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™‚

Dear Film: Its been real, Its been fun…

So, after shooting film for about a month or so, I’m SO happy to say that my camera has been fixed by Fuji and will be returned to me in the next week or two! Not that I don’t love film, because I do :), but when I shoot six rolls that costs $100 to get developed and scanned and there are only about 9 shots that I happy with, I say thank goodness for my digital camera! (don’t forget the $50 or so for the rolls in the first place)

Ektar 100: its been fun, but quite honestly, I’m okay if you sit on the shelf for a little while, no hard feelings, you understand, you’re just too expensive! πŸ˜‰

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These are all using Ektar 100. The challenge with this was the 100 ISO because I was used to shooting only 400 ISO film. It meant slower shutter speeds in not so bright areas and for someone with not so steady hands, this was tough. I underexposed a lot. This guitar series is of my brother who is an excellent guitar player and not a bad singer either πŸ™‚

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Yes, It’s really grainy. I wanted to showcase how the film came directly out of the camera/lab/scanner so I barely processed these at all in Lightroom.

Also using the Ektar 100, I shot Moss Glen Falls on the scenic route 100 in Vermont. What an incredible drive! Through the mountains, winding roads that went on and on and on. It had a very calming effect. The Falls is right off the road and there is a small parking lot. It’s super convenient to get to! There’s even a nice little boardwalk that leads you right to it, easy peasy πŸ™‚ Since the pool in front of the falls was a little frozen over, I was able to get a little closer to the falls, following the snowy indents made by (most likely) photographers before me.

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Back in Boston I tried the Ektar 100 out on a cityscape sunset from East Boston after my BEC CPA exam. Nothing like taking pictures to relax after an incredibly stressful and long test. This was near Piers Park, but not exactly in it. It’s another abandoned decaying dock right next door. And I had it all to myself! Who else would stand there for 45 minutes in the freezing cold? πŸ™‚

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Each type of film is a little different and it takes some time to figure out how to use it to its highest potential with your camera and what you like to shoot. But that’s only half the battle! If you have access to a darkroom and a great scanner, then you’ve won, but if you don’t, you are at the mercy of photo labs and their scanners. πŸ™‚ Β 


Winter Storm Juno: Snow Day for Boston!

Snow day for Boston! – Work from home day for many like me. I did venture out however to the only store in Southie that was open – 7/11, thank heaven! πŸ˜‰ I was surprised to see that there were many people out and about, mostly packed into the Lincoln and Stats (South Boston bars). Here are some of the scenes of the excursion (all shot with the iPhone!).

039FB3EE-18B8-46E6-AA4F-25DDFFAE8752 132AB319-7FD0-4F60-8D53-A6FDAFE9EEBB 3598BC8F-E1CA-4393-84C2-8661BF705061 8DFE3C69-9EAD-4725-8AC5-20A5BF67F7F2On top of many of the cars in this neighborhood, there were these wave-like formations of snow, resembling mohawks! Very stylish. No doubt having to do with the strong winds that accompanied the snowfall.

3194AFF6-D422-44DC-A9A0-F5883DDE2DB7 3DBCC726-36B9-4FC7-A358-14B1C3939490West Broadway devoid of traffic. Some of the sidewalks were shoveled, but not completely, so I had to walk on the road. Totally safe being that the only vehicles on the road were police SUVs, and plows.Β  F6C4D775-FDC0-41DC-9ADC-1EB15B834C6C B3E74E87-317F-4714-9FEC-A6839A43041C E6A6C00F-B952-4B54-830B-E80B633B1C21The MBTA may not be running, but the kids sled express is!

E52A0715-87B2-4AA3-AB5B-86747932E5AA7/11 IS OPEN πŸ™‚

144FCE02-C469-4138-A71E-DC03B37031E2The heavy duty guys were called in!

E54561B9-512B-4005-A058-9F219E28C85FPanning with the iPhone!

1C7E2426-9C74-43BB-AFE8-04AA67413623Fog? – nope, the wind is still pretty strong and many times it blew the top layers into a whirlwind around me!

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!)

Mt. Chocuoura

Almost to the summit of Mt. Chocuoura, part of the White Mountain range in New Hampshire. There were amazing views, which were soooo worth the hike/climb πŸ™‚ these photos were also both taken with an iPhone!
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Cabin Fever

It’s March…winter has been here in Boston for a while now…and I’m starting to get the feeling of the walls moving closer, the air inside seems more and more stale, and everything has been mostly white and grey for the past few months. Cabin fever, seasonal depression, winter blues, call it what you want…it blows. (It could also be because I live and work in the city and miss the scenery of rural-ish New Hampshire)

So, to get out a bit, maybe see some green, I thought some winter hiking would be a good idea, maybe some picture taking (always cheers me up πŸ™‚ )…but ending up getting lost…alone…I know, not very smart….it was only supposed to be a small “hill”, but it was too steep for my fitness level (aka no level post-holiday/new years/superbowl/etc…). Well here’s a little bit of what my day looked like….(Blue Hills Reservation: Buck Hill: Skyline Trail)

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Of course, I was trying to get away from the concrete jungle (boston)…but from the summit of the “hill”, you can’t get away from it, its still there!
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Well, that’s pretty much it! Until next post…Happy Wednesday!