Monday, March 30, 2009

Transformer Rebel in Disguise

When my wife surprised me with my Canon Rebel XT DSLR she thought she was buying me a camera. What she didn't realize was that it wasn't just a camera but a Camera System. It has taken me several years and I am far from complete but my little Canon is starting to grow into its own.

One of the first things I wanted to do was get a quality lens to complement my Kit Lens. The Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro fitted my budget and my need for quality.

Next on my list was something other than my on camera flash. The Canon 430EX Flash fit the bill nicely.

The Canon 100mm lens front element is very close the the surface, I have been worried about the lens getting damaged every since I got it. I finally broke down and bought the overpriced $36 lens hood.

I take a lot of vertical shots and knew that the Canon Battery Grip would help with that greatly. When the price finally dropped within budget I snapped one up. As a bonus it came with two batteries.

My last purchase is more about vanity than protection. My Rebel was the silver model, not black. As I've progressed in my photography I've become somewhat self conscious of my less than pro-looking camera. I know it really shouldn't matter but it does. To my surprise there is a company that makes body armor for my camera and it comes in black.

Just a quick critique:

Canon Rebel XT 350D for an entry level camera you can't beat the price or the quality. My only big complaint is the small LCD screen

Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens - AWESOME (Lens Hood WAY OVERPRICED)

Canon 430EX flash - No camera should be without one.

Canon Battery Grip - Ditto

Camera Armor - Better than I expected, but I was disappointed that I could not easily open the memory card compartment after installation. The good news is it goes on and comes off fairly easy. It also came with a rubberized lens hood that I did not use.

Monday, March 23, 2009

For a Good Cause

I donated 10 copies of the following picture to Radio Maria in support of their telethon. It helped raised over $2500 dollars.

The Title of the work is "The Life of Christ in Stained Glass"

Once Upon a Mattress

The Queen and the Sorcerer (My favorite of the bunch)

My son was in this years Anna High School 2009 production of Once Upon a Mattress. So I just had to take some pictures. I went two nights and was glad I did. The second nights pictures came out way better than the first. Mostly because I knew what lighting to expect and could also anticipate some of the action. No Flash photography was allowed so I got more bad shots than I did good. Trying to capture anything with a lot of motion without blur was nearly impossible. So when you see Blur in my pictures it''s because I wanted to use it to show motion.

One of the challenges in taking these pictures was trying to capture something other than people just standing or in an awkward position or facial expression. I took plenty of pictures of the Jester and Minstrel but only a few came out very well.

Besides the lighting the orchestra pit which was not sunken caused a lot of problems for anything that took place Center Stage. I really like this shot, with the exception of head poking up from the bottom. (My son Tyler is the one with the purple feather in his hat).

And of course every show has to have a Grand Finally.

I had a great time and got some neat pictures for my wife to scrapbook for Tyler. Most important I learned some more about my camera system and what works and does not work in low light.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

IPWA (Wrestling at Sidney Middle School)

This Saturday I shot my second wrestling event. This time the show was hosted by the IPWA (Independent Pro Wrestling Association). The event was held at the Sidney Middle School and was a fundraiser for the students upcoming Washington DC trip. The Schools Principle John Stekli joined in as both a referee and wrestler!

Pictured above Principle Stekli gets schooled by the Assassins. Yep that's going to leave a mark.

This was a tag team match. Johns partner was non other than Tyson Judge. The match turned out to be quite the upset with Principle Stekli getting the winning pin.

Uncle Simon (Pictured Below) the Assassins Manager was so furious with the outcome he demanded a rematch and GOT IT.!

The IPWA website mission statements says that "This is a 100% family oriented show.." I found that to be very true in a Funny Violent Kind-of-Way.

It was a Kid Friendly Show as seen in this smiling face.

There were a few faces you may not want to meet in a dark alley.

This guy goes by the name of Freak Show. You'd get no arguments from this picture.

Entrances are like first impressions you want to make a good one.

Now for a few action shots:

The Main Event was a Reverse Ladder Match featuring a host of wrestlers. This match had everything--drama, action inside and outside the ring, a trash can, and of course a ladder.

I would not want to be on the wrong end of this ladder!!!

Oh I almost forgot the trash can....I was pretty happy that I captured this little piece of action. This guy jumped from the top of the opposing turnbuckle smashing the trashcan against his opponent.

In the END there can Be Just One.

For upcoming shows and news on whats going on in the IPAW click here to visit their Website IPWA

To See More Pictures Click Here IPWA Gallery

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My First Panoramic

Canon gives you this great utility for creating panoramic photos called PhotoStitch. I've been wanting to try it out and so I came up with this.

I know it's not your typical scenic shot, but it's what was available to me at the time. This picture is made up of three overlapping shots. I still need to work on some things but not bad for my first try.

To truly appreciate it's size you have to click on the picture to view it in your browser.