Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Stories of Kensington Market

Got that macro lens!

As I mentioned last week, I'm really loving macro. The extension tubes are OK but they force you to choose between macro and regular distances (so when a hummingbird hovered nearby, I couldn't shoot it). I decided to bite the bullet and I bought the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR macro lens. Took delivery on Monday, and have only had a chance to shoot a couple of images with it. Here's one:


This image is straight out of the camera. I didn't do ANYTHING to it beyond my normal RAW file import preset in Lightroom, not even crop it.  Well, except for 'spot removing' a couple of blemishes in the flower. 

Did you notice there's a wee spider lurking in the centre of the flower? I didn't, until I looked at it onscreen!



Rogers Wireless. First they refused to admit they had (have) a problem with their tower up here despite the fact that at least a dozen of us have the same symptoms: the audio on incoming calls is breaking up even with 5 full bars of signal strength. Admittedly my iPhone 4s is getting old but I'm not the only one.

Then they offered to charge me almost $400 to upgrade the phone to the iPhone 5s. They tried to sell me on an Android phone. But they couldn't convince me that it would sync with my Outlook calendar and addressbook and sure enough, my own research revealed that it will NOT without third party software, which I would have to purchase.

In the end, they said they'd discount me $75 because I've been a loyal customer for 12 years. Whoopee.


Costco and the good folks at Bell. After waiting hours in Rogers stores with staff who are more concerned with the state of their fingernails and a thimble full of computer knowledge, I left and went to Costco. This for an iPhone 6 not iPhone 5, same plan (plus 50 minutes of US calling), cheaper price AND the phone cost was $149. If I switched to Bell, which I readily did.

20 minutes later I was live, they transferred my existing data from the old phone and I got on the road back up North.

The reason I went with Rogers in the first place was because of mistreatment by Telus and the fact they had no usable signal up here in the Highlands. With Bell, I've got 4 out of 5 bars sitting at my computer. The iPhone 6 is nice, same look and feel as the 4s but faster.

I just ordered this "Tough" iPhone case through RedBubble with my own image on it:


It's a pretty dark image (intentionally), looks good on screen and I hope it will print well. Cost me about 60% of the cost of an Otterbox, by the way.  


In a rut?

Here's a link to a series of ideas/exercises that might drag you out of that funk:

http://petapixel.com/2015/07/16/13-exercises-for-photographers-that-can-help-jump-start-creativity/

...or you could get out of your comfort zone and do something different, like street photography!

Street Photography Outing

Seven strong, we headed down to Kensington Market on Monday. All street photography newbies. We knew that it was supposed to rain around 2pm but we hung in there anyway. Trying to get everyone in the same place at the same time was like herding cats. It can't be done! Holly and Chris were in a 'horticultural' shop, learning how to plant certain kinds of "seeds". Maggie went into another shop and bought earrings. Sharon was doing her own thing. Wendy turned left when we turned right. It was a challenge! Amin and I stayed together most of the time, though.


First thing I shot was an onrushing streetcar on Spadina. Slow shutter speed, zoom while shooting. Kind of trite and overdone, but I like it! The streetcar driver wasn't too happy with me standing on the track in front of his moving vehicle!

Then there was this guy...


He was sitting there, giggling and laughing to himself. There was a lot of that going on in Kensington: I usually get the munchies too, when I get the giggles... anyway he got real serious and gave me the eye when he saw me shooting his picture. 

I didn't want to make it all about shooting characters. I wanted stories. So I actually approached this next guy (after I took his picture!) and asked him, "how do you sound"?


He said, "I don't know, I haven't played in a long time". I'm not sure what he was on but... He asked to see his picture on the camera then wanted me to email it to him! Either he wasn't what he seemed, or he was...

Then the rains came. 


Another guy walking along laughing loudly at some internal joke 


This was one of my favourite pictures of the day.  

But this one tops my list:


Tolerating the rain? Enjoying it? Reveling in it? In a hurry to get out of it? I didn't make this one black and white because I think the colour adds to it. In fact, I might make this the basis of my first attempt to paint a person. 

I have several more images to process from that outing. Hang in there!

Twinkle, Twinkle...

The other night I went out to photograph the Perseid meteor shower. Good news and bad news: I saw lots of meteorites but I didn't capture many on the camera. However I'd like to share two images.


This is a StarStaX composite of 100 images. There are actually four meteorite events visible in the image, look for lines that go in odd directions. But they're lost in the splendour of the star trails. I overlaid one of the foreground images and painted it in Impression

Both of these images are somewhat dark, I hope they render well on your monitor. 


This was a single long exposure (38 minutes). Partway through, I discovered that the lens was covered with dew so I carefully wiped it without moving the camera. The canoe was NOT in the scene: I comped it in after someone on Facebook gave me the idea. But the sky really did look like this, an example of real life emulating art.  

Stay tuned for more next week!

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