Sunday, June 24, 2007

24-70 2.8L

It's really big. It's really heavy. It looks really sweet with the lens hood on.
I love it!
I've rented this lens a lot but it wasn't until recently that I managed to save enough to get it.
I find myself needing the f/2.8 a lot. I try to use my 50mm 1.8 but the lack of zoom (and quality) is limiting.
A major reason for choosing this one over the EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS was that it will work on my 10D IR too. When I got the 10D modified to IR I also got the focus calibrated to the 50mm 1.8. I haven't thoroughly tested this lens and the 10D's focusing, but from one or two quick shots, viewed on the LCD, it doesn't look bad. It's funny that this new lens has IR focusing marks because I can't use them since the camera's focusing has been recalibrated. Oh well.

The rain and the sun fought all day. I ran outside between downpours to shoot some roses near our parking space. The sun was bright and the flowers were soaked. I love the shallow depth of field of this lens. And the out of focus areas are so smooth.
I bet the neighbors thought I was crazy.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

We finally got a new car

It's blue (most important), it's an outback (not quite an FJ like I hoped), and we're thrilled it's over (finally)!!
I think we dealt with 2 dealers and 4 different salesmen over a couple weeks.

It had dog hair all over it when we first drove it. But they cleaned it before we took it home. I doubt we'll use the heated seats very much. But the ground clearance is going to be awesome.
Now we'll have to try some of those really rough forest roads on our next backpacking trip!

This first picture has more significance because of the lens I used (more on that later)...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pete Lake Backpacking (retro post)

(retro post = out of chronological order, a.k.a. Jason's catching up)

On Memorial Day weekend C and I went backpacking. But it was too early in the season for off-roading in the corolla. We were headed to Hyas Lake but didn't make it because of all the snow still on the road.
In one spot I found a way to drive around the snow-blocked road only to find an even bigger pile of snow. I eased the car up to the edge of the snow to confirm it was too high and we'd just get stuck. About then some random guy comes running out of the woods where he and all his friends were partying to tell us that they'd never seen a car make it this far and that it only gets worse farther along.
C still wanted to ram the snow pile and not give up on the weekend. I eventually talked her out of it. It took about a half hour though. She doesn't give up easily. She claims she's going to bring a snow shovel next time and dig us a way through if she has to. We agreed to try a few other forest roads we passed on our way in.
It was late in the evening, when we finally found the trailhead to Pete Lake and decided to try it. There was plenty of snow on the trail, but gaiters weren't really necessary. We crossed a whole bunch of streams and rivers along the way. While still a mile short of the lake magic hour arrived. So C and I took advantage of the good lighting and shot a picture of each other without even stopping to take our packs off.
We had to walk to the far side of the lake before we found an available campsite. I think it was the best one.
The next day we got up really late and I walked around the lake to take a few pictures.
For being plan C or D, it turned out pretty well.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grilling at Mary's

Finally got to see Mary's condo. It's amazing. She grilled us some tasty salmon, chicken, and asparagus on the roof. The view is awesome from up there. Good times with Steven and Lauren too. :)

I tried my favorite method of getting a deeper blue sky back from a washed out exposure. Raising the blue channel saturation and lowering its luminance too seems to almost give it a polarizing effect. Lightroom makes things so much easier. I think I could even save those two things as a development preset and call it fake polarizer or something?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mariner's Game

We went to a Seattle Mariner's game last night. When I walked in the gate I got a free shirt. It says #1 Dad on it though. It fit and it was free so I love it. It was a decent game, but they lost. We really went there for the garlic fries. Safeco Field is so interesting that we got up and walked it twice during the game. The stadium has a beautiful view of the Olympic mountains and most of downtown Seattle. We found a fearless seagull that didn't mind having his picture taken.

If the photo is black & white or red & white it was shot in IR. I tried using the digital infrared 10D but the results weren't thrilling me. It is nice that the field lights put out a pretty good amount of IR light though. Focusing at 300mm is a little off.

Monday, June 18, 2007

8 Mile Lake

To get to 8 Mile Lake we just drove 8 miles past Leavenworth, WA on Icicle Creek Road. But we weren't there yet. It was another 3 miles on the dirt road to the trailhead. After loading up and hiking for 3.5 more miles we were disappointed with a tiny lake and one ugly campsite right in the middle of the trail. Then we realized we'd found "little 8 mile lake." I'd rather call it "fake 8 mile lake" instead. It was still another half mile before we finally dropped our packs and set up the tent at the real 8 Mile Lake.

The hike through the old burned out forest is actually quite nice because bushes have grown over a lot of the dead trees that are laying on the ground.

We saw some interesting flowers, birds, and the chubbiest chipmunks ever. I'm not sure what they eat up there but they've got plenty of it.

I got to use my fabulous gorillapod for the blurry water shots. It's so perfect for backpacking! I also learned not to store lenses in my pockets because I nearly lost one to the river. I lost a tripod leg to a river near a place called "Troublesome" a couple years ago and that was really painful.

Shooting with a bright sky and dark shadowy forest is hard on the dynamic range. To get some of the sky and clouds back I underexposed enough to leave some minor details in the sky. In Lightroom I turned the recovery and fill light up pretty high, but the blue sky was still mostly washed out. I found that if I turned up the saturation in the blue channel and turned its luminance down quite a bit it all came back. I end up with bright clouds, a deep blue sky, and enough detail for everything else. Lightroom is cool. It makes web galleries too.