Tag: photo

@dailyshoot

Some of you may have noticed an increase in the frequency of new photos going into my Flickr account. I haven’t really mentioned anything yet, but this is due to the daily shoot. That is a page I created which contains more information regarding what it is, but the summary is that once a day, the @dailyshoot account on Twitter posts a photo assignment to help motivate you to get out and make some photos. My page is a mash-up matching the instructions from Twitter to the photos I post on Flickr for it.

So if you are a bit of photo buff and feel like you have been languishing of late, perhaps this is the motivation you need. It was for me.

November 24, 2009

The Sigma Debate

No, not a review of a Robert Ludlum book, instead, this is a quick photo of my new lens. The Sigma 10-20mm ƒ/4-5.6 EX DC USM lens is what is known as an ultra-wide angle lens. With an full-frame-equivalent range of 16-32mm, this allows for a wider perspective photo than the human eye itself can see clearly at once. What this does is allow for much more depth and richness to be added to your photo. If you compose well.

The debate that I mention in the title was actually how torn I was between this lens and the Sigma 15mm ƒ/2.8 Fisheye EX DG lens. Very similar price points (on sale at Broadway Camera) with the fisheye being a tad more. I poured over literally hundreds of images taken with both lens on Flickr and at one point I was pretty convinced I would get the Fisheye. In the end though, because of the way I shoot, I figured that the rectilinear 10-20mm was a better choice.

And of course, what was the first thing I did when I got it home? I took photos of it in my makeshift product light box. Although as fate would have it, I’ve stumbled across another set of products from Lastolite—this time more lighting stuff, and I must say, I’ve got some items in my Vistek cart at the moment. This is all part of my stocking up on all items I might want over the next year in Bermuda, since getting new gear there will be much trickier.

January 10, 2009

Photo Update

I have finally finished going through my photos from Christmas. Actually I haven’t, but the ones from the 21st to the 27th I have, and those are the ones which I uploaded not too long ago. Hopefully this satisfies those family members who were anxious to see them.

On another photography related matter, I have recently (as of today) assembled what I am dubbing the ultimate tripod. Instead of buying increasingly expensive tripods as I grow into my hobby more and more, I took the advice of Thom Hogan and went all out right from the start. I’ve already added them to my gear page, but the ingredients that went into this tripod are as follows:

  • Induro CX-214 Carbonflex 8X tripod legs — carbon fiber for reduced weight since I tend to fly my stuff around a lot. I went with a four section leg because of size as well. It is far more stable than what I had before so I can’t comment versus the three-section. It also has a center column which can be mounted horizontally for some pretty cool setups. It also allows for some very low shots if necessary.
  • Really Right Stuff BH-55 LR Ballhead — the cadillac of ball heads. This guy is expensive but fully impressive. Rated at 50 lbs, it is more than capable of handling anything I can throw at it. I also got the quick release lever clamp for it.
  • Really Right Stuff B50D-L L-Plate — this is the complement to the quick release clamp, the quick release L-plate. Custom fitted to the Canon 50D, this plate allows for the camera to be mounted in landscape and portrait orientation without repositioning the ball head. Brilliant. Great for panoramas.

The only other thing that I’m debating is getting a macro rail from Really Right Stuff as well. I was very impressed not only with the incredible quality of their equipment, but the service I received as well. I had trouble putting my payment through on their website, so I called them and they acknowledged there were some issues and offered to complete my order over the phone. So I told them what I wanted and gave my card details. I asked for the slightly more expensive UPS Express shipping because it was coming from California and the more expensive shipping usually includes free brokerage (making it overall cheaper). Not a lie, I had my merchandise 24 hours later. Seriously impressive.

Overall this combined tripod allows for rock solid positioning of my camera pretty much anyway I want.

January 7, 2009

50D

The temptation of a province without a provincial sales tax proved to be too much for me this past weekend as I decided not to wait for the increasingly expensive 5D, but instead upgrade to the more realistic Canon EOS 50D. This is a fine camera, and to go along with it, I ended up purchasing the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens which is one of the nicest, highest quality, non L-series lens Canon makes. It apparently contains the same high quality optics, it just lacks the red stripe and the weather sealing.

This one is quite a bit heavier and bulkier than the last one, but it feels right—very solid and even the sound the shutter makes is more satisfying. I have updated my gear page with the new acquisitions and an updated wish list.

November 12, 2008

Flash Zebra

At work this past week, there was a need for someone to take some photos around the office with some of my coworkers as models. Long story short, I ended up being asked to help out with the photos. So I brought in all of my equipment which included my off-camera flash setup (light stand, umbrella, PC-sync cord, etc.) in order to a somewhat professional job of it. At the moment I have a long cord which I run between my camera and my flash unit. This isn’t a problem when I have things setup in my apartment as I tend not to move my stuff around all that often, and when I do, I am not in any hurry.

However, when shooting people in an office environment, it was somewhat inconvenient to have to connect and disconnect my cord all the time to move around. Most of the off-camera strobe people tend to advocate the use of wireless triggers for their flash work. The big player in this field is Pocket Wizard, but they are a tad pricey with the receivers and transmitters all being over $200. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some cheap triggers known as the eBay triggers which work in the same way, only not as reliably. I decided that I wanted to go wireless too, so I compromised with something in the middle, the CyberSync from AlienBees. When I was ordering those, I realized that I would need an adapter between the receiver and my flash unit. Their site recommend FlashZebra for all of my cord needs.

And I’m glad they did. It is like a flash cord mecca. If you need any sort of lighting cord or adapter imaginable, then they likely sell it or can get it for you. And above all, their customer service is great. It is a small startup company, but it delivers great quality cables at a great price—quickly. Definitely recommended.

October 11, 2008

Vancouver Aquarium II

I’m skipping a day. Not that it matters, since I’m writing about it a couple weeks after the fact, but since I have the photos online from my aquarium visit, I will talk about that first. I went to the aquarium—this time with Chris. And my camera. The first time I went I experienced and saw the exhibits as a person. This time I was there as a photographer and it was a much different experience. The dolphin show was the main difference. I didn’t see one the first time I was there, and although it wasn’t a long show, everyone enjoys dolphin antics. And they make interesting subjects of photos.

The hard thing about taking photos at an aquarium is that most of the time you are going to be shooting through glass—or plexiglass which is even worse. Reflections, light abberations and various spots and scratches can make your well intentioned photos look a little bit underwhelming. You want to get as close to the glass as you can to minimize the reflections, bearing in mind that the angle at which you shoot can also affect how the light plays. For the indoor tank photos, the light is usually one stop away from awful, so you will want a fast lens and perhaps a higher ISO. I was lucky to have my f/1.8 50mm which, while limiting my focal range, allowed nicer photos without resorting to a grainy ISO.

It was a good day, the aquarium being the highlight with a nice photo taking session in Coal Harbour before hand. After the aquarium we tried out Stanley’s Park Bar & Grill. The food was a bit below average I’m sorry to report. At least on our visit. They were out of Diet Coke (seriously) and salsa for our nachos. I had the chicken burger which was a little over-charred. The location is nice in the park, but the restaurant doesn’t provide its own washroom facilities instead relying on the public washroom nearby. Trough urinal… classy. Definitely wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone.

August 26, 2008

What?

How would you like to see this guy at the top your stairs in the middle of the night? Peering at you with malevolence.
January 19, 2008

Weather

Bermuda: 15°C
Halifax: 0.3°C

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate
It's not necessary that each program be a visual work of art. But it's important that it not be ugly. #