Monday, June 4, 2012

They're Coming

They're Coming

Yesterday I headed over to Disneyland. I knew this would be my last trip until late August and Early September. So I knew I had to make it a worthwhile trip photography wise. So as we were walking over to find a place to eat and to ride Indiana Jones, Pirates, and the Haunted Mansion we were walking right by Rivers America right next to Big Thunder Mountain and I looked to my right and I saw the Columbia in utter darkness making it's way to the main area of Rivers of America. It hit me then that it was right before the canon exploded during Fantasmic. It was a very surreal thing to be walking side by side a dark ship right before they're about to perform their segment for Fantasmic.

I then quickly turned on my camera and started snapping away photos. I found a perfect little spot to the very right of the Mark Twain loading area. That is where I snapped this picture from. It was an absolute rush. As a kid this was my favorite part of Fantasmic and one of my favorite Disney films hands down. It was also a rush just seeing the ship make it's way over and knowing that the loud canon being set off is making it's way over as well.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

NEST, Through The Mist

NEST Logo, Through The Mist

Last Sunday I headed over to Universal Studios to ride the news Transformers: The Ride 3D. I have to say that it was worth the 3 hour wait BUT our first ride was stopped halfway through. I believe it was because they just had too many people and they were rushing everybody on the ride and it was too much to handle. I plan on going back on Monday when it's less crowded and a non holiday weekend and riding it multiple times to really pick everything up. All in all it was a solid ride. Defiantly the best thing Universal has added since probably Jurassic Park.

As for the queue it is a fun thing to walk through. This shot was taken outside where they send you when it's super busy.  This shot was taken as the sun was beaming right through crack between the overhang and the wall that displays the NEST logo (which is my favorite logo right now. It's beautiful.) and it just felt very Spielberg like. Spielberg was the executive producer on this so I felt it fit.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Pirate and His Gold-HDR

A Pirate and His Gold-HDR I headed out to Disneyland this past week and was determined to get a good shot on Pirates of the Caribbean. Since it's incredibly low light I relied on my 85mm f1.8. I had the ISO at about 1250 and snapped away. I snapped this shot just as our boat passed the pirate and his gold. I knew this was the one shot I would attempt to HDR. The colors here are amazing and thought HDR could do it justice. Haven't done an HDR lately and haven't really experimented with it as much as I would like. So here is another go at it. Camera: Canon 60D Lens: 85mm f1.8 ISO: 1250


Stuck In Customs HDR Video Tutorial

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm a prime lens kind of photographer.

A few weeks back I was able to use the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom Lensseries lens. For a $1300.00 lens I personally wasn't completely blown away. Yes it is a nice lens but what I learned about myself is that I'd rather shoot with prime lenses. It's a great lens for the event photographer when they probably don't have the time to swap out lenses and they need something on the fly or someone who likes to walk around and shoot without swapping out lenses. If you do you the time to swap out lenses or are doing a shoot that is more controlled and not under serious time constraints then I say invest that $1300 dollars in a series of prime lenses. Usually you'll get a better F-stop and in some cases a better overall image but again you'd have to spend more time swapping out lenses.

Now I took the above image with a the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom Lens. To compare to another image I took the below image with my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens which ran me about $100 bucks. The above was taken at 57mm and the below was taken at 50mm so around the same focal length. I would argue that the 2 images below are about the same quality and I was able to make them equally vibrant when I went to post process in Lightroom.Both images were also taken in my backyard in the same grassy area on very sunny days here in Southern California. I would recommend sticking with the 50mm lens because if you know how to shoot with it and post process you can get an image that looks just as good as anything shot with the L series lens. This is a classic example of knowing how to use the gear vs just having the best gear and thinking it makes your images look better. Also the obvious reasons for sticking with the 50mm F1.8 lens because it's a much cheaper lens than the L series lens and you can produce amazing results that are on par with the L series lens. Then of course if your more of an event photographer or like to have a zoom lens to walk around then you'll probably need a zoom lens means so go ahead and get the L series lens. It's a great lens but I discovered that for me personally I enjoy shooting with primes.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Disneyland and The 25 pictures of Christmas

On my Flickr Stream for the 25 days leading up to Christmas I uploaded one new image that dealt with anything Christmas. I uploaded various decorations around our house, our family Christmas cards of our dogs, but the most important ones came form Disneyland. Now before I get into the bulk of this post let me say that Disneyland is a huge part of my life. I grew up on Disneyland and all things Disney I’ve been going since I was probably 5 or 6. Disneyland during Christmas is like New York during Christmas for my fellow east coasters. It’s magical and breathtaking. It just puts you in a great mood. More importantly it is an extremely photogenic place to shoot with lots of history that unfortunately I feel goes highly unnoticed nowadays. Disneyland prides itself on their amazing decorations, Holiday shows, and decked out Castle, Haunted Mansion with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme during their Holiday season. It’s simply an amazing place to shoot. So when the idea of the 25 pictures of Christmas came up I knew I had to make my way out to the self proclaimed Happiest Place On Earth.

Now, regarding photography at Disneyland it can be a very tricky place to shoot at. Since you don’t want to be the one a**hole with a tripod during their Christmas season making it even more congested than it already is causing traffic jams just to get that perfect shot (some will but I don’t want to deal with those hassles) you have to have either a camera with a high ISO and a pretty fast lens or get some good prime lenses with low f stops but the downside is you have to carry more and swap out lenses for different shots. For a lot of my shots I used my trusty old Canon 50mm f1.8. It worked well in places like the Haunted Mansion because they have neon lights and the lens responded well to it and at a fast ISO it performed like a champ. I only pulled that lens out once it got dark or for of course the dark rides. For my daytime walk around lens I used my Sigma 18-150mm, which performed decent. We arrived around 4 so the sun was starting to go down and gave me a lot of grain and even more so at 6400 ISO. Had we arrived earlier I would have gotten much better shots because I know my Sigma lens can perform well in broad daylight it’s the only lens I used on my Europe trip. Any zoom lens will perform well in broad daylight but once the sun starts to set you better be equipped with some fast glass.

It was only my second time shooting at Disneyland but I think one of the biggest things that I have realized is that you need either a tripod with long exposures or if you don’t want that hassle I am looking into purchasing a Canon L series lens probably the 17-55mm f2.8. I do plan on renting the lens specifically for my next visit so I can really test it out and make sure it works under low light situations. Even though the low light isn’t extremely low light. Disneyland is very good about providing you a lot of surrounding light that you can rely on like on Main Street they have light posts that give you a little help or Tomorrow land lots of neon lights to work with.

In all I am still trying to work out the kinks of getting great shots and finding the right lens to shoot with so I can continue with my Disneyland Project that I initially announced last year. I do hope to find that decent lens and become a Disneyland Photo factory because I am an annual pass holder and do get out to the resort once every 5 or 6 weeks. I haven’t even begun to shoot at California Adventure and lastly there are a few images and concepts that I have that have special meaning to me about what Disneyland means to me and what I feel it represents. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Photography Blog


Welcome to my "photography blog" I have tried this several times but lets see if I can keep this one going. I am going to attempt to keep a photography journal and update talk and review all things photography. I have my filmmaking blog on that will still remain intact but this is for photography only. I have if you haven't noticed started a 25 pictures of Christmas. My goal with the project is to take pictures of things that represent Christmas. So please feel free to check back to see what I am up to. I look forward to sharing my experiences and photography with others who enjoy my work.