Friday, October 30, 2015

Avalon Bay

Rain-pocolypse!!!

Wow!  It's been raining here in Austin so much that once the rain broke, downtown was a marina!  Just look at the pic below!  Ha!  Not really, but it sure seems like it.  We got something like 10 - 12 inches of rain today in like three hours.  It was what I like to call "rain-pocolypse"!  And it may not be done!  Time to build an arc and start marching animals two-by-two! 

Seriously though, be safe and pray for those who may be flooded!  Turn around, don't drown!!!

Today's Pic - Avalon Bay

OK, horrible jokes about the rain here in Austin aside, this shot is of Avalon Bay at Catalina Island off the coast of California!  Fun place to go for a quick something to do. If you do go, rent a golf cart and take the scenic route! That's how I got this shot here.  Lots of great views on the little roads in the hills around the bay. Fun and you'll be done in an hour!  Also, the building on the left in the entrance to the bay is known as the Catalina Casino.  It was once a thriving casino back in the late 20s and 30s, but now it seems to be a performing arts center and unless one goes to a show or something, the only way to see it is via tour guide.  We didn't have time to go there, but it might be fun.

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

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 42mm
Aperture - f13
Exposure - 1/400
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - -1/3 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oceanside Pier Sunset

On our last night in CA, we drove over to Oceanside and went to their little bazaar they had going on and then ate dinner at Hello Betty fish house.  Hello Betty is right near the beach so just after the sun went down, I ran over to the  beach and took a few shots of the pier.  I know, these shots are best with a tripod and a long exposure, but I didn't feel like carrying the tripod around.  Now I regret it, but I think having these beachcombers in the foreground adds a little interest and provides no need for the silky smooth long exposed waves.  Right?  My photo buddies, help me out here! :-)

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

Camera - Fujifim X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 35mm
Aperture - f4
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 3200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No (bummer)
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The End of Route 66

Today I'm going to get away from the football game photos and get back to some of the other sights from our trip...  BTW, I do have a fave from the game and it has nothing to do with play on the field, but I'll put that out some time soon...  Anyway, the Tuesday after the game, we left our hotel in Mission Valley to go to our next hotel in Carlsbad.

But first, we decided to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH, Highway 1) from San Diego and stop at the Santa Monica Pier, then turn around and head back.  It was a great idea in theory, but once we got to Long Beach, all bets were off and we had to head out to the 405 and back in again on the 10, I think..?  We still made it to the pier for lunch, which was the goal.

The pier itself was pretty much a tourist trap.  I think the sign was the best part about it.  Oh and maybe the views of the beach and the PCH.  Otherwise, lots of t-shirt stands and amusement rides. Not a lot of sport fishing going on either.  There were a few guys with lines in the water and I think they said they were catching some mackerel, but not a whole lot else going on.  One thing about the t-shirt stands is that there were lots about Route 66.  I probably knew this at one point, but Route 66 started in Chicago, wound its way down through Oklahoma and Texas and ended at this pier.  Pretty cool, eh?  I think even my Uncle Bill made that drive back when it was popular in the 50s or 60s... So, I thought that was cool to find out, if I didn't already know. :-)

Lastly, we did make it for lunch and we ate at The Albright and that was pretty good.  A little overpriced, but that's what you get for being tourists, yes? :-)  Anyway, now that all is said and done, at least now we can say, "Been there, done that"!

As far as the picture goes, yes, it has a little flare and specks going on from the sun, but I kind of like it.  I think it adds something to it.  What, I'm not sure, but it adds something.  I also made it a duotone sepia sort of shot and cloned out a couple of distracting lamp posts.  What do you think?  Did it work?

I hope you enjoy the photo and thanks for stopping by.


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

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 24mm
Aperture - f14
Exposure - 1/350
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rivers Throws

Yesterday I posted a shot of Michael Vick throwing the football, so today I thought it time for fairness and am posting a shot of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throwing the football.  Rivers has the weirdest release.  You can't really grasp it from this shot, but if you watch him throw on TV or in person, he has this weird side-arm thing going on and it also looks like he kind of shot-puts the ball.  Strange, but he's still a pretty good QB..  Not great, but pretty good...


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

Camera - Lumix DMC-FZ300
Focal Length - 108mm
Aperture - f2.8
Exposure - 1/640
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 1600
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vick Throws

So here's a shot of Michael Vick throwing to maybe #84 all the way at the other end of the field from where we were sitting in the stands.  The shot may be just a tad noisy, but that's expected with a little 1/2.3 sensor in the DMC-FZ300.  I'm pretty happy with it overall.

This shot is a post-processed raw that I tweaked out a bit.  I took some of the noise out of the players but left it in for the field to keep a little texture in there.  I also adjusted the exposure, contrast, saturation and other stuff that one would normally do, even added a little vignette.

What do you think?

Hope you enjoy it and thanks for dropping by!

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

Camera - Lumix DMC-FZ300
Lens - 24x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit
Focal Length - 108mm
Aperture - f2.8
Exposure - 1/1600
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 1600
Exposure bias - O EV
Tripod -No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lumix DMC-FZ300 Review and NFL Football!

The main reason for our trip to San Diego was to knock another stadium off our bucket list.  We have been to about 10 stadiums so far so we're almost a third of the way there!  It's so much fun, but we still have yet to knock out some of the stadiums in the north.  We have to plan those for early in the season!

For me and this little blog and photography habit that I have, taking pictures at a football game is a blast!  However, the NFL makes it a little difficult to take cameras in.  They have the policy about taking stuff in in only clear bags and everything has to be out of your pockets as you go through the gates.  Taking a camera with 2-3 lenses to shoot games can be tricky.  I like to cram lenses in pants pockets with batteries and other things, so the policy makes it a pain.  So this year I decided to get an ultra-zoom camera for this very purpose.  One camera, no fuss no muss.  There are a lot to choose from out there.  I really wanted to get the Nikon P900 because it has a super 83x zoom lens.  However, it does not shoot raw and it doesn't have a constant aperture through the zoom.  So after lots of searching, I settled on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 as seen below:



This camera has a nice 24x zoom lens, equivalent of 25-600mm in 35mm format if I'm not mistaken, has a constant f2.8 aperture throughout and it shoots raw.  This is pretty much what I was looking for and as matter of fact it just came out at the end of last month. The camera is even weatherproof, so no bag to take to the stadium in case of rain. Yeah, rain in San Diego, right. :-)

I enjoyed shooting it for the most part.  It has customizable fn buttons and it has a nice touchscreen lcd monitor on the back which makes it easy to adjust focus points and stuff.  The fn buttons aren't really the physical buttons on the camera though, they are more like tabs on the touchscreen monitor.  That's ok, but if the actual buttons could be changed, that would be nice.  The screen menu was a little difficult for me to navigate, too, but I think that's just because I am used to my Fuji stuff and need more exposure to this one.

When it came to wanting to shoot action on the field, I only had the camera's drive set to single shot and it took me a while during the game to find the high continuous mode, but I did.  That helped a lot!  The camera is pretty fast for continuous shooting, but trying to track movement once you start shooting is kind of weird because you get quick previews of each shot which interrupts the flow of the action.  In other words, when I was watching someone run with the football or trying to receive a catch, I would start shooting and then I would lose track because the action would stop on the camera for each individual picture and that goofed me up. Other than that, not too bad.

Also the stabilization in the camera is pretty good.  Even when I wasn't shooting pictures, I would watch the game though the camera with it zoomed all the way to the field and I could see everything on the field really well!  I felt like one of the ESPN camera men there! Wouldn't THAT be an awesome job, btw?

Lastly, the zoom was just about the best you could ask for in a camera like this.  If it was any longer with a constant 2.8 aperture, the camera would be rather big.  Same goes for the sensor; it sports a 1/2.3 sensor and if it was APS-C or larger, the camera would be huge, too. This camera is a nice size, just a tad smaller and lighter than my Fuji X-T1 with its 18-55 attached.  You can see the range of the lens in the two photos I have posted below.  They are both jpgs taken straight from the camera, un-retouched.  The one of the stadium is with it zoomed all the way out.  You can see the view we had from our seats.  We were in the upper deck about half way up.  Pretty high up there.  The shot of #2 Michael Vick, is with the camera zoomed all the way in.  At the time I took that shot, he was on the near sideline around the 30 yard line near us, I believe.  Not too shabby!  And, as you can see with the Vick shot, the lens is quite sharp!

So overall, I like the camera. I just need more time to play with it and get used to its menu system and customize it more for my style.  I would probably give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.  That's the best I would give anything because I don't think anything is perfect.  Except my wife! :-)

Oh, before I go, my next couple of posts will be action shots from the game.  They are raws that I did a little post-processing on and might show you a little more of what this camera can do.

Qualcomm Stadium at Dusk, camera zoomed all the way out, 24mm. (Click on pic for better version)


 Michael Vick (#2) warming up with teammates prior to game, camera zoomed all the way in, 600mm. (Click on pic for better version)


Friday, October 23, 2015

The Sun Deck Bar at the Hotel Del

When we first arrived in San Diego, we promptly checked in to our hotel and then we headed to Coronado.  We ate dinner at the great Hotel Del Coronado - the Sheerwater restaurant to be exact.  We got there a bit early so I took that opportunity to take a few pictures while the others shopped... of course.

This picture is of the Sun Deck Bar and Grill located just off the beach at the back of the hotel.  It was just a few steps away from the Sheerwater and looked like a great place to enjoy a few adult beverages and watch the sunset.  The beach was right behind me.  And one other neat thing about the Sun Deck Bar is that there are rooms just beneath it.  Of course I'm not sure how noisy they would be with bar patrons enjoying themselves just above, but it was a surprise when we walked down the steps to the beach and saw the rooms there.  Bet they're not cheap either...

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image or any other, 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 - f4.5
Exposure - 1/420
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 250
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Laguna Beach Surfer 02

If you saw my Laguna Beach Surfer post yesterday, I described how the surfers would run down a little bit of a slope and step onto their boards as they hit the water.  Well, this shot here may not be of guys actually surfing, but I kind of hope it shows a bit of where they ran down the sand to get into the water.  You see the water was a few feet lower than where the main part of the beach was, enabling the water to break closely and giving these dudes a way to run and catch the waves quickly. See what I mean?  Now that I look at this shot, I kind of wish I would've gotten a shot of one them actually running into the water.. That would've been cool!

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

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 18mm
Aperture - f8
Exposure -1/1250
Exposure program - Manual
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Laguna Beach Surfer

Took this during a quick stop at one of the roadside beaches in Laguna Beach, I think it was Aliso Beach County Park if I'm not mistaken.  Fun to watch these guys catch the waves so close to shore....  The beach where these guys would surf was about 8 feet or so above the water line and they would stand at the top, watch the swells and then just as the wave would start forming, they would run down the sand, plop their board into the water and hop on, then hit the wave as it started to break and head back to shore..  Very cool!

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

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 55mm
Aperture - f9
Exposure - 1/800
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed -200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sunset on Mission Beach

It's back to the old grind.  We have come back to reality.  Last week we had a great trip to So. California!  The main purpose of the trip was to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football!  That was a blast, but we can see why the Chargers want to leave.  Their stadium sucks!  More on that later.  This brings me to the picture here.  The Sunday before the big game, we went on a little pub crawl starting in Mission Valley near our hotel and ended up at a place on Mission Beach.  Once we were ready to head back to the hotel, we took a nice little stroll along the beach as the sun was going down.  It was awesome!  As we always say, California is a great place to visit!

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

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 21mm
Aperture - f14
Exposure - 1/350
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - -1 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Friday, October 9, 2015

Collin McHugh of the Astros

Here is one more shot to celebrate the Astros making it into the ALDS playoffs. This is Collin McHugh pitching.  Seems to be a good pitcher, but he wasn't on the day I took this shot, hehe!  I hope they do well in the playoffs, though.  Both teams from Texas are in so I'm not sure who to root for..  I guess we'll just have to wait and see!  Do you have a fave from TX?

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

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujino XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7 OIS
Focal Length - 230mm
Aperture - f6.7
Exposure - 1/1000
Exposure program - Manual
ISO speed - 2500
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Astros Win Wildcard

The Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees last night in the AL Wildcard Game by a score of 3-0 at Yankee Stadium!  To commemorate this achievement, here are a couple of photos from the game we went to back in August...

The first is of the girls known as the Coca Cola Park Patrol and the second is of Carlos Correa, the rookie phenom swinging at a pitch from Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers...

Congrats Astros and good luck against the Royals!


If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of these images or any other, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 

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