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In The Blink Of An Eye: John Stone's Photography Journal

Discussion in 'Media Threads' started by John Stone, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Both images shot using a Canon EOS 60D with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF lens.

    Pontederia Cordata, Water Lilies and African Bulbine. I had a lot of trouble with light on this one. I never could quite get the color balance where I wanted it in post.
    Pontederia Cordata wide.jpg


    Pontederia Cordata close-up.
    Pontederia Cordata.jpg
     
  2. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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  3. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Both images shot using a Canon EOS 60D with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF lens.

    I think one of the female cardinals is starting to trust me. She let me get very close this morning (I'm about 10 feet away here).
    female cardinal.jpg


    I saw this dove by the edge of the pond this morning! My focus was a little off. :(
    dove.jpg
     
  4. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    Nice shots John, as always. Regarding the Canon 70-200 zooms I have the original version of the 70-200 2.8 IS and it is indeed an excellent quality zoom. Canon makes the 70-200 in four flavors: the improved version of what I bought years ago, the same lens with out IS, an IS version the opens to f4, a non IS version that opens to f4. Both of the f4 versions get rave reviews and are substantially less expensive than the IS 2.8. I'm not sure of current pricing, but you can probably pick up a new f4 IS for about half and the f4 non IS for less than 30% of the price you quoted for IS 2.8.

    Just some things to ponder.
     
  5. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Thank Paul, that's real good information. In addition, I think buying used makes a lot of sense for some of the pricier glass. As long as the lens was well cared for it's all the same, just for less money.

    Right now I think there is a real danger for people in my position of wanting to keep buying new stuff instead of simply making great pictures with what they have. I have so much to learn that right now I'm going resist any temptation to try to sort of buy my way to better pictures, and instead milk every ounce of excellence that I can from my current rig before investing in any new glass. :nod:
     
  6. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Well, hopefully I learned a thing or two at the 3-day food photography seminar I just completed. I think I did! :)

    fresh pasta.jpg

    Image shot using a Canon EOS 60D with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF lens.

    I'm pretty happy with this photo, but it pales in comparison to how good the actual meal tasted. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is hands down the best pasta meal I've ever made or even eaten.

    What I prepared was whole wheat pasta with homemade marinara sauce made from fresh tomatoes from our garden, extra thin-sliced purple garlic, chopped Vidalia onions, fresh basil from our garden, red wine, extra virgin olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper and a touch of sugar.

    We ate the pasta with freshly cooked ciabatta bread with garlic cloves topped with salt, pepper and rosemary. We dipped the bread in EVOO with fresh rosemary from our garden and plenty of cracked black pepper.

    A little grated asiago cheese rounded the meal out nicely.

    The interesting thing is that watching a half-dozen pros fawn over a plate of food for an hour or more for a single "hero shot" shows me that obtaining that kind of precision is not realistic for the average Jane or Joe. I took this picture less than a minute before I ate, and I did it with very little prep other than a rough composition idea and a couple test shots to get the proper exposure.
     
  7. george mavridis

    george mavridis Active Member

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    I swear there must be a bit of Greek in you John. Dipping bread in olive oil is so Greek.

    Food looks delicious and the photo is great also although I am no judge of good photography.
     
  8. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I did not know that. I've always done this with with bread (mostly focaccia and ciabatta) and olive oil, but I do love Greek food. :nod:

    Everyone is a good judge of food photography. Did the photo make you hungry? Did it do a good job of telling you the story of the meal? :)
     
  9. george mavridis

    george mavridis Active Member

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    Yes & Yes:tucool:
     
  10. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, John! I do think there is an appreciable difference between this and the photos in the recipe section of your blog. :nod:
     
  11. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I went and did just shy of 19 miles (all off-road) at Wekiwa this morning before work. I remember when 18 miles of mountain biking seemed like a lot, but now I'm starting to think of it more as my standard ride.

    It was a beautiful morning, and I made some photographs that I'm pleased with. I should mention that I'm no longer noting the camera settings because I'm leaving the EXIF data in all my photos now. There are EXIF data viewer plugins for most browsers.

    All images shot using a Canon EOS 60D with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF lens.

    First, the obligatory "bike on the trail" shot that has sort of become my tradition:
    Wekiwa_IMG_2208-Edit.jpg


    A bit of exposition before I get to the rest of today's photographs....

    I think the photographer whose work I admire most and that inspires me a great deal is Ansel Adams. I find that there's something about black and white photography (especially black and white nature photography) extremely interesting, and Ansel is the undisputed master. Now that I've mentioned his name, I feel slightly ridiculous posting a couple of black and white photos that I took this morning. :o

    I've passed by this tree dozens of times and I've always wanted to stop and photograph it. To me it looks like a twisted arm reaching deep into the forest with its gnarled wooden fingers. This morning I felt inspired to stop and shoot it, and I came away with a picture that I'm pretty happy with.
    Wekiwa_IMG_2217-Edit.jpg


    This is my favorite photograph of the day. The trees in this section look almost otherworldly in real life, and I was hoping to capture that eeriness on film. I'm pleased with my framing (it's un-cropped) and the light.
    Wekiwa_IMG_2250-Edit.jpg


    This is the only deer I saw this morning, but she let me get very close. I watched and photographed her for about 10 minutes.
    Wekiwa_IMG_2298-Edit.jpg


    I met a nice couple and their teenage daughter while I was photographing the deer. They were here on vacation and absolutely blown away when they saw the deer calmly standing less than ten feet away just off the trail.
    Wekiwa_IMG_2310-Edit.jpg
     
  12. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Thanks, choppie! :)
     
  13. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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  14. kree-kree

    kree-kree Well-Known Member

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    Awesome photos! I refer to you to hubby as "you know John Stone?" The kids know you as the "frog guy" and now you've become this great photo guy as well...the nicknames just keep coming! :lol:

    Love the black and white photos! When my kids were little I shot a lot of pictures in black and white (before digital) because it gives such a better skin tone on babies (especially newborns) then their red, blotchy skin. Black and White also does wonder for the really old too. I love how it captures the wrinkles better!

    I really liked the black and white photo of the entire woods picture. Definetly Ansel Adams like. The moon picture was cool too!
     
  15. george mavridis

    george mavridis Active Member

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    John

    Seems everything you take on you go full bore and really ace it.
     
  16. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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  17. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Lisa calls me "dork" most of the time, so add that one to the list as well. :nod:

    Ditto to all of that. I just love B&W!

    Thanks! If I ever produce anything 1/10th as good as anything Adams has done I'll probably blow it up to poster size and hang it in our house somewhere very prominant. :D

    I don't know about the "ace" part, but I do believe that if you're going to do something you should definitely give it your all! :)
     
  18. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    I've considered buying used in the past, but never actually did so more due to my inability to find a used version of whatever lens I wanted at the time than anything else.


    Good decision. The equipment is pricey and it pays to first determine what your shooting style and preferred subject matters are and then develop a lens strategy to fulfill the requirements.

    The temptation to buy new equipment can be high. Why not? Buying new "toys" is fun, but it's not necessarily going to make one better on its own. I imagine that a real master, such as Adams, who you mentioned in this thread, could get a fine landscape shot while using a pin hole camera.
     
  19. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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  20. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Today the weather was very cool for mid-May, the humidity was low and the skies were as clear as they can be. I did 32.4 miles at Wekiwa, which is my longest pure off-road ride ever. I could have gone another 10 miles, but I had to get back for work.

    All photos taken using a Canon EOS 60D with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM IF lens.

    Today's 'bike on the trail' picture. I actually cross over this dirt road on some single track (the dirt road seen here is mostly used by horses and hikers).
    wekiwa_IMG_2385-Edit.jpg


    I love this field. It looks completely different in each season.
    wekiwa_IMG_2405-Edit.jpg


    I see a lot of mossy logs, but this one really stands out. It's in the most remote area of Wekiwa forest. Very few people ever come out this far. It's a shame, because they miss some great stuff.
    wekiwa_IMG_2425-Edit.jpg


    I call this one "Heated Discussion".
    wekiwa_IMG_2393-Edit.jpg


    This is the top of the sugar sand hill where I always reach my maximum heart rate (I hit 196 BPM again today here and was breathing quite hard when I took this photograph).
    wekiwa_IMG_2421-Edit-2.jpg


    These roots are neat to look at, but riding over them is not easy!
    wekiwa_IMG_2436-Edit.jpg


    I ate at least a dozen spiderwebs today, and pulled three spiders off of me. Thankfully this was not one of them.
    wekiwa_IMG_2465-Edit.jpg


    On a related note, I finally have named my bike: Web Sled.
     

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