No Place Like Home

Traveling to Oz at the ZooBoo

While at the ZooBoo we had fun looking at the animals, but also the displays for Halloween. My step daughter really enjoys the Wizard of Oz so it was very cool to see the zoo’s take on the movie. A couple of years ago I saw a similar display at the zoo and made a photo of it. It seems as if some displays get recycled a bit. It really is amazing just how much of a lasting impact this movie has had. Initially it did not do too well, but then it took off on its own. It is fun to watch a new generation enjoy this movie. It is fun to explain how color was used to shock the audience who had not seen that yet in a movie. To a kid now that just seems crazy.

The Other Willie

Willie McCovey and His Cove

Most players who have had the career that Willie McCovey has had would be known simply by their first name in their city. Unfortunately for Mr. McCovey he followed a man named Willie Mays who may have been the best that ever was. For most he will always be the second Willie in San Francisco, but he is very important in his own right. I had some fun with some different ideas with his statue outside of AT&T Park. The sky was not very good, but I used that to my advantage. By overexposing a little I tried to give the appearance of a  white background. I like the finished result, and it is something unique to my trip out west in 2013.

Enjoying the Last Ounce of Baseball This Season

I have really enjoyed watching the World Series the past few days. I am super excited that it will go to a game seven. That means one more night of baseball until we have to sit through a winter. I like both of these clubs, but I really had no rooting interest in either the Giants or the Royals other than the Royals are in the American League Central. I had great experiences at both parks, and I would love to visit both again.

Gear Review: Wasabi Batteries For the Canon 5D Mark III


wasabi lp-e6 clone

The Wasabi Battery to Replace Canon LP-E6

I have used off brand batteries in my GoPro since almost day one. I accidentally found the Wasabi battery on I originally bought the Wasabi battery just for the extra charger. Even with the batteries it was still less than half the cost of the OEM battery. I have come to really think that Wasabi has found something good here, and I bought some for my Canon G16. I felt that it performed just as good as well. I finally made the jump to by an off brand battery for my dSLR cameras. This battery will work in both my Canon 60D as well as my Canon 5D Mark III. It is not the optimal battery for the camera, but it will also work in the new Canon 7D Mark II when it comes out. I really need a lot of batteries when I will be shooting for an extended period of time. Buying the batteries that Canon makes can get expensive quickly.

A Cheaper Alternative

If you were to go out and buy a new battery from Canon for one of these cameras it will cost you anywhere from $100 at a camera shop to $59 on Amazon. I remember how cheap I thought the Amazon price was when I first saw it. When you need multiple batteries it adds up quickly though. If you want an extra charger you will pay around $53 or more. Right now on you can buy the Wasabi battery for this camera for $15. You can get two and a charger for $30. You really cannot beat that price. My only question going into this experiment though was are they as good as the Canon battery? Continue reading

First Impressions of the iPhone 6

Trying Out the iPhone 6 at the Pumpkin Patch

One of my first times out with my new phone was to the pumpkin patch. I wanted to see what kind of detail it could capture. I was very happy with the results. When making photos of my step daughters class I used it for the group shots. I had the Canon G16 with me, but the iPhone performed just fine. It is nice to have a good camera with you at all times, and I am starting to really trust the iPhone for certain shots. Don’t worry though my dSLR will not be replaced just yet. It does way too much for me.

Spending a Couple of Weeks With the iPhone 6 Plus

I have spent the last couple of weeks really trying out the photo features on the new iPhone 6. It is a great upgrade from the iPhone 5 that I was using prior to it. The size is something that you really need to get used to at the start. Once you do though the old iPhone just seems too small. I have posted a video that I made entirely on the phone using the new slow motion feature along with iMovie. You can really do some cool things from a video standpoint. What I wanted to see was how the phone handled low light situations, and how far the HDR function has come. When I first picked up the iPhone 4 the term HDR was new to me. Now after spending the early days of this blog using HDR techniques on food I know it all too well. I also know a certain look that I like from my HDR images. For some reason the iPhone just seems to fall short here. It works in small doses, but for a truly dynamic scene it does not do too well. I do like the burst mode on the camera though. This basically allows you to motor drive a scene and then pick the best one. I didn’t even realize what I was doing at first, but I was very happy to see the results. When you are trying to get that one expression from your child the burst mode really helps capture that key moment.

Photography is getting much more into a state of making your images and sending them on the go. For someone like me who likes to tweak them in post that can be rough. The new IOS 8 helps you perform some of the tweaks. It even makes it easy to tweak them in a program made by a third party. Adobe has really stepped up to the plate with their new phone and tablet apps. Lightroom mobile is great for performing most of the quick edits I like to apply to an image. SmugMug has really made it easy to upload from my phone or tablet as well. My workflow has the ability to become much more streamlined if I want it to.

Color on the Wabash

Finding Color Where You Can

This fall has been about finding the colors wherever I can. Sometimes that means that you find them while standing on an old railroad bridge looking over the Wabash. I was disappointed when I got to the Davis Ferry Bridge and the color was not really on and around the bridge. When I walked out onto it though I noticed that it was beautiful looking out onto the Wabash. Sometimes you do not get the shot that you want, but another one presents itself.

The Calm Before the Storm

The next few days will not be very busy for me. Once the weekend gets closer though things will start to pick up and lead to a fever pitch by next Wednesday. There will probably be a lot of sports on this blog over the next couple of weeks. For now though we have a couple of extra days with some nice scenery. Then the madness will begin.

Purdue Ice Hockey Defeats Indiana 7-3

Back at Purdue Hockey Again

I am excited for this hockey season as the Purdue Hockey team now plays just an hour away from campus. That is close compared to where they have been playing when I have seen them in Kankakee and Danville Illinois. Last night they had their annual charity game for the Purdue Dance Marathon. Of course it was also against our in state rival Indiana. It was a hard fought game that was once tied at three apiece, but the third period belonged to Purdue. I had not been to a hockey game since the last Purdue Hockey game I was at last year. I love hockey, and I need to make more room on my schedule to shoot it. Now that Purdue plays a lot closer to home I think that I can make that happen.

Using the Fisheye Lens

Last night I had a simple rig walking around the stadium. I broke out my Black Rapid double harness to carry two cameras on my body at all times. I had my 5D Mark III set up with the Canon 70-200mm lens on it as my main body, and my Canon 60D with the Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens on it for shots at the glass. I love the look of this lens at the glass. Last season I got lucky and made a pretty good photo at the glass. You have to be lucky and have the action come right at you. This year I moved to make the shot above, but did not get the big hit right in front of me. That just gives me more reason to attend another game I guess. Continue reading

A Skeleton Crew

Making Photos of More Than the Animals at the Indianapolis Zoo

While at the Indy Zoo last weekend I had a lot of fun making photos of my family and the animals. When you go to the Zoo Boo though they have other decorations that are also fun to photograph. They cover a lot of territory with the various decorations, but I liked this one for some reason. At first glance you think that someone is looking at you from around a tree. You have to get close up to see that you have been fooled.

The Zoo Boo

As I have said before we like to make the Zoo Boo a family tradition. It is a great way to get out and see some animals, but also a good chance for the kids to get some extra Halloween candy. The event is still going on this weekend at the Indianapolis Zoo so get out and see it if you can. While you are there check out the new Orangutan Center. You can get up close and personal to see that they are not much different than us.

The Pump House

The Pump House on Clear Lake

One of my favorite locations to shoot when I am back in LaPorte is the pump house and the three trees beyond it on Clear Lake. With the trees in full color it was a no brainer to shoot there on my last trip into town. I had a busy day shooting some architectural work for a local client, and my family wanted to eat. Of course I pulled the car over to make a few photos on the way. Well it really wasn’t on the way, but the way that I drove there it was. Sometimes I wonder how people put up with me.

Cloud Cover Puts a Damper on the Solar Eclipse in Lafayette

Of course when an event above us occurs the clouds rolled in as usual yesterday. The lone event in recent memory where that did not happen was the blood moon. Early on it looked as if it would be a great day to view the sun as it went down. The heavy clouds that came in made that impossible. You can’t win them all, and I had a great time playing in the neighborhood park instead of being out on a country road waiting with my camera.

The Autumn Road

Finding the Perfect Road Shot in Autumn

A great shot of a road in the midst of autumn colors is something that I have been chasing for a while now. I find shots that I think are okay like the one above, but I am still looking for that great shot. One of these days I will stumble upon it. There are a lot of elements into what I think would make the perfect shot. Some of them are here, but not exactly how I would like them. One of these days I will post a shot that I think is awesome. It will be my job then to find one that is even better once I do that.

Catch a Partial Solar Eclipse

Tonight just as the sun is setting the moon will come in between us. Here in West Lafayette the eclipse will start at around 5:45. We will not see the entire eclipse because the sun will set too soon. Just before it sets we will get the most that we will see. That will be at around 6:45 tonight. For a brief moment in time it will look as if someone has taken a bite out of the sun. If the conditions are right I will have a picture of it for you tomorrow.

The Skating Dead

A Haunted Trail

I took a drive out to Prophetstown State Park yesterday to see how the color looked out there. The leaves have really turned making it just absolutely beautiful outside. While driving through the park I saw the scarecrows that the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls have set up. This is a great way to for local business and organizations to get their name out and to also be creative. I love the way that this looks like an actual circumstance that could happen at a bout.

Catch the Brawlin’ Dolls ‘Live’

This was the closest that I will get to photographing roller derby this month. Next month though the Brawlin’ Dolls hit the flat track again. On November 8th the Dolls skate in Beloit against the Beloit Bombshells. They then return home the next weekend on November 15th to face the Aurora 88’s. These will be the last two times that you can see the Brawlin’ Dolls in 2014.