Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Sur

bigsur-44Did a little car camping in Big Sur over the weekend. It was pretty fun and easily one of the best places I've ever been. It is certainly my favorite place in California so far. I can't believe it took me 3 years to get there.

I have a flickr photo set of my favorite photos. Still learning the best settings to use when, but I have yet to use auto or even program mode on my camera in a while now. It gets a little discouraging when a photo taken with mine or my girlfriend's Elph looks just as good or better though. Processing RAW photos properly without spending a lot of time is still a challenge.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2 New Lenses

test-22In the last week I've doubled the amount of lenses I own. When I bought my dSLR in December as a Christmas gift to myself :), I expected it to become a limited hobby. Turns out every time I go out for a photo shoot I come back disappointed in one aspect or another and end up buying another piece of equipment.

My kit lens (18-55) and my telephoto zoom (55-250) have served me well since then but I have added a fast (but extremely fragile and cheap) Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 prime and my girlfriend surprised me with a gift of a Canon EF-S 10-22mm wide-angle zooms lens.

By no end do I claim to know what I'm doing when it comes to photography, as I am just starting out. The geek in me quickly takes the new prime lens, shoots a bunch of photos at various apertures, and then compares the EXIF data. Here is a flickr set of my test shots with both lenses. Check them out in the slideshow or click to go to flickr and read the captions:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wilder Ranch Bluff Trails

Wilder Ranch-165With the day off on Friday we decided to head to Wilder Ranch for some coastal biking. I had mapped out a trail starting from the parking lot to the coast, along the coast for a few miles, and then back inland to a supposed tunnel that takes you across highway 1.

The temperature was near perfect while riding and the coastline was beautiful. It's an easy trail that would be perfect for anyone. We ended up going 14.25 miles total, but if I was to ride this again I would turn around near the last beach unless I am in need of more exercise.

The trail is supposed to go down to the first beach and then back up to the bluffs on the other side unless there is high tide. You can see a photo of a nice couple taking their bikes down (Sorry guys I forgot your names. Duffy? So I hope you find this photo of you below somehow :) ). Unfortunately we soon found out that a large puddle was preventing us from getting to the trail on the other side. A hiker would have no problems, but getting the bike across looked messy and wet.

We took our bikes down anyways for photos, and then came backup the path we came. The detour added a couple miles to the trip.

Some of the trail was extremely grassy, to the point you had just keep spinning the tires. My chain picked up a lot of grass which you can see in the photo.

I had my kit lens and a new wide-angle lens for photos but I had skimped on a tripod and my telephoto lens and regretted both. I had my gorilla-pod but no real trees or rocks to attach it to. I would have really liked to have a lightweight full size tripod for some sharper shots.

It was a wonderful day which ended in a trip to Santa Cruz for a beer and shopping. I picked up some wonderful new flip-flops to replace my $7 Tevas I bought in 2005.

I will post some more photos when I finally wade through them all and pick my favorites.

Wilder Ranch-9 IMG_2150 IMG_2145 IMG_2151

Click for Route:
click for gps track