Tag Archives: low-light photography

Fleece is the Fashion for Pacific Northwest Witches

Halloween Becky 2018

Boo!

Every Halloween, I try to get a selfie of me with one of my witch hats (yes, I have more than one).  It allows me to stretch my photographic creativity a bit, and to hone my makeup skills.

Happy Halloween!

Ready For A Night Out On The Town

Ready for a night on the town

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Canon, Halloween, Halloween, holiday, Holidays, low light photography, Photography

The 2016 Christmas Tree is Up!

Beckys Christmas Tree

Becky’s little Christmas tree, with a suitcase on the right to hide the electric cords, and part of a studio light because – at the time – I had no other place to put it

I did not plan on putting up my tree this year.  After all, I’d be visiting my sister and her family for the holidays, so why go to the effort of putting up a tree I would not see for the final 1-1/2 weeks of December?

One afternoon, however, during the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, while on a long walk, I was thinking how nice it would be to see bright, multi-color lights.  My mind’s eye saw all sorts of photo ops….

Bell Ornament Non-HDRChristmas Lights And OrnamentsLondon OrnamentPresents Paper And BowsChristmas ColorsNo Solicitation

No solicitation, Santa.  Just leave the presents and don’t try to sell me anything.

Happy Holidays!

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Filed under Canon, holiday, Uncategorized

Low-Light Photography and A Night at the Museum

Cyborg Rex

The Cyborg Carnivore – that light looks like a laser eye

I am not a big partier.  I used to go out more during  my college days, but that was eons ago and I would now much rather do something sans crowds….unless, of course, it’s an interesting venue and I can tote along my camera.

My company’s 2014 Employee Appreciation Party  was held at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  With the exception of a few exhibits, we had the entire place to ourselves.   I couldn’t refuse the photo ops, now, could I?

Greg Hills Talk

The Dance Floor and The Welcome Speech

I knew the light would be low or bright only in spots, but I did not want to take along a flash because I did not want to ruin the ambience that available light bestows.  Flash would have created shadows and would have destroyed any of the neat available-light colors seen in these photos.

Hall Of The Dinosaurs #1

Hall Of The Dinosaurs #2

Hall Of The Dinosaurs #3

The shots above are of the Paleo Hall, where tables and food stations were set between the skeletons of pre-historic denizens

So, I set the ISO high – varying it between 1000 and 2500 on my Canon 1DX and used my Canon 24-70mm version II lens.  The shutter speed was between 1/40 and 1/60 and the f-stop was set to 4.

I applied what  is called  the “spray and pray” method of image capture (I’d never heard this before until just recently).  It means you hold down on that shutter button, clicking away  (the “spray” part) and “pray” that one of the images comes out the way you want it.  I’ll go with that.  It’s always worked for me in the past and I have plenty of memory cards.

The View From My Table

A View of the Dance Floor from My Table

The Foucault Pendulum

Foucault’s Pendulum

Hall Of The Egyptians

Hall of the Egyptians

The Paleo Hallway

The Paleo Hallway

Ready To Do Battle

Face Off!

Stegasaurus

Spotlight on the Stegosaurus

Triceratops

My Favorite Dinosaur:  The Triceratops

I applied noise-reduction software to all of these images because the high ISO settings required elimination of the inherent grainy look.

Becky And Friend_H5T7981

Me and A Friend

I joke that someday, when I become a famously-recognized (and wealthy) photographer, I will rent this museum’s Paleo Hall for a reception.  Winking smile

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Filed under Canon, Canon Lens, Equipment, Houston, low light photography, Photography

Light The Night!

H5T0312_Light The Night

In my previous post, I told you about my friend Tammy’s battle with lymphoma; I spent the morning with her, photographically chronicling one of her chemo sessions.  On the evening of that same day, Team Wooo Girls (Tammy, her family and friends, of which I count myself lucky to be a part), joined in on the Light The Night benefit walk in The Woodlands, TX, sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Following are scenes captured from the walk.

H5T0364_Wooo Girl Tammy

Tammy, our Wooo Girls Team Captain

H5T0303_Lots of People

Lots of people and more to come

H5T0293_Decorating Her Chair

Decorating Tammy’s chariot

H5T0326_Wheel Decoration

Glow-stick wheels

H5T0321_Mark and Tammy

Tammy and Mark

H5T0352_Wooo Girl Becky

Wooo Girl Becky

H5T0410_Vanessa

Wooo Girl Vanessa

H5T0376_Wooo Girl Group

Some Wooo Girls (and a couple of Wooo Guys)

So many different reasons for doing this walk:

H5T0345_Reason For Walking

H5T0450_Reason For Walking

H5T0381_Star Spangled Banner

Our National Anthem

H5T0413_Survivor Balloons

Gold balloons in memory of loved ones

H5T0422_Market Street VERT

Market Street – the Start and Finish point

H5T0454_Wooo Girl Tammy

Love those specs!

Time to walk!  Wooooo!

H5T0468_Starting The Walk

H5T0496_On The Walk

H5T0503_On The Walk

H5T0490_Walkers

H5T0508_Walkers

H5T0518_Walkers

H5T0512_Light Reflections

A quiet moment away from the crowd

H5T0371_Wooo Girls and Guys

Walking to kick cancer’s butt!!

WOOOOOOOOO!!!

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Filed under Life, low light photography, Photography, Texas, volunteering

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

I attended the 2012 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last night and had an awesome time! My very favorite part of the rodeo is the ridin’, ropin’, calf scramble, and barrel racing. This photo is just a taste of a longer post I’ll be writing about the photos and photography at a venue like this. For now, though, I’m plain tuckered out. Came home late from the rodeo, got 5 hours of sleep, had to get up at 4AM for work, and now am just too tired to work on any more photos.

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Filed under Photography, rodeo

Company Party 2012

1216_Undersea Adventure

Every year, my company hosts its Employee Appreciation Party.  When I first started working there some 14 years ago, it was a Christmas party held in December.  But, as the company became more global (not everybody celebrates Christmas, you know), and realized that people make a lot of vacation plans during Dec/Jan, the whole party concept evolved and the date changed.

In the past, the annual party was celebrated at  a hotel venue.  This year, my company rented out an entire restaurant (and the grounds around it): The Downtown Aquarium Restaurant in Houston.

1576_Aquarium

I didn’t attend the party last year, but this year’s venue sounded so intriguing, I naturally RSVP’d.  I filled out the little form, indicating I would not be bringing a guest….in retrospect, I should have said I’d be bringing my Canon 5D Mark II as a guest.

Note to you Pixel Peepers out there:  not all of these photos are – well – the best in the world – I’ve included them anyway ‘cause they still give you an idea of the event.

I ended up purchasing a large, black patent leather purse large enough to hold my camera and a single lens, so I brought along only my all-purpose 24-105mm lens.  It served me well, but I give this advice to you readers who are thinking of photographing aquarium images:  use a fast lens (f2.8 to f1.2).  And, if you can, use a tripod.  The largest f-stop on my 24-105 is 4, which means I bumped the ISO up and slowed down the shutter speed.  Yes, I had noise issues, and yes, I had motion issues.  Interior lighting was dim, and fish don’t pose  – they swim.  And, aquatic plant life moves with the currents.  I did the best I could.  I notice in Flickr that many aquarium photos were taken with a 50mm f1.4 lens.

The Aquarium is a three-story restaurant/aquarium with three floors of drinking, dining, and fish tanks.

1032_AquariumTube

1045_Centerpiece

When one gets tired of eating, drinking, and watching the scuba diver feed the fish (btw, that glass is 5 inches thick),

1173_Fish Feeding

1191_Stairs and Scuba Diver

1207_Diver in the tank

one can go back down to the first floor, exit the restaurant, and tour their “mini-aquarium” via a separate entrance.  Thanks to it being our company party, everything was free and  included admittance to the mini-aquarium, the white Bengal tiger enclosure, the rides – ferris wheel, carousel, train ride through the shark tanks, and some other crazy ride – and the arcade area.  On a regular day, everything at that place has a fee.

This is the view from the 3rd floor balcony, location of their more formal dining area.

1135_Downtown Carnival

1141_Carousel

1148_Wheeled Vehicles

It was a chilly night, so these things emitted a lot of heat and were kinda neat, too.

1160_Warmth

This is a train ride (which I didn’t take and now wish I had) moving its passengers around the perimeter of the grounds and underneath the shark tanks, so that you can see sharks swimming around overhead.  Hindsight is 20-20; if I ever go there again, I’ll ride the train.

1168_ChooChoo

Following are photos taken within their mini-aquarium exhibits.  I found out later that part of that tour is devoted to snakes and spiders.  I didn’t see that particular exhibit becuase it was located in a room off to the side which escaped my notice. Too bad, because a tarantula photo might have been an interesting capture.

1003_Tropical Fish

1232_CameraPhone

1239_Bullfrog

1261_Fish

1328_Anenomes

Poison dart frogs.  The most dangerous things are usually the most beautiful.

1346_Poison Dart Frog ORIG

1346-2_Poison Dart Frog

Specifically for the party, the restaurant had set up various drink stations in rooms off to the sides of the aquarium tour route, and in other out-of-the-way locations.  I took this photo of stacked wine glasses along the aquarium route, across from the mock-Mayan (Aztec? Incan? Toltec?) aquatic ruins.  They wanted to make sure we founded good uses for our two drink tickets the company gave to us.

1388_Glasses

1359_Ruins

1363_Fish

1369_Fish

1431_Aquatic Silhouette

My friends and I wended our way to what I call the “aquatic petting zoo”, where we could pet the sting rays.  I thought that was totally cool!  Those rays were like dogs! As instructed, we used a single finger to stroke these creatures, and when we stopped, they would clamber up for more.  The docent told us stingrays are social creatures and gathered around where ever the humans were standing (of course, I’m sure it didn’t hurt that they probably associated humans with food provision).  Stingrays feel soft and sort of “gooshy”.

Stingray

1439_Aquatic Petting Zoo

1452_Stingray

1444_Friendly Fellow

One of the highlights of this little self-tour was the white tiger enclosure.  Ok, I admit, I don’t like going to zoos because it drives me crazy to see large animals in small enclosures (although I’ve been told things have changed since I last visited a zoo).  It bugs me to think of these large, wonderful creatures being bored, either pacing back and forth or just sitting looking downcast.  So, it was with mixed feelings that I chose to visit the white tiger enclosure.  But, I really really wanted to see an animal that I would never otherwise have a chance to view.

I was pleasantly surprised at the size and look of the enclosure (remember, this is in a restaurant).  It was pretty spacious (there are other enclosures for the tigers away from the general public’s view), with things for the tigers to do (big balls, water, trees to climb in).

1477_Lounging

There is a seating area in front of the glass wall (for the protection of the humans, of course).

This is Reef.  He’s a Bengal white tiger, one of five of which the Aquarium takes care.  The speaker gave us some interesting facts and figures regarding these gorgeous big cats.  In the wild, they have a life span of about 10 years, while here in captivity, they can live up to 20 years – makes sense, as there are none of the survival stressors in captivity that the cats have out in the wild.

To me, they looked healthy, non-bored, and not nervous.  Reef, as a matter of fact, has no problem posing for his adoring human fans.  And I had a front row seat with a zoom lens and a full-frame camera.  So as you can see below, I had great fun capturing images of this gloriously beautiful guy.

1495-2_White Bengal Tiger

1495-3_White Bengal Tiger CROP

1495-White Bengal BW

1486-White Bengal Tiger BW

From the tiger enclosure, my friends and I wandered outside to the rides and arcade area.

1648_Downtown Ferris Wheel

1667_Downtown Ferris Wheel

1661_Downtown Ferris Wheel

1581_riding The Wheel

1678_Wild Ride

1606_Carousel

1627_Merry Go Round

Go fish!

1588_Go Fish

1596_Go Fish

After my friends and I parted ways, I stood in a verrrry long line waiting my turn for a photographer to capture a photo of me – we were promised a free 5×7.  After about 10 minutes of waiting, I decided I could do without the free photo.  My feet were killing me (damned heels ).

Happiness is a pair of white tiger house shoes.

1686_White Tiger Houseshoes

As I was hobbling toward the valet parking, ready to go home after 3-1/2 hours, I noticed a fellow employee wearing white tiger house shoes (I call ‘em slippers) with her party dress (photo above).   After snapping a photo of her clad feet, I asked her where she got those comfy-looking things.  She told me she was not too proud to be wearing these with her dress, and remarked that very few people could successfully carry off that look; she could, of course, and probably I could too, if I decided to purchase them at the gift store.

So I hot-footed it (oh yeah, my feet were on fire) over to the store and purchased a pair.   My feet thanked me profusely as I wandered around the restaurant’s lobby on my way out to valet parking.

I had a great time at the party and hope they use this same venue next year (because by then, I’ll have a faster lens, more comfortable shoes, and will visit those areas I neglected, in addition to re-visiting places I photographed this year).

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