Photography

Last Week

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A Short(ish) Dissertation on the Extent to which I love Technology and hate Las Vegas.

This past week has been a blur. I know, so cliché, but it really has. (Is it cliché to refer to a popular cliché as cliché when other people undoubtedly do the same?) Last Saturday, I boarded a plane and flew over the country, all the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, I suggest you go. If you’re a gambler, you’ll love it (and most likely you’ll end up broke). If you like to see new things, you’ll find plenty in LV. If you have ever wanted to see the epitome of human depredation condensed into one thick, seething, noisy, obnoxious conglomerate of people, then Las Vegas is the place for you.

Las Vegas is one gigantic money-sucking pit. The entire purpose of the city is to squeeze every last coin from its tourist’s pockets. The first thing I saw when I disembarked from the plane was an array of “one-armed bandits” (slot machines). They sat there dinging away and hungrily flashing their ever-beckoning lights, and people sat in the seats and fed the slots, watching their credits dwindle to zero. Gambling. When one goes to leave the airport, one must find transportation, right? Of course right. Transport. Now that you’ve wasted some money in the slot machines and paid a taxi driver or bus driver or rental car fee, you can hand over some cash for lodging! Hotels. Of course, now everyone’s hungry. Care to spend $45 for a burger? Food. Oh, good, now that we’re where we wanted to go and comfortably rested, why don’t we check our emails? It’s only $10 a day for wifi! Internet. Maybe we could play some cards while we’re wandering through one of the countless casinos in the bottoms of all these hotels. More Gambling. Perhaps we could go see a show or visit a local attraction? Entertainment. Maybe we have loose morals and we’d like some company tonight. Erm… Entertainment? I could go on, but I have the feeling you get the point.

I did enjoy seeing the fountain show at the Bellagio, the volcano at the Mirage, and the luxurious decor in the other high-end temporary lodgings. I couldn’t help but feel, though, as I walked through all of the semi-opulence, how much waste was all around — the ridiculously expensive hotels and the fancy clothes and the pricey food and the silly trivialities on which people spend their money! The entire city centers around the gambling; it’s where the casinos really make their money, but then there’s the high price of everything else. The interesting thing is, everything combines to create an attraction in and of itself. People pay to see Las Vegas for Las Vegas! They pay to ride in limousines and helicopters and all of modes of exotic transport. All to see what? The product of their waste.

Oh well. This, I suppose, is why I’m not extremely wealthy. I’d spend it all on technology and charity.

Oh, I said technology up there, didn’t I? Did I mention that I actually went to see the NAB show? More on that tomorrow.

~ Chris

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Questions (via Stolen Pixels)

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If you’re subscribed to my photo blog as well, then I apologize for the double post. Forgive me? Thanks! I need some feedback on this, though.

No picture for this post. In fact, this isn’t even a post meant for entertainment! This post is destined for greatness, for in this post, you have the chance to lend your voice to the development of this site.

When I first set out to create a photography blog, I was torn between differing formats. I like the idea of a gallery, but galleries are for people with lots of fantastic work and large audiences willing to click through the galleries; I have neither. I thought about making a photo essay site, where every post would be a set of photos along with a story, but I didn’t think I could stay quite as committed, so I decided to make a purely image-centric blog, filled with images and nothing else. Yet, here I am, using my keyboard instead of my camera.

I need some feedback.

Should I leave the format as it is, just images with tech specs in the mouseover? Or should I start writing something with each post to explain, propound, or just accompany the image? I know that the WordPress community is quite vocal, so don’t be shy!

Your feedback is more than welcome, and feel free to comment on anything else: shooting style, editing, site format, logo, the color of the sky…

Most Gratefully,

Chris

via: Questions on Stolen Pixels

New Cameras and Sites and Stuff

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So, today I took my new camera to South Mountain to get some photos. Oh, wait, did I tell you I got a new camera? Hey, guess what? I GOT A NEW CAMERA. (It’s really hard to express how excited I am about this…)

imageAnyway, I got a Sony Alpha SLT-a65. It’s a translucent mirror (Single Lens Translucent) camera, similar to an SLR, but it has a translucent mirror (doh), which allows most of the light to pass through to the sensor and reflects the rest to the autofocus sensor to allow for full-time phase detection focusing. You’re probably not overly interested in all of the technical stuff, but here’s the wiki page just in case.

Instead of going with the kit lens, I decided to purchase a Sony 35mm prime. I got a fisheye adapter to play around with, as well. I’m planning on getting some more lenses, namely a good wide-angle and a zoom, but I’ll have to save a bit before I do that.

Back to South Mountain.

My friend, Jeff, and I went up there to see what it looked like after the chilly weather hit (it doesn’t get too cold down here, so freezing weather is a fun anomaly). I got a few decent pictures, but my main goal was to get some good images for HDR processing. One of the problems with experimental photography is that a large volume of photos are taken, and a very small number of usable photos result. I’ll have to wait until Spring to really get some good shots because everything was a light shade of green or brown. Here’s a glimpse of part of the trip, though.

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StolenLogoOn to the major news. I’ve started a new photography blog, stolenpixels.com! My goal is to post one picture every weekday. I’m going to limit the amount of text in each post, so the blog will mainly be limited to daily photos. Go check it out, and if you like what you see, hit the follow button! You can also follow Stolen Pixels on Facebook here.

Thanks!
~ Chris