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Friday, February 28, 2014

Week Night Comfort Food "Soup"

 

Soup, the comfort food, in winter time, nothing better than having a great bowl of soup with a multigrain slice of bread!

As a busy woman, like all of us, I always buy great store/ homemade soups and add to it.
I always use 2 containers, about 5 cups, that way I have left over for the day after lunch.

4 of my favorite variation,using Safeway Signature Cafe Soups & Happy Planet 
  • Bella Minestrone
  • Gourmet Mushroom Medley
  •  Pacific Coast Clam Chowder
  •  Thai Coconut Soup
 Ingredients that I add to all of them,  

200 grams of  frozen spinach , 100 grams of frozen or fresh kale, 1/4 cup of any kind of lentils, most of the time I used sprouted lentil trio, 4 cloves of garlic minced, sea salt and ground pepper,

Preparation
First heat the soup, slowly don't rush it, when hot don't boiled it,  add the frozen spinach and kale, that will bring the temperature down, it will take about 10 min to bring it back to hot at a medium slow heat, next add the lentil, garlic salt and pepper, let it cook for about another 10 min.   

When that's done I add ingredients depending of the type of soup, 

"Safeway Signature Cafe Soups"
 Bella Minestrone,  Canon 5D Markiii, 100mm  f4.5, 1/30sec ISO 1250,  manual setting, camera on a tripod, no flash, used window light and a white reflector in front of the plate
  • Bella Minestrone ,  cooked meat balls, 3 to 4 per person depending on their sizes,  3 to 4  Fresh mozzarella balls, let it heat for about 5 more minutes, serve and  sprinkle with any kind of shredded cheeses.
  • Gourmet Mushroom Medley Soup, added fresh roasted mushroom in olive oil or butter, any kind about  8 ounces, one big or 2 small boneless, skinless cooked chicken breasts cut in bite size, 8 to 12  cooked baby yellow gold, red or purple potatoes cut in half, let it heat for about 5 more minutes, serve and sprinkle with any kind of shredded cheeses.
Gourmet Mushroom Medley Soup, Canon 5D Markiii, 100mm  f8, 1/60sec ISO 250
 
Flash and camera manual setting, camera on a tripod, using my flash on a small tripod at 11pm bouncing of the ceiling,
used a white reflector in front of the plate
  • A container of each Pacific Coast Clam Chowder  &  Gourmet Mushroom Medley Soup, that way it's not as rich, this one is different, it depends what type of fish I have on hand, first I add roasted mushroom about 8 ounces, baby cooked potatoes 8 to 12 cut in half, one 142g can of rinsed baby clams, after it depends, last time I added 2 small fresh cod filets about 5 ounces,  took only about 4 minutes to cook, but I also used cooked shrimps and cooked crabs in the past.  It's good anyway, even if you add only the clams let it heat for about 4 to 5 more minutes. 

Happy Planet
  • Thai Coconut Soup, one big or 2 small boneless, skinless cooked chicken breasts cut in bite size let it heat for about 5 more minutes.
    Thai Coconut Soup, Canon 5D Markii  100mm, f9, 1/125sec, ISO 320
     
    manual exp. and manual flash 1/1 +3 at 2pm bouncing to the ceiling and a white reflector in the front, my Camera on a tripod

 Great supper delicious, fast & healthy

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Testing Multiple Exposure

 Canon 100mm Macro at f2.8, 1/1250sec, ISO 200 3 shots
This feature was one of the reasons I change my 5D Markii to a Markiii, I'll speak about the other features like HDR possibilities in another post, need to get out and shoot some more HDR first.

Multiple exposure is very innovative, I was jealous of Nikon shooter for many years and was thrilled when I heard about this feature being added to the Markiii. I still have to experience it more, and will write new posts when I have more examples, and tried new techniques with it.
Canon as a lot more models that have this  feature, like the 6D,  in the future it will probably be added to all new EOS cameras.
Following the article on my last post, my own setting for multiple exposure is;

• ON: function/control, I like to be able to see what I am doing, using life view, and carefully adding each exposure to do my composition.

• Exposure Setting "Average" , It seems that this setting gave me the best result, it blend very well, I will try the other settings next time I am out and about, and let you know about the results.

• No of exposures: 2 to 9, depending of what you intend to create, the choice is there, on my sun shot I used 9, on my tulips only 3, this is something to play with, start with 2 and work your way up.

Canon 24-105 at 105mm, f4, 1/50sec, ISO 1600, 9 shots, added reflection in Photoshop.
• Save Source Images, I always save my source images, if I need to make change in photoshop later, of if one of the shot is a keeper by itself, who knows, when doing multiple exposure I used a 32G card, enough space to keep everything.

• Continue Multi - Exp; Continuously, this is just to keep your camera in the multiple exposure shooting, same setting, when I decided to experimented with multiple shooting no need to go back to normal shooting before I am done!


Select previous image of a woman, added one exposure of the sky

• Select Image For Multi. Expo.; The image select has to be from the same camera, and cannot be modified, it means no highlight tone priority, took me a while to figure this one out! I have only one example for now but will try this feature again in an a near feature, the results will be part of my next post on multiple exposure. This is an creative feature, and I will experiment it and keep you updated of my find and will post my result and observation by the end of April.

Canon DLC: Article: Multiple-exposure shooting with the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X

Canon DLC: Article: Multiple-exposure shooting with the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Telephoto Why?

Canon 100-400 with Canon Extender 2x,  barrel full open to 400mm, as you can see this is a big lens and not easy to handle, and on a travel tripod like this one it's not stable, I used a heavier stronger tripod on the field, to get better result, also used a higher ISO to get a faster shutter speed if needed,when you have to get the shot and need the range, this will work.


       The advantage of the telephoto is to isolate far away detail in an image, give a narrower view than the normal lens. Their focal lengths are long and their angles of view are narrow.
       They come in different focal lengths, with the longest  very expensive ones approaching the ability of telescopes to magnify images. Image magnification is not the sole purpose of telephoto lenses. Their inherent shallow depth of field makes them useful in eliminating unwanted foreground and background objects by simply throwing them out of focus. Also, their foreshortening characteristic can make portraits look much more pleasant and natural, and can visually compress distant objects so they don’t look so far away. The  full moon, for instance, can seem so much larger and closer when photographed through a telephoto lens.
       Telephoto lens between 80 and 135mm is most appropriate for shooting portraits the 105 mm is considered to be the classic portrait lens. Those between 135 and 300 can be used for sports and nature photography while the super telephoto lenses, those over 300mm, are often used  to capture sports and wildlife. The larger the lens the closer you can get to distant objects but the trade off is greatly increased cost, size, and weight. Increasing weight also increase the need of a tripod or higher shutter speeds  to prevent camera shake.
       The 180 mm to 200 mm lens is ideal for sports when the action is taking place just in front of you and even a 200 mm lens can be easily hand-held when shutter speeds exceed 1/200 second. If you are way off in the bleachers, you’ll need a more-powerful lens. Lenses in this range are also good lenses for news photography. The speed of the lens is critical at this focal length.  My favourite  telephoto is a Canon 70-200 , 2.8 zoom, it can be double with Canon extender x2.
Canon 5D Markiii, 800mm, f11, 1/1250sec ISO 640, too soft
 Canon T4, 800mm x 1.6 1280mm f11, 1/2500sec ISO 800, too soft
       A 300 mm lens does everything a 200 mm lens will do, except it brings subjects even closer. The problem with lenses in this size is that the best ones - those that are fastest - are quite expensive. I question the merits of buying a 300 mm lens for action photography when its maximum aperture is ƒ/5.6 or even ƒ/4, because the shutter speeds required are often so slow that you sometimes can’t capture fast-moving images without subject blur. But, a 300 mm lens that has a very wide ƒ/2.8 maximum aperture is quite costly around $7000 US. Of course,  not only cost is a factor with larger faster telephoto, the weight too, it's very hard to hand-held, you need to use a tripod or at least a monopod.
       I am using 2 telephotos the first one a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS USM, one of Canon best lens, and now that Canon launch the 70-200 f2.8 IS ii USM, you can get the older version for a lot less money and frankly I don't see any reason to pay $1000 more for the newer version, if you have the money to spend hey go ahead. This telephoto mounted on a full body with a Extender 2x will up the range to 140-400 f5.6, the image quality can suffer a bit when using an extender but not that much, and auto focus work fine,  if you put the same arrangement on a 1.6 crop body like canon 7D that will give you a range of 224-640mm, Canon Extender are not cheap but compare to the cost of super telephoto it's quite affordable.
       The second telephoto that I am using is Canon 100-400 4.5, 5.6 another great Canon lens, great range even on a full body, it become a 200-800 f9 to f11, with a Canon Extender x2, at f11 auto focus is almost impossible, mounted on my 5D mark iii, it will focus at the longer range "800mm f11"only by using the life view and AF On button, it's ok if you have a fix subject and time, it's faster to focus manually. The range on a 1.6 crop body  "320-1280mm".  When I go out with this telephoto I normally don't bring my Canon Extender I find the image too soft as you can see on my test, I bring my kenko teleplus Pro 300 1.4 extender, with this extender my range goes to 140-560 f8, at f8 I get a fast auto focus from the view finder, great for wildlife, I always bring a strong heavy tripod, this telephoto is very heavy and difficult to hand held, the extended barrel make it front heavy especially with the Canon Extender x2, as you can see in my first image. I tested this lens at full range with  both the full and crop 1.6 body & Canon Extender x2, shooting from my living room window, during lunch not the best light, both shots were done with auto focus, very slow focusing for both camera, and only possible on live view, result is very soft image.  I will not suggest to used this arrangement often, but if you need the range, it will work, if you have the money buy a super telephoto or rent one.



 Canon 5D Markiii, Kenko Extender 1.4, Canon 100-400 at 462mm, f8, 1/400, ISO400






Canon 5D Markii, 100-400 at 400mm, hand held, f5.6, 1/400, ISO 200, for this shot I had I couldn't use a tripod, I was almost running after him, no time only action, at 1/400 I was able to get the shot without blur, a lucky day!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Element of design "Lines"



Lines are top element of design, so important, without lines nothing exist, even us are all defined by lines, very powerful  not only to lead the viewer in a frame but to define shape and tension, it can make your image serene using symmetric horizontal or vertical lines or a dynamic looks and feel using angle diagonal lines.

5D Markiii, f16, 1/2sec, 24mm, ISO 200, HDR, look at all the line the X, his legs, pyjama, all elements of design.
 Lines are very powerful elements  that  add dynamic impact to a photograph , depending where they are located in the frame, at the edge, splitting the frame in half in diagonal, zigzagging, curving, when you think about lines don't only think about straight line,  straight lines are in fact very important, but a good exercise is to look at all lines in your image. One way to see them better is too turn you camera to black and white, if you shoot raw and JPEG you'll get both images, color and B&W,  it's a great way to see the lines, to practice placing them into your frame. Look for patterns that can add to your image.
 Lensbaby soft optic f4, 1/1250sec, ISO 200, diagonal lines

Even you frame itself is created by lines, it's a rectangle, and depending if you shot landscape of portrait that will change the impact of the shot, always try to shoot a scene both ways, and look at the lines, how they impact the result of the image, by example if you shoot the sea and landscape most of the time the horizontal framing will work best and will convey a message of stability, doesn't mean that you have to always shoot landscape horizontally, and you should try to always shoot both ways. Portrait/vertical framing will work very well for trees, building, people, with this framing all the vertical lines can be accentuate and bring strength and power.

 5D Markiii, f9, 1/60sec, ISO 200, 24mm, strong vertical line, triangle, vanishing point, all strong elements of design
Don't forget to brake the rules, try something different cut the frame in half, with horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines, practice different points of view, lead your viewer in and out of the frame, have fun,  if you are using digital you can afford it, the only suggestion if you split the frame or put a line at the edge of the frame, is to put your line as straight as the frame itself.


 5D Markii, f4, 1/160sec, ISO 200, 85mm, vertical lines in horizontal frame


Many studies have been done into how people read the frame, from left to right, it's not only a reading method but a way that movies were and are still done, watch a program on tv, and the camera move from left to right, that's why most people view image from left to right, so a diagonal line starting at the bottom left and moving to the top right of an image can be quite useful and natural, but that doesn't mean that you have to stop there,  try bottom right to top left, go corner to corner, in different directions and intersections.
Have a look at my images, all of them are in black and white, easier to see the lines.