Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photo #13

exposure: 1/2sec f/stop: 3.2 iso: 100

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mardi Gras

Hi everyone!

My photo for yesterday's 319 project was a little late but alas its there now and of course it had to be of my dance group. Great company, good for a laugh and just a happy bunch of people. Had a little shoot yesterday with them and I wasn't really happy with a few of my shots. Mainly cause of my flash and lighting (just shows I need more practice) but it turned out alright in the end. I should definitely take more shots next time. Also was in a car accident yesterday where I was at a traffic light and the car in front of me reversed for no reason at all =S. Its like he did it on purpose. Er anyway got his details and I'll let my insurance take care of the rest. Thats not really photography related but I took a photo of the damage so there you go =).

Tonight I will be shooting at the Mardi Gras so expect another late photo tonight. Its going to be a long night but it should be fun. I've never been to the Mardi Gras before but for event photography its a good opportunity to be there. Also have a few mini shoots in the next couple of days so you'll see that when I'm done. JMCK had a shoot as well. Though I didn't take any photos, Carrie and Marione were taking the photos. From what I saw Marione's photos were great and Carrie's though I haven't seen it will be just as good. Here's a few quick photos from Marione. These are also on her flickr page.

I like the lighting and composition of these photos. The makeup and hundreds and thousands really stands out. Great job Marione. We also have another shoot sometime in the next couple of weeks and I hope all of JMCK can come ;) 

Thanks for reading and take care =.)

Photo #12

exposure: 1/60 f/sop: 5.6 iso: 100
cropped and resized

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time Lapse Photography

Here is my first attempt of time lapse photography. Its taken a while for me to learn how to put everything together and now I finally got it! And I have some other ideas on how to make the video better. Actually I'm still trying to figure out how to put youtube videos in HD so you can get better quality cause the highest quality I have it on now, just doesn't cut it. Well you'll find out if I figure out the HD thing out in my next time lapse video. Oh and I also had to add some music from Yiruma (really talented Korean pianist). It just adds that bit of emotion in this video.

Just some info from this video. The whole shoot was done in 30 seconds intervals for about 2 and a half hours so that's a lot of photos (for me anyway). I was shooting with my remote commander but I'm hoping  to get a intervalometer soon to save me from manually pressing the remote commander every 30 seconds. It was a great experience shooting for this video and I learnt quite a lot on the spot. Made a few mistakes that people may find in the video such as blown up photos, the slight movement on the camera (I fiddled around a bit with the settings every now and then while shooting) and exposure. But nonetheless its a good way for me to learn from my mistakes and try to improve it for my next shoot. If you haven't noticed yet, this video is of the Sydney skyline with the Harbour Bridge in the frame. I was shooting from Milson's Point in one of the grass patches of the lookout area. The video would've been longer except there so many mosquitoes there it was annoying the crap out of me. Oh and also cause I didn't have enough memory on my card (only 2gigs).

Note to self: Buy a larger memory card and an intervalometer asap, get new earphones (mine broke), bring food and drinks and if in a grassy area bring insect repellent!

Thanks for reading and watching
Take care everyone =)

Enjoy! =)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photo #8

exposure: 30sec f/stop: 14 iso: 400

Sony Conference @ PMA

Seeing as how I'm a Sony user I've been anticipating for the a700 successor for a very long time! And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone here. From all the other people that I have spoken to, they have been waiting for Sony to come up with something exciting. I don't exactly know what the model number is but there are also a couple of new lenses and a few mock up pics from Sony's new EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) camera to compete with the micro four thirds system.


 Sony a700 successor with another unknown DSLR (a650? from rumors)
The huge white telephoto lens looks to be the 500mm f/4 G series lens and the smaller one is the Carl Zeiss 24mm f/2 SSM



Photo #7

exposure: 30sec f/stop: 5 iso: 100

Sunday, February 21, 2010

PMA 2010

PMA 2010 begins on the 21st which is today but because of the time difference between countries its not the 21st yet. I can't wait to see what new gear is in store for consumers and photographers from all the companies exhibiting their products. Especially for Sony, the a700 successor! Canon and pentax and some other company (I forgot) pulled out of the trade show. This is just a short summary of what has been announced lately from a few of the companies. Also paying attention to Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Samsung that have some pretty interesting offerings as well but making a list with all those is just too much work for me.


(DSLR) EOS 550d / Rebel T2i
(Compact Camera) PowerShot SX210 IS
(Compact Camera) SD3500 IS / IXUS 210
(Compact Camera) PowerShot SD1300 IS / IXUS 105
(Compact Camera) PowerShot SD1400 IS / IXUS 130


(Lens) 16-35mm f/4 G ED VR
(Lens) 24mm f/1.4 G ED
(Bridge Camera) Coolpix P100
(Bridge Camera) Coolpix L110
(Compact Camera) Coolpix S8000
(Compact Camera) Coolpix S4000
(Comapct Camera) Coolpix S3000
(Compact Camera) Coolpix L21
(Compact Camera) Coolpix L22


(DSLR) Sony Alpha 450
(Compact Camera) Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V
(Compact Camera) Cyber-Shot DSC-H55
(Compact Camera) Cyber-Shot DSC-TX7
(Compact Camera) Cyber-Shot DSC-TX5
(Compact Camera) Cyber-shot DSC-W390, W380, W370, W360, W350, W330, W320, W310 (so many cyber-shots with similar features)
(Compact Camera) Cyber-shot DSC-S2100
(Compact Camera) Cyber-shot DSC-S2000
(Compact Camera) Cyber-shot DSC-W39, W38

Anyway, with all the gadgets and gear that comes out every now and then, I often lose sight of whats important. And thats taking great photos. New DSLRs and Lenses are always exciting for me to check out but getting those things won't make me a better photographer. Its what you do with the camera that makes you better. One of my mentors told me today, "Practice is always my answer to achieving excellence in all things.Using your mind and always seeking the unusual or simply a better way of shooting something is definitely the key." He's a great mentor to have and I appreciate his guidance. So I should really go out and take photos but since I hurt my ankle, I'm not able to do that and it sucks cause I was also meant to be shooting at Tropfest 2010 and Fair Day at Victoria Park today. Oh well.

Thanks for reading and go out and take some photos! =)

Photo #6

exposure: 1/60 f/stop: 9 iso: 100

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo #4

exposure: 1/60sec f/stop: 29 iso: 100

Short tutorial on Flash

In this little tutorial I'll be explaining different types of flash settings and creative uses such as wireless and a few examples with the Sony Alpha.

I'll start off with the basic flash options. To my knowledge there is six options of how to use flash (Flash off, autoflash, fill-flash, slow sync, rear sync and wireless).

Flash off - self explanatory. The flash doesn't fire.
Autoflash - fires if it is dark or against light.
Fill-flash - this fires whenever the built in flash is popped up.
Slow sync - the flash fires at the beginning of the exposure and the shutter remains open for however long it is set on the camera.
Rear sync - fires right before the end of the exposure.
Wireless - fires the external flash off camera

The following are a few examples of each except 'flash off' and 'autoflash'.

Fill Flash

Slow Sync

Rear Sync


Of course these are only a few simple examples of flash techniques. It opens up a lot of doors for you to be creative with flash. Especially wireless where you have the ability to control where the light is directed. On the Sony system wireless flash is triggered by the in built flash on the camera. The Canon system is different to the Sony.You can not trigger an external flash wirelessly with the in built flash (unless you are using the EOS 7d). You have to purchase either a trigger or a pocket wizard or another external flash to trigger it. Nikon has a similar flash system to Sony and its called the Creative Lighting system (CLS). Its a more sophisticated flash system and its the best out of the three as it offers more control over your flashes either on the camera or the flash itself.

If you have an external flash you also have the ability to bounce your flash on ceilings and walls. The top flash models, for Canon, the speedlite 580exII and Sony hvl-f58am have built in white cards to help you control your flash. Not sure about Nikon cause I don't have that much knowledge about their system but I'm pretty sure all external flashes have a wide flash diffuser.

Anyway thats my short tutorial on flashes and a brief intro into using wireless flash. The last photo is one of the creative uses for slow sync flash that I took in the club. Just to give you an idea of how creative you can be with it.

The way I achieved  the streaming lights in the image was that I zoomed in during the exposure.

exposure: 8sec f/stop: 4 iso: 400

Thanks for reading and take care everyone! =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Sony Cyber Shots Announced

Today Sony announced two new cyber shots in their product range, the TX5 and the H55. Now I'm not going to copy and paste the press release but I'll state their headlining features and a couple of specs which are more important rather than everyone reading the non essentials.

Cyber-shot DSC-TX5
  • Sony's first waterproof, dust-proof, shock-proof and freeze-proof camera. Also the slimmest waterproof camera.
  • Intelligent sweep panorama
  • Sony's Exmor R sensor - 10.1 megapixel
  • 4x optical zoom with 25mm wide angle lens and 720p HD video recording (30 fps - mpeg4)
  • 3" clear photo LCD touch screen (230K resolution)
  • Battery life: 125 mins (250 shots)
  • Optical steadyshot
  • Internal memory: approx. 45mb
  • Comes in black, silver, green, red, pink

Cyber-shot DSC-H55 

    •  Sony G lens
    • 14.1 megapixel Super HAD CCD
    • Sweep panorama
    • 10x optical zoom with 25mm wide angle 
    • 3" clear photo LCD (230K resolution)
    • 720p HD video recording (30 fps - mpeg4)
    • Battery life: 155 mins (310 shots)
    • Optical shot and active mode (movie only)
    • Internal memory: approx. 45mb
    • Comes in black and silver

    Both of these cameras can now use SD and SDHC memory cards as well as memory stick pro duo. This is the case with Sony's 2010 lineup of cybershots so thats good news.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Sweet JMCK

    Photo #3

     exposure: 1/100sec f/stop: 5.6 iso: 200
    After discussing a few ideas with Marione today, JMCK will definitely have a shoot sometime next week. I won't say what our theme will be but it should be pretty cool.You'll see our finished shots when we're done and happy with them. I don't know if a couple of members know if I even have a blog yet but if you're reading this, expect a few messages on details about next week from me. Also I think its time for a group meeting.

    Doing a few studio shots and experimenting with my flashes is pretty fun. I'll do my first tutorial tomorrow on different types of flash techniques and wireless flash too. Any suggestions on any other type of tutorial would be welcomed as well. I wish I had a proper video camera though cause it would be so much easier to record and upload to youtube. Oh well in time it'll happen. And I also plan to do a review of one of my lenses soon. The Tamron 17-50mm 2.8, which is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts.

    Also I have some news that I haven't really told anyone. A online tourist guide site called Schamp emailed me one day and asked if they could use one of my photos for their tourist guide from Sculptures by the sea. I straight away said yes and though I didn't get paid for it, my photo is credited and its a good opportunity to get my name out there. That was pretty exciting. Makes me want to do more events and do some freelance work.

    PMA is coming up soon! Can't wait to see all the new gear that gets announced. Hoping for new sony lenses and a700 replacement. *fingers crossed*

    That's all the news for now.
    Take care everyone and thanks for reading =)

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Sydney lights

    Hello everyone! Today was spent doing a few assignments, looking through my usual photo sites and going to books of kinokuniya to get some ideas and themes for the next shoots that JMCK plan to have. One of the books I had a chance to look through was Tim Walkers photo book (thanks Marione). He's a professional photographer that has some really creative ideas with photo shoots and he uses interesting props in his photos such as a large group of rabbits and a very large boot just to name a few. I also have to suggest reading "The Hot Shoe diaries" by Joe McNally. Great photographer who knows his stuff with flash and lighting techniques!

    I spent heaps of time experimenting with my photos and one of the things I like to do is take night photos and landscape. The way all the lights are set out make such an interesting landscape and photos look even better in my opinion. The photo below is part of project 319 and it was taken in the city overlooking the water.

    exposure: 15secs f/stop: 6.3 iso: 100
    Not the best photo but the water looks awesome with the lights!
    Anyway, I had intentions of writing a lot more but unfortunately I'm really tired. Still a bit confused on what direction this blog is taking, whether I should talk about cameras and lenses with reviews or tutorials and camera techniques or DIY projects or what I'm doing in photography. Maybe I should do all of those things. We'll see where it takes me but for now. 

    Take care everyone!


    Monday, February 15, 2010

    I wish I started a 365 project where I take a photo everyday that is significant to me, whether it be about family, life, relationships, my destinations or pretty much anything. Its an album where I can reflect about the year and everything that happened.

    But who says I cant start one just a bit late anyway? I only missed 46 days =P
    Well here is the start of my project - the '319 project' 

    My New Blog - Sony Alpha Male!

    Welcome to my blog!

    I'm hoping I continually update this blog but mainly it'll be my experiences about photography as well as other photography related topics.

    So here's a bit about me. I'm an amateur photographer hoping to pursue it as a career. Also a member of a group called JMCK Photography. The gear I'm investing in for my photos is the sony alpha system but you guys would've guessed that seeing as its my blog address (thanks to Marione for coming up with that lol). I learn photography through people's blogs, flickr photos, my own experimentation and a short course in photography just so I feel more confident with my camera and be able to put what I learn in theory to be used in practice.

    Anyway, today I was at George's cameras on George st with Marione who is also in JMCK, looking at lenses and what we may want to add to our collections in the future. We both developed what photographers call 'lens lust' and theres so many lenses that we want. I tried out a sony 70-200mm G lens and I must say I was very impressed with the sharpness and IQ of it. Also I want a few Carl Zeiss lenses to go with my setup, mainly the 24-70mm 2.8 and the 85mm 1.4 but those are way out of my price range at the moment.

    Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 SSM G (SAL-70200G)
    Expensive lens but ebay will cut the over priced retail prices of Aussie camera stores

    Spent quite a while at the camera store talking to the sales assistants about our style of photography we want to get into as well as talking about PMA. For those that don't know PMA stands for Photo Marketing Association and what it basically is is an exhibition about everything photographic which includes new cameras and lenses, software, photography tutorials, business advice and more. Its a great place to go to for aspiring photographers. This year its held at Melbourne in early June and I really can't wait to go to it. There is another PMA which is actually this month on the 21st-23rd in Southern California but thats just too far for me to go to so Melbourne will do.

    After leaving the camera store I was thinking about what to do with my photography and what style I want to specialize in. I'm all over the place at the moment but whether it be landscape, night photos, portraiture, still life, etc I find them all interesting. I plan to get into stock photography and/or wedding photography eventually but thats not till I feel I'm more confident with my photos.

    Anyway what I'm hoping for in 2010 is that I get my accreditation in photography as soon as possible. More and more photo shoots on a regular basis to develop my techniques as a photographer. Learn from established photographers which I sort of am already doing - learning from George Spencer who is I guess my mentor, Dom Bower, a youtube photographer who does quite a few vlogs (video logs) on his experiences and provides quite a few helpful tutorials, Dustin Diaz from flickr who mainly does night portraiture (I love his style of photography) and also Judd who runs UpAllNight. I learnt so much from this guy and I'm grateful for his help when I first started doing photography at night clubs.

    No doubt in the coming weeks expect regular updates to this blog since I am constantly taking photos and reading upon different photography sites. Reading about photography and taking so many photos (I'll post a few up in my entries) teaches me so much and though I still have a lot of lessons to learn, my goal is to become a professional photographer.

    Thanks for reading =)