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.
What an exhausting weekend! It all kicked off Friday afternoon where I decided to visit Universal Studios Hollywood after work just to make use of my annual pass. The world famous studio tour had ended for the day and had missed one of the last showings of Water World, so I decided to head down to the lower lot of the amusement park and explore what was down there. Having my camera on hand (as always), I made Jurassic Park: The Ride my first stop for the evening to grab some ride photos. As the park's day was coming to an end, lines were getting really short so I just ended up riding the attraction three times to grab a bunch of photos.
We all get a bunch of e-mails today ranging from important business e-mails, to personal letters, subscriptions to our favorite newsletters, and every once in a while, an amusing spam letter. Today was one of those days where I received one of those emails. At first glance, it almost seemed too good to be true, but knowing better, the fact that it seemed too good to be true probably meant that it was. Being curious if I really was "among the thirteen" individuals "to receive a financial support donation of $2million each," I decided to dig deeper and look for proof that this was not a legitimate e-mail.
Of course, before I begin sharing what I found, let's first be clear that this is not a means to put negativity on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Based on my little research on the organization as well as what I've heard from different articles and reports, all I can say is the organization's global efforts looks to change the lives of many in a positive way. I'm not expert in what they do, but you can pay a visit to their website to learn more about them. Instead, this post is focused on examining a spam e-mail that was written and designed to exploit readers to think it was from the organization, when in fact it probably was not (if it was, then I missed out on a great opportunity).
Tonight's one of those slow nights where I'm at home, minding my own business and along came a spider. Not a huge one, but still a spider none the less. I'm no biologist or spider expert so I have no idea what variety this spider was, but the fact it wasn't black just told me it's probably one of the safe ones. Also, it was only (roughly) a few millimeters in diameter so it was probably safe. Anyways, the moment I saw the spider, I trapped it so I could frame it in a shot, grabbed my camera(s) and the 100mm macro lens, and decided to have a mini photoshooot. Here's what I came up with.