Tag Archives: Photography

A Camera That Just Happens to Make Calls

Mom spoiled me beyond reason when I was home and got me a new iPhone 4S as a present. I was overjoyed because my 3GS was on its last legs, vibrating whenever it wanted (all the time) and taking forever to send a text. When it comes to my devices, I like to keep them looking clean, so I opted for the white 4S, as fingerprints are much harder to see on its body (the screen still needs to be wiped on occasion).

You have already read dozens of iPhone 4S reviews on dozens of blogs, so I am not here to tell you how fast it loads apps (FAST), how helpful Siri is (She is!), or how beautiful her Retina display is (Gorgeous). What I am here to tell you about though is the camera included on the 4S. It is so good, we shall hereto forward call it “the camera that just happens to make calls.”

Eight megapixels does not sound like a lot of resolution for a digital camera these days, especially when certain Finnish phone makers spew out cameraphones with 41 megapixels (Nokia, I am looking at you), however, the camera that just happens to make calls does not disappoint at all.

First, it loads several times faster than that on my 3GS, and rightly so. The A5 processor that powers the camera makes for a snappy experience that doesn’t get you caught out there missing special moments.

Second, its f/2.4 aperture and backside illuminated sensor allow you to shoot in all kinds of low-light environments that would otherwise be difficult. The flash is fast and bright, but as a die-hard Cartier-Bresson fan, I never use it. The HDR mode is surprisingly good, and it is a wonder the same thing isn’t on professional cameras. HDR processing is so tedious on a computer!

The ability to crop and make minor enhancements directly in the app preclude you from having to work on your photos in another app, however if you MUST use Instagram, the camera that just happens to make calls delivers well for 3rd-party apps as well.

I do not believe in iCloud yet, as I am a MobileMe subscriber, and have been for the past 3 years, so I can’t tell you anything about Photo Stream. I just want to tell you about the virtues of MobileMe Galleries and being able to host your website through iWeb, but alas, that deserves a post of its own.

However, what I will tell you is that the 4S is also a very capable video camera. 1080p video is something my trusty 50D can’t do (wishing for a 5D Mark III!!!), so I can’t even hate on the beautiful video it captures. Sound is bleh, but to be expected. You totally could get away with just taking video on the phone and synching it with audio recorded on another device though.

In sum, the camera that also happens to make calls delivers photos and video better than any other I can remember, and is on par with many prosumer camera on the market in terms of automated exposure. If it allowed for finer control and manual exposure somehow I would be even more thrilled, but for now, this little device is my trustiest camera that is always on my body.

There are samples here from the beach with my mom, our hotel by the beach that had deer for neighbors, the cemetery paying respects to my grandparents, and the plane ride back home. Let me know what you think!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , , ,

One Season Fades into the Next

This summer was quite odd. It went by faster than normal, was hotter than normal, but was also much more beautiful than I remember any other summer being.

The greens seemed that much greener. Could have been all the rain we had. Then again, after reading “Gaia’s Revenge,” it could have just been a warning signal from Mother Nature. That book taught me that we are on borrowed time because our planet will parse down our population down to less than a billion to maintain equilibrium. More on that another time though. But yes, so much greener this year.

On a similar note, the weather here this summer was prone to fits of fury, Irene anyone? Though she turned out to be nothing more than a glorified tropical storm, and excuse for me to stay in bed, she made for the most brilliant skyscapes and sunsets.

When the weather was sunny, I saw couples dancing at Union Square, and I thought that was one of the most beautiful moments I had seen in a long time. Something about old people being together forever seems so foreign and endearing to my rabbit-like self. Speaking of that, I found out that I have the ability to make the sun shine by getting it in. No, seriously, ask mt friend Hjordys who also helped contribute to the good weather. She is my fellow source of the sunshine.

I met lots of new people this summer, and took obligatory photos of boys ( and girls ) all summer long.

Yes, lord.

In the end though, I am looking forward to busting out with my cardigans, coats, and boots this fall. I don’t mind the sun setting a little sooner either. That just makes me sit my ass inside and get the sleep that I need to function. I have a great feeling about this fall, and I know it will be particularly festive very soon.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , ,

Help A Happy Couple Be Happy Forever!

Happy boys and girls, most of the time it is easy to be happy, but sometimes it can take hard work to be happy. Sometimes it takes hope to be happy. And other times you need help to be happy.

For Henry and Josh, their happiness is in jeopardy. Even though they were married in Connecticut, Henry faces deportation to Venezuela because Josh isn’t able to sponsor his visa because they are gay. That means their happiness needs some hope, and some help. Henry’s mom and their friends came to show their support today, and they will do the same tomorrow, when they go to court to hopefully settle the issue in a positive way.

I set out today to help this couple at the request of Purpose, whom I have worked with before, and photograph them in Liberty State Park. Their story needs to get out there, because their happiness and marriage is in danger because of the Defense of Marriage Act. This act limits the rights that are afforded to gay couples who marry, and relegates their status to that of a second class couple in the eyes of the law. If they were a straight couple, this wouldn’t be an issue, so the double standard must stop here.

To help Henry and Josh, you can visit this page and tell the head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, how important it is to stop deportations of this nature. You can also see a video of their story there. You never know where you will find love, or where it will find you, so please help this couple be happy forever by making your voice heard.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , ,

Lovely Latina for Club Avel

I was asked recently by my friend Shane to do a shoot that would help promote a new space opening up in Queens. I hadn’t shot for anything like that before, and I was very excited to get started. He told me his initial ideas for the shoot and I went to Adorama to pick up a lens that I thought would capture the interior of the space well. Luckily, I had the foresight to do that, because it really paid off in some of the shots.

The model, Alexandra Halaris, looked stunning in her red dress atop the bar, and she definitely spiced up the already glowing atmosphere. The most interesting aspect of the space is the fixture above the huge bar. It consists of intertwined fiber optic cables that have projectors on each end that shoot multicolored pulses of light back and forth to make the web glow. It seemed like a very ITP type of work, and I loved it.

You could easily fit 500 people in this space, so definitely check out Club Avel for your next event or party.

Tagged , , , ,

A Day With A Girl and Her Horse

Madeline invited me out to see her new horse, Valentino, and hang with her and Brian last weekend. We hadn’t been able to meet up for a while, so I jumped at the chance since we both were free. I hopped on the train from Grand Central around 1 on Saturday and set off for Yonkers.

I had just discovered Alexis Jordan’s song, ‘Happiness,’ the day before and pretty much had it on repeat the entire trip. Fitting travel track. I scored an express train was in Yonkers in a little over 20 minutes!

We hung out at hers and Brian’s place for a while and proceeded to nerd out until Brian came home. We then set off for the stable where Valentino lives. The ride there was actually very cool, as I am not used to seeing pine trees and things like that in The City. Everything is decidedly deciduous. There was still a good bit of snow, despite the balmy weather on Friday, so gloves were a must.

What a handsome young man-horse

At the stables, Madeline introduced me to Valentino. He is pretty young for a horse, but he is extremely friendly and well mannered. He has the colorway of a cow, and a design on his rear that resembles a heart. His nose is really fuzzy, and he farts a lot. He and Madeline are a perfect match in the arena. He will make an excellent polo pony!

While Maddy rode Valentino, I listened to banter from spooty and haughty moms doting on their daughters. Bleh. Much more entertaining was watching Madeline and Valentino run together.

Family Photo

I can’t wait to visit again when there is better weather to get them outside. Spring approaches, so says the groundhog.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Poopy Puppies and Other Plush Pets

Neener neener!

Shane wanted to shoot some photos for a client of his called Pet Resources uptown the other day, and I let him borrow my camera. He was excited and nervous about using my gear for the first time, but I had faith in him. I had explained which modes to put the camera in for the best shots under the lighting conditions he’d have, lent him a multipurpose lens, and told him the camera would take care of the hard parts.

I shall name him Tofu, and you will love him forever. No seriously.

He went and did his thing, and came back with beautiful, lively shots of the animals for sale at Pet Resources. I edited the photos a bit, and now they are ready for the company website. Yayyyy!

Birds this big are kind of scary, don't you think?

Now he has decided that he needs a DSLR for himself.

The love of photography can sneak up on you like a snake. Well, not an albino snake.

Yayyyy! The magic of cameras and photography spreads! Enjoy a few photos that Shane took!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A Long, Blooming Walk in the Sun

Today I caught the train to West 4th, and walked to Washington Square Park. Just cause. Well, not really….I had some time to kill before my barbershop appointment.

There were some pretty flowers there, but the construction in the surrounding area was taking away from the ambiance, so I walked up to 14th street and soaked in the sights of Union Square for a while. These yellow flowers ARE sunshine itself.

Union Square had some silent protest going on, that wasn’t quite so happy. Something about Guantanamo that I wasn’t in the mood for. Black hoods on people don’t make for a pleasant experience, in or out of prison. However, there were some more flowers there to see, like the clover looking flower above.

There was a really odd set of sculptures in the northern half of the park though.

When I soaked in as much sun as I could there, I continued on my way to Madison Square Park, and photographed even more flowers. They had dahlias that were to die for, and their hydrangeas were in full effect. There wasn’t really any cool fashion going on with anyone out today which was a bummer.

Except for this cool old lady who deftly juggled her belongings into order.

Despite the heat, I braved Broadway some more and continued on up to Herald Square. It was just a bit jam packed for my taste, but they had planters full of hibiscus that caught my attention. Their delicate peach color was really amazing, considering the norm is red.

I topped off the walk with a couple photos of my favorite ziggurat, and headed to finally get my hair cut. BTW, it looks awesome, in case you were wondering. I’m sure I’ll be vain enough to post a photo of my fresh cut soon. This walk was great because I covered almost all major squares and parks that I love in New York in one long stroll. Success!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,