Welcome to 









Photo Blog  




Join me on my discoveries in photography. As I learn new skills, I will post my findings here. If you want to check out my kit and other links, take a look at my favorite photos page


My interest in photography goes back to black and white film with pinhole cameras, creating ghosting effects and double exposures. I also played with enlargers and dark rooms in primary school. My interest peaked again almost 20 years later.


Photos I want to take:

  • Water in motion

  • Car with trailing tail lights

  • More to come ...


Photo RSS Feed from Flickr


My Flickr Groups





Nov 16 2010

Infrared (720nm)

I have a Canon EOS 350F with the normal Canon filter removed and a glass filter for 720nm replaced. From here, the photos are passed through Photoshop and then ready for viewing.




January, 30 2011


Robert Tremethick has bought a 400 class train and wants to have originals of photos of mine from Flickr. A privilege to supply these.




January, 27 2011


Eric Goodwin from McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT) wants my red back spider photos. It is a pleasure to be able to provide photos. 




Apr 16 2010

Light Painting

I have created an LED light spinner and am playing with light painting.



Feb 6 2010

Coke can diffuser

I have built my own Coke Can diffuser. It is for macro shots. It is made from 2x 375 ml coke cans. Check out the details here.





Jan 17 2010

Super Macro (On the Cheap)

I am trying my hand at macro photos. I am doing it on the cheap. A canon Bellows with my lens does the job (under $50 AUS). I have tried extension tubes however I find the bellows much better. Both methods need manual focus but the bellows is easier to control. Here are some of the specs.

* Bellow unit extends the distance between the lens and the film plane / CCD on the cameras, increasing the magnification of the subject on that film plane / CCD.

* It is far more convenient than keep staging multiple extension tubes

* it requires less fiddling and changing. it allow you to smoothly and constantly adjust
   the distance between your camera and the object you want to photograph.

* the amount of extension for bellow is far greater than extension ring
   set which resulted in higher magnification ratio at will.

* The rail can be extended up to 150mm. Magnify ratio is 0.74-2.86:1 while using an f50 lens, and is 1.32-5.1:1 that of f28 lens.





Dec 10 2009

Lensbaby - Get published

Get published! LENSBABY CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS. Submit your best Lensbaby photos for a chance to be published in a new Lensbaby book by Lensbaby Guru Corey




Dec 9 2009

Lensbaby - Muse

Ever played with a lensbaby? Selective focus is fun. It is hard to come to grips with focusing the 50 mm lens but the curious effects make the process worthwhile.




Nov 9 2009

Canon EOS Photo5 2009

Ok so the nail biting is over. The top 10 in each brief has been announced. I am a little unsure about the choice of finalists. Some do not match the brief, some are not technically good photos. I understand the judges jobs are hard but I feel seriously let down by the final selections.


Check out my entries: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mickyj_photos/sets/72157622799924960/




Nov 3 2009

Canon EOS Photo5 2009

Ok, so it is all over ... Not. Canon extended the deadline as no one could upload their images. Here is the blog http://community.canon.com.au/blogs/eos/archive/2009/11/02/canon-eos-photo5-competition-site-is-back-on-track.aspx

























October 31 2009

Canon EOS Photo5 2009

Aaagghhhhhh! Competition ends Nov 1 and I can't upload my hard work. Stupid DotNet error. I suspect the Canon server ran out of room?

Why did I leave it until the 11th hour to submit ? Not all the judges had uploaded their hints yet. I wanted to see what others were doing, did not want to give away what I was doing and I wanted to use their hints.


Server Error in '/worldofeos/photo5' Application.

A potentially dangerous Request.Form value was detected from the client (ctl00$ContentPlaceHolder1$hidIID="<S").
Description: Request Validation has detected a potentially dangerous client input value, and processing of the request has been aborted. This value may indicate an attempt to compromise the security of your application, such as a cross-site scripting attack. You can disable request validation by setting validateRequest=false in the Page directive or in the configuration section. However, it is strongly recommended that your application explicitly check all inputs in this case.

Exception Details: System.Web.HttpRequestValidationException: A potentially dangerous Request.Form value was detected from the client (ctl00$ContentPlaceHolder1$hidIID="<S").

Source Error:

[No relevant source lines]

Source File: c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files\worldofeos_photo5\7c523e54\21528ce4\App_Web_zparhaes.3.cs Line: 0

Stack Trace:

[HttpRequestValidationException (0x80004005): A potentially dangerous Request.Form value was detected from the client (ctl00$ContentPlaceHolder1$hidIID="<S").]
System.Web.HttpRequest.ValidateString(String s, String valueName, String collectionName) +3307682
System.Web.HttpRequest.ValidateNameValueCollection(NameValueCollection nvc, String collectionName) +108
System.Web.HttpRequest.get_Form() +119
System.Web.HttpRequest.get_HasForm() +3309630
System.Web.UI.Page.GetCollectionBasedOnMethod(Boolean dontReturnNull) +45
System.Web.UI.Page.DeterminePostBackMode() +65
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +7350
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequest(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +213
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequest() +86
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestWithNoAssert(HttpContext context) +18
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequest(HttpContext context) +49
ASP.upload_submitimage1_aspx.ProcessRequest(HttpContext context) in c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files\worldofeos_photo5\7c523e54\21528ce4\App_Web_zparhaes.3.cs:0
System.Web.CallHandlerExecutionStep.System.Web.HttpApplication.IExecutionStep.Execute() +358
System.Web.HttpApplication.ExecuteStep(IExecutionStep step, Boolean& completedSynchronously) +64

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.1433; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.1433


























September 29 2009

Canon EOS Photo5 2009

You will not be hearing much from me. Every spare minute and weekend I will be taking photos for the Canon Competition. About 2000 boxes have gone out and I am lucky enough to have one.

For more information see http://www1.canon.com.au/worldofeos/photo5





September 21 2009

Low key lighting

To set up a low key shot, get yourself a dark background. It doesn’t have to be black, though most low key images you see do have a black background. But anything dark will do. Next, get your subject in some dark clothing. Again, it doesn’t have to be black, just dark. What this will do is put emphasis on your subject’s face.

When you set up your key light, keep it off to the side of the subject. To start with, go for a 45 degree setup, then fine tune from there to fit your tastes. Keeping your key light off to one side will keep the light on the subject without lighting up the background too much.

This style of lighting revolves around one light, the 45 degree key light. The key light is simply the dominant light in a photo that is providing the driving force for the look. For 45 degree lighting, the key light is placed 45 degrees to the subject’s face and slightly high. You can use other accent lights to your hearts content: background, fill, hair, but the main thing to remember is to keep the key light at 45 degrees to the subject’s face. Note: if you move the subject, even turning his or her head, you have to reposition the light so that it’s back to 45 degrees.

Low key light accentuates the contours of an object by throwing areas into shade while a fill light or reflector may illuminate the shadow areas to control contrast. The relative strength of key-to-fill, known as the lighting ratio, can be measured using a light meter. Low key lighting has a higher lighting ratio, e.g. 8:1, than high key lighting, which can approach 1:1.





September 19 2009

Capturing Smoke

Study in freezing the action of smoke.

You need a relatively fast shutter speed, lots of light, small aperture for good DOF and preferably a plain background in a dark room to isolate the smoke. Avoid getting light on the background or into the lens. Light the incense and take the shot.






September 5 2009

Frankenfilter and Bokeh

I have been inspired to try something new. I have a Canon 50mm, 1.8 lens. I have fitted to this a home made light filter in the shape of a heart. By focusing on an object close and setting the camera aperture to wide open, the lights in the rear become out of focus and the shape of my heart filter. For more information look at the following links:







August 2 2009

2X adaptors

I have been using a "generic" lens doubler. This gives me 2X magnification of my lens.
Most 2x extenders result in a 2f stop loss of light. If you use one of these, you need to use good lenses with low AF ratings else the images are low contrast images. Here is one of my test examples (1000mm) and the image at 18 mm.






July 5 2009

Dust Bunnies

I thought it was about time I mentioned Dust Bunnies. Spots of dust that can ruin your photos. Take a look at my discussion here.




June 14 2009

Time-lapse Video

Time-lapse has always been something on my mind. I never really saw an opportunity for it and as fate would have it, I had the perfect opportunity for a time-lapse, a house being demolished. Unfortunately I had to work so I did not get a real chance to do a time lapse of the destruction. I did get a chance to play linked here is the result. (Image to the right). It is only a short time-lapse. I do not have a remote timer for the camera so I had a laptop hooked in via USB and was running the Canon EOS utility. The camera's battery went flat so I just gave up and compiled what I had, with QuickTime.




June 12 2009


I have always struggled with wide angle shots. I don't have a full frame camera and even with lenses at 18 mm, it is not really wide angle enough for me. Enter the Fish eye, Ultra wide lens add on for the Canon range of lenses. With this little beauty I can get a full 180 degree range. On my 18mm lens I can get the fish eye effect but anything larger and the distortion looks weird. Now I just need to play with it.




May 31 2009

Old Film manual Focus camera

Today I have ventured into the unknown. I was given an Olympus OM2 and OM10. Both are film based cameras with manually adjusted lenses. I thought my toughest battle was buying a Canon EOS 1D without any automatic features. I had to learn to be a real photographer. That still had auto focus. Now I have manual focus lenses. I have purchased a Olympus OM-EOS Adapter with AF-Enabling Pin so I could fit the lenses to my EOS range of cameras. I wanted to see if the lenses were superior to the Canon consumer lenses. This is where the fun starts. Getting the OM-EOS adaptor to work includes some acrobatics with the EOS DOF feature (To set the Aperture value and Focal length). Then you need to change the settings when you change values for the Zoom lenses.

Here's what I ended up with:

  • Baumar Panowider Super Wide Ser VII 49mm
  • Olympus F.Zuiko OM Auto S 1:1.8 F=50 mm (x2)
  • Kenlock Auto 1:2.8 F=135 mm
  • Tamron BBAR MultiC 1:28 F=28 mm
  • Vivitor (Tokina T4) 75-260 mm 1:45 Auto Zoom
  • Starblitz 3000BT-Twin flash with light filters and diffusers
  • Original leather camera cases x 3 and the original leather carry case.

A very nice kit. I have concluded the Panowider super wide is useless on the Canon EOS 10D/30D/1D as they are not full frame. The Canon EFS 18-55 does a better job than the OS 50mm with the Panowider fitted. The Tamron BBAR Multi C (The BBAR Multi C describes the protective coating on the lens) is not so flash but I am liking the Vivitor / Tonkina. The EOS seems to work well with these using the OM-EOS adaptor.




April 25 2009


Take a number of photos of an action scene that passes parallel in front of you. Paste the various images back into one image to show the passing of time.




March 23 2009

Shot wide open

Put the camera in Aperture Priority mode, and then use the camera's command wheel to set the aperture to it's largest setting (f/1.8 is the widest aperture that that my lens can support). When the lens is indeed, "wide open" like that, it will gather a lot of light, and allow you to shoot at a higher shutter speed. It also means that you'll get a very shallow depth of field (Dof).






March 22 2009


When you pan you’re moving your camera in synchronicity with your subject as it moves parallel to you. Proper panning implies motion. However, panning creates the feeling of motion and speed without blurring the subject as a slow shutter speed sans panning would tend to do. 

The actual shutter speed depends on the speed of the subject but generally it will be 1/200th or slower. 1/200th if your subject is really flying along, like a speeding car on a race track, and maybe as slow as 1/40th of a second if your subject is a runner on a track.







March 18 2009

Delayed Shutter

This process can turn moving water into a ghostly apportion. Typically leaving the shutter open for 1 - 2 seconds.





March 7 2009

Shutter Sync

Exposure set to 4 seconds and Shutter Sync set to 2nd curtain in the cameras custom features. This process is how you get trailing lights ion cars at night.














March 2 2009

Darkening with light

Experiment based on an excellent tutorial over on the digital photography school about ‘Darkening with Light’.  Inspired by the images that seem to have no background whatsoever, and interested in the notion of creating an interesting effect in bad lighting situations I thought I would give it a try. It worked out very well.

Exposure: 1/250 of a second.
Aperture: f/22.0
ISO Speed: 100

Using a Canon EOS 30D in Manual mode, 18-55 mm lens. External wireless cactus trigger and a studio light (150W Modeling, 600 W flash). Taken in Raw mode.



















March 1 2009


Exploring the world with an extension tube macro ring attached to a normal wide angle lens. This was very hard to use as it enlarges very small, very specific sections and getting focus is very hard.











February 7 2009

Mirror Lock Up

To prevent vibration at night, long exposures, I experimented with mirror lockup (Custom feature on my Canon 30D). This process locks the mirror up, avoiding camera movement, when the actual shit is taken. Be careful, don't use this when pointing at the sun. You might damage your CCD.











February 7 2009

High dynamic range imaging (HDR)

There are some photos that no matter what you see nor how hard you try, you just can't capture what you see. This is where HDR comes in.

Initially I thought it was cheating. Letting software do the job of the photographer. How wrong I am. You still need to line up the shot and you then need to balance the photo with software carefully. The shots take some skill to take and produce.

I create my photos with Photomatix. Using sRGB (And sAdobe) and Raw modes.

I set my camera to AEB mode. Automatic Exposure Bracketing. This allows me to take three photos, one under exposed, one over exposed and one normal shot properly exposed. Adding all the detail from all three photo's gives me the final photo.









February 4 2009

Deep focus compilation

Using Helicon Focus. 7 photos of various focal lengths. All 7 photos had a point of focus but the final image appears almost fully focused.








February 2 2009

Stereographs (Stereogram)

Taking a photo from one eye, not moving your head, lining up the second shot with the other eye then composing with Callipygian 3D using the Anaglyph method (View with red/blue glasses).

I made a simple pair of glasses with a red and blue/cyan window. The plastic was glued to some cardboard. It was very effective.












August 2008

Fill Flash

Sutter set to first curtain. External speed light. The flash illuminates close objects whilst the long exposure brings the rest of the background into the image.


















March 2006

Cleaning your CCD

My experience with dust bunnies has not been good. I try and connect lenses in dustless environments and I am careful but still, a quick visit to the beach and the camera needs cleaning.

Firstly consider using a blower to blow the dust out. I set my camera for sensor cleaning (Make sure you have a full battery). The mirror locks up and I blow it out. If this fails, I move to a specialist cleaning system (Or refer the camera back to Canon).

I use the Eclipse products.

Always put down a protective layer of newspaper. The eclipse fluid if spilt, will eat through varnish etc.

In this process, you use  a swab of one type or another, put a couple (2-3) drops of chemical on it and wipe the low pass filter.

SensorWand™ or Sensor Swipe or HomeMade Swab and with Pec*Pad™ and Eclipse™ -This method was originally developed as an economy version of the Eclipse™ and Sensor Swab™ although it is similar to the method used in-house by Nikon USA. An applicator devise is made or bought and wrapped with a Pec*Pad then Eclipse is applied for cleaning.

The camera sesor size and type will dictate your choice of PecPad and swab.

  • Pros: This is the 2nd most widely used method and when done correctly will clean the sensor 99.999% of the time. Price, this is the most inexpensive method (that works).
  • Cons: The chemical used here (Methanol) is flammable and cannot be shipped by air. Methanol is also illegal to possess in certain countries without a license. Not guaranteed* by its manufacturer to not damage your sensor.







April 2005


Whilst in Singapore, I discovered how important it is to have your camera at the same temperature and humidity levels as your surroundings. Place your camera in a sealed bag and slowly introduce it to the environment. If you don't, your lenses cloud or fog over. A Zip lock bag works well.












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