Franciscan Monastery in HDR

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to join some friends to photograph the Franciscan Monastery in Washington DC. I used a technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range). Basically, I took multiple shots of the same scene at different exposures in order to capture both the bright highlights and the dark shadows and then I combined the images using software which results in one highly detailed image. Below are some of my favorite images from the shoot.

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Franciscan Monastery

Jesus

Jesus

Crucifixion

Crucifixion

Back Splashes

On Thursday, I did a shoot for Collins Tile & Stone featuring tile back splashes. It was some beautiful work in four bathrooms and a kitchen.

Kitchen Back Splash

Kitchen Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

For the shot below, I had to lower the tripod down low enough to not be seen in the mirror and I hid behind the partially open door and used my wired remote to trigger the camera.

Bathroom Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

Bathroom Back Splash

Shooting Independence Day Fireworks

So, I made recent inquiries (to the Loudoun Photo Club and on Twitter) for tips on photographing fireworks since July 4th is quickly approaching. I thought I would consolidate the advice I received into this post, test it out, and then show the resulting photos from this weekend in a future post. Thank you to all who sent your suggestions! Feel free to add more to the comments.

  • Use a tripod to keep the camera steady.
  • Get to the display early to find the best vantage point.
  • Consider having foreground or background elements in the image as they make the scene more interesting and add scale.
  • Use manual focus and focus on an object close to where the fireworks will be set off from.
  • Plan to take lots of photos and delete about 75% of them.
  • Set shutter speed to “bulb” mode. This allows you to keep the shutter open while you press the button and the shutter won’t close until you release the button.
  • Use a remote or cable release instead of the on-camera button to prevent camera shake.
  • Open the shutter when the rocket starts it’s flight and close as the firework explodes so there is not a gaping black whole in the center of the firework. Should be about 2 seconds, but can range from 1/2 second to 5 seconds. Keep the shutter open longer to have multiple bursts in one image, but not too long or you’ll end up with “big blobs of light.”
  • Most recommended setting the aperture to f/8, but the suggested range was anywhere from f/8-f/11.
  • Set White Balance to Tungsten.
  • Set ISO to 200.

One person recommended this page and which seems to have some good information: http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-photograph-fireworks

Have a very happy and safe Independence Day!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to photograph any fireworks this year. So, I’ll have to wait until next year to try out these techniques.

38722 Sierra Lane

This week I photographed a beautiful home in Lovettsville, Virginia for a Realtor named Roger. It’s an amazing 3,400 square foot property on 10 acres of land in Loudoun County. Below are some of my favorite shots of the house.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Sitting Room

Sitting Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Living Room

Living Room

Senior Portraits of Ruth

The home studio is now set up and Ruthie was my guinea pig of sorts allowing me to take her senior portraits in the new studio. We chose a blue background to match the senior portraits of her siblings. We also took some shots outside. The wooded area provided a nice, natural backdrop.

Ruth in the Studio

Ruth in the Studio

Ruth

Ruth

Ruth  Outside

Ruth Outside