Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tiffen ND Filter

I received the SamSung NX30 camera as a Christmas gift from my fabulous husband. So I did what most every new photographer does - watch every you tube video I could find. Of course, I do want to point out that I've always had camera and a flare for taking pictures - but my new equipment aspired me to new heights.

I watched a video on neutral density filters and after looking at many reviews, I settled on a Tiffen ND Filter. It was a little more expensive, but everyone thought it was worth it, so I took the plunge and it arrived a week later.

Once I got the new Tiffen filter, I realized that I had ordered the wrong size for my camera. So after receiving the filter, I had to wait another week before my step up ring appeared at my door.

Yesterday was my birthday and first thing, I grabbed my husband, the tripod, and the camera and headed down to the Mill Pond in Saline to start using the filter. The above shot was one of the betters ones. It was shot at ISO 100, f16 and a 30 second exposure. It was a beautiful sunny day so I had the filter had the max value.

Here a shoot of the same scene with the filter dialed all the way down to the min and a 1/5 sec exposure.

Big difference right? Unbelievable.

Here's another. Shot with the filter dialed up to the max value. ISO 100, F22, and 30 second exposure. See what looks like rocks? Some of those are - but there's a flock of ducks there too.

And here's the shot at 1/200 exposure. Still beautiful scenery but I just love the creaminess that the Tiffen filter gives. Just super cool.

I just walked around and took some shots with the filter dialed down to the min value. I really just love the polarized look it gave the photos.

So far, I'm really happy with the filter and the Tiffen works great with the Samsung NX30. Just remember to order the correct size for the lens you're using.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

transfer images to canvas

I searched and searched trying to figure out a good way to transfer my photos to a canvas for my painting hobby. I not only wanted to transfer the photos but also to enlarge them. Here's two solutions I came up with, just using things I already had.

First thing I tried was using several version of tracing paper and my laptop. I used the Palette paper for the actual tracing from my laptop screen. And then the seamstress tracing paper to put it on the canvas.

I enlarged the picture by using my zoom until I got it to the desired size. For larger photos, you'll have to trace in sections.

Just use your mouse to position the photo to the next section without touching the zoom.

And trace away! I would match up the drawing lines to do the next section.

Then transfer the image onto the canvas using the seamstress tracing paper. The image will come through light, but you can go over it again with pencil. And it worked just fine, but I thought - there's got to be a better way.

During my searches many suggested to use a projector. I have a big projector at work, but it was going to be difficult to find time during work to transfer images.

Then I remembered I had bought this neat little video camera for my daughter's birthday when she turned 13. It's a 3M Shoot and Share camcorder. She wanted to do videos. I believe I paid about $100.00.  I think what I liked most about it was that after she shot the video she could project the video on the wall, on the tables, on her hand.

It has a slot for a micro SD card. I bought her a 64 gig card to store her movies on. Being a decent video camera - it also did still shots. She used it all of a day and it was banned to the techno junk drawer - Until ....

We got a tripod with the camcorder. I popped my photo on the SD card, attached it to the projector, and VOILA! Super awesome! I think this is the best yet. And the cool things was that I already had all these tools and didn't have to invest in anything else.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


To date, I think this is my favorite quilt. I made it for my son's birthday last year. It was also my first quilt using my new Brother PQ1500S. It took me about a month of weekends to complete it, including the quilting.

I love the colors. When I picked out the fabrics, I thought of circuity colors. My son is a fellow technology geek and likes the color black. I choose the green to compliment it. I really like the black with the words written on it. It's just random words in different languages. I found it at Joann Fabric.

I choose the pattern sweetwater listed in the quilt pattern book by Fons and Porter. The pattern was designed by Debbie Outlaw who works for Moda Fabric, and it was easy to follow along.

I always embroider the name of the person the quilt was meant for.

I completed the quilt well before his birthday and thought I would paint something to go with it.

So I choose a misty forest type of scene. Acrylics painting - Green and black. If you look close, you'll see slender man behind one of the trees. Also, is the heart of some poor animal hanging from a branch. Holly and Jason talked me into doing that.

I also had enough scraps left over so I made the little throw pillow to match. It's zippered so it can be removed and washed.

I think you can see the quilting here. I just did loops. The quilting alone took me about a weekend. It was fun doing free motion quilting for the first time. Getting used to the movement of the needle. I was able to do a Queen size quilt on my Brother with no trouble.

Happy 24th birthday son!