Saturday, April 25, 2009

New kite!

First flight for my new kite! I made this kite specifically for lifting a camera for aerial photos, but I didn't actually lift my camera with it because it was way to windy for this huge kite. But I did get out my smaller kite to lift my camera, a Sutton Flowform.

My Rokkaku first flight
Photo by my wife, using a Canon 30D.

There were only these two photos that turned out. All the rest were blurry. The wind was really strong.
Fort Tilden Beach

The heart stopping moment of the day
I put the camera on and it was happily clicking away. The wind was stronger as the kite got higher. I thought, "wow I wish the wind was this good every time I flew this kite before. Suddenly without warning the kite started to dive for the ground, with camera attached. Just so you know this kite is supposed to be really stable. Anyway, I glanced from camera, to kite, and back, watching in horror as the camera dipped into the kite and string eating bushes. Just as the string caught a tree the kite zipped upward again, but my racing mind thought this will not last. I will have to surrender this setup to the monstrous thicket. But the wind became my friend again and the kite powered upward and the string broke free of the tree.

A few moments later it happened again! Anyway I got the kite and camera back and we'll be trying again this weekend.

Fort Tilden Parking lot

We were pretty much the only people there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

That's exactly what I mean

From Digital-Photography-School blog:

Disregard all fear of what people will think of you as you snap away on the street or at your favorite venue or park. “Oh what a tourist!”, “That camera’s not even that great”, “That looks like a cheap kit lens”, etc. Don’t let others or the price/quality of your gear set limitations on you! We all have to start somewhere.

I’ve read it numerous times here on the DPS forums and elsewhere. It’s not the quality or price of the camera, but the photographer BEHIND the camera that makes or breaks an image. The only way we can improve our photography is to practice and shoot a lot, not by breaking the bank and buying the latest and greatest.

I think by "elsewhere" he means right here. I think Darren reads my blog. Darren are you out there reading this?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Saturday at the Cloisters

It's been pretty busy around here. So I'm just getting to a couple Saturdays ago.

We spent the day at The Cloisters.

A Cloister is basically a courtyard with a covered walkway. Some are indoor, some are outdoor. This museum is a collection of cloisters, a couple chapels, and lots of other amazing artifacts. Everything is amazingly old. Stuff this old is just incredible.



Stone carvings

Afterward we walked around Fort Tryon Park.

Tree trunk

I must be very honest and came up pretty empty handed with photos. Museums are really hard to photograph. The light is really low, you can't touch anything to stabilize your camera, a tripod is clumsy and obtrusive to the other guests and I didn't bring one.

I did take a few photos from the ground, a nice stable place to photograph, but the shots weren't that great. The first shot above had outdoor light so that helped. I really like the simplicity.

I think old churches and chapels are really neat, they make me want to be still and contemplate. I hope my photo of the chapel gets that across. It really was amazing in there.

The stone work was very old. I used my macro setting for that, I love the macro setting.

The results here were pretty ordinary photos, with quite a bit of touch-up in Lightroom. Sometimes the magic happens in the camera, sometimes it happens in the (digital) darkroom.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I have a question for you...

Ireland Winding Road
I'd just like to get feel of what readers generally feel about this. I think it's a hard question.

What would you choose to take on a trip overseas?

A. point-and-shoot camera of your choice

B. DLSR that the pros use with an array of lenses

There are good reasons for either answer. I'm curious what you'll say. Answer in the comments and let everyone know why.