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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hope Against The Dark - November 20, 2012

This was a shot that I took coming out of Sunny Hill Health Center for Children after learning that my youngest son was diagnosed with severe autism. Would have carried a lot more impact if Sunny Hill was pictured in the photo, but my wide-angle on the iPhone 4s was not big enough. It's a photographic representation of the work ahead of us as a family.

Autumn Colors - Maples, November 1, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Broadway Camera - Richmond

Had the opportunity to duck into the Broadway Camera at Landsdowne Center. It's a nice storefront and I find the selection of lenses and cameras quite good over there. They did sell that 300mm f/4 lens that I was looking at. Unfortunately, I'd rather get the supertelephoto than go after the 300/4.

Kwantlen University at Night

Kwantlen Campus - Night shot, iPhone 4s

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yellow Susans (Granville Island Public Market) - August 26, 2012

Yellow Susans - Water Print filtered, Adobe Photoshop Elements 8

Flowers at Granville Island Public Market - August 26, 2012

Don't know what this one is. Thought they might be morning glory because of the ivy, but don't know for certain.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Middle of November, No D300s Replacement In Sight.

More and more it looks to be that the 3 cameras stated by Nikon to be released in 2012 were the D800/D800E, the D600 (full-frame entry level) and the D5200. It appears that they are leaving the DX (crop sensor) playing field wide open to Canon. So far there has been no semi-professional DX body released or any rumor of a D400 (a replacement to the D300s) floating in the ether.

What does that mean for professional/high-end amateurs with no expected D300/300s replacement in sight? For some it may mean a costly DX lens dump (for those who have been shooting with DX lenses such as the AF-S 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 and going to a fixed aperture f/4 lens or expending lots of money and going to the storied 14-24mm f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8; and saving for a full-frame D4.

As of right now it appears as though Nikon is not planning any more releases this year and from the looks of it, DX is being relegated to the entry level playing field. Hopefully I'm proven wrong and that it doesn't mean that Nikon is finished with DX in a professional sense. But it feels as though there has been a push by Nikon to guide the high-end amateurs and professionals into full-frame as a standard. I guess you could say I'm a stubborn hold-out but whether a full-frame upgrade right now is necessary, we'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

We Remember

This is an image I took back in 2008 of the Japanese Canadian War Memorial for the veterans of the Great War, WWII and Korea for all the Japanese-Canadians who lost their lives for Canada in the three conflicts conflict. Lest We Forget. We Remember Them.

There is one name that is missing on that War Memorial - Trooper Michael Yuki Hayakaze of the Royal Canadians or as they are more popularly called "Lord Strathcona's Horse" battalion.

I hope to get out to a cenotaph memorial service at some point next year and hopefully will have better photos to show next year. If you see a serviceman or servicewoman. Thank them.

Cormorant Portrait - August 24, 2012

Cormorant Spreading Wings - August 24, 2012

Nikon D5200 - The Heart of a D7000 In An Entry-Level DX Body.

Nikon has just introduced an entry-level DX replacement to the D5100; the D5200. Equipped with a 24.1 MP CMOS sensor, 5fps continuous shooting and ISO range from ISO 100-6400, this is no lightweight camera, though it's 505g body weight may belie that statement. This is a heavy-duty camera, despite its frame. It shares most of its innards with the D7000. With a 39 point AF-system this camera will shoot what you want, when you want it.

Though I haven't been a fan of consumer grade DSLR bodies, this one looks like it is up to the task of what most hobbyists will put it through. I've never been a big fan of "flip-out screens" always considering them a fad that isn't of much use in the field. In order to cut down on the weight of the camera, they have put all the controls in what is known to most pros disparagingly as the "idiot-dial". There is no top-view LCD so that you can see what settings you have the camera at. This means that you have to look at the viewscreen every single time to make sure that your settings are correct. This has always been a problem with the consumer grade light-weight bodies.

On the whole I would give this camera a good mark. I'm just not happy about shooting with a camera that I have to always have my head in the viewscreen. For that I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hockey Portraits - November 4, 2012

A portrait of faces in the game. The Coach.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Green Timbers Rabbit - July 10, 2012

I'm surprised this rabbit wasn't tagged by the bald eagles that were sitting on the tree.

I guess they already hunted and decided to let the rabbit live.

Bald Eagles - Mediocrity and my Discontent

Two more months left to this "1 post a day" blog entry idea. It was a blast, trying to keep up with the photography related posts as well as showcasing my photos. However, this 365/366 (on leap-year) post tallying is too much of a pace to keep up with. As of 2013, I will be going back to a relatively sedate pace of about 160 posts an year depending on what subjects I find and putting content quality over quantity.

Next year I hope to be able to make it to the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival or sometime before then to avoid the crowds. Hopefully with just a 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, I will be able to take a decent set of shots. But it won't be the last time that I go up to Harrison Mills. I intend to take advantage of the multitude of wildlife opportunitites out there, photograph trumpeter swans, bears etc. According to Hancock Wildlife, thousands of bald eagles use Harrison Mills as a winter nesting spot. This spot is probably one of the best locations outside of Homer, Alaska to see bald eagles up close and personal. And since I intend to stay in Canada and enjoy the locations offered by our beautiful country to shoot in, Harrison Mills will become my main go-to site to increase my porfolio of eagle images, right now which numbers in saleable images with a great big "gooseegg" - zero, nada. I have several images (shot between 2006 (when I started shooting seriously to improve my craft rather than snapshots) and present) right now that don't particularly impress me.

As you can see, I have a selection of bald eagle images, however they aren't the slightest bit impressive as far as I'm concerned. Photographers are known to push their boundaries and I'm no different. I'm not satisfied with the shots that I have now, and am looking for ways to improve my shots. But limitations are there with the range of my current equipment and having to save up for the big supertelephoto and teleconverters that I need to in order to bring the subject in closer to my lens. "Never be satisfied with mediocre" has always been my motto and it seems to other people that I am always finding some bone to pick with my images. That's probably the reason why I only have around 36 images in my 500px account in over 6 years of serious concentrated shooting. I know my limitations of my equipment in terms of getting in close and the environment plays a factor as well. I know that I need teleconverters on my 70-200mm as well as the acquisition of the 600mm f/4 to get the shots I want. Hopefully I will have that equipment inside of 3 and a half years and that's a goal that I'm saving towards.

Harrison Mills is a location that I want to make a permanent shooting location. The opportunity for eagle shots is almost a certainty every November through December. I hope to be able to see osprey there as well taking advantage of the fall salmon runs when the salmon come up to spawn. The bald eagle and the osprey are two of my favorite raptors and both are on my list of birds to photograph. I hope one day that I'll be able to nail that perfect shot of the bald eagle. And I know I'll keep striving for that shot even before I've saved up entirely for that Nikon AF-S VR 600mm f/4 supertelephoto lens.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Month...New Ideas.

A new month, a new set of ideas percolating in my mind for photography. I have a 105mm VR macro lens slated for January, along with possibly a 1.4x teleconverter for the 70-200mm and ultimately the 600mm (when I manage to get Nikon's beast of a lens - OK...well, it will be Nikon's 2nd best beast since the Nikon AF-S VR 800mm f/5.6 but I don't have $13-14,000 to spend on that monster). A lot of things to think about. Winter weather, fallen leaves...etc etc. All sorts of things are great idea fodder for a macro lens.

All of this will blaze new trails for "Maniac With Camera" blog and with less concentration on "1 post a day" as I did this year(the "1 post a day" idea was just to see if I could keep it up at this pace for 1 full year), I will be able to focus more on getting out and shooting both stills and video.

I'm looking forward to the New Year with all its potential. Happy Shooting.