Thursday, July 31, 2014

Original Versus Effects Added - Dongdaemun Design Center

Pictured below is a photograph I took of the Dongdaemun Design Center in Seoul, South Korea. The first is the original, untouched image shot with an 8mm ultra wide angle fisheye lens, the image below is the same image with some Paint Shop Pro x6 processing and effects. Which do you like better?

Original untouched

Processed in Paint Shop Pro x6 with Topaz Clarify

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Picture of the Day - Cicada

Someone pointed out this beautiful Cicada to me the other day and it had occurred to me that although I hear their distinct chirping every evening, I've never actually seen a Cicada in person, until the other day. I think he was looking at me...

Friday, July 18, 2014

My First Bungee Jump - Teaser Video

I did something today that I never thought I'd do, in fact, I have always said that I would never do it... Bungee Jumping and holy crap, it was AWESOME!

What a rush. Better than any roller coaster and more thrilling than, than... I don't know what to compare it to, but those few moments of free fall seem to last a lifetime.

Here is the teaser video, stay tuned to my blog for the FULL VIDEO COMING SOON!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Introducing Sungjin Kim and John Steele, Korea-Based Photographers

It was a real pleasure spending time with Sungjin Kim and John Steele, both of these Korea-Based photographers have compiled not only impressive photography resumes but also amazing portfolios and bodies of work.

I sat down with them last week for a pleasant dinner conversation about photography (duh!) and ended the evening with a photo walk around the Insadong art district.

I hope you enjoy the video and be sure to check out their work at the following links:

John Steele Photo

John Steele Facebook

Sungjin Kim Photos

Sungjin Kim Facebook

Video - Sony A65 Unboxing and Sample Photos (plus lenses)

I recently made a significant upgrade to my every day shooting cameras by selling my two Sony A35s and purchasing two Sony A65s. I also recently upgraded my lenses with the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm SAL f/2.8 and the Sony G Series SSM 70-300mm 4.5 to 5.6. This video provides a quick overview and unboxing of the A65 and a few sample photos from both lenses.

I also want to tell you about the seller on eBay who I purchased the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm lens from. His name is Jay and he is a partner in D Solution / DH Networks. Let me just say right off the bat that this guy is fantastic! I am currently in Korea and noticed that his business is based here. So I took a chance and emailed him asking if I could just pick up the lens I purchased directly from him, given that we are both in Korea. As it turns out, we are within driving distance of each other. Well, Jay agreed and actually drove an hour to where I was to deliver the lens in person! Wow. How many eBay sellers do you know that would do that? So when I found myself in the market for a second A65, I browsed his store first and discovered that he had a new one available for 652 dollars. I usually like to buy quality used gear but since he was nice enough to go out of his way to personally deliver the lens, I figured the nice thing to do was to give him my business and buy a brand new A65. I emailed him and made him aware of my intentions and he surprised me yet again, offering me a near mint, used A65 that wasn't listed in his store, for 450 dollars! And on top of it, he again went out of his way to personally deliver it to me. We had struck up an unlikely friendship over a couple of eBay purchases, go figure? We enjoyed a cup of coffee together and got to know each other pretty well. I invited him to my next DJ gig and we also made plans for dinner.

Do yourself a favor and check out his great deals on both his eBay store here THANKS JAY!!!- and his Amazon store here

I can't recommend him highly enough. He sells all kinds of new and used camera gear for all makes and models including Nikon, Canon and of course, Sony.

Enjoy the video!

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Lens - Tokina 11-6mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro Wide Angle

I've always been rather envious of landscape photographers, those beautiful sunrise or sunset shots of a rocky beach or long exposure, misty mornings on a rice paddy, that sort of business. So I decided to do something about it and went out and bought myself a nice wide angle lens (not a fish eye).

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide angle seemed like just the ticket and after watching a few review videos and checking out some sample footage and photos, it seemed like the right lens to compliment my new Sony A65 for landscape photography. Now I don't think for a moment that owning this lens will immediately vault me to the status of expert landscape photographer like John Steele or Sungjin Kim but I am convinced that with some experience, trial and error and lots and lots of hiking, I might one day be as good as those two awesome landscape photographers.

I just ordered it a week ago, I'll be sure to post my own sample photos as soon as I get it!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Picture of the Day - "Uijongbu Lights"

Took a new friend out for an evening of street photography in Uijongbu, South Korea. Spotted these Christmas lights hanging in a square between a few buildings. They were supported by a shiny pole which gave off a very cool reflection of the lights... Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How About A Little Support Here? Sevenoak SK-R01 Shoulder Support Rig Stabilizer

There is no doubt that DSLR cameras (DSLT in Sony's case) produce stunning videos, but as mentioned in the video below, the problem is that DSLRs are not designed with video in mind as far the ergonomics and the way the user grips the camera. There is a huge difference between stabilizing a camera for shooting still photos and stabilizing a camera for shooting video and that's where a shoulder rig comes into play.

I selected the Sevenoak SK-R01 for several reasons. Firstly, it looks to be made of durable aluminum and stainless steel. Secondly, I like the ease of adjustment. And lastly, it looks really comfortable. I didn't want a shoulder rig that was big or over-complicated. The Sevenoak is beauty in simplicity. I also like that it has only one handle for my off hand, leaving my other hand free to work the focus ring.

I continue to grow my inventory of cameras, equipment and accessories allowing me the best possible opportunities to produce outstanding multimedia projects.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lens of the Day - Minolta Maxxim 50mm Prime f/1.7

I'm really rounding out my inventory of lenses, the goal is to have own the perfect lens for every situation. One lens I've been wanting to add is a 50mm prime lens, so, I did a little research and settled on the Minolta Maxxim 50mm prime f/1.7. I can really see myself getting a lot of use out it for video productions as well, just take a look at the nice sample video below.

And wow, just check out a few of the sample images below! A 50mm prime lens is really a standard kit item for serious photographers, it's highly versatile and produces stunning images. Stay tuned for my samples, it's already been shipped! 

Another New Camera? Yes, I've Added the Sony A65

I am in full acquisition mode, having just purchased a Sony A37, Sony Zeiss 24-70mm most awesome lens in the world and now a Sony A65. But why? Simple, I wanted a camera that would take full advantage of the capabilities of my new lenses, at 24 megapixels and boasting the same exact sensor featured in the A77, the Sony A65 is up to the task. I really think that I'll have the A37 as my primary DSLR video camera and the A65 for photos, more than likely I'll be selling both of my A35's and picking up another A65. I like the A65 because the controls are nearly identical to the controls on the A35 and A37.

Watch the official video from Sony and you'll see why it was my choice for what will surely be my number one shooting camera.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Went All In - Sony Zeiss 24-70mm SAL f/2.8

I have been on a frenzy as of late, new camera, new lenses, spending butt loads of money, which is so unlike me and all for what? Well, I'll tell you...

I have been shooting photos for a long, long time, even so, lately I've been noticing a vast improvement in the quality of my images, quality that I've been wringing out of my admittedly inexpensive, albeit sizable, inventory of lenses. But I just felt the time is now to step up the quality of my gear. Just two days ago I purchased one hell of a zoom lens in the Sony 70-300mm SAL G lens and today I complimented that addition with the Sony Zeiss 24-70mm SAL f/2.8 lens, the very best there is. And boy did it cost me.

As always, I purchased this lens used on eBay and got a decent deal compared to buying new. The Sony Zeiss 24-70mm lens retails for around $1900. I paid $1499 today on eBay, the nice thing is, the seller is here locally in Seoul, so I don't have to wait for it to be shipped. I'm picking it up tomorrow.

As I mentioned a moment ago, this Sony Zeiss lens is the best there is, so I didn't mind shelling out a few extra bucks. I'm here in Korea for a total of two years, busting my ass in the army, away form my family and loved ones, working day in and day out near the most heavily militarized border in the world, I deserved to treat myself to this fine lens.

Check out some sample images below, you'll see right away, this lens is the real deal. My gift to myself, at the end of my tour in Korea, will be a Sony A99. That ought to set me up real nice...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Picture of the Day - "The Photographer Lean"

Photographers will recognize this phenomenon. I call this shot "The Photographer Lean".

Lean into man!

Check out those lenses too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Steppin up my game with the Sony SAL 70-300mm G Lens

I have been deebating the pros and cons of buying either the Sony 70-400mm f4.0-5.6 at around $1100-$1400 used, on eBay, versus the Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 at around $590 used on eBay. Well, today I made up my mind and pulled the trigger on this investment and selected the Sony SAL 70-300mm G lens, a beautiful lens I must say.

I already have a Minolta 75-300mm lens in my bag but it is admittedly, a relatively cheap lens. The focus ring doesn't really turn all that smooth and although I've been happy with the photos I'm getting from it but I really think it's time to step it up.

I selected the 70-300mm over the 70-400mm for several reasons. Firstly, I thought about how often I might need to use a lens at 400mm. I have been taking plenty of great photos at soccer games from the sidelines with my 300mm lens and have produced great photos. Unless I was planning on doing some serious nature photography, I don't really foresee the need for the 400mm focal length. Secondly, the price of the 70-300mm Sony lens is around $590 used ($900 retail), while the 70-400mm lens is $600-$800 more and I just didn't think that extra cost was worth the 100mm additional focal length that I might not make that much use of anyway. Lastly, I watched a video review (embeded below) and saw some sample photos that were really impressive. That sealed the deal and today I bought the Sony SAL 70-300mm G Lens. Woohoo!!!

Stay tuned for my own sample photos.

And you can see how nice the video quality is as well...