A Few New Favorites
I’m stuck in a bit of a rut during a work trip currently. It’s been a tremendous bore so far and I’ve been, essentially, stuck in a hotel room for the last week and change waiting for something to happen, all the while, nothing does.
To make the best of it, I have been able to sneak out in the mornings to get some exercise in, or a walk on the beach. If you are following on Instagram, you have already seen some of those. Besides iPhone photos, I also have been carrying the Nikon around, just to snap a few photos of things I’ve seen around the resort. I’ve already shared those on Flickr and G+.
I’m really very pleased with how all of these photos have turned out. It’s amazing how nice of a photo you can take when there is a ton of really interesting things to take photos of, with gobs of fantastic sunshine to make the lighting exactly perfect. Of the shots that I have taken with the Nikon so far, these are my favorites.
Lightly processed in Aperture, they really barely needed anything. Just a little bit of white balance adjustment and some saturation of the colors, but just. Everything here really looks pretty much exactly how my camera sees it. These were compressed and resized, but you can view them all in the original resolution at the links above.
Making Better Use of Flash
2013 is going to be the year that I try to really up my game in many areas. One of those is Photography. And, in order for that to happen, I will be adding pieces of gear to my “quiver” along the way. Lighting, lenses, software, or anything else that will help. And I’m going to be sharing those with you along the way.
Currently, I’m trying to improve the lighting of my shots. Usually I’m shooting in a dark ballroom with red, green or blue LED lighting and it can be quite challenging to get shots that are color correct and well lit. I’ve tried using the built-in flash of my D5100, but we all know how crappy that usually is. To that end, I’ve added a few pieces that I think will help.
The first I got as a Christmas present from Stella and it included a toy dinosaur! The Pop-Up Flash Bounce from Photojojo. It’s a mirror that mounts to your hot shoe, redirecting the flash up instead of straight at the subject. Nice even lighting in room with standard height ceilings.
Recently, I’ve had another website start to get a bit too large for it’s britches. 1 regulation, class A nasty gram sent (that was missed) and the site was suspended by the host. Why? Resource usage that was 4x what was allotted for that account. Part of the trouble with shared hosting if your site gets popular.
Not to worry, since the host is Site5, I was able to get them to turn the site back on so I could take a shot at reducing the usage and brings things under control. Sure, an upgrade was going to have to happen, but why not try to put that off until after the crazy that is this time of year.
So I donned my labcoat and went to work. (Read on…)
It’s No Longer Cool to Hate
Looking back at last week when the new Instagram was released, you would have thought there was a roving band of baddies killing kittens and tripping old people. Go back a few months before that when everyone had cats about the map app included with iOS. And, and, and. It’s a never ending stream of hate.
Look at the comments for a review of any Apple product. Look at the comments for a review of any Android phone. Closer to my home, look at comments about any new MINI product. Or any YouTube video comment.
When did it become cool to hate?
I’m the biggest cynic out there, I really am. But even still I think that people aren’t as mean spirited and hateful as they appear to be online. Did I miss a memo that said the cool kids only hate/complain? I get it. It feels good when you are part of the majority. Everyone wants to be a part of the winning team. Everyone wants to be a cool kid, or get upgraded to the adults table. I get it.
It’s time to turn things around. Time to change the majority. Time to go back to “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Don’t Say Anything At All”. Time to let all y’all know that it is no longer cool to hate.
You should be different. See the plus side in everything. Remember that the world isn’t going to end because your telephone won’t tell you when the next bus comes. Remember that half of the East Coast was washed away, yet you continue to be bent about losing a filter. Or a change to Facebook. Or a car that doesn’t make sense to you.
I’m hear to proclaim to you, right here, right now, that it is no longer cool to hate. You are smarter than that, you are better than that and gosh darn it people like you. It’s time the cool kids showed that they were smart and responsible adults that know what is important and know what to burn cycles on. Complaining about phone apps, web services or anything else that you can think of is not only unproductive, but it’s also unattractive and makes you look dumb.
You don’t want to look dumb, do you?
It’s no longer cool to hate. Pass it on.
Getting the Hang of Aperture
Since upgrading my camera from the Canon Digital Rebel to a Nikon d5100, I have also been working to upgrade my workflow and image processing. And that upgrade was in the form of software.
For years I have relied on consumer software to manage and process my photos. The 2 largest players have been iPhoto and Google’s Picasa. Both completely capable for managing, processing and sharing photos, but not quite capable enough. Something that I discovered when editing my camera’s RAW files in Photoshop and Acorn.
Trying to be a proper fan boy, and not being a huge fan of Adobe, I decided to go with Aperture. It has taken me a few months, but I think I am finally getting the hang of it. I keep playing with features and am slowly building up a pretty effective workflow that is producing some nice photos. (Read on…)