Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Blacksburg’

View from Above

Posted by Ben on February 18, 2012

One photographic “trick” that’s always sort of fascinated me was Miniature Faking ( Using either special lenses or postprocessing, you can simulate the effect of looking at a miniature version of the scene you are photographing.  Unfortunately, one of the things that is usually required to generate this effect is to be looking down on your scene from above, as if you were standing above a model of the scene.  I’ve found that very few of the things that I generally photograph lend themselves to this kind of angle.  There have been a few shots that I’ve taken that work pretty well though.  Below is an example of one of them. First is the “before” or original photo that I took. Second is the product of some selective blurring and increased saturation in photoshop, not too difficult of a process surprisingly

So, maybe not the best example of this effect, but I still think it came out alright.


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Sunset Silhouettes

Posted by Ben on February 17, 2012

Well…another rough couple of days at school, but at least the weekend’s almost here! I’ve been going back through some of my older shots over the past few days and stumbled upon these. This is a series of shots I took back at Tech for my Photography colloquium in November 2010. The topic of the week was Silhouettes.  I think I posted another shot from this afternoon back in October, but these are pretty good ones as well.  The camera stayed in the same spot for all of these photos, but zooming in gives some pretty different effects to the shots.

I do miss having a place like the duck pond so close to wander around at all hours of the day and night.


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Phantom Dancers

Posted by Ben on November 2, 2011

This picture comes from last spring when a couple of us were fooling around after a salsa lesson in Squires.  I had been playing around with different shutter speeds creating a nice blurring effect, when I decided to add the flash in as well.  I had to put on both the polarizer and the neutral density filter to lengthen the exposure to two full seconds.  This was taken using a 2nd-curtain flash, which means it went off at the end of the two seconds instead of at the beginning, which led to somewhat of a freeze-frame at the end of the dip, with a nice blur leading into it. It took four or five tries before we got the timing down and the dip actually corresponding to the flash firing.

Overall, it was a really cool effect, and I think this was pretty good for my first time trying it out.  Ideally I wouldn’t have been shooting straight at the door, which would get rid of the flash starburst in the center of the picture.


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Looking back

Posted by Ben on October 29, 2011

This is a shot I took for the photography colloquium last fall, and was one of my favorites at the time.  This was taken down by the duck pond at sunset.

I wrote yesterday that it had been a rough week.  It was, and it’s been a rough last few weeks.  I’ve had to make a lot of changes to the way I’m used to doing things.  I’m living on my own for the first time.  I think I’m adjusting to this fairly well, and I’m happy with my apartment, but it makes me miss everything (and everyone) from Main Campbell.  It truly was a special place.  It’s also strange for me to be living in a place where I don’t really know that many people, though I’m working on fixing that.  There’s also a lot of work to be done. I think I was (perhaps) lucky to have made it through my undergraduate career without struggling too much.  There were certainly things that challenged me, but for the most part things always went pretty smooth. That is no longer the case.  With only three classes, I have considerably more work than I ever did with five or six at Tech, plus the work that goes into preparing lectures for my class.  So, life has been hard, and I feel like I’ve spent a good amount of time complaining about it without doing much to try to change it.

Earlier this week, I took the time to go back and read almost all of the posts that I’ve made on this blog, about 135 of them or so.  They ranged from the simple “Here’s a picture I took”, to “here’s what I’ve been doing over the past week”, to some that go into technical discussions about techniques or equipment, to some fairly long posts about creativity and motivation.  I also noticed that I had a lot of posts where I  talked about the things that I wish I had done, and then made the resolution to actually go do them.  Looking back though, how many times did I actually make those changes?  How many times did I take my own advice?  The answer, I’ve realized, was almost never. Certainly, realizing what is wrong, is a step in the right direction, and coming up with a plan to fix it is another step.  But never actually following through, that negates both of those steps.

So, sitting along in my apartment late one night, I told myself that this was going change.  I was going to stop complaining, and actually do something about the things that bug me. And to my long time readers (do I have any of those?), who have been with me through the good times and the bad, I am happy to say that I’ve set off down a new road (and more than just the first two steps this time) 🙂

Here’s another picture if you made it this far down the page

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Spilling Over

Posted by Ben on October 28, 2011

Here’s a (slightly) older shot from May.  A few days before graduation, a few of us from Main Campbell went for a hike at a place called Tinker Cliffs.  It was a great hike, made more difficult by the fact that it started raining once we were about 2 miles into the hike, making several climbs up muddy hills necessary.  It was slow going for a little while, but the rain eventually tapered off by the time we got up to the cliffs, giving a a gorgeous view across the valley.  One of the coolest things was seeing the clouds “spilling over” the mountains across the valley.

We could also see some of the nearby mountains poking out of the low clouds.  Here’s a shot of the group that made the trek:

And here’s a neat shot of the fog in the woods after the rain stopped:

Anyway, it’s been kind of a rough week here, but I made it to the weekend.  Time to relax a little and go dancing in a little while 🙂


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