photos, tips, tricks, and thoughts from an avid amateur photographer


Posts tagged stools

dance floor quietly waiting

the dance floor awaits

Pentax K10D, SMC Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, ISO 100,  f/1.4, 1/125 sec, +/-0 EV, IS on

Shot this through the iron gate of a closed nightclub in downtown Auburn while I was on my way to lunch. I really like the way the skylights illuminate the dance floor in the background. The space heaters hanging from the ceiling seem almost alien. I opened the 50 f/1.4 all the way up, focused on the nearest table and let the lens do the rest (including the green halos).

Post processing in Lightroom required a little tweaking of the white balance (I used the eyedropper tool on the top of the table to get the best feel). I also backed all the way off of the black slider and then darkened the shadows back up by increasing the contrast. This revealed more shadow detail but still gives plenty of richness to the shot. I could have acheived the same effect with the Tone Curve tool but this worked well so I left it at that. Finally, I upped the Recovery a little to recover a little highlight detail in the rafters and bumped the Vibrance up a touch to make the image pop in a browser a bit more.

room at the bar

room at the bar
Pentax K10D, Pentax SMC-A 50mm f/1.7 (manual focus), ISO 800, f/1.7, 1/13 sec, +0.7 EV, IS on (hand held)

Bouchon, The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV

I have to say, this shot would not have been possible without my Pentax K10D’s in-camera shake reduction. I mean, they didn’t have IS 20 years ago when this lens was made ;-)

Vacant school building photo shoot

Wallace Center hallway

I had to make a run to the recycling center today and decided to stop by Wallace Center (the building on Auburn University’s campus that houses the Industrial and Graphic Design programs). I thought the place might be deserted on a Saturday during Christmas break. I was right and got some very cool photos with my Pentax K10D and Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7 SMC lens. Lucky thing I always have my camera handy!

The photo above was shot hand-held at ISO 400, f/4.0 at 1/25 second. The K10D’s in-body IS helped ensure a sharp shot. I later processed the image as black and white in Adobe Lightroom.

When I first entered the building I came in just on the other side of the doors at the end of this hall and headed up stairs. The motion activated light switches automatically turned on the lights at the end of the hall where I came in. Later, I came down another set of stairs at the opposite end of the building and entered this hallway on my way out. The automatic lights took a second to react to my presence before flooding the entire corridor in fluorescent light. I really liked the way the light at the end of the hall played off the walls and polished floor when half the lights were off, so I found the switch and turned off the lights at this end of the hallway before taking this shot.

Wallace Center hallway in color

After taking the black and white picture of the hallway, I decided to try a long exposure deep focus shot. Having not brought my tripod I had to improvise and simply set my camera on the floor. I got this shot by simply selecting  f/22 and ISO 100 in Aperture Priority mode and the camera dialed in 10 seconds for the exposure. I used the 2 second self timer to release the shutter without touching the camera. All I did in Lightroom was tweak the white balance and add a little sharpening.

push pins

These push pins adorn the gallery wall used by the Graphic Design program. Normally they are holding up student artwork and photography. Now they patiently await next semester. Hand-held, ISO 400, f/2.8, at 1/15 second. I tried f/1.7 but couldn’t get the focus on the push pin in the dim light of the hallway. Plus, I found the slightly greater DOF of f/2.8 did a better job of keeping the push pins in the distance recognizable.

empty studio

This is the studio where I have spent the last 3 1/2 months. It’s a lot cleaner and quieter than it has been. I love the feeling of the vignetting this lens produces wide open. Hand-held, ISO 400, f/1.7, at 1/500 second.


One of the 3rd year studios. All the stools where upside down on the desks and the light filtering in through the windows facing the hallway was mesmerizing. I shot this hand-held at ISO 400, f/1.7 and 1/8 second. 1/8 second is starting to push the envelope of what the built-in IS can do on the Pentax. I could have bumped up the ISO but instead I just braced myself up against a wall and controlled my breathing. It took a few tries but I got a number of clear shots with some wonderful bokeh.

I love taking pictures in vacant and deserted buildings. I always find myself wondering what stories the things left behind could tell. Of course, it’s also pretty easy to creep one’s self out…


I'm an industrial designer and an avid hobbyist photographer. People are always asking me "how'd you do that?" So, I decided to create this site as a place to share my experiences and insights about photography, the gear and what it all means to me. I'm not sure if this site will make anyone besides myself a better photographer but I figure it's worth a try. Take a look around and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!


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