Friday, December 28, 2012

Shooting in shitty light

I really love fast prime lenses for a few good reason. Let me explain what I mean by that a little bit. Fast refers to the largest aperture setting (usually between f/2.8 and f/1.2). Prime means a fixed focal length (no zooming in and out). Now that's out of the way lets talk about why you need one as a photographer. Photography is always about the light, if you don't know that then you have some more research to do. When out taking photos during the daytime (unless in the shadows) this is usually not a problem. The main reason for having a fast prime is low to ultra low light shooting, which I am a big fan of. Most of today's zoom lenses including the outrageously priced "pro" lenses only offer f/2.8 aperture at all focal lengths. This is not too bad considering the improved noise performance of even entry level dslr cameras. The problem with simply jacking up the ISO (sensitivity to light) is the photo now has alot of noise/grain which is simply not desirable. I personally own the fantastic Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens. Even though I shoot with a Canon body and use this lens manual focus only, it's always ready to gobble up any available light. Most beginners start out with no flash unit, which is great for learning the basics, so this type of lens is a must have in your bag. A key feature of having a large aperture lens is you can achieve a very shallow depth of field for creative purposes. Since I've been using this lens for some time now I've taken alot of photos with it. All the photos included were taken with the same 50mm lens without flash.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

El Tour de Tucson 2012

It's interesting to think its been a whole year since last year's El Tour de Tucson but sure enough its gone and passed us. I can honestly say for me personally so much has changed this year I'll never forget 2012 for the good and the bad. With that being said I couldn't have had more emotions flowing for the race. I'll be the first to admit I was nervous, scared, anxious, and excited to roll up to the start line and begin my 111 mile journey around the city I love so much. One major difference this year compared to last is the amount of riding and racing I have done since the last version, also I'll be riding with a team this time around. Every year the Wednesday before the big race the El Tour de Tucson expo is held in the TCC downtown. It's always fun to go to the expo because that's where you pick up your race number a.nd all sorts of goodies. Walking around the expo is an exercise in self control as there is just so much stuff you wanna buy. I saw and tried on some truly amazing hand made Italian cycling shoes and now I'm convinced they are the shoes for me. One booth I simply had to stop at is the JDRF foundation to cure diabetes. Diabetes is common in my family so it's only natural I was intrigued by their cause and am looking forward to riding in one of their events next year. The weather on race day was simply amazing and you couldn't ask for better riding temps. I arrived at the starting line fairly early around 5:45 am to meet up with the team. After shoveling down some granola bars, energry chews, and water we took our place in the huge starting line up. The national anthem rings loud through the streets of downtown as a news helicopter circles the sky looking at the thousands of cyclists. We leave the starting line and the race is officially on. For myself personally, the ride couldn't have gone smoother in terms of no problems. This year I had no crash and flat tires to slow me down. It was amazing to see all the people supporting the riders through their very long day. Big thanks to my immediate family and Syndenn Harmon for taking photos throughout the day. As I rolled across the finish line completely exhausted, I found out my time was 8 hours 27 minutes. Although this is substantially better than last year's time I still cant help but feel a bit disappointed. After it was all said and done I am still happy I was able to enter El Tour with my friends and finish something not many people can say they've done. Until next year.

This year's race route. 111 miles around beautiful Tucson

New handlebar wraps for the big day. Me gusta

Bambo and carbon fiber bike. Such a nice bike

Jerseys everywhere

These little cycling caps always make me laugh

Fat Tire bicycle

Bianchi rep

Handmade italian cycling shoes. Mmmm
My race day kit and number

Jeff before the race

The team having a laugh before the day


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Super telephoto power!!!

I must say the camping trip went very well overall and excellent in terms of photography. I had a great time with good friends and got to test out the Canon EF 300mm F/4L IS USM. This lens appealed to me for a few reasons really. Number one being the relatively low cost to rent one. Number two being its loaded with all sorts of good bits you want in a super telephoto lens. Superb optics, large aperture, auto focus, weather sealing, and image stabilization to name a few. Aside from camping I also took this lens to the local Reid park zoo where my good friend Syndenn Harmon works. I would go as far to say this is possibly the most hand holdable super telephoto on the market. It's no light weight at 2.6 pounds but you sure do get alot of performance to accompany that weight. All of the photos on this post are from the Canon 300mm F/4L IS USM lens and straight from camera with no photoshop. My next post will be a preview leading up to the big bike race this Saturday, the legendary El Tour de Tucson. Like always let me know what you think of the photos or if there is something specific you'd like to see. Thanks for stopping by

This lens simply melts away distracting backgrounds into creamy bokeh goodness

Nick and Sergio enjoying the warmth of the sun early in the morning

Nick's headshot

Two kids playing some footy

Staring contest with a cow

Wild fungus

Some random bro fishing it up

Personal favorite

I love the natural lighting on this shot

The only thing funner than shooting with this bad boy bazooka would be shooting a real one