a teatray in the sky

first film on the 5D II

Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Film, Maryland by firthefirst on July 30, 2010

this is my first attempt at taking decent video with the 5D Mark II … number of issues here (like insufficient DOF, poor focus pulling, lack of tripod), but I had a fun time shooting it and I don’t think it came out horribly.  definitely planning on improving with more practice, but I don’t think I will ever become as into film as I am in still photography.

jellin like magellan

Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Maryland, Photography by firthefirst on July 29, 2010

nothing to say about this, other than I’m in the sort of mood where I think I’d like to be a jellyfish today … be nice to float around in warm surface currents somewhere in the Pacific … and stinging random strangers. (more…)


Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Maryland, Movies, Photography by firthefirst on July 26, 2010

went to go see Predators this weekend and loved it.  as much fun as it is seeing predators duking it out with aliens, it’s much better seeing humans duking it out with predators … the way it was always meant to be.  plus, let’s be honest, the AVP movies are pretty horrid.  is Predators good as its non-plural namesake?  there’s an easy answer to that, and that’s not my answer.

as an aside, you’ll notice none of the photos have anything to do with the movie beyond the fact that all of these animals are predators (no vegans here).  there’s a couple of reasons for that.  first, Predators don’t actually exist, so I have no photos of them.  second, studios don’t like people reposting their property just as photographers don’t like people reposting their property, and I can totally understand that.  these predators are from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, still my favorite after all these years. (more…)

f/2.8 and be there

Posted in 5D Mark II, Pennsylvania, Photography, Pittsburgh, Technique and Development by firthefirst on July 23, 2010

didn’t seem to work out quite the way I thought it would.  perhaps you’ve heard of the technical term “f/8 and be there.”  photojournalists shoot like this because they need the detail captured in the deep DOF, and because they need one less button to worry about while getting that critical shot without being shot by a non-camera weapon.  for landscape photographers, I guess the rule is probably “f/16 and be there before sunrise.”  but for almost everyone else (wedding photogs, portraitists, hipsters), you could really say the opposite, that the less DOF you have the more artsy your shot will have: “f/2.8 and be there.”

I think the majority of photographers out there now probably spend 80% or more of their time shooting at f/4 or less.  it’s not a bad thing, unless you start to take shooting wide open for granted.  a mistake I made during my trip to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. (more…)

the maltese

Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Lighting, Photography, Technique and Development by firthefirst on July 21, 2010

think bogey would have liked this?  took an impromptu shot of tina at dinner on saturday and knew right away it would make for a smashing film noir shot. (more…)

into the woods

given that the longwood gardens series (one two and three) are collectively the most viewed series of posts on this blog, its apparent that people like their nature shots cute and fluffy.  but that’s not really what you’re thinking when you go into the woods though, is it?  you don’t want to hug that ivy.  you don’t want to lick that shroom.  actually, I can think of a few of my friends who would hug that ivy and lick that shroom.  I guess this post is for you. (more…)

le pain quotidien, or just being mean

Posted in 5D Mark II, Food, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on July 15, 2010

up until this point, I’ve never felt morally reprehensible for anything I’ve posted.  that changed the second I just pulled up the wordpress dashboard menu for posts and hit “add new”.  you may find me more or less vile depending on your degree of food envy.  which any good friend of mine should have, else we have little in common, you and I.  and earache and a headache couldn’t keep me away from joining Tina and Rachel at Le Pain Quotidien (the one on 85th and madison, if you insist on knowing) for a so-late-isn’t-it-technically-just-lunch brunch on Sunday. (more…)

on summer rolls and clearing out backlog

Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Food, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on July 13, 2010

it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single person in possession of a web blog, must have a backlog.  forget bloggers.  even jane austen waited more than a decade before revising the rejected draft of pride and prejudice and resubmitting it for publication.  I’m still trying to figure out a system that will allow me to keep the current stuff flowing, but will also catch up on the pile of photos-I-want-to-post-but-have-not.  for all you other bloggers out there, any tips? (more…)

promises, promises

Posted in 5D Mark II, Broadway, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on July 12, 2010

you know where this one is going.  oh yes.  we did go see promises, promises.  with none other in the lead roles but sean hayes and kristin chenoweth in real sparkling life.  it’s a more traditional broadway musical than I normally like but heck, even sugar-coated candy can be great when it’s just damn good sugar on damn good candy. (more…)

Cork & Cap at the Cork Factory Hotel

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Food, Hotels, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Photography by firthefirst on July 9, 2010

Tina and I have lately been making a series of forays into east-central pennsylvania for a project in lancaster.  one of the surprising discoveries is that lancaster is actually a great place for food.  it’s also a great place to see old buildings from the industrial glory days.  the Cork Factory brings these two things together, with a neatly renovated factory-cum-hotel, and a great restaurant to go along with it, the Cork & Cap. (more…)