Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Email - 10-28-11 Frozen Street Moment

As I reviewed the images from the week I kept coming back to this one.
As I looked around the scene I saw so many activities and possible thoughts from a busy NYC street that I thought I'd share it.

One item that really catches my eye is the dog and baby sorta staring at each other among the chaos since they are eye level.
There's a guy sitting on a phone booth.
A guy reading emails.
A woman carrying a portfolio.
A guy on a bike.
A sorta homeless guy with the backpack.

Does the image speak to you differently in color over black and white?

Fujifilm X10 at ISO 200 1/400 @ F/2.8

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fujifilm X10 Camera @ 10FPS

My first day with the new Fujifilm X10 was an exciting one, as expected. The camera is another photographic tool I've really waited for. A compact point-n-shoot camera with great image quality and an extremely fast release time. I'm not referring to the frames per second in the video below - the release time for AF and shutter release is really fantastic! The camera has all the usual modes of operation and in later posts and I'm sure all over the web the details on all the features will be put out in the reviews.
There are several high-speed shooting modes and the 10fps mode does drop the file size down from 12M to to approx 6M which is still respectable for street shooting at close range since I'm not sure what I'll use the 10fps for.  The write time for a 17 frame burst in about 2 seconds is approximately 9 seconds.  This will depend on card speed of course (class 10).
The feel of the manual zoom lens (28-112 f/2.0-2.8) and the fast camera ready from off time is a nice new twist on camera design. The all black body makes me think about an all black X100. For now they are easy to tell apart in my camera bag and the bag is now lighter than ever without any loss in quality.
I've added some large images here.  These are not from a final production unit, which I'll have tomorrow.  They are only jpegs straight export from Aperture with almost no adjustments.  Not hiding anything.  The soda cans are in the scene at 28 & 112mm.  You can read the weblink on the bottom of the can pretty good at 200ISO.
Click to see full size.  
With the Photo Plus show this week in NYC I haven't had enough time to shoot and the rain has made it tougher. 
I'm posting a bunch of party pics with the X10 on my FB page.  There are 75 images and 65 are shot at ISO 800.  A few at 1250, 640, 400 and 200.
Update 10-30-11 - I got my production model X10 so will hit the town today and see what I can come up with on the streets.  The camera will be a big hit - I can feel it.
Took a nice walk with the X10 and got some random shots to show the overall look of the camera.  I'm happy with the performance and still have to put it through its high ISO paces.  These images are straight from the camera jpegs.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Email 10-21-11 - Soccer Fun

It's always fun to shoot new events.  This week I went to my nephew's soccer game to try my hand at the action there.  Most of us have seen what the beginner teams do out on the pitch - they are scrambling every which way and in one of the shots I caught the competitive nature of five year olds going at it for the ball!  In another shot Simon has a good header at mid-field.
One of the big differences between a DSLR and a fancy point n shoot is the ability to follow focus and capture the moment when you press the shutter.  Many people complain that they miss the action and it's the delay that frustrates us in so many shots.  Many of the cameras do now offer a burst setting where you can fire at something around 5 or more frames per second to capture the action.  If you have a fancy point n shoot look for that setting on the camera and try it out - then be prepared to edit and delete - but you may just capture a great shot!

 All action images shot with a Canon 5DII & 70-200 2.8L  Approx ISO 400 at 1/1000th @ F/2.8

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coffee Break Time

Lavazza coffee has once again put together some of the world's top photographic talents to compose their 2012 calendar.  The list is a who's who of the industry. 
The images and the site are worth a look.  Check out the calendars and the gallery for behind the scenes images.  It's always neat to see how elaborate the sets are to create the images.
I also downloaded the iPhone app which has a few nice features.
And it is nice to see a top photog working with gear I can relate to.  How about Annie and her X100?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why I Love Fill Flash!

One of the easiest things to do to improve your photographs is to use more flash.  Now I'm not talking about adding more units or overexposing images, just a general increase in the use of your flash whether built-in or external in more photos you shoot.
I almost never leave the house without my external flash.  Even on a bright sunny day - although it may not be a common thought to many - flash can improve your images by eliminating shadows and giving more pop to the scene.
In the photos below I shot them at ISO 800 in the caverns of Times Square.  The light wasn't that good and it was fading late in the day.  I shot them at F/5.0 (4.5) @ 1/60th.  The two images were made one second apart so you can easily see the enormous difference the flash makes.
On point n shoot cameras you can set the camera to Flash On to force the flash to fire in scenes when the software shuts it down.  In many of those same cameras you can even control the flash output and I'd recommend looking into that.
On DSLR's and the similar type cameras the flash units usually have their own exposure compensation as well it being on the body.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Email - 10-14-11 Wedding Perspectives

This week I was at a really fun wedding and was able to capture some neat shots. 
There are of course hundreds from the event and I wanted to share a few to illustrate the use of a fish-eye lens.

Some of photography is being there and some is preparation.  When I thought about the subject and location I knew there was a good wide angle opportunity since we would be crossing through Times Square.  A place with all its color and activity screams to be captured.

The first shot is an overview of the church and the other is of the air force guys at the wedding with their swords drawn.  Certainly not something you run into everyday in Times Square. 
I decided to throw one of the sword images into some software manipulation, and you can decide if you like the tweaked version of them which is as vibrant as the overall scene.

The fish-eye swords shot was made at ISO 500 - F/5.0 @ 1/160th with -2/3 exp comp
The fish-eye church shot was made at ISO 800 - F/4.0 @ 1/30th


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

NYC Apple Store Memorial

There is a great tribute to Steve Jobs at the NYC flagship store on Fifth Ave.  Here are a few images of the messages folks have left on hundreds of post it notes and gifts. 

This image was shot with 4x5 FILM in 2008 ! By Albert Watson

Shauna & Doug's Wedding

A great time Saturday in NYC with Doug and Shauna and the whole gang!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Weekly Email - 10-7-11 Sunset Pano

This week when the clouds let up I headed over to Brooklyn to work on a multi-shot panorama of NYC.

An image like this can be done with almost any camera, but it does help to set some parts of the camera manually.

For this image I set the white balance on manual for 5300K, set the camera focus to approximately infinity and of course used a tripod and made sure I was level for the sweep.

The photo is six images stitched together to form the wide angle view.  The key is to make sure you have enough overlap on the images so the stitching works and you get smooth transitions in each panel.  In this photo you can make out the twin cranes on the Freedom Tower as well as the Empire State Building.

Have a great weekend!

Fujifilm X100 - ISO 200 - 3 seconds @ F/5.6 (Pano files)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Cellular Goes Underground

Last week the NYC MTA made a surprise announcement as they launched limited cell service in some of the subway stations near me.  As you can see in the shot below the L train is two levels down and is normally a dead zone while waiting for the train.  Now you can still work with your device on the platforms.  It's not yet on the trains which I really don't need to see happen - but I'm sure it's in the works as a safety and control measure.

A Quick Look at the 1972 Hasselblad 500C/M

Just a few snaps of the awesome and durable 500C/M.