why my shot didn’t work. I might have avoided this very simple mistake if I had been able to read G. Dan Mitchell’s post on Monday instead of today, but that just gives me another excuse to go out and try again. (A real burden, I know).
So what happened? Well, I had been dragging my husband all around the North Coast of Ohio all day looking for likely places to hang out and do some serious photography as the weather warms up, and towards the end of the day, in hopes of finding a spot to catch both the setting sun and the rising full moon about a half hour later, we finally arrived at a place that looked good for also trying out the digital view camera. So I got that all set up, and did a 6-shot sunset view (I see one corner where I must have messed up the focus a little when I shifted the standard.).
Unfortunately, the eastern view was completely clouded over, so we started to head south, stopped for coffee, and by the time we arrived at a reservoir where I knew we wouldn’t have any trouble being after dark, I set up to try the same thing with the now mostly clear full moon and its reflection over the mostly frozen lake. The shot of the moon itself was about as perfect as I think I can do. But I made exactly the mistake that Dan talks about in his post.
Rely on your histogram to check exposure – not on how the shot looks in the display. If the shot looks like what you see at night, it most cases it will be way underexposed – and, as a result, you’ll have a very noise image and you may end up with artifacts like banding. Instead, use an exposure that produces a balanced histogram curve – or, “expose to the right” as many of us like to say.
I looked at the LCD screen to check the rest of the shots in the series. I didn’t look at the histogram. The rest of the shots were totally useless. On the other hand, I did get to see a little bit more about how well my Nikon lens, Bender 4×5, and Canon XT play together, which is pretty nice. And I also got to experience what it’s like to lug a surveyor’s tripod up about 50 steps and back down again. I’m sure glad I don’t smoke anymore!!
Compare that one with a similar full moon shot at the same location a few years ago taken with a Sigma 28-80 zoom at 68 mm.
So far I’ve been very pleased with the time that I’ve invested into the Bender kit. Now I wish I would have done it sooner.
The day was also nice for just strolling around and getting a few snaps. I did get to see another bald eagle not too far from the place where I saw a juvenile in September 2007.
A view of the marsh . . .
And another trail at another marsh . . .by beakennedy
New Year’s resolutions really aren’t my bag. When a change is needed, I just go for it. Not that making change any time of the year lasts any longer than it does at the turn of the calendar . . . . But I came across a great list of photography resolutions that just plain sounded like fun at Photojojo. Which ones am I likely to (or already engaged in) pull off?
So there you have it. If I’m going to do any New Year’s resolutions at all, this would be the kind that I would be willing to dabble with – frivolously, irresponsibly and noncommittally – and maybe I just might stick with some in the process.by beakennedy
Normally, a 210 mm lens on a 4×5 format would be at the short end of the telephoto range or at the long end of normal. When you’re only capturing a small part of the image area, however, that long normal/short tele turns into quite an apparent multiplication factor. This photo was taken with the new Bender-Canon set up from my back yard of the top of a fairly tall tree a couple of houses down. Still have a lot to learn. In fact, I feel like I’m starting all over in some ways. Praying for warm weather and calm winds.by beakennedy
What do you get when you marry this:
You get the Bender-Canon Digital View Camera.
After coming across someone else who had used a simple T-mount adapter to join their Canon to an 8×10 view camera with some highly interesting results, it seemed like it was high time I got to work on the 4×5 kit I had purchased so many years ago. That poor kit has survived 2 moves, an attack by mice, and being used for a Bible lesson twice in which I dumped the entire kit onto the floor for the kids to try to figure out – sans directions (the point being they wouldn’t have any more luck putting that kit together without the instructions than we do trying to put our lives together without the maker’s instructions-i.e., the Bible). Anyway, all of that without a single piece lost or broken . . . .
EXCEPT for 2 of the 3 monorail riders which I had broken when I first started to build the kit in 1995. Jim at Midwest Photo Exchange was a great help, both with selecting a lens for the new system, as well as spending some time looking at the original design and sending photos to someone he thought might be able to come up with a replacement. The next time I went to Columbus, though, I ended up going to Woodcraft and picking up some T-Trac and oval 1/4 x 20 nuts which worked perfectly – if the tripod gets knocked over or some other disaster happens, the camera will break into little tiny pieces long before there is enough force to make the front and rear standards or the tripod mount come off the T-Trac, and the whole setup is rock solid once everything is tightened down. Other modifications included getting rid of all of the original L-screws except the ones holding the back in place, using different material for the bag bellows than the kind of rubbery black stuff that came with the kit (Thanks, mom, for the great sewing job!!), adding rulers to various points on the front and rear standards so I have some idea of how much I’m moving one standard in relation to the other, and adding a slotted lensboard holder like I saw at Midwest Photo instead of the original L-screws.
I quickly realized that the tripod that came with my Canon kit was going to be totally inadequate for managing 7-1/2 pounds of camera. I had seen some Induro tripods at Midwest in the $100 range (which may still be an option some months down the road), but after reading some on tripods and heads, I realized that to really do it justice, it was going to cost quite a bit more to get a stable platform for the new camera combo.
THEN, I remembered that there was a telescope mouldering in my basement with a tripod that looked an awful lot like some of the wooden-legged tripods I had been seeing. Quick check – sure enough it’s still down there and just needs a little rinse off and a way to mount the camera to the tripod. Once again, everything is rock solid when tightened down. I don’t know how long the old telescope tripod will hold up, but as long as it does, I’ve got some really smooth pan and tilt action in my tripod head, along with a good solid platform for the camera.
Here are some samples with the new setup:
(Please forgive the less than inspiring subject of the first photo. The camera was barely starting to take shape, the bellows was just pressed into place without being secured in any way, and I was basically holding the Canon in mid air in the approximate location it would be held by the camera board and T-mount adapter which I had yet to design and build with the camera and my head under a dark cloth to keep out too much extraneous light. It’s a wonder I got the focus as close as it is, but I could have found something more aesthetic than the pile of trash I had been collecting. )by beakennedy