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23 posts from December 2003

December 31, 2003

It's all about who you know

I made a contact through a friend of mine, with a sports photographer in my local area. After speaking with him today he said he would see what he could do about getting me some credentials to shoot some sporting events at Stanford University. This is exciting news!

New lens on the way

I finally took the plunge before the $200 rebate expired.

Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S Zoom

December 28, 2003

The Challenge of The Year

Starting on January 1st, 2004 I will begin a photo challenge for myself.

Picture A Day For A Year

What is the "Picture A Day" challenge? To take pictures everyday, no matter what, and then choose a single image each day to create a montage of 366 images (2004 is a leap year).

I can't wait to start and have been thinking of it for sometime now. What first turned me on to the project was THIS website. When I accidentally came across Paul's galleries I was intrigued by the idea as well as his images. No, Paul didn't start the PAD idea, he is just one of many who has inspired many others to do the challenge themselves (me being one of them). You can find links to many others doing a PAD project - HERE.

In the beginning it is going to be tough carrying around D2H camera all the time but I'm sure I will get used to it. I guess really the most difficult challenge is attempting to be creative everyday. Once I can save some extra money and Leica releases their Digilux 2, I might get that as my day to day camera (pending quality of images).

To help keep a fresh set of ideas for images, I've been compiling a list of things to shoot in the handmade journal my wife made me for Christmas.

December 26, 2003

It's all over

Christmas came and went but left many great memories and a whole lot of gifts under the tree. This was the best Christmas I have had since moving to California (10 years ago). The day started off with Sharon and I cooking breakfast with our close friends Mary & Rocky, followed by tearing through all the gifts. Santa was really good to me this year by bringing me a brand new Nikon SB-800 Flash and CarbonOne monopod (hmm, I wonder how he knew that's what I wanted). The best gift of all was a handmade journal that my wife spent many weeks creating. Sharon's best gift was a photo book I made for her of Murphy's first year with us and a beautiful Sherling Coat. After a short nap we were up and cooking Christmas dinner for our friends Dave, Alison and baby Mason. Hanging out with those guys are so much fun and with Mason just loving the camera, I couldn't stop shooting.

You can find my gallery of pictures BY CLICKING HERE.

December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas

More to come but for now, MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 24, 2003

Finding your vision

A sunrise at the Great Tetons or a group of ducks on a misty pond, a shark feeding frenzy or a homeless man sleeping on the door step of a ritzy store, a macro picture of a sunflower or an abstract of shapes and shadows, a bright colored door in a little town or a studio portrait of a family with their dog... What's you photographic vision?

I've been shooting pictures for 14 years now and I'm still searching for my vision. I've tried just about every style of photography from elaborate studio shots with 4x5 cameras to underwater wildlife pictures while SCUBA diving. I've hiked Yosemite with a Hasselblad and climbing mountains with a disposable camera clipped to my harness. While I love all types of photography (except maybe weddings), there are only a select group of images that have a vision strong enough to provoke thoughts and emotions. I can look at these images and feel that they cross some barrier and span multiple senses of the body. This is the vision I seek and will continue to look for as long as I can push a shutter button.

Have you found your vision?

December 21, 2003

Excellent post on DPReview

This, is an excellent post by H. Shahani on DPReview.com. Shahani expresses the fact that most people in the forums are stuck on on the numbers game with their camera equipment instead of the true meaning of photography, the image. The gem of Shahani's post is a long list of excellent web links to various photographers galleries. I highly recommend you visit each one and let your creative side come out and play.

December 20, 2003

The new lens line-up

OK, so I finally nailed down my new Nikon lens line-up. I decided to make some changes to the lenses I currently have mainly because of the "crop factor" of the Nikon Digital SLR's and to better suit my style of photography. Some lenses in the line-up I already own, others I plan on purchasing after selling some of my current lenses and ebaying a bunch of toys I have around the house to raise the needed money.

Super Wide - Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye
I love wide angle shots and the 10.5mm fits the bill for those crazy super wide shots that I've always wanted to take. This will make a great lens for close up sports (like skateboarding and in the water kitesurfing shots) and city shots (both interior and exterior).

Wide - Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom
I just got this lens to replace my 17-35mm and already it's love at first shot. This lens is tack sharp and has a huge range of versatility. This will be my "normal" everyday lens. I only wish Nikon went that extra step and made it an f2.8 lens. Being that it is a DX lens which is supposed to make the lens smaller and lighter, I was not impressed by the size for an f4 lens.

Normal to Short Telephoto - Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S Zoom
I'm so excited about this lens because of the pure quality of the optics and images it can produce. While it's not a small, light or cheap lens, it is an excellent addition to any photographers bag who demands the ultimate in glass quality. This will be my standard portrait lens and will be replacing my current Nikon 35-70mm f2.8. While I love the quality of the 35-70mm, it is a push pull type lens with really slow autofocus. The new lens can also go as wide as 28mm which will help on my D2H because of the inherent 1.5x crop factor.

Short Telephoto to Long Telephoto - Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom
This is my favorite sports and wildlife lens. It is an amazing piece of glass that has been reviewed as possibly the best zoom lens Nikon has ever produced. This was Nikon's first lens to incorporate their new Vibration Reduction technology that when used (properly), allows the photographer to shoot a handheld image with a shutter speed of up to 3 stops slower compared to a lens without VR. There is also an "Active VR" setting that is used for shooting from a moving vehicle such as a car or helicopter. I also regularly use my Nikon 2x Teleconverter to bring the lens to a focal length of 140-400mm with virtually no lose in quality (however you do lose 2 stops of light so autofocus is slower and you need much more light to shoot at the kinds of shutter speed I need when shooting action sports).

Long Telephoto to Super Telephoto - Nikon 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom
I'm still on the fence about this lens as it has yet to be released by Nikon so there is no know details on the quality just yet. However if it is anything like the 70-200mm VR lens, it is going to widely popular for both sports and wildlife photographers. It won't come at discount price either; rumors are the price tag will be around $5000. If it can't produce the results I'd expect from a $5000 lens, than my next choice will be the Nikon 400mm f/2.8D IF-ED AF-S II. I have my fingers crossed that Nikon will deliver an amazing lens that is sure to become my favorite lens for sports like kitesurfing and wave surfing. If you want to contribute some money so I can buy this lens, I'd be much appreciative. :)

Super Duper Telephoto - Nikon 600mm f/4D IF-ED AF-S II
This is more or less a dream lens that I will only own if I quit my current job and go pro as a sports photographer. With a price tag of over $10000, it's no joke. This is the type of lens you see on beaches during the top surf competitions and out in the wild my photographers from National Geographic.


The most comprehensive Nikon D2H Review

This is one we have all been waiting for, even though I already made up my mind. The D2H is the best SLR camera I have ever used.

Nikon D2H Review on DPReview.com

Another sleepless night

While not photography related, I'm having another sleepness night. I don't know what's going on with me as I am tired as all hell but my brain just won't go to sleep. I toss and turn in bed and finally just get up and surf the web until I can't hold my eyes open any longer. Today I was so tired at work I went out to my car and fell asleep in my back seat for almost 2 hours. When coming home I actually was having dizzy spells. I figured I'd fall right to sleep but I was wrong again.

What's going through my mind? Photography, Christmas, Traveling home to New Jersey in January, Work... You name it. I just have so much going on that I feel overwhelmed.

I just want to sleep.