long, including legs, and the wind was moving him around 6-8 inches. Suffice to say, a much larger distance than the depth of field, and the wind has not seemed to die down at all when I am trying to take a picture!
While the spider images are starting to sell, I am hoping that they start to pick up around Halloween.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Black Widow

After shooting about 250 different black widow shots, I finally got one that works!! I have been finding many Black Widows around my house this summer, but they haven't made it easy to Photograph. I've been wanting to get some nice Macro shots for Halloween, but I've been unsuccessful so far, until this one, which is close, but still not what I have been hoping for. I will clean up the isolation on some of it to resubmit to the other sites, but I at least finally got one!

This Black Widow was discovered Thursday night by Ryan, my stepson, as he was getting ready to put the trash out. She set up her nest in our trash can and was hanging out, waiting for one of the flies to swing by. Unfortunately, she was a ways into the can, about halfway, and the trash at the bottom was pretty ripe, but what one will do for a photo... Needless to say, it involved taking a big breath, stepping in and putting my face halfway in the trash can, snap a few shots, and then step out to breath... Not Ideal Conditions, but sacrifices must be made!! I'm sure my neighbors are what's wrong with me... Anyway, the white trash bag actually helped provide a good background to bounce the flash off of. I would have liked to try again, but I think she went out with the trash as I haven't seen her since.

Freeway Traffic

I've been meaning to get around to taking these photos for a while now, so Saturday night I finally got around to taking them. They were kind of successful, but I want to go back and revisit them, hopefully a little earlier by maybe 15-30 minutes. However, these two just got approved at ShutterStock and Fotolia, so I guess they were somewhat successful, I guess I'll find out if anyone downloads them!!

One of the issues that I have with the images is that the sky is getting too dark. I wanted a little more of the Dusk look, which is what I was looking at, but it didn't come across in the image. Noise was a big issue that I had to deal with, I am shooting on a Canon 30D, and even at ISO 100 and trying the long exposure noise reduction, the sky was terrible!! I ended up duplicating the layer in photoshop, using the median filter to remove all noise, and then with masking just the sky, lay it back over the original at about 70% opacity so it brought back a little texture. I'm hoping that if I catch it a little earlier, there will be enough light in the sky to get some nice rich color, but not too early so that the lights aren't visible.
The moon was rising during the shot as well, but with needing the wide angle, it didn't fit well with the photo so I removed it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

First Download from Dreamstime

Had my first download from Dreamstime, still nothing from Fotolia or iStock, however iStock as only reviewed three of my initial 15 photos in the past week.  They seem to be taking the longest to review images, plus the approved photos have not shown up in their searches yet... It is funny what passes at one agency but not others...