|My creative custom copper work I've done for clients across the Nation.|
|My creative custom copper work I've done for clients across the Nation.|
|This is an evening shot of a gazebo I covered with 20oz copper sheet metal after building the cupola for a local client in Lake Oswego, Oregon. I had built a pair of copper chimney caps for this same client a year prior. I added supports and rewired it for lights. I have soft LED lights that are set to come on at dusk and go off a few hours later. To see more photos of this project step-by-step go to: copper-by-design.com/rc/cp/Bar…|
|I've been a Gutter Contractor in Portland, Oregon since 1993 and have evolved to do a lot of custom copper work for clients across the Nation, and a few in Canada, but shipping up there has been cost prohibitive. You can read more about my business and see thousands of full screen photos of my work on my web site: copper-by-design.com/pro.htm|
A bit about me:|
I was raised as a Mormon in Utah just 20 miles North of Salt Lake City, which is an area where you will now see 2 or 3 LDS Church steeples from most any vantage point. I was a bit of a geek who thought it was best to be nice to girls. Silly me. I've worked long and hard to recover from the oppressive chauvinistic Dogma of Mormonism, and I feel much healthier now identifying as Pagan. I seem to have a better sense of ethical responsibility than pretty most any other Mormon Businessman I've met, so that pretty much shows what a sham that cult is. If not the strict moral code of the Mormons would have made a much larger impact on the business world as a whole; in order to compete with so many 'Ethical Mormon Businessmen', and perhaps our environment would not be in such dire straights. To read more about Ethical Responsibility check out my personal philosophy web site: mind-temple.com/ethics.htm
At the age of 21 I was married to my first Wife and we later had 3 Daughters. That lasted 14 years. Towards the end of that stressful co-dependent relationship I discovered my Ex was not just rather different (as I had expected of women), but she was actually mentally ill. I was encouraged to get her on SSI for mental disability by the psychologist and psychiatrist I was having her see over the last few years before she split with the money. When she left I had finally got a chance to clean up our house; literally hauling off 7 tons of garbage to the dump in just 3 weeks of nonstop work 10+ hours a day 7 days a week. I was scrambling in fear of her return.
She had only taken our kids with her so she could collect welfare and food stamps, but never had much of a natural maternal inclination. That was back in mid 1998, which happen to be just before my business really took off; without her holding me back. Her leaving was a blessing, since I could never have gotten rid of her otherwise. Although, the price I paid was running myself into bankruptcy trying to fight for custody. She felt the need to ruin the good relationship I had with my Daughters to maintain custody, which she lost to WA State shortly after that.
Life is meant to be challenging. We would not bother spending much time playing a video game that was too easy.
About 5 months after that split I was destine to meet my Soulmate Tia through an on-line dating site called match.com. In less than 2 hours after I posted a sarcastic ad she had written to me. We both felt such a connection over the next 2 weeks that we hand-fasted; exchanging vows w/gold rings, yet we had not even kissed yet. Although, just hours later we had gotten to know each other on a tantric level: mind-temple.com/ss/thebeginnin…
She had helped awaken my Celtic heritage and spiritual path. We are still happily together with a Son as the product of our love named Torrin, who was born on Halloween 2000. I try to treat our relationship as if do not own Tia. I am just fortunate she still likes to hang with me. Life is good. We profit none to obligate a person to stick with us from a decision we may have made years ago. That thought would only serve to foster resentment and often taking that person for granted.
She worked in my business for a few years, but has fulfilled her dream to become a Midwife. She also has a great business preparing placentas for consumption by the Birth-Mother, craniosacral therapy, hypno-birthing, Reiki Master, and other services through her web site: inner-serenity.org/ I am very proud of her.
Current Residence: S. W. Portland, Oregon
Favorite genre of music: Female singers of modern, Indigo, and Folk
Favorite style of art: Artistic erotica
Operating System: Win 7
MP3 player of choice: IPod Touch, IPhone 5S, IPad
Wallpaper of choice: mind-temple.com/art/im/bkg5.jp…
Favorite cartoon character: Dawn by Michael Linsner
Personal Quotes: 'Pay it Forward' , 'Conform, Go Crazy, or Become an Artist' , 'An it harms non, do as ye will', 'My karma ran over your dogma'
I have been shooting with a decent SLR cameras since the early 80s. This means ‘single lens reflex’, using a mirror to the view finder so you see the image that’s being taken through the lens, but digital photography has solved this in a cheap camera’s view screen, and revolutionized photography from the old days of using film. It has even exceeded the quality of the best 35mm film these days if you are willing to pay around $5k for the camera body with a good lens and a substantial memory card. Digital has made photography faster by making it easier to capture a moment with auto focus and built in flash along with capturing video when you want. The images are far more versatile to modify those in post editing, and then easily share them with others on-line. Although, there’s still a lot misunderstood about digital photography by most people, and even many professional photographers from what I see. I’ve tried here to break it down in more laymen’s terms to better understand this process; in order to know how to take better pictures with whatever camera you have.
I know this is confusing, but you only have 3 different settings to understand: Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO (International Organization for Standardization, but don’t bother to remember this). Each of these settings are used to get the best possible clear image with vibrant colors, but each of them requires a great deal of light on your subject for them to be set and their optimum setting for the best quality. The dilemma here is to set one for best quality will require you to sacrifice the other 2, unless you are able to increase the light input from your subject. Enough light it will blind your subject, so a very brief flash of light is used instead that also consumes less energy than to have constant bright light, like direct Sunlight.
Most importantly is the sensor in the camera that is responsible to form the digital image from what comes through the lens. This sensor is smaller than your thumb nail in most full size cameras, and smaller than your pinky nail in compact cameras. In a camera/phone the sensor has to be even smaller of course. Within this very small space it has to have an unimaginable number of tiny (microscopic) light sensors. Several millions actually. Pretty much impossible to wrap your mind around. I do not understand the technology it takes to create these sensors, but they seem to make it work. This is not so different than how the human eye works; taking light that comes in through the lens to the back of your eye to stimulate the cones, which convert it to electronic impulses to send to your brain, which then has to convert this electrical signal into what you understand as an image, yet the image we see in our mind does not seem to have any dots or pixilation as it is called in digital photography. It is truly an amazing process that is found in most every different creature here on Earth from the largest to small bugs.
If you are able to zoom into a digital photo larger than full resolution you can see the individual pixels, or square boxes of color that comprise an image. This sensor needs a certain amount to light to properly read the color each pixel is to represent, which again can be over a million variations of color with each having to show how bright or dark that color is. For those times a sensor does not have enough light input they have added internal software to brighten up the image that would otherwise be way too dark, which was never an option for film. We call this the ISO setting.
In the camera this has to do with the clarity and color saturation of your image depending on the available light and the other setting of your camera. It is one aspect that has nothing to do with a physical moving part. Strictly software enhancement of your image to lighten a dark image, as discussed above. This terminology had come from film; which is the sensitivity of that roll of film’s exposure to light. Back then we had to buy certain rolls of film for the light situation we had, and change the whole roll as needed. Then use up those frames before we could change the roll with a different ISO. The problem we had was how with the more sensitive the film we had to sacrifice clarity with the high graininess of those images, which does not make for clear prints. Some would try to pawn this deficit off as an ‘artistic style’. Such as using cheaper black & white film, or suggesting a badly focused or shallow focus image is a ‘soft focus style’, instead of using better lighting. It is easy to blur or speckle a digital image in post editing if that’s what you really want to have, but it is best to have the best possible clear original image to start with. There’s not much you can do to fix a bad image afterwards.
When this amazing software in the camera has to guess at what color the sensor is seeing (since it does not have reliable information to work with) it cannot make a good clear image with accurate and vibrant colors. The speckled look the image has when seen in full resolution is called ‘Camera Noise’. Most people think changing the ISO setting higher is making the sensor much more sensitive to shoot in low light, but that is not true. If it were true why would they even offer a lower setting on the camera to shoot with a much less sensitive sensor; requiring much more light on your subject? There would be no reason to shoot at a lower ISO setting, but that’s how much light your camera’s sensor really does need, or you are just blindfolding your camera in a sense.
If you want to have good clear vibrant images you need to set the camera with as low an ISO setting as possible. In most cameras it is ISO 100. Shooting in ‘Auto’ setting your camera will commonly use 800 ISO or above, which will defeat the purpose of using a decent DSLR camera. You might as well be shooting with your smart phone for what it’s worth. Other than the limited lens and lighting options a camera in your phone does not require as much light given the tiny size of the sensor, which may have as low as a 50 ISO capability.
I know some better cameras will have a camera noise filter when using the condensed jpg image files to work with, but the same image seen from the RAW unaltered image file will show you how much camera noise there really was. When the camera has to filter out this camera noise you lose a great deal of image clarity. In post editing you can jack up the color saturation, but you need to realize any time you alter an image technically you are losing image clarity, and those colors will not look as natural.
Why a Low ISO is So Important:
It is imperative to have the most clear original image file to work from, so any alteration you make will minimize the loss of clarity and accurate color representation in your final edit. When saving the image it is also important to not compress the image file at all. If you lose data from compressing an image file there is no way to get that back. If for sharing these images on-line you need to make them a smaller file size you should always have a saved copy of that image in a different folder, or rename it, so you are able to retain the final edit uncompressed file for when you might need it later on. To compress an image file w/o making the image smaller that software has to grab a group of pixels, average the color samples within, and make that group all the same color to reduce that image file size, which clearly is a loss of data, or image clarity. Resizing the image smaller will also make the image file smaller by taking that group of pixels into just a single pixel, but again you cannot just reverse this process after this data has been lost. Resizing it larger will just make your image less sharp or blurry. If you use a sharpening tool it only increases the contrast, but is not really restoring that image. You’d have better luck stretching a shrunken sweater or jeans. Again you are losing image quality with every step you take to improve your image, even if it seems to look a lot better. If you make a bowl of soup for just you can you stretch it out for a party of four by just adding water?
This is nothing new to photography, but some digital cameras have improved on this from just being mechanical to faster with more accurate response. Shooting hand held the shutter speed should be above 1/60 of a second. I know that seems very fast, but remember with a slower shutter speed just depressing that shutter button will jostle the camera enough to give you a slurred image of an object sitting perfectly still. I try to shoot above 1/80 second w/o a mono-pod or tripod to help steady the camera. It is best if you can set it above 1/100 if you are shooting people, who will be moving slowly no matter how still they try to stand. Just a blinking eye can be quite a noticeable movement in a head-shot. Unless you are shooting faster moving sport scenes you should never need to go above 1/160 second. Most sport action shots should not need over 1/500 setting. I shot a plane prop spinning so fast you could not see it with the naked eye. It was shot at several different shutter speeds all the way up to 1/2500 before the prop looked still, but you are not likely to have such a fast moving object you need to stop.
Of course a faster shutter speed means less light is able to expose the sensor. If you do use a faster shutter speed than recommended here you are unnecessarily sacrificing the other settings that provide a better image, so why would you do that? If you want to avoid the artificial look of using a flash and your subject can hold pretty still choose a slower shutter speed, so you can jack up the other 2 settings, but you will need a good steady tripod, as you are not likely going to be able to shoot below 1/60 second hand held w/o substantial blur. With a decent steady tripod you can drop the shutter speed way down to leave the ISO low and a higher aperture to take amazing clear shots even at night with around 30 second exposures. If you are shooting very cooperative people or a sleeping dog this can work.
Here is an example of a 3 second exposure in low light to achieve the best quality image my camera can produce:
For this image I set the camera to ISO 64, f/9, no tripod, just resting on the table we were sitting at.
I used the timer to activate the shutter, so I did not jostle the camera depressing the shutter release.
Aperture for Focal Depth:
The aperture is where you get good or very poor focal depth differences when shooting closer than 100 feet away. Very close macro photography can have as little as 1/4” focal depth; where the eyelashes may be in focus, yet the eye brow hairs are not, as well as the actual eye surface. A higher aperture gives you more focal depth, but of course requires more light to do this, because it is closing up the lens with a mechanical iris inside the lens to close up as small as a pin-hole at the highest setting. This is just like the colored part of your eye that opens or closes to help adjust the amount of light coming through: dilate, or constrict. This usually happens w/o conscious thought or our even noticing the difference between how much light is outdoors on a sunny day, to the low light indoors that will have only 10% of that candle power. The closer you are to your subject the less focal depth you will have, so a zoom lens can help to stand further back and increase this focal depth and also reduce lens distortion quite a bit. I tend to shoot above f/8 for decent results. If I have enough light I try to jack this above f/13.
Summing This Up:
All these 3 settings can give you a better or worse images. You will need to decide what you are willing to sacrifice in order to get the shot you want with what light you have, unless you dramatically increase the amount of light on your subject with natural or artificial light from a flash. Auto setting can be very helpful to take decent pictures, but if you are shooting where the results are less critical try to discipline yourself to shoot in manual mode, where you have to pick each setting and frequently check the results before taking another shot to see how they are turning out. Over time this will help to train your eye and get more familiar with how these setting affect your pictures and learn what setting you need to have with or without a flash in order to get a good exposure, and take control of what your camera setting are. It takes time, but what do you have to lose?
For indoor hand-held shooting you will most always need the built in flash for a decent image. With the flash I tend to use 1/80, f/8. 200 ISO. Unless you’re only a few feet away this often will make a fairly dark image that can be brightened up in post editing. Outdoors in the daytime the flash will only help within 15 feet or so, but can still improve your image with some fill light to lighten up the shadows. An overcast cloudy day is not much more light than indoor shooting, so the setting are not different, given the flash will not help that much while shooting objects further away. With direct Sunlight or studio lights you want to use the lowest ISO, 1/125 to 1/160 shutter, and f/13 or higher aperture.