In the House of Blues, Chicago, they have what is called The Foundation Room. It’s a place where you have to pay a membership fee for the privileged of going for a drink, eating, and so on.
They make it a super relaxing environment with side rooms that might be found in anyone’s house, except that it it isn’t. It’s the House of Blues. Everything is just cooler here.
And home is what Thanksgiving is all about, isn’t it? Where ever you are, I hope you are “home”. Pray for those that need a home today, too. (The House of Blues Foundation Room is also a very spiritual place, too.)
Something awesome happened for me this month. I got a new full frame camera! This was actually quite unexpected but, I plan to make full use of this unexpected boost to my photography.
Since, I already have the Sony NEX-7 and I have been a fan of mirrorless technology. Also, since I have never shot with a DSLR, I am staying mirrorless. The NEX-7 is an APSC sensor camera, which means it uses smaller lenses but also collects less light. Since I really wanted a full frame camera there was only one game in town to shoot mirrorless and to go full frame. That was the Sony A7 series of cameras.
I purchased the Sony A7II from Sony’s refurbish store, Secondipity. Let me tell you, this camera so far feels 100% NEW. I have no problems with it at all. It was a 25% savings over new retail.
This camera has in body stabilization that is making steady shots at longer shutter speeds possible. My ability to shoot at night, hand held has gone up by about 4 – 6 stops of light when you combine the larger sensor with the steadiness of the camera. What does this mean? 4 stops means a shot that would ordinarily take 1/400th of a second, I can use a cleaner ISO and shoot as slow as 1/25th of a second.
I also purchased my first super wide lens! I was aching for a super wide lens ever since I rented a wide angle lens for a national park vacation in 2014.
I hope you like this month’s selections. I know that last month I had a large amount of pictures. This month I’m keeping it down to 12 images. I hope to keep a similar limit from here on out.
The beginning of October saw the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk led by Teresa Peek and then the next weekend was the Open House Chicago 2015 extravaganza.
I have to get around to writing some posts about the people I’ve met over the last few months. It’s been very gratifying to meet so many skilled photographers and wonderful people.
This photo was taken in early spring. Sometimes, in Chicago, this is the only kind of flower you get in March.
This is one of those photos that I couldn’t let go of. I hemmed and hawed… I just wasn’t sure. I think part of it is that I’m growing more comfortable in the idea of letting go of rigid crop ratios. If it doesn’t fit the image, change it!
Don’t get me wrong… some day, I’ll crop a lot less. Who knows, that some day might be soon. Until then, I’ll give you what I can with what I got. 🙂
One recent morning I was in Chicago. That in and of itself is nothing special. I like to find myself there. Calder’s curved red steel is a welcome releafe amidst all the square edges of Chicago.
On another note, I’ll be shooting in the loop again this weekend. My first time back in the loop after visiting the east coast a few weeks ago.
Where are my pictures from that? Well, they’ll be a while. 🙂 I hope not too long. I’ve lately made a decision to hold back on some things so I can let my friends in The Arcanum look at my new work first. I’ve recently finished a batch and everything from before my trip has recently become fair game to post.
But, I do have more than a few photos to post in the mean time. I hope you enjoy those for now.
In my home suburb, Arlington Heights, they display holiday lights and scenes. This year they put up toy soldiers that made you think of The Nutcracker.
This was shot a few weeks ago during the morning blue hour and while it was snowing lightly. I really enjoyed these guys. They didn’t display them last year. The textures on his face is cool, and the glittery garland compared to the snow is a nice touch.
Just a word on editing. Some photographers insist on making snow always look white. I agree to this up to a point. In this case it really was blue hour. Where the sky is blue, and everything gets a blue tint to it. So, yes, the snow really does look blue in some cases. The soldiers are the subject, anyways, not the snow.
The Chicago Botanic Garden, as I said yesterday, presents challenges to me. Some of these challenges are a bit more unique to me than many. One of those challenges relates to the fact that I’m red/green colorblind. As a result my eyes tend to naturally use their processing power more on shapes, movements, patterns, and luminance differences. I do not see in black and white.
But today’s picture is an extreme example! I almost walked right past these flowers. I wasn’t impressed!
But I was walking with a relative that had retired from portraiture and she couldn’t get enough of them. These things get lost in the see of green that surrounds it. So, I tried to take a picture of them, anyway. In the back of my head, I was thinking I’ll reprocess the colors in Lightroom so I like them. I think you can see from my list above that I highlighted the shapes and patterns and luminance difference in my capture. In Lightroom, I accentuate these differences just so I can notice the differences in color. I darkened the greens and lightened the reds and pumped up the saturation on each.
What do they look like to you? Over baked? Maybe it looks electric? Or maybe like someone went nuts with the crayons?
To me it’s just…
That’s all. Just noticeable.
Barely. (ok, maybe I’m pushing it a bit! But only a little.)
It’s hard to believe but in another month I’ll probably see some ACTUAL mustangs, you know, the kind that have four hoofs instead of wheels? Westward ho!
For now, I have Ford Mustangs coming out of hibernation in Chicago. It was a LONG and HARD winter and I’m sure all the car enthusiasts want to show what they got! I don’t mind taking their pictures, either.
This Mustang was on display in Palatine, IL at a SONIC fast food drive in. It was so bright out that I had to use a neutral density filter! That allowed me to preserve what bokeh I liked here. There are so many interesting lines and colors cars have. Their designers really knew how to catch the eye!