I am sad to report that a long time love of Robbie’s has passed away: Wheezie, the great Dell-mation,* has finally kicked the bucket, croaked, this parrot is no more. After 10 years of loyal service, the poor lout just couldn’t keep going. So after an evening of reading internet reviews, and a few trips to Best Buy (wherein Robbie exercised his mad negotiating skills and pestered the manager into giving him one heckuva deal), there is a new computer in the Poproski-Montgomery household.
His name is Boris. Boris Anus, if you must know, but please don’t hold that against us. We haven’t picked out a name for the new mouse yet, but it moves one pixel at a time, so Robbie is in art nerd heaven.
He will have to develop some new habits, though, on account of how he doesn’t have time to make dinner between the time he presses the power button, and when his computer is ready for use. I’m starting to get hungry…
At any rate, the 2016 Photo Challenge continues, and we have some catching up to do. As a bonus, we’re also including a shot of a 1929 Stutz — which is apparently an awesome old automobile (one-of-a-kind, in fact!) that was originally bought as a wedding present for the daughter of the founder of Coca Cola, for $4125. Jeepers. All that money and I bet it can’t even get up to highway speed!
Here are the pictures you’ve been waiting for (with descriptions below):
Day 10: “Glass”
This is Robbie’s version of a selfie — and you better believe that no selfie stick was used to create this shot. The shot was taken in front of a glass wall at the Atlanta History Center. The camera’s segmented metering setting was used to calculate the image exposure value, and bracketed at ±0.7 EV (null EV image selected). Neither flash nor filter was used. Note that this type of shot will not work if the sun is shining directly into the window; instead use the ambient reflective light to achieve the effect.
Day 11: “Fork”
This an image of the Rocky Mountain Pizza Company triangle-shaped building at the intersection (or “fork”) between McMillan St., Hemphill Ave, & 10th St. in Atlanta, GA, taken in late afternoon sun. A wide-angle fish-eye lens was used to extend the lines of the street and building, and a polarizer filter was used to deepen the colour of the sky. The contrast was dropped in camera to create the overall feel of the image, and the all-important bracket was used (±0.3 EV), with the +0.3 EV shot ultimately selected.
Day 12: “Happy”
If you don’t get the happy feels from this picture, then you might be a bad person. Adorables. This image was shot inside the Smith Family Farm house, catching the Artful Dodger doing exactly what cats do — and obviously very pleased with himself for it. A camera-mounted speedlight (a.k.a. a flash) with a cloud diffuser was used, pointed straight at the subject and set to +1.7 flash EV to compensate for the diffusion light loss. A 1/4 CBO (Color Balance Orange — or CBA in non-Amurika, for Colour Balance Amber) gel was used on the flash head to change the temperature of the flash from a cool 5400ºK to a more pleasing 4400°K tone. A three shot ±0.7 flash-bracket was used (-0.7 EV selected).
Day 13: “Dazzling”
These shots were taken from the back patio of our apartment, about fifteen minutes apart, with a medium telephoto lens. Normally Robbie uses high end lenses to create images, but in this case he went with a kit lens — like the one you get in the box, when you buy your new camera. Part of the aim was to prove that you don’t need high end and/or high priced equipment to get results — although ten years of art school doesn’t hurt.
For the first shot (13a), a graduated ND #8 filter was used, angled to left center coverage. Because the camera was pointing directly into the sunlight, there was one chance to get a light meter reading (light meters see spots after looking directly at the sun, just like us); a center-weighted 60/40 metering was used (in other words, the camera calculated the “correct” exposure value by taking 60% of the light reading at the center, and 40% from the rest of the frame). The exposure value was then cut by 1.3 EV to drop the brightness of the sun and to bring out the colour of the evening sky. The white balance was set at 5100°K to capture the reds and yellows of the golden hour. The shot was bracketed ±0.3EV with +0.3 selected for the image.
The second shot was taken 15 minutes later, this time metering the sky with the multi-segmented (matrix) meter. This allowed for the sky to be highlighted and the tree to be in silhouette. The shot was bracketed at ±0.5 EV and the null EV was selected for this image. Post-shot the image was masked as a Polaroid Transfer, using Google’s NIK Colour EXIF Pro 4 plug-in for Phase One Capture 9.
Bonus: 1929 Stutz
This is an image of the world’s only remaining 1929 Stutz Biarritz Saloon Automobile that is currently on loan to the Atlanta History Center. It may or may not have caused drool to run down Robbie’s face. Ruth told him that if he took it for a joy ride, she would not bail him out of jail. At least not right away. A wide-angle lens was used to accentuate the curves of the fenders and the length of the bonnet cowling. The white balance was achieved by way of a white card — which was necessary because of the mix of ambient sunlight and fluorescent overhead lighting. To achieve the correct exposure the shot was spot-metered with a Minolta IV light meter — with a 5° spot attachment — pointed at the center of the radiator, the long side of the cowl, and the front shadow under the bumper. These three readings were averaged together, and the exposure value was increased by +0.7 to keep the radiator in Zone III and the body colour in Zone IV. A five shot bracket was used at ±0.3 EV intervals (-0.3 EV selected).
*Actually, Wheezie was an HP, but I can’t figure out how to replace Dell-mation with an equally stunning turn of phrase, so I’m leaving it in. Don’t tell Robbie.