Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Vista to Remember

Kimberley Ski Hill Panorama #8, originally uploaded by jake orr.

One of the things I really like about photography is that there are so many different types to get into. My last two entries have been regarding night photography which I was super excited to have a go at. There are still a lot of other kinds of photography I have never even tried. I mean I may have taken a snapshot which turned out to be macro-like, for example, but I've never seriously taken the time to get better at macro photography (not to mention I don't own a macro lens, but that's a topic for another day).

Last week I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by my wonderfully photogenic companion, Christina, on a trip to Kimberley. It was amazing. We were treated to wonderful weather the entire time which made photos all the better. One of our days in Kimberley was spent on a trip to the local ski hill. I brought my camera and actually took the time to make use of it while we were there. I'm really glad I did, because along with some good pictures, I also got some great practice at panoramic photography.

Now when I say panoramic, I'm not talking about what I used to do by setting on my old point and shoot camera to 'panoramic mode'. The kind of full on, as wide as you want photography that I'm talking about is done with a combination of multiple photos spanning a scene and a little help from Photoshop. Photoshop has has a feature called photomerge which takes a set of pictures and does its very best to stick them together into one. And let me just say that its very best is pretty damn good. It even tries to blend them together to make it look like one photo. Tweaking the photos before and after to really help the photo come together is something that I'll have to practice. As you can see in this photo, the sky isn't the exact same exposure everywhere. It's a little brighter on the left side of the photograph. Doing eight different panoramas was time consuming, but great practice to get better at the technique. If you want to give it a try there are a lot of basic tutorials online and other than that, just fiddle with things. Try the different photomerge modes and such. And hey, have some fun with it!

I've really found that with any new type of photography it takes practice to get better at it. Even on my single day of experimenting with panoramas I found that my last shot was better than my first. Working on your photography and really seeing it improve into something you like to look at and something that you're proud of is an amazing feeling.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another Shot in the Dark

Pleasantly Surprised, originally uploaded by jake orr.

I don't know why, but when I write my blog titles I get this irresistible urge to use lame, cliche phrases that I've heard a million times. I hope they don't hurt you too much. I'm sorry, I just can't help it.

Since I was so happy with my night shoot last week with Christina I thought I'd put up my other favorite photo from it. It was white balance that made this shot. I hadn't set up for the type of light (or lack of) that I was in at this point and it gave me this great orange backdrop. That combined with this gnarly tree branch really makes a pretty picture. Also, I'm really happy with my manual focusing skills this night. It's not something I've done much of and I was happy to see I could make it work.

On another photographic note I have good plans for putting up some photos around my house! It's going to involve topographical maps, pictures of adventures, and a lot of greatness. I can't wait! You'll have to come by my new place and check it out! (once I actually get some up, that is).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hey Everyone, Look What I Can Do!

DSC_1223, originally uploaded by jake orr.

Yeah okay so I'm excited and I felt a second-in-a-week photo was warranted.

I went out shooting last night was Christina, and had a great time! I always say how I'd like to practice some more night photography and I finally got around to doing it. Getting this photo was mostly what got me excited about the night, although I did get some other good ones. Nothing to top this lovely though, I'd say.

This picture is from the top of the first rise of Hartman Hill in Kelowna. I was setting up on the road to get that foreground telephone phone into full-frame wide-angle-ness. I had taken a few test shots when, to my surprise, a car started making it's way towards us. I clicked the shutter and hoped that it wouldn't hit me. Luckily I was in the other lane, no other cars came from behind, and the shot was timed beautifully. Everything combined resulted in this beautiful shot which I am, so far, very happy with.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Show

The Show, originally uploaded by jake orr.

They're up! I may have been wild with fever, but I made it out after work and with the help of my lovely assistant Christina I hung the photos for my Starbucks show. Everything went smoothly, and I'm happy with how the layout looks. I also created a set on flickr with all of the photos used in the show as well as some photos I took yesterday of the show itself. Go check it out! Oh yeah, and I even commented them! Will wonders never cease.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Looking at Pictures

DSC_0115, originally uploaded by jake orr.

So know everyone is excited to see which photographs I chose for my showing at Starbucks. The reason I haven't told you yet is because I'd like there to be at least a little excitement in going to see them. I know there are those of you who are out of the country or similarly indisposed and I'm going to tell you which pictures I used after I have them hung. Wait and see!

I would like to give you a sneak peak at the photos I'm going to have up at the show, though. I'm putting them up on this Thursday the 15th and this is one of the shots that's going to be on the wall in all it's 11x16 glory. I hope everyone who is able to make it goes and checks out the spread I've chosen. It's going to be a travel theme with shots from my Christmas 2007 Mexico trip and also some from my recent Summer 2008 Thailand trip.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ponderous Poet

DSC_0024, originally uploaded by jake orr.

I haven't been making enough time for photos. I have hardly been making any time for them of late actually. This is unacceptable, I know. Next week I promise I'm going to have a brand new, yet unseen photograph to present. You're going to like it.

So I've never gotten into film. Film as opposed to digital, I mean. And when I say 'never gotten into' I actually mean never even tried it. Ever.

Okay, well I had a film camera when I was a kid, but I haven't had one since I've been into photography and just recently I came into owning two of them! My dad lent me his old Pentax SLR which I'm pretty excited about trying out once it comes back from being repaired and cleaned. The other camera was a Christmas present from the lovely Christina. She got me a pinhole camera that I will be putting together soon. It's pretty official looking, as in it actually looks like a camera, not just the box with a hole in it that you made in high school.

Once I start actually using these new toys I'm going to have some film to deal with and that's when more learning comes in! I'm going to learn the development process which is something I have no experience with. It'll be fun! I'll keep you updated on progress and see if I can post some of what I get online. Watch for it!