a teatray in the sky

then let them eat cake

Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Food, Photography by firthefirst on September 30, 2010

or cheesecake, rather.  tina baked a just-north-of-awesome red white and blue cheesecake for my birthday, which really made my day despite being sick with the flu. (more…)

leaving yellowstone

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 29, 2010

on leaving yellowstone, I want to impart some advice for anyone who is interested in visiting and seeing these sights in person.  trying to plan a trip to a single park that is a quarter of the size of Taiwan (or a quarter of the size of the state of Maryland) can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  so here’s four simple tips for traveling to yellowstone. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: bison in the semi-wild

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 28, 2010

shooting wildlife is a lot like proposing detrimental fiscal policies — the goal is to be convincing.  you want people to believe that this really is an animal that is wild and untamed, an animal that may gore/rend/maul you if you make an inopportune gesture.  you don’t want people to believe that this is merely an escaped convict from the zoo, or worse, a discarded taxidermy. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: day 9

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 27, 2010

last week of yellowstone photos starts today … and then it’s on to jackson hole (and the grand tetons). 

I’m greatly enjoying the slower pace of posting one-a-days for a couple of reasons.  the main one is the fact that I get to spend more time evaluating each photo.  is it the right shot?  there are a bunch of shots that I thought I would really like when I took them, but upon pulling them up in DPP I realized they failed to convey the majesty of the scene as I had hoped.  which results in very, very few right shots.  the second reason is that, once I do find those few good shots, I get to spend more time editing them to the right level.  I try not to overcook any of the images, since I’m shooting for true landscape images, not Chase Jarvis-style commercial images, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for calculated editing. (more…)

friday gear day – lens round-up

Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Gearheadedness, Photography by firthefirst on September 24, 2010

quite a few people asking about the gear I normally shoot with.  simple answer: it varies.  the same way T-mobile reception varies.  or Paris Hilton’s drug intake varies.  it varies a lot.  but unlike T-mobile or Ms. Hilton, I’m willing (and able) to qualify and quantify that statement a bit more.  plus, I can never resist opportunities for making lists.  so sit back and enjoy another Friday Gear Day. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: day 8

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 23, 2010

sick at home today … and sitting at the computer reading through a report from a consultant.  I figured if I’m healthy enough to be proofing reports, I’m healthy enough to type a few lines. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: day 7

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 22, 2010

the most intriguing thing about yellowstone is that it’s a constant reminder of the fact that nature is always changing.  what would be subtle shifts in other environments becomes staggeringly obvious in yellowstone, and it is a revelation that, for all that man does to the earth (good and bad), the earth has its own cycles of health and decay that often have altogether nothing to do with us. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: day 6

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 21, 2010

had the great luck of catching great sunshine when we went to artist’s point at the grand canyon of the yellowstone.  I don’t like referring to it as the “grand canyon of the yellowstone” because that’s sort of an underhanded claim.  it’s like calling Montgomery College the “Harvard of the Pike” because, well, it is — there’s no other college on Rockville Pike.  we should just call it “big canyon of the yellowstone” or whatever.  something less … grand. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: day 5

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 20, 2010

took my first pass at night sky photography while in yellowstone and really botched it right off the bat.  couldn’t find my remote trigger before the trip and figured I’d be OK without it.  wrong.  there’s a lot of stuff you need for night sky photography (dark sky, tripod, camera, flashlight, etc.) and remembering all of those and forgetting your off-camera trigger is like showing up to a meeting with your computer, projector, presentation, leave-behinds, and forgetting to wear clothing.  you might get the job done, but it will be ugly. (more…)

yellowstone one-a-days: day 4

Posted in 5D Mark II, National Parks, Photography, Technique and Development, Yellowstone National Park by firthefirst on September 17, 2010

beyond the geysers, the major draw of yellowstone has always been its wildlife.  sure it’s got lakes and mountains, but Grand Tetons just does lakes+mountains so much better.  the subtleties of the yellowstone landscape also guarantee much better places to sight animals from the road, so you can scream at whoever’s driving to stop the car, and then get out and grab some sweet shots. (more…)