a teatray in the sky

Canon Extender EF 2x III review – gone birding

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Birds, Bronx, Gearheadedness, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on March 22, 2011

continuing from yesterday’s post about using the new Extender EF 2x III on the 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II, today I’m going to review how the pairing worked out on my 5d mark II for birding at the zoo.

I’ve noted before that I am no birder.  I’m lousy at pinpointing birds on trees (tina is really good at this, so I suppose I can rely on her to be a spotter).  I have no practice at tracking them while in flight.  luckily, birding is one of those things that you can improve at with practice.  a lot of patience and the willingness to delete a lot of bad photos goes a long way towards improving your skills. (more…)

Canon Extender EF 2x III review – leaping lemurs

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Bronx, Gearheadedness, New York City, Photography, Primates by firthefirst on March 21, 2011

ever since getting the canon extender EF 2x III to pair with the canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II in preparation for august’s galapagos trip, I’ve been meaning to give the system a formal shakedown (I did a very preliminary test run here).  with work in the way, that review has taken far longer to get to than expected.  I had a lucky break this past weekend when Tina got sent to the big apple for a symposium.  I packed up the photo gear and merrily tagged along, with zero intention of thinking any architectural thoughts — I was headed to the Bronx Zoo.  while few of the larger mammals were out due to the chilly-for-africa temperatures, the Bronx Zoo has a huge and exciting collection of primates and birds, so I spent most of my time photographing the furry and the feathery. (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…)

the world’s largest speedlite

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Defrag, New York City, Photography, Technique and Development by firthefirst on April 29, 2010

… is what I used to take this shot with.  so big I had to gobo it.  it’s not a canon.  or a nikon.  or even a broncolor.  it’s something even more unaffordable. (more…)


Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on April 28, 2010

just another one-off shot from New York; too many things going on today for a full post.  the title doesn’t really have to do with anything other than the fact that Russell Peters was absolutely hilarious last night.

through the looking glass

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on April 26, 2010

new york city is like an alternate universe in more ways than one.  one of the things I just realized I like about it (besides realizing that I like anything about new york city at all) is the layered depth to the city.  unlike DC, where everything is basically the same height a.k.a. very short, in new york there’s a landscape to the hardscape, and multitudes of transparencies and translucencies that take the world you thought you knew and cut, blend, and warp it into something new. (more…)

one short day in the emerald city

Posted in Broadway, Food, G9, New York City, Photography by firthefirst on April 11, 2010

for tina’s birthday last weekend we took a quick jaunt up to the big apple to go see Wicked and eat cupcakes.  our mission was simple: to relax and enjoy New York City.  that’s not an easy thing for me because gotham just isn’t my sort of town normally.  maybe it’s overexposure, but lately I’ve actually been starting to like it.  or maybe it’s the broadway shows.

the thing with Wicked is, I’ve had the CD since the show first hit broadway during the last ice age (2003 or so) and yeah, even though I’m not 15 and blond, I can pretty much sing along to “Popular”.  don’t judge.  so, I’ve always known it was a great musical.  but there’s plenty of great musicals out there.  does Wicked really have that extra bit of magic, that transcendant ability to become a fantastic musical? (more…)