March 1, 2014
I decided to go for a short photo walk this morning while Lauren was training for an upcoming half marathon. Conveniently, her marathon team was meeting at a park, so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures.
Log Boom Park sits on the Berke-Gilman trail, which is a major thoroughfare for bikes and runners, particularly on the weekend. This morning was no exception, and a constant stream of people were going by while I was at the park.
I was actually on my way back to the car when the "traffic" stopped, and I happened to turn around and notice the crow. He was walking down the trail by himself, just as the people had done a minute before. I grabbed the camera and snapped off a few shots before the traffic returned.
Log Boom Park, Kenmore, WA
Canon 6d, 24-105L @ 105mm and f/5.6. 1/100 sec. ISO 1250. Lightroom 5, Nik Dfine, Nik Color Efex, and Nik Sharpener Pro.
March 1, 2014
Here's another shot from my photo walk this morning. Actually, this was towards the end, almost to the car.
It was quite cold this morning. It actually snowed for a bit, despite the thermostat on the car reading out 43 degrees. At some point the wind kicked up while I was on my walk, which of course made it colder.
As I approached the car, this leaf was blowing on the concrete, and I saw the opportunity for a photo. Just as I got everything set up, the wind stopped, and the leaf stood still long enough for me to get a few shots. This is the best one of the bunch.
Log Boom Park, Kenmore, WA
Canon 6d, 24-105L @ 97mm and f/5. 1/40 sec. ISO 100. Lightroom 5, Nik Dfine, Nik Color Efex, and Nik Sharpener Pro.
February 27, 2014
In December, Lauren and I took a trip to New York for her birthday. Besides celebrating her birthday, our primary purpose was to see Newsies on Broadway (her favorite movie growing up), and explore the city.
I've been to New York plenty, but it had been a few years, so it was fun to discover it anew with her. We spent the better part of four days walking everywhere, visiting various attractions, and just enjoying ourselves. We both particularly enjoyed The Met, which is huge and has something for every art taste.
No trip to New York is complete without a trip up the Empire State Building, of course. If you go at night, there are far fewer people - we didn't wait in line at all! Going at night has another benefit, in that the view is really amazing with the city lights on all sides.
I of course had the camera along, but no tripod, as I had done the research ahead of time and learned that tripods were a no-no. So I did the next best thing - strapped on my fastest lens, stuck the lens through the safety grating (one big benefit of Micro Four-Thirds is that the small lenses fit!), stabilized as best I could, and shot. I think I took 300-400 pictures up there in rapid fire mode, with various settings and particularly various shutter speeds. With enough practice and some experimentation, I got the shutter speed down to 1/5s and managed to get stable, in-focus images.
This particular shot came out the best of the sequence I think. It's unmistakably Times Square, with the Rockefeller Center skating rink visible at lower center. I haven't done a ton of city photography, particularly not at night, but this was fairly inspiring and I'd like to try more.
Empire State Building, New York, NY
Olympus E-PL3, 17mm at f/1.8. 1/5 sec. Lightroom 5, Photoshop, Nik Dfine, Nik Color Efex, and Nik Sharpener Pro.
February 27, 2014
My wife and I enjoy going for walks, and when the weather gives a break in the winter, we jump at the chance to get out. Such was the case yesterday with a nice after-work walk around our neighborhood before it got too dark.
Of course, I brought along the new camera, mainly because it hadn't been outside yet. Even though I wasn't aiming to do any proper landscape photography, it was still fun to take a few shots outdoors and see how the camera did.
This particular spot is along a nature trail that runs through our town. We walk it frequently during the summer months, as it's a nice alternative to the road. I was trying to go for a meandering path look in this shot, but I haven't quite mastered that look fully yet. It still turned out alright I think, particularly considering it was handheld, at ISO 12800, in fading light.
Mill Creek, WA
Canon 6d, 24-105L @ 84mm and f/5.6. 1/40 sec. ISO 12800. Lightroom 5, Nik Dfine, Nik Color Efex, and Nik Sharpener Pro.
February 25, 2014
I got a new toy this week (a Canon 6d!) so like any good kid with a new toy, I had to spend some time playing with it. When the package arrived, it was dark out already (and raining), and Lauren wasn't home, so the next best subject was the cat.
Lenny is a goofy cat, but he's usually pretty good about posing for me. I've taken a few pictures with him where he just sits in the same spot for twenty minutes, which makes it really easy. On this night though he was all about the nap. I kept having to wake him up to try to get pictures where his head wasn't buried in a pillow. Before you feel too sorry for him, he sleeps 18 hours a day and is extremely spoiled, so I felt like I could encourage him to participate.
Anyway, he eventually tired of this and sat down in front of our fireplace, where I snapped this. Nothing terribly special about it, just a fun picture of him on an average night, and a fun way to test out the new full frame. :)
Also, this was shot at ISO 12800. The high ISO performance of the 6d is just ridiculous(ly awesome). At 12800 you can see some noise zoomed way in, but Nik Dfine takes care of it completely. I don't even think my Olympus goes that high, and if it did, it probably wouldn't be usable.
At home in Washington
Canon 6d, 24-105L @ 93mm and f/5. 1/40 sec. ISO 12800 (LOL). Lightroom 5, Nik Dfine, and Nik Sharpener Pro.
February 18, 2014
Mt. Rainier is an exceedingly beautiful place, and like any good Seattleite, I've spent a lot of time there hiking and exploring. This year though, Lauren and I decided to spend a bit more time there during the winter, so we decided to go snowshoeing at Paradise in early January.
Normally, the Cascades are blessed with an abundance of snow, but this year up until recently we've been in a bit of a drought. The drought worked to our advantage for our snowshoe as we were treated to crystal clear skies and modest temperatures.
After parking at Paradise, we decided to head down the valley towards Reflection Lake. We chose to head over the top of Inspiration Saddle, which was great because we ran into almost nobody. After arriving at Reflection Lakes, we took the road back out towards Inspiration Point, near where I got this shot.
This shot is looking roughly west down the Paradise River valley, towards Longmire. I really like the shadows created by the low angle of the sun, as well as the depth from the overlapping ridges.
Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
Olympus E-PL3, 17mm @ f/11. 1/50 sec. Lightroom 5, Nik Color Efex, Nik Dfine, and Nik Sharpener Pro.
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