After work, I decided to pay a visit to the Old Los Angeles Zoo, located in Griffith Park, CA. I visited the Old Zoo for the first time a few months ago to photograph the history site and decided to stop by again after seeing some traffic on the way home. The pitstop served as a good opportunity to wait for the traffic to die down while going on a quick photo adventure. For this shoot, I had my trusty Canon 6D with the 16-35mm F/4L lens which allowed me to capture a few different wide angle shots of the location.
The Apple Watch has been out in the public's hands for about a week now. While the actual watch is in short supply and backordered till June, there's a small handful of people out there that already has the new wearable tech on hand (or on their wrist) to try out. I was one of those fortunate people who managed to get their pre-orders in on time for a day one shipment of the first supply of watches. Being one of these early adopters, I'm frequently asked what my thoughts are on the device and after a full week of ownership, I think I'm ready to to share my initial thoughts.
I recently decided to pick up a new lens - the Canon 16-35mm F/4 L IS, one of Canon's sharpest wide angle lens released to date. I actually picked it up last week, and took these photos last week as well as a test for the lens. This won't be a review of the lens itself, but just a recap of some of my experience with playing it for a day. There are plenty of detailed reviews for the 16-35mm, but overall i found it to be a wonderful lens. Labeled as a "L-Series" lens, the glass does not dissapoint. Overall, I found it to be sharp and the image stabilization made it quite usable in low light conditions. The only down side I found was that the F/4 aperture still made it difficult ot work in low light scenarios with moving objects. While the IS did help, the IS only resolves for camera shakes, but not so much for moving objects. Anyways, you can take a look at my first set of photos with this lens below.
Like many people, I have a fears, one of them being of bees. While they tend to be harmless as long as you don't bother them, there is that aspect of their sting which I hear can be painful. Not having been stung before, I do fear that pain. Anyways, this brings me to share some photos I took from this past weekend at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California. Being that there were several flowers there, there were also many bees, all of which seemed to be enjoying the nectar from the flowers rather than trying to bother with the crowds around. This gave me the perfect opportunity to do some macro shots with these stinging creatures. Check it out!
Shooting with prime lenses, or lenses that don't zoom, always has it's pros and cons. For example, prime lenses usually result in better image quanity, but you often end up having less flexibility in shooting things since you can't adjust your focal length. This weekend was one of those cases where I was shooting with only a prime lens: the Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro. Personally, I think it's a great lens. The f/2.8 aperture opening and built in image stabilization makes for some pretty good low light performance, but the 100mm focal length does make it challenging to have it as an all-around lens. Over the weekend, I decided to challenge myself and see what I could capture with just having this lens on and personally enjoyed the fireworks photos I snapped with it.
Apple Watch pre-orders kicked off today, just a minute passed midnight. Those quick enough to click the buy button should see their watch shipping to their doorstep in the next few weeks while others may now need to wait until later this summer to get their own. For myself, I have my order placed and look forward to getting my watch, but in the mean time, I stopped by the Apple Store today to get some hands on time with the device/fashion accessory.
This evening, I decided to have a small photoshoot involving some money (but more specifically, coins) as part of seeing Gizmodo's Shooting Challenge on Money. For this shot, I took out different US coins (pennies, dimes, nickles, quarters, 50 cent pieces, and dollar coins) and tried my best to get creative with it. After a few shots, the one above was the one I was most happy with and the one I'll most likely submit for the challenge. The photo itself was taken with my Canon 6D and 100mm f/2.8 lens. The shot itself was taken at the full f/2.8 opening at ISO 200 and a shutter of 1/250th. Being that these were in-I could've set the ISO to the minimum 100 to even reduce noise and shoot at a slower shutter, but really the noise difference would be unnoticable. As far as lighting, I was using a single desk lamp that I used to illuminate the shot.
Another interesting night of finding little creatures around the house. Last time, I photographed a tiny spider I found crawling on the floor. Tonight, I found a tiny mosquito clung to the walls. It was one of those tiny mosquitos which you could easily crush with your thumbs. Don't worry, I didn't do that. Instead, I grabbed my macro lens and decided to see how close I could get to photograph the little creature. Once again, I worked with my Canon 6D and my Canon 100mm f/2.8 L macro lens. I set my camera to a higher ISO than usual at 2500. Since the mosquito was moving around if I got too close, shooting at the higher ISO allowed me to shoot at higher shuttler speeds and smaller aperture sizes. The lens is capable of opening up to f/2.8, but for this shot, I decided to stop down a bit to f/4.5 to get a bit more sharpness. In addition, I used my iPhone's light to add some lighting to the subject, also helping me to shoot a a higher shuttler.
Saturday night, I was over at Disneyland again. After riding a few rides and grabbing some dinner, I decided to stay for the fireworks show and take some long exposure photos of the show. With my Canon 6D on hand with the 24-105mm f/4 lens, I set my shot right behind the partners statue. To keep the shot steady, I setup a small tripod right behind the statue and hooked up my wired remote to remotely trigger the camera. The initial shots were taken at ISO200 to minimize the noise, but after seeing that I needed more exposure to get some of the unilluminated areas better, I bumped up to ISO 400. Throughout the show, I was playing around with different aperture sizes, intially starting off at f/8.0, but after bumping up my ISO, I also changed my aperture to a higher number, first at f/13 then to f/16. Since the area was dark and relied on manual focus, shooting at the higher f-stop instead of full open allowed me to get a sharper image. For exposure times, I had my camera set on bulb and manually released the trigger based on what I was seeing in front me. There was a lot of flexibility to this and allowed me to respond quickly to the different patterns created by the show. My only rule of thumb when doing these bulb exposures is to not go too long. An extra long exposure would usually end up blowing out the fireworks, resulting in a loss of color. After shooting, I processed the raw images in Adobe Lightroom, adjusting the shadows, highlights, vibrancy, and if necessary, some minor noise reduction to the original images. Anywas, enough chatting, here are some of the images I took.