Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Picking Your Focal Length

Back in the old days, pre 1980s, a photographer had to do everything and be able to do it on moments notice. There wasn't any auto focus and there most definitely wasn't any sort of zoom.

I read a posting Ken Rockwell recently had on his sometimes, but quite frequently, daily blog talking about using prime lenses because they are faster to shoot and you get an image that is well thought out and doesn't need so much editing afterwards. He also mentioned for people who do use zoom lenses, which I unfortunately do, sort your images by focal points and see which one is used the most and to work on your skills with that particular focal length.

During my search I found some interesting statistics. I have a roughly equal number of images shot with my zoom at 35 mms as I do with my 50 mm prime lens. I was actually surprised to see that so I decided to make two slideshows to compare the quality of the images I've been shooting on each size. I threw away the majority of the images on both options and discovered that I have about 2x more images that are worthy enough to keep at 35mm. It makes sense to me why that size would have more keepers. I use to more often to shoot buildings since you have more real estate to work with on a 35mm lens than you do with a 50mm.

Now my next step is to study my images to see what makes them work better than my normal snapshots. It kinda seems dumb at times that I still haven't fully figured out how to take a good picture, but I sure have the means to find out.

Here are the two slide shows that I set up to compare and contrast the two different lens sizes. Many of you have seen these images before, but I refined them down to as few as I could go.

Pictures shot at 35mm

Pictures shot at 50mm

EDIT: I tried adding both slideshows but it seems that one of them overwrote the other, so both slideshows ended up being the same one. So I just linked to my picture site. You can look at the bigger versions now.

My most recent pictures from the Orange County Fair can be found Here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Orange County Fair

Everybody probably  knows by now, but if you don't I live in Orange County, CA. As a matter of fact, just a 2 minute drive down the freeway from Disneyland. If you live anywhere in the US, you've probably  come across the county fair. Since I don't live in the midwest or in some rural area, it is not as big of a deal, but it sure is still a fun place to come to every once in awhile.

Here in Orange County, ours starts in the middle of July and ends in the middle of August, followed by the Los Angeles County Fair that runs in September at Fairplex in Pomona. I think my last time here at the fair was in the early 2000s when I came with one of my parents. I wasn't really sure what to expect even though I had an idea of what it was like. My best friend and I met up with some of his acquaintances and had a couple of drinks before I took off on my own for a photo shooting spree.

I've been lacking on adding my pictures to the map so you might have an idea of where I went. I fixed this for next weeks set of pictures.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kodak Selling Photography Department

I just saw an article posted on the British Journal of Photography website talking about the END of Kodak in the photography industry. While it may seem like good news and bad news all rolled up into one, I really have no idea on what to think at this point. Thankfully, the article does offer a little nugget of hope. Kodak is selling the entire division to a company who will pick up the ball and keep running with it and dedicate themselves to the cause. Its a very interesting read for anybody interested in film and using film. Thank god I use Ilford and Fujifilm for all of my needs.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Universal Citywalk

From one place well know for the lights and glamour to the place that originated the lights and glamour, Hollywood. Universal Citywalk is an outdoor mall located at the entrance to Universal Studios. It looks amazing to say the least.Fluorescent signs galore. Enough to distract anybody with a short attention span like myself. I tried to shoot some trendy shots such as the Globe and the sign at the direct entrance to Universal Studios and the modern style Bat Mobile from the current trilogy of Batman films. Too many people to pull off a good shot. Thank Christ. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Las Vegas Part 3: Major Signage

One of my favorite places to see in Las Vegas is the downtown Freemont Street Experience. I've seen the show on the canopy several times. Incredible is the main word that comes to mind. With all of the LEDs and the wonderful sound system. But this time I saw something that I've never seen there before.

The promenade also moonlights as an outdoor museum with all of the major historic signs on display. Most people have seen the marquees of places like these:

But the better ones are a little further down. I only took these pictures because I thought the signs looked bad ass. I wasn't going for anything artistic. Well anyways... Here they are. 

These last two are modern signs but thought they looked great too.

All in all, this reminded me of driving around looking at christmas lights on the houses. My short attention span loves all of the bright colors and the flashing lights. I would recommend a quick stop by here to check out this snapshot of history that has now been forgotten. I would fairly appreciate if you checked out my other two series from my 4 day trip to Sin City here and here.

In the very near future I will start writing more how to guides and useful information on commonly used tools processes and some history of photography. And I have a set of pictures from Universal Citywalk that have been through my first cut and will be editing fairly soon.