I just wanted to say that I'm on and off with this photo stuff and a lot of it is due to the nature of my schedule and the fact that coming home from work involves a 4 hr drive. With that on it's way out I hope to be shooting lots more and expanding and adding depth to the content of my portfolio. So after the first of the year if there is anything you'd like some help with or to just go out shooting, by all means, let me know!
Well it seems as some people do read this and I got a helpful nudge from someone (Thanks Issac!) tonight. Apparently they were tired of looking at the same pictures on the top post! I really do need to post more seeing that I do spend quite a bit of time just staring blankly at the Internet.
I've had a little bit of time off over the past 2 weeks. Some of it was burning off vacation/holiday time I would loose this year and some of it was getting things ready to go in out upcoming move.
In case you didn't know we'll be leaving the Charleston area at the end of this year and permanently locating somewhere west of Greenville, SC. For the time being I am renting until we find the right house to get in to. This will also give Dawn a chance to make a smooth transition into unemployment get to know the area and get our house rented out in Charleston.
So, during my time off I have been spending a lot of time with the family and trying to make up for a lot of lost time. I've been cooking a lot of dinner and chasing the baby around. She's 18 months old now and is a handful to keep up with. This next little smattering is what we've been into.
We went to Bee City Petting Zoo in Cottageville, SC
(Yes, she's petting an alligator)
Checking out the natives
The grocery store is also a racetrack
We read before bed on most nights
More wheel time
Still need a little practice. If you can't tell, I'm being run over here
"Oh no! It's the cops!"
Getting ready for "Night Night"
A little bit of playtime at the mall food court, or as I like to call it, "The Germ Factory"
I couldn't decide between "Get in the chopppaaahh!" or "It crashed because it was named Firefox."
"This is the last time I pick up a hitch hiker... He will not shut up!"
"Put these in the dishwasher. I was using them to beat the dogs."
Thank goodess for bokeh... (I think very few people will get this)
I was out in my Dad's yard the other day checking out the last of the leaves. I'm not sure what it is about his Sugar Maples. but they seem to hold their color about 2 weeks longer than everything else.
I took this shot with my Sigma 50mm @f1.4 on my D700 coupled with a 20mm extension tube. This gave it a ridiculously thin DOF and to me makes it look like the leaf is sitting on water (weird bokeh).
I was out scouting a few areas for leaves and other shoots for the winter and spring. I was on an access road for Lake Hartwell when I came across this little guy. He appeared to be out enjoying the remaining warmth of the season as he was basking in a sun beam in the road.
I've got a soft spot for these guys because avoiding traffic is impossible for them. When you move at a pace of 1 foot per minute a simple road crossing is a huge risk.
Luckily we happened upon each other and in exchange for a few shots, I moved him to a safer location in the sun. Hopefully he made it somewhere safe for the Winter.
Well it's here. October is here and at this point, almost past. This is probobly my favorite time of year. I am originally from Asheville, NC and this is the time of year where you wake up in the morning and see a touch of frost on the ground and your breath in the air. This is also when the leaves change their colors and depart for the season.
WNC is famous for it's Fall colors. The roads get crowded with tourists and sometimes getting around is a hassle, especially when when you are trying to get to some of the same places that they are headed. This is why you have to get up early and hope the weather cooperates with your agenda.
This little trip I was lucky to enlist the company of my sister, Kelly. She actually got up a little before me and got me out of bed. We were out of my Dad's place by 4:45 in the morning which is well before those Florida plates start becoming a fixture on mountain roads.
I really enjoy hanging out with my sister. She makes the time go by a little faster and we always have a few good laughs. She was a trooper this day. At our first stop it was brisk to say the least and the wind moving in a hasty fashion. We were able to squeeze a few star shots in as we looked over Asheville on our way West into Haywood County.
These were taken on Sunday, October 17th. By my gross estimation the peak of the season will be this following week and the week after. We will see.
On to some pics!
Looking East over Asheville from the Blue Ridge Parkway:
Looking back over Asheville:
Morning Light into Waynesville, NC:
Waynesville from The BRP:
The colors start to show:
It's sad that this happens to trees, but it does make for interesting pictures:
Another dead tree:
On the way back to the house we also ran it to some vertically challenged horses:
This horse happened to be of normal stature:
Well, I think that is about it for right now. I'll continue to try to keep this updated as much as I can stand. :)
I hope everyone enjoys the season. Get out and enjoy it!
I guess this may come off as something resembling a rant, but it is not. This is simply a statement about me and what I do with my time vs what I see a lot of other people around me doing.
As most of you know it is Fall. I get excited about things like cool mornings and evenings, frost on the ground and the colors of the season. Maybe I'm weird because most of the people I'm around on a day to day basis complain about those same things. They get excited about one singular thing... Football. The complete spectrum from kids leagues to the pros is covered in 80% of their conversations. Even when they are not talking about real football games the subject matter is about the new wave of "Fantasy Football" leagues (which equates to Dungeons and Dragons with football stats sans the 10 sided die).
Anyways, I'm not really knocking these guys but I continually ask myself "What do they do that is productive outside of their normal jobs?" It seems that every waking minute outside of work is spent watching games, 12+ hours a day on weekends, and a few hours of Sports Center on regular days. That's a lot of time spent living vicariously through the TV set.
I guess I'm an elitist. I guess I don't quite fit the mold. All my time away from my normal job is spent trying to be with my family and enjoying what little time I have with them right now. When I can't do that I spend time at my hobby which is Photography. Sometimes on a good day I get to combine the two subjects into a single event which really makes me happy.
There is a lot that goes into the current age of photography. A lot of time is spent getting to locations, setting up and looking through the glass. That is the physical part of the craft. A lot more time is spent behind a computer screen not only editing, but uploading and posting to forums so that you can get feedback from your peers. Then another part is doing your research. You have to look at what other people are doing, how they are doing it and then adding your own flair so that you, yourself can progress. There is a lot of work that goes into it.
At the end of the day.. I don't have a fresh twenty dollar bill in my pocket for picking the spread on the local team and I don't have conversation content about how I'm benching Favre for someone who will actually add to my manta pool (I think I'm mixing games... same concept, whatever). What I do have is a product.. Something I'm proud of. Something I'll put out there to get torn to shreds just so I can go back and recompose and make it more perfect. I'll have something that I can say is mine but I'd love to share it with everyone else.
This is what I do. I hope that you can understand.
Well I finally bit the bullet and found somewhere that shipped one of these things to my doorstep for $25. (Here). It took about 2.5 weeks, was mailed from Hong Kong and labeled as toys to evade taxes.
So far so good. The 1st gens I saw were OK but a lot was left to be desired. They had plastic inserts and leaked a fair amount. The finish was shiny and the labeling was no where close to the real Nikon lens.
I finally saw the new 3rd generation version and a few pics from the website and with the reduction to $25 shipped I decided to order.
I want to give my impressions of this and a few tech specs that aren't really mentioned anywhere that I could find. I'll put the pictures at the end of the post.
Q: Does it actually hold liquid?
A: Yes, quite well I might add. My version has a stainless steel liner.
Q: Does it leak?
A: Not so far. The lens cap is threaded and has a silicone gasket on the underside where it meets the lip of the cup. I put water in it ans shook it around for a bit and nothing leaked out.
Q: How long will it keep coffee hot?
A: I am actually finishing up running my test on it right now. I started out with 180F water in a 72F room with the lid off. It has taken 29 minutes to reach 125F which is still acceptable for hot beverages.
Q: How much does it hold?
A: About 12 oz with room to spare at the top. This will get you into a "Tall" beverage at Starbucks.
Q: Does it attract attention?
A: The baristas at my local Sbux got a kick out of it. I have yet to take it to work with me. Hopefully I can get it through security with no issues.
Q: How does it compare to the real deal?
A: As far as aesthetics are concerned, it's pretty darn close. There are little things here and there and the finish isn't quite right but these are things you wouldn't notice at all unless you've spent a fair amount of time with a real 24-70mm. You'd be hard pressed to pick one from another at 5 ft. Look at the pictures below to judge for yourself.
Q: Does it mount to a body?
A: No, I tried.
Q: Does the end cap come off?
A: Yes. I am afraid of loosing mine so I might be epoxying mine on later.
Q: Do the switches and zoom rings work?
A: No. Not on my model. I have seen copies that did zoom and the M/A switch worked but they were the lower quality finishes. Not something I had to have. I'd rather have a higher quality finish than a zoom function.
Q: Would you buy it again?
A: In short, Yes.
Anyways, if you have more questions, ASK! I hope this helped and I can only say good things about the company I ordered through. Their order process was quick and painless and I got Email replies withing 24 hrs when I asked questions.
I really think Nikon and Canon are really missing out on something by not producing these things themselves.