Since I have new gear burning a hole in my pocket, I had to go shoot. The Ferris Wheel was shot on Friday night and the boat was shot on Sunday morning. Just the week before I had kayaked around the boat “Zenji” when it was docked at the gas station in Marina del Rey. It’s a really massive sailboat.
After months of deliberation and planning, I’ve finally upgraded to a 5D Mark II. I’m hoping this new camera will help take my photography to the next level. The resolution is more than double that of my 40d (21.1 megapixels vs 10.1) and I have long been looking forward having a full 35mm sized sensor. Moving from an APS-C sized sensor in the 40d to full frame means that my 10-22mm lens will no longer work, as this lens physically not fit in front of the larger mirror box. For the ultra-wide focal range I have decided to replace the 10-22 with the 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens. This is a nearly identical field of view range but for the larger sensor and at a constant 2.8 aperture. The above image, a quick snapshot on my way to work, was taken with the new combo. When I downloaded the morning’s images I was stunned to see the sharpness in the palm tree. Below are 100% crops from the raw image. There’s a little bit of processing in Lightroom (default sharpness is used). This is a tremendous improvement on image detail, and I’m really looking forward to using this new tool in the field.
I have many more updates planned. I can’t wait to go out and shoot with the new gear!
Back in 1997 my Mom and I went to Aspen, Colorado during spring break. During this trip we ventured over to the Maroon Bells, a beautiful set of 14,000 foot peaks.
The valley had just been opened up after being cleared of avalanche danger. To get there at this time of year required snowmobiles, since the snow over the road was still several feet deep. Mom and I spent all morning there in the valley with just the mountains, snow, and hot chocolate provided by the little shack at the end of the road. It was a pristine and beautiful morning, and I will not forget being there.
One day at work a couple of years back we spotted a huge fire a couple miles away. On this day I had my camera gear with me and decided to take some pictures on my way home if there was anything to be seen. I later learned that this was a CD duplication company. Firefighters were dumping an insane amount of water on this building for several hours.
One thing I’ve found to be intriguing about night-time photography is the phenomenon of “star trails.” Star trails are created by leaving the camera shutter open for long periods of time to let the light of stars paint across the film. The effect is no different than any other long exposure side effect, with the exception that the movement represented is the rotation of the Earth rather than of the camera. Depending on the composition, this can produce some interesting results. Star trails can be seen in exposures as low as 30 seconds. However the more dramatic trails require exposures of an hour or even longer.
This short sequence of frames shows the progression of star trails in exposures of 5 to 30 minutes.