From Fuji to Sony!

Whaaaaaaa? But, but fuji is so awesome and stylish and the colors are amazing! They have dedicated dials for exposure comp, shutter speed, aperture and feel great in your hands! They make you look so cool! And who really needs more than 16 MP??

All true. πŸ™‚ I still love the Fuji cameras and would definitely purchase an X-T1 if I was independently wealthy and all. But, since I can pretty much only afford one camera system at the moment, I had to go with the Sony. I chose the Sony a6000, because, to be honest, Trey recommended it, and well he knows his cameras! haha seriously, I chose it because it is a crazy good deal for the amount of camera you are getting. It’s like getting a ridiculously great deal on an international flight and then finding out you are getting upgraded to first class for free πŸ™‚

And that’s exactly what this camera is, first class! So what’s the catch? (there must always be a catch!) hmmm…

#1: It’s not as pretty as the Fuji cameras (well looks aren’t everything?)

#2: Someone once said the menu system was designed by monkeys on crack (there is some truth to this!)

#3: You have to buy a separate battery charger for the wall because with the original package, you have to actually plug your camera in to charge it (Sony, you sent us back to the dinosaur age!)

#4: No dedicated dials for shutter speed, exposure comp, etc. (maybe I was just spoiled by the Fuji design)

#5: It’s soooo loud!! (spoiled again by Fuji’s silent mode)

…….

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well, I don’t have much else yet πŸ™‚ It’s pretty awesome! I got the 10-18mm lens with it instead of the kit lens and it was well worth it for me. I looooove me some wide angle πŸ™‚ Its also a lens that Trey recommended haha Pure happenstance!

The photos are sharp, the resolution is great, the autofocus is incredible, the electronic viewfinder is fast. I’m not the kind of person to get into all sorts of technical stuff, I’ll leave that to the experts, but I love this camera so far! Let’s let the photos speak for the camera now πŸ™‚

arcanum-3I spent this past Sunday wandering around Copley square with a few awesome members of my cohort and none other than the Master A.D. Wheeler himself!! What a surprise!! Here are some photographs from that walk with the a6000.

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Above is Trinity Church from the backside :0 A great place to shoot if you love old churches! You can get inside the church for $7 admission or for free if you say you just want to pray! ahah

hallofideasThe Hall of Ideas inside the Mary Baker Eddy museum. There is a cool exhibit called the Mapporium where you can go inside a GIANT glass globe! The sound effects in there are pretty cool, try yodeling πŸ™‚

These next ones are from some of my mid-day lunch break wanderings around the waterfront and post office square near the office.

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After getting out of work around 11pm at night, one night the past week, I had brought my tripod and planned to take some night shots since I was already out late! I wanted to test the a6000’s long exposure and such and it turned out brilliantly! This is the view of the Boston city skyline from the seaport side, right after crossing the bridge in front of the Children’s museum. You can see the Boston Tea Party museum on the left side where you can visit and learn how rebellious us Bostonians are in our blood! πŸ™‚

 

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Boston at night is so incredible. It’s very very safe if you worry about it at night. I would use common sense as always, but I’ve definitely walked around places alone and never felt unsafe or uneasy. This bridge is a great place to shoot. Its right next to the Boston Harbor Hotel and connects the waterfront to the seaport. I caught it in a rare turning position that night!

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I believe this photograph below might capture the essence of the a6000. It might be a little flawed from my perspective (mostly on the looks and design categories), but it is beautifully flawed. This camera is beautiful in its work (definitely not looks, its an inside beauty!) and I cannot wait to shoot with it more!

 

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Ice Castles: Exclusive Access!

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Imagine how cool it would be if you got to spend over two hours in a winter wonderland ice palace with practically nobody there. Imagine giant colorful ice walls and doorways with secret tunnels running through them. Imagine being able to wonder and marvel at the man-made ice caves, sculptures, rooms, passageways for as long as you could stand being there. Imagine that, and I need say no more… πŸ™‚

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icecastlesjpeg-3 icecastlesjpeg-5 icecastlesjpeg-10 icecastlesjpeg-11 icecastlesjpeg-9 icecastlesjpeg-2 icecastlesjpegOk, I’ll say a little more anyways…haha An awesome and terrifying weekend I spent in New Hampshire that turned out to be hard to beat this winter. Between the exclusive access to the ice castles in Lincoln, and making fresh snow tracks on I-93 mid-winter storm, it was one to remember….and share!

The Ice Castles, a rather new attraction in the Northeast has taken ski vacationers by storm! This place is so packed normally, I hardly see the draw for normal admission. There are fire dancers, a BBQ food truck (that doesn’t actually serve BBQ), Disney music (mostly from the movie Frozen), and sooooo many people! I know this because I checked in early during the normal operating hours and the place was swarmed! So travelers, beware, its awesome, but don’t be shocked by the number of people who also thought it would be awesome πŸ™‚

Being Bold in the New Year!

Be Bold! How can you go wrong when you dive into that scary place where you get butterflies and know that it could go so incredibly wrong, but it feels so incredibly right?

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Clear Away The Clutter…

Well you can and It’s scary to do something new, take on some level of risk, put yourself out there, maybe put a hedge in there for a little comfort, but in the end, its still a risk, a bold step, a thrilling but scary one. Recently in my Level 14 Critique in The Arcanum, I submitted this black and white minimalistic winter scene shot above. I had no idea how it would go over. It was a tad frightening because I thought it could go either way, really bad or good. I didn’t know. I did like it though and it was something I would normally not have done, but it was something risky to put out there in the world, at least for me. πŸ™‚ I know this is not as risky as quitting your job to follow your dreams, so its all relative. πŸ˜‰

The photo went over well!!, I think haha. I had some things to clean up, dust spots and detritus and such. πŸ™‚ But it seems my bold move paid off and my mentor, A.D. Wheeler, really liked it! Even gave me a 3! (the scale is from 0-3 points).

Something else that was relatively nerve-wracking but really fun at the same time was being picked to represent my cohort on The Creation Wars! I told them it must have been a mistake (I swear they all had too much spiked egg nog or creation war wine) hehe πŸ™‚ You can actually watch it at this link below if you want! It was posted publicly so I think I am okay sharing it. It’s a show where every Monday night, different Masters in the Arcanum bring one Apprentice’s photo each week to compete for the win. There is also some wine and shenanigans involved! πŸ™‚

https://plus.google.com/events/c8ebbjugiu724v7q8i9bql4qacs

Since my poor camera is currently in the shop being repaired, I don’t have much new material to share at the moment, but I will share something non-photo related since I am going to go Internet-Lite over the Holidays!

My biggest New Year’s resolution:

It’s to be BOLD in the new year. To take more risks, say yes more, to be fearless, and to live an out of the ordinary year. Who wants to be normal anyways, its just another term for “average” πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays All!

And a big mushy grateful thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life this year and made it a great one, especially my Arcanum family (and my real family (and friends!) of course too! haha). All of you are amazing! Love you guys!

Mush out. πŸ™‚

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A Snowy Thanksgiving

“Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.”

-Robert Frost

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Our first big snowstorm in the Northeast ended early Thanksgiving morning, leaving a blanket of pure untouched white snow behind. I’ve never really shot in the snow before because I always thought it wasn’t worth it, or that it was just ugly and boring, and took the landscape for granted. But this morning changed my mind about shooting in the winter entirely. It’s absolutely beautiful and right now I wish that the snow would never melt…until March that is. Β πŸ™‚

New Hampshire was once again my muse and my mother was my transportation and co-shooter/partner in crime. The first farm shot is from my neighborhood just as we were leaving to go shoot Lake Massabesic, in Auburn, NH (which is where most of these shots are from!). One thing I can sayΒ is if your driving ALWAYS pull over and take the shot! It’s always worth it and you have no regrets. πŸ™‚

This shot below was actually from the bottom of our street. We did have to knock a few branches to get out, sorry trees!

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This is from a little inlet of the lake. Massabesic is actually a reservoir, so that rules out swimming in the summer, but in the winter there are a couple of ice fishers that head out as soon as the ice is ready. It’s a pretty peaceful place.

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A bit of woods on the lake…

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Clearing away the clutter in these next two…snowy1-6

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A new thing I tried this morning (above) was making more art in the “fine” spectrum, by simply moving my camera a little bit during a longer exposure. I had seen another Arcanum apprentice use this in her critique for her art and thought it was interesting. What do you think?

Speaking of the Arcanum, I’m preparing for my Level 14 critique in the Arcanum (http://thearcanum.com), which means that after this, I only have one more critique before I hit the end of Sphere 1! From where I’ve started to where I’ve come in such a short period of time amazes me. I look back and no joke, I really sucked! This might be a tad weird, but I can hear Rick Sammon’s voice in my head about the levels of competence in photography (and maybe in a more general sense as well): (1) unconscious incompetence, (2) conscious incompetence, (3) conscious competence, and (4) unconscious competence. I came from the unconscious incompetence to somewhere between conscious incompetence and conscious competence (more so on the side of conscious incompetence!).

Look for more snowy scenes next time! (I also just dropped my camera this morning, well my tripod tipped with it on it (because I’m a clutz), but it looks like I might be out one expensive camera! You may just see film shots from me for the rest of the winter haha gotta laugh, otherwise I will cry over the potential death of my beloved Fuji X-E1. Hopefully it’s fixable!)

Double Trouble at Nubble


Well, this title pretty much sums the whole photoshoot here!

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Β Double Trouble at the Nubble. It was rainy as all get out and my handy dandy photo assistant (aka my mom) (hehe) was being ever so wonderful and holding a gigantic umbrella over me while I shot and tried not to fall into the ocean. Seriously, you could go swimming in this umbrella if you flipped it and added water πŸ™‚ Moving on…First things First, let me introduce to you our star of the day, the Nubble Lighthouse! Its real name is actually the Cape Neddick Lighthouse. The “Nubble” name came from the piece of land the lighthouse was built on being called a “Nub” (of land)……haha.

This is located in York, ME should you ever make a trip up here. There is also a super cute ice cream/seafood shack/house right next to the parking lot, but it can get pretty crowded in the summer. You may have to mention to make sure the hot fudge is HOT, because apparently it does not automatically come that way anymore πŸ˜‰

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So my pants might have been wet, my knees were definitely sore, and my mom was SO over holding the umbrella for me but I GOT MY SHOT! πŸ™‚ worth every second…

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Β AND…Only a short drive away….Ogunquit, ME! This Maine fisherman’s town is charming, beautiful, and you will smell like fish after (haha don’t worry, it’s only if you go near the fish drop off).

There is a walk/path that wraps around the beaches and rocky shores called Marginal Way. Bring your walking shoes!! It’s incredible during the sunrise.

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For eating options….hmmm…that’s a hard one….uhh…umm…the LOBSTER!!… (It’s MAINE! It’s what they are famous for and come on, how can you get anything else when that juicy red crustacean looking so fine is calling your name?!)

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This beach is one of the coolest I have ever been to because (a) its a seascape photographer’s dream and (b) there are so many nooks and crannies that you can hop (climb) down into or climb up onto and get some really great shots! Its a great place to be during the off season (well really any season for that matter) for the glorious sunrises (unless its rainy and cloudy, which it was the day I took these…sigh…).

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Be careful where you step! Your toes might just get pinched by this guy πŸ™‚ Β I’m only kidding, this was the sweetest crab I have ever met. Of course it looked like the gulls also thought the same thing, only they weren’t thinking about his temperament….

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Β Maine is a wonderful place to photograph. The beaches and shores are some of my favorites I have ever been to. It’s all charming, relaxing, and refreshing! I’ve spent a lot of time here, only live about 45 minutes away and coming up in the summers. If you ever come here, Don’t forget to get some LOBSTA! πŸ˜‰

 

The Arcanum: A Game Changer

Have you heard of the Arcanum yet?!

If you haven’t and you love photography and want to learn in an awesome new way – please visit here http://www.thearcanum.com (I HIGHLY recommend it) πŸ™‚

I’ve been in the Arcanum for about a few months now and here’s my take on it all:

So I was thinking of something to equate the Arcanum to, you know, make an analogy for better understanding of what it is and such…

I can’t.

There is nothing quite like the Arcanum.

It’s unlike anything I’ve done or experienced. It’s like falling in love I guess you could say (I know I know, not very original). At first, your all excited, almost borderline jittery, and everything is new and wonderful. It’s a whole new world because you begin to see the world and everything in it a little differently. You’ve got a new pep in your step πŸ™‚ You look more, you see more, colors seem more vibrant, your carrying your camera around with you literally everywhere, you feel happy and alive! The passion that you had for photography is basically smothered in lighter fluid and then ignited or re-ignited.

Then as you dive into it a bit more, its more challenging, but you find that it’s so worth it. You are learning some pretty awesome things, you take more time to get it right. You slow down and take a second look at what you’ve got right in front of you. You realize the value of what you have and are a part of is possibly the greatest thing ever. You can’t get enough of it. It keeps you going through rough work days, hard times, and those moments you just need a little boost. Because you know it’s there for you and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon πŸ™‚ (I am applying this to photography in general as well)

You begin to realize that you fit here. It’s where your supposed to be. It’s where you belong. You are free to be yourself, because the other people, your cohort, are all just as crazy as you are about it too and that’s one of the best feelings in the world. (ok this is getting way too mushy now, I’ve debated whether or not I should actually post this haha) πŸ˜‰ I guess if your reading this, it means that I decided, the heck with it, I’ll just post the damn thing!

Maybe its just because I’ve never had a photography learning experience that is similar, I’ve never been to a workshop, never taken online classes, I’ve only taken one darkroom class in college – but that was a little impersonal. Doesn’t count haha πŸ™‚ Maybe it’s because it has just been me on my own trying to learn and I’ve never connected with another person who loved photography before. I’ve always been a bit shy…

I’ve only begun to put the hammer and nail in place to crack the surface. I’m learning new thingsΒ every day and that’s what matters. Because as my very humble master extraordinaire (A.D. Wheeler) in the Arcanum says in his intro video – if (You) (I) ever stop learning, (You)(I) would die or might as well be dead (or something like that) (that’s not a direct quote!!) (its the concept) haha (you get it) (please don’t quote me on quoting him)… πŸ™‚

Check him out at (http://adwheelerphotography.com)! You’ll be glad you did!

JUST to show you the difference – This beach shot below was a shot of mine I took before the Arcanum….. _DSC3173And this panning shot is one I just recently took after joining the Arcanum…. panning

There is so much depth to the Arcanum. It’s a lot more than leveling up. The creators have really developed something that feels honest, real, organic and complex (in the best sense of the word!) It’s also something that takes on a life of its own when you put it into the hands of amazing, awe-inspiring people (The Masters), some legends in their own ways.

It has allowed for an experience that would otherwise be unavailable to people who work full time. It’s an apprenticeship. If I wanted to be someone’s apprentice (assistant), I would not be able to do that working full-time. You move at the pace you are comfortable with. Your community is there to help you and want you to move forward, but you still go at the speed that feels right to you. That eliminates the stress of deadlines and due-dates, which is extremely freeing. I get enough of that at work!

Now, I’m not going to go into the specifics of leveling up and cohort basics and whatnot because I know a few others have already done that way better than I could. This is just my personal schpeal. πŸ™‚ I just want to say thanks to everyone who had/has a hand in the creation and operation of The Arcanum. And to my community, as we have been saying now, my new photo family, for being open, genuine and very friendly folks! All of you are awesome! πŸ™‚

It’s been a blast to say the least!

Here it is again – (http://thearcanum.com)