The New Manual DSLR Project

Hi, and welcome to my blog. The Manual DSLR Project was started March 30, 2010 with the intent of devoting one year to learning how to use my Nikon D300 in manual mode. I invited you to join me as I took this journey. You celebrated with me as my fingers began to remember which wheel adjusts the shutter speed and which controls the aperture settings. I was brutally honest in sharing my mistakes.

A year passed quickly...and I achieved my goal of demystifying the manual operation of my camera.

While the Manual DSLR Project was intended to be bound by time (one year), I am eager to keep the conversation going. So look for additional posts on anything related to photography. And interact. Let me know if you are reading the blog and find it useful.

All the best...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Cover Photo

I recently had an opportunity to make a photo for the cover of an upcoming book that I revised for Jones & Barlett Publishing. The customer needed a photo that would fit within a set cover template for the series, but the photos they had showed poor technique. With the help of my wife and son, who served as hand models for the shoot, I was able to quickly grab the shot and license it to the publisher for this book.

Here is the final cover image.

This image, and others, are available for licensing at our website. I hope to add many others to these in the coming months. 

The book may be ordered for advanced purchase here. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lake Superior Lighthouses

Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota
During a recent trip to the Minneapolis area, I had an opportunity to travel to Duluth to see Lake Superior. The first photo is of Split Rock Lighthouse and the second is of the Duluth Harbor South Breakwater Light.

Look for more images to be posted later. 
Duluth (MN) Harbor South Breakwater Light

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Change in Twitter Name

As regular readers of this blog know, I began the Manual DSLR Project in 2010 to chronicle my journey of learning to use my Nikon D300 in manual mode. I also started a Twitter account using the name, manualdslr, through which I shared my post and other photos.

It is now mid-2013 and manualdslr does not clearly describe all that I do. Therefore, after receiving advice from Joe and Trevor at Digital Photography Cafe, I have changed my Twitter, Instagram, and tadaa name to...(drum roll please)...MikeKennamer. Oh well, that wasn't really all that exciting, was it?

My hope is that this new user name will help me to continue to connect with photographers, but also with writers and others that I know through my business, Kennamer Media Group, Inc.

Interested in hearing more about my decision to change user name? Are you considering a similar change? Then check out the Digital Photography Cafe show that addresses my question.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shooting Big - Finished Product

In the last post I talked about some photos I shot for a graphic wrap for a 20' cargo trailer. The design was done by Rejas Business Solutions, using photos that I shot with my 12 megapixel Nikon D300. I am very pleased with the quality and clarity of the photos, especially since they are quite large. Rejas did a great job translating my ideas into the wrap.

The theme is "Industrial Strength" which plays off the industrial training programs at Northeast Alabama Community College.

The photos of the finished trailer were shot with my iPhone. I plan to shoot some better quality shots soon.

The largest print I had ever made before was a 30 inch canvas. It was fun to have a chance to shoot big. It just goes to prove that for most projects, more megapixels are not necessarily needed.

Now it's time to figure out to design the inside of the trailer...

All the best... Mike

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shooting Big!

I recently had the opportunity to provide some shots for graphics on a large (20 foot-long) trailer. We were looking for photos that could be integrated in the graphics on the trailer that would not be stale or dated looking in 5 years. On the day that I did the shooting, I decided that I would go with shots of equipment and parts only -- no people -- and that I would focus on simplicity. After all, this rolling billboard will be driving down the road at 70 mph. The photos do not need to be 'busy' or have a lot going on.

Here are a couple of shots that I took for the project. The first one is of a bearing. When I say bearing, it is not like any bearing that I have ever seen. I'm talking big and heavy. Substantial. I liked the way the light was playing off the shiny parts and decided to limit light so that the outer housing tended to blend into the black background. It turned out very industrial looking, but a little artsy looking too.

The second photo is of a micrometer, or some related type of precision measuring equipment. In contrast to the bearing, I wanted it to be light so I used a combination of backlighting from a window and a slow shutter speed to get the effect I wanted. I also focused on the item that was being measured and purposefully allowed the instrument itself to blur into the background.

In a time that I haven't been doing much photography, this was a good exercise that required me to think about what I would photograph, previsualize the end product, and then use the principles learned in The Manual DSLR Project to bring my creative vision to fruition. 

The graphic wrap should be installed in the next couple of weeks; I will share a photo of the trailer at that time.

All the best... Mike