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Category: Galleries (page 2 of 5)

Mikey, Leah, and Sienna visit New York – 10/11/2009

Last month my brother, his wife, and their child Sienna came to visit me in New York. It was an adorable trip and we hung out and danced and played and ate and ventured through the city without a care in the world. I also took a bunch of photos. Surprise surprise!!

Here are some of the best of the set.

Here’s the whole gallery!

And even better, a bonus video!

For these photos I took out my much maligned 50mm prime, the unbelievably cheap piece of glass I got with my first camera. I thought, then, that it would be a great tool for learning, but I ended up using my Tamron 28-75 much much more. However, the Tamron is long gone and replaced by a superior lens I use more and more rarely, and the 50mm is still sitting in my drawer. I never really liked using the lens; it felt clunky and inelegant compared to the zoom I was used to shooting with. It didn’t behave like I wanted it to, and I had a hard time achieving pleasing results.

But that was then, and this is now. Now, I have much more experience shooting with primes, so I thought maybe I ought to give the little 50 a second chance. I am glad I did because, for such a cheap shit lens, it is capable of making quite good photographs. I used it a lot in this set since it’s super light and we were wandering all over the place and I didn’t want to carry around a bunch of heavy shit.

I am still not entirely satisfied with the clunky auto-focus, but that’s about it. Sure it’s soft wide open, but what isn’t? I kind of like that. Having everything in super sharp focus is for illustration and technical photographs. Life’s not in focus all the time, so why should my photos be? Right. I can definitely see upgrading to the slightly more expensive 50mm f/1.4 in the future just to have the more advanced auto-focus mechanism. There’s no reason to go L for a half-stop difference, though, especially with the fine high ISO performance of the 5D2. Stay tuned for further developments from the little lens that could.

Montreal – 07/25/2009

Montreal is awesome. Only there for 36 hours, our trip felt much to short, too rushed, to get a good feel for the city. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time there and wouldn’t hesitate to go back. It’s funky. It’s French as hell. It’s got a thriving metal scene. And the motherfucking Portuguese lady who took the chicken I ordered and chopped it into bits with the meat cleaver? I was in love. And I had an insta-stomachboner.

There’s nothing too special photographically about these, but they’re good and I feel like they captured the essence of our brief, wild trip in the great white northern wastes of Canada.

Here’s a link to the gallery.

Rhianna & Mike’s Barbecue – 07/05/2009

Clearing out the back log a little more. These were taken at a barbecue we had at Rhianna and Mike’s old apartment. It was just a few of us, yet I managed to take some surprisingly good photos.

Here are some selects.

Here’s the gallery.

Windy Hill and Burritos, 06/15/2009

Clearing out more of my backlog, here’s a small set from the last time I was in California. I think these were all taken with my beloved 85mm. I just love the texture it imparts, the beautiful edge blurring, the extremely shallow depth of field, and the way it distorts things when used wide open on subjects that have lots of depth, a field of thistles, for example.

Here’s the whole set. I couldn’t be bothered setting up a page for only 14 photos.

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Yum. Burritos.

Christina’s Graduation from University of Oregon, 6/13/2009

Here are a few of the photos I took while in Oregon. They are mostly uninspired I think, but some of them are nice. I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t on those days. I really just wanted to get these up since they’ve been sitting on my computer since June.

Here’s the whole gallery.

Christina’s Graduation, Eugene, OR Gallery – 6/13/2009

The North Country, Minnesota – 9/12/2009

I few weeks ago I went up to Minnesota with my friend Mikey W for a week in the woods of uninterrupted, extreme relaxing. The goal was to get some work done, which happened to a lesser extent than desired, but we also trekked through the Minnesota State Fair, accomplished a whole lot of drinking beer, made some fires much too large for the tiny little fire pit we had, fished for tiny little guys not worth eating, and rocked the hell out of the Indian Casino in Walker, MN. Not bad at all. And, of course, I made a bunch of photos. I have some thoughts on the development of these afterward.

Here are a handful of my very favorites.

Check out the whole gallery here:

The North Country, Minnesota Gallery – 9/12/2009

On this set of photos I really spent a lot time making local adjustments within Lightroom. The light during the week was very difficult with lots of hard shadows, reflections, areas of wide dynamic range. It made getting good exposures right off the cuff fairly difficult. Add severe haze to the mix for the few days we were at Lake Superior just north of Duluth and you’ll understand the conditions. While shooting I aimed to get a balanced exposure, not too hot in the highlights, not to dark in the shadow, so that I could extract as much detail as possible back at the computer. I think I did a pretty good job on these, especially at making my local adjustments fairly seamless. What do you think? Is there anything glaring here that you notice? Do you notice at all? Thoughts?

The Finger Lakes 8/27/2009

Last week, as I mentioned previously here on The Black Laser, Juli and I took a much needed vacation up to the Finger Lakes which are in the western part of New York State. We stayed at a fantastic bed and breakfast called The Fox & The Grapes in Lodi, NY, which, as it turns out, is right smack in the middle of New York’s wine country. Who knew? And being relatively close to Ithaca, there were the expected, yet utterly exceptional, gorges to experience. It was a lovely trip, one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to a couple wanting to get the hell out of the city for a few days. Check out The Fox & The Grapes. We were easily the youngest people staying there by two generations, but don’t let that deter you. The owner, Jim, is fantastic and will give you a discount if you stay for more than three nights. Go! Now!

Anyway, while up there we hiked around a couple of state parks, Taughannock and Watkins Glen Gorge, went to a weird military museum in another, played tennis with rain threatening, kayaked, ate buffalo wings so hot that I had an endorphin reaction and got high, and then liberally sprinkled wine tasting throughout. Since only two of those outings were picture friendly and dry, my photos are quite hike-centric. Here are a few of my favorites. Thoughts on the photos afterward.

Here’s the whole gallery—Finger Lakes, NY Gallery 8/27/2009

Yeah yeah, so photos of waterfalls are cliché. Whatever. Fuck you. I like them. I think they’re nice. What’s wrong with nice? Nothing. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I am not, nor shall I ever be, one of those totally edgy photographers that makes even the most mundane things look super intense. I just don’t see the world that way. I appreciate that type of photography and sometimes think, “Man, I’m going to try and shoot some, like, really edgy, intense photos or something,” and then they just end up coming out pretty. Even when I want to shoot that way, I can’t help but just making things look nice. Oh well. Fuck it.

On the topic of the way I see, I was playing with shooting things on this trip to match my eye sight. I’ve noticed that I see at about 73mm equivalent—probably why I like the 85mm prime so much, it’s close to the way I see normally—by opening both eyes while zooming until what I see matches. Of course, not everything in this set was shot at 73mm, but it was something I was cognizant of as I composed my shots. It was an interesting exercise to crop such a limited rectangle out of my normal field of vision. For example, the first shot of the four above was one of the 73mm-same-as-Joe’s-eyeball photos. Feel free to dig through the gallery on Flickr to see if you can find more 73mm photos.

Alma Matter 8/22/2009

I cannot believe that it’s been 3 months since I last posted photos here. What the hell have I been doing with myself? I’ve been taking photos—that much, at least, is certain—but I have no idea why I haven’t posted any here. I have a serious back log to tend to which is only going to be set back further by the trip I am taking with Juli tomorrow to the Finger Lakes. Sounds dirty.

This last Saturday, The Metric System threw a fund-raising show we called “Alma Matter”. Get it? Like “Alma Mater,” but, like, different or something? Anyway, it was super deep and emotional, and, as usual, I documented it.

Overall I’m quite pleased with the photographs I made that night. Here are a few of my better ones.

The whole gallery can be found here: Alma Matter Gallery