Just wanted to thank those that have commented on my posts, however, I do feel the need to tell people, that if for some reason that I think your comments is meant more for advertising or spamming, I will not approve your comment.
Too many of us are already dealing with stuff like this, and I will not let my blog turn into free advertisement for some people…
I’ve take up an old hobby of mine from all the way back in highschool.
It’s been a long time, but I’ve started up archery again. Previously, I used to have a PSE Polaris Express, now I have a PSE Rogue NP.
I tell ya, it’s been a long time since I last did some archery. As time goes on, I’ll discuss my archery as time goes on.
First off, I am not a pro like Erika Anear. She’s an Olympic archer. A hot looking archer though…
Secondly, for anyone that’s thinking of taking this sport up, I’ll tell you this, it’s not a cheap sport. At times, it could be inexpensive, but you want the good stuff, you’ll be spending out hundreds to thousands.
Take for instance, the bow that I want currently, is the Hoyt Carbon Matrix.
But that’s $1200 bow, bare bones, no sights, no arrows, just bow.
But lets talk about the two basic bows. Recurve and Compound. A recurve bow is a tradition bow, when the bow doesn’t have a string on it, it’s relaxed state looks like an elongated C. Pull back the ends of the bow backward and attach the string. This is where the bow gets it power. I shoot with a compound bow with can be basically described at a bow with wheels or cams on it. The wheels/cams in combination with the limbs of the bow give it it’s power. There are other types of bows, but they are not as popular.
Hey folks. My first blog in a while and it’s being written on an Apple iPad using the Wordpess App! Woot!
I thought about it long and hard on what I should write my next blog about.
Hopefully, I don’t lose you guys here. But I thought I would write something up on iPhone photography.
That’s right, I said it. Photography with your iOS device.
BTW, Rogers has a new thing now, that they will do early upgrades, but at a cost. For me, as I’m 14 months into my current contract, and they require 30 months for regular hardware eligibility, I would have to pay an extra $240 on top of the cost of the iPhone 4s, plus a $30 administration fee, in order to receive an iPhone 4s. So for the 16 gig, I would have to shell out about… $479. Not likely going to happen any time soon.
First off, why use an iPhone for photography. Why not? The new iPhone 4s has an 8 megapixel camera built into and has the update iOS5 which includes a bunch of features, like on phone editing of pictures.
There are actually a few books out on the market that deal with just iPhone photography. Check out The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity by Stephanie Roberts.
Why should I switch from my Blackberry to an iPhone. Well, it just seems the way everything is going. More and more products seem to be made for an iOS product.
However, from what I can tell, there are lot more people than just me that is unhappy with Rogers’ move from the 18 to 24 to 30 month hardware upgrade eligibility. What about those that took a 2 year contract? Do they have to wait another 6 months? Even though they probably paid the higher price for their current phone for the 2 year contract.
Well, nothing much to do now except to wait….
I’ve done a few wedding shoots in my time.
People ask me for advice on choosing a photographer (why they didn’t ask me to shoot their wedding, is far beyond me, if they are looking for a wedding photographer).
Here’s a few pieces of advice when choosing a photographer:
1. Look at their portfolio, see if you like their work. Most photographers will have a website that lets you look at their work.
2. Consider their prices, the cheapeast, isn’t going to be the best. If you want a good photographer, they are going to charge you an arm and a leg. But hey, you get married only once (I hope), might as well make these memories the best.
3. See if they are willing to sell or release their copyright. A lot of photographer’s will not do this, since this is their living, they will make money off the prints as well. Do keep in mind that they will charge more for a copyright free disc of photos.
When I got married, we choose a photographer that we liked. We paid $2000 plus tax and we got a copyright free DVD and 6 hours of wedding photo time.
$2000 does seem a lot for 6 hours and a DVD of photos. But remember, you are paying for their time (processing photos, etc.) and their equipment and their work.
Want to shoot the wedding yourself? This is ok if you aren’t part of the wedding party.
But what you don’t realize is that 18-55 Nikkor kit lens and that 70-300 VR lens may not cut it. It’s okay for the people that sit in the crowd of observers. But most places don’t allow flash photography (whether it’s the church’s rules or the bride and groom’s wishes).
Therefore, you are going to need to spend MONEY on higher end equipment.
The Nikon 28-70 f2.8 lens and 70-200 f2.8 VR lens is what most photographers will use.
These lenses will allow you to shoot in low light. The MSRP of the 28-70 f2.8 from Nikon could be about $2000.00 and the 70-200 f2.8 VR, can reach upwards of about $2600.00
Also, keep in mind that these are heavy lenses and will weigh you down.
A good flash or two will be of great help in all those places that allow flash photographer.
I recommend a couple of NIkon SB-900’s with an SD-9 high performance battery pack (for faster flash recycling).
Next, you will have to put all your photographic knowledge to the test while taking a wedding.
Here’s the first and foremost important rule! The wedding is about the BRIDE! What she says, goes…
Next, sit down with with Bride and Groom (preferably long before the wedding) what find out what their expectations are. Have a plan, who do they want photographed. What are the most important shots to them. Are there any people that “Don’t” like their picture being taken. Once you have a plan, keep it with you at the wedding. Therefore you can check off which photos have been done.
Take pictures of things around the wedding. The cake, the decoration, the bouquets, the flowers, the boutineers, etc. These can be used as background images for a photo book.
Lighting, yes, we all know about lighting and the importance of it. But you should and an artistic flair to them.
Here is a Google Image link for some examples of David Ziser’s work.
In July of 2010, I received a call from Bell to get me back as a customer.
A little more was offered for my Digital Cable TV, Hi-Speed Internet and Home Phone, all for the $119 a month.
I would get 1500 long distance minutes with the Bell Home phone, 100 HD channels with a free PVR rental for 3 years and the ADSL Internet would be 12 mBit per second with an 80 GB cap per month. This was not a promotional offer.
Since I was paying a lot more with Rogers, I called them up and told them about the offer.
They offered me the same services that I had (Internet, 10 mBit per second with a 60 GB cap, Rogers Digital Cable with their measly choice of HD channels, and 500 long distance minutes for home phone), which I was happy with, for $115.
One year later, I’m being told that the discount offer I had was only for 1 year and that the second and third year would go from a 30% discount to a 20% discount. And that these were the terms that I agreed to.
After the calculations, I figured that I would be paying $145.00 a month for the 2 years after that.
Doesn’t it seem silly that I would agree to paying more in the future?!?! That’s just putting off the inevitable of me switching from Rogers to Bell or another media company. Like Teksavvy, which, by the way, have amazing deals on highspeed internet.
Of course, Rogers Customer Relations, being as rude as hell this time. “These are the terms you agreed to, is there anything else that I can do for you tonight? Have a good night.”
Even after a discussion with another customer service agent, he said that if they were to apply a totally new discount, I would be charged an early cancellation fee, which could be $400.00
I’m contemplating on paying the early cancellation fee, just so I can save a tonne of money in the future.
Seriously, why the hell would anyone agree to pay MORE in the future? I told the person on the phone that I was not told it was only going to be one year. I had to “commit to a three years”, therefore, I believed I was getting this price for the three years that I agreed to. Not this 30% for the first year, then 20% for the next two.
But of course, they just said that their notes don’t reflect what I have said. Of course they don’t reflect what I said, these are “YOU’RE” notes that your employees enter. They can totally disregard what I had said or leave out some things they have said and enter them or change them as they see fit.
I’m more pissed off at the fact that their customer retention/relations department doesn’t seem interested on keeping my business or in trying to help me out. I have been a Roger’s customer for the longest time, even before they were called Rogers, CANTEL! And this is how they treat long standing customers? Hey wait, I think I’ve said this before in a previous BLOG post.
Teksavvy is also now providing home phone services for a more reasonable price.
Been a while. Sorry, I have been really busy as of late.
Ok… I gotta say it… everyone else is… May the Fourth be with you… Ok, now that I got the geek out of me for now….
Thought I would share something with you. Years ago, when I first got into photography, the one thing that was really annoying was the camera strap. It wasn’t a problem with the strap comfort or anything.
It was the stupid part that threads through the strap rings. The way that most manufacturers instruct you to attach the strap, leave the end dangling. This resulted in a poked eye. Several times when shooting sideways. Also, it looks pretty messy.
Then doing a couple of searches on the internet and recommendations from some other photographers. I have found a way to attach your camera strap in a way that makes it very neat.
First, you’re going to need to take the camera strap apart, if you already have it on your camera.
Thread the strap through the slide and the strap retainer.
Then thread the end of the strap through the strap ring, through the strap retainer and then into the top of the slide.
Now thread it through the bottom hole of the slide.
Pinch the ‘three’ layered strap portion and pull the strap retainer over them. Then you are done. See how neat it looks and it won’t poke you in the eye now.
If you can’t tell from the pictures above, I have drawn an image showing the path of the strap.
Hope this helps some of you out.
Well it’s that time of year again. Xmas is upon us. The gifts need to be bought. Fight the holiday rushes at the shopping malls (masochists!) and take family photos to send to the loved ones that can’t be with you during this holiday season.
Taking photos of Christmas lights? On a tree? This isn’t as difficult as it seems. Especially if you have strobes and/or light boxes, but if you have that stuff, you should already know what you are doing.
Some of you have used your point and shoot and get the perfect lit Xmas tree, but the tree itself is too dark. Or you may end up blowing out or over-exposing the lights.
What happens is that your camera’s meter sees the dark green tree and these little light bulbs and it is trying to determine what the best exposure is suppose to be.
Again, unless you already have the strobes and light boxes, there’s another way of getting it done.
Use your on camera flash as a fill light:
Put your camera on a tripod and compose the picture.
Using the M setting (Manual, yes, I’m talking about SLRs here folks), take some test shots. Adjust the shutter speed and/or f-stop until the Xmas lights look great.
It is very likely that the rest of the tree will be very dark.
Pop up your on camera flash to open up those dark areas.
If the picture looks too "bright", go into the settings or you’ll have a flash exposure compensation button on your camera and reduce the flash output starting at -1; if it’s still not to your liking, try the next step at -1.3, then -1.6, and then one at -2.
Take many shots, and various levels.
You’ll most likely have to see on that computer screen what is best. It’s better to see on a 17+" screen, than a 2" screen. Unless you’re shooting tethered, which I don’t recommend in an out door setting in winter.
Try also using a Star filter, this will give it the starry look on each of the lights and make your picture seem that much more outstanding.
Well, what the hek is a a Garmin Chirp anyways.
It’s described physically as a small electronic beacon about the size of a quarter, black in colour. It has a user replaceable button battery that lasts about one year and it’s waterproof.
I don’t have one yet, because you need an ANT device that is Chirp enabled. Currently, the Garmin Oregon 450, higher, Garmin Dakotas and the latest versions of the Garmin GPSMAP units are the only ones that have the firmware released to do so.
Even though my Garmin Colorado is an ANT device, they haven’t worked on a firmware upgrade to this unit for over a year. Even though my model is less than two years old. It’s officially discontinued and from some sources on the internet, will probably not be supported.
Personally, I’m not going to be very happy, if they don’t.
I have e-mailed Garmin Support and inquired. If you have a Colorado and in the same situation as I am, please do send Garmin a message of your concerns at the following link: Contact Garmin Support
The ANT is a part of the GPS that will allow GPS users to wirelessly share information between one another while in the field without having to connect to a computer. Example, waypoints, geocaches, etc.
We just recently went out for a local cache event here in Ottawa, called Go and Get’em. In short, we call it GAG. While out, we decided to try a couple of Chirp enabled caches.
Now before I get into how well it worked for us, I’ll tell you a little bit more about how the people at Groundspeak and Geocaching.com approved the use of this. In short, it took them a few weeks to decide whether to allow this or not, even thought that Garmin had already announced the Chirp’s release. In the end, it was approved. As long as the beacon symbol is placed in the attributes of the cache page. It is also preferable that Cache hiders also provide an alternative to those that do not have a Chirp. However, it doesn’t say they are required to do so.
Back to our Chirp cache story. We decided that we would go after this cache called “A Long Shot” by Pokaroo (GC2GJ7K). When we get to our first way point, we have a to do a puzzle in order to find the projection from the current waypoint to get to the next or we let the Chirp ‘tell’ us. Within 10 meters/40 feet of the first waypoint, Gord’s Oregon beeped and said that a Chirp was detected, and asked if he wanted to download the information. He did of course and it automatically downloaded a new set of coordinates called “Next Stage” into his GPS. Cool! And off we went to find the cache.
Images directly linked from the Garmin Blog site.
So, yeah, this is like multi-caching. But instead of looking for a small little Dymo label tag, the GPS and the Chirp will be looking for each other.
In any case, a multi waypoint chirp enabled cache would be very costly. For example, my Bill Mason multi cache is seven waypoints in total. That would cost me in excess of $140 to put up that cache. Now, even though that the Chirp is assigned a PIN (Personal Identification Number), so that no one else can change the information on it. It doesn’t stop people from stealing it. This could get costly, it you hide it in a high muggle area. Just take a look at this cache “Chirp it Up” by Burt Gummer (GC2H4C5). They have since, placed a memorial cache for their missing Chirp, “Who took the Chirp?” (GC2HQCE).
Well, I hope this answers some questions about the Chirp for some of you.
Till next time.
For a relatively short and easy explanation on what HDR or High Dynamic Range Imaging is about, see the description at Wikipedia.org
But basically, it’s a way to get foreground details along with background details when the light will not allow for both at the same time. In some instances, the sky will be washed out by overexposure or the foreground is underexposed. Or vice versa.
HDR is one of the best ways of getting that eye popping photo.
Unfortunately for some of you, I don’t know how to set up a Canon camera on shooting for HDR. I know if is possible, but I haven’t had a chance to take a look at one for that long in order to do it. However, for either Nikon, Sony, Pentax, or Canon, you’ll definitely want to get to know your camera.
On a Nikon camera, that’s a different story.
On the D200, there’s a button on the back of the camera that’s marked ‘BKT’, this is the Auto Exposure bracketing button. On a D300, it’s located on the front just on the bottom near the grip side of the lens.
Press the appropriate button on your camera and rotate the rear command dial.
On the setting display window, you’ll notice lines in the exposure meter show up each time you rotate the dial. Three, Five, Seven, or Nine of them. These represent the number of shots at various exposure levels.
You’ll want to set this to five shots. This will give us a good range of photos to work with.
While pressing the BKT or Function button, rotate the front command dial, located just below the shutter button. Fine, I’ll show you the picture show you know where it is.
This allows you to change the range of steps for the exposure. From .03 to 1.0 (you’ll see if on your display screen when you do it), for out purpose, we’re going to use a full step (1.0)
Next, we want to make sure that we have our camera set in the correct mode, we want Aperture Priority mode. When shooting HDR, we definitely do not want our aperture to change. Just the shutter speed.
Press and hold the ‘Mode’ button (located near the shutter button) and spin the rear command dial to ‘A’, then set you aperture setting. For this tutorial, we will use f5.6
Set your camera to a Continuous High Speed setting.
Push the little button at the front of the dial, this acts as a little lock, then rotate the FAM dial to CH for Continuous High.
Put your camera on a tripod, the less movement the better. When you get a good composition, press and hold the shutter button until all five shots are taken.
Go out there and take some photos. Have fun. Here are some examples of what you’ll see as you are shooting.
I’ll be back at the end of the week to talk about combining the images into an HDR program and turn the above pictures into this:
Until then, have fun!
Choosing a tripod is not an easy as a task as you might think.
There’s a bunch of variables that you will want to consider before going out and buying a tripod.
Here’s a short list of things that you might want to consider, I’m sure there are more, but these are at the top of anyone’s list.
- Type of usage
- Type of head
There are hundreds of tripod types, manufacturers and permutations of these tripods out there.
Yes, as pictured above, they also make them for cellular telephones as well.
The obvious reason is that you need more stability, probably because of a lower light situation. The next is that sometimes, you just can’t hand hold your camera, maybe you want to be in the shot yourself. There’s many reasons. This is just a couple.
When looking for a tripod, the one thing that I have to make a suggestion is, go to a place that has staff knowledgeable about tripod and have them out on display, so they can let you try them out with your camera. I really hate it when I go somewhere and they can’t even be bothered to take it out of a box to see if it is suitable for your camera. The staff at Henry’s are VERY knowledgeable about tripods and they will spend time with you find the right tripod for you. Most of their stock is on display, so you can go ahead and use them to see if they are suitable for your needs. For those of you in the United States, Henry’s does do ordering to the US, but I would recommend B&H Photo, they are based in New York city, but also do have an online store.
Another place you might want to check out is a store that specializes in tripods for optics, like an astronomy store. The staff at Focus Scientific will know all about tripods and the best one for your setup. Especially since they deal with large telescopes.
Now that the plug is done.
You’ll want to consider a tripod that will allow you to replace the head on the tripod. Why? Well consider the following; What type of camera do you have? Do you have a battery grip that allows easier use for portrait shooting (as opposed to landscape)? Do you have a larger lens that needs a tripod mount itself? How heavy will your entire set up with your heaviest lens be at one time with flash?
For example, I use a Nikon D200 with battery grip, and most of the time I use a 70-200 f2.8 lens and maybe, an SB-800 flash with external battery back. All this weighs about 4kg (just under 9lbs).
Since my lens needs to use a tripod mount itself and I have a battery grip. I found that the Pan Tilt head from Manfrotto I had was a little cumbersome and the knobs actually got in the way, when trying to mount the camera.
Manfrotto 804RC2 Pan tilt head.
As it is described, it pans (side to side) and tilts (up, down, vertical, and horizontal). Don’t get me wrong, this was a great head for when I was starting. It featured a quick release plate and a bubble level. I would definitely recommend this one. It will hold up to 4kg.
However, I needed something that would suit my needs.
Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head
This ball head will hold up to 8kg and has variable positioning to allow for my lens, battery grip and camera. It is also an inexpensive head as well.
Okay, now that has been taken care of. Onto the tripod itself.
There are various types of manufacturers out the and they have various tripods out there. Unlike some of my friends out there, they went cheap and just bought joe blow tripod, because of cost. Well, remember, you get what you pay for. If you don’t have a huge set up and just have a little point and shoot camera, this will probably work out. However, if you have an SLR camera. I really don’t recommend that you buy a cheap tripod.
Manfotto 190XB Tripod
My 190XB is made of tubular aircraft aluminum, holds up to 5kg, and weighs 1.8kg I do plan on upgrading this, one day to Carbon Fiber which will make it light.
There’s different types of aluminum tripods out there. Don’t be fooled. A lower grade aluminum tripod is VERY different from a Manfrotto aluminum tripod. Compare the two metals, you’ll see. Some manufacturers use thin aluminum and bend it in a way to give it more stability. But it can’t beat out a thicker material that was ‘engineered’ to be sturdy. Again, you get want you pay for.
Once you think you might have selected a tripod for you, have the sales person set it up in store. Once done, put your fully set up camera on it. Then do what I call, the ‘flick’ test.
This is when you pretty much ‘flick’ the end of your lens (without damaging it, obviously) and see how much your camera moves on the tripod and how long it takes to stop. If it moves very little and stops in a really short time, then this might be the tripod for you.
You may also want to consider a tripod with a center column, this will allow you to raise and lower camera to your eye height. However, try to choose a tripod that is closer to your own height. Raising a centre column adds to more instability.
Hopefully I’ve been able to give you enough information to help you in find a tripod. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $50-$2000 for your tripod. I would recommend the Manfrotto and Gitzo line of heads and tripods. However, if you choose to go cheap, be prepared to be disappointed sometimes. Buying the perfect tripod, good luck, it doesn’t exist. Buying a tripod is more or less a compromise. You just have to find the best one out there for you.
Now get out there and have fun…!