Just got done editing and posting the video I was able to make while in Cleveland filming everything we did. I really enjoyed the whole process start to finish. I need to work on focusing, working with more powerful video software and audio mastering. Also I just ordered myself a tripod/monopod because Id like more stable shots and I needed to get a quality one anyway. Let me know what you think. I'll be shooting more very soon and maybe with a new lens.

In the Park

So this past Monday I decided to take my macro lens to the park. I haven't used the lens much because I just recently got it. This trip to the park allowed me to learn a lot and respect the art of macro photography a lot. Before we went to the park we got some Chipotle. We got it to go so we could eat it at the park, but when we got there I was so focused on taking pictures that my food got semi-cold. At first I was taking photos of the river using a slow shutter speed to blur out the waves. It worked and it was awesome, I will post the photo after this. As we got deeper into the park following the trail I found bugs. I took my camera and turned on my ring flash. It was super hard to focus on these bugs at 105mm with manual focus. Since my D5200 doesn't have a focus motor and this particular lens only autofocuses with cameras with focus motors. So what I tried was bringing the aperture to around f/8 and higher but then even with my ring flash I could only get at max 1/45 shutter speed with reasonable ISO levels. What I am missing is a tripod. I will get one eventually but it will be high quality and not like the kit tripod that I do own that sucks very bad. With a quality tripod not only could I focus better but I could use lots of shutter speeds because there would be no camera shake and with the camera in one position f/2.8 could become usable. It just makes everything a lot more flexible. I was still able to achieve some great shots of spiders/bugs/fungi/water/bridges. I have a lot of respect for macro wildlife shooters. The reason is you have to be very patient, you have to be able to hold still and if you don't have Auto Focus you have to be even more patient. NOT TO MENTION THE 6 million mosquitoes sucking your blood until you pass out. I would be in mid-shot and feel a mosquito land on my arm but I had to sit there and wait til my shot was right only to find out I moved out of focus at the last second. The thing is when your at 105mm on a crop sensor camera the camera shake becomes even more dramatic. I also got some video but the only good video you can get with a macro is of the river flowing or a snail or caterpillar moving. I really was amazed that day. I've never seen snails or caterpillars in real life that close up. If I were to give any tips for anyone considering shooting at a park like where I was Id say: 1) Bring Bug Spray. 2) Bring Extra Batteries. (I ran out) 3) Bring a Tripod. 4) Be careful. (I saw a deer) 5) Bring a rain coat. 6) Bring food and WATER. 7) Bring lights or some type of flash. (Ring flash is awesome for macro shots) 8) Be extra careful around water with camera equipment. 9) Bring extra SD Card. 10) Bring an external stereo microphone if you plan to do video cause the forest sounds very nice. (I bought this Sony Stereo Lav mic for only $12 and it sounds great)

My Job

Right now I am trying to get this blog caught up so I will be posting a lot at one time however in the future I will probably make it a day by day thing instead of a minute by minute thing. To the main point of focus, my job, it is kind of off topic from this blog but explains why lots of my pictures will be of food. I work at a private owned restaurant. It's called "Culinary Arts" because it started as a school. Now it is just a restaurant, but not an ordinary one. Our cooks make lots of creative food and my job is just to plate it and look nice. I've been practicing almost everyday doing exotic designs with Sriracha and placing edamame carefully to create geometric patterns. Okay maybe my vocabulary is exaggerating a bit, but it really makes a difference when everything is played right. And that's where my photography comes into place. I only own a few lenses so my shots are limited at the moment. Most of the time I'll use my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 prime lens. I use a crop sensor camera so it's the perfect FOV for food and the f/1.8 is great for a low light restaurant. When I first get to work I cut up all of my fruit. I also cut up green onions and fry parsley, there's a few other things I might need to do depending on the day but I usually finish before dinner starts so with spare time I go outside and get landscape shots of the patio and indoor shots of the kitchen and bar. I would really love an ultra-wide and I'm torn between the sigma 8-16 and the tokina 11-16. I like to take the shots during the actual dinner time because it gives the picture that busy restaurant feel but at the same time everything is setup right. Typically all I need is my 35mm my D5200 a towel/gloves tweezers and my ring flash. As soon as the food comes out I'm ready to clean up. After everything is positioned correctly I go for my shot. I will take it from a few angles and then I'm done. I usually stay between ISO 400-800 I like to have a fast shutter speed because I won't be using a tripod and don't have time for blurry shots to be taken. 1/100 or higher is great. Towards the end of the night; especially on Friday's and Saturday's when we have live music I'll get shots of people at the bar or on the patio but once again I wish I had an ultra-wide for that. When I do get an ultra-wide I will definitely do some video. That's basically a day of work for me, kill two birds with one stone. I goto work to earn money towards photo equipment while I take photos at the same time.

Intro

Well, I made this blog awhile back when I first purchased my 35mm prime lens. I noticed how great my photos started looking so I made a dedicated blog. Now I'm going to get serious about it and keep it updated more often with both text and photos. I really just like laying in my bed at night and typing about my life; even if no one is reading now, someday someone will. Trying to keep the intro short so to summarize what this blog will be about, it's just gonna be about what i experience and learn when I go shoot pictures. I will also share my thoughts and research on equipment and what I think is good for what types of photos. Maybe down the road I'll even upload videos or do some DIY photo projects. But for now I hope I can gain just a few followers so that my blog could spread! That's about it, if anyone has any questions I will also answer those!