Monthly Archives: January 2013

Union Pacific diesel electric locomotive

Union Pacific

Today’s toy train image takes us out of the steam era and into the modern diesel electric world with this image of a Union Pacific locomotive.  Since I shot this head on I felt that a square crop would work well for it and I heavily lit it from one side for a bit of drama.

As a note, I am working on putting together a small display that I can change up and do more than just the extreme close up macro shots and hopefully include a bit of an HO world around the trains.  I am also working on a few ideas of taking some shots outdoors with some forced perspective, hopefully with some real trains in the scenes.  Also, if you are a steam ear fan like I am, have no fears, there is still a lot more steam to come.

Posted in Photography

0-4-0 Steam Locomotive

I really don’t remember when I added this little steam locomotive to my collection but it has been there for a long time.  I am sure that I picked it up because I really liked the colors and the detail.  I have done a lot of searching online and I am not even positive that it is a replica of a real locomotive.

One thing that I am really enjoying about this project, in addition to playing with my toy trains again, is that it is giving me an excuse to work on mastering the craft of macro photography and more specifically lighting for macro work.  In the case of this image, I wanted my main light to be right in front of the locomotive.  To accomplish this I put my Nikon SB-600 directly in front of the model by laying it in the tracks (it was fired using the built in flash of my D600 in commander mode).  This worked great but it only lit the very front of the model.  To get a little side light to the scene I simply placed a reflector parallel to the model to bounce a touch of light onto the side of the locomotive.

I hope you enjoy this image.  Please click on it to see a larger version or to order prints.

Posted in IR photography

Why I deleted my Facebook Fanpage

I have had a Facebook fanpage for a long time, I set it up not too long after they were introduced by Facebook.  At first it was great, I would share something on the page and would get a lot of immediate interaction from those that had clicked “like” or that followed the page.  According to the Facebook stats, if they were to be believed, about 75% of those that were following my page saw my posts.  I never used my fanpage as a way to sell my work, it was simply a place where those that wanted to follow what I was posting could, and could also provide feedback and we could have electronic conversations about photography, as I said, it was great.

Since then, Facebook has implemented what they call “edgerank,” supposedly to help target your posts to those that interact with you.  Since edgerank went into play, I have seen a drastic reduction in the numbers of people who are even getting the chance to see my posts, it happend almost over night.  From that initial 75% view rate, it dropped down to about 5%.  Simply put, I was making posts that 95% of my fans and followers were never going to see, unless they specifically searched for my content.  Seems a bit crazy to me, someone who has indicated that they want to follow my updates and posts are not able to because Facebook deemed that they were not worthy to do so.  Never fear though, Facebook has a way for you to insure that those who follow you see your posts, you simply pay them per post to make your followers worthy of seeing your content.  I actually gave this a test, I promoted a post and sure enough, about 75% of my followers saw that post, worked like a champ.

Here’s the deal, I realize that Facebook needs to find some way to generate revenue, I am not against that at all, but I do have a problem with them in effect censoring my posts and deciding who of my followers is worthy to see my updates.  I would be more than happy to pay Facebook to promote certain posts to people who are not already following my updates, but I simply refuse to pay them for people who should already be seeing them.  It simply wasn’t worth the effort to maintain a page and post content to it that was never going to be seen, so my fanpage no longer exists.

I do want to point out though that this is based solely on my experience.  If you are a wedding, portrait, event or lifestyle photographer, I suspect that you get a great deal of traction out of your fanpage, when people can be tagged in an image and that image then shared with people who follow them, that is sort of like a snowball sitting at the top of a hill.  When you make images that typically don’t have people in them, that isn’t going to happen :-)

Does this mean that I am leaving Facebook totally? No.  I will still be posting stuff to my personal page.  Frankly, I have been getting better interaction there anyway, and isn’t that the whole reason for social media, to interact with others?  As for other social media sites, I am a lot more active on Google +, especially now that they have created the communities, and Twitter continues to be a mainstay for me.  I would highly encourage you to follow me on G+ and Twitter if you don’t already.

Posted in Everything Else

The Columbia River Gorge – time lapse video

Swirling Clouds over the Columbia River Gorge from Scott Wood on Vimeo.

A few days ago I shared an image that I created by stacking 349 image that I captured while shooting a time lapse video in the Columbia River Gorge.  Even though this time lapse runs quite a bit shorter than most that I post, I still wanted to share it so you can see the comparison between the actual video and the still image I created from the individual frame.

 

Posted in Photography

The south end of a northbound bird

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the title of this blog post, it had to be done. :-)  This is actually an image of what I believe is a Blue Heron taking off from Capitol Lake in Olympia, WA.  The reason I say that I believe that this is a Blue Heron is that I really don’t know all that much about birds.  I am starting to discover though that I enjoy making images of birds, which means of course that I will need to learn a little more about them.

About this image, we decided to get a little exercise this last weekend and took a walk around Capitol Lake.  I also wanted to take the D600 our with the Nikon 80-200 2.8 and she how they get along with each other.  I shot this wide open at 2.8, and while I would normally not do that because of the the shallow DOF, I wanted to push the combo to their limits.  This image is a result of that testing and I have to say that I am quite pleased with the outcome.

Posted in Photography