Now that everyone has gave their thanks, it's time to go back to our regular lives, until Christmas comes. Dropped off my niece to LAX today for her return flight back to Michigan. Took advantage of the nice sculpture in the background...
We've had the little car for a while now, but have not allowed my son to drive it beyond our own backyard, until today. I'm once again reminded how good the 50'Lux is.
There they are... an unexpected gift from my father-in-law, the Rolleiflex SL66 with a complete set of lenses. The allure of film has been hard to resist as I've often catch myself looking at M6 or M7 for sale ads. But now, I have 5 rolls of 120 Tri-X BW film on its way to me from B&H :)
The first thing I searched was to see if there's a possible digital back solution for this camera, and there appears to be none. So it looks like I'm stuck with film. It's both exciting and scary at the same time for someone like me who has always been relying on TTL metering. My biggest fear is I will under/over expose a lot and waste a bunch of money on developing the negatives only to find out I got no keepers from the entire roll. I think it's a good exercise, though, to force myself to be much more careful about exposures and framing.
Part of the problem with shooting film today is finding a place to process it. I think to start, I will find a decent place that will process and scan the negatives for me. But I've also read up on developing film myself and it does seems like a quite doable process. I'll see if I'm going to be committed to shooting film first.
Bought some Christmas lights this year... figured we'd get more into the spirit of it this year. This special, but I did break out the macro adapter for the 90mm Macro-Elmar.
We've strolled by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) quite a few times, but I decided to actually pay the admission and checkout the inside for a change. Of course, I couldn't resist go by the old spots again, like the Bradbury Building. The exhibits were quite interesting... at first I thought I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, but the friendly guard/usher told me only flash photography. Great, I don't have flash anyway.
Outside the museum, while waiting to buy the tickets, a flock of photographers rushed into the area and started to snap away. I quietly sat on the side and took this shot of them:
You can see the full set [HERE], but here are some other interesting shots from the day:
Took this shot to test my SD card. I recently experienced some weirdness with a card that I've been using for almost two years. At a friends house I took some shots, but when I wanted to show my wife, some shots disappeared! I quickly freaked out and put in the back up card everything was normal again. So at least I know it was the camera being flakey. Back at home, I was able to download most of the images and I started to research why my card was failing. My conclusion of the problem is that I've been deleting images in camera instead of reformat it. Many more knowledgeable people have recommended a in-camera reformat every once a while because simply deleting images doesn't always clear out data. Sure enough, once I reformatted the card, it was functioning normal again... *phew*
I'm starting to feel a little desperate for some photography... being kind of lazy lately. I'll have to think of somewhere we can go this weekend...
I woke up inexplicably early this morning (a sign of getting old?), and noticed a reddish hue on our bedroom window shade. It must means fire in the sky! I quickly grabbed a few quick shots...
I've been waiting since the beginning of the year for Apple to release a new Macbook Pro. What a huge difference, compared to my 3 year old MBP. The retina display makes photo editing so much better, and I had no idea how handicapped I was. Another reason to upgrade was the new Lightroom 5. LR4 was already running sluggish on the old MBP that I didn't dare to upgrade. But man, now everything is just so fast that it feels like this is how it was meant to be. I haven't had time to try out some of the new features, but I'm very happy with my old process on the new hardware and software.
I've enable a little plugin from fotomoto that will enable purchase options when you click on an image to view it in the lightbox (enlarged) mode. There are a lot of options available from little postcards to large canvas or fine art prints. Of course, I don't plan to get rich from selling my photos, but it may come in handy one day. Who knows, I might be tempted to buy one myself some day. There's also an "eCard" option that'll allow you to send an email to someone with the image attached like a greeting card.
The plugin isn't fully compatible with Weebly (where my site is hosted), so I had to tweak the CSS from fotomoto a little bit to make it show better. Sadly, it also doesn't work with the slideshow widget. However, for something that's fairly easy and free to implement, I can't really complain... in fact, I like how it's not very intrusive and not make me look like I'm pushing people to buy all
My nephew, Kevin, as you see above, asked me to take a few photos of him and his date, and a bunch of their friends before their homecoming dance. Of course, I obliged. Little did he know what kind of pressure it puts on an amateur like me. I've wrote about getting out of my comfort zone before, but this time, I felt more ready, since I've had another year of shooting under my belt.
We went to a local park around 5:30pm, and I had the 50'Lux mounted the whole time. The whole day was kind of gray and cloudy, but we did catch the golden hour when sun fell under the clouds. Boy, what a glorious sunset it was. I don't think the kids could have asked for a better back drop. Since I was shooting into the light near the end, the camera was under-exposing quite a bit. I tested and manually set the shutter speed at 1/250 sec, and had to lower it as it got darker.
I think I realized that to shoot portraits well, you have to be good with people. I felt as I talked to them more and cracking jokes, I was able to get more relaxed poses and more natural smiles from them. That's definitely something I'll have to work on. But for now, it was truly a learning experience and I'm pretty satisfied with the results. To see the full set, it's [HERE].