And it keeps going

So, I have been thinking of branching off into a new blog with more emphasis on specific gear. It’s going on five years for Whatipic and I’m kind of feeling like it’s time to try something different. How I am going to go about it, I don’t quite know yet. I may keep this blog going and just do the other one in addition, but I know I don’t want things to overlap. The other site will still have an emphasis on images and photography but, hopefully, in a different manner, if that makes any sense. The gear and how it was used top get the photo will be the central theme and maybe some gear reviews thrown in on occasion.

I originally thought of just having a full fledged website for my photography but the cost and maintenance is just not appealing to me at this time. I do have a normal job, a wife, and an old house that all keep me quite occupied. I’m thankful to do whatever photography I can fit in. But if anyone has any ideas on where I should go next feel free to chime in. I am aware of sites such as SmugMug and Zenfolio and when I get time I will seriously take a look into those as an alternative.

By the way, I do plan on paying up to get rid of those ads. I just keep forgetting because I don’t see them.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

A first for Whatipic

image

This photo was transfered from my Fujifilm camera to my phone via wifi and, in turn, to my blog. I know it’s sort of old tech (old tech, of course, means over a year old), but it’s a first for me. I also rarely post unedited photos, usually prefering to shoot RAW, but this is the jpeg straight from the camera, after converting to black and white.  I can also count on one hand the number of times I have posted directly from a phone.

I spotted these sinks in front of a remodeling recycling center and thought they were interesting enough to shoot. Unfortunately I couldnt shoot them straight on as there was a truck parked in front of them. Not knowing if I would be able to visit the scene again I just shot them at a slight angle. I actually think the angle made for a better shot.

Mouintains or the beach?

No, I’m not asking where I should go on vacation, I’m wondering which one would have made a better foreground for a dramatic rainbow photo. But. since I was around neither, I have a nice rainbow over a pizza shop photo! They always say the best camera is the one you have with you, so I’m going to say the best foreground is the one you have in front of you!

This was the first time since I bought it that my new wide-angle zoom really came in handy!

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Sorry for the long awkward pause.

Whew, I cant believe how long it has been since I last posted. I know why I haven’t posted but, man, does time fly. While time was flying by I really haven’t been doing much photography to speak of. A few grab shots here and there and a few test shots for new equipment that are totally boring, even for me. I haven’t set foot out to purposely take any photos in a while and I honestly haven’t been inspired to do so. I need to get back into it but like a diet and exercise, getting started is half the battle.

What I have been doing is re-evaluating my gear and I decided to make a change in equipment. I am not one who thinks that gear makes the photograph, I’m just seeing if there is something different I like from an operational standpoint. I have my sites set on much grander gear and have a vague idea of what I want but I decided to give Fujifilm cameras and lenses a try for now. I thought they started out with the X system with a great set of lenses and I like what I have been seeing out of them. Forgoing the top of the line X-T1 for now, I decided to try out the brand new X-T10 for a body and I currently have the 18-55 and 10-24 zooms for now. I’ll be adding a couple of their fast primes in the coming weeks to round out the kit. This camera is very small and I really haven’t had much chance to use it in a real world situation much, so I still need some practice.

I did however take it out yesterday for the annual visit of the Furries to downtown Pittsburgh. The Anthrocon convention always adds to the street life and I enjoy the challenge of photographing the “creatures” as they walk about the city.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

There’s nothing furry about this guy but I like the photo and thought it worthy of a return to form shot. I’ll add a few more photos later in the week.

It feels good to be back and I know for sure that everybody missed something new from me ;-) , so I am sorry it took so long.

Getting to the Point in Pittsburgh

Trying to get my sea legs back and get out there to start shooting again. It’s amazing how rusty one can get being away from something too long. I know I need to brush up on my compositional skills a little, especially when shooting in wide angle, so I purposely sought out lines to practice with. I figured a nice walk around the Point State Park area in Pittsburgh be a good place to explore.

Enjoy!

Mistake(n) indentity

The one thing I do almost constantly is to try and identify the mistakes in my photos. In turn I try NOT to do those same mistakes over (although I often do). It can range from simple Photography 101 stuff such as using the wrong shutter speed or aperture for the given subject, to composition errors, or choosing the wrong lens. I may not make technical mistakes too often but I know I make plenty of artistic ones.

Sometimes I only have one lens with me and I HAVE to choose it, so I have no choice if it’s the “wrong” lens. But when I carry limited gear I try to visualize photos that would work with what I have on me. There have been times when I was only carrying a wide angle lens and I saw plenty of opportunities for great telephoto shots and had no choice but to pass on the photo. But there have also been a number of times when the photo I took with the lens I had on me was the perfect photo and I couldn’t imagine taking those photos with any other lens. I have had two winning photographs published that were taken with an old Super-Takumar lens that I happened to have on my camera at the time I took the photos. In both cases I don’t think if I had a different lens, and especially a zoom lens, that I would have taken the photos the same way, and achieved the same output.

As for todays photo, I took it with a slow consumer zoom lens. The lens. like all consumer zooms, works best when stopped down a little from maximum aperture and I tend to use it that way, often with good results. In fact it is my used lens since it is so versatile. However, where I went wrong here was in not opening up the lens a little more (and slightly sacrificing quality) to lower my ISO a little. This was shot at ISO 3200 handheld and I could have gotten away with at least ISO 1600 which would have improved the overall quality greatly. If I had given myself maybe three extra seconds to think about what I was doing at the time, I could have upped the image quality with  ease. Say what you will about modern image sensors and how great they do high ISO’s, I’m still not a fan and I like to shoot as near to native ISO as possible.

It’s a done deal now but one that I will hopefully remember next time. But then, maybe I should just have faster lenses in the first place. I’m working on remedying that right now.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

The longer I stay away…

….the less I have to say.

Again. not too many words this time around. I’ve been keeping busy and trying to take photographs whenever I can. Even during a vacation getaway I still found myself not concentrating on photography the way that I should. Having deadlines always gets me motivated, so I imagine I’ll have to self prescribe some for myself. We will all benefit from that.

Here’s a gent I “met” in South Miami Beach. It cost me a couple dollars for the photo shoot but it was worth it. He was a funny guy and didn’t mind posing at all. I would have preferred a more natural shot but I let him do what he wanted. I didn’t really care, I was on vacation.

I think his red hat and scarf set off the outfit so I had to go color on this one.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Things I saw in a park on a Spring day

I saw flowers and birds and trees, and I photographed them. But you’ve seen all of that, here are some different things I saw.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Creative cobwebs

There was a period when I stopped playing guitar for a while. I just got caught up with a number of things and was working a gazillion hours a week with little to no free time. When I finally got around to playing again, I knew what I was doing but I could immediately tell I was horribly out of practice. I played the right notes but they’re just weren’t clear. Even more telling, my phrasing and rhythm were just plain bad. I needed to woodshed and I knew it.

Getting back into practicing photography after what seemed like an endless deep freeze of winter feels the same to me right now. I just wasn’t into going out and shooting during the lousy winter months, fighting the cold winds and awful roads. Besides, winters around here aren’t very pretty, more mud and frozen rain than beautiful snow draped mountain scenery. The city streets aren’t much better. Plowed snow ends up taking away valuable parking spaces up until the spring thaw. So I thought I would wait until I was good and ready.

I’m ready now, but I feel that I’m not very good at the moment.  All of that time away from a viewfinder has made me a little rusty. I always sort of took pictures in my mind as I was driving around. Just visualizing how I would take a photo of something, if I was taking a photo of something, even though I was just driving by. Kind of keeping the mind working at least. But the actual physical process of finding a subject and taking the photo takes a little time for me to “get in the groove’.

For a first outing, I came across some antique stores a little late over the weekend, just as they were closing. So I was forced to shoot into windows from the street. That’s something I like to do anyhow but the bright sunlight, although a welcome sight, made for some contrasty light. I just had to shoot with a wide-angle lens right up against the glass to eliminate reflections but that also limited what I could shoot and compose. As usual I worked with what I had, in subject matter, light, and camera gear and hope for the best.

I hope to start practicing on the art a little more in the next few months and break down those creative cobwebs.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

Fat man in the bathtub

And I’m sure he would have the blues if he was in this tub.

Just another one of the many old bathtubs found throughout rural areas. This particular one has a spring emptying into it, most likely used for cattle at some point.

© David Guidas

© David Guidas

I can’t show this photo without some Little Feat

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