Friday, March 29, 2013

Lord Of The Red Rings

Last week I had the pleasure of being able to use a lens held in extremely high regard. I'm of course talking about the Canon 135mm F/2 L USM. First impressions of the lens are its not that large for a medium telephoto. After picking it up you notice a nice weight to it, comforting you about the amount of metal and glass that went into making it. The front element is very large, a dead giveaway that this lens is fast with an aperture of F/2 . Upon mounting to my camera I instantly noticed the combo being a lil on the front end heavy side. If you're not used to using heavy telephotos I recommend compensating for the front heavy combo with your shooting stance. Before I even took a shot with this lens i started to think about all the online reviews and forum talk regarding this lens. The majority of people who have used this lens mainly say one thing, this lens is SHARP! Could it really be that good? There was only one way to find out. Being an avid street photographer, the first thing i wanted to know was, can this lens hack it street shooting at night without flash? Although it sure is fast at F/2.0 there was another factor that presented itself. This is a medium telephoto, so therefore it has a fairly high magnification ratio. Basically that means optically its a lot closer to your subject than a shorter lens. This also means any camera shake/movement is going to be very noticeable at slower shutter speeds. Considering this lens has membership to Canon's "Holy Trinity of Prime Lenses" it did not disappoint. The photos this bad boy is capable of producing are nothing short of stunning. Auto focus is extremely fast and accurate, I wish everything was this nice. Bokeh from this lens is super creamy (although not as good as the 85mm F/1.2L II USM) and pleasing on the eyes. Being the longest and most specialty lens out of the trio "Holy Trinity of Prime Lenses" I had my doubts about its performance, but my worries were silenced instantly. This lens truly does live up to the name "Lord Of The Red Rings", its incredibly sharp, easy to use, fast, and doesn't get in the way of getting that shot. There really isn't much more you could ask for in a lens, except maybe IS (Image Stabilization) for video work. One last note, This past weekend someone asked me why I only shoot my street photos in black and white. It's not that I don't enjoy shooting color, I just made a decision to only post B&W street photos in my facebook album. With that being said, all the street photos shown on this post will be in color. If you wanna see the B&W versions head on over to my facebook page. Hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them.

Sexy glass

Sirens blazing

Street performer

Venue performer

Meet the meat

Face paint time

Jordan enjoying a cold beverage

Toot toot

Smooth balls

Sons of anarchy bro? 

Dirty groms

Personal favorite

Late night booty call?

Up in here stuntin

Monday, March 18, 2013

Valley Of The Sun

How one quantifies a "good trip" depends on who you ask. This past weekend I went north again, but only to Phoenix, AZ. My objective for the trip was simple. Go see one of the best live bands in modern times. While seeing Muse play live is nothing new to me, (this was my 7th time), exploring a large city like downtown Phoenix with my camera, is entirely refreshing. My secondary objective, submerge myself into the actions and happenings of the 6th largest city in the USA, was successful. Having arrived hours before the show I was afforded some exploring time. I was mostly in the area surrounding the US Airways Center as that's where the show was to be played. There was an interesting dynamic to the attitudes of the big city people roaming the streets. Some people would gladly smile and wave as you took their photo, while a few others looked like they wanted to take my head off with a sword. As the sun set and the streets light illuminated it was time to see the show. I'm still amazed at the live show Muse is able to put on even ten years after first seeing them as a teenager. Overall the trip had everything I could have asked for: good friends, good music, and good photos. As usual, have fun and live your life. Thanks for stopping by
Car accident on the side of the i10 freeway

Same vehicle. Cop is talking to dude

Also involved in the accident

I arrive

Thing thing is huge

Multi tasking

He looked tired

Strong second favorite

Taking a break

The red jumped out to me.

Performing for some people at the bar

Serious business

Eyepatch = ?

Personal favorite from the trip


Friday, March 15, 2013

Nasty North

If there is one thing that is for certain when you set out for a weekend of shooting. Its that you're gonna encounter problems. How big these problems are is always changing. This past weekend I decided to head into northern Arizona to take advantage of the extreme weather conditions for landscape shooting. What greeted us upon arrival to Flagstaff, AZ was way more snow than I could have imagined. So much snow had fallen that the I17 freeway was closed and we were stuck in Flagstaff. Not to be outdone by the conditions, Jordan and I set out to take some photos of this new white world we found ourselves in. Saturday was a much more calming day because the freeway was now open and we could travel back to our original hotel. After relaxing a bit we headed out to do some exploring and play in the snow. After searching for some time we found a perfect covered area for us to hang out and build a snowman. Hours had passed by and we finally finished our massive snowman. Standing roughly 9 feet tall this snowman was an absolute beast. The next day we returned to the site of the snowman to find it still intact and incredibly solid. Jordan decided he wanted to not only climb the snowman but stand on its head. I stood by watching nervously as Jordan climbed the snowman and poses for his photo at the top. On the way home Sunday, we thought it would be nice to stop in Sedona and have lunch. Heading back I pulled over at few scenic views for photo ops and to stretch the legs. Overall, despite the terrible conditions on friday, I had a really amazing time for my birthday. I think the photos proved worth the trouble. This weekend I am headed up north again but this time to Phoenix. I am going to see Muse live again at US Airways arena. I'll be leaving earlier in the day so I can explore downtown Phoenix and do some street shooting. Until next time

Photo credit to Jordan Estabrook for a lot of these photos. I was mostly shooting film


Winter Wonderland

I17 covered in snow and ice

Le Benz

Flagstaff sunset

The view from the balcony at our hotel in Flagstaff

Mini plow

Le Chao enjoying the snow


Super stuck

Huge plow

Only the beginning

Keeping us warm

Oil drop

Light painted snowman

Jordan standing proud

Sedona, AZ