It’s been a long stretch with no bloggin’ so today I decided to catch up a bit. I have been über busy as of late with Grad shoots and funerals, plus and impromptu road trip with my boy. So I haven’t been doing much recreational shooting. But this morning after another glorious rain, conditions were perfect to do some raindrop chasing. The D800. For as much as I LOVE my X100s, I won’t soon part from the full frame glory of 36 glorious mega pixels. The color and quality of the images is really superb. Whilst wandering around the yard, I noticed a nearly microscopic spider. And thankfully, she (we’ll call her Charlotte :D) cooperated and I was able to nab a couple of images. There was a slight breeze which really sucks for macro photographers. I was already at IS0 3200 trying to keep a high enough shutter speed to freeze the motion. Tricky business. But super fun! Gotta love Macro. 😎
Bonus Video! BTS of the complete and utter gong show Macro Photography can be in the wind. Or breeze. heheheheh… 😆
I watched a documentary one time about Shaolin Monks. In the documentary, it showed them all doing super human things like balancing on one toe with 3 other monks on their shoulders, laying on a bed of nails without getting hurt, etc. And for recreation, they all balanced standing on each other in positions that would make Cirque du soleil jealous! To relax these people did this! Incredible! 😎
I think of Macro Photography in much the same light. For me, it’s a very nice, relaxing, fun kind of photography – that takes the utmost concentration! I’ve noticed it get even more challenging since I got the D800. The slightest movements of the subject render the shot out of focus, even at f/16. I think using DX for macro for so long I got used to the DX look of the photos. It appeared that more was in focus than with a full frame camera, but it’s not true. It’s that there is more photo there with a greater angle of view throwing more out of focus on the edges that simply isn’t there in DX. I put the D800 into DX crop mode and tried it out. Sure enough, both an FX frame and the DX crop frame had the same stuff in focus in the frame. It’s just that there was more in the D800 file to be out of focus. If that makes sense. 😀 Shoalin Camera Monk time! 😉
The name of the game today on this dark and dreary cesspool of flat light was macro lichen. It’s the little mosses that grow on trees. And no, they don’t only grow on the north side! 😉 heheehhee…… To me, these images look like an alien landscape, especially when you crop way in to 100%!
In Canada, we change our money designs like most normal people change their clothes. Our brand spankin’ new 20s are out and as I looked them over, I couldn’t help but notice that Her Majesty looks, well, rather chapped. Mildly annoyed. Like when she saw prince Harry’s party pics from Vegas. They showed her that and took her picture and now, it’s on the 20 dollar bill! And the more you look at it, the scarier and more intimidating it is. Like she’s peering right into your soul and knows what you did! uhuhuhu… shudder! 😯
Oxbow’s latest entrepreneur, James Fonstad, has setup an engraving company called JF Engraving. James does computerized laser engraving on just about any medium you can imagine. The tagline for the business is “if you can dream it, chances are we can do it!” And that’s the truth. From classy aluminum business cards, to dog tags, to pens, to wine glasses, leather, stainless steel – nearly anything can be engraved with laser precision. The results are outstanding! It’s amazing to see your vision for a project materialize right before your very eyes as the laser beam brings it all to reality. 😎
I took some shots of James’ finished products for you to check out. The detail is amazing! If you’re looking for that custom giftware, look no further than locally owned and operated JF Engraving!
Well this year I finally decided to bite the bullet and get some winter tires for my ol’ Honda. It’s not as if we don’t get snow on the prairies, its just that for the last few years, the winters have been very mild as far as snow goes. But every year, there is always an ice storm of some kind leaving heinously crappy roads in its wake. Enter: dedicated winter tires. I sold my right kidney and got them studded too. What an amazing difference!
These wee little metal spikes are embedded into the tire itself, giving added traction in slippery conditions. The other morning I was off to Frobisher and I noticed the road had turned to glare ice just as I was leaving town. I slammed on the breaks with these studded bad boys and I stopped nearly on a dime with no lateral movement. I couldn’t believe it. They are like having a set of cat claws permanently installed on your truck! It’s pure awesome! 😎
As with everything I ever do, I research the hilt out of everything, ad nauseum. No different with tires. All kinds of manufacturers make them, but it has always seemed smart to me to buy products from people who live and work in the same conditions as I do. So, I chose Nokian. They are a Finnish company and do lots of testing in Sweden – on frozen lakes. Their motto is “Trust the Natives.” And, I 100% do. These people live and drive in and around the arctic for crying out loud! These tires have traction where there isn’t any. They plow through snow as if you’re driving a tractor! If you’ve never had winter tires before, I highly recommend you get a set. And studded is even better. True, they are a little noisier on the bare roads, but on our crappy snow/ice covered gong show roads for 50% of the year, it’s really a no brainer. I got mine at Oxbow Tire as they were local and competitive in pricing. And lets face it, it’s all about safety for you and your family and others. Nobody ever stands around at a funeral and says “Wow, that car sure got good gas mileage!” – Trust me, I’ve been to a lot of funerals.
This post could be called D800 Snugs part 2. I took full advantage of Teresa’s camera while she was here. Ironically, I have been wanting to get a macro shot of a peacock feather for a long, long time. However, since the D800 came out, I’ve been waiting to use it to capitalize on the megapixels and get blown away by the sheer awesomeness of the detail. It didn’t disappoint. The 105mm micro lens is unreal sharp. I used it on the feather but also for the ad hoc portrait of Talitha . . . who’s last name is Peacock. Go figure. Serendipity? 😎 Talitha is a super rad girl and, she’s a harpist which makes me cool and couth by association. Check out her music here: http://peacocksmusic.com. I was blown away by the portrait. Goes without saying that Talitha is beautiful, but the quality of the file is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The D800 really brings it! 😎 The feather image is going huge on my wall. I’ll see how 36×48 looks! 🙂
A friend of ours was on her way through the hood and was able to stop by for a couple days visit. It was super fun to have Teresa and her (and our new) friend Talitha stop by. We haven’t hung out for many moons as Teresa and her husband have been living in New Zealand for a couple of years. Great to have them back in Canada! And, it was a grand occasion for me additionally because I got to play with the Nikon D800! Teresa is an awesome photographer now based out of Calgary, AB. Check her out at http://teresarehmann.com. We traded some photography as she needed some updated portraits and we needed a family photo that has all of us in it! bwahahhaah… 😎 And, I got to test the D800 extensively. And test I did, plugging all my lenses onto it and running it through it’s paces. I know the sensor is good. But I didn’t know it was THAT good. It is unbelievable. I’m really not exaggerating here. The image quality, the sharpness, the detail, the contrast, the colour, it’s nearly beyond description. And for what I do, portraits, landscapes and macro stuff, it’s a match made in heaven. HOWEVER. And it’s a big however, the files are so huge that they are unruly. We shot everything in RAW pretty much and editing them on my 3.06 iMac with 8 GB of RAM was painful. Slow. Excruciatingly so – packed in the whole Mac and needed a reset once. But it’s worth it! The images are unbelievable, especially with my 105mm macro lens. “Wicked sharp” has a whole new meaning to me! There’s just sooo much detail and nothing hides from that sensor. Probably need a new computer though . . . 😀
Auntie Heather found a friendly turtle at her place and she brought it over for the kids to check out. What a riot! It brought back fond childhood memories of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Except we were surrounded by toddlers and babies. hehhehe… 😉 Auntie Heather is a hero in a half shell in our books! 😎
I posted some weird photos of a moth last night on Facebook. After I saw this strange thing, I thought it was a hummingbird! But it turned out to be a form of a hummingbird moth. Which makes sense. Because it looked both like a moth and a hummingbird. heheheehh….. 😉 I was out in the yard last night trying to get a macro photo of a Monarch Butterfly that has been hanging around our place for the last few days. Our lilac bushes are in full bloom and they are drawing all manner of creepy crawly. So I waited and waited and waited and finally the Monarch showed up. But they were very finicky and flighty. It proved very tricky to creep up close and nab a shot. But I was happy to be able to get one at all. I was using my 150mm macro lens and even on my DX format body, it’s reach almost isn’t enough. I think that Sigma’s 150mm would be just that much nicer, in terms of reach, for going after the creepy crawlies. I also nabbed a bumble bee shot. You can’t tell from the photo but that bee was so huge that she had her own area code! heheheh… 😎
I still love Macro Photography. Always will. There is no bigger bang for your buck than a macro lens. EVER! It’s so fun and enjoyable getting up close and personal to the tiny world. But it also takes some rockin’ portraits too. I love the extra bokehlicious num-nums I get when I use this lens. As the sun was sneaking away again for another night, I ran out to get some blossom photos. The kids were playing, it was loads of fun. The light was soft and directional. It was indeed a beautiful evening. Then, my dog rolled in cow crap in the back pasture and ruined the whole night. Sigh. 😉