Monday, December 18, 2017

Lights of the World December 2017

The Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix hosted Lights of the World and Chinese acrobats this Christmas season in Phoenix.  It gets crowded so we decided to go a wee bit early and catch the 5:30pm Chinese acrobats first.  It was a pleasant 60+ degrees out; just perfect!   

The photos you see were taken with my backup camera, the Canon 3Gx.  It has one permanent lens, 24 to a whopping 600mm.  It’s very lightweight.  I use it especially when a venue says “no professional cameras.”  What that means is any camera with detachable lenses typically won’t be let in. I always pull out this little camera to show security... “look, the lens doesn’t come off!” 

Now, this camera won’t ever replace my Canon 5D Mark IV.  But I decided to take this camera also because the more you use your equipment, the better you get with it.  

For the acrobats, I used a shutter speed from 640th to 1,000th of a second to try to freeze motion.  AND, because it was dark, I had to use a fairly high ISO.  In the end, there was grain in those shots, so I had to use some anti-grain magic in post processing with Lightroom.  This is where the difference between the G3x and the 5D Mark IV.  My 5D handles high ISO far far better with less to no grain.  You also will not get 6 or 10 frames per second with the G3x, either.  More like one frame per second.   

After the Chinese acrobats performed, it was time to walk through the grounds and look at the marvelous lighted animals and buildings.  The colorful objects were well lit with a black background.  I was very happy at the performance of the G3x in this case.  I could use a more reasonable ISO of around 400.  I found no grain in any of the photos!

Given the objects were so brilliantly lit, anybody standing in front appeared to be dark shadows.  I liked that.  

And, I got a chance photo of a baby girl no doubt seeing Santa for the first time.

Until My Next Adventure,
See You On Down the Road!

Created with flickr slideshow.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Arizona Railway Museum

The Arizona Railway Museum in Chandler has an interesting collection of railroad passenger cars and equipment from copper mines.  

This was a visit sponsored by Canon and Tempe Camera and Guy Reed).  And, we had period models to photograph at our visit; costumes courtesy of Cloud Creations of Scottsdale.  Some were dressed in western clothing and others sported 40's wardrobes.

Tempe Camera's own Guy Reed!

I photographed with a Canon 5d Mark IV and Canon 24-105mm lens. I did fill flash and indoor flash with the small Canon 270exII.  I have larger Canon speedlites, but I wanted to force myself to only use the 270.  Take a look at some of these shots using flash; I was pleasantly surprised at how much nice light it put out!  

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Visiting Out of Africa

The Tamron lens folks sponsored a visit to "Out of Africa" at Camp Verde, Arizona... a little over an hour from Phoenix. 

The weather started to cool down in these parts and it was a great time to get away from the big city.  

I'd never been to this park and came away very impressed.  We'll go again in December, my birthday month, since admission is free for me!

Special thanks to Tamron's Erica Robinson and Armando Flores, who took us on our visit.  

And, to the fine folks of Out of Africa and the good work they do rescuing these fine animals!

I'll be back... with my Canon 5D Mark IV and Tamron lenses!

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

We visited Out of Africa a second time on 30 December 2017.  Here are my additional photos from Flickr...

Monday, July 17, 2017

My New Canon 50mm Lens Shooting in a Club

Starting from Country Thunder, I’ve photographed Tom Wagner and his band several times.  Nothing new with that.

What IS new is that I photographed the boys with my new Canon f/1.4 50mm lens.  And just this lens.

If you are used to using a zoom lens, you typically don’t move closer or back.  With a 50mm prime lens, your feet are your zoom.  

It’s a new feeling and a great feeling.

My impression is I love the low light capabilities of this sharp lens.  I photographed from around 1600 to 2000 ISO, aperture priority, wide open at f/1.4.  If you like bokeh (the background out of focus), you will love this lens!

I highly recommend a prime like this for low light and club photography.  

One more thing...  I found another shot I took of Charlie on the fiddle.  I took this back in April at Country Thunder in Florence, Arizona. 

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Amsterdam to Basil and Lake Como

In about eleven days I covered Amsterdam and about everything else going south on the Rhine River before Basil, Switzerland.  Then a drive through Switzerland to get over the border with Italy to the Lake Como district. 

First off, Viking Cruises are OUTSTANDING.  The food, the service, the tours were all first class.  Not once did I miss not working out because I got a workout each day on the tours!

Before the start of the river cruise there was some time to see Amsterdam, even it was cloudy and rainy.  Coming from Phoenix, that kinda felt nice!

And, for Americans, I have to add the "head shop" photo. 

South of Amsterdam was a little town of Kinderdijk.  Windmills are an important part of water management in the Netherlands as so much of the land is under sea level. 

A cool, cloudy, and misty day awaited, giving photos of windmills a moody feel.

Cologne, Germany was a stop that promised at least one good German beer, and I was not disappointed.  Only brewed in the city is a brand called Kolsch beer.  I had confused it with Grolsch beer, which is made in the Netherlands. 

And of course, there are cathedrals to see. 

And, German street performers!

And the Cologne Cathedral lit up at night along the Rhine River.

South of Cologne on the Rhine River we go from  medieval Koblenz to Braubach to Rüdesheim.  The 11th-century Marksburg Castle and many other castles can be seen from the river.  Taking a tour of a castle, our guide warns us he holds the key to get in... and out!  The boys below form the welcoming committee, guaranteeing polite behavior!

Wandering into Speyer, I find it is a town of Biergartens!  And, with entertainment like Dieter Lochschmidt.  And the food and beer were terrific!

Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg is on the Neckar Valley east of the Rhine.

Strasbourg France, located on the Ill River, was an exciting stop for me because of the tour to Holtzwihr in the Alsace region of France that included the Colmar Pocket, where Audie Murphy won a Medal of Honor during World War II.  This shows the exact location of where 1LT Murphy held off Germans. 

The towns in the Alsace also protect and honor storks! 

Breisach Germany is located in one of the warmest parts of Germany, next to Alsace, (between the Rhine River and the Black Forest) which is famous for its wine-growing. I do not remember drinking a beer here, unless it was aboard the ship.

Basil Switzerland marked the end of the Rhine River cruise, then transfer to a bus that would take us from north to south in Switzerland, to just over the border with Italy to the Lake Como region. 

A stop along the way in Switzerland meant lunch at this Italian speaking restaurant.  Here are some of the friendly staff.  The fellow second from the left noticed my "Arizona" belt buckle and told me he was interested in quarter horses and the American West.  That got us off to a nice conversation, even though he didn't speak much English.

And did you know there are palm trees in Switzerland?  Here's proof!

Lake Como Italy ... think of it as an upside down "Y" with towns all along the coast.  You can get around by car, motorscooter, bicycle, or water taxi.  Coming from Arizona, I found the water taxis the most fun and very cheap.
Yes, of course there is a cathedral. 

A private boat got us close to a waterfall
hidden behind this rock bridge.  I'd never have found this if not for that boat captain. 

And in Bellagio, a town on Lake Como, I found a deserted staircase, soon to be filled with tourists. 

The food.  Well, it's Italy.  So it was EXCELLENT.  The pizza, the pasta.  You don't come to Italy to drink beer, by the way. 

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!