Monday, December 31, 2012

US Quarter (25¢)

Happy New Year guys! It is almost 2013! Can you believe a year has passed already? Sure went fast! :) Hope you all have a wonderful time. Let's introduce you to my photos for today. Today I have some photos I took of a US Quarter (25¢) under macro photography conditions. Macro photography like this is great for when the weather is not so nice outside and you are stuck at home bored. :) I took these on a day like that. All of these shots were done with the help of my handy Kenko Extension Tubes. They are great for cheap macro photography, plus you can add these to macro lenses to get greater magnification. If you are interested, get yourself a set today! These extension tubes have electrical contacts which are also covered, so it won't cause any distortions, and you can still control your aperture! They are also very high quality and rugged, plus you are saving a lot compared to Canon by buying 3rd party.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best macro photography shots of 2012, use this link. To see all of my at home and backyard photography shots of 2012, use this link.

I set the US Quarter (25¢) on a DVD that failed the burning process to add some colors. 



I thought the above setup made it look a bit flat, so I covered the top of the US Quarter (25¢) with some water. Then I circled a flashlight around during the exposure to try to add some color to the DVD. It didn't work, but it added a cool white circle on the US Quarter (25¢).  

Here is the back of the US Quarter (25¢). Turns out to be a Tennessee US Quarter (25¢). I also added water to this. 

This is all the macro shots I have for you today! Hope you have enjoyed all the colors and details of these shots! :) I also hope I have  provided you with some ideas about indoor photography on a bad weather day. If you are interested in cheap macro photography, please consider getting Kenko Extension Tubes. They are great and I have no regretted my purchase (except I wish they were a bit cheaper)! Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rock Pigeons (Columba livia)

Today I have photos of Rock Pigeons (Columba livia) (also more commonly known as pigeons) that I have taken in Foster City, CA. I was in the area and I thought I might as well just relax a bit and hang out with a friend of mine by the shoreline there. There were a lot of pigeons there and I thought I'd get some photos of them, including a few of them in flight! :) I used my Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT on a few of them. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best Foster City, CA photos, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Message from the Photographer: I am currently in the process of picking out my Death Valley National Park photos. After that, I will need to process the RAW files. This should still take me a while. I also recently went to Lake Tahoe for vacation. Those photos might come up before Death Valley. Not too sure yet.

Pigeon in flight! Can't believe how well it actually turned out. 

Close up of the pigeon's head. Never noticed how much detail is in their eyes!

Another shot of a pigeon in flight. 



This was 1 of the shots where the camera actually focus correctly. My other few shots, the camera focused on the background instead. Guess AI SERVO on Canons are not always on the mark...

Is that eye lashes on the eyes? Never knew pigeons had them. 




The other shot of the pigeon the camera didn't mess up on. 








This is all the photos I have for today. I hope you have enjoyed these! My Death Valley photos are still being processed, I am currently picking out the photos to put up. Then I need to process and convert the RAW files. This should still take some time. After that, I should have some Oakland Zoo photos and some Lake Tahoe photos. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Fort Point and Sutro Baths in San Francisco, CA

I know it has been a while but all of these photos were taken on the day of the Blue Angels air show in San Francisco. You can see those photos here. Today, I have photos (both HDR and regular shots) from Fort Point and Sutro Baths of San Francisco, CA. I also have a few bird photos. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. See my best San Francisco photos here.

I think this might be an Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis). Not too sure.

Seagull

Seagull



One of the tunnels at Fort Point. 

Sutro Baths (The Cave). The cave with lit by my Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, but still used a fairly long exposure.



HDR of the tunnel.

HDR of the tunnel facing the other way. 

Hole in the wall. Ocean under it. I'm guessing the cave floods during high tide. I did see some puddles in the cave, and the ground was kind of wet. 



The other side of the tunnel. Just some rocks and then the ocean. Can't proceed anymore as there is a chain saying keep back. 

Here is a shot outside of the tunnel. A "natural bridge" formation on the right, and the restaurant/visitor center of Cliff House on the left. 

Here is a shot of the "natural bridge" formation and the rocks. This was shot with no filters. 



Same scene as above but now with a ND filter. See how the ND filter extended the exposure and smoothed out the ocean? One great benefit of having an ND filter, but you do need a tripod for these shots. 

Here is another ND filter shot of the ocean scenery. 

Forgot why I took another shot, but here it is. LOL



Sunset over Sutro Baths. 





I hope you have enjoyed these photos from Fort Point and Sutro Baths. If you plan on visiting San Francisco sometimes, you should definitely check out these 2 places. The scenery is beautiful. Although access to Cliff House might be challenging to the disabled and the elderly as there are a lot of stairs to go up and down on (pretty sure you get my point). Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Circular Polarizer Demo

If you remember at the beginning of the year, I posted up a circular polarizer demo article. Today I will show you some more examples of why you should use a circular polarizer, but I most likely will be copying some text I wrote in the last article as there is no point typing the same content up twice. HAHA If you want to see the last post, you can do so here.

The sample photos with the polarizer shown today was taken using the B+W 82mm XS-Pro Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Nano Coating. First off, let me tell you why a circular polarizer is good. First of all, if you love landscape photos, you have to get one, a circular polarizer helps contrast the colors and deepen the blue sky. Using a circular polarizer can also help get rid of glare from water, glass, leaves (what I'm showing you today), etc... A polarizer will also protect your lens from the elements like fingerprints, scratches, and water. It is a good idea to use a filter. I have also read online that a filter saved his L model lens from a fall! Definitely worth the investment because $100 < $5,000. LOL

If you are serious about photography like me, I recommend you not get the cheap ones because they cause unwanted glares in your photos and the polarizing effect isn't good. The ones I have are a B+W 58mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer and a B+W 82mm XS-Pro Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Nano Coating. They are German made filters, and includes special nano-technology coating that causes water that collect on there to drip right off. There is also little vignetting at wider angles. However, this filter is pretty expensive, but most good ones are. The 58mm one cost me around $100 and the 82mm one cost me around $250 (still worth it for the great German optics).

If you don't know much about polarizers, you will find two types of polarizers. One type is the linear polarizer and one type is the circular polarizer. The linear polarizers will have a slightly better polarizing effect than circular polarizers, but will render your auto focus function useless as the polarizer will prevent the auto focus sensor from seeing light. Linear polarizers are usually cheaper than circular polarizers. Circular polarizers won't effect the auto focus sensor and is what most people use. Circular polarizers are more expensive.

The only down sides to using a circular polarizer (like with all filters) is that since filters is suppose to filter out the light, it will also slow down your shutter speed and the time of day it will work the test (due to the sun) is slightly limiting. If the shutter speed gets too slow, make sure you have your camera on a tripod.

Alright, let's move onto the sample photos I took. All these photos were taken in my hometown of Pleasanton, CA and are of autumn foliage.

This photo was taken without any filter. 

 This photo was taken with my circular polarizer. See how the glare from the leaves almost disappeared and the colors are more saturated? :)



Here is another shot with the circular polarizer.  

Here is a landscape shot taken with a circular polarizer in a park in Pleasanton, CA with the fall foliage on the trees. See how the sky is a deep blue color and all the colorful leaves are more saturated?


This is all the sample photos I got. Remember the filters I have is a  B+W 58mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer  and a B+W 82mm XS-Pro Kaesemann Circular Polarizer with Multi-Resistant Nano Coating. If you are going to buy it, please buy it through my link. :) I get referral money that way and you'll be supporting the costs of running this blog. Even if you don't, please click in to check it out. I understand this filter might be a bit expensive for a lot of people, there are cheaper filters out there, but I don't recommend those. Also, when purchasing, don't forget to check if you got the right size filter!

Thanks for looking at this demo. I hope you have enjoyed it. If you haven't seen my past sample photos taken with circular polarizers, you can do so here. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tomato Leaf Macro Photos

I am going to show you some macro shots of a tomato leaf I ripped off the cherry tomato plant I had growing. I sandwiched the leaf between two pieces of transparencies and some water, using the same method I used with my flower pedal last time. These photos were all taken with the help of a pair of Kenko Extension Tubes.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best macro photography shots of 2012, use this link. To see all of my at home and backyard photography shots of 2012, use this link.

Didn't sandwich it perfectly so some air bubbles also got trapped between the plastic.  




I thought the wide screen of the flash made such a unique pattern last time, I wanted to try to recreate the effect. The effect turned out slightly different, but creates a nice pattern in the background. 

This is all the photos I have for today. Hope you have enjoyed it. Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fremont Central Park

The other day I went to Fremont, CA to meet up with a friend. We decided to go to Fremont Central Park and just hang out. I didn't bring my camera that day so I took all of these photos with my phone. Hope you enjoy! Sorry for this super short post with so little photos, I am very busy recently studying for tests, I don't have any time for a long blog post. Hope you all can understand!

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. View my best Fremont Central Park photos here. View all of my Fremont Central Park photos here.

 That one awkward (not sure what it's called) that is at Fremont Central Park. It can't fly (Wings are tiny!) and is always upright. Weird. I think a Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos) made out with a Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) and created this... Sure looks like it. Brandt's Cormorant always stand upright, and the green head suggests a Mallard. 



Mallard Ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)

Sunset over the park.

This is all the photos I have for today. Again, sorry for the short post, I'm super busy! Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Google Android Building in Mountain View, CA

I know someone who works at Google and today I am here to share some of the photos I took at the Google Android building. I happened to be in the area several month back right after the Space Shuttle Endeavour Flyover (Photos Here). I have photos of the different figurines and also some of the special figurines they had in the lobby. I also have the before and after of the Android Jellybean figurine on this. The Android building is at Google's Main Headquarters in Mountain View, CA. Really nice work environment!

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing here.

Left: Cupcake
Right of Cupcake: Froyo (back), Eclair (front)
Right of those: Gingerbread (left), Ice Cream Sandwich (right)

Android Figurine and a Donut 



This was the Android Jellybean figurine before they fixed it. Remember the flaw that caused the figurine to melt under the sun? Yeah... That is why they brought it in before they could get it fixed. It was said some people took some of the jellybeans too. No, they are not edible... 



This was some figurine in some movie. Forgot which one. 



Not sure what this figurine is for. 

The new Android Jellybean figurine. 



Android building with all the figurines. 
From the left to right: Cupcake, Froyo, Gingerbread, Eclair, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, Jellybean, Android Figurine, a Donut. 

This is all the photos I took. Hope you have enjoyed them! Please don't forget to share my blog posts with your friends! If you would like to get notifications next time I post, you can "Like" me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.
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