Monday, April 27, 2009

Hamilton House

Sara and I went on this fun little walk in Maine at the Hamilton House. It's a historic site in South Berwick near the Salmon Falls river. I still don't really know why the place is a historic landmark, but the house is pretty damn cool. The house is definitely something you'd see in a horror movie or something. Which is why I was blessed with some cloudy skies for these few pictures. A little fun with black & white and some photoshop and presto.

On a side note, I'll be posting a review on the new tripod once I get some uses out of it. I should be getting my D200 tomorrow so I'll be sure to post some test shots with it when I get a chance. I'll have an even better time with it when it goes hiking this weekend.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shot From Yesterday

Took this pic yesterday in Portsmouth near my girlfriend's place.  Just happened upon the place at the right time I think.  The sun wasn't quite low enough in the sky yet, but I think it came out good.


Let the Games Begin...

So I finally got my first paycheck on Friday and to my surprise, it was more than I budgeted it to be.  Must be in a different tax bracket now or something.  Anyways...the point is, I now have income again so it's time to exercise my patriotic duty and stimulate the economy.

I took the liberty of ordering myself a new tripod which can be found here...

I also decided to take the sweet deal currently being offered at Best Buy online for the D200.  It's currently $599 which is an unbeatable deal.  The camera came out in 2005 I think, but it's a professional body at a amateur price.  When the camera first came out, I think it was around $1500...maybe more.  Here's a link to the Best Buy listing...

UPDATE: Looks like the deal of a century is over and the price is back up to $799.  Boy was I lucky.

Before I start investing in some speedlights, I'd like to grab a few more lenses first.  Next on my list is Nikon's f/1.4 50mm.  Will be nice for some low light shooting.  After that, in no particular order, I plan to pick these up in no particular order:

- Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
- Tamron 28-70mm f/2.8
- Tamron 12-24mm  (don't remember the F stop with this one and I'm too lazy to look it up right now)

Well I'm done sitting inside.  Time to get out and enjoy this weather.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

How I Met the President

It's taken me way too long to tell this story.  I took this picture back in mid September at a small town meeting with Obama in Dover NH, my current place of residence.  I took it with my iPhone and I think it came out pretty good for a cell phone pic.

I believe it was a Friday and on this particular day, the company I was with at the time decided to have a barbeque at a golf course in the next town.  It was some employee appreciation thing and everyone was going.  I listen to political talk radio most days at work and I had heard that Obama would be holding a town hall meeting in Dover that afternoon at around 1 or 2.  After hearing this, I immediately asked my boss if I could skip out on the BBQ to try and catch a glimpse of Obama.  He approved the request and I was outa there by like 11 so I could try and get in.

When I got to the gymnasium where he was scheduled to be, the place was already mobbed with people.  I overheard some people talking and they mentioned that it was a "ticket only" event in which you had to be invited to.  Apparently, the only people that got invited where local elderly citizens and independents who were still on the fence with who they were going to be voting for.  I thought this made sense.  When you're campaigning, you don't want to speak to your base.  You want to speak to the people who DON'T know who you are or may have some misconceptions about you.  This was crappy because I did not have an invitation, but I still wanted to get in and so did the hundreds of others outside.

About an hour later, a massive, tinted, black tour bus rolled up with another large bus filled entirely with photographers and news media.  Apparently, this media group had their own bus and basically toured with him across the country.  The bus pulled up so close to the gym, that I couldn't see him walk into the building.  At this time, they had the crowd standing across the street.  After he was inside, they let the crowd move in and I was pretty much swept up with everyone has they rushed the building.  Was pretty nuts.

I found myself standing next to a group of local reports towards the front of the line.  I was laughing to myself because I was saying how funny it would be if I pretended to be one of Obama's press and snuck in with them.  I was dressed in professional looking clothes since I was coming from work and I was wearing my work badge which, at first glance, looks like a press badge.  Then this woman came up to the group of local press from the other side of the rope and said "Alright...I can only take five you you."  And then she starting pointing to people, "I'll take you, you, you, you and you."  When we she said the last "you" she said it to me and grabbed my arm and pulled me in with the rest of the local press.  I was pretty much whisked away with them and before I knew it, I was leaving the crowd behind and entering the building.

At this point I started to get a little scared because I was thinking I could be in big trouble if they find out I'm not really a reporter.  I went through the press entrance and found myself backstage with a bunch of press people.  Some guy with a clip board was going around asking people for their press credentials.  When he got to me I just looked at him and said "Listen.  Don't get mad, but I'm not really a member of the press.  I was accidentally pulled in with a few other people.  I was just hoping to catch of glimpse of the man and nothing more."  The guy looked around and said rather nervously, "Well, you made it this far.  May as well keep going and see if you can find a seat inside."  He walked me over to the security check and after they patted me down, they sent me into the gymnasium.  I couldn't believe it.

There were a few empty chairs scattered about with a huge crew of news cameras and reports in the back.  There were only about a 2 to 3 hundred people there and seats were placed in a semicircle around a small podium.  I walked all the way around the full crowd to the farthest side and found and empty chair up against the side railing about 3 rows from the front.  I was pumped!  I knew at this point I had a great seat and would be able to see the entire speech without any trouble.  Then, to my amazement, Obama came through the side door right near my chair and made his way towards my line of seats.  He came down the line and I stuck my hand out and he shook it.  I just about pissed myself.  I slid back into my seat and watched the speech.  Was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life so far and I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Job, No Time

Been a while since the last post. Been a while since I've been out shooting too. I can already feel the effects of a 40 hour work week and I've only been back to work for 3 days. This coming week will be my first full week at the new job and I already miss being unemployed. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a paycheck again, but damn, where does the time go? I can no longer put things off by saying "ahhh....I'll just do it tomorrow." I actually have to schedule things out on my time off, which is no fun.

The reason why I haven't been shooting as much is because I don't really have much to shoot. I'm getting annoyed by shooting the same old scenes so I need to switch some things up a bit. I also want to pick up some lighting gear so I can dip my feet in the portrait pool. At some point I'll need to start building a portfolio of sorts so I might enlist some people for help. You get a free portrait session and I get the experience and possible portfolio addition. Great deal no?

I've been considering upgrading my camera too to either a D90 or the new D400 which might be announced in a couple weeks. If you're interested I'd be willing to sell my D60 and its 18-55 kit lens for $450. This also includes a battery and a charger. I would also throw in a memory card, UV filter, and a polarizer at no additional cost. Leave a comment if your interested, otherwise, it will be making its appearance on Craig's List shortly. Here's a link to the camera at B&H so you can see the specs. Its only 3 months old and in great condition.

That's all for me today. Got some grocery shopping to do for the week ahead. Cheers.