Monday, July 30, 2007

Building a Plywood Huey. Part 1!

I have to build a Huey for our production of Miss Saigon. And it just so happens that my new tiny DV camera has arrived, so I decided to document the helicoptering process.

Plywood Huey - Part 1 - Watch a funny movie here

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Party at Maya's Parents'

This weekend's big event was the going-away/birthday/graduation party that everyone looks forward to.


I carried my camera through the whole cookout. I hate doing that, but I'm pretty pleased with this shot, so I'm not going to complain. This is a photo of Jimmy and Lex hamming it up for another camera. Obviously I tweaked the color a bit - also I did a little bit touch-up on some faces.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Out of focus rollercoaster girl.

Don't get me wrong. Flickr is wonderful. It's both an outstanding piece of web-based software and a wonderful community full of talented photographers. (At least I think a piece of software can be a community... that may be another discussion altogether). Nevertheless, there are times when my fellow flickrites wear me out.


I took this shot at the 100th Yankee Doodle Fair in Westport. The weather had been hot and balmy all day until around three when a huge thunderstorm rolled through. Afterwards, we had this wonderful warm misty thing going - normally, not my kind of weather but for photographic purposes: outstanding.

This shot was one of about 10 that I took of this particular subject. I'd say I started by focusing the camera on the front of the car, and then I shot a few with the girl in focus.

During post I decided that this shot was more meaningful to me. Somethinig about the way that the shallow depth of field amplifies the expression on her face... Yes, I realize that sounded a bit doofy.

Whatever. I'm proud of my shot. I post it to all the flickr groups that I usually go to. What happens next, I wasn't prepared for: The shot gets absolutely panned. Of the 20+ comments, probably half contain some variant of "too bad the girl isn't in focus".

I know that criticism is feedback. Sometimes its amusing. Sometimes its helpful. Other times...

What do you think?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Slam Dunk at Kate's Parents in Redding

We went for a cookout at Kate's parents house for her birthday (Pang and I got her a weed-whacker). While there I managed to score shoot some great photos of the general going's-on.

Created with Paul's flickrSLiDR.
I'm not sure if I like the idea of posting slide shows here. It seems to me like its a cop-out. Like I couldn't be bothered to pick the best one. So you'll probably only see a few of these pop up from time to time.

Some catching up to do

I've been learning a few things about my new lens. Here is a short summary:

  1. Big lenses weigh a lot. I've had to buy a new more comfy camera strap.

  2. f/4.6 isn't very big. Well, I guess I knew that coming in, but its a bit of a shock when I switch from the 18-200 f/4.6 to the 50mm f/1.8.

  3. Just cause you can, doesn't mean you should. Sometimes it's hard to resist zooming in on things. Narrow-field composition is a very different beast than shooting wide.

Dignity. Pride. Eagleness.
Well, yes, I took this photo in captivity. And my photographic-cred takes a hit for that. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to run into this bugger on his own turf. That can-opener is a serious piece of hardware.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm Back

By popular (err... not-so-much) demand.

And to prove it:

A Long Overdue Job - Celebrity bloopers here

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

First day with a new toy

About two weeks ago I got my new toy. My first real uberlens. :)

The venerable Nikon 18-200 3.5-5.6 AF-S D VR

Needless to say I'm very happy with it. It's just about the most lens you can get for under a grand. And it replaces the need to carry two lenses. Thats not to say it doesn't have its downsides. For one thing the lens grows by about 200% when you zoom in. Imagine attaching a roll or paper-towels to the front of your camera-body. Yeah.

The other down-side is that it more-than doubles the weight of my camera, and all that weight is in the front. This means that a day of shooting comes with significantly more wrist-strain. Truth-be-told, I'm discovering new ways to hold my camera to account for this factor. I now almost always wear my camera's strap and use it take some of the pressure off my right hand.

Well how about some photos. Here are two photos taken on my first day shooting with the 18-200.

The evening's long-view

The truth about this image is that the focus isn't really as hard as it looks in the "medium" view. When blown up there is some blur in the texture of my shoes. Still, I like the foreground blur afforded to me by the long lens length.

200mm is pretty cool
Ok, it's pretty obvious what I'm doing here. I'm playing with the distance. Fine, you caught me. Its a long lens, and I think its cool. :-)

It's time to get caught up.


Sorry about that I just realized how long it's been since my last update. Let me try to fix things:

I took this photo with my 50mm 1.8 lens, and it shows. Lately I've been coping with the low-light noise issues associated with the D50, this shot doesn't have the problem since I was able to shoot it at 2.2. In a little while I'll post one of my pictures from Rollerderby. It's a start contrast.

Trans-generational-communication stock photo

Something about this shot has a very "commercial" feel to it. If it wasn't a picture of my Dad talking to Kate I'd say it was generic stock photography.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Day at Mystic

An unexpected day-off turns into alligator madness!

Alright, I admit it! This picture has no photographic merits what-so-ever - err.. except that its a decent snapshot. No, the real reason I'm posting it is this:

Q: How often do you get to pet/photograph an alligator.

A: If you live in the North-East, not often.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More Beach

As the weather gets a bit better, expect to see more beach photos... at least until they start requiring a sticker. Then they'll probably fall off.

Who was that masked dog

Kate, Dylan, Max and I went on a rather impromptu trip to the beach with Sasha. I was shooting with my new lens - I got some pretty cool shots, while shooting wide-open. I had to strap on the CPL just to reduce the incoming light. Here's Sasha being a dog. To be honest, I don't think this is my favorite picture from the day, but I has a neat style (that it acquired in post).

See the other pictures.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

At the beach

Recovering from our karaoke madness required sleeping for the better part of Sunday. If for no other reason then having not slept the night before. Never the less around 5pm we found ourselves at Sherwood Island State Park.

Shells... are there any sand-fleas?
This was shot with my new lens - I'm still (yes, still) learning on it. I like to be able to shoot wide-open, but there's just too much light when I'm shooting at the beach. I think I may have to slap on either the CPL or the ND2 and see if that alleviates the problem in an acceptable way.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ermm.. Saturday Night

I have no good pictures. We sang a lot. Maru. Karaoke. NYC.

This one's for the ladies

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Scary Gary Revisited

I've been playing around a bit more in a studio-like environment. Now, don't be fooled - my idea of a studio is my workbench, a white card, some translucent plastic and a 500W fresnel. This particular shot was back-lit using Rosco Kelly Green and the translucent plastic.

He's in my dreams!

Still scary.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Ok. Well. Hmm.

Scary Gary

Yeah, I'm not sure I have any words about this picture. I don't recommend looking at it after 8pm. Or ever, really. Gary has a tendency to sneak into peoples dreams.

In other, slightly less interesting news, I shot this in my make-shift studio basement area. I'm going to be playing with my setup in the next couple of days, but this was a good first try. I shot it under a single 6" fresnel against a piece of white card. High tech, huh.

More new lensy-ness

Well, I'm still experimenting with my new lens. So far the results have been mixed. It's a big change shooting from mostly-wide to mostly-narrow. I find myself having to back up a lot. On the other hand I often find I now have too much light, which is a great problem to have!

The gateway

Close scrutiny of this shot of Gizmo reveals the other problem I'm coping with: Getting the focus just right. At 1.8 the depth of field is so shallow that its hard for me to distinguish what's in and out of focus in the viewfinder. In this shot you can see that feathers and beak are the sharpest, while Gizmo's eye is a bit soft. The lens also has some subtle vignetting which I'm having to correct for.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My New Toy

Well, I've just acquired a new toy. A Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens! I bought this lens to fill a need that my D50's kit lens couldn't fill. The kit lens is a 18-55mm but it's aperture at 55mm is a pretty-small 5.6. This makes shooting in low-light a bit of a pain. The new lens is, by comparison, a gaping f/1.8 at 50mm and its built like a truck.

Mmm... grilled meat

So, will this be my new lens of choice? Well, only time will tell - at the moment it's taking a bit of an adjustment. I'd say with the kit lens I take a lot of wide-angle shots, with this lens that's not even an option. If I want to get more in the picture I have to back up, which certainly isn't the same thing. Never the less, the new lens is very sharp and pretty fun to use so far, so I'm going to withhold judgment till I've got a bit more time on it. One thing's for sure: I love shooting wide-open. The shallow depth of field is chocked full of goodness.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lost in time

This is a game I haven't played in a long time. Oh my god. It's awesome.

But, wait, don't take my word for it:

And see what happens when you try to pour acid on a horse:


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More Weather

Here's another shot from my recent wet night out.

Mmm... rainy chaos

This shot is full of lots of shiny, greasy, cold awesomeness. A little bad weather goes a long way sometimes. Bricks, headlights, traffic-lights other stuff.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

So Sue Me

I don't think I should even bother trying to say that this shot "just happened". The truth is, I had a bit of technical trouble with it. I knew there was an image to be found when I walked under this phone pole, but the time of day wasn't "just right" and the color of the pole was a bit lack-luster. So I went for the slightly more artificial feel you see here.

Lots of wires
I like this shot. Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Dave, of course you like the shot. That's why you posted it!"

Fine, you know what! I'll stop saying that.

You people can be so pushy.

PS: Sam informs me that in my previous post I used "telephone poll" instead of "telephone pole". She's correct. But I feel that at this point I should make something abundantly clear: Poland has nothing to do with this. I'm quite certain that all of my poles are made of North-American timber.

She's right

Sam's absolutely right. I am way behind in my posts here. I'm not going to bother making excuses. I'm a bad person.

This past weekend was the first time I've had a good day shooting in months! I took this shot shortly after Friday's ridiculous rains had subsided. I'm going to post another shot from that outing, but I wanted to start with this one.

Got the tripod up and running again
The bend in the Post road by Centro gives me the opportunity to take pictures of traffic heading right for me. Not sure everyone sees it that way - but thats how I see it. There are a number of reasons I chose this shot: First of all, it has some motion to it... hmm... on second thought that really isn't a good reason. Secondly, I love the highlighted bit of sidewalk on the lower left of the shot, the texture very real. And lastly, I like the way the shot is framed by the trees and telephone poles.

Hmm.. that whole analytical paragraph seems a bit self-aggrandizing. Oh well. Go me!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Years!

What can I say that this photo doesn't say. We went to Medieval Times for New Years. It was awesome. Our Knight won. Sweet!

The Royal Fish

So, why did I use this photo? Well, aesthetically, it was the only shot out of over 200 that I actually liked. Good smile, over-the-shoulder lighting, great saturated yellow. Not bad for a "holiday snapshot"