Picture of the Week 3-11-2009

March 11, 2009

Ever since the Triangle Complex Fire ravaged parts of Orange County last Fall I have been trying to make time to photograph it’s aftermath. This past weekend I did just that. I took a drive down to the Santa Ana River Trail which parallels La Palma Street in the Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills area. Bryan and I have ridden our bikes on this trail many times and I frequently drive by it on my way home from the chiropractor so I have seen the devastation before. The burn areas, which extended into Featherly Regional Park, seem to be recovering quite nicely. I’m actually glad I waited this long to photograph the burn areas as spring is just around the corner which has brought new growth. I love this week’s photo because of the stark contrast between the badly burned trees and the beautiful wildflowers that surround them. I took many photos this day so not only am I posting a photo here I’ve also posted all the photos I took in the gallery. This trail by the way, is amazing; great for cycling, running or even leisurely walks. It has an abundance of colorful wild dandelions growing along the path which you can also see in the photo gallery


Photo Info: Shot with our 5D Mark II, ISO 200, F11 at 1/250 of a second.








Our New Camera: The 5D Mark II

March 9, 2009

Jamie and I recently purchased the Canon 5D Mark II with the kit 24-105mm F/4 L IS USM lens. Canon recently released this camera and there is a significant backlog of orders for it at this time so we had to wait for a while to purchase it. The lens by itself has been out since 2005 but you get it at a discount when you purchase it with the kit. We also purchased a 16 Gig UDMA Compact Flash card and plan on purchasing an extra battery as soon as one is in stock and selling for the MSRP instead of 50% above the MSRP. 

Trust me when I say that a lot of thought went into the purchase of the camera. I had recently become frustrated at the high ISO performance of the XTi. Although this doesn’t affect shooting outdoors very often; it does affect shooting indoors without a flash. In addition while the XTi has excellent resolution I always knew in the back of my mind that it was not up to par with the real professional cameras on the market. The 5D Mark II is very much a professional camera. The main things which set it apart are a 21 mega-pixel full-frame sensor and excellent high ISO performance with little to no noticeable noise up to 800 ISO and workable images up to 6400 ISO. The reason I say images are workable at 6400 is that they do have noise but noise reduction will get rid of it. Noise reduction (in camera or in post-processing) does reduce resolution however if you start with a tack sharp 21 mega-pixel image you will not notice the loss of resolution unless you zoom into the image at 100% and really look for it.

Overall I’ve been extremely happy with the camera so far. It is heavier but it feels good in my hand. The battery life is exceptional and will last through a couple of half day shoots without any problem. The kit lens is a real performer as well. Zoom is fast and the Image Stabilization works well. It does have some distortion at 24mm however that is to be expected and it can be corrected in post production. Shooting wide open yields perfectly out of focus backgrounds with nice bokeh. 

Finally this camera adds HD video capabilities to Canon’s Digital SLR lineup. The videos are great once you get the hang of shooting via the LCD screen. The only thing I don’t like is how it saves movies in MOV format. Other then that I really like having the option to shoot video.

Below are some examples of shots from the 5D Mark II:


Shot with 24-105mm F4L IS USM kit lens. Shot at 24mm focal length, ISO 100, F13 and a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second. This shot has not been edited.


Shot with 24-105mm F4L IS USM kit lens. Shot at 24mm focal length, ISO 100, F8 and a shutter speed of 1/320 of a second. This shot has not been edited.


Shot with 24-105mm F4L IS USM kit lens. Shot at 105mm focal length, ISO 160, F10 with a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. This shot has not been edited.


Shot with 24-105mm F4L IS USM kit lens. Shot at 105mm focal length, ISO 200, F6.3 and a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second. This shot has not been edited.


Shot with 24-105mm F4L IS USM kit lens. Shot at 47mm focal length, ISO 5000, F4 and a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. This shot has not been edited.


Shot with 24-105mm F4L IS USM kit lens. Shot at 105mm focal length, ISO 25,600, F4 and a shutter speed of 1/160 of a second. This shot has not been edited.




Picture of the Week 3-4-2009

March 4, 2009

This week’s photo is a shot I took at Hart Ranch this past weekend. I was testing out the features on the new camera and I thought this was the perfect place for that. I walked around the ranch in the middle of the afternoon and got to take many random horse photos. One horse in particular was outside of it’s pen and roaming freely around the facility. I decided to stalk the scraggly bay gelding while he grazed in a field of wild flowers. This particular shot was my attempt at being artistic, also I was experimenting with the depth of field. I love the color of the flowers in this photo. I also really like the horse being out of focus in the background and his tail flipping while I took the shot. I only added a little saturation to make the flowers pop out more.


Photo Info: Taken with my 5D Mark II at F11 and 1/250 of a second; ISO 100.

A Snow Day at the Races

March 2, 2009

This past Sunday we visited Santa Anita Park for their first ever Snow Day. The organizers put out tons of snow throughout the infield of the track which also featured an ice rink and a snowy hill to sled down. Because this was a family oriented event we also brought my Dad and my sister Nikki. When we arrived at 10:30am, when the park opened, there were already hundreds of people there and the snow was already beginning to melt. Although it was a beautiful, mostly clear day, we couldn’t believe how hot it was already! We sat in the infield for about half an hour, and took some pictures of my Dad and Nikki throwing snow balls at each other, before we decided we needed to get into the shade. We decided to go back to the stands to watch the first race at 12:30. While we waited for the first race to begin we saw the trumpeter walk by and asked if we could get a shot with him, he gladly obliged. While my Dad bet on the horses, Bryan and I took turns photographing each race with our new camera (more on that in a later blog). We stayed and watched about four races before we decided to call it a day and what a day it was!
Photo by Jamie

Photo by Jamie

Photo by Bryan

Photo by Bryan

Photo by Sal Gonzalez

Photo by Sal Gonzalez

Photo by Bryan

Photo by Bryan

Photo by Bryan

Photo by Bryan

Photo by Jamie

Photo by Jamie

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