The Digital Photo Guy

Deer Park Winery, Escondido, CA

by on Sep.16, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photos, Workshops

As I reported previously, Deer Park Winery has reopened after a 2 years hiatus. I went by this past Sunday to see if anything had changed with the Automobile Museum. Thankfully, everything is exactly as it was when they closed after the founder passed away.

Because it was late in the day, I only had about an hour before closing. I never got out of the first area, just off the wine tasting room. Also, being in a hurry, I grabbed my camera but forgot the 17-40/4L. All I had for a wide angle was a 50/1.8, not exactly wide. Still, I was able to grab some cool photos using an off-camera flash with a Paul C. Buff CyberSync remote trigger.


This photo was taken with a 550EX inside the car. When I released the shutter, the flash fired, lighting up the inside of the car. I did this because I was cramped for space and didn’t have a wide angle lens with me. By doing this, I was able to capture a small, specific detail about the car and focus the viewer’s attention.


In this one, I simply bounced the flash off the white ceiling to diffuse the light as much as possible and soften the shadows. Again, because I didn’t have a wide angle, I selected a specific detail to focus the viewer’s attention. Two other things to notice in this photo are the weird pentagonal highlights and the square crop.

The pentagonal highlights are a result of less expensive lenses that only have 5 diaphragm blades. More expensive lenses have seven or more leaves which create smooth, round highlights. This also affects great bokeh, that smooth, creamy, out-of-focus BG that everyone desires. This is one of the advantages of a good lens versus a cheap lens.

The square crop is one of those things that I probably use too much as a crutch. When a photo just doesn’t look right, try a square crop. I’ve found that, for some reason, a square crop can breathe life into otherwise bland photos. No, it doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try.

4747_alien   Neon Mohawk

These last two were just fun shots. The winery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10AM until 5PM. It’s just $5 to enter the museum. I’ll be scheduling a photoshoot at the winery and museum soon where we can practice indoor flash photography. Keep an eye on this site for announcements.


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