December 29, 2012

South Umpqua Falls

South Umpqua Falls
Canon 7D w/ 10-22@10mm
ISO 100
Exposure time 1/6

December 25, 2012

December 14, 2012

Africa -1959

Contrary to the title I took this a couple of weeks ago out of the back of a Landcruiser.

October 29, 2012

October 3, 2012

June 29, 2012

Tried and True

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: 70-200L f/4@200 and f/32
Exposure:2 sec

June 27, 2012

Cause and Effect

What could cause a a hardcore Photog to give it all up? I have often wondered.

If I lost my sight then I would have to call it quits. It would be hard without arms.

My gear has been through the wringer lately and I entertained the notion of a simpler way. Maybe a Rebel with a 18-200. Or the new 40mm pancake. Or nothing? It would be a huge step backward... Or would it?


June 12, 2012

The Gear Dominion


What else needs to be said?


But like all great things and ideals, anything more that is said reflects the beginning.

Which is amazing.

The Lens arrived yesterday.

I love its operational-ness

It functions beautifully.

Adding my Dad's 2x  extender makes 200-800 awesomeness.

I will post pictures and a more detailed review.

But for now...

Me like.


June 2, 2012


 Salt Flats.

Sunrise out of Green River.


May 29, 2012


I have returned.

10,000 miles.

37  US States.

Ontario, Canada.

Deserts, Forests, Beaches, Tropics and Mountains.

From Sea level to over 11,000 ft.

And only one speeding ticket.

And only one lens destroyed.

(And I finally graduated)

Right now I will leave you with our
first(and last) state: Oregon!

We have seen this part of the country before. I am still impressed with the wide open spaces of this great state.


Camera: EOS 7D
Exposure Time: 1/200 sec.
Aperture: f/11.3
Focal Length:10mm

April 24, 2012

Attempting Excellence

I have been working with some of long exposure shots with the 7D.

I am not impressed.

I am still tweaking the settings to achieve the highest quality image. It is difficult to get clean, low-noise images when exposed over a long period of time. Especially with 30 minutes plus.

I am trying out shots that are 60-90 min+.

Because of a sad anomaly in my 10-22 lens I am using an aperture of f/9 or more.(More on this situation later) My ISO is never higher than 800.

Still pretty sketchy. Lots of noise. I have yet to analyze the RAW images. They may have been kinder to the information. but for now I will leave you with this image I took a few nights ago.

I napped for an hour and a half in the cold and wet wilderness as my camera took the exposure. Interestingly after the shutter was closed it took the camera over two hours to finalize or write the data to the card(266x Kingston). I am not sure exactly how long it took as I went to bed and it was still writing 2+ hours later.

ISO 640
5458 seconds

April 16, 2012

Gearness 2

External Pop-up flash. Great Idea. Not radio controlled. Light controlled.

This means that it has to be pretty much line-of-sight. Not 100%, but close. If I could get internal radio control in my Canon gear I would pretty pleased.

That said I like the pop-up flash feature on the 7D.

First usable picture does not fit the usual style of this blog. But it shows the effect well.

The pop-up did double duty as both trigger and fill.

Canon 7D
100mm Macro F/2.8@2.8
ISO 400
1/200 sec

April 13, 2012


All week I have used the 7D. I have not spared it in anyway. I took it on my annual wild hawthorn photo-shoot. Which meant this year that the 7D was drenched. I eventually found cover from the pouring rain but everything was soaked through.

Ok, I have admitted before that I get my money's-worth as far as weather sealing. What about the other stuff? Video? Blah. End processing takes too long. Eventually I might try it out. Autofocus is vastly better than the 50D. Which wasn't too bad. It feels like I have a better lenses. Especially the 70-200. Hand-in-glove. Nice.

Ergonomics? no opinion yet. It is different but not in a bad way.

Favorite feature? I like the 100% viewfinder. I like the grids in the viewfinder. I like alot about this camera. But so far, and this is subject to change, the best is the Jpeg/Raw dedicated button. This is an amazing and innovative feature. For those not aware of this function, it turns on, for one shot, a simultaneous Raw and Jpeg record. It is my favorite feature.

A close runner up would be the pop-up flash. Normally I hate pop-up flash. I think I wrote on this blog about actually removing the pop-up on my Rebel. The 50D got its pop-up flash jammed or glued. But the 7D uses this pop-up flash to control speed-lights. Very cool. I messed around with it and found it quite useful. But I have yet to test it in a practical real application. Stay tuned.


April 9, 2012

A Salt and Battery

Last Friday I was kidnapped.

I was taken by my lovely family to the coast. And we just stayed.

And stayed.

I was somewhat wistful thinking of the 7D that still sat at home waiting for batteries.
But I had my faithful 50D. Or at least sometimes faithful. The shutter jammed time after time. I would restart the camera and keep shooting. I stayed remarkably calm. And patient.

I explored the local mud flats across from the Coquille River Lighthouse. The tide was very low and I was able to get some shots across the flats and river. My camera was sitting in the mud/tidewater slush(as was Yours Truly). Of course being weather sealed it cleaned off just fine.

Friday continued and it became clear that we would not get home before late. Very late.

The sun set.

Pizza was decided upon for dinner. After which I insisted on being dropped off once again at the mud flats which were now cloaked in darkness. With me was my intrepid assistant who is always prepared(my brother) and who had happily brought a flashlight.

Having little time in between a rapidly rising moon, which threatened to mess up my exposure, and the rapidly rising tide, I compromised length and went with a mere 15 minutes.

I would have preferred a 30+ minute shot.

But it was late enough. As it was we did not get home til early Saturday morning. 

Sunday came bringing Easter with it. I was commissioned to cover a Easter Service. Actually parts of three. Still no batteries for the luckless 7D. The 50D only froze 3 or 4 times. After Easter dinner I found a Canon 300D(original Rebel!) in my hands and was instructed to conduct a photo session. Ah me.

Monday found the mail carrier running very late. Noon past. The USPS jeep finally crested the hill. Delightful.

First impression is that the 7D AF system is aggressive and precise.

To be continued.


April 4, 2012

A sad 7D Saga

I have always maintained that a competent photog focuses on his lens collection (pun intended). Camera bodies are great but are behind the lens in importance(pun again intended). As far as cost goes lenses are a way better investment and in the long run help us to get the pics we want.

My camera body evolution has thus been slow. And driven by need. I would rather spend the bucks on glass. Like the venerable 100-400L I've been eyeing.

In fact I was saving for the 1-4. Until my 50D's shutter started seizing. In all fairness it was only occasional. At first. Also the shutter actuations were approaching 95% of Canon's estimate (In comparison my faithful Rebel XTI/400D is still going strong at over 200% of Canon's estimate!). I still can use the 50D but the shutter had an uncanny ability to sense important moments. And seize. On my recent trip to Mexico I constantly missed shots. It was, to put it mildly, frustrating.

Enter the 7D. After much deliberating(Months of careful analysis and research) I settled on buying a 7D. I realize that it is relatively old having been intro'd in 2009. I also realize Canon is probably ready to intro  the 7D Mk II.

But I would have probably been happy with my 50D for years. I am easily pleased. Except at failure. So I got the 7D. Refurbished. On sale.

I get pretty excited when I'm waiting for new gear. This was no exception. It came yesterday. I savored the experience. I examined all the contents carefully. I lifted the 7D out. It was remarkably solid feeling. It was also very similar in size and look to my 50D.

I inserted the battery. Or at least started to. The battery was too small. It was a LP-E5. The 7D needs the LP-E6. I was crushed.

Actually I just started troubleshooting. As of today the company is shipping me the correct battery and charger. And I have another two and another charger shipping from Amazon.

I am waiting patiently. So is the 7D.


March 27, 2012

Lost Falls

Canon 50D
Canon 10-22 USM @10mm
ISO 100
Exposure time 1 second(Hand-held!)

February 4, 2012

The Wide Wide World

This blog post does not have picture to go with it. I am sorry.

Actually it is preparatory.

You see a have traded my faithful 17-40L for a 10-22.

I am still feeling shaky about it. But I needed wider. Now I have wider.

It feels cheap compared to the L. But on the whole not too bad. Just not as good. In fact it is definitely the cheapest build of any of my lenses. But it is WIDE. So I have a few "Scapes" in mind to try it out on.

You will see.



January 26, 2012


Lomography: The art of taking bad pictures.

Take technical perfection out of photography and you get lomography(Lomo). It is a way of expressing the emotions you feel toward scene or subject, better than with the traditional focus(pun intended) of photographic methods.

Do I have preference? Or an opinion? Yes. When I am feeling generous I see lomo like the impressionist artists of old.

But except for the occasion pinhole shot(See picture on the left) I'll stick to traditional methods.

The Moon at 7:31 pm

The reason in Black and White

I have been shooting alot in black and white. Why?

Is it that I am trying new creative styles?

Am I trying to catch variations that are lost in color?

I am making a tribute to the glory days of photography?

Wishing I was shooting Tri-X?


I am being abjectly lazy.

Busy really.

I am a couple of months from graduating.

I am not spending my time either watching for or correcting colors.

Just simplifying my life.

Its temporary.

January 11, 2012