Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo Of The Day 073109

Photo Title: 'Honu'
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Aperture: f/6.3
Focal Length: 255mm
ISO: 400
Exposure: 0.00
Flash: off
Support: handheld
Location: Kailua Kona, HI
Alterations: size reduced for web posting
Comments: Just a nice close up shot of a 'honu' Hawai'ian for sea turtle. He was on the beach right next to this seawall just basking there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Method Focus: Shutter Speed

'The Pier'..1/2..f/4.0..24mm..iso100..0.00exp

Today's photo of the day got me thinking about shutter speed. Extending the time your shutter stays open is a fairly easy trick that can be used to achieve that smooth 'milky' water effect. It can also come in handy for other types of shots, it need not only be used for waterfalls and such.

'Spillover 1'..1/500..f/4.0..50mm..iso100..0.00exp

Moving water is a great subject for extended shutter times. The above picture was taken with the fast shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, notice how it 'freezes' the water, you can see individual droplets suspended in air. Personally, I feel this makes the photo image too busy.

'Spillover 2'..1/5..f/22.0..50mm..iso100..0.00exp

Here is virtually the same picture with a slowed shutter speed, notice how the water is smoothed, and you can no longer see the individual droplets. I feel the smoother water effect has a large impact on the overall feel of the picture. One thing to bare in mind when extending your shutter opening times is lighting, the longer the shutter is open, the more light is allowed in, and the brighter your shot will be. In bright daylight, this can quickly become a problem and wash out your photos.

'Celebration'..1 second..f/5.0..24mm..iso100..0.00exp

This little trick can be used for more than just water photography, it can be very useful at night, or in other low-light conditions. I switched over to bulb mode to catch these fireworks pictures. When using bulb mode, you have complete control over the shutter, it will stay open for as long as you hold down the button. Any movement here will effect the photo, so I highly recommend not only the use of a tripod, but also the use of a remote to help avoid any movement which may ruin your shot.

'Celebration 2'..4 seconds..f/5.0..24mm..iso100..0.00exp

So try extending your shutter times, you can get some cool effects that way. Night shots, low light, smoothing water, fireworks, car light-trails, and many more. Experiment, and see if you can discover any new uses or effects.

All images were shot with the flash off

The Pier and both Spillover shots were shot handheld, both Celebration shots were supported by tripod

All images had their size reduced for web posting

Photo Of The Day 072909

Photo Title: 'Cascades'
Shutter Speed: 1/2
Aperture: f/10.0
Focal Length: 24mm
ISO: 100
Exposure: 0.00
Flash: off
Support: tripod
Alterations: grey-scaled, size reduced for web posting
Comments: This is another photo that I feel benefits from being grey-scaled. The longer exposure also helps for that nice milky water effect.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photo Of The Day 072809

Photo Title: 'Riverscape'
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 200mm
ISO: 100
Exposure: 0.00
Flash: off
Support: handheld
Location: James River State Park, VA
Alterations: slight crop, size reduced for web posting
Comments: Just a nice, tranquil river scene. With some nice haze, and the beautiful colors of autumn.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Colonial Williamsburg

'The Lion'..1/125..f/13.0..70mm..iso100..-0.33exp

Well, I have returned from my visit to Colonial Williamsburg. We had a pleasant time seeing the city and hearing the history, despite the heat (it was hovering near 100° with next to no breeze.) The sun was overbearing, and the crowds were big, so overall, the trip wasn't quite as photogenic as I would have liked, though I was still able to snap off a couple hundred shots.

I am still going through the photos taken, and will post some as soon as I can. The above picture is of a stone statue over the gate leading to the entrance of the Governor's Palace. It is one half of 'The Lion and The Unicorn", the symbol of Great Britain. They really were well carved, and were quite regal in appearance.

'The Doll'..1/10..f/4.0..105mm..iso100..-0.33exp

Another interesting shot I got during the trip was of this 18th centruy doll. There was just something compelling and sad about this little old doll sitting on this antique chair in a room all by its lonesome, like it was placed there so long ago and never played with again.

As soon as I finish going through all my photos form the trip, I will post some more. Also, the d2b Design project will be starting this week, so stay tuned for that as well. Busy, busy busy!

Both shots were taken handheld with the flash off, and both were cropped and had size reduced for web posting

Photo Of The Day 072709

Photo Title: 'Peacock'
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 105mm
ISO: 100
Exposure: +1.00
Flash: on
Support: handheld
Location: Norfolk Zoo, VA
Alterations: size reduced for web posting
Comments: The lighting was perfect, his colors show so vividly. Flash was used to get the little sparkle in the eye, this is one of my favorite little tricks when photographing animals and birds. Small enough aperture to keep the background nice and blurred, but slightly higher than usual to try and keep the whole bird in focus.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Subject Focus: Flowers

Flowers are a favorite subject for many photographers. They can be found virtually everywhere, and are generally vibrant, colorful, and full of life. You need not only photograph healthy, perfect, colorful flowers. Sometimes broken, injured, or dying flowers can make the most interesting portrayals.


There are three main obstacles when trying to get the perfect flower shots, lighting, wind, and angle. Lighting is the easiest hurdle to get over. Clear bright sunshine can make for some very well lit shots, though often during mid-day shooting, it can be too harsh and cause your photos to wash out. This can be overcome by shooting during the 'golden hours' or by seeking out a shadier spot or a different angle.

'Old Roses'..1/1600..f/5.6..300mm..iso400..0.00exp

Overcoming the complications of wind can be more complicated. Movement can quickly ruin an otherwise beautiful shot. Try to take your shots when the wind is calm to limit movement of the flowers, particularly in low light situations. One useful tip I use to battle this obstacle (and that of lighting) is to take your flower pictures indoors, in a controlled setting. Go to the florist, and pick out the flowers you would like to photograph. Bring them home, set up your lighting, and get some perfect shots.


Angle can be the fun obstacle. Resist the urge to shoot your flowers while standing above them and looking down. This is how the world generally sees flowers, and tends to not make very interesting shots. Get down to the flower's height, and shoot it straight on, or see if you can get below it and shoot up. This is a much more interesting approach, as most people do not get to see flowers form this angle very often. Also, another tip, think about the whole flower. Though the flowers is face is typically the most beautiful part of the flower, sometimes you can some really interesting shots by shooting them from behind, or from the side. Use your imagination, remember, if you find it interesting, odds are others will as well.


When shooting your close ups of your flowers, use a lower aperture, I generally keep it set between f/2.6 and f/4.o for my close up flower shots. This keeps the flower in sharp and in focus, and gives everything that nice blur. It really helps the flower pop out at the viewer. Another good tip is to remember the 'rule of thirds'. Get imaginative, and see how versatile flowers can be as your subject.


All flower shots were taken with the flash off.

The two gerbera daisy shots were done indoors, supported by tripod. All others were shot handheld.

All images have had their size reduced for web posting.

Photo Of The Day 072409

Photo Title: 'Kilauea'
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Aperture: f/10.0
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 100
Exposure: 0.00
Flash: off
Support: handheld
Alterations: size reduced for web posting
Comments: Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. One of my favorite shots, I think it speaks for itself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Project Time, The Journey Begins!

So a project opportunity has arisen! A close personal friend of mine, a talented wood worker, is starting to spread word of his work (he can be found at d2b Design). After a phone conversation, we decided that he needed to be able to show off some of his work on his weblog, this is where I come in, I will photograph his work, and help him show it to the world. Details are still being sorted, but check back often for project updates and progress photos.
This will be a good opportunity to try out a few photographic styles that I haven't worked on much , product photography, and progressive project photos. This should prove to be fun, and I'm sure I can pick up some new tips and tricks!
I also have a few other outings coming up. A trip to historic Colonial Williamsburg is scheduled for this weekend. I am looking forward to getting some shots of the period buildings and costumed population. I will be sure to update with some photos soon.
Also, I am planning on trying my hand at more artistic alterations during my photo processing. Check back often and watch as the journey begins ...

Photo Of The Day 072309

Photo Title: 'Structure'
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 85mm
ISO: 100
Exposure: 0.00
Flash: Off
Support: handheld
Location: Virginia Beach Conference Center, Virginia Beach, VA
Alterations: size reduced for web posting
Comments: It's a cool looking building anyway, and as I was walking the scene, I came across this interesting angle. The sky was such a nice shade of deep blue, it really helps pull the blue glass out. Strangely, this simple photo is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photo Of The Day 072209

Photo Title: 'Angry Swamp'
Shutter Speed: 1/320
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 24mm
ISO: 100
Exposure: 0.00

Flash: Off
Support: handheld
Location: Merchant's Millpond State Park, NC
Alterations: grey-scaled, size reduced for web posting

Comments: the sky was very active, bright blue sky, sweeping clouds, and a nice breeze. It was around 4 o'clock, so the daylight was a bit harsh, causing the sky not to translate as well as I would have liked. Switching to grey-scale really helps draw out the character I witnessed on scene. The 'rule of thirds' was broken here, but I really feel that centering the subject helps convey the mood.


After welcoming everyone to my site, I would like to start with a quick post about gear. The following list is the gear that I use. The tips and tricks I discuss on this site will be geared towards this gear, but most of them pertain to any camera gear, SLR or P&S.

Primary Camera:
Currently, I use a Canon 400D, also known as the Digital Rebel XTi. Eventually, I may upgrade to the 50D, or preferably the 5D Mark II, but for now the XTi suits my purposes just fine.

The camera body came with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II lens. This lens is rarely on my camera, not that there is anything wrong with it, but I find the focal range to be a bit too limited, and I have absolutely fallen in love with Canon's 'L' series lenses. The Canon L-series glass is phenominal. For most shooting situations, I use a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. I find the focal range to be ideal for practically any situation I may find myself in. For longer shots, I use the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM prime telephoto lens, which, for the most part, is plenty long enough to get right into the action on those long nature shots, without disturbing or spooking your subjects.

For my tripod, I use a set of Manfrotto 190XDB legs with a Manfrotto 322RC2 grip action ballhead. What a combination this makes! Extremely stable, rugged and sturdy, yet surprisingly light and easy to carry on hikes and walks. There are situations where a pan/tilt head would be nice, but I wouldn't trade this combination in for anything. Also in my arsenal, is a trek pole with a removable knob, and a monopod ballhead.

Secondary Camera:
When situations do not warrant the use of the large SLR system, I also have a canon PowerShot SD800 IS. This is really a nice p&s camera, nice and small, easily fits into a pocket, yet it is still packed full of powerfull features. Also, it has a surprisingly good macro mode, which has come in handy on many occasions. It is also capable of shooting video.

Emergency Camera:
In the extremely rare occasion that I come across the perfect scene, and feel the overwhelming desire to capture it but do not have either camera on me, there is always the trusty old cellphone! Definitely only for emergency use, the cell's built in 3MP camera is shotty at best!

Stay tuned, I will be posting plenty of tips, tricks, techniques, and of course, pictures in the near future.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Welcome to Warrior Unlimited Artistry. More than a mere hobby, photography is an art form, a method of thought, a way of expressing one's imagination through the capturing of life's moments. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, it is my belief that the right picture can encompass more than description, it can capture mood, emotion, exhilaration, it can freeze the moment, saving it forever.
This will be the digital representation or the evolution of my passions. Here I will share projects, tips and tricks, and of course, the images themselves. I will share the inspiration for the photographs themselves, and the methods I used to achieve the vision.
If just one person reading this learns anything that can help improve their own photography, then it is all worth it. And please remember, no matter how proficient one gets, there will always be room for improvement, always more that can be learned, always more tips and tricks that can be discovered.
Please feel free to leave your comments and let me know what you think as together we explore the art of photography.