This is a long overdue update. Life’s been rolling right along. In summary,
- I still have my job *knock on wood* although we have no idea what the next round of budget cuts will bring.
- I have a second wedding to shoot in June! This is awesome and I’m learning to be patient in this business. It’s all about networking which I suck at, but will have to learn in order to survive! I’m improving on my skills as well and enrolled in a photography class.
- I celebrated my birthday several weeks ago. I’m officially in my mid-twenties.
- Matt’s done with his spring classes. He smoked his GIS class with an A and passed his CompSci class with a B. So proud of him. :P. Crazy man that he is, he raced a 6hr mountain bike race on May 1, 2010 before his finals this week! It was his first race of the ‘season’ so he’ll only get better from here. Check out my photos from the Dirty Spokes 12/6hr MTB race on my site. The pics are on Facebook as well for you to tag anyone you know! I shot with my Sigma 10 – 20mm and the Nikon 18 – 105mm kit lens for the D90. My pictures weren’t “tack sharp”, but I did the best I could. I had a lot of fun shooting pictures of the bikers who were great. The biggest issues I faced while photographing the race were:
- I like using natural light, but in the woods with the trees blocking the light, my lens needed some help getting light in. The 18 – 105mm lens has a maximum aperture of 3.5 at 18mm and 5.6 at 105mm. Zooming in to 105mm meant the light I’d get with the f-stop of f/5.6 was not enough to keep the scene well exposed. An ideal situation would’ve been for me to rent the much faster 70 – 200mm f/2.8 lens which has a wide aperture and more zoom to it. So, I resolved to shoot in raw where I’d be able to bring up the exposure/brightening of some salvageable pictures without depleting the quality too much by editing the jpg directly. I also used my SB-600 flash at certain points to help with illumination and exposure.
- I do well with still photography (if I may say so myself. :P). Action photography would prove to be a challenge because you’ve got bikers flying past you at over 20mph. I had hoped to get close-up shots of the bikers’ faces with their bikes, but doing this was tricky because I need to stop the action by using a high shutter speed and get the scene properly exposed at the same time. An all-too-common scenario for me shooting at 105mm without the SB-600 flash was that the scene was dark so I turned the flash on which helps “freeze” the frame as well.
- I kept trying to make my lens compensate for the light situation by lowering my shutter speed to ‘unsafe’ levels (unsafe meaning I took the risk of increased blur in my photos to get more light. After getting disgusted with the expectedly blurry pictures, I kept the flash on throughout the event. Depending on how far you’re zoomed in or out, the maximum shutter speed the SB-600 will let you shoot at may vary. I also discovered I might need a battery pack for my flash (or a different grade of AA batteries, possibly Ni-Mh) because my recycling time was painfully slow in comparison to how quickly the bikers were flying by me! Anyway, I’ve learned a LOT about action photography primarily and I am excited for Matt’s next race (whenever that is). Hopefully, what I’ve learned will translate into better race pictures. 🙂 For more of what I’ve been up to (pictorially), keep tabs on my other blog with photos. 🙂
- Last month, I won an HP TouchSmart 600-1000t computer!! Surreal, right? Talk about God providing for his flock. Seriously, we had over 300 lbs of single-purpose electronics (60lb speakers, 1 clunky TV, a VCR player, a DVD player, a PlayStation 2 and a bunch of power cords). Our living room was a mess and then comes the most beautiful email I’ve ever seen saying I’d won the TouchSmart 600. 😛 You just have to read my post on Jane Talks Tech to find out more, but suffice it to say that the TouchSmart was what we needed. It rendered said 300lbs of single-purpose equipment redundant.