I’ve fallen behind in the photo management again. Sorry.

Here’s an installment to call out some of the sets I’ve recently uploaded:

Claire’s Birthday 2006
Claire Sings KaraokeAfter Christmas comes Claire’s birthday. For the last one, we went out to Lula Lounge and later the Gladstone for some karaoke. The day before, I picked up a lovely Nikon 50mm F1.4 prime lens that happened to be on sale at Vistek. I also picked up a Sto-Fen Omnibounce to help make my SB-600’s flash shots look nicer. Wowee, what a combination those new pieces made! These were some of the best indoor shots I’d ever gotten thanks to the super-large aperture of the new lens and the awesome diffusion/bounce effect provided by the Omnibounce. I started the evening at Lula Lounge with just the 50mm to see what it could do on its own. It was pretty dark in there, so the many of the shots still came out a bit underexposed at ISO1600, but they were not only salvageable in post, the “available light” look gave a nice effect.

At the Gladstone, I added the SB-600 to the mix, aimed at 75° with the Omnibounce installed, per the manual. I got a bunch of amazing shots as Claire made new friends and sang on stage with Adèle. Geoff also got a shot of Claire and I dancing, doing a great job of capturing the fun we were having.

Bringing in 2007
New Year's 2007
Back to Ennismore a couple of days later for more partying with friends and family as we rung in the new year. Geoff, Darren and I got out and played with macro lenses, trying closeups of various things. I learned that the depth of field can be so narrow with a macro lens when you get really close, that you can’t shoot without a tripod and keep the subject in focus: even minute camera shake changes the distance enough to blur what you’re shooting. I began to use smaller apertures when shooting handheld, or used a tripod. Trouble with the tripod is that it’s hard to get close enough to the subject for a good enlargement. Now I understand why the really fancy tripods have an arm that let you position the camera in such a way that the tripod legs don’t get in the way.

The 50mm/Sto-Fen setup served well again as we celebrated at Claire’s dad’s house. Many great moments were captured! Lesson learned: some people think they look drunk in the resulting pictures. Another interesting but arcane lesson learned is that a really long exposure taken with a very brief burst of flash light may look ruined at first but can yield a neat look.

Pierre’s Family Visits January 2007
Mike ShootsThe following weekend, my family visited us at our place in Toronto. My brother Mike has expressed an interest in photography, so we decided to get out and do some shooting. We had fun picking random subjects at the park near our place. The challenge was to make mundane things look as interesting as possible. Not too much that was worth posting, but it was good to get our of our comfort zones.

I had a good opportunity to get some nice pictures of my family members as we played “Therapy: The Board Game”. I also managed to get a nice macro shot of Leo holding my old P&S.

Las Vegas February 2007
Scuplture Near The ParisSeveral more weeks passed before I took any more noteworthy pictures. In February, I was dispatched by my employer to the NADA show in Las Vegas (National Auto Dealers’ Association). Incidentally, American car dealers are a patriotic bunch, I observed.

I’m not much of a gambler, and my gaming skills are only up to the use of brain-melting slot machines. So, I took pictures. I got out with the tripod, and took some night shots of various Vegas landmarks. I tried to photograph people too, with varying results. Actually, the people shots didn’t work out so well, so I haven’t posted them.

At one point I was making my way through the Bellagio’s casino (I think after buying a ticket to ‘O’, which I highly recommend). A very attractive, scantily-dressed woman who was walking in the opposite direction accompanied by a couple of guys spotted my camera and began posing! I was too surprised and uncomfortable to actually take a picture and kept walking. Lesson learned: I’m an idiot. That would have been a very interesting picture.

Nashville February 2007
Tennesee State LegislatureBack to Nashville once again, but this time I didn’t think I’d have time to take any pictures, so I didn’t bring the D70s. I had the old point ‘n shoot, though, and a few minutes for a walk in the morning. These shots are what resulted from my downtown stroll, and a dinner with colleagues.

Lesson learned: a point ‘n shoot does quite nicely for walking around during daylight hours. The small aperture and lousy low-light sensitivity don’t really matter in conditions like this.

Interestingly, the shot you see here was nearly identical to one I spotted later in an ad for a local imaging business, displayed at the Nashville airport. Difference was that theirs was taken at night.

St-Louis
The St-Louis Arch
The next business trip took me to St-Louis, Missouri to meet with some other vendors to our main client. This time the D-SLR was with me. I shot almost exclusively with the 18-70, for its wider angle. Thankfully my coworkers and I had a bit of time to see the sights.

Lessons learned: a) Don’t spend too much time looking at the sun while photographing the sunrise, it hurts the eyes. b)Posing your subjects can be fun.

Ennismore January 2007
Flower The last set I posted before writing this is a a random collection of shots taken at Claire’s dad’s place, and in Peterborough. This time I used the 50mm mostly. I experimented with a big aperture (for low depth of field) and backlight with fill flash.

The main lesson here was that this situation calls for a neutral density filter (which I don’t have) because the sun combined with fill flash is just more light than the camera can handle with its maximum flash sync shutter speed of 1/500 and large aperture.

Well, that’s all I’ve got posted for the time being. I still have a whole lot of photo sorting to do to to be fully caught up. I’ll turn my attention to that one now.