New an amazing!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The New Mailho Helado Place in Mendoza

Mendoza is the place for wine, food, great people and amazing helados!

Irish Chocolate and Pistachio amazing!

I love helados, I tried many different places in Mendoza all very good, last month a new helado place "Mailho" open 2 blocks from my place. I was very excited about it and couldn't wait to try it out.

Only 2 blocks from my home:)))

Amazing service, amazing staff

Since I arrived in August I was looking for dark chocolate helados, I tried some and it was not quite the taste I remembered from the one I had in Buenos Aires in 2011, I have been searching and trying many  artisanal dark chocolate helados but never quite as good.

First thing I tried at Mailho was the dark chocolate, it's amazing even better than the one I had in BA, it's more expensive but you got what you pay for, never tasted helado that good, when back to try more, up to day I tried, "Bailey, Irish Chocolate, Pistachio, Frutas Del Bosque, Chocolate Spit, Dulce de Leche con Nuez, Chocolate Turk, and Dark Chocolate.
My 2 favorites are Dark Chocolate and Chocolate Turk that is dark chocolate with nuts and figs.
My goal is to try all of their helados.

A dream, one kilo of chocolate helados, "Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Split and Chocolate Turk"

I feel very fortunate that this fantastic shop opened so close to home, I will probably need to go back to the gym!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter Dream

I always liked to work with Corel Painter, lately I upgraded to Painter 2015, and I had problem with my brushes pressure using my Wacom tablet, the problem was haft fixed, some of the brushes still have pressure problem.
My tablet is an old version, I probably be better with the newer version mine is 6 years old and I used it everyday, that will be the first thing on my list to buy when I go back north.

Even with the problem I was able to do a painterly winter scene, from a picture that I took almost a year ago it wasn't a winter scene, using Painter I brush out the background and painted over the horses using different brush, mostly oil.

After I added a texture, light and snow using Alien Skin Exposure 7 to add smaller snow flake I used Akvis Nature Art.

Took me few days to finish it, for me it's a relaxing activity,  it can take weeks before I get my vision on the media, many times I am not successful and my work end up in the garbage, that's fine, even with the best software it's often hard to bring a vision into a 2 dimensions media.

Winter Dream

To get Perfect Effect 4 for Free click on the link on the right of the page

Friday, February 20, 2015

Blending Modes for Composite

I love doing composite, it's fun and creative, this time I use a wall texture to blend everything together,

I started by opening a new document in Photoshop about 16' x 24' white background high resolution  300 pixels per inch.

I used this document as my canvas, took 3 photos, 2 from my husband art work and one of my street photography, plus a wall texture to add to the story.

It's a very easy process I copied, pasted and free transformed all the images into the canvas, I turned everything to black and white and flattened the layers after what I copy and paste the wall texture on top of the base layer and blended it using multiply blending mode again flattened the layers, plaid with gradient to get some color back and curve to give more contrast, only took me an hour, and it was an hour of relaxation and creativity,

To get Perfect Effect 4 for Free click on the link on the right of the page

Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to shoot Candid Photo of Stray and Wandering Dogs, Mendoza Argentina

To take that photo, I sat on the sidewalk, no noise very quiet,  the 2 dogs were sleeping, but my camera couldn't focus, not sure what happened I was working with my small Lumix, I had to shut it down and when I restarted the noise from the camera was high enough to disturb the dogs, and they were not happy as you can see looking at this shot, I took this  as they were waking up and 5sec after they were gone. My next small street camera will have silent shooting mode!!!
Taking picture of dogs or any animals that can arm you comes with a warning, don’t get too close, be very careful, make sure you can defend yourself if something go wrong, respect their space, try not too make noise, or brusque movement, and the most important don't stare, no eyes to eyes intimidation. 

This old woman take care of about 5 homeless dogs, they are part of her family, every time I see her I take the time to speak with her, story teller street shots are my favorite.

I love dogs, always did, they are our loyal and best friend, not only a pet but part of our family. In Mendoza dogs are part of the landscape, a vast majority of people will at some point of their life own one. 

Not sure if that dog is a stray dog or just an opportunist walking the street of his little town core to get some treats from tourist like myself, but it worked for me and I gave him cookies and he was very excited. I wanted to shot him from an angle and find a way to tell a story about him, when I saw that little wall/bench I managed to have him standing over it to beg for the cookies, I had to act fast to get the shot he was to excited, I used my Canon 5D Markiii, and a wide angle to get his full body, as you can see a lot of distortion cause by the wide angle and being that close to him, that what make that shot so interesting as the focus is on him begging and for the story to work I had to include his full body and the environment.

In Mendoza It’s easy to be unable to make the difference between an abandoned or stray dog and a family dog simply because family dogs often go out for a walk by themselves.
I even heard that some dogs are so well trained that they go far away from their home to run and come back.

Not a stray dog for sure, I couldn't resist I had to take a shot, boxers are my favorite dogs, sweet dreams.

Dogs even stray dogs here seems to trust human, often using them to cross busy streets, they are very smart and a lot of people feed stray dogs around here, but often if the garbage are not store correctly the dogs will feed themselves.

 Working together to get food

Two bad kids!

To take this shot, I sat down to be at the dog level, and wait quietly that something interesting happened, when he looked at me licking his muzzle that was it, I had it, licking good pizza!

When I have the chance I shoot them, getting lower and closer, some don’t mind and some don’t like it, it’s kind of funny that a dog will be upset by a candid photo but it happened to me more than once, especially when they are relaxing, I learned to respect their space and always tried to be careful and quiet when getting close to a sleepy dog and never stared at them as they really don’t like it.

I love this shot, this time again I sat down to be at the same level, he was sleeping and I decided to wait till something interesting happened, and when he lifted his head and looked at me, so handsome with his hears in different positions I took the shot.

An other handsome dog, he was very quiet, and I had the time to sat down and frame his head.

 Full body angle shot.

This dog was so cute, that I couldn't resist, I was wearing a beautiful dress and wasn't able to sit down but I got on my knees and get his full body.

On of my favorite, I sat and manage to be almost under his muzzle, I wanted a sleeping dog photo, and I was very quiet not to waked him up, few minutes after he was gone, but I got the shot.

Playing in water.
Head shot with reflection.
Good Bye, love the angle and the shadows of this one.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Using Speedlite or not!

 For this selfie I used the flash on manual full power, exposure compensation plus 2, added a blue gel in  front of it, the flash was on a tripod, inside the bathroom flashing at me.

My experience with and without my Canon Speedlites 600EX-RT , I have two of them that I use from time to time, I also have a radio transmitter  ST-E3-RT  that triggers them , it’s a great wireless flash setup system,  with radio controlled, two-way wireless transmission up to 98.4'  the transmitter is very compact  and lightweight only 3.9 ounces. Using flash is not the same than using studio strobe, flashes are a lot smaller, and are a lot less powerful, but they can be a real asset to photography, in and outdoors.

For this selfie I used 2 wireless radio transmission flashes, I had to use f14 cause I wanted everything in focus and didn't have a lot of space to play, I would of prefer to have more space in the back for the second flash that this time was turn to flash the background. The result no more flare, I put both flash on ettl exposure compensation plus one and after I decreased the back flash by 1 stop.

I have been using my flashes to do portrait, food photography, still etc…, I don’t think I ever needed more than 2 flashes and when I need more lights I use a small LCD panel, reflectors or a window!
I like to travel light, and I use umbrellas, small Lastolite soft boxes, I have the Lastolite Beautybox Softbox 38cm and the mini 22cm. I have 3 reflectors the easy folding ones,  small 12cm white and silver, medium 50cm white and gold, and the last one the large  95cm is my favorite as it is 5 in one, white, silver, sunfire and gold reflectors and can also be use as a diffuser, this is a Cameron 5 in one, it is more economical, more compact.

For this one I used Ettl and the flash Reflected from an umbrella, umbrella light modifier are great as they are inexpensive and easy to carry. I use one that is shoot-through and reflective. I also add a small with reflector under his chin.

If I have to cover an event where I have to be on the move all the time, I attached a LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122 it’s very small and easy to installed on the flash head, I have a lot of LumiQuest  gadgets but this is by far my favorite even if it’s very expensive for what it is, I should say extremely expensive for a small piece of vinyl! "the product description “Designed for use with or without a ceiling to soften the light. Enables photographer to transition from horizontal to vertical format effortlessly without having to adjust the Quick Bounce on the flash. Unique design has doors that can be opened to allow 80% ceiling bounce while allowing 20% of the lights to bounce off the remaining surface area to provide fill light. When there is no ceiling to bounce the light (or the ceiling is too high or colored) the doors would remain closed and 100% of the light would bounce off this surface area. Soften shadows and reduces red eye. Ideal for event and wedding photographers, and it works well for me.

For event, I don't use the flash on manual as I have to capture the moment very fast, for this one I put my flash on Ettl, and my favorite light modifier for this kind of situation the LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122, I put my camera on manual mode, f5, 1/100sec, ISO 800 to get more ambient light.

During event I also use walls and ceilings if it’s not too high or colored, a note on colored walls and ceilings it can be used in a creative way, photographer add gel in front of their flashes for creative effects, I do too, but colored wall or ceiling can be interesting too. Bouncing flash to walls and ceilings or on someone wearing a white shirt is a great way to get soft light when you have no other options.

For this one, I bounce the flash to the wall, walls and ceiling can be great light modifier, especially for family gathering, when you are part of the festivity and don't want to bring all your equipment with you. When I shoot my family and use a flash I normally put my camera on manual at f4 to f5.6, 1/100 to 1/125, and ISO 200 to 800 depending of the ambient light.
If I cannot use a flash, if it is prohibited during shows or inside public buildings,  I put my aperture to f4 and my shutter speed between 1/100 to 1/200 depending of what I am shooting, and crank the ISO till I get the perfect exposure, I try not to go over ISO 4000, but if needed I will go up to 6400, it’s very high and the result will be very noisy, noise can be corrected in post processing. Also noise are not always bad, it give this vantage feel to the photo especially in black and white, depending on the subject. 

 Shooting event or show without a flash, the best way is camera on manual, fast enough shutter speed, for ballet like this even I put my shutter to 1/200 at f4 and play with the ISO to get the perfect exposure for this one it was ISO 1600, I found changing the ISO works faster, for that even my ISO was between 1200 and 4000.

Family gathering no flash, same as covering an event or show, but with more time to take action, when I have time I play with both my ISO and shutter speed, this one was done at 1/25 sec. f4.5 ISO 2000
If I have my tripod and do still, landscape or have a subject that can stay still I pick my aperture and my ISO and  change the shutter speed till I get perfect exposure, like I did for the image of the pie.

No flash commercial food photography on location, the best way is to put the camera on a tripod, I wanted a lot of detail and with my camera on manual I picked f14 I knew that was going to give me the deep of field I was looking for, after I picked ISO 200 as I didn't want any noise, the last thing to adjust was the shutter speed, to get the perfect exposure it was 2.5sec.
When using flashgun, it's a good idea to use lens hoods, I don’t really do it but I should, the reason I don’t do it is because I use polarizer filter in front of most of my lenses to get reflection out and it's not easy to adjust with a hood on, I also don’t mind flaring, flaring can also add to the final result.

Selfie, using 2 wireless radio transmission flashes, I had to use f14 cause I wanted everything in focus and didn't have a lot of space to play, I would of prefer to have more space in the back for the second flash that was also pointing at me. The result some flare, that in my opinion add to the shot!!! I put both flash on ettl +1 and after decreased the power of the back flash by 1 stop
If I cover an event and have to be on the move I put my flash on ETTL, it means that flash will f Evaluative-Through The Lens) is a Canon EOS flash exposure system that uses a brief pre-flash before the main flash in order to obtain a more correct exposure  or the more advance E-TTL II incorporates lens-to-subject distance information in its calculation, where available, to assist in determining an approximate guide number for flash output. The flash metering system is also no longer linked to the AF system, whereas in the old E-TTL metering, bias is given to the selected AF point. Rather, E-TTL II compares the ambient and the pre-flash light levels of the scene to determine where the subject lies, in conjunction with subject distance information if available. This gives the photographer the flexibility to lock focus and recompose the scene without fooling the flash metering system. 'Hotspots' (areas of high reflectance) that would normally throw off the flash metering system are also ignored in the calculation.
This is a lot of info, and really I don’t see the difference in the result between ETTL and ETTL II, but both are automatic and when running around covering an event it’s works well, if I bounce the flash to a wall or ceiling I change my exposure compensation from 0 to +1 or + 2 depending how far I am from the bouncing area.  With the digital era, it’s easy to have a quick look at the result and change the exposure compensation on the flash to get a better exposure.
When I have the time to set my flash for a portrait, food or still photography I prefer to use the flash on manual mode to get the same light for each shots, I always do a test shot to adjust the flash power to get the perfect exposure.

Selfies again, nobody to play with! I used gel (cyan) to add mood to the story, I put the flash just over my head in a soft box, manual full power exp comm plus 3, that's a lot of power, the room was very dark, and for this one I didn't wanted to crank the ISO. F4.5, 1/6sec, ISO 200

Using flash with my LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122, to fill the shadows, the flash was on ETTL, f4, 1/25 sec, ISO 125, I picked this manual setting because I didn't want noise and I wanted a lot of the ambient light in the background.

This time again using the flash with my LumiQuest Quik Bounce LQ-122 to fill the shadow, F4.5, 1/200 sec, at ISO 200.