Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moving Sucks...

Greetings commerades! It's been about a week since I've made a post…and with good reason. I've been a pretty busy guy as of late. I'm about 99% moved out of my condo and into a new apartment after days of punishing my back. My old roomate recently purchased a house with his soon to be wife and has basically achieved the American dream. Hard to believe that sort of thing is still possible now-a-days, but kudos to him.

The picture above is the HDR shot of Thompson Hall I posted earlier, only I've converted it into a poster layout using photoshop. This is done pretty easily by selecting "Canvas Size" from the Image menu. I think it looks alright. Fun to try out different fonts.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I took these shots looking into a mirror so that's why things look flipped around. I wanted to do this so I could show the new battery grip I got for my D200 about a week ago. The grip itself is that extension along the bottom portion of the camera below my hand. If you looks carefully, you can almost see the seam between the camera body and the grip. It's screws right into the bottom of the camera via a plastic command dial just below the lens. The grip holds an additional battery so it gives you twice the shooting time. It also adds some additional weight to the camera which will be nice when I get a couple bigger lenses this summer. Soon as I can save up enough cash.

Another benefit of the grip is that it contains a second shutter release. This enables you to turn the camera sideways to take a vertical picture while still holding the camera in a comfortable manner. Very handy. If you have a DSLR, I would highly recommend picking up one of these grips. 9 times out of 10, there's a grip for your specific camera, you just gotta look online for it. Not to mention, they just look badass...and I'm all about the badassness.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Gallery Switch

Just can't seem to stick with one place evidently, but this will be the last move for a while. I've decided to go with Zenfolio for a hosting site for my pictures. They're cheaper than Smugmug and much easier to customize. They don't allow the same freedom with CSS like Smugmug does, but I like they're standard themes and layouts enough. Within a month or so, I'm hoping to have the online store available to purchase prints, but I'd still like to test that system out myself first. Anyways, here's the link for the new gallery. I like it much better.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thompson Hall

Took a ride over to campus this evening and took a couple shots of Thompson Hall. Tried a little HDR out with a couple shots and I liked this one the best. Decided not to go with the "surreal" type of HDR shots I've done before. This time I used the powers of HDR to just give a broad tonal range and I think it works here. Always brings back great memories walking around that place.

Gotta get up early tomorrow morning. Gonna try and pick up some sunrise shots near the ocean so I'll most likely be out the door by 4 tomorrow morning. Oh boy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This past weekend, Sara and I took a little trip out to Kennebunk, Maine for the afternoon. For our 1 year anniversary, we thought it would be best to take things slow and thought a nice walk around the port area would be a fun. Sara has this book of walks and trails along the seacoast area of New England which we consulted before we left. We found this cool little trail along the water at a Franciscan Monastery. This made for some cool photo ops of the port area, shrines, statues and other neat little attractions.
We then made our way to the beach for a nice walk on the ocean. I wish I had taken my camera with me for this walk, because I encountered a funky worm-like creature in the sand. I had never seen anything like it before. Was quite strange indeed.
After the beach, we took a drive out to my grandmother's old house. I used to spend time there with her and my grandfather every summer when I was just a wee lad. It brought back some great memories of cheating in checkers against my grandmother, driving past the presidents place on the coast and shouting at the house from the car, going on whale watches with my grandfather, and just enjoying some quality time on the beach.

All in all, a great day. Didn't get too many keepers picture wise, but it was a much needed day of relaxation.

Monday, June 8, 2009

HDR Monday

Time for a little HDR Monday. I've got so many other pictures to touch up and post before this one, but I thought this was too cool to wait. I took a stroll over to Dover High School on Sunday afternoon this past weekend. Was bored and figured I would kill some time by trying out some HDR shots of the campus and athletic fields. The sky was real moody for these shots. Rain was in the forecast, but wasn't due for a few hours so I took my chances. The photo at the top was my favorite. Pretty simple. Captured this up on the bleachers overlooking the football field. Looks really cool, but didn't take much to make this shot, surprisingly. The photo is three exposures merged into one. One metered correctly, and the other two are over and under exposed by two stops. Merged in Photomatix and colors punched up a bit in photoshop. The afternoon clouds made for some great HDR shots. This shot below of the baseball field is ok, but I like the first one better.

Well that's it for me today. Check back tomorrow and hopefully I'll start on my backlog of photos; starting with my trip to Kennebunck Port this past weekend.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

An End to the Filter Debate

Well, not really an end, but basically I think I can present my case pretty well enough. Let me start by first explaining why I personally like to use the filter. First of all, they do not affect image quality....at all. For 99% of the people out there, they will not know the difference from a picture with a UV filter and one without. To prove this point, I decided to take some photos. I recently purchased the 50mm 1.8 lens and grabbed a clear UV filter from Ritz to put on the end. Look at these two pictures. Can you tell which one has the filter?
The picture on the top has the filter and the one below it does not. It's virtually impossible to tell this difference with the naked eye.

The other reason why I like to use the UV filter on all my lenses, is because it provides that extra layer of protection for the front lens element. I've heard so many horror stories of people dropping their lenses, only to have the front UV filter get damaged while the precious glass underneath remains unscathed. It's much cheaper to replace a 20 dollar UV filter than it is to replace a 1,000 dollar lens.

Don't be an idiot. Protect your glass.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Achilles with the 50

I haven't posted a pic of Achilles in a while so I figured I would take one and throw everything I had at it. I set up the tripod in the upstairs hallway where he likes to sit and I attached my flash. It's a tight area with white walls so it's pretty nice for doing a small bounce job. I also touched it up quite a bit in photoshop...which I think is pretty apparent here, but I wanted to try a couple plug-ins I just picked up. Came out pretty great I think.

Got the one year anniversary tomorrow with the lady. Very exciting! Check back Sunday night when I personally put an end to the UV filter debate.