Jul 312011

Butterfly Conservatory

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It seems like I have to go to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls at least once a year. Colette and I decided to spend a day at Niagara on The Lake and after walking around the usual strip we skipped over to the Butterfly Conservatory. Unlike last time I was here, I had packed several lenses. I had my 35mm F2 lens last time and found that challenging but in a good way. Well this time I used my 70-200 2.8 for a different but welcoming challenge (Colette was using the 60mm micro lens which I would have used). This time around I was paying more attention to the background and concentrating on finding some great natural light. I think I included both these elements with these images. I may go back one more time this year and use the micro lens. Stay tuned.

Music for the afternoon included Leonard Cohen’s album Dear Heather and Van Morrison’s album Poetic Champions Compose.

Jul 302011

Riverdale Farm

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I was a little bored on this day so I decided to go the Riverdale Farm to continue my testing of the 24mm 2.8 Nikon lens that I just recently purchased. This was the keeper for the day as I got some great natural light on this chicken’s best side! I shot it wide open for some vignetting (and slightly enhanced in LR). When is LG Fashion Week?

Soundtrack for this day was Tom Waits’ album Rain Dogs.

Jul 262011

Happy 2nd Birthday to Simone

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I guess Simone knew this was her special day. Usually she is fast asleep by mid morning under the bed in her favourite spot but today she was up early and playing all around her toys. Colette and I spoil her rotten with toys (see past posts regarding her extravagant cat condo as well) and she is pretty good in giving most of them equal attention.  So what do we give her on her 2nd birthday? More toys!!!  This was shot before we went out to get her three new toys (which she loved of course) almost looking pathetic with those poor me eyes.  We also gave her some cat nip for that special high that all cats needs especially on their birthday.

Soundtrack for the birthday cat was Bon Iver’s new self titled album.  Love it!!

Jul 232011

Creatives at Hillside Festival in Guelph Ontario

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Absolutely gorgeous day to be at the Hillside Festival in Guelph. I wanted to travel light on this day and the only gear I brought was my D700 with my new 24mm 2.8 lens. I spent more of the day taking in the atmosphere than shooting and I enjoyed watching/listening to some great bands. I also ended up having several beers which took it’s toll on my efforts to shoot. I did, however, get several shots and I thought this one made for an interesting story. Or maybe the beers made me think this was interesting. Anyway discuss amongst yourselves.

Jul 212011

Testing Nikon 24mm 2.8D

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I was in the market for a wide angle prime lens and after some research I decided on the Nikon 24mm 2.8D.  I was looking for a wide angle lens primarily for commercial work but also to use as an everyday, walkaround lens that would not be obtrusive or taxing in weight for my street and event photography. The usual initial, non scientific testing starts at my house and my favourite subject is victimized once again (Simone actually looks a little pissed off in this photo…wonder why).  I shot this wide open (hence the vignetting, which I like and ever so slightly enhanced in LR) and had to shoot it twice as my feet were caught in the first shot.  I continued the day performing my usual tests and can sum up what most said about this lens.  Extremely sharp from f4 to f11 with decent edge sharpness. Great centre sharpness at 2.8 as well.  I like the size and it is quite smaller and lighter than the Sigma 12-24 lens that I used in the past.  Yes it’s not as wide but I found I rarely shot below 20mm with the Sigma.  Optically I can’t say yet if it is better than the Sigma at peak apertures but from initial testings and from specs, it should be. Now if I had a spare $2000.00 and had arms like popeye I would have got the Nikon 14-24 2.8.  Stay tuned for more shots with this lens.

Soundtrack to my testing was The Strugglers album You Win.

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