Category Archives: Flower

Canon 5D Mark IV – Some Thoughts

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO-1000,85mm

f/4.5, 1/400, ISO-1000,85mm

I’ve never shot with a full frame camera before a week ago, but the Canon 5D Mark IV is the first full frame DSLR I’ve seen that has the full range of specs I want from a camera – touch screen, WiFi, etc. I rented it for a week from Borrow Lenses, and here are my impressions.


This model’s operation is extraordinary. Everything is easy to understand (important since the rental didn’t come with a manual or the time to read one). Connecting it to my phone was a matter of only seconds to do, and the connection was very stable. The dedicated buttons for picture review, rating, etc. on the back were very easy to operate, the joystick button was, true to its name, a joy – much nicer to use than the D-Pad on my 70D. Combined with the abilities of the touch screen, it made rating photos during two sporting events (football and volleyball) a breeze, allowing me to cull my photos in the field without missing a play.


Ouch. I went through nearly two batteries at full power during 1.5 football games (varsity and freshman games). That’s nearly twice as fast as my 70D. I wouldn’t think of taking this camera out without at least four batteries to back me up, and I only have three (including the one from the rental). Battery drain was unacceptably high.

Image Quality

I was most excited to see the tremendous quality difference a full frame sensor would make over my crop sensor. I mean really excited. Perhaps my expectations were too high. When zoomed in, I could see minute distinctions between the 5D and 70D in noise reduction – and it is true that more of my shots with the 5D were  in sharp focus than the 70D. It’s not clear to me whether this was from some magical technology in the camera, or just better shooting on my part. I carried both the 5D and 70D with me to both sporting events, interchanged lenses between them – and I honestly can’t see a hugely significant difference.

Well, there is one difference. There is enormous lens vignetting on the 5D that is not present with the same lens on the 70D. It was correctable with Lightroom so not a killer (easy enough to create an import default preset to manage it) but the level of vignetting using professional quality lenses was striking.

The other difference I was particularly looking for was stop improvement. I’d always been led to believe that a full frame sensor will gain between 1-2 stops over a crop sensor. Such was not the case between these two bodies. Using identical ISO, shutter speed and aperture, there was virtually no visible difference in the image exposure of the same general scene.

Bottom Line

I have better uses for the price of a 5D. Studio equipment, new lenses – almost anything would produce higher quality images for me than this camera body. While the operation of it was intuitive and fast, image quality offered little improvement and in some ways suffered against the image quality of the 70D. The battery drain was really not insignificant in reaching a conclusion either. It was shockingly bad. I really wanted to have to struggle with my conscience about spending the money on this camera, but there is no debate in my mind. I’m better off with what I have.

Also posted in Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography Tagged , , , , |

Winter Color

Winter Color

f/5.0, 1/320, ISO-100, 49mm

You Can’t Dry Out Beauty

You Can't Dry Out Beauty

f/4.0, 1/1000, ISO-100, 49mm

Also posted in Winter

Adorned In Silver And Gold

Adorned In Silver And Gold


I went out tonight looking for a nice, easy sunset photo on the river. Turned out a lot of other folks, of course, had in mind on such a beautiful evening to fish. I started down a narrow trail hoping to find some overlook that would give me a view of the sunset and the water, without the fishermen, but it was not to be. Turns out the more I walked down the trail the further I got from the water.

Eventually I came to a small glade with hundreds of tiny flowers, all sorts of different colors and shapes. There was little breeze, but the trees were thick and the light dim, not the sort of environment that lends itself easily to capturing tiny, lovely flowers. But I set up my tripod hoping a long exposer would do the trick. I tried lots of different things, but nothing quite came out the way I envisioned. I was just starting to think of how I might tweak the images into my vision in Lightroom, when I realized I had my flash with me. Shooting flowers doesn’t generally call to mind strobe lighting, but I decided to give it a shot.

I flipped down the wide angle panel as it was the only diffuser I had available and handheld it behind and above right of the camera (I had my wireless flash trigger with me as well). I still wasn’t getting exactly what I wanted, but I was a lot closer. I took several shots and different exposures and holding the light at slightly different angles.

At home and loaded everything up into Lightroom and decided to give its new HDR merge a try. I’ve only had one other attempt at HDR that I was happy with, so my hopes weren’t high, but I was really pleased with how it came out. It’s not easy for me to get definition out of a completely white flower, but HDR and flash photography seems to have done the trick.

Also posted in Flash Lighting, Nature, Photography, Spring Tagged , , |

The End Of Time

The End Of Time

Taken and edited on Windows Phone 8.1

Today is Day 22 since my wife of 26 years was admitted to the hospital for the last time. She is currently in hospice. Our lives together have been fulfilling, happy and complimentary of each other. She is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I hope that I have been some use to her.

With seemingly endless waiting in an impossibly difficult situation, one looks for outlets of expression, and it’s no surprise that I turn to photography. I don’t have my real camera equipment here, so I turn to my Windows Phone and cast about for subjects. The most obvious choice is the Valentine’s Day bouquet I got her, as the roses and lilies in it are beautiful. But I chose instead to go with something more abstract, emphasizing color, an end, and something incomplete.

Jill brought so much color to my life. Brilliant primary color of joy and happiness. It is not fair that her time with me draws to an end, but I always know that we will always be together. I will always be with her, and she will certainly always be with me. My life will feel incomplete without her physical presence near me. But I will try my best to live my life in the manner that she taught me:

Focus on what you have to give, rather than what you’ve been given.

Taken with and edited on Windows Phone 8.1

Also posted in Natural Lighting, Photography Tagged , , |

Through The Pain

Through The Pain

f/4.0, 1/160, ISO-320, 70mm



Also posted in Indoor, Natural Lighting, Photography

You Say Tomahto

You Say Tomahto

f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO-160, 70mm

While waiting for my car pool ride after work this afternoon, my attention was drawn to this tiny tomato flower outside the door. Yes, there are tomato plants outside the door to my office. At any rate, though only about the size of my fingernail, I was struck by the contrast of the yellow flowers against the deep blue sky.

Also posted in Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography Tagged , , , |

Coffee Flavored


Coffee Flavored

f/3.2, 1/20, ISO-1250, 25mm

The great thing about almost any coffee shop I’ve been to is the abundance of available photographs within its walls. here’s another example. This shop has a colorful coffee roaster as a center piece of the décor, and I initially thought that was the subject of an obvious photograph. but after circling it a few times and not finding an impressive image, I backed up a little bit and saw these simple but lovely flowers, and saw the potential of the roaster as a backdrop rather than the main focus. The image didn’t come out quite as sharp as I would have liked – I had no tripod available. But at 1/20th of a second I am pleased enough for a handheld shot

Also posted in Indoor, Mechanical, Photography Tagged , , |



f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-400, 23mm

Also posted in Landscape, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography



f/1.8, 1/640, ISO-800, 50mm

Looking back at some of my previous posts I am a little bit sad that I haven’t been able to show more work. It’s been a difficult start to 2013.

I’ve done quite a bit of photography, actually. Portraits and sporting events…wonderful work that I am very proud of and very humbled that people have actually paid me for my services. But I’ve had little time to express my artistic side, and hopefully that’s about to change.

My wife of 25 years has been in the hospital 45 days out of the first 4.5 months of this year, and when she’s been home I’ve had to devote much of my time to caring for her. I certainly don’t mind that. I love her dearly and I’m blessed to be in a position to care for her. But it has meant that some other things have had to be postponed in the meantime.

She is now well on the road to recovery, at last, and I hope this means I’ll have time for the occasional photo walk. She is not 100% and we still face challenges, but things aren’t as desperate as they have been all of this year so far.

Thank you for being patient with me as I devote my attention to the truly important things.

Also posted in Indoor, Photography, Portrait