Tiltshift Lens on a snow day with trains

CP Rail workers clearing snow off tracks
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Recently I got an almost entirely frivolous new lens. It’s the AstrHori 85mm f2.8 Macro tilt lens. In short: I LOVE it.

Before I go much further, here is a link to a gallery on my professional site of some photos taken with this lens.

On the practical side, this lens has some benefits over other lenses. Firstly because it is a tilt-shift lens, the frame has to be larger than a standard lens. This is because there needs to be a larger frame to tilt the lens. So while AstrHori calls this a full frame lens, which is larger than standard, it still needs to be larger, and you will get strong vignetting at an extreme tilt. But there is so much room to play.

Where this really pays on the practical side is the edge-to-edge sharpness when the lens is locked in at a standard barrel lens state. Great for portraits or product photography. Still, on the practical side, it is a fantastic macro lens. These uses alone would make me happy. Plus, you can make money on portraits and product photography, which is as practical as possible.

The gallery above and all the photos I’ve taken with this lens so far have been to work with the tilt-shift aspects of the lens. This requires you to play around and find out what works for you and is not. There is a whole new world of creative options. Best known for the “Minature World” effect on Instagram and elsewhere, tilting and shifting the lens dramatically changes the plane of focus. No longer simply linear to the lens in a standard barrel, it can now be off at any angle of the image.

Plus-minus is that it is a manual focus. All tilt-shift lenses are at the point and time. This can be used creatively as a plus, combined with the tilt, and used in portrait or product photography. I am so excited to see what I get into. One becomes master of the frame on a portrait in new and exciting ways.

Clearly, I love this lens. It’s not the greatest for all things, and it has some flaws, but it wasn’t costly, and on a price vs uses case: it’s a winner.

Osteoarthritis so many useless pills

When the pills are about as good as Apple keyboards.
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Osteoarthritis, what a BITCH! The above photo is titled “So many useless pills.”

Merriam Webster: useless, adjective, use·​less ˈyüs-ləs
: having or being of no use:
a useless attempt
b: not able to give service or aid: INEPT

About four months ago, and now late in my 49th year running around, I developed old people problems. I’m joking because it’s either laugh or murder people (again, jokingly). I have developed osteoarthritis in my left big toe. It’s come on fast and HARD!

It hasn’t stopped there. Soon after my toe announced itself with the screaming pain, my foot became trapped in a cage of pain above and below my arch. Now limping most days after about two blocks of walking, I developed a limp, and my inner left knee became as painful as anything else below. My lower back also wanted to join the party.

Crazy how one issue can spiral and cause tension and misalignment that has a ripple effect through half your body. And it doesn’t help when your doctor of thirty years is now half retired, checked out and already on vacation—spending two months chasing his bizarre theory that I have gout.

Pills have been useless, and I have been on large doses. An injection into my big toe was somewhat effective but not enough to want to do it again. This photo I have taken shows a collection of items that are about as useful as the pills featured in the image. I will explore this idea further because I don’t think I realized all of what I wanted here.

Pulling Light in a photograph

Pulling light
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Pulling light out of what would otherwise be a stationary light source is one of my all-time favourite photographic techniques and one that I am amazed not to see more of. I read about it in the book that came with my original Sony A7. I still have that camera, and it takes excellent photos.

Before I go further, I will add that the photo shown here is available on my site as a free download. Simply follow this link.

To take a photograph like this, you need a few things:
*A lens with a range something in the 24-70mm range. At some point, the weight of the lens will work against you. The lens also needs to be as smooth as possible. Shake is your enemy here.
*A very sturdy tripod. Repeat; shake is your enemy
*Remote trigger, you will cause shake when you depress the shutter manually.

For the settings, you experiment with something like the following: 2-second shutter, but longer is often good and shorter rarely is in my experience. ISO 100, f9-11, or so.

Now let’s shoot: Having found an attractive light source, like a neon sign or building, you think has enough points of light to pull out into streaks. Set up on your tripod, ensure the camera is very securely mounted and frame up tight on the subject. Once you are happy, fire your exposure and while the exposure is happening, draw the focus out and go wide. This action will bring the light out of windows or any other strong lights forward in a brilliant streak.

HSBC 2009 Celebration of Light Fireworks rework

2009 HSBC Celebration of Lights Fireworks/rework
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I’m going threw all my photos to organize the best that is my library—currently 17,686. Like everyone, there is a mix of gold and fool’s gold with shades in between. The photo shown here is of the 2009 HSBC Celebration of Light, taken using a technique that pulls light streaks out of usually stationary light sources. I’m experimenting here by doing it with a bright, colourful, explosive light source.

I had many photos taken this night using a standard setup, but this one is fun, and I took a few more shots with this method. They will all be available on my site Kian.Photography

Dave, a dear friend, was working at the Coast Plaza Hotel. He managed to invite us to photograph the fireworks show from the rooftop. The view was amazing!

Grillin it

A grill master in the smoke
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Sorry for the silly pun title! This guy was killing it. This was a big house birthday party I attended in Sri Lanka in March 2022. It was not a shot I planned; it just presented itself to me while I walked through this beautiful home.

This photo needed a lot of work. First, I reframed it from a larger image. Thanks to 42 mp, I have lots of room to play there. I then worked on the colour and other light settings to get the vibe I wanted. Finally, I had to recover some facial details that got lost in this challenging shoot. I was not at my best when I captured the photo. I was more than a little into the open bar……..

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