Saturday, January 9, 2010

Heavenly sounds - heavenly sights

MADISON, TN -- Attending church this evening gave me a chance to try out the Canon S90's available light capabilities. Hand-held at 1/5 sec. at f7.1 ISO800, some grain is to be expected; but, all in all, I was quite happy with the shot. The organ at St. Joseph's Church sounded beautiful with rich full bass tones and looked just as nice. I especially liked the light and medium wood tones, complimenting the brick front wall of the church.
The small size of this camera lends itself to steady hand holding. While a tripod would certainly have been preferable, for a quick grab shot as I was exiting, this certainly filled the bill.
If you've tried hand-held shots before and not been satisfied, here's my recipe for steady hand-held shots:
2)Exhale and then hold your breath
3)Gently squeeze off the shutter
4)Resume breathing.
Don't forget step 4. It's important.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Heated pool - hmmmm?

MARIETTA, GA -- Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be the difference in capturing those fleeting moments of your life. How often have you thought, “If I only had a camera?” In speaking with one of New York’s leading photographers, he attributed his success in street photography to having his camera with him at all times. His camera of choice was his Nikon D2X at the time, with a simple 50 mm. lens. That’s a little too big for me to take everywhere, but the idea is absolutely true none the less.
I mentioned recently that I was impressed with the Canon S90, with it’s RAW capture capabilities. Well, I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer, so I laid down the funds for one last week. I’ve only begun using it, and I haven’t had the chance to read the manual yet, but I’m impressed with the initial shots I’m getting.
The Canon S90 is the ideal combination of full manual controls with small pocketable form factor. The smallness allows me to carry a slim protective pouch on my belt just about all the time.
When I turned the corner today, I was amused by the “heated pool” at my motel here in Georgia. Wind chill was in the single digits and if I hadn’t had the camera with me, I probably wouldn’t have ventured back out in the cold for just this one shot. [This shot was taken at 1/250 of a second at f2.8 and ISO 80.]
This was my first stay at a LaQuinta Motel and I was quite happy with the choice. We were looking for the least expensive accommodations as we would be checking in one night and immediately checking out again the next morning. This turned out to be a great selection. For $37 plus tax, (the AAA rate) we got a nice sized room with coffee pot, refrigerator, king size bed and a complimentary breakfast in the morning. Nice people behind the desk made it all that much more memorable.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Freezing in Florida

ORLANDO, FL -- Photo opportunities saved the day on this trip, as that was the only outside activity I could enjoy in 28 degree temperatures. Not your typical day in Florida to be sure. Luckily the lake hadn’t started to frost over yet, so the fountains were a willing subject against the beautiful blue Florida skies. Playing with various shutter speeds, it was easy to get just the intended look of action, blurring and sharpness. To give the right amount of blur, this shot was taken at 1/45 second, f27 and ISO200 on my Nikon D300.
One note of caution when taking photos of high altitude fountains… out for changing wind directions. When the fountains shoot water as high as they do, a change in direction can carry those droplets hundreds of feet, drenching you and your expensive camera.
This week, we were staying in the brand new Parc Soleil Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations. Located just minutes from all the Disney Parks, at 11272 Desforges Avenue, this ultra-new property has much to offer. Beautiful pools, water slides, basketball and tennis courts abound. Dozens of eateries are but minutes away by car and are easily reached without the traffic congestion so often encountered on International Blvd. Parking is abundantly available in 3-story interior garages in each building.

64 Gigs on a compact flash

Delkin Devices, Inc. today expanded their lineup of CompactFlash card storage by announcing four new blazing fast 420X PRO cards capable of transfer speeds up to 63MB/s. The new UDMA enabled flash memory is available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
With just a couple of those in your pocket, you should be able to shoot your entire vacation. I'd love to get my hands on a couple prior to my trip to El Salvador.
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