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This is amazing, take the time to watch, it’s very entertaining….good tune too.

The video seems to play better from the Beautiful/Decay website here: http://beautifuldecay.com/2010/09/17/awesome-video-of-the-day-breakbots-watercolor-orgasm/

Ed Banger Records is happy to announce the release of BREAKBOT feat Irfane “Baby I’m Yours” video!
It was (directed) handmade by IRINA DAKEVA @ WIZZ
It is composed of approx 2000 images in watercolor, painted one after another.

Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane) – HD from Ed Banger Records on Vimeo.

photo of dunes in provincetown massachusetts.

A photo of beach dunes taken with a Canon EOS 10D digital camera.

My OpenSky store is alive and kicking! So let’s get started. I want to introduce you to a product that is a perfect solution for someone who loves shooting photos, and wants more versatility and creative options than a point and shoot camera offers.

I am a huge fan of Canon cameras. I purchased my very first Canon SLR (SLR=single lens reflex, it means you’re looking through the lens rather than a viewfinder) camera at the beginning of my first year of college, it was a Canon TLB film camera with a 50mm lens. I don’t believe I consciously chose Canon at the time for any reason other than that’s what the store I shopped at offered. Thankfully, the decision to go with Canon cameras and lenses, many, many, years ago, has proven to be a good one. I’ve owned lots of different Canon cameras since then. As Canon developed new technology, and my budget allowed, I upgraded my current Canon camera. I gave in and went digital only when Canon made the first digital camera I could afford. That was the good old Canon EOS 10D. I still use it, and it’s nearly 10 years old and going strong. I can honestly say I have never had a single problem with any of my Canon cameras or equipment.

All of the photos on my site www.g2gvisions.com, and this blog, were shot using Canon cameras. From my Canon F1n LA Olympic Edition film camera, my Canon PowerShot SD630 (point and shoot), which I purchased 5 years ago and carry around in my handbag, to my most recent Canon purchase, the incredible Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Check out this Canon EOS Rebel XS 18-55IS Kit, it’s a perfect entry level Canon SLR digital camera. Get lots of the same features the pros enjoy with this incredible camera, which is Canon’s lightest and most compact EOS Digital SLR to date. Visit my OpenSky store at my website, www.g2gvisions.com/openskystore.html

canon eos rebel xs digital camera image.

The Canon EOS Rebel XS Digital Camera

If you’re looking for a great way to get into working with a SLR camera, and all of the cool creative options that go with using one, then start out with this kit, it’s a perfect setup to get you shooting right away. Since it’s a Canon product, I can whole-heartedly assure you that this is a high quality product. If you have questions about this Canon EOS Rebel XS 18-55IS kit, or any other Canon lens or accessory, send me an e-mail at michelle@g2gvisions.com. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll certainly make every effort to get the answer for you.

Now back to the Canon EOS Rebel XS 18-55IS kit, it comes fully loaded with many of the features offered on much, much higher priced cameras. From its 10.1-megapixel CMOS Sensor, Canon’s DIGIC III processor, simple, easy-to-use controls, compact design, huge 2.5-inch LCD monitor, and Live View Function (this cool function lets you see the image you’e shooting right there on the monitor so you don’t have to hold the camera to your eye), to the Canon 18-55 IS zoom lens, the IS stands for image stabilization, it’s totally a beginner’s dream come true. If you’re on the edge about whether or not to purchase this camera, I say, go for it, I chose Canon many years ago and I have not looked back. I recently got a Nikon advocate to switch to Canon once I showed him all the great things that my Canon EOS 5D Mark II can do!

Just look at this impressive list of facts and features.

• 10.1-megapixel CMOS Sensor
• Canon’s DIGIC III processor
• simple, easy-to-use controls
• compact design
• a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, and
• Live View Function
• Auto Lighting Optimizer for highlight/shadow control
• Picture Style settings for in-camera color, contrast, and sharpness control
• High-speed, wide-area 7-point AF with center cross-type sensors
• Excellent performance with 3.0 fps continuous shooting and burst rate up to 514 Large JPEGs (until memory card is full)
• Large 2.5-inch LCD monitor with Live View Function
• EOS Integrated Cleaning System
• Compatible with compact SD and SDHC memory cards
• Compatible with over 60 Canon EF/EF-S lenses and most EOS System accessories

Included: EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS Lens, Wide Strap EW-100DBIII, Video Cable VC-100, USB Interface Cable IFC-200U, Battery Pack LP-E5, Battery Charger LC-E5, EOS Digital Solution Disk and Instruction Manuals.

Special! 25% Off! From August 10th through August 16th, use coupon code EXCITE25 and you’ll receive 25% off any product on OpenSky! Visit my OpenSky “Candy” Store today! Michelle’s OpenSky Candy Store

Feel free to e-mail me with questions, the products that I endorse are products that I think are high-quality, and are worthy of taking the time to share them with you. Best of all, when you buy at my OpenSky shop, each and every purchase you make is completely GUARANTEED! You may return any purchase, for any reason, in its original condition, within 1 year for a FULL REFUND. And we’ll pay for the shipping! What could be better than that!?!

Don’t forget, order by August 16th, and use the special coupon EXCITE25 to save 25%!

By the way, send me your Canon camera photos and stories. E-mail me at michelle@g2gvisons.com. Not only would I enjoy them, but I’ll post your shots and stories here on my blog to be enjoyed by all!

Happy shooting!

bird tracks in the sand

Someone was here before us.


This past Saturday afternoon was really just perfect for being outside. Not too hot, and not too cold. We’re talking about nice South Florida weather here. Apparently the birds thought so too. They were busy.

The tide was low, and the light was right for hauling my Canon 100-400mm f4.5L lens, and Canon 5D Mark II body out for a few hours of shooting.

a photograph of a mangrove branch bathed in the golden afternoon light.

A mangrove branch bathed in that great, golden afternoon light.

When stepping down onto the sand, I come across the canal and out to the water’s edge, I am always drawn to the shapes created by the big, dead, tree that stands as a sentinel at the entrance to the canal from the intracoastal. During high tide just a small part of the tree is visible, but at mid and low tides it serves as an ideal perch for all kinds of shore birds.

the big, dead, tree that stands as a sentinel at the entrance to the canal.

The Sentinel


the canal that leads out to the intracoastal waterway.

Looking back toward the canal I just crossed.


My first guest was a yellow crowned night heron busily hunting nearby. Hunting for them consists of pretty much just standing around waiting for their prey to swim by. They eat mostly aquatic invertebrates and some fish, crabs and crayfish. I have no idea why they are called nocturnal, I’ve seen them looking for food from morning until evening. This particular heron let me get very close before flying off.
yellow crowned night heron photograph.

The first guest, a yellow crowned night heron.


I continued walking along listening to the sounds of the herons up ahead, they make a funny, growling kind of sound. I was surprised by the warning call of an osprey directly ahead of me. The osprey I usually visit and photograph, I named her Koko, was hanging out in a tree I’ve not seen her in before. She was a little difficult to pick out surrounded by the foliage. I moved in as close as I dared, and stopped when she gave me the warning call. I even switched my Canon 5D Mark II to video mode and shot a few videos of her, before she took off. I got too close for her comfort.
photograph of Koko the osprey hanging out in a tree

Koko, the osprey working on keeping me at a distance.


a photograph of Koko the osprey flying away.

Koko, the osprey, says see ya later.

Walking along the water’s edge I came across these incredibly shaped pieces of driftwood that litter the shoreline. One piece in particular is about 7 feet high and maybe 15 feet wide, it looks like the skeleton of an old ship’s hull to me, but it’s really just the roots of a large tree that fell over a long, long time ago. The driftwood looked so cool, that I shot it from crazy angles, backlit, from below, and with the water’s edge blurred behind the branch shapes.

a photograph of a big piece of driftwood along the water's edge.

The huge tree that looks like the skeleton of the hull of a ship to me.


a photograph of a unique piece of weathered wood.

Here's one of my crazy, angular shots.


Glenn, an avid photographer, and friend of ours came walking along then. He started shooting that wild looking piece of dead wood too.
a photograph of our avid photographer friend Glenn

Glenn taking photos looking south along the intracoastal.


Just a bit further down, by the barnacle covered sea wall, which stands at the furthest point one can walk to, we spied a little blue heron checking us out while scouting around for a meal. This heron really showed the blue color he’s named for, and the purplish color in his neck and head was really showcased by the low afternoon light. Sometimes these birds run when they’re hunting, with those legs, it’s funny, don’t tell them I said that though.
a photograph I shot of a little blue heron checking us out.

The little blue heron checking us out.


We came across this dead branch, coming out sideways, and shooting up and out toward the water. Check it out. I thought the whitish part of the trunk looked a bit like a heron’s head as he stalks his prey. Ya think? Too much imagination, huh?
a photo of a dead tree branch that looks like a bird's head.

Doesn't it look like the head and neck of a heron?


On the way back we caught the yellow crowned night heron busily searching among the moss covered rocks for dinner. He got some too.
a photograph of a yellow crowned night heron busily searching among the moss covered rocks for dinner.

A yellow crowned night heron stalking its prey.


A little blue heron flew on shore just behind us, and as you can see he was obviously on patrol, because he was too darned interested in what we were doing. Here’s a fun fact about these guys, the male usually chooses the nesting territory before he goes about courting a female. I sure hope he’s good at decorating!
a photograph of a little blue heron that flew on shore just behind us.

The little blue heron that was very interested in us.


My pal, Koko the osprey, was not overly pleased about the fact that we had the nerve to hang around near her trees, she had to retreat to the opposite side of the intracoastal to wait us out. She did just that – we weren’t gone 20 minutes before she flew right back to her favorite spot.
a photograph of an osprey perched on a branch by the intracoastal.

Koko on the other side of the intracoastal waiting for us to leave.


A couple of ibis flew in for a landing on the big branch outside of the canal. They were quite brave while we shot away and totally invaded their space. We were really close. I guess they’re not just brave during hurricanes. These birds are the last to take shelter before a hurricane, and the first to come back when the storm has passed. It makes me want to ask them, what are you thinking?
a photograph of the ibis flying in for a landing on the sentinel tree.

The ibis come in for a landing.


a photograph of an ibis "hopscotching" to another branch.

The ibis version of hopscotch.


a photograph of one of the brave ibis posing for the humans.

One of the brave birds that posed for the humans.


I think Glenn enjoyed himself shooting in our own little wildlife refuge. He got some great shots. He needs to have a blog to show them off. Marcella came down to the seawall to see what she could see, too.
a photo of Glenn shooting and Marcella walking toward him.

Glenn shoots me, while Marcella walks over.


a photo of Marcella pointing things out to Glenn.

Marcella spots something to show Glenn.


It really was a beautiful walk along the intracoastal, but once the sun started to go down, those creepy little sand flies, also known as no-see-ums came out chomping away with their nasty little teeth. The bites from the female hurt and itch, that sent us packing. Next time, insect repellent will be in my camera bag.
a photograph looking west from the water's edge showing more golden light.

One more look at that beautiful, golden light.

It was a really, good time while it lasted though. Until next time, happy shooting.

Big Wave in Delray Beach

This is amazing for Delray Beach.

A group of young surfers heading into the ocean.

Surf's Up!

This weekend in southeast Florida was unusual in that we had waves, big 5 to 6 foot waves. Exciting stuff for all of the surfers in our area. This only happens once or twice a year, and only when the weather is just right. The weather was just right this weekend and people were loving the big, crashing waves. They were such an incredible color too, it looked like they might have gotten some of their color from the sand they picked up as they came roaring toward the shore. That picking up sand business is not such a good thing, the erosion has been out of control this weekend too.

Big waves in Delray Beach.

The wind is blowing the tops right off of these waves.

Of course I had to head out to the beach with my camera, and big, heavy 100-400mm lens which let me get in pretty close on the surfers and the surf. I had to shield my lens from the salt, the wind was kicking up pretty good out of the north. I actually just pulled the bottom out of my camera bag (it was a small one) and used it to semi-protect my lens from the onslaught of salt. Even though my camera and lens are weatherproof, I try not to abuse that. In fact, it’s a very good idea to clean your camera and lenses when returning from a shoot at the beach. You don’t want to leave all that salt on your equipment.

A surfer catches a great wave in Delray Beach on Sunday.

One of the many great waves to be had this weekend.

Surfer riding a wave in Delray Beach Florida

There were lots of waves for everyone.

A surfer riding a wave.

Another great ride on the unusual waves in Delray Beach Florida this weekend.

Surfer catching a wave at Delray Beach Florida.

The waves just kept on coming this weekend.

A surfer riding a wave in Delray Beach Florida.

Look at the color of these waves. Incredible.

A young boy riding a wave in Delray Beach Florida.

This young man is quite the surfer dude.

I can’t seem to go anywhere that an osprey might be without seeing one, so I’ve included some pix of a young male osprey that circled by me several times on Saturday and another one came by on Sunday. What a beautiful sight silhouetted against the deep blue sky.

We had a really great beach weekend. The surf looked more like Daytona Beach than Delray Beach, ok, I’m pushing it, but one can dream!

Check out the sights for yourself!

The view looking south on Delray Beach.

The view looking toward the south on Delray Beach.

A surfer catches a ride on a wave in Delray Beach Florida.

Waves, Waves, Waves!!!

A male osprey flying along the shoreline.

This osprey was busy cruising for some chow.

An osprey overhead looks down at my camera lens.

This osprey took a moment to check out my camera lens on his way by.

A young girl on the shoreline checking out the surf.

A young girl on the shoreline checking out the surf.

A surfer is hidden by the spray from the wave he's riding.

Whoooooshhhh!

The spray is still hanging in the air as this wave crashes down.

The spray is still hanging in the air as this wave crashes down.

The osprey after one of his dives into the water.

The osprey after one of his dives into the water.

My friend Norah and I took a walk along the beach this evening. The sun hadn’t set yet but it was getting ready to. It was still so very hot out, not much of a breeze either. We’re hoping things will cool off down here in South Florida soon, real soon. I know, no sympathy from those freezing up north.

Of course I brought my camera along, just in case I saw something that intrigued me. We weren’t too far into our walk when I noticed an osprey fishing with wild abandon up ahead of us. This guy was throwing himself into the water time and time again. He just could not catch a fish, but it sure wasn’t for his lack of trying.

Male osprey flying high above the beach looking for fish.

Male osprey flying high above the beach looking for fish.

I was hoping to catch the osprey in a dive. I’ve seen one dive, but I’ve yet to photograph one successfully, and tonight was no different. I got some great shots while he was flying and starting the dive, but the final descent is so fast, and the bird reverses and hits the water and pulls himself out so fast that every image I shot during this time is totally out of focus. I was shooting at 1/1000, that was clearly way too slow a shutter speed. I can see this is a challenge I will have to overcome.

The osprey beginning his dive toward the water.

The osprey beginning his dive toward the water.

Further down the beach we came across a crab that was quite busy by the shoreline. When we approached he turned right around and came after us, both claws raised. He meant business…..don’t come any closer ladies, I predict pain! I imagine having the two of us and a great big lens staring at him was pretty scary from his perspective. I did notice that crabs have eyelashes. Yup, little hairs growing out above those crazy tubular eyes. Check them out.

This crab has eyelashes, he does! Take a look.

This crab has eyelashes, he does! Take a look.

Well that’s it for today. Until next time I will be trying to catch that elusive osprey diving into the surf photo.

High Dynamic Range Photography gives you the power to produce perfectly exposed, noise-free images. You can capture and output a broader range of light than is currently possible using any other of today’s photographic techniques.

I promised to show you some high dynamic range ( HDR ) photography. Are you ready?

In order to produce a good HDR image you will need several things. First, you’ll need a high contrast scene in which you would like to capture the full dynamic range, or as close as possible. You’ll want to choose a scene without too much movement, ie. water, clouds, foliage in the wind. People are challenging to shoot for HDR images, but it can work if they stay still. You should use a tripod for the best results, hand held shots are challenging at best. Change only the shutter speed to achieve the EV’s you’re looking for. You don’t want to change the aperture because that will change your depth of field and that variable needs to be constant for your HDR image to work.

You’ll need to shoot three images, with different exposure values, although you can use less, or more images. The easiest way to do this is to use your camera’s auto exposure bracketing to capture the same image at varying exposure levels, to include all of the tones in your image. For example, use Auto Exposure bracketing to capture 3 images of a scene, one at -2EV, one at 0EV, and one at +2EV. You may need to include more exposures than this for your image. For instance, I used 4 shots to produce the image below. The images used to produce the HDR image below were shot with the following EV’s, +1EV, 0EV, -1EV, and -2EV. I found that adding a +2EV image was too much, that blew the highlights out, it really takes a judgement call as to how many images, and at what EV range you’ll need to capture the full dynamic range of your scene. I learned that sometimes less is more in this case.

An HDR image produced with Photomatix Pro and Detail Enhancer

An HDR image produced with Photomatix Pro and Detail Enhancer

Here’s the 0 EV image processed in Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software. I tried to get as close to the above exposure as possible. As you can see, no comparison.

This is the raw 0EV image processed in Canon's Digital Photo Professional

This is the raw 0EV image processed in Canon's Digital Photo Professional

If your camera has Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) that allows you to predefine the number of images and exposure variation for your set of images, and if your camera offers continuous shooting mode, all the better because you’ll just need to press and hold the shutter release once to shoot all the exposures for the set.

Once you’ve captured the images for your soon to be HDR image, you’ll need to combine those images into one image. You can use several different apps to do this, including; Photomatix Pro, FDR Tools, Dynamic Photo HDR, Adobe Photoshop, or Artizen HDR. Many offer free trials. Today I tried Photomatix Pro, to process my HDR images. In addition to the fact that they offer a video tutorial, I found the program to be intuitive, and it produced good results, once I figured out what each image needed. I processed various images of different exposures until I got something I liked. You do have to get familiar with the process. You get out, what you put in.

Using Photomatix Pro, I chose to generate one HDR image to begin with. It will allow you to batch process, but I’m not there yet. Producing one HDR image is easy, just press the button for one image (Generate HDR Image), a dialog box comes up allowing you to drag and drop your images, or to browse for the images you want to use to generate your HDR image. Once you’ve loaded your images, and you have chosen the appropriate options,  press Generate HDR. In a few seconds, it really doesn’t take that long on a newer machine, you’ll have your results. They WILL be disappointing at first. You see, the tonal range captured is too great for your monitor or printer to render, the image has to be “tone mapped”. Photomatix Pro offers several options for tone mapping your image. One option is to use the Details Enhancer, and the other is to use the Tone Mapper. The results you achieve with each will be quite different, see below for examples. The Details Enhancer will give you a more detailed, or painterly, or even surreal version of your image. The Tone Mapper will give you a more realistic photographic effect. The one you use will depend on the effect you’re after and the image your using.

If you save your “raw” HDR image you can then process it in different ways to see which results you like the best. I’m really excited about the possibilities available to photographers with this new technology. It can only get better.

Here are some examples of today’s experiments. I call them experiments. because I believe the possibilities are endless.

The same image using the Photomatix Pro Tone-Mapping.

The same image using the Photomatix Pro Tone-Mapping.

Two images combined and tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro.

Two images combined and tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro using Detail Enhancer.

By combining three different exposures in Photomatix Pro’s Exposure Fusion, I got this result. This is easier than producing an HDR image and it doesn’t require the tone-mapping step that’s necessary with a true HDR image.

I used Photomatix Pro's Exposure Fusion to create this image.

I used Photomatix Pro's Exposure Fusion to create this image.

This scence was very contrasty. Photomatix Pro did a good job.

This scene was very contrasty. Photomatix Pro did a good job using Detail Enhancer.

This shot of Tyler was made from three exposures. The scene was backlit and very contrasty before the HDR image was produced.

My friend Tyler stayed still for the three shots for his HDR image.

My friend Tyler stayed still for the three shots for his HDR image