Category: Photography – Still Life

San Francisco, Conservatory of Flowers, Fan Palm, Monochrome

ISO400, 52mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec
Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

I had read and thought about going to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park a few years back when I had a season pass to the Academy of Science nearby, but I was much more interested back then with photographing the sea life in the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium than flowers.

Cut a few years later.  She is a big fan of flowers and the science behind it.  If there was a time to go visit the Conservatory, it was now.  Besides the flowers, which were challenging to photograph in the light obscuring greenhouses, there were also a vast selection of plants in the main section, including these giant 6-8 foot wide fan palms.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO400, 52mm, f/5.6, 1/25 sec

San Francisco, Conservatory of Flowers, Fan Palm, Monochrome.  Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA. August 08, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Diamond Springs (CA), Ford V8, Hood Ornament, Grill

ISO100, 38mm, f/4.8, 1/100 sec
Diamond Springs, CA

There was a bit of a dilemma with this photograph, whether to use a shallow depth of field (and thereby rendering all elements away from the exact focal point an increasing blur) and where to place the focal point.  The choices here were not the best as I should not have used such a shallow DOF and tried to keep in focus both the V8 hood ornament and the Ford logo in focus.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 38mm, f/4.8, 1/100 sec

Diamond Springs (CA), Ford V8, Hood Ornament, Grill.  Diamond Springs, CA. August 31, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Dog Portrait, Grass, Shallow DOF

ISO400, 35mm (prime lens), f/1.8, 1/20 sec
Amador County, CA

There are days when the only time to shoot is during the 20 minute dog walk.  And when the clouds are not cooperating, you tell your dog to sit while you snap away.

(Click thru the image for a slightly larger view)

Quick tip: When the subject and background are highly contrasted as we see here – dark dog, light background – it is a good idea to use center-weighted (or some sort of matrix) metering mode.  I used spot metering.  In trying to focus on the eyes, the metering was going off the dark eyes and fur, thereby overexposing the background.  I had to bring back the exposure 2 stops in post.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, spot metering mode, ISO 400, 35mm (prime lens), f/1.8, 1/20 sec

Dog Portrait, Grass, Shallow DOF. Amador County, CA. January 25, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Teapot, Natural Light, Shadows, Monochrome

ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/4, 1/15 sec
Amador County, CA

There is no doubt this teapot is short and stout.

(Click thru the image for a slightly larger view)

Though I have been a virtual shut-in this weekend to focus on catching up with work, I did find a brief moment to take out the camera and shoot the teapot.  In fact, I was not even planning on taking the camera out this weekend until seeing the steam slowing rising out of the teapot.  Of course, the steam is not even seen after the monochrome conversion.

In this photograph, the natural light coming from the kitchen window is enough to highlight some of teapot while rendering the dark areas into negative space.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 35mm (prime lens), f/4, 1/15 sec

Teapot, Natural Light, Shadows, Monochrome. Amador County, CA. January 19, 2014. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

Fatworks, Pure Tallow, Leaf Lard, Duck Fat

ISO100, 35mm, f/4, 2 sec
Fatworks’ Premium Cooking Oils

After the first impromptu decision to photograph my newly acquired jars of premium cooking oils from Fatworks and posting the result as a blog post: Fatworks, Duck Fat, Tallow, Jars, Sidelit, Long Exposure I was asked by the folks at the company to shoot a few more photographs.  I would receive their newest oil, the “Leaf Lard”.  That’s high quality pig fat for those not in the know.  The idea is for Fatworks to use the images on their website, social media, etc. as they see fit and also reciprocate traffic back to the blog.  So at some point, some of their 22 photographs from this shoot will eventually make their way on to their site and webstore.

(Click through the image for the 700px view)

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 35mm, f/4, 2 sec

Fatworks, Pure Tallow, Leaf Lard, Duck Fat. Amador County, California. October 07, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.