This site has moved to another blog called, ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY. There will me no further posts to this site. The new site will continue so show my regular shooting progress, but will also contain other topics on photography, such as hands-on equipment and software reviews, historical information on photography, and much more.

When it was set up, the DAILY STOCK SHOT PROJECT was supposed to be a one year project. Last year I extended the project another year due to the popularity of the site, but now it is time to move on.

If you wish to continue following, please visit my new blog at ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY and save it as a new link.

Monday, April 30, 2012

We were photographing a group of teen models in the studio.  This boy had the greatest freckles so I grabbed a close-up of his face with the Nikon D4 and 105mm macro lens.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The  Space Shuttle did a fly-by in New York yesterday, and I grabbed this panoramic shot of it against the sky.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A line up of different cell phones taken with the Nikon D800 and 85mm tilt-shift lens.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We did this shot of a gas nozzle and drip in the studio using available light.  Taken with a Nikon D4 and 85mm tilt-shift lens.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This grab shot was taken in a local wine store under available light with the Fuji X-Pro1 and 35mm lens set to macro mode.  While the current Fuji lenses (35mm and 18mm) are not true macros, they can still get in very close by turning on the camera's macro feature.  The Fuji's low-light capability made it easy to shoot at ISO 1600, and the excellent auto-white balance of the Fuji required no color correction later.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I found these lobsters at a local fish market where I was shopping for food props.  While waiting for my order to be wrapped I took the photo above with the Fuji X-Pro1 at ISO 1250.  The Fuji has excellent low light capabilities and the best auto white balance I have ever seen in a camera. 

These two photos were taken later in my home daylight studio using the Nikon D800 and 60mm macro lens.

Monday, April 23, 2012

When I saw this scene I was struck by the simplicity of the panoramic lineup of New York buildings against the stark, blue sky -- the  Empire State Building on the left, followed by the very modern One Madison Park apartment building, the Met Life tower, and on the far right an older building to the north of Union Square.  I positioned myself to place the flag between two buildings, and waited for it to unfurl in the breeze before taking this photo with a 120mm focal length on the Nikon D800.  The extremely high resolution 36mp images from the D800 allow for cropping without much quality loss.  Here I cropped the top and bottom to achieve more of a panoramic composition.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Found patterns

While wandering around the streets of New York, I am always looking for patterns that can be worked into a composition.  I particularly like working to a grid format.  Here are a few I just found.

This is a patch in a sidewalk.  I greatly enhanced the color by moving the image to the LAB color space in Photoshop.  LAB is a more extensive color space than RGB and enhances an image by bringing out colors that are naturally inherent in the subject but very difficult to see with the naked eye.  I often think of Monet painting his haystacks and seeing colors there that the ordinary eye would miss.  His artistic brain must have had a built-in LAB converter.

This image and the one below were taken by shooting straight down on gardening flats I found at the local farmer's market.  Both were similarly enhanced by treatment in LAB color.

All photos were taken with the Fuji X-Pro1 camera and 35mm lens.  As of this post, there is still no RAW converter for Photoshop so I had to work with jpgs and their shallower 8-bit color depth.  I have the camera set to capture both RAW and jpg at the same time so I can go back and rework the images once the RAW profile comes out.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

These two words were engraved along the frieze on the side of a former bank building.  I photographed them with the Nikon D800 and 70-300mm zoom.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two different treatment on adding the "green" concept to numbers.  Both taken with the Nikon D800 and 60mm macro lens.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

While editing at my computer, I turned my head to see this beautiful sunset from my office window.  Grabbing the Nikon D800, which had a 24-120mm zoom on it, I jumped the ISO to 640 and grabbed this shot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photographing a water drop

The first time I ever tried this technique was with a film camera.  I used a studio strobe in a bank place behind the drop and had to time the water drop by eye.  Taking Polaroids verified the focus.  I shot many rolls of film in the hope of capturing at least one successful image.  It wasn't until the film came back from the lab the next day that I knew if I had been successful or not.

With digital cameras and digital timing devices, a shot like this is much easier today.  You can determine immediately whether you are in focus and are correctly exposed,  and can also see if your timing was accurate by looking at the back of your camera.

This shows the setup for taking the drop shot.  Two Nikon SB-900 flash units supply the light.  A laser trigger mechanism is just below the camera and trips the shutter whenever a drop breaks the beam by falling through it from above.  Taken with a Nikon D4, 105mm macro lens at f/32.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rode my bike to the battery in New York this morning.  Here are some of the scenes I saw from there.

The World Freedom Tower is progressing, already rising above its neighbors.  This photo shows a contrast between the old Manhattan and the new.

Castle Clinton is an old sandstone fort in lower Manhattan built in 1811.  The original structure extended out into the harbor, but in 1850 landfill built the battery around it so it is now part of the island.

This flag flies over Castle Clinton and has fifteen stars and fifteen stripes.  The flag dates to 1795 and has two stars and stripes added to represent the new states of Vermont and Kentucky.  It lasted until 1818 when congress realized that adding a new stripe for every new state would make for a very cumbersome flag, and the design was changed so that every new state would add one star but the stripes would remain at 13 to represent the original colonies.

This same flag is the one that was raised over Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 and during the battle there it inspired Francis Scott Keys to write the Star Spangled Banner.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Today I was in the Barnes and Noble book store near me just looking around at the various book new book covers, always a source of inspiration.  I noticed how most of them were monochromatic, and when they feature a person did so anonymously.   Inspired, I came home and applied some post-processing technique to this photo I took last week.  Think "book cover" when you look at it.  Maybe you can come up with the title.  Note that I left plenty of space at the top to place the title, and just enough at the bottom to put the author's name.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This is an old 35mm movie film reel I found in our prop room.  After taking a straight forward shot of it, I then added some nostalgic post-processing techniques to the image.

Friday, April 13, 2012

On my walk today I took the Fuji X-Pro1 to test with some Leica lenses, notably the 135mm Telyt f/3.4.  This lens is difficult to use on a Leica M9 because the long focal length is so small within the viewfinder window.  With the Fuji, however, you can switch to the electronic view finder.  This magnifies the image, and, although the lens is strictly manual focus, it is easy to see and adjust in such a large format.  On the APS sensor of the Fuji a 135mm lens comes out to slightly over 200mm in effective focal length.  Adding this lens and the 90mm -- with its effective 135mm focal length on the X-Pro1-- greatly extends the lens complement of the camera system.

You cannot see it here because of the small size of the images, but the use of the Leica lenses resulted in incredibly sharp photos.  So my initial thinking on this camera is to use it as a companion body to my Leica M9.  The Fuji accepts all the Leica lenses, has the benefit of extending the focal length range out to 200mm, and adds macro focusing with its own lenses, a feature that the Leica does not have.  Together they make a very complete package.

For more information on mounting Leica lenses on the Fuji X-Pro1, visit my new "About Photography" blog.

All of these photos were taken in late afternoon light with the Leica 135mm Telyt lens mounted on a Fuji X-Pro1.  The Fuji Leica adapter is not available yet. I bought a third party adapter from a company called Kipon selling them on eBay.

I live close to the Empire State Building and often include it as a test for sharpness in my camera and lens tests.  Taken from a position south of the Empire State Building this photo shows the late afternoon sun reflecting off of the building's surface.

This view was taken from the north, shooting directly into the late afternoon sun.  This blasted out all detail in the sky and left the buildings in a high-key light.

In Madison Square Park pink blossoms frame the clock of the Metropolitan Life Building in the background, as another addition to my Nature in the City photo series.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We wanted to do this blur motion shot in our daylight studio where the foreground would be sharp and the background person blurred.  Ordinarily, this would be easy, but on a bright day in a daylight studio it can get a bit tricky.  Here's how we did it: We knew that 1/20sec was the perfect shutter speed to provide the blur we wanted for the background.  At the same time, we wanted to have a lens aperture of around f/2.8 to deliver a shallow depth-of-field.  Even at ISO 100 this would be difficult on a sunny day, which this was.  The solution was to use one of the new variable-neutral density filters on the lens. Dialing it down until the camera meter indicated a shutter speed of 1/20th second at f/2.8 did the trick.  Simple -- so long as you have a variable ND filter.  Yet another example of the effect of advancing technology on photography.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Focus test with the Nikon D4

Today I did a test of the focusing ability of the new Nikon D4 camera.  In the past, I always had difficulty with auto-focus on the Nikon 105mm macro lens.  In even moderately difficult lighting situations, it would hunt for focus, racking in an out so much that I would finally give up and either switch it to manual focus or change lenses altogether.  In today's test, I created a difficult focusing situation for the D4 by, first, mounting the 105 macro on it, and, second, by setting up an extreme back-lit situation where I was shooting directly into a tungsten light. To make matters even tougher, I shot the lens with the aperture wide open. This would be difficult for any lens, but I knew the 105mm would have the most trouble.  The camera behaved beautifully. It never hunted for focus once, and all of over 250 frames were sharply focused on the eyes.  Quite honestly, I have never had a camera perform so perfectly in a situation like this.

For this shot I put one of the Nikon's 51 pinpoint focus spots on the left eye.  You can see the tungsten lamp shining in from the left side.  This is an extremely difficult situation for a camera/lens combo to handle.  I chose the Nikkor 105mm micro lens because I knew it would have difficulty focusing.  The Nikon D4 nailed the exposure and the focus in this situation for over 250 frames. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thinking blue

Sometimes I just have a color in my head when I begin to shoot.  Today the color was robin's egg blue envisioned in a high key setting.

Both images were photographed with available window light, and taken with a Nikon D4 and 60mm macro lens wide open at f/2.8.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still no RAW converter for the new Fuji X-Pro1, but I wanted to give it a try with the Leica lens adapter I have.  So with the camera in JPG mode I took this photo of the Flat Iron Building in New York using a Voigtlander 12mm lens in a Leica-M adapter mounted on the camera, and shot directly into the sun at mid-day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I have been doing variations of this stock photo theme for decades. In this version I had the model looking in the direction of the window light of our studio.  The stylist poured the tear and I photographed it with the Nikon D4 and 105mm macro lens as the tear slowly fell down her cheek.  I asked the model to keep her mouth partially open because it seemed to add a more immediate feeling of sadness to the situation.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I liked the way this fire was burning in a straight line and grabbed a shot of it with the Nikon D800, cropping it later into this panoramic composition that has applications for banner advertising.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Breaking the rules

Normally in a situation like this, a long macro is the first choice of lens.  However, macro lenses are notoriously sharp and for these close-ups of blossoms I wanted to create a very delicate, soft pastel effect. So instead of using a macro lens, I put a close-up filter on a long zoom lens (the Nikon 70-300mm) and used it wide open.   By also shooting back-lit and directly into the sun the extra glass of the filter created a glare that further softened the shots.  Over-exposing by a full stop helped to brighten the images even more.  Taken with the Nikon D800 at ISO 100.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This was my last photo -- literally -- taken in the Joshua Tree NP of Joshua trees against a starry sky.  It was taken with the Nikon D800, a 16mm focal length at f/5.6 and 13seconds.  The lighting on the foreground tree was done by waving the beam from a flashlight all over the parts of the tree where I wanted detail.  In this situation, the camera was set to aperture-priority mode but set to over-expose by 3-stops to bring more light into the night sky. There was a bright moon overhead, which usually makes shooting stars very difficult.  Here it added some light to the clouds and made the night sky look more natural.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

These sunsets were taken at the end of my second day in the Joshua Tree NP. Choosing a low angle was important to keep the full trees silhouetted against the sky instead of losing some of their detail by putting them against the dark part of the landscape.  Taken with the Nikon D800 and 70-200mm zoom lens at a 135mm focal length.

This shows the same scene but here a wide angle was used to incorporate the colorful shape of the evening clouds.

Monday, April 2, 2012

One of my favorite times to shoot is in late afternoon light with its reddish glow in contrast to a deep blue sky.  Taken in Joshua Tree NP with the Nikon D800 and 200mm focal length.

Many of the plants were in spring bloom.  I photographed this Cholla against a deep blue mid-day sky with the D800 and 16mm focal length.  I put the camera into its 1.2x crop mode which converted the 16mm to an actual 20mm focal length.  Even with the crop, the image was taken at 25.1mp resolution.

Early sunset shot at Joshua Tree with the sun peeking through the branches.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I visited the wind turbine site early this morning and shot this silhouette against the sun -- two forms of energy in one photo.