Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More pinhole.....

I helped a few youngsters make pinhole cameras yesterday.  Next week we'll see if they work.  I'll be making paper negatives for them to use.

While turning to things we want more of, don't forget the cowbell.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

KAP = Fail : Back Cam = Success

KAP stands for Kite Aerial Photography, something I've been investigating  recently.  There is a site that explains in great detail the principles involved.   Three things are needed. Wind, a kite, and a rig to hold and operate a camera.  Today, I made my second try at KAP.  My first attempt failed due to low wind but I was able to attach a camera to a kite line and make a picture or two....  from about eye level.  Today's failure convinced me that my kite is not sufficient for the task of lifting my 1 pound Canon G3.  The wind was fairly strong out of the north north east.  I have also made a crude Picavet rig to hold the camera.  Google it. I don't have a picture of mine, it's easier to understand if you see a picture.  The G3 has an intervalometer which was set to take a picture at one minute intervals.  Once again I was able to get my camera off the ground but only to about  shoulder height.  Here is a poor KAP example.

After I packed away my kite, I reset the intervalometer and slung the camera on my back and rode my bike home.  Here are two of the "back cam" shots that I consider successes. They are roughly the same angle and height as the KAP shot, and both KAP ( at the level I'm at) and "back cam" are chancey in that you only have so much control over the composition.  I like these because they have some interesting subject matter/composition and are what I would expect from "back cam".  I will have to get a bigger kite, improve my Picavet, and perhaps enlist a helper to get my KAP working right.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Having Fun With Corel Paintshop Photo Pro

My wife Lisa "rescued" this shelf from someone's garbage pile, and put it to good use in our yard.  Here's a before and after set.
 These are a few of the steps that I did in Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3 to get to the finished product.
1. hot wax effect
2. perspective adjustment to straighten it up
3. crop
4. depth of field adjustment
5.  photo effect- time machine-60's (cross process)
6.  resized for printing.

Here is the final picture.  I often save versions of a picture as I work on them in case I change my mind on what I'm doing.  This keeps me from having to start all over from the beginning.  The photo/time machine effect gives the option of adding edges.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sheboygan Visual Artists Small Works

I'm going off the usual topic - photography, to post 3 paintings I've done for SVA's Small Works Project.
"The Water Is Wide"  inspired by the view from my friends' home on Lake Alexander.

"Beach At Dusk/Changing Light"

And finally, I reworked this canvas several times and came up with "The Hill Where My Kite First Flew".  All are painted with acrylic paint, with tissue paper over the last one.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tripod - A photographer's best friend

Here is the slide I made to illustrate what a tripod can do for you.
This was part of the presentation I did for Sheboygan Visual Artists "Art In The Gardens" workshop.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beaten by the sun.

On July 23rd, with fellow SVA member photographer Pat Ryan, I taught workshop on outdoor and close-up photography at Bookworm Gardens. A few days before, I was there taking some pictures to use as examples for the workshop.  Here are a few slides I made trying to explain the technique needed to get a picture with the water in motion and the rest of the scene in sharp focus.

So, I challenged the workshop participants to make this shot with a tripod.
I used a tripod too.  I have to admit that I still haven't been able to get the results that I'm looking for.  The sun was out on both days making it very hard to get a long enough exposure at my lens's highest f-stop.  Some of the others had better light when a cloud came by to help out.  Using a polarizing filter, I was able to make a few shots that I put into Photoshop and tried to do an HDR merge.  The shots weren't perfectly aligned and the result is not good. So, I did my own merged shot.  Here they are, HDR automatically first and then my attempt.  I'll give it another try under different lighting conditions and post those results.  These were shot right around noon.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today Pat Ryan and I taught two sessions of Art In The Gardens.  We covered some photography basics for outdoor and close-up photography.  It was hot and humid but we had a good turnout and I think our presentation was helpful.  I'll post some pictures soon.

Friday, July 1, 2011

3D Cha-Cha

I came across a technique for making 3D pictures without having a multi-lens camera.  The person on whose site (I think it was Flickr) I found it, called it the 3D cha-cha.  It is done by taking two pictures of the same scene; one picture shot using your left eye to compose the picture, then without moving too much, shoot the same picture looking through the viewfindwer with your right eye.

The 3D effect is achieved by combining the photos on the computer and then viewing cross eyed as is the case with these examples or making a print that can be used with a 3D viewer.  Both photos are copyrighted by Richard Biemann 2011.

Click on the photos to get a larger view then cross your eyes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Polaroid Blues

One of the Flickr groups that I watch is called Polaroid Blues.  Old Polaroid film tends to take on a blue cast.  I shot this a few years ago.  I call it Blue Hearts.  I didn't edit or adjust the color, just the levels.  Clarence Clemons died yesterday and I am sad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New photo program

About a month ago I purchased Corel Paintshop Photo Pro 3x after trying a few Photoshop competitors.  I wanted to find a fairly low priced yet powerful image editing program to recommend to those who are not able to go "all in" with Photoshop.  I tried free versions of and gimp as well.  All were a step above the basic editing programs that came with the last few computers I bought.

Here is a picture I jazzed up. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

World Wide Pinhole Day

This year since the last Sunday in April is Easter the day is extended to include any pinhole pictures taken between April 23 and May 1 2011.  Anyone in Sheboygan who wants to try it out can contact me for help in making cameras and making images.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Secrets - Light Leaks submission

I somehow found the time to print and scan one of my recent pinhole shots.  Light Leaks Magazine was seeking entries in black and white only for an upcoming issue.  The theme is "secrets".  I thought this picture would work.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Help is just an e-mail away.

Over the years, I've always been asked technical photography questions by friends and family.  When it was all film, the questions were about how to use the camera since the processing and printing were done by labs.  Now, in the digital age, there are more tools at hand and more decisions to be made that have returned more control over the final image to the photographer.  Happily, the jpeg file format seems to be firmly entrenched and widely if not universally adopted by all the various camera manufacturers and software makers.  There are numerous image editing programs available for purchase or download. 

I've noticed a trend toward less and less instructional material being included as standard practice by the camera makers.  Perhaps to save cost or assuming the consumer knows what all the icons mean the average instruction manual these days seems to be more pictures than words.  This can be very frustrating when you can't figure out how to work your camera or software.  So, we take to the internet for help and are faced with the same frustrations.  The camera maker's help site is just as lacking as the manual.   The 1,847,322 potential answer to your search question quickly lead you astray and you're back to just setting your camera on auto and doing minimal image editing.

There are unlimited ways to creatively modify or improve your pictures using photo editing programs.  If you want to go beyond taking snapshots, you'll have to know what tools and knowledge are needed.  Your camera and computer may have everything you need but what good are the tools if you don't know how to use them?

I'm here to help.  I have taught workshops in the past and will continue when the opportunity arises. But I want you to know that I do one to one consulting as well.  I'll meet with you and help you work through camera issues, general photography questions, and provide tutoring on using image editing software.  I do charge a reasonable fee for this service.  Please email me at for more information.