Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all...

...and to all a day full of JESUS!?!?!?

Darn right. My wife and I had quite the discussion on Christmas Eve morning about the true meaning of Christmas and how, despite giving up buying gifts for family and friends on this holiday, the true meaning was sorely lacking from our lives. So we're here to set the record straight about the true meaning. No gifts, or presents, but Jesus, and the gift of presence with family, friends, and loved ones.

And, of course, to keep it photo related, here's a self portrait I snapped yesterday morning. Sharpened, border added, B&W, and that's it. Just simply PP.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Enjoy this time with good people, and remember the reason for the season.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New website!

So, I finally got off my butt, spent a few bucks on something simple (SmugMug and GoDaddy) and got myself an inexpensive website. I know I'm going to obsess now about getting it to look all professional, but seeing as I'm not trying to make any money on this right now, I think I'll just leave it plain and ordinary for now. Regardless, the website... SHE LIVES!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Playing around and Christmas cards

So, the wife wanted me to do a few shots of her Christmas cards that she made but she wanted to use our D300. Well, she's a little lost with all of those buttons, so I offered to help her. Umbrella, camera right, SB-600, and bounced my other SB-600 off the left wall for these shots of her. I think they're cute. :-)

As for these shots of her Christmas cards, I'm pleased with these. Only took about 3 test shots to get the lighting about where I wanted it, which is impressive because I usually chimp about a dozen (if not more) times to simply get my lighting right. Just used the SB-600 into my umbrella, camera right, on this one. Got some "group" shots of multiple cards, and then did some individual ones. Personally, I think the cards are fantastic, 100% homemade, and my wife is super talented and awesome. And my less than creative photos of her AMAZINGLY creative cards are okay, too. She's considering selling these, which I think she should.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Riding again...

Took some photos of my buddy Paul today at one of the local trails. Nothing to add to this other than I love using dual flash for stuff like this!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First official single person portrait shoot

Definitely odd. I didn't have a good background, so I used the neutral color of our dining room wall. I had to chimp about 30 times before I found a few settings that weren't horrible. Then I had to adjust lighting a little bit post shoot. But still, I'm happy with my results considering it was both my first time shooting a single individual as a portrait shoot, as well as my first time using multiple strobes.

Fun fun fun!

Thanks to my buddy Louie for letting me eat up an hour of his time in trade for a few photos to use on his graduation announcements

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SB-600 Acquired...

A new SB-600 has been added to my growing arsenal. I wouldn't exactly call two SB-600's an "arsenal" perse. In fact, I'd sooner call one SB-800 or SB-900 an arsenal before calling two SB-600's, but I digress. I'm a happy camper, and the SB-900 is a gal' dang HUGE flash! I prefer my only slightly smaller flashes for the moment.

First portrait shoot is tonight, so we'll see how it goes. Shooting my sister's friend's boyfriend, Louie, for his college graduation photos. Lightstand, umbrella, and flashes... prepare yourself for some serious use.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Today... one of those days where I wish I was out taking photos and NOT sitting here at work reading and researching about taking photos.

On a side note, got a few gift cards for Christmas (early) and I'm debating between the 85mm f/1.8, the 50mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.8 and pocketing the extra for a rainy day, or another SB-600 strobe.

Decisions, decisions...

Update: I went home and took some photos of the dogs. Natural light in a dark living meant ISO 1600 or 3200, so the photos are noisy and I'm not going to post them - but I like them.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Riding in the mountains...

As always, I try to keep trail location hush-hush, so we'll just call these photos "Riding in the mountains". Maybe it's in the moutains in Chile'... or maybe somewhere in S. Africa or China. But most likely some people will recognize these. In anycase, Kudos to Nash for hitting the big 20-footer, Courtney for nailing the goal post, Brently for blowing up his headset, and Tyler for hitting all the big stuff on a 6" bike.

Anything shot with a flash was my SB-600 wirelessly tied to my D300 (Commander mode) set at 1/1 power. The new Manfrotto Tripod really paid off as getting the flash low to the ground and in weird locations really helps. The non-strobed photos were the good ol' 35mm f/1.8 prime that I love so much.

I should have taken some portraits while out there, too, but I was so focused on playing with settings on the D300 I totally forgot.

This is my favorite though, and I don't even know who this is. I wish I did, because I'd love to get this shot to him.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A few old and a few new...

White balance, white balance, white balance! You make or break me! The hardships of figuring out WB! They keep me up at night. Despite that...

Last night I went out with my buddy Rob and we did some downtown night photography. After getting the boot from the Adobe building... errr... the boot from standing on the sidewalk in front of the Adobe building... we wandered around Downtown San Jose's Christmas in the Park. Amazing photos. I just wish that I had more time!!!And here's a random one that Jehn actually took a few months back with our old D40.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Let sleeping dogs lie...

When the wife and I got Orly, we vowed to never let him on the sofa... EVER. Or on the bed.

A few days ago, we were both so tired that when Orly jumped up on the sofa and laid down, we simply did not have the energy to push him off and scold him.

Now he's made the sofa his new home.... but at least he's quiet and sleeps for up to a few hours at a time.

BAD mommy and daddy for breaking the rules. But how do you say no to a face like this?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mom's Birthday/Christmas photoshoot...

In light of the Advent Conspiracy, my family has decided to skip the whole gift giving of presents, and take up giving of presence instead. My mom asked if I would take her out to shoot some photos. I let her use my wide angle 18-70 a few times, but she mostly used my 55-200 and she made some fantastic shots with it.

As for the very few shots that I took that I actually liked, here they are:

Santa Cruz, CA

Sunday, November 22, 2009

First Portrait Shoot

Finally had my first portrait shoot. For some reason I'm super interested in flash/strobe work, as opposed to non-flash work. I don't know why, and I should probably get used to shooting photos WITHOUT flash first, but I just love it.

Here's a few shots of my cousins from the weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Busy busy busy!

Seems to me that I've been FAR busier than I ever expected to be at 27 years old. Unfortunately, that takes its toll on my picture taking opportunities. On the bright side, on top of the new D300, I picked up a wide angle 18-70mm recently which I really love. Simple but cheap. Still figuring out a few things on the new camera (WB, EV, ISO noise levels that I find to be acceptable, etc.), but I'm having a great time.

Here's a few I took recently that I don't think are all that bad:

Howard at Ed's Gourmet in Santa Clara, followed by Gabe. I wasn't comfortable with adjusting exposure for these shots... hence why they are a mess. But the 35mm f/1.8 certainly helps a lot.

And here's a few more choice photos of Orly. Can't go wrong with photos of Orly. He's hard to capture because he's a puppy, so he moves like lightning, and the flash often distorts his fur color. Without flash, well, he's a blurry black mess, despite his deep chocolate colored coat.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My wife...

...she really doesn't like it when I take photos of her, but with the new gift she allowed us to purchase, how could I not? So expect lots of beautiful photos to come in the following days.

I've been very busy with the dog, the house, and generally being tired from daylight savings time. But despite that, I've still had the passion to get out there and snap away. And I've been doing that pretty regularly. As far as pictures go, I've been none too impressed with what I've come up with with the exception of a few of the dogs. But I am certainly excited now!

But thanks to my beautiful, wonderful, understanding and supportive wife, I picked up a new (to me) Nikon D300 today with approx. 34,xxx clicks on it. Plenty of life left, a 6fps firing speed, and man... am I excited!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Orly Monster...

Got bored a few days ago and snapped a couple of ones that I really liked of Orly. He was being reasonably good (read as "very naughty... just less naughty than usual"), so I had to get my shots real quick.

35mm f/1.8, of course. How could you not know that? Look at the bokeh!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sergey and Brenna's Wedding

Arrive home from a 10 hour drive at 4:45am on Friday. Rest all day (if you can call playing with the dogs all day and being in extreme pain "rest"). Go to bed, and get up on Saturday and go to a wedding. Go home, go to bed, and get up and go to ANOTHER wedding. Rest? What's rest? I simply don't know.

On the bright side, I know that if I have to forgo sleep and rest, it's best to do it because I'm spending time with my wife, riding, or going to a wedding to celebrate two people's commitment to each other. And that's exactly what happened.

I've known Sergey for a long time, and only met Brenna last year at my wedding, but needless to say I wish them the best of luck, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for these two.

Can't take credit for the last photo, here... That was my wife's doing. I edited, but the capture credit goes to my lovely, beautiful, wonderful wife.