There is something about me and the rain. I love it. There is a feeling of childhood fun when you go biking in the rain, knowing that when you get home, you'll be able to just wash away all the dirt splashed all over you. There is something else about it that makes it fun for photography. I don't know what it is but I tend to go into a shooting frenzy head on in the craziest downpour. I'd be out there with my D7000 and getting my lens all wet to the point I can't shoot anymore--either because of condensation in the lens or the D7000 starts to behave erratically. Yeah, I'm crazy with rain. So today was no exception. The PanAm game will start in less than a couple of months and the torch has arrived in Toronto. Unfortunately, today was also the first day of heavy downpour. The month of May has been so dry that this downpour is a big welcome I think for farmers in the area. And for me. It was fun standing in the rain with my motorcycle rain jacket. It protected me from the rain and the wind. I got wet anyway but the jacket kept me warm as I rode my bicycle down the streets, following the torch bearers. It was also fun to use my cell phone to take pictures. I had a thought that maybe I'd ruin it if I persist shooting it in the rain. It was clearly drenched in water all over it but I kept shooting. Stupid me. I will never learn. I kept shooting knowing full well the phone will die. Well, it didn't die but it was starting to behave erratically too and the camera lens inside the phone stared to fog up. Great, I thought. Another Nova Scotia. It managed to clear itself up, but I kept shooting in the rain. I should have stopped using it and wait for the big moment to take the phone out. I should have. I should have done that. It was a big mistake to chance it. The biggest moment came when Chris Hadfield arrived at the Distillery District on the last leg of the torch run from Canada Square to the Distillery District. The video was fuzzy with a damn layer of fog in front of the lens! What an idiot I was. Oh well, me and rain, it's a love and hate relationship.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
To recap, I have two tripods: a Manfrotto MKC3-P01and an OPUS OT-1104BH. I love both. They are not the best and you know you are compromising when the price is affordable. You know what I mean--you make an adjustment, you let go, and the camera tilts down a bit. It's a bit annoying but you learn to compensate for it. Anyhow, these tripods have gone to faraway places with me, but often, they stay in my backpack.
On a recent trip to New York City, I decided not to bring a tripod. I knew I'd spend most of the time walking around during the day but given that days end about 4:30pm at the time, I also knew I'd spent quite a bit of time walking in the dark. It would make sense to bring a tripod. I decided against it however. First, I was doing a lot of walking. Any weight I could save meant a world to me toward the end of the day. I decided instead to rely on the camera's ability to work with high ISO settings, and to work with existing street structures to prop against or rest on, and whatever else I could use.
Many photos turned out a fuzzy but some turned out not too bad. I had to do some sharpening for night shots:
Monday, April 21, 2014
I was taking some pictures at f/14 and can clearly see some bunny spots in the blue sky. That was annoying, so I had to look at the sensor. It was dirty alright and for some reason, the bunnies were concentrating in the far right of the sensor as you can see here. They were visible with the naked eyes. I did not need to use the SensorKlear Loupe I purchased from the photo show a couple of years ago--btw, I highly recommend this loupe if you are doing any cleaning with your sensor.
Blowing air did nothing to remove the bunnies. They were bonded to the sensor. I did not try to Artic Butterfly and instead went straight to wet cleaning. That's when things went kinda downhill.
On the first pass, the Pec Pad removed most of the bunnies but at the same time left streaks on the sensor. The VisibleDust cleaning solution left residues behind as it dried. The streaks were all over the sensor and even without the SensorKlear Loupe, I was able to see the streaks very clearly with my naked eyes. So, I grabbed another Pec Pad and cleaned the sensor once more. Again, streaks all over. I tried yet once more. Same results. I knew it was not dust but residues from the solution. Does the solution have an expiry date? Maybe the alcohol has evaporated? I really don't know but I must have tried cleaning the sensor five more times before I could get a clear sensor.
BTW, my sensor has this halo ring in the lower left corner. It looks permanent to me as I see it in the other shots I took a couple of years ago. Darn it.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
I find myself using my LG P500h phone camera more these days than before. It would seem to be available all the time as I need to carry it with me on my belt wherever I go. It would also seem to be heck more convenient than carrying a large DSLR. Many of the times, it would be fine. I may not need to zoom in or may not need to deal with high contrast lighting conditions.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
My backyard has changed from the lush greens in the summer and couple of feet of snow in the winter to steel, glass, and concrete year round.
I did not think much about this when I was looking for a place in Toronto, but since I was a kid, I always thought it would be cool to live in a high-rise in a downtown area with the glitters of city lights poking through the glass windows.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Just yesterday, I ran across an area cordoned off by police. It was on my usual, daily bike route. Some car was pulled over earlier in the day (apparently not by random chance) and some small explosive was found in a gym bag in the trunk. The event had already unfolded by the time I got there but I got a glimpse of the scene. It would have been more interesting had I witnessed the detonation of the explosive that the police had set off--well, maybe they would have cordoned off a bigger area so I might not have been able to capture anything then. Anyways, I feel like an amateur street reporter with a cheap camera on hand.
It's almost 8am. I gotta start preparing to go to work.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Ok, so last year, I ordered this studio umbrella set for about $80. That was last November. Today is July and it has not been shipped yet!
I thought I would try to wait longer and see how this story unfolds but it's been long enough and I will be moving soon, so in case the order actually goes through and I won't be at my current place, I decided to cancel the order, eight months after placing the order.
Pathetic, Amazon! The couple of times I contacted Amazon, they say they will try to fulfill the order as soon as possible. Well, I don't know which earth they live on but on this earth, that means a few weeks at most, not months!
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Every now and then, I have the urge to buy a professional lens because my compromise lens works up an itch hard to get rid of. I actually went on Kijiji and Craigslist to find a used Nikon 17-55mm f/.8. A used copy could go for about $800 or a bit less if one is lucky. Anyways, at the Henry's Exposure show this weekend, I had the opportunity to test out a Nikon 17-55mm and as I feared, I could not make the best use of it. Hand-held, it's not too easy to get a nice, sharp picture, and when I managed to get a sharp picture at f/2.8 there were some purple fringing (see below). It's not too much but there is definitely purple fringing. The Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens gets me a sharper picture, but not the image effects of an f/2.8 aperture.
|Nikkor 17-55mm at f/2.8, centre crop|
|Nikkor 18-200mm at f/6.3, centre crop|
Saturday, May 4, 2013
|Sharing a meal? Not so quick!|
I realized this weekend that the Tokina 80-400mm is darn sharp at f/14 with manual focus!
Maybe I will get to use my 500mm lens when the eggs start to hatch.
Friday, May 3, 2013
|Mommy bird: a blackbird?|
For these shots, I used my Tokina 80-400mm lens. It was a bit hard to shoot hand-held in the late afternoon light as the Tokina does not have VR, but it turned out not too bad.
I cannot wait for the eggs to hatch!