Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30th, 2009

I gotta stop doing this to myself . . . I seem to be raising the bar with every shot I take for this image of the day thing! Another elemental shot . . . water, this time. This was a super fun shot to set up, but boy - getting the timing right on capturing the drops was the hardest part! Of the 75 images I took, I got mostly ripples! There are a few gems, including the one below. To see the rest of the shoot, head over here:

Shot with the 70-300 macro with the camera mounted on a tripod. SB900 mounted on top of the camera and an SB800 firing from off to the right on remote. Shutter speed was 250th of a second at f8.0. Used a deep dish full of water and an medicine dropper to get the single drops to fall on cue.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29th, 2009

Smoke . . . I love the elemental feel of this shot! Like clouds, people see different things in it . . . what do you see?

I've been wanting to try this since I got the new SB900 flash from Nikon. It's a relatively simple set up. Black backdrop, incense burning . . . camera on a tripod set to f8.0 and 1/250th of a second. I had two flashes set up for this . . . one atop the camera acting as a master light . . . which would set off the second flash, set up just behind and to the left of the smoke . . . the tricky part is trying to get everything in focus - but you know what? It's an abstract image, anyway . . . once I wrapped my head around that, all the technical stuff went away and the fun really began!

Don't forget to click on the image below to see the uncropped version . . . and for some more images from this shoot, head over to:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28th, 2009

Last night made for perfect evening photography! It was a warm 74 degrees outside. Clear skies and the smallest sliver of a moon. I grabbed the tripod and cable release. Pushed the 70-300 all the way could go and snapped off a few shots. The camera was set to full manual at f8.0 with a shutter speed of 1/50 and an ISO of 100. Love this kind of shooting!

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27th, 2009

Today's entry is inspired in part by Jonathan Singer's Botanica Magnifica. This stunning body of work is collected in an amazing handmade portfolio that is housed in the rare book section of the Smithsonian Library. Singer's close up work is fascinating to look at . . . check ou the link.

These leaves were collected during a trip to the Poconos over the weekend and pressed between two sheets of glass. I used a Sigma 70-300 macro and lit it with my brand new Nikon SB900 flash. 60th of a second at f22 with an ISO of 100. Processed in Lightroom as a back and white.

Click on the image to see the larger, uncropped image . . . and click here to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26th, 2009

Was driving home from a particularly nice day with the family in the Poconos when I saw an exit for a scenic overlook . . . the sun was setting behind us and I just knew I had a great image of the day! Problem was, I didn't have my D2x with me . . . lucky, I never leave the house without a camera . . . my 'point and shoot' of choice is a Nikon P6000. It's a very impressive piece of technology . . . I was able to put the camera into Shutter Priority mode and shoot this at 1/400 of a second at f8.0. ISO was set to 100.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25th, 2009

Where would we be without music in our lives? As I type this, I have some Sting playing in the background - my iPod set to stream it's entire music library on shuffle so I get it all . . . the dramatic cues of some great sound tracks like The Dark Knight or Transformers . . . the upbeat stylings of Top 40 music like Jason Mraz. Even some great stuff from when I grew up . . . Queen, Styx . . . I love it all!

The below image was taken in our 'great' room. When we built our house and saw the rooms all framed out, waiting their drywall and finished floors, I knew - just knew - that this room was built for a grand piano. We weren't in the house for a year before we saw that dream come true . . . it's a blessing - if I am having a stressful day . . . or being particularly unproductive . . . I'll go upstairs and bang out a tune or three. Problem solved . . . stress and creative levels back to optimal!

Shot with a Sigma 70-300 macro at 2.5 seconds at f5.6 with an ISO of 100

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24th, 2009

What an amazingly beautiful day we have here in Northern New Jersey. It's gotta be hitting 70 degrees out there and the sun is shining bright. Brought this spring cactus outside and grabbed the macro lens. Love the pop of color in all the dark greens and blurred background.

Show on a tripod at 250th of a second at f5.6 . . . ISO 100 with the Sigma 70-300mm.

Don't forget to click on the image to see the uncropped version!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23rd, 2009

So today's image of the day is inspired by Discovery Channel's show Time Warp. They slow things way down to see just what we miss by viewing things at normal speed . . . in last night's episode, they showed a sparkler going off at a thousand frames a second! I knew I had some left over sparklers –So I just had to try it.

Set the camera to shoot with a shutter speed of a full second at f11 with an ISO of 100. Grabbed the cable release and mounted the camera on a tripod. Once I lit the sparkler, I had my daugter just move it in an arc out in front of her . . . we both had a blast. Did you know that the actual sparkler reaches tempreatures of 3,000 degrees?!? Even the sparks themselves are that hot, but because they have no mass, they don't burn you. I just love watching the Discovery Channel!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22nd, 2009

Ok, so last night it thundered real bad. Scared my little girl a lot. So I am laying in her room, trying to get her asleep. I am looking all around the room and am realizing just how creepy some of these dolls are . . . especially in the harsh illumination of a lightning strike! I knew what I was going to be shooting this morning! Ok - admitedly, that doll off to the far left is NOT in Peyton's room - that was a left over prop for my Konxari Cards shoot ( but I thought what the heck - let's throw her in there!

Shot with my favorite Simga 10-20 lens with a hand held lamp for direct lighting. 40th of a second at f5.6. ISO at 100.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21st, 2009

I've always been an avid reader and have a TON of books around the house. This set of James Bond Signet edition paperback novels were given to me by my Dad. As you can see, they are well worn and well loved. Thought they'd make a great subject for today's photo-a-day since it's raining again outside!

Shot with the Sigma 70-300mm macro at f7.1 at 2.2 second shutter speed. ISO at 100.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20th, 2009

Was able to snap this shot shortly before the skies opened up and it started pouring! I love train tracks . . . something mythical about the, I think . . . This set is above my house in Northern New Jersey. You can hear the train going by late at night . . . kinda soothing!

Show with the Sigma 10-20 on AP mode at f8.0 at 250th of a second.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19th, 2009

Spring has finally sprung here in New Jersey! Been in the sixties and seventies all weekend, so I just had to get outside and doing a little shooting! Found these at a place called Heater's Pond. Love shooting in the outdoors. Natural light is always great . . .

Shot with my Nikon 70-200mm an Aperture Priority mode at f5.6 for a 500th of a second shutter speed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18th, 2009

We've done a whole lot of macro . . . so here we have a telephoto shot! I was actually outside shooting some crows who were huddling together, but they really didn't make for great subjects - I mean, they're crows. Then I saw this vapor trail and wanted to see how close up on the jet I could get . . . 300 millimeters later and this is what you get.

A lot of folks ask me how I get my skies so blue and assume it's some sort of Photoshop trick . . . it's rather simple to do in camera if you're willing to compromise a bit. The trick is to under-expose your shot - set your shutter speed to a higher number then you normally would – as long as whatever your shooting can stand the under-exposure, your skies will be a nice, rich blue!

This was shot on a tripod - a must when shooting at 300mm. 1/320 of a second and f5.6. ISO at 100

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17th, 2009

Anyone who knows me will know how difficult a shot this was for me - I am not talking about the technical aspect of the shoot, I am talking about the subject matter. To say I have a monumental dislike for spiders is an understatement, but an artist has to suffer for his art, right? Wrong . . . I won't be doing anything like this again . . . even now, I am feeling phantom cobwebs all over me!! I think I'll stick to things like the sexy red shoes and such . . .

Shot with the Sigma 70-300 macro at f4.0 at a 20th of a second. ISO at 100. Shot on a tripod.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16th, 2009

It's all around me . . . relics of computers past. I just don't know what to do with it all. I hear there are companies that will haul it all away and recycle it . . . one day, I'll track them down and have them come over and pic this stuff up, but until then, it's fodder for my camera and the Photo-a-Day challenge!

This is an old video card show with the Sigma 70-300 macro at f4.0 for a full second exposure. ISO is set to 100.

Let me take a second to talk to you about ISO. If your point and shoot cameras just aren't capturing sharp image, chances are it's either set to auto ISO or to a pretty high ISO. Check your manual on how to set the ISO to the lowest setting possible. I always try and shoot at 100.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15th, 2009

So what do you do when you're a photographer and in search of a photo-of-the-day and suddenly trip over some shoes your wife left laying around? Well, if you're me, you find creative inspiration! Took these outside to shoot on the blacktop - reasoned that the bright red would contrast with the pocked pavement quite well . . . what do you think?

Shot with my Nikon 70-200mm VR lens at f2.8/640th of a second. ISO set to 100.

Be sure to click on the image to see the full size version . . .

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14th, 2009

The first musical instrument I ever played, the clarinet! I was looking for an image to shoot today - it's currently overcast and cold outside, so I wanted to stay indoors. I keep the clarinet handy – right here in my office – for when I just feel like belting out some Boney James or Kim Waters . . . very handy when the creative juices aren't flowing just right

Shot with a Sigma 70-300 macro, D2x set to Aperture Priority mode at 4.8, shutter speed is a full 2 seconds with the only light spilling in through the window. ISO set to 100.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13th, 2009

Hope everyone had a great holiday! So far, this week started out great with an amazing sky this morning! Went out to warm up the car to take my daughter to school and was greeted with these great clouds. Grabbed the Sigma 10-20mm and shot, handheld at f4.5 with a shutter speed of 1/500. ISO set to 100. Not long after this, the clouds all merged and created an overcast sky.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12th, 2009

First up, Happy Easter! Hope everyone found their eggs and other assorted goodies!

So onto the photo of the day . . . Flowers make for great subjects. My wonderful wife bought these for her mother, who is coming for Easter. I saw them and immediatly knew what I was going to be shooting this morning! The trick - or my trick - when shooting flowers is to get them wet. I use a spay bottle to spritz them a bit. Give them more life, I think.

This was shot with the Sigma 70-300mm macro on a tripod on Aperture Priority mode set to f5.3 at a 1/3 of a scond. ISO 100.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11th, 2009

One of the themes you'll see recurring throughout this blog is decaying architecture . . . not sure what my fascination is with old buildings, but they just scream to me to be photographed. This particular building, I pass every day on my way to take my daughter to school. It's right next to some sort of home heating oil pumping station. It's probably some sort of utility building. I've always wanted to shoot it and today, I grabbed the camera and headed on out there.

This was shot with my favorite lens, the Sigma 10-20mm on my D2x set to Aperture Priority mode shooting at f4.0 at 1/500. ISO at 100.

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10th, 2009

So it's Good Friday and I am feeling very laid back today. Got to thinking about my photo of the day and wanted to do something to reflect my mood. Thought of candles and knew what I had to shoot!

I realize, of course, that this is another macro shot, but over the course of the next year, you'll get to see a whole host of images . . . from landscape to portraits and probably more macro stuff, too! I love macro stuff - I mean take a look at the wick of the candle . . . you can see the braids of the wick! Amazing lens!

Speaking of . . . this was shot with the Sigma 70-300mm macro at 250th of a second, f5.0. Since I was shooting with a flash, this was done handheld.

Also wanted to mention - as of last night, my new book, Captured: The Ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary is available! Click here to check it out!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9th, 2009

Here's the inaugural post to my brand new blog Paul Michael Kane's Photo-a-Day. This is a challenge issued to myself - I want to shoot one 'print worthy' image a day for the next year. At the end of the year, I may just collect the images into a book!

Every image you see on this site will be brand new - not from my existing body of work. Also, every image will be available as a print, if you have some empty wall space available - just email me for prices and sizes. I am also very interested in hearing what you think of the image . . . did I do good? What could I have done better? Feedback is welcome and encouraged!

So enough rambling - let's get to the first image.

This was shot with my Nikon D2x and a Sigma 70-300 macro lens. Used existing widow light and shot on a tripod. f/5.6 at half a second. ISO set to 100.