This month the club competition was still life and I had some fun taking a few table top shots:
This month the club competition was still life and I had some fun taking a few table top shots:
As photographers we are always enticed to buy more and more gadgets, be they lenses, flashes, lights, modifiers, filters, software, triggers, tripods, bags etc etc and of course they all make our photography better, even though they usually get left in the bag if they even make it that far!
Well here is one gadget that I’m glad I bought, and it’s a few years now since I got it, December 2010 to be exact, and with cameras like the D800 producing files of over 36mb it’s proving more valuable.
It’s a Portable Photo/Video Storage device. Mine is the Nexto ND2700, also referred to as eXtreme, see here for details. An old link at this stage but it gives you all the details of how it works. It is really useful when travelling and answers the question of how will I store my images while I’m away from home. Will I bring numerous cards, or a laptop/netbook, and additional external storage or all three. When I travel I like to make it light and bring as little as possible and this device weights only 240g and measures 127mm x 76mm x 22mm, barely bigger than the 160gb 2.5″ SATA hard drive I have in it. Of course you can put in a bigger drive if you wish. To back up your card all you need to do is insert your card into one of the two slots. One slot for CF cards and another for SD/SDHC/MMC/MS/xD devices. Via the USB port you can also connect your Card Reader, Video or Camera. You simply either copy or move your files across which the system will verify and it is very fast, my 16gb CF card takes about 5-7 minutes to copy and verify. You cannot see the images but the LCD panel will show you the file structures and what files are on it.
To get your images off the storage device on to your computer you connect via the USB or eSATA port. I also use it to back up my video files. The ND2700 cost me about €210 from Amazon but it has now been superseded by the ND2700 on which you can see your images on the colour LCD as well as other technical updates. Nexto also provide professional solutions for video backup. Their websites are not the greatest but that is probably due to translation from Korean, their American web site is http://www.nextodi.com/ and their UK website: http://nextodi.co.uk/.
… So good they named it twice!
Last week I was concerned that storm Nero would interfere my travel plans, but I was lucky that the centre of the snow storm hit further north of New York. So, as planned I flew out on Sunday morning, and although it was cold and snow was on the ground it was beautiful and sunny in New York. I checked-in into my hotel, the Eventi on Sixth Avenue. Although it has a small footprint it soars 23 stories into the sky and that’s only half of it, I’m not sure what they use the other 20 odd stories for. Anyway, after a quick and efficient check-in I headed off to BH video. If you’ve never been there you just have to see it, it is a huge store at least 3 floors full of video, photography, and computer equipment and electronics. I just did a quick smash and grab, I filled my list and headed out of there before I got too tempted!
Sharon, Roisin & Eimear have been here from the previous Thursday in New Jersey playing at a basketball tournament. On this Sunday they were heading into New York for some sightseeing, an NBA basketball match and I met them for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Time Square. They headed back to New Jersey and I headed back to my hotel, I can tell you by now I was very tired.
Monday morning was wet, overcast and misty, but I had booked a trip to see Brooklyn. This trip was billed as the best of Brooklyn Sightseeing Food and Culture Tour. Normally they can cater for up to 25 guests and use a coach but I was lucky that was only two of us. Diane from the Philippines, me and our guide Isaac. So we had a Isaac to ourselves and did the visit by SUV. A sunny day would’ve been nice but we still enjoyed ourselves immensely. Isaac a native New Yorker was knowledgeable, good-humoured and plenty of fun. It normally would take four hours but Isaac was very good to us and took us to a few extra places and we were back five hours later. It was mostly a cafe crawl from one restaurant another, where we sampled different types of food as we visited the different parts of Brooklyn. This was not gourmet food but simple ethnic food from local simple cafes and restaurants but it was all good quality, fresh and full of flavour. It finished with a fantastic Cuban sandwich, which as you can see doesn’t look anything special but it was yummy!
Home again, a quick change, and I headed for a quick visit to Macy’s. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about Macy’s as I was a bit underwhelmed! I then decided to head out for dinner and look for a restaurant called the Wild Ginger. I read a few good reviews about it on the web but I could find it nowhere, and I was very disappointed. I found another little French bistro which was very nice it had plenty of atmosphere, by that I mean it was dark, busy, noisy with music and chatter, and the tables were very cosy. In fact they were so close that even a fart couldn’t slip by. Anyway the service was fast and the food was good, so time to head back and rest after a busy day, and look forward to Sharon and girls joining me for the rest of the week!
This June I get to do three of my favourites things all at once: photography, with friends in Bilbao, Spain. Iñaki Hernandez a Bilbao born, now Limerick resident for 20 years, and critically acclaimed architectural photographer, is organising a workshop for 5 days in his home town. For some time I’ve been considering a visit to Bilbao and when this opportunity to not only get to Bilbao but to go with friends to do photography, I just couldn’t let it pass. From my previous posts you will know I love Spain, and I love to travel and do photography with like-minded people. I am very familiar with southern Spain but I am looking forward to seeing a completely different part of Spain, and to see what it has to offer from the point of view of the sights, the people, the food, the architecture and the culture. It promises to be great craic! Roll on June!
Have you ever thought about what to do with all those photographs you take, only a small proportion get printed and used in competitions. My mother in law says I never see real prints of your images and seeing them on the screen is not the same. I have to agree, we take many thousands of images and virtually none get printed. To be fair probably 99.9% deserve to be consigned to my Lightroom catalogues and never see the light of day, but that leaves a fair few that deserve a viewing.
Well I’m a great fan of Blurb they make fantastic quality books, and I’ve posted on this before here. Recently I heard about another publishing web site by HP called MagCloud from a guest speaker, Sean McCormack who had mentioned it in passing, so I decided to give it a try. You can create Flyers, Pamphlets, Magazines and Posters. I thought I would try the magazine and brand it Lens Flare like my web site. I was thinking if the quality was any good my daughter could produce her own magazine as a sort of portfolio and give it to perspective employers or clients.
You can use a number of publishing tools like Adobe In-Design or Quark, but I used Photoshop to create the required PDF file. They provide templates for the different sizes and formats. It was easy to upload and order. The problem was that I did not receive it but I have to say the customer service was excellent once they heard this they ordered another 3 copies and had it couriered to me by FedEx and I got it in a few days. I have to say I was very pleased with the quality and would be happy to recommend it, and it is not too expensive in particular if you order a large enough number.
Here is the cover and two of the spreads:
This weekend we headed to Marbella, but decided we would drive to Malaga city from the airport for the afternoon. Malaga is a great city, in particular the old town but not many have discovered its delights. I’ve written before about Malaga here but I’ve decided to add a quick update about the area around the Roman Theatre which has been updated with a new interpretive centre. This is at the base of the famous Alcazaba which is well wort a visit, like a miniature Granada, though in truth it’s not that small. The interpretive centre is very good with modern interactive displays and allows a walk through the theatre, and it’s free. The area around here has had a face lift and the old Bodega El Pimpy has been extended into the square next to the Teatro Roman and it has a great covered tearrace area. The Bodega is well worth a visit for a good inexpensive meal, a drink and to see the nooks and crannies of the Bodega itself with photographs going back many years.
For 2013 I’ve decided to update my Lens Flare website to freshen it up and make it more relevant for my photography and videography. Let me know what you think.
It’s great to be back in Spain again. For us it’s really feels like being back home. This time we are not in Elviria though, but at the Marriott Playa Andaluza. It is a very nice resort near Estepona and very close to one of my favourite villages in the mountains Benahavis. But what also makes this a great week is being with our friends of some 30 years Margaret and Jim.
It appears, also, that our timing has been perfect, because for the last 3 weeks the weather has been lousy, very wet. I was here in October and it was lovely then, but since it has been unusually wet, though I suppose after the summer fires that ruined the mountain forest and trees they could do with some moisture to help them sprout again.
So it’s out and about for us visiting the local towns and villages while the sunshine lasts. Thursday we head to Granada to see the magnificent Alhambra well worth a visit for anyone out this way.
It’s that time of year again, time to keep the pets indoors and the children outdoors! My daughter Sinead is studying Theatrical and Media Makeup and put it to good use for her Halloween parties.
Her are some of the photos.
The first way below click on an image and you will get a larger view and keep clicking next.
The second way to view, if your screen is wide enough. Click on the first image on the film strip over the main image and then keep pressing the right button to see next image. There is also a full screen button to the right and over the main image.
While on holidays we went out with friends on a catarmaran that left from Marbella and headed around the Med for a good 4 hours. A free bar for an hour and a Banana Boat ride. It was great craic. Following video taken with Nikon D800, GoPro Hero2HD for shots in and under the water, and put together on the new iPad with iMovie app. Very easy and great fun.