Sunday, July 31, 2011

Welcome home, Grandma

Last Wednesday, my dear, 94-year-old grandmother was freed from her earthly bounds and taken home to join her husband and her Saviour in heaven. Cora Bell Hollingsworth was born and raised here in Lincoln. She lived for 73 years on a farm south of town. The first 67 of those years were shared with the love of her life, Robert.  I could write every day for a year without adequately conveying all Grandma & Grandpa have meant to me or done for those who knew them, but their Christ-like example is what most impressed me.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fair photo competitions

The last few years, my daughter and I have taken part in the photography competitions at the Nebraska State Fair.  For those of you amateur photographers whom have never taken part in such a contest, I highly recommend it.  It's a fun experience, especially if you don't have much experience printing and displaying your images.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Increasing head rotation on a Canon 430EX flash

I love my flashes, thanks in large part to David Hobby. I don't love spending lots of money on equipment, which is why I opted to buy the cheaper Canon Speedlite 430EX flash instead of the bigger, badder 580EX. One of the things I sacrificed with that decision was the ability to rotate the flash head more than 90 degrees to the right. Most flashes will rotate a full 180 degrees to the left, but for some inexplicable reason, both Canon and Nikon limit the right rotation to 90 degrees on most of their flashes.  Read on to learn how I remedied the situation and increased the 430EX head rotation from 270 to 340 degrees.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tiny Hands... Big Hearts

Tiny Hands International is an organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska, which works to rescue young women and girls from the sex trafficking industry in Asia.  These girls are led from their homes in Nepal and surrounding countries with the promise of a new life and high paying job that will help pull their families from their poverty-stricken lives.  Instead, they are sold into slavery at brothels in India.  The promise of hope turns into a nightmare more horrible than most of us can imagine.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Three ways to shoot fireworks

With the USA's Independence Day (July 4th) falling on a Monday and creating a three day weekend, I was afforded the unusual circumstance this year of photographing fireworks on three consecutive days.  Generally, I get one -- maybe two -- chances to shoot fireworks per year.  If I wish I'd done something differently, I have to wait an entire year to try it again.  Getting three chances in rapid succession was kind of fun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lytro's new light field camera

This changes everything.  Well, it might.  Or maybe not.  It could just turn out to be a lot of unsubstantiated marketing hype.  New Silicon Valley startup company Lytro announced recently that it will soon be marketing its new light field cameras to the consumer mass market.  I dropped back into my grad student mode to do some digging into this technology, and I'll give my opinions below.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Manual focus lenses: an introduction

Micro-Nikkor and two Super-Taks
I like old things.  I like to tinker.  I like to do things myself, preferably better and cheaper than the average Joe.  All these traits work together to give me a fondness for using old, manual-focus lenses on my new digital camera bodies.  Some of this old glass is very high quality, and can be had for pennies on the dollar.  With the proper adapter, many old lenses can be used on new cameras -- you just need to know what will work with your body.