Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Downside of Photography

Originally I was going to shoot film for the Colour Run, because a disposable film camera would be much cheaper to buy (used) than a disposable dSLR. As it turned out, the d100 fit the bill better than any Nikon film camera I could get for the same money (none at all) so off I went with the d100.
Which turned out to be a good thing, as I shot near 700 shots from inside the race.
The downside to that, is I had to sort through all 700 shots, and find the ones that stood out. In the end, it's taken several days to dig through and decide which ones I want to keep. I have a ton of colourful portraits of smiling people, hands in the air colour storms, party shots, and so forth, but before I dumped the entire batch, I decided I liked this one well enough to post. So, here it is.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Anyone Want a Nikon, Slightly Used?

Although I did tape up some of the seams of the D100, I really expected it to die. I'm pleased that it didn't, although now I"m faced with the task of cleaning it up.
Anyone want a slightly used Nikon D100, cheap?

The New Face of Covergirl

Ok, well maybe not. But she does have bright white teeth, and isn't that what's important on a magazine cover?
I was mostly in purple across my head, and my glasses were totally purple, my arms were red and yellow and my legs, shoes and socks a bright pink. I wish all runs could be this fun. I had brought an .mp3 player filled with speed metal tunes for motivation, "Angel of Death" by Slayer, "144,000 Gone" from Agent Steel, "Death From Above" by Bathory, but the .mp3 player died after about 6 songs played and as it turned out, the enthusiasm and excitement from the crowd was all I needed to keep going.

Another View of Colour

The organizers of this event said the colour washes off. This isn't entirely so. I'm still multicoloured after several showers and I have colours in places I thought were rather well covered during the race. And I got off lightly, with the bystanders reluctant to nail a guy carrying a camera. S'ok, I am still grinning like these girls are, and probably will be for the next week or so.

Circle of Dust

Most of the shots I will be posting are from after the race, the celebration of the event and the party going on. Lots of colour circles, like this one, on the soccer field nearby.
It's funny, I didn't feel tired, or strung out, or worn out, or exhausted or in pain, after the run, in fact, I was ready to go again. Only later on in the day did my body remind me I'm not 20 anymore (but today I'm ready to run again, so go figure.)
What I loved was how everyone was smiling and laughing and carrying on after the race, like it really was a huge (5000+ people signed up for this) colour rave.

Just a Splash of Colour

I was planning on documenting my experience with the run, the emotions I felt, the (expected) pain from the run, and so on, but what I found was it was remarkably easy to run this. I made it in well under an hour, and this included the stops for pictures. I ran, on average, a 13 minute mile, finishing the whole event in 39 minutes. Not bad for a first timer.
The Nikon D100 hiccuped a few times (but it had been doing that before the race as well. What do you expect for free?) but once it settled down, it was a real workhorse. In addition, it survived the race and I'll be posting pics of what it looked like after the race.


I entered a 5 kilometer colour run over the weekend. The object was to run 5 kilometers through bystanders (and volunteers) throwing paint bombs at you. I've never run before (I generally view exercise as something other people do) and I honestly didn't think I'd like it, or ever survive. While I am thin, I fully admit I'm not in shape. I made a silent promise to myself that I'd run this in under an hour (20 minutes a mile)
Also, I was going to shoot from within the race, which meant picking a camera to work with. As I'd recently acquired two spare dSLR bodies, a Nikon D70 and Nikon D100, I felt confident I could sacrifice one for this event. So here are some shots from the D100. As you will see, *everyone* loved doing this run!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chapter 9

Too rapidly to see, Radu thrust Mjolnir deep into Ninja.
"Aieeeee!" yelled Ninja
"When will your kind learn," asked Radu, "you cannot defeat me. No mortal on this planet can."
Ninja lay silent on the ground, still forever more.
"Now, "said Radu, dusting off his hands, "where is that pesky Werewolf you travel with?"
Ninja said nothing, the wind whispering through the trees was the only reply.

Chapter 8

"Here I am Ninja," whispered Radu.
Ninja paled beneath his armour, the fiend was so fast, he'd never seen any creature move like that. In one split second, Ninja knew he'd made a final, and fatal mistake.
"No!" shouted Ninja.
"Yes." spat Radu.

Chapter 7

Ninja landed on the wall, ready to send another blow to the vampire (as Ninjas are often wont to do) but suddenly, Radu was gone!
Ninja looked around, where could Radu have gone?

Chapter 6

Ninja unleashed a mightly flying kick that sent Radu sprawling.
"Arrrrgh!" said Radu.
Ninja just smiled.

Chapter 5

"Foolish Ninja," said Radu, squaring off with his opponent, "I have lived for thousands of years, do you really think you could stand against me? Your mighty master thought the same, and now his bones lay bleaching in the cursed Sun. His students thought to sneak upon me and attack en masse, and their doom was their only fate!"
"You talk too much," said Ninja.

Chapter 4

"Then prepare to taste my blade!" hissed Radu, as he thrust Mjolnir at Ninja.
Ninja blocked Radu's strike easily, "You are too slow fiend! The Sun makes you weak! You will never survive out here!"

Chapter 3

Suddenly, the Ninja sprang up to face Radu.
"Here I am!" Ninja shouted, "Face me you terrible spirit!"
Radu, hand still shielding his eyes from the glare, turned and looked at Ninja, eyes narrowing and wings folding forward.
"You have taken my most valued possession Ninja," hissed Radu, "hand it over and walk away, while you still can."
"Never!" shouted Ninja.

Chapter 2

Radu looked, but could not find the Ninja.
"Curses! They are too stealthy, I shall never find my possession!" lamented Radu.
He looked and looked, but could see nothing in the bright Sun. But Radu had a feeling the Ninja was near.

Chapter 1

Radu was awoken by a disturbance in his chambers. He sat up, and looked around. Something was missing. The Ninja had stolen his prized possession! He lept out and frantically began to search for the Ninja.
"Ah! Curse this bright Sun! I am weak!"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Ready For My Closeup

Another ofthe cute geckos. Perched on his dish, ready to leap (and leap he did)
Very soft to the touch, like warm velvet.

Closer Please

So I can bite your face off! And he would too. It's an Amazon Tree Boa, in their typical colouration. Massive cute little guys with really long fangs and really nasty attitudes. His colour is slightly off as he was in a plastic tank and I wasn't going to ask the owners to take him out.
Macro lens, off camera flash, and some patience on his part.


From a local reptile show that took place this morning. This is a crested gecko, a little lizard from near Australia. Temperate, and colourful, they are quite docile, but good jumpers. He (or possibly she, I've no idea) was kind enough to sit and pose for me.
The depth of field was too shallow, as I was using my Macro lens, but so it goes.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


A bit of downtown and sky for the weekend. The sky graced me with interesting clouds and the traffic was light on the bridges. The water was low to expose an interesting rock formation and the weather was nice.
This has been adjusted in PhotoShop, to bring out the colours, but hopefully I've not overdone it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Best Birthday Ever

Today was my birthday, and after a rough day at work, I come home to find this as my present. I have the best friends ever!
A 1934 Underwood Model 6 typewriter in (as near as I can tell) full working condition. I've always wanted a vintage manual typewriter, to go with my vintage camera gear. On top of the coolness factor of this, it's dirty, thus allowing me to indulge in my cleaning obsession, so it's like a double birthday present.
And to top it all off, I went out for pizza and tiramisu with my friends P-, S-, C-, R- and R- and a fantastic time was had by all, swapping pet stories, crazy neighbor antics, job nonsense and general laughter and merriment.
I intend to write a short story on the Underwood, and post it here for your enjoyment, typos, jumpy Rs, and all. So in short, Best.Birthday.Ever.
Thank you guys, you're the best!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Too Many

Last one of the fireworks shots. I too a bunch, kept most (actually, not that difficult to take good fireworks shots once you know the method) but too many overwhelms the senses.
This will probably be my last post for a week or so, underwent some minor surgery under my left arm, and it's difficult to shoot one handed.


I like blue fireworks, not enough of them shot off around here. I have no idea what goes in to making fireworks, perhaps blue is difficult to work with, but coupled with the white dazzlers here, it lends a nice overall backdrop.


So on the actual 4th of July, a park within walking distance of my home was having a fireworks display and large concert band. I knew the 'works would be going off somewhere around 9pm, and I knew the park would be crowded (it's a very popular place almost year round) so I headed there at 8pm(ish)
Naturally the park is packed, and finding a good spot for the upcoming lightshow was a tad tricky. Finally I spotted an open space, unfortunately next to some filthy Canon users (note: that was humor, I've nothing against Canon, I've had one in the past, but have since seen the light) who were actually quite friendly.
Anyway, the show *finally* started, somewhere closer to 10pm and come to find out, I'm way too close to the launching pad to get effective shots.
Even at 17mm, I needed a wider lens (I *knew* I should have bought my 10-20mm) so most of the shots should be treated as abstract works of art, as opposed to fireworks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sunny Day

Last one, sun directly on Mr. Butterfly here (or Mrs. I don't rightly know) so his (her) colours really popped out.

Manual Macro Butterfly

My dedicated autofocus macro lens was in use elsewhere, so I brought with me a manual 28mm macro lens I picked up from a bargain bin somewhere.
The butterflies posted in this series are all taken with it, in a live run, so to speak, with the glass. I was pretty happy with the last batch of butterflies I posted and so is the 28mm lens turned out to be a dog, I wasn't going to lose anything.
As you can see, it's pretty sharp. Not bad for a 10$ lens.


In between the fireworks shots, I went back to the local butterfly exhibit, as today (the 4th) it was free to get in.
Predictably, it was mobbed, with about an hour wait time to see them, standing in the blazing sun, no shade in sight.
So, for you my dear readers, I suffered to bring you the following pictures.
No, not really, I like the heat, so I can't truly say I suffered for my art.

Last Shot of the Night

After the official show was over, and as I was breaking down my gear, some kids lit off some small fireworks close by. I watched with some amusement before I realized they were quite pretty, so I quickly uncapped my camera and handheld this shot. I didn't review it until I got home, figuring it was going to be a throwaway shot and much to my surprise, it turned out well.
So there you have it for the day, possibly more to come tomorrow, assuming it doesn't rain.


The wind was moving at a good clip last night, keep the smoke at a minimum (or just blowing it away quickly) and sometimes, as you an see here, taking spherical fireworks and making them more oval shaped, thus sort of reminding me of strawberries, with the little green bits on top.


A little bit of everything in this shot, I really like the four 'works that are just starting to explode, reminding me of hummingbirds flitting about over the grassy field below.


Another set of unusual colours. I can't recall ever seeing pure yellow fireworks before. The explosions are tight with no bright center, reminding me of dandelions or their blooms.

Strawberry Ice Cream

There were some unusual colour combinations last night, this one being one of them and reminding me of strawberry ice cream. I was pleased at how well these turn out, mainly because I shoot with an ancient (on dSLR terms) Nikon D1x, and while it's daytime abailities are great, low-light and nighttime acumen is sorely lacking.
Nonetheless, the noise is kept to a minimum and overwhelmed by the main subject.


Every year I try to take good fireworks pictures. It's been hard as I don't really get to practice but once a year, and I tended to forget what I did right, and what I did wrong.
This year I nailed them. Maual focus was the key. Pre-set the camera, set the ISO as low as it will go, run a remote shutter and a wide angle lens, and start shooting.
I took about 223 shots in Nikon's RAW format, and to be honest, virtually all of them were keepers. But I narrowed it down to 30 or so that really stood out, and I'm posted the best ones here.

Sky Flowers

Anyone who recognizes the title to this post knows the types of films I enjoy, and let's face it, zombie or not, these fireworks had everyone's attention.

What July 4th Would Be Complete Without Fireworks?

Taken on our Nation's Independence Day, July 3rd of course.
Yeah apparently there are two different fireworks companies in town, and rather than competing, they are running on different days. So the set you see here were taken last night (July 3rd)
Here is your classic fireworks shot, taken with an f/stop of f16, and 4 seconds to get the right amount of streaming. No adjustments, this is straight form the camera. In fact, all the shots you will see of fireworks are as-is.
I've said it before, and some readers have said it more eloquently as well, I'm a purist, what you see is what I took, nothing added or taken away. I will crop from time to time, but the original source remains unmodified.