Thursday, May 29, 2014

Eiffel Replica

While walking back from dinner, I tried to get a few shots here and there of whatever I could.  There were so many people wandering about that shooting up was a good way to go without getting anyone in the shot.  We walked by the Paris Las Vegas casino and got this shot of their version of the Eiffel Tower.  It's half the size of the original, but still quite big and offers great views of the strip if you ever go up there.

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.

Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 26.5mm
Aperture - f3.2
Exposure - 1/75
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 6400
Exposure bias - 0EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Circus Circus

This is one of the older casinos on the north end of the strip.  It still survives and I guess it's because it is family-friendly with its circus theme and Adventuredome indoor amusement park and it is one of the more reasonably-priced casino-hotels to stay in.  At least compared to the newer hotels such as the Wynn and the Cosmopolitan anyway...

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.

Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
Focal Length - 10mm
Aperture - f4.0
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Strip from the Strat

For a quick minor little vacation, Eileen and I spent two days and three nights in Las Vegas!  We also met our old friend Mike who lives a little ways away in California!  It was a fun little trip!  We even did some things that we weren't sure about, but I won't bore you with those details.  You know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?! ;-)  Anyway, while we were there, I took a quick little side trip up to the top of the Stratosphere and took a few snaps of the strip.  It was fun shooting from up there, but I was a little disappointed..

You see there are a couple of BIG hotel/casino things going up at that end of the strip and they are off-again on-again builds.  So since those places are currently under construction (or not), they block portions of the other casinos and also put giant black area in the pictures. You can kind of see what I'm talking about in the center-right of this shot.  That's the location of the "Resorts World" casino that's being built.  It's just a big black void.  And to the lower left of the shot, across from the Hilton in the foreground, there is another big monstrosity going up called "the Fontainebleau".  I kept it out of the shot, but it made it hard to get decent landscape orientation shots of the strip because it blocked out everything to the left of the Encore.  Bummer.  Still a fantastic view from up there, though!  Oh and lastly, you are not allowed to take tripods to the top of the Stratosphere, so this shot was hand-held and thus a tad noisy...  Still gotta love all the lights, though...

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.

Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon 50-230mm f4.7-6.5 OIS
Focal Length - 75mm
Aperture - f5.0
Exposure - 1/25
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 6400
Exposure bias -0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Backyard Blue Jay

With the purchase of a new camera system, you must get new lenses.  One of the new ones I bought was the Fuji XC 50-230mm lens.  The aperture is rather slow at 4.5 - 6.7 or something like that throughout the range, but the price was nice at only $369. When it arrived, I had to put it to work.

I spotted a blue jay sitting on our fence and I grabbed a few snaps of it quickly.  Those little guys don't stay in one place for too long so I had to act fast.  The one bad thing here is that I shot him through some window blinds so the bokeh in the background looks rather funny.  Otherwise I like the lens and the shot, for the most part.

Speaking of the shot, I cropped it down a bit, brightened the bird with Nik Viveza, added some lens vignetting with Nik Color Efex 4 and sharpened with Nik sharpener.  If you haven't guessed already, I really like that Nik suite of tools.  Oh and there was a big old branch with leaves above the bird that I removed with PS CC's content aware fill.  That's a nice little thing to have as well!



Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XC 50-230mm f4.5-6.7 OIS
Focal Length - 230mm
Aperture - f6.7
Exposure - 1/210
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Austin Postcard Mural

This is the iconic postcard mural painted on the side of the Roadhouse Relics gallery on S 1st St.  It's recently been restored due to fading from the weather.  If you live in or visit Austin, it is a must photo to get!

Also, while I was there, a woman with the last name of Hall (sorry can't remember her first name) who hails from Canada was there shooting a music video.  So I guess this mural is fairly well known outside of the US as well!



Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 23mm
Aperture - f18.0
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - +0.33
Tripod -   No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoughts on new Fujifilm X-T1

So if you follow my photography or my blog at all, you may be aware that I have decided to ditch all of my full frame Nikon gear for a new mirrorless camera, specifically the Fujifilm X-T1 I have written about why I decided to change, but now that I have it, I thought I would jot a few of my thoughts down after playing with it this past weekend.  I don't want to write a full-blown review as that has been kind of done to death and I could not write a better one than most out there already, so I will keep it short and you can take away from that what you will.



So, suffice it to say, I love this little thing!  It's made taking photos more fun than before.  I loved taking pictures with my Nikons, but I always kind of dreaded packing everything up and lugging it around most of the day because those DSLRs were so darn big and heavy.  Granted, it wasn't like carrying around a 40 pound bag of salt all day, but after carrying a few pounds of camera and lens around your neck for a few hours, it can begin to hurt.  Well, this little baby is so lightweight and comfortable, it's hardly noticeable.  And, the functionality of this thing is truely awesome!  Most of those functions have been written about in other reviews as I have said, so I am glad I took their recommendations and went with this camera.  I do have a few specifics that I'd like to point out, both what I like and what I don't like, and they are:

Likes:
  - Electronic View Finder:
   -- You can have the histogram in the EVF as you are composing the shot so you can see if you are
       getting the light captured correctly
   -- You can overlay a horizon level in the EVF instead of worrying about a bubble level on your
       tripod or on the camera as an accessory that fits in the hot shoe or something
  - The LCD folds out so you can get the camera in some very low spots and not have to look through
    the viewfinder while composing
  - Love the manual dials on top.. easy to see settings right away
  - The Q menu which allows you to get to some frequently used settings fast without digging through
    the actual menu system
  - Film simulations such as Velvia, Black and White with Yellow filter, etc. and once selected you
    can see that simulation in the EVF or LCD display as you are composing the shot
  - Small size, light-weight and comfortable to hold
  - WIFI connectivity with smartphone or other device so you can transfer images to the web or
    control the camera with phone or tablet

Dislikes:
  - No place to input copyright info onto resulting image files
  - Need glasses for EVF
  - Only 3-shot auto-bracketing and 1 EV apart at that

After all is said and done, I am really glad I got this camera and can't wait to use it on some exciting trips we have planned!  It's gonna be great!

Today's Photo: Downtown Austin from the Hyatt Hotel

Last Saturday morning, I just had to take the camera out for a spin.  I started out on S. 1st St and then made my way to the Hyatt Hotel.  I went there because I have seen other shots of Austin taken from that vantage point and it's someplace I always wanted to shoot from.  This view is from one of the ballrooms on the 17th floor and luckily when I got there, the room was open.  Some lady was decorating it for a batmitzvah.  I got in, spent a few minutes shooting and then got out.  Not sure if those rooms are always open, but I kind of doubt it.  Now, if I could just get up there at dusk or later, that would be very awesome!  Anyone out there have any connections?

As far as the image goes, this is really the first shot I have published from the new camera.  This is a raw file that I edited in Photoshop.  Photoshop's ACR now has the Fujifilm film simulations built-in so I converted it to Velvia, darkened the sky a bit with Nik Color Efex's Graduated Neutral Density and Polarization filters and then changed the color of the water from a nasty green to more of a blueish color using Nik's Viveza.  I think had this shot been taken during a better part of the day, the Velvia simulation would probably be all I would need.  But since it was in the middle of the day, I had to tweak it a bit.  Oh and one last thing, I used to have to always rotate the image during post because I didn't have them quite level, but this one I did not have to rotate at all and it turned out perfectly level, all thanks to the built-in horizon level in the EVF.  Just look at the buildings on the edge of the shot... Perfect!  Love it!



Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 18mm
Aperture - f5.6
Exposure - 1/300
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Across The Divide

Here's a fun shot I took of an exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art last year.  I guess I should've gotten the artist's name as well as the name of the piece, but alas...

UPDATE 5-1-14: I just received a tweet from the Blanton Museum of Art with more info on this piece.. Here's the info from their site:

"Artist: Peter Rostovsky
Piece: Epiphany Model 5:  Expedition♦
          2004
          21st century
          132 cm x 182.8 cm (51 15/16 in. x 71 15/16 in.)


Comments: The tiny mountaineers take in a breathtaking view that is, in fact, a flat, generalized representation of grandeur. Removed from the painted wilderness by the tangible space that we as viewers also occupy, these meticulously rendered sculptural figures are our scouts, our stand-ins. Rostovsky has countered the sublime meditations of nineteenth-century Romanticism with the artifice of Internet-derived photographs, model replicas, and a hyper-realistic attention to expedition details. He comments on our inability today to experience and comprehend the natural world without some form of mediation—and perhaps the inability of art, painting in particular, to any longer support utopian ideals."

You can click here to see the piece as intended.



Exif data:

Camera - Nikon D700
Lens - Nikkor 16-35mm f4 VR
Focal Length - 32mm
Aperture - f6
Exposure - 1/20
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 1600
Exposure bias - 0EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA




Disqus for Evan's Expo