I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ www.lloydshell.zenfolio.com Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Engagement Photos R-Us!

Back in late June I got to do my second Engagement photo shoot, first on digital. I was very pleased with the outcome, and I think I may want to do more. I gave them 2 hours out at the lake by my house and shot a 16GB card FULL! Here are a few samples of my favorites, you can see the whole gallery here. The photos at the end are the processed shots, the first 522 are quickly converted JPEG's for the clients to look at.

Some of these poses are the brides idea, some mine, some of the mother of the bride. All in all for a first shoot, I think I did OK. All shots were with my Pentax K5, Sigma 17-70, Pentax 55-300 or Pentax DFA 100mm f2.8 macro. 

I approached each photo as it's own unique shot, not trying to make them all look exactly the same.

It helps to have good models to work with, this was a VERY cute couple!

This was not a favorite of the bride or groom, but I liked it. I tried to leave a certain amount of room for text boxes around them.

My 100mm lens worked very well here, it gave me a bit of distance from them but still allowed me to frame tightly enough. I probably could have gone with a wider aperture and separated them more from their surroundings, but I didn't want to leave only part of one person in focus.

This was the brides idea and it turned out AWESOME! I was glad I had my longer telephoto with me for this shot!

This was with my old Manual Focus 50mm f1.4 wide open, part of what inspired me to look for my new DA*55mm f1.4.

So... if you need some engagement photos taken, I work cheap and try hard! And maybe do halfway OK.

Getting to know a new lens

One of my most favorite things in the world is getting a new lens to play with. I have a fairly complete lens kit now, not totally complete but fairly complete. The lack I addressed with this purchase was for an autofocus portrait length lens (50-55mm on APS-C cameras) I have an old manual focus 50mm f1.4 which is a great lens, though the color rendering has always left me a little meh. It was also devilishly hard to focus wide open or close to it. Thus making it a little hard for fast progressing photo shoots (Engagement shoots etc...) that I really don't have the time to manually fine tune the focus. So... I searched, and looked, and asked around, I considered a bunch of lenses, both older autofocus designs, and newer. I had the luxury of being able to take my time and make a rational decision. The lens I purchased, the Pentax DA*55mm f1.4, fit the bill for me nicely. I bought it used from KEH.com, but in essentially new condition. My primary considerations were that it had to have the best Image Quality of the available choices in the range from f2.0 to f4.0, and I wanted it to be weather resistant. That last quality was the one that narrowed down my choices to only one. I already have one WR lens (my DFA 100mm f2.8 Macro) and I really wished to have another lens of a shorter focal length for poor weather shooting. Now I just need to get Pentax/Ricoh to make a 24mm f2.0 lens in a WR casing. That would just ice the cake for me.

Back to the new lens, I received it in good working order, and while biking to work the next day had a bad accident and gave myself a grade III separated shoulder. Putting a crimp in my plans to spend time testing my lens... (Boo!) After healing a bit, I did some medium distance testing of sharpness, and the lens did just fine, after dialing in +10 focus correction. I could probably use +12 or 13 but that will have to be done at a service center that has calibration equipment, and at F2.0 and better I get the focus plane where it needs to be.

I haven't had a chance to do a portrait session, just a few quick snaps of family members (Which I don't post on this public blog), BUT I did get to try it as a walk around lens in downtown Salt Lake City for a few minutes last monday and was very favorably impressed.

This shot was taken at f3.2, plenty sharp and excellent colors.

f4.0 and looking nearly straight up, the building is sharp and the clouds sharp enough.

So far I really like what I have, as I learn the quirks I think it will be a valuable lens for me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall is here!!!!

I love fall for many reasons, I get to wear sweats, without sweating. The air seems different and special, we get more and better clouds, I love drama in the skies. Oh, and I get to bake! You see I hate to bake when paying for the A/C to cool the house and counteract the heat I just paid to produce to bake the goods in question. So summer is not a baking time for me, but fall/winter/spring is!!

These are just a few assorted shots from my days last week.

My view from my back porch, with a telephoto lens I admit, but still, WOW!

My family has a soft sugar cookie that we have been making for years that I love, but I hate the sugar in the frosting, trying to watch my weight as I get more old and decrepit. So I tried sprinkling some cinnamon sugar on the cookies prior to baking them. They were a hit!

Another view slightly south of the first photo and on a different day and further down the street. Big Cottonwood Canyon often traps clouds, which is why the ski resorts there get so much snow!

More Temple Photos... I NEVER get tired of this place!

These shots are from two different shoots, the first five are from a morning earlier this week when the clouds were simply too awesome to miss despite the pain and akwardness from my recent shoulder separation. The last shots were from a "Look at the light!!! Grab the camera and go!" moment. No tripod so I had to boost the ISO a bit and they are not quite up to my usual snuff for large prints, but still nice images.

A few notes on these shots. The first one is a HDR (5 shot bracketm 0.7 EV steps if I remember correctly) I was having a little trouble holding detail on the temple and the sky, the building was washing out a smidge so I coverted the RAW files to 16 bit TIFF and combined them in Photomatix on the default settings, straightening and perspective correction in Photoshop with a few other tweaks and... I LIKE it!

I had to work this just a little, I could not get an image where both Moroni and the Moon were in focus, there is a bit of a distance difference ;-) so I shot two shots, and combined them to have a sharp statue and moon. Looking at it I may need to go back and pull back the highlights on Moroni, but I am not entirely sure...

This was taken just a little closer to the temple than the first one, but demonstrates the difficulty holding detail on the temple in the light I had. I like it, I just wish I had shot a bracketed series.

Both this shot and the next were taken using my ND filter, 45-60 second exposures ish... too lazy to look it up on a Sunday morning. Both at 10mm I like what it did to the clouds, but I had a heckuva time getting the WB on. There is a slight cast to the images that I needed to correct. I don't know that I got it perfect but I like them.

These were my quick grab shots, I really like the subtle colors in the sky.