Monday, September 12, 2011

Lens flair vs. Lens flare

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Above- Lens flare from a Nikon 18-55 G VR lens with nano-crystal coating

Lens flair: notice the light grey, or white coloration  of the lens below, and the snazzy red stripe. Its a canon L lens. I'm told that the "L" Stands for "luxury". Having never used one; I don't feel qualified to comment on the actual luxuriousness of an "L lens". I can tell you in fact, that If I owned a cannon , and a light colored L lens, It would end up looking black like most of my Nikon plastic "G" lenses, because I carry my camera everywhere I go, and I go to some dirty places. 

Often times I'll find myself covered in cutting oil, welding slag, or grease from an automobile when I decide I want to take a picture. For instance; I was replacing the spark plugs on my Ford Expedition the day I took the picture of this osprey.

 I had just un-contorted myself from under the hood, and walked over to the welding table to get a sip of my Gatorade. It was really hot out that day and Cowboy (the welder) took the opportunity to  heckle me. He claimed that my truck would never run again because I removed the spark plugs and the Chevy dealership told him that it took a special tool and $500.00 to change the spark plugs in his Ford truck.

 In the midst of our exchange I looked up and saw the osprey swoop down and grab this good sized fish from the pond. I thought to myself, " too bad I don't have my camera in hand." Turns out; this fish was close to the maximum capacity that an osprey can fly with, and the bird literally had to circle the pond a few times to achieve the altitude it needed to clear the shop. ( And they say an African swallow can carry a coconut!?)

 I ended up with time to go retrieve my camera and snap a few frames as it finally came by. The lens I used was the Quantaray 70-300. It was early afternoon and the background was just a bland blue sky. That makes for a really boring picture so I moved the osprey to the lower left hand corner of the frame,because it contained a cloud. I finished it off with some synthetic lens flare via photoshop. The lens flare really gave the picture the flair it needed.

Lightning over Lake Mirror, Lakeland; Lensflare Lamentations

I went out yesterday afternoon to get a few shots of the big moon we've had visible the past few days. That didn't work out so well, but there was some really cool lightning in the clouds over lake mirror. If someone hadn't bid at the last minute on the  vivitar 24mm 2.8 that I thought for sure I'd win for 9.99 on ebay, I  would've been shooting with it. But as Luck would have it, I ended up using my Nikon 35mm f1.8.

 As I was propping my camera on the concrete handrail; I realized that this photo probably wouldn't really fit the schema of "past glass"  but I clicked away.  I got up this morning and started looking though the dozens of images, I noticed that they all had some really annoying lens flare. I don't have any examples I can think of from my old lenses where lens flare pretty much ruined the image. I'm blogging about old lenses, lens flare is something that will definitely need to be addressed so I decided to go ahead and use this one.

 The horizon is a little off level in this photo as well. I can remember the first time I had that "ah-haa" moment where it occurred to me just how annoying this is. If I'd been in the center of the promenade, I guess this would be straighter, but I'm not going to bother editing the image anymore because of that ridiculous lens flare.

 According to wikipedia lens flare can be caused by"material inhomogeneities in the lens" That sounds like it probably has something something to do with quantum entanglement. Even if  those who actually have a thorough understanding of quantum entanglement don't currently believe that lens flare is related at all; I surely wont be getting beamed anywhere until I know for certain that I wont show up with atomic lens distortions on my face. Just something to keep in mind.

Anyhow, Good morning Lakeland!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Here's a much larger and closely cropped version of the last photo I posted. (If I posted this right) You should be able to pixel peep here and see the chromatic aberration (right hand side of the leaves and blackbirds wingtip feathers).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dogfight over lake parker

I took this a few months back by Lake Parker, in Lakeland. There was a fog lingering over the lake, the sun was blazing orange through the atmosphere;slinging hues of purple and magenta across the lake. Those colors are what caught my attention.

I shot this with a 70-300 Quantaray lens, on a 2x vivitar tele-converter. You've got to be careful  with the use of these off-brand lenses or you could end up with chromatic aberration. They do not have nikon's nano-crystal coatings. Using teleconverters on any lens will dictate the need for compensation for the light which gets reduced, or bounced around inside the converter itself . Usually this means opening the aperture a couple of stops; or increasing the exposure time a couple of stops. On old/cheap teleconverters I think they used less than permanent ink, or paint to coat the inside of the metal casing. Shiny metal spots, as well as optics which haven't had the edges gone over with something black, allow light to bounce around inside the housing splitting up into cyan and red rainbows. This reeks havoc on a couple pixels around the edge of the subjects which you're shooting (generally when you're shooting with too wide of an aperture for the given light) .

One of the things I noticed when I parked and walked over to the lake, was three or four alligators that seemed to be racing across the lake. While I was clicking away at them, this blackbird kept on flying out of the willow you can see in the frame;swooping down at the water, hoovering there and doing all kinds of acrobatics. Curiosity got the best of me and I set a focus trap (that quantaray lens wont autofocus or meter on the old vivitar tele) and the mystery was solved when I got home and looked at the files. That blackbird was having mid air dogfights with a dragonfly.

 Good morning Lakeland!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunrise spectators

I stopped briefly this morning to grab this shot of the sunrise over lake Morton in Lakeland. The lens on my camera at the moment was a  Tamron 135mm f/2.8. I bought this lens from someone on ebay for $19.99 plus shipping . It's an older lens that won't meter on my camera, so I  have to shoot in "m" mode. I really enjoy its shallow depth of field. The 135mm focal length isn't commonly used on aps c sensor'ed cameras (except for macro photography) and I enjoy the unique perspective.

  Normally, I would put a much wider lens on to shoot such a spectacular sky, but I really didn't have time to change lenses, get out of the car and really put together a great composition. Glancing in the mirror, there was nobody behind me in traffic, so I  Just stopped in the middle of the road rolled the window down and and shot a few frames.

Good morning Lakeland!