Monday, April 27, 2009

Dont be a Chicken

I made dinner and thought I'd test out my food photography while it cooled off. Its ginger, soy, whiskey chicken. Taken with 50mm lens at f2.0

The recipe is from the Steamy Kitchen blog:

The C.H.I.M.P. Grip

I have a problem with horizons.  I cant get them straight.  Luckily, Picasa has a really cool straightening tool.  I also own a monopod, which is a great thing.  They are incredibly convenient to carry around and a must for a telephoto lens.

Anyhow, I shoot from the hip alot (and keep a stiff upper lip), I take alot of photos without looking thru the viewfinder.  Sometimes holding the cam close to the ground or above my head or with arms stretched out.  Its cases like these where getting a straight horizon is difficult. 

I developed a technique that I am calling the C.H.I.M.P. Grip (Catalano-Horizon-Improvement-Mono-Pod Grip).    Its pretty simple, and the photo above probably explains it well enough.   Essentially you hold your monopod horizontally, and you rest your camera on top of one end of it.   The camera isnt mounted at all, its just resting there.   It rests pretty steadily and comfortably.  On my monopod I rest it right on the foam grip.   You use your right hand to hold your camera against the monopod and you can than hold the monopod a little further down the pole with your left hand.   

The C.H.I.M.P. Grip does two things:   First it helps your horizons by simply allowing you to more easily see the horizontal positioning of your camera.   Secondly, it dramatically stabilizes your camera from shake.   You are really widening the stance of your grip thus the movements of your left hand are essentially geared down like a lever.

This is the monopod I use and recommend, very well made and very inexpensive:

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Taken at the nature preserve. An unstaged photo of a flower floating down a small creek. 50mm f/1.8lens.
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Glass Top

Taken on the glass rooftop of my car just after sundown. One second exposure at 10mm. Not a terribly creative composition, but just a sampling of the effects of the 10mm lens: the high contrast lighting and saturated colors that this lens can capture is incredible.
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The sun setting over Eisenhower Park. Shot at 10mm
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Trashy lake

Despite these photos, it really is a beautiful nature preserve. Believe it or not, people fish in that lake.
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Pipe Dreams

A natural water mane in the local nature preserve. 10mm Lens
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CF Error

So I was at a local nature preserve today and I took a bunch of photos. I set up for another shot and my LCD screen flashes "CF (Compact Flash) Error" and didn't allow me to take anymore pics. I headed home and downloaded my pics, formatted the card, and its working just fine. Reminder to self: buy a back-up CF card. After I downloaded the pics, it turns out some were corrupted. The pics
shown here were not edited or collaged, this is how they came out of my cam.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Central Perk

Testing out my new Sigma 10-20mm lens at Central Park. The color saturation in the first and third pics is incredible. These photos were not adjusted at all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sparkle Duck

"How many pictures of geese do you take in a day?" ... "too many", I answered. I think he was being sarcastic.

Depth of Field



Choose your preferred depth of field. Taken at Bethpage park.

What a Tangled Foresty Web we Weave

And in black and white, for spooky good measure:

Walking in Bethpage park, I glanced down this path and noticed a web of shadows.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rebirth via Wide Angle

Jeff Kirlin (The Thing of the Moment) promised me that my life would change if I purchased this Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens. I scoped it out on ebay for weeks and if nothing else, I can say this thing has some strong resale value - because I can't find it much cheaper than buying it new. I purchased it thru amazon of course - they've got the best price, consistently.

I'm awaiting my rebirth... delivered by UPS.