RYANVALLE.me

FULL-TIME WEB DEVELOPER

HOBBYIST PHOTOGRAPHER

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I'm a huge fan of long exposure photography. I feel that it's a great way to capture sharp images at night, but also helps you capture the world in a way that you're not used to seeing. One example, capturing star trails. Usually, we look up at the sky at night and see a several stars in the sky (the actual quantity you see can vary depending on weather and amount of light pollution in your city). However, by exposuing for several seconds, or several minutes, or if you're daring enough, several hours, you can see the night sky in a new way. This is where my photo experiments come to play.

Welcome to New York! I'm spending a few days here on essentially what's become a photo adventure of the city. On my first day, I paid a visit to the Top of the Rock, an observation deck at the top of the Rockefeller Center. While the Empire State Building offers a higher vantage point of the city, Top of the Rock, I feel shows more of it thanks to it's prime location and three levels for observation. On one side of the building is most of the city including such iconic sights such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. On the other side, you get a clear shot of all of New York's Central Park.

After giving some thought of upgrading my Canon EOS M to a new camera, I finally gave in and went for the Canon 6D, Canon's most affordable full frame SLR camera. The EOS M was a great camera to me, and continues to offer great features for the buck. It's size and portability, great 22mm kit lens, compatibility (with an optional adapater) with existing EF and EF-S lenses, and touch screen interface really bumped the EOS M to the top of my favorite camera list. But I was craving something new. I was looking to find a camera that was faster, had improved low light compaitibility, and offered better lens options compared to what I could get now. Only option in that was to go full frame and thus I bought a Canon 6D with the 24-105mm "kit" lens. While I don't have a full extensive review of the camera (as there are plenty of that on the interwebs), I did snap a few test photos. My true test is when I take the camera with me on a few travel adventures and test low light performance, focusing speed, sharpness, dynamic range, and other attributes that I think help make a great camera. In the mean time, here are a few of my test shots. Enjoy!

Yesterday, I paid a visit to the Rancho Simi Community Park in Simi Valley, California. At first sight, I though it'd be a park that I'm used to visiting - some grass, trees, tables, and playgrouds. However, after some exploration, I saw a nice flock of birds roaming around calling this place home. Not sure why, but these birds were pretty calm around people. Usually stepping within 15 feet of their space would cause them to want to fly away. But not these birds. They just sat there giving some cool opportunities for some close ups. The first one above was me with my 22mm lens maybe about 2 feet away from the bird to get a decent close up. Take a look at a few more I snapped during my visit.

Tonight, I decided to do more long exposure photos from my car, but this time I wanted to get a different angle - a selfie angle. There were a few challenges with this one in general:

  • How do I secure my camera to get the angle I want?
  • How do I control the camera?
  • How do I stay still enough to myself in a long exposure to not be blurry?

Welcome to another "Explore LA" photo series, but this time taken from the comfort of my car. This time around, I was on my drive home from work and decided to mount my camera onto one of the backseat headrest and do some long exposures as I drove. Equiped with a fish eye lens and a wireless remote, I was able to trigger my camera from the driver seat. And by using the bulb functionality on the camera, I was able to manually control how long I wanted the long exposure to last.

Quicktime Movie Player has always been one of those apps that came with the Mac computers. Previously, it was the mac user's go to player (along with other great free choices such as VLC Player) to watch your video files on the Mac, or if you were more of a hard core video nerd like I was, used it to process, encode, or convert your videos for different delivery formats. In the recent launch of OS X Yosemite, Apple sneaked in a few new features of Quicktime. The one that I found most notable was the introduction of iOS screen capture.

Los Angeles is an interesting city. Many people may think it's one of those major metropolitans with large buildings, or a celebrity hub where movies are made. Truth is, while there is a large film business in the region and a Downtown area filled with the hustle and bustle you'd expect from any major metropolitan area, Los Angeles also has some cool places that not a lot of people may know about. Take for example, the Old Los Angeles Zoo which is located in Griffth Park, CA and is just a few minutes away from the "new" L.A. Zoo's location.

Welcome to my updated "Blog-Folio" site, a hybrid of a blog and a portfolio website! Well, essentially it is just a blog site but I'll be mostly using it to share some of my work. :) Over time, I hope to share things from photo adventures and techniques for those interested in photography, code snippets for you fellow tekkies and web developers, and just other posts that I feel like sharing.