Sunday, July 31, 2011

{CameraGear} Annual Gear Photo

Hi everyone! This is my third annual photography gear photo for 2011. Its different from last year's photo because I have too much gear to fit in a photo, so I decided to just take a photo of my camera, lenses and flashes.

You can check out the previous annual camera photos by clicking the following links:

Monday, July 25, 2011

{Self-Portrait Project} Kitchen Trap

exposure: 1/60sec f/stop: 7.1 iso: 400

Hi everyone! Reflecting on the week that just passed, I noticed that I spent a lot of my time in the kitchen cooking and eating. It was an unhealthy week but we all go through those times once in a while. This photo is to represent myself stuck in that unhealthy week in the kitchen. I guess it would have made more sense if I had junk food in this photo to get my message across but I didn't have any left.

   The photo was taken with my camera and flash mounted on a tripod and triggered with a 10sec timer. I took two photos and made it into one and with the help of photoshop, I edited it with layers and made some small tweaks to the final image.

Gear used:
- Sony a350 with Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 lens attached
- one flash (HVL-F43AM)
- tripod

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{CameraGear} Sony a77 pictures

Sony a77 front
Sony a77 back

Hi everyone!

As the time draws closer to the release date of the a77, images and specs begin to surface. The above images are of the a700 replacement and confirmed by SonyAlphaRumors. The camera is set for a late august announcement along with a whole lot of other products to be announced such as:
  • a65 (a55 replacement)
  • NEX-5N (NEX-5 replacement)
  • NEX-7
  • NEX-VG20 (NEX-VG10 replacement)
  • 16-50mm f2.8 kit lens (A-mount)
  • 55-210mm f4.5-6.3 OSS, CZ 24mm f2, 40mm f2 OSS (E-mount)
  • Carl Zeiss and G series lenses
  • Alpha and NEX accessories
All I can say is that it’s going to be a very exciting time for NEX and Alpha users.

To comment on the images, I think I’m going to miss the on/off steadyshot switch that I have on my a350 and I’m curious as to why there is a ? button on a camera of this class. The vertical grip looks a bit large but I’ll save my final judgement to when I actually get my hands on the camera. Everything else looks great. The rumored specs look amazing and it looks like my a350 will be retiring very soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

{Self-Portrait Project} Face Painting

exposure: 1/500sec f/stop: 1.7 iso: 100

Hi everyone! This image was inspired by another photographer, who's name I'm guessing is Victor Wagner. I thought it was pretty cool and creative shot so I decided to see if I could do something similar. To add meaning to this photo, this project has been challenging and has influenced a new creative vision and therefore painting a whole new perspective of photography.

The photo was taken in the studio with my orbis ring flash held just above and in front of me by Marione. The camera was triggered via my remote and the lens I was using was my 50mm lens. The photo was converted to black and white through photoshop and Marione did a lot of other editing which I will never understand. I did add some vignette in the photo for more effect. Thank you Marione for helping me with this shot.

Gear used: 
- Sony a350 with Konica Minolta 50mm lens f1.7 lens attached
- one flash (HVL-F58AM)
- Orbis ring  flash
- tripod

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Self-Portrait Project} "Don't step on me!"

exposure: 1/100sec f/stop: 2.8 iso: 100

Hi everyone! I had little time to plan for this shot since I've been so busy lately but luckily it turned out alright with a simple setup and a simple concept. The only problem that I encountered whilst doing this photo was that it was freezing cold. This is pretty much another attempt of me trying to step out of my comfort zone with another weird facial expression (I was supposed to look scared that I was about to get squashed by a huge foot but when I looked closer I looked a bit happy about it). 

I took this shot with self timer and the flash was on the floor a couple of meters away from the camera using wireless flash. Marione's shoe was used to create the shadow and the flash was pointed at a certain angle and distance away from the wall to get the shadow large enough to make it look like it was about to step on me. Initially I was supposed to get a shadow of a hand in this shot but Marione's hand is so small and her fingers would disappear since they're so thin so we chose to use her foot.

Gear used:
- Sony a350 with Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lens attached
- one flash (HVL-58AM)
- two light stands with Manfrotto 026

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Self-Portrait Project} The Karate Kid

exposure: 1/160sec f/stop: 9 iso: 100

Hi everyone! I'm not really a violent person but I thought I should start stepping out of my comfort zone to make this project even better. I recently watched the Karate Kid and this is my tribute to the movie. Thank you Mr Miyagi, you taught me so much about how to fight.

I took this shot with my camera mounted on a tripod, triggered by a two second timer via remote. I used my small trampoline that I set up in the studio to help me get the air time I needed for the shot. I used three flashes where one was on my right and two were on my left (one pointed towards the backdrop and the other pointed in line with my body).

Gear used: 
 - Sony a350 with Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lens attached
- three flashes (HVL-F58AM, HVL-F43AM, HVL-F42AM)
- one light stand with Manfrotto 026
- remote cable
- tripod

Friday, July 1, 2011

{Snapshots} Sony Sessions

Hi everyone!

Recently I had the chance to go to an event hosted by Sony to try out some new and upcoming products before they hit the stores. I had the chance to also discuss some other upcoming products and give some feedback on what I thought about the direction of Sony, in particularly their NEX and Alpha lineup. After talking to the tech people who were very informative and helpful with my questions I can say that the second half of this year is going to be very exciting for photo enthusiasts.

After trying the NEX-C3, it is a great update to the predecessor, the NEX-3 with a better grip and better performance. I quite like seeing the alpha logo when turning off the camera but that's me. Unfortunately the 30mm f3.5 macro lens was not available at the time but I did get the opportunity to try out the new flash for the NEX system, the HVL-F20S which provides a stronger flash output than the flash supplied with the NEX 3 and NEX 5, has the ability to bounce flash for shadowless portraits and has an built-in diffuser.

NEX-C3 with HVL-F20S flash, LA-EA1 adapter with Carl Zeiss 24mm f2.0 lens attached

The newly announced a35 was available at this event and it replaces the a33 camera that was available last year. This camera is a modest update to its predecessor and noticeably comes with a fixed LCD screen instead of a tilting screen on the a33. The camera feels the same than its predecessor, I'm guessing its made out of the same material. A new mode called tele-zoom high speed shooting is a new feature on this camera where the camera captures 7fps at a cropped resolution. The introduction of filters also makes it debut on this alpha camera as well as the NEX series where you can apply filters such as retro, high key, selective color and more to your stills or videos. You also have the ability to apply more than one filter which is pretty cool.

Sony a35

The CLM-V55 which is an external monitor mainly for video was also on display which was great to see because I'm actually considering buying this along with the a77 when its announced. I understand a bit more of what it can do and how to use it since it was attached to the a35 on the VCT-55LH bracket. I also tried out some other lenses that were available to try out such as the 70-400mm f4-5.6 G series lens (most likely my next lens purchase) and the Carl Zeiss 135mm f1.8 (exceptionally sharp and well made lens). 

Sony a35 with 70-400mm f4.0-5.6 G series lens and CLM-V55 monitor mounted on a VCT-55LH bracket

I'm very excited to see what Sony brings out in the second half of this year. The replacement for the a55 and NEX-5 are expected as well as the a77 and NEX-7 (not sure about the name) and a bunch of new lenses and accessories. Thank you Sony for hosting this great and informative event.

Display of photos showing a few filters that can be used on the NEX and alpha cameras


 Carl Zeiss 135mm f1.8 lens with 24-70mm f2.8 in the background

 Carl Zeiss 24mm f2.0 lens

 A few Sony lenses available to try at the event.