Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jeju Sunrise

This is the first of a series of photos from the trip to Jeju, South Korea. More properly, I guess it would be Jungmun resort or Seogwipo City.

Jungmun beach was beautiful with coarse multi-colored sand (a lot of lava bits in it) and lava cliffs. The water itself was quite warm; warm enough that it felt like a swimming pool, nothing like the Pacific that embraces northern California.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I'll be the first to admit: I burned myself out on photography and have done very little over the past few months, ever since the move. But I just thought of something that got me excited to get the camera and lights out once my current deadlines are over:

I have a garage now!

Yes, the new house has a garage, which opens up a lot of opportunities. I now have a sizable studio (about a car and a half-worth) where I can set up concept shots without bugging the heck out of my wife as she's watching TV (and running out of space in the kitchen). I can get a roll of white seamless, hang it on the wall, and leave it there for when I need it! And I can do stuff with water without worrying about the carpet!

My only concern is how the neighbors will react to flash leaking out the windows. I put the over-under on complaints and questions at about one day. I'm sure some of the older ones will suspect lightning at first. Why would you ever put windows above the garage door?

Now, I just need to find some time. Stay tuned, even though this blog looks mostly abandoned. I'm hoping to slap some pictures from Korea up soon, possibly with little or no description.

And so far, so good, with the 20D operating correctly now that it is back to the states and in humidity less than 90%.

Monday, September 3, 2007

And even more camera problems...

A week later, I'm finally getting a chance to go through the pics from Korea in some depth, and the interlacing problem I mentioned earlier popped back up (with less consistency, and some nasty side effects). The worst example is this image (a 100% crop):

Obviously, the problem is less consistent, and generally nastier. I still hope the problem was just due to high humidity (and the fact I was sweating on the camera), but I'm beginning to doubt that. Since my Canon warranty expires at the end of September, I'm going to shoot a bit more this week and see if it pops up again. If it does, I'll send it to Canon. If not, I guess I have to hope the problem goes away and depend on SquareTrade if it doesn't.

I also got one image like this:

That doesn't look like the same problem -- instead I think it was a JPEG compression error. It only happened once, so I'm not really concerned.

I'll also be posting some Korea pics over the next few weeks. I had a lot of nice ones, but managed to miss all the DPC deadlines for them, so this will be my only outlet. Too bad, I had some that I thought would do very well on DPC.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Canon Starter Bag

Well, looks like I'll be updating the blog weekly...

One thing caught my eye as I was skimming through Strobist (between the move and the trip, I am about a month behind on reading Strobist and other photography blogs -- I really need to add them to my Bloglines feed).

In a recent post Hobby described his ideal 'starter' bag for an aspiring photographer on a budget and I was surprised how similar his views were to mine. Of course, he went with Nikon, but the Canon equivalents are pretty much what I bought. Of course, I'm starting to wonder if I have too much gear because I've been shooting so infrequently lately.

From the sound of it, the D70s is somewhere between the Rebel XT and 20D, making it pretty much perfect for new photographer. I'd recommend a used 20D for someone getting started, but an XT (350D) will do just fine too. Just make sure you get a warranty on a refurbished camera, IMHO. Although, I'm super jealous of the crazy-fast sync speed of the D70s. If I started over with new gear, I'd probably go with Nikon.

The Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 is a great lens. Enough said.

Light stand, umbrella adapter, and shoot through umbrella. Again, pretty necessary, I agree totally that these should be early purchases. And they don't have to be expensive to work.

The only item I disagree with is the Nikon SB-800. At $300+, I feel like you could get a Sunpak 383/Vivitar 285/Nikon SB-24 plus an eBay trigger for a third of the price, and then you'd have extra money to get a few more important extras, like batteries, CF cards, etc. Or heck, you could get 2-3 flashes for the same cost and they'd all sync. Yeah, the eBay triggers aren't perfectly reliable, but they are good enough to start with. And saving $200 (a little less than 20%) is a big deal.

Other than that though, it was uncanny how Mr. Strobist picked out a starter bag pretty much exactly like what I bought over the past year. Listen to his advice, you can't go wrong.