Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Portrait with a 50

I've decided to venture into portrait territory and decided to be my own first subject.  I currently have no light stand and just one speedlight and nothing to modify the light with.  Just a cold, hard, flash.  I set my camera up on the tripod in my bedroom and took a few test shots to get the focus just right.  I went back and forth a few times making small adjustments to get it close enough, but didnt fuss with it too too much.  I think the focus looks decent.  I set the flash to remote and just basically held it out at arms length and that was pretty much it.  Converted to black and white in Photoshop.  I probably tried ever facial expression imaginable but I liked these three the best.  All were taken with the new 50mm 1.8 lens.

Really liking this lens so far and highly recommend it.  Might even use one of these for the profile pic.  Well that's all for me.  Time to fold some laundry and hit the sack.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Boston with a 50 & New Wesbite

Well I've got my first 50mm gallery up and running on the new website. I decided to make a "Personal Collection" page for any galleries I create outside the realm of normal landscape or portrait work. This gallery was shot entirely with the Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens. The first set of images are from the museum of science, followed by a black and white set in the Beacon Hill area, and some final shots of the gardens in the Common. The new website also contains some additional galleries of my previous work in the Landscapes and Pets sections. It's still a work in progress, but at least it's viewable now. The whole thing is pretty much done in CSS which I haven't really used since college so I'm a little rusty. At some point I'll host it myself, but SmugMug gets the job done. Links are below. Enjoy.

New Website
Boston 50mm Gallery

Sunday, May 24, 2009

50mm Fun

Since Sara and I planned on going to Boston for the day yesterday, I decided to pick up a 50mm prime so I wouldn't have to lug my 18-200 around all day. I decided to go with Nikon's 50 f1.8 lens which I picked up form Ritz for about $139....I think. Don't quite remember the exact price. You can find many technical reviews online, but I thought it would be cool to show so finished photographs I took with it. Overall I think it blows my 18-200 away in terms of quality and sharpness. It also forced me to really think about my shots since I had move around to frame things. It's kind of fun to limit yourself to one focal length for a couple days. It almost forces you to be more creative. The next couple posts will be the shots I've taken in Boston and the Redhook 5K this weekend using only the 50mm lens. This will give me a chance to show off the new website too. Check back later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Well hell has frozen over because I've joined twitter. Never thought that would happen, but there are actually some cool people to follow if you're into photography. Scott Kelby, Moose Peterson, and Matt Kloskowski are three of my favorites that post some cool information regarding their seminars, shows, and books.

If you're in the unfortunate position of actually caring about what's going on with me, look me up. Here's the link to my twitter page.

Finished With Landscapes

I've been shooting landscapes pretty much non stop since I started on this whole photography kick about six months ago. That's a pretty long time. The only shots I'd really like to capture around here are some more sunrise/sunset shots near the ocean. Kinda tough to get those during the week, but I'll definitely have more opportunities for that this summer.

In the mean time, I'd really like to start getting into more "portrait" type shooting or just shooting more people in general. I can start with a photo journalism type approach with my current 18-200 lens, but I'd really like to pick up a different lens for the majority of the people shots. Most likely a faster lens with at least an f/2.8 maximum aperture. I'm currently leaning towards a Nikon 50mm 1.4 or the Tamron 20-75mm 2.8 . I'lll probably end up getting both at some point, but once I pick up the lens, I'll want a stand for my flash and an umbrella. Both of those should be fairly cheap.

On a side note, I have a prospective buyer for camera at work. Might end up getting the 400 bucks I was asking for it and pick up that 50mm.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bye Bye Cassius

Well after one year of living in the Dunns Bridge condo development, my roommates are leaving me. They've recently had an offer accepted on a house in Rochester so at the end of May, they'll be moving out. When they go, they'll be taking their dog Cassius with them. Kind of stinks because I think I might miss him. I've been able to reap all the benefits of having a dog without having to take on any of the responsibilites of ownership...which has been real nice. I mean with a picture like this, how could you not miss him? So long Cassius. I promise to visit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Website

Hey folks. I finally got around to putting a quick website together. Rather than dive right in with a hosting company and domain registration, I figured it would be much easier to display my photos through SmugMug instead. They do charge money, but for the cost, it's much cheaper and I have the flexibility to register my own domain with them later if I chose. I'm hoping to upload some more galleries today, but if you want to check it out, click here. Another cool thing about smugmug is that they allow the ability to edit your own CSS files, which provides some more creative tools at your finger tips than standard preset themes they provide. Of course you need a little HTML background to do that. I'm gonna try and take a crack at it later and add a flash intro and my own banner. Too bad the weekend is already beginning to slip away... Man I hate Mondays.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gear Review Backlog; New SB-800

Got a few new pieces of gear to review that I just haven't gotten to yet. My tripod and new D200 are the main ones I've spoken of to date, but last weekend I was able to add an SB-800 to my collection. After skimming Craigslist early last week, I came across a listing for a bunch of used photography equipment. Nestled in the list of 30 or so items, I noticed "Nikon SB-800" was listed and for only $270!! I couldn't believe how cheap this guy was letting this go for. Since the SB-800 is no longer being produced, they currently go for a much higher price. Amazon has them for $800 right now so that gives you some idea. Granted the thing was used, but it's in great condition and looks brand new.

I drove up to Rochester to meet the gentlemen who was selling the flash and I quickly understood why he was selling it at the price listed. His mother had been the previous owner and she had just passed away last month. He was trying to sell some of her things, but he obviously wasn't aware of the flash's true value. Fortunately, I was. I gave him that cash and pretty much hopped and my car and sped off. Victory!

I had planned on waiting until I built up a solid lens collection before I got into lighting, but this deal was too good to pass up. I'll post some test shots with it later today.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mount Kearsarge

Went hiking in the white mountains this passed saturday with my girlfriend and couple other cool peeps.  We braved the treacherous Mount Kearsarge up in North Conway, New Hampshire.  Well...ok...wasn't really all that treacherous to someone in shape, but I got my ass kicked pretty badly.  Not gonna lie.  The map said the north trail was only 3.1 miles to the top, but it definitely seemed closer to 4.  Was probably 7 or so miles round trip, but it was a pretty nasty climb.  The first mile wasn't so bad, but the last couple to the summit were the worst ever.  I almost threw up....no...wait...I did throw up.   There was even a fair amount of snow to be seen on the last half mile or so which was a little unexpected and made for a slow finish.

Anways...I got some pretty great pics and once I finish processing them, I'll be sure to post them.  This one was probably my favorite one though.  Such a cool shot of Mount Washington.  I wish the peak wasn't covered by the clouds, but oh well.  I'll keep this one for now.