On Friday morning I’m off to India for a 2 week business trip to Bangalore, India to train some new staff. I’m both excited and a bit apprehensive. I’m going to try to post at least a few updates with pictures and my thoughts on the trip.
At first blush it’s not super great especially wide open on the 28mm end. But stopped down even to 5.6 at 28mm and it’s definitely acceptable. f/5.6 is acceptable at the long end even though it’s wide open but it does get noticeably sharper stopped down to f/8. Over f/16 and you start seeing some sharpness lost again to diffraction.
For the price and convenience on a non-photography centred vacation I’m pleased with this lens after a quick test, I’ll report back again after my first real shooting experience with it.
It’s been waaaaay too long since I posted anything, not a whole lot new going on. One thing to note is I’ve moved my photo collection to SmugMug so if you were previously following my flickr stream you might want to update any RSS readers.
Tonights dinner was a old standby something I borrowed from Michael Smith and messed with a bit. It’s a simple chicken breast butterflied open and then stuffed with pesto and provolone (only pesto in the original) then wrapped in a couple slices of prosciutto and baked in the oven (350F for about 30 minutes). Server along with it is some simple steamed asparagus (tossed with butter and kosher salt) and over roasted potatoes (seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne and granulate garlic).
All in all a super tasty dinner and start to finish done in 1 hour could be a half if you did boiled potatoes since the potatoes take about an hour in the oven.
Saturday evening a group of us headed out to Dorothy AB which is a bit of a “Ghost Town”. Although not really a ghost town since there are still people living there (plus what looked like a fairly new B & B). There was still some cool stuff to photograph, there are a couple of old churches and a grain elevator. To make it extra exciting we rented a 2500 W generator and brought out the studio lights to see what kind of mayhem we could get into. It turns out quite a bit, to start we setup the lights on the side of the highway and were able to completely light up the grain elevator
Which is cool but I think the best shot of the night with the lights turned out to be this one:
My favorite shot of the whole day I think would have to be this one:
The reflection of the sunset in the church window plus the golden light of the sunset lighting up the building really does it for me.
The rest of the images are available in this set: Dorothy AB – Jan 16 2010
On the weekend I baked some bread for a friend of Shannon’s who has just had a baby. On the way to deliver it we made a few stops and so were tortured by the smell of fresh baked bread in the car for a couple of hours, so I decided last night that I should make some bread for us as well. I made my standard batch of dough based on the Black Canyon Sourdough from sourdoughhome.com, which is quite a good source of sourdough baking information. My only change is to reduce the amount of white flour to 500g from 750g, and to up the whole wheat to 380g to make up the difference. I find that the bread comes out nicer with more whole wheat. For the flours I use standard Robin Hood white bread flour, my whole wheat however I get fresh ground from Prairie Mill Bread Co. they mill it fresh and you can just waltz in whenever and pick up a 5lb bag.
I split my batch of dough into 2, the first I formed into a traditional boule and proofed it in my reed proofing basket that I dusted with wheat bran. The second I rolled out into a 9”x12” rectangle, and coated with grated cheddar. I rolled it into a log and proofed it in a standard loaf pan (I don’t have any pictures of the building stages cause I was in a hurry). Once all the dough was proofed (about 2.5 hours later) I baked the cheese loaf off at 375 for 30 minutes. The boule I baked a bit differently, it went into my La Cloche clay baker that had been pre-heated to 450. The boule baked for 20 minutes with the lid on and then another 10 with the lid off to develop the crust.
Everything turned out pretty decent (in my humble opinion):
I had a couple pieces of the cheddar bread this morning for breakfast toasted and I have to say they turned out really good for a first experiment.
Last night Shannon, Sarah, and I went out to do some field work for the girls company. I was tasked to come along cause they had heard that there was possibly some squatters on the land and they wanted to have someone big along to look scary. I’m not really sure that I it the scary part of that but I am big. I brought the camera along since they were going to be doing the work around sunset I figured I could get some good “Magic Hour” light to shoot. Since I’ve been wanting to try out my old GPS as a track logger for Geo Tagging my pictures I made sure it was charged up and ready to go. The shooting went well and this morning I took to the task of importing and trying to get the shots geo-tagged.
I followed my normal routine of importing the pictures into Aperture, the next step was to get the track log off the GPS and into the standard GPX format. The Magellan eXplorist 500 that I was using, has it’s own track format that is luckily enough just a standard text file. I could have written a program to do the conversion but being the lazy bastard I am instead of engaging my brain I used the Google brain instead and found a nice free app for Mac/Windows/Linux called GPS Babel that supports conversion to & from a metric fuck ton of formats for GPS data.
After the conversion step was handled it was as simple as pulling the file into the software I found to do the tagging. It’s called GPS Photo Linker a free piece of software from a company called Early Innovations. It’s totally free and seems to work really good.
The only gotcha I found is because we weren’t always moving around some of the GPS track log points were more then 2 minutes apart and this caused the default settings of the program to miss some of the tags on the first pass. I just upped the limit to 5 minutes and everything worked perfectly.
All the gooders from last night are in this flickr set: Sunset Owl Survey to checkout the location you can hit the view map button on the right hand menu in each picture.
On Sunday morning Shannon and I went down to SunnySide Garden Center to pickup a birthday gift for Janine. While we were there we picked up a small 3” pot of Venus Fly Traps. I thought they’d look really cool macro’d up so I pulled out the strobes and took a few shots today after dinner.
This guy is my personal favorite, I think I’m going to get it printed up and hang it somewhere in the house:
Tuesday night Wes and I got together and did some shooting for some new company pictures. Wes had this cool idea that we should be breaking through a white seamless backdrop and it worked even better then I had envisioned they would turn out.
The lighting setup was fairly simple:
I really like the results we got, they almost look like they were done in photoshop.
PS: Leaning over to get through the tear while holding a D3+70-200 VR is hard on the back, that combo is heavy.
I lurk on the DPReview forums quite a bit and there have been some questions as to whether or not the Phottix Kosmo replacement battery for the Nikon MB-D10 battery grip allows the D700 (and D300) to get the full 8 fps (without the need to buy the stupid expensive EN-EL4a+charger+end cap). I finally got around to testing it this morning and I can confirm that it works just fine and does allow for the full 8fps (in fact I got what appears to be 9fps).