Upgrades and Updates

     Hey folks.  Can’t sleep.  You know what that means?!  Well even if you don’t, I shall tell you anyway.  It means, I’m blogging!  But you prolly know that by now since you are here reading this.  Hey just cause I can’t sleep doesn’t mean I’m not tired and weird.  Anywho, there is a point around here somewhere.

     Ah yes, in the past few days I’ve gotten some upgrades to my photography shtuffs.  I don’t think I’ll make any formal reviews but I’m definitely going to be talking about any differences I notice, and hopefully from what I share, you’ll see some too!

     First off, I was able to get my hands on a Sigma 17-55mm F2.8 lens!  This is one of the essential types of lenses that all the pros have.  Unfortunately, it’s also one of the cheapest ones I need to get, but it’s a great start.  I haven’t had a whole lot of opportunities to really test this thing hard yet, but man, already, I’m in love.  I really wish I could show pictures while I’m talking about these things but the only pictures I have are a culmination of recent upgrades.

     One of the biggest changes I’ve made recently is more knowledge/technique based.  Instead of studying for finals, I studied photography tutorials online.  It’s ironic that the latter is actually more important.  I had a lot of time this week to do this, and I certainly did.  Ask my roommates.  This whole week: watching awesome and excellent videos in my office (on the couch).  I learned so much in this time.  And for those who do not know, I’m pretty much self taught as far as photography goes.  Japan was the biggest learning curve for me, and in some cases, I feel like those were some of the best photos I ever took.  Of course, I believe it’s largely due to the subject matter.  Beautiful country. Go there.

     This knowledge lead me to making the choice to finally shoot RAW instead of jpeg.  All credit to Jared Polin.  RAW is essentially a larger uncompressed file format for photos.  With RAW, many more edits can be done to correct exposure and white balance.  Not to mention they just look saweeet.  The only downside is that they take more time to edit and they take up more space.  Well, I fixed both problems.  Once again, thanks to Jared Polin’s videos, I learned a little bit about Adobe Lightroom and now I’m blazing through RAWs no problemo.  The size thing did lead me to another upgrade though. 

     I have a pair of some Class 4 SanDisk 4gb SD cards.  I decided, since I’m shooting RAW, I need something a wee bit bigger.  Well I kinda pulled a “go big or go home” and got a 8gb SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 melt your face with speed card.  It’s mostly meant for full HD video which is something I plan on getting into in the future.  So it’s a little overkill now but I’ll grow into it. 

     On a minor note, I just got my cheapoid follow-focus in the mail.  A follow focus is a very unreasonably expensive tool that allows for an easier and more controlled shift in focus for video purposes.  It’s usually a combination of brackets and gears that helps you twist the focus ring.  These things run up to about $200-300 a piece.  Well thanks to the DIY world, I was lead to a $10 jar opener that pretty much does the same thing.  SHABAM!  Take that…. people who…. overprice things!  I haven’t had an opportunity to try it out yet but I’ll let you  know how it goes.  Anyhoo, on with some examples!  All of these were shot with my new Sigma.

_DSC0054    One of the first pictures I took with the new lens.  My friend Nikki posed for me while studying for some class about Matrix Methods.  I kept telling her that there are no methods but she wouldn’t believe me.  Clearly someone took the blue pill.

_DSC0076_DSC0087    First thing my sister asked when I got home for Spring Break was if I wanted to test out my lens on a photo shoot of her cosplay work.  My sis is a big anime fan and goes to conventions whenever she can.  She makes her own costumes and competes.  It’s pretty legit.

_DSC0008     This is Sarabi, a very beautiful dog I saw outside of the pet store by Best Buy.  I had just gotten my memory card and wanted to make sure my camera was compatible.  What better way to test it than on some cute animals.  Although I actually ripped open the package in store first (I can’t help it, I’m a kid inside still), I wanted to do some further testing.

_DSC0015     I was plagued with the worst affliction known to man… allergies.  I want one of these dogs so bad!

_DSC0020_DSC0021    The last two pictures both made the cut because well…. you really can’t say one is better than the other.  One the dog is making a doofy smile and the other one is making the same face I do when I wake up.

     Like I said, I don’t think I’ll be making any formal reviews on these things unless any of you readers specifically want something explained, in which case, I’ll be more that happy to help.  But as for now, I’m just gonna keep playing with this shtuff in hopes to increase my skills.  Spring break has only just begun but I feel like I’ve learned more from youtube videos this week than I have from… well anything really. 

     On a side note, I’d like to apologize to anyone on my subscription list.  You may have gotten an email about a post called “The Tale of the Del-Sol.” It contained a video which, as soon as uploading to youtube to host, was blocked because of copyright infringement.  I’m still working out the details because I really don’t want to change anything.  Any suggestions?  But yeah, if you got that, that’s why it’s not here!  But hopefully for the rest of you, it will be up and running.  By the way, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my blog!  It boosts my ego! 

     Next up will be some  backstory on my trip to Toledo with my youth group H2o (Cincinnati).  We’re headed up there to meet with some Bowling Green H2o people to do some church planting.  I’ll be working on a long term documentary project based around Christians in the college campus setting and what it’s like to build and maintain a church in said environment.  I’ll try to post some pics and videos depending on how busy I am.  Either way, I’m pretty pumped.  Also, on my way up there I’ll be shooting for a contest where the theme is “Road Trip.” The winning prize is a sweet Black Rapid camera strap.  I’ve been drooling over one of these for awhile so I’ll keep you guys up to date on what I get out of the shoot and details on how to vote.  If you can help me out, great, if not, definitely check out the other contestants cause I’m sure they’re gonna come up with some sweet pics. 

     Thanks again for reading folks.  I think I’m gonna get to bed now.  Peace.

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