Macro Test

I know that both my 24-70mm and my 50mm look great paired with my new D7200, but I’ve heard that any flaws in lower quality lenses, like my Tamron 70-300mm, will become more pronounced with the more advanced sensor. After taking my telephoto out for a test drive with new body, I can safely say that my fears were unfounded. If anything, it looks better. Since I now have less noise at higher ISO settings, it I can get away with faster shutter speeds and higher apertures, resulting in cleaner images overall.

Easing Back In

My schedule has been more than a little ridiculous lately, leaving little time to just shoot for myself. In an attempt to break the monotony, I grabbed my D80 and 50mm, hit the pavement. First, I found not one, but two wedding parties, and snapped a few candid shots I’m not able to when shooting a wedding myself. After that, I hit up a party over at the Groove-E-Juice E-cigarette shop to celebrate the opening of its new lounge. But I didn’t get to stay long. The smoke detector’s visual sensor mistook the e-cig vapor for smoke, setting off the alarm and calling the fire department. Fortunately, it all got sorted out, and the party was free to continue.

Experimenting With Snapseed

Since I wasn’t getting the results I wanted with a couple of my go-to editing apps on my phone, I decided to branch out and try Snapseed. Not only did it let me do the HDR effects I was going for, but it had a slew of other tricks to play with. I probably spent about an hour today just messing with the different tools on. It had selective focusing, automatic HDR, tilt-shift, and  tons of different filters. Normally, I don’t like to go overboard on the special effects, but there were so many fun new toys on hand. Plus,  Mrs. Gilley’s 96th birthday is about a week away and I really wanted to step up my game and give her more variety in the photos for her. I’ll probably giver her all of these for her digital frame and print the best one. Help me out, guys. Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments below.

The Phone Dump

Because of various weather issues, I’ve been spending the better part of the last week just catching up on landscaping. That means fewer big, DSLR shoots, and more shooting what I can find with my camera phone. I kept planning to upload these in the evenings after I was finished working, but wedding planning and other professional editing projects took priority. So now, I just edited them all in one go in one huge memory dump from my camera phone.

I also wound up with a ton of flower photos. Since I took so many to be sure that I had at least one clear image, I wound up with a slew of surplus photos. I decided to get experimental with the editing, and I think that I wound up with some cool results.

Did I go too far with the Lightroom effects for these? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

The College Fest That Never Was

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Both the city and the university police were out in force to keep the partying under control, but were left with little to do.

I do believe that I have some sort of curse when it comes to Kent State’s annual College Fest. My freshman year, I skipped the drunken festivities for a more laid back gathering with some friends. I only found out later that I had missed photographing a full-on riot complete with couch burning in the streets. So, sophomore and junior year, I spent all night wandering the roads of Kent for fear of missing another such event, only to be disappointed by routine college debauchery. Senior year came around, and I was bedridden with a particularly nasty flu virus. When I checked my Facebook, it was populated almost entirely with posts and photos about a student body being tear-gassed by local police. My friend, Phil, took a photo of the event that was nationally syndicated.

This year, I wandered the more party-centric areas of Kent for hours, only to see a Kent that was almost barren. Nothing. Not even a game of beer pong. Imagine my shame at the university that seems to prioritize academia over destroying the town.

Now, for the sake of link-bait, I give you a bonus flower gallery:

From My Site to the Paper

gilley paperA piece I wrote a few weeks ago titled Mrs. Gilley’s Garden, received a ton of positive feedback and I was encouraged by friends and family to submit it to some local papers. To my pleasant surprise, the article was picked up as an op-ed piece in the Record Courier. I don’t know why I opted to include the photo of me with Mrs. Gilley; I’d been landscaping for hours beforehand and look terrible. I also didn’t write the headline. Still, I submitted the article in the hopes that it might be able to help someone else going through something similar. With any luck, it will do at least a little bit of good.

If nothing else, the article has already helped Mrs. Gilley a bit. After reading it, my mother went out and bought her a digital photo frame which I loaded with photos of her garden. She had some trouble expressing in words what the frame meant to her, but I’ll take her glowing face as a sign that she was appreciative.