Monthly Archives: December 2010

December 9, 2010 – Bug



Thursday, December 9, 2010


Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 90mm macro lens, cheap macro ring flash. 1/160s, f/18.0, ISO 100.

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December 7, 2010 – Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass

Loveland Pass, Summit County, Colorado

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I busted out one of Ansel Adams’s dirty little tricks today: red-filtered black and white. Except that, you know, he sort of had to plan it out ahead of time before he took the shot. I just had to get a little funky and decide to use Picasa’s filtered black and white tool, and choose a nice deep red. Have I mentioned that I feel super cheeseball when I make black and white images? It just.. seems like cheating.

But, I thought this one was a good example to show the results of using a (simulated) color filter on a black and white shot. Or, at least, it would be, if I weren’t too lazy to also include the full-color version, or either an unfiltered black and white or a version filtered with a different color, for comparison. As it is, you just get this one today. Although I’ll be honest, I actually prefer the full-color version, since the colors are, quite frankly, really awesome. It’s actually fairly rude of me to be talking about that without actually showing it to you, but hey, that’s how it’s going to be. Maybe I’ll post it here later this week or next week though, since it really does look nice.

Anyway, a red filter on a black and white shot has a lot in common with a polarizer filter on a full-color shot. It really darkens the sky and pulls out the white fluffy clouds. It’s a decent way to get around that nasty, mid-day sunshine too. But, I dunno, I’m still not a black and white kind of guy.

What’s that? Where was this taken? Oh, right. This was taken near Loveland Pass, in Summit County, Colorado. Loveland Pass used to be the way through the mountains, until they built the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70. Wikipedia knows ALL about it, if you were curious. WikiLeaks knows less about it, but hey, you might as well check there too.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 12mm.

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December 6, 2010 – Snoqualmie Pass

View from Summit West

View from Summit West Ski Area

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wow, I kinda let you all down last week, didn’t I? Only two posts that whole time. Don’t even have any good excuses either, I wasn’t out of town, or particularly busy. I just… wasn’t in a posting mood. And I’m not gonna lie, this week isn’t looking much better. We’ll see how it goes.

So, on to today’s picture. Right. This is actually from yesterday, which is remarkable turnaround for me. I went skiing for an hour or two at the rinky-dink hill that’s about an hour outside of Seattle. It’s actually a set of rinky dink hills, I think I’ve mentioned this before, called the Summit at Snoqualmie. It’s at the crest of Snoqualmie Pass, if you were wondering where the name came from. This was from the first rinky dink hill, called Summit West. It’s easy to make fun of. But it’s also got nice views.

I’ve always been in the habit of carrying a pocket point and shoot with me when I ski, but more recently (I started at the end of last year) I’ve started bringing an SLR with me. Sometimes I bring my T1i, which is my current go-to camera, but I’ve decided that my standard practice should be to bring my Rebel XT, which is the first digital SLR I bought, and was my go-to until I got the T1i. I now call it my “rock camera”, which isn’t that funny. I also deliberated for a little while about which lens(es) to bring. I mean, the whole idea is that I’m bringing my old camera in case I wipe out catastrophically. I don’t want the good stuff to get destroyed. So I’ve decided that as long as I’m bringing the substandard body, I may as well bring the non-premiere lenses too. So, the past few times I’ve gone up, I’ve just brought the kit lens that came with the T1i – the Canon 18-55mm IS. (I also have the kit lens that came with the XT, which is almost the same lens, minus the IS, but that one’s still just gathering dust.) I could also bring my old telephoto, but I’ve been a bit lazy about that.

Yesterday, though, I figured I wouldn’t really need it, as it was one of those uninteresting overcast days. So I left it in the car. Which of course meant that, right around 3:15 pm, the sun dramatically broke through the clouds, making for some really nice views. Crap.

To make matters worse, I’ve gotten really lazy about bringing my pocket camera too. I used to have this photojournal thing where I’d take pictures every day and post them ( – I left off the link on purpose, as I don’t want to share the link juice from this site with that POS, but that’s where it is if you wanted to have a look), but I’ve basically stopped doing that. (But I kept it up for like 6 years!!) So, all I had with me was my phone. So I snapped a couple frames, all the while crying inside because I wasn’t prepared. The results, as you can see, aren’t bad. They wouldn’t print up very nice, but at web-size, it’s passable. It’s good enough for this blog, is what I’m saying.

I of course ran (well, skiied) straight down to my car to grab the backpack that had my camera in it, and got back up there as quickly as I could. And there were still some nice views to be had (and I got a few nice frames – maybe I’ll post one of those later this week), but the magic window had passed. Sigh.

Oh well. I’ve heard people say things like “the best camera is the one that you have with you”, and to some degree that’s true. But until the cameras that come with phones get at least up to the quality level of a pocket point and shoot from 8 years ago, you won’t hear me agreeing with that statement in public. But… soon!

Notes: Taken with an HTC Evo 4g smartphone. ISO: 109, Focal length: 4.9mm.

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December 2, 2010 – Roses


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome to December! Hope you didn’t have any trouble getting here. I’m kind of breaking one of my sort-of quasi rules today, in that I’m already posting another picture of some roses from across the street, when I already just posted one a couple weeks ago.

But!! There’s a reason for it. Somebody asked me recently about mounting non-Canon lenses on a modern Canon dSLR. It’s true that I talked about it the last time I posted a shot from this particular camera/lens combination (as well as a couple other times over the years), but it never hurts to cover it again. To recap: this was taken with an old Kiron 105mm macro lens that was built with an old Minolta mount. When I say “old”, I mean really old, back when they used actual physical actuators to control the aperture, none of this electronic craziness. I mean GOSH.

I won’t bore you with the full description of why that’s interesting again, especially when I already linked to a whole post talking about it. BUT, I whipped up a little illustration of some of the points I was talking about when I was talking to the reader that was asking, so I figured that was of general enough interest that I should share it here as well. I was talking about how lenses that are built for different camera mounts are expecting to have different distances between the rear end of the lens and the sensor or film. But that’s the kind of thing that is much easier to visualize if you’re looking at a picture of it. So, I made a picture of it. The first section shows the normal situation, using a lens designed for the mount that your camera uses. The next section shows what happens when you use a lens that expects a LONGER lens-to-sensor distance (ie, Nikon lens on Canon mount), and when you attach a mount adapter to it. And, the last section shows a lens that wants a SHORTER distance (ie, Minolta lens on Canon mount), using an adaptor either with or without glass. When I shrunk the image down to a reasonable size, some of the text became too small to read, but the labels for the adapters say “Adapter (no glass)” and “Adapter (cheap glass)”.

Nikon and Minolta lenses on Canon mount

Nikon and Minolta lenses on Canon mount

So, there you go. Now you all get it, right? Yay!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Kiron 105mm macro lens. 1/250s, ISO 200. Aperture unknown.

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