Friday, January 30, 2009

Fashion Shoot - Hawk

A preview of the pictures from the fashion shoot I did two weeks ago.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

White Balance

I, like many other photographers, struggled to understand White Balance. I read and experimented and slowly began to understand, mostly on how it effects the image and not always in a good way. :)

White Balance is a part of digital photography that is often misunderstood and not set up properly. White Balance, also called Color Balance, is something well worth learning about as it has an enormous impact on the images you take.

One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary image manipulation at the computer is to make proper use of the white balance controls. Here is what each of the white balance settings do:

Auto - The camera will pick a color balance based on scene content. It has an approximate range of 3000K to 7000K. Most of the time Auto does surprisingly well, even into fluorescent light. In tungsten, however, it tends to be too warm. And, more importantly, it can change the color temperature adjustment it makes for every frame, leaving you with not only a possible color cast but a different one in every image. Auto is a sure way to avoid consistent color and therefore, is rarely a good choice.

Tungsten - sets the color temperature at 3200 Kelvin.

Fluorescent - 4000 Kelvin

Daylight - 5200 Kelvin

Flash - 6000 Kelvin, perfect match for the 550EX and 580EX

Cloudy - 6000 Kelvin

Shade - 7000 Kelvin

Kelvin - allows settings from 2800 to 10,000 in 100K increments.

Custom White Balance - allows you to adjust for the existing light to produce neutral color in your photos. It offers the greatest range, from 2000 to 10,000 Kelvin. Custom White Balance is by far the most powerful of the options and is the simplest way to get the color right. Do remember though, that the right color isn't necessarily the prettiest.

In order to create a good Custom White Balance you need to keep in mind the following:

  1. Custom White Balance must be created in the light your subject will be in.
  2. A proper gray card should be used. You should shoot a "neutral target," which means something that doesn't have any color in it. Any photo gray card will do (can be an 18% or a 70% gray card.)
  3. The card does not need to fill the frame but it does need to fill the center spot metering circle.
  4. After shooting the card, go back to your camera Custom White Balance menus and select the frame you just shot with the gray card.
  5. Make sure you are shooting with your white balance setting to Custom White Balance.

Read a good tutorial on White Balance here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My fave of us!

This image is obviously not done by me but is of me and my husband instead. It was taken by our wedding photographer and slightly edited by me. It happens to be one of my favorite ones, at least for this week so I wanted to share it with you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nikon D3 and 14-24mm f/2.8 lens -- half off!

This is freaky and interesting at the same time! Check it out.
Considering that I just paid close to $2,000 for my own 14-24mm, seeing the D3 and the 14-24mm half off hurts!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Birthday's are fun, especially when it's your best friend's!

So, my best friend Angela has finally caught up to me! She hit 30 on January 19th! I have to say, that it has been many fun and memorable years since we first met back in 1993 (if I got the year right). Angela and I met in a strange kind of way, not your usual hi my name is... I am not even sure we really were supposed to become friends when a late friend of ours, Brendon, introduced us. Despite all that has happened, and believe me, lots has in 16 years, we've been friends ever since and have been through hell and back together. Here is a picture of us 10 years ago.

Well, we celebrated Angela's birthday at Paradise Garden and had a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures (which she hates by the way) from the party!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama @ Times Square!

It is a cold day in New York today, yet hundreds of people crowded Times Square to watch the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama which took place at noon at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. People were very cheerful and extremely emotional. Even though it was frigid cold, it was great to be able to capture the moment. For more coverage check out my fotki page. All images taken with a Nikon D700 and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Israel Archive

My girlfriends and I took a birthright trip to Israel provided by Ezra back in January 2005. I found these pictures today in my archives as I reorganize my computer. These particular images were taken off a boat in Holland Heights. For the full albums visit my fotki page.

All images taken with a Nikon D70 and Nikon 18-70mm lens.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

USAir Plane Crash in Hudson River

United Airlines Flight 1549 crashed in the Hudson River earlier today. I took these few images with my small Canon off the building where I work on 33rd Street. The miracle outcome is amazing. I am very happy for all those that made it off the plane safely.

Preview from DJ Pushkin's B-day Party!

Over the weekend, we went to the unique Rasputin Restaurant and Night Club in Brooklyn for DJ Pushkin's Birthday Party. Alex (aka DJ Pushkin) and I have been friends since we were little kids. One of these days I will post pictures of us running around back in Ukrainian woods while camping with our parents.

It has been some time since we went to the Restaurant for the night club experience. Usually we visit the Russian restaurants for a sit down, drink and dance birthday parties organized by our friends and family. The last time we were at Rasputin was for a friends wedding in October. DJ Pushkin's birthday party was a lot of fun, it was great catching up with everyone and we even caught the Miss RussianNY contest. More on this later!

Here are a few pictures from the party. For the full album visit my fotki page.
All pictures captured with a Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm f1.4G

Monday, January 5, 2009

Holidays are over, work begins!

So I've been blog missing for some time. Time off was really good but short, as I am sure it was for all of us. We had, what some call, a staycation! It was nice to be home, now back to reality. Here are a few shots I took on New Year's eve. I hope to post the whole album on my fotki page later today or tomorrow.

All images taken with the Nikon D700, AF-S Nikkor 50mm f1.4G