Chittenango Falls or The Importance of Polarizing Filters

Some quick shots taken at Chittenango Falls this past weekend the day after my friends’ (Jon & Liz’s) wedding in Syracuse.  We went to church, had some lunch, and made a quick stop in Chittenango Falls, where I snapped a few pics of the waterfall, among other pics.

Taken with Olympus E620, ZD 12-60mm, Circular Polarizer filter, stacked with Neutral Density .9 filter.

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(above) With unoriented Polarizer

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Oriented Polarizer to reduce reflections in the water… see the difference?

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Thushari’s Senior Pics

So, I’m probably going out of order here (well, I definitely know I am), but I’ll start with this “shoot” (I sound so photographer-y when I call it a “shoot”!)

It was one of my more recent outings, and I did it for a friend of a friend’s younger sister for free. Initially, when my friend asked me to do these senior pics, I was like, “Heck yeah! I just got these wireless flash triggers (Cactus V4’s, in case you’re wondering… yeah they were cheap), and these umbrella flash stands! I’ll be glad to try them out! We should totally go practice with them first though.” My friend agreed, and we talked about when we could practice, but then it never came to happen. Until my friend called and asked what I was doing on Sunday, and I thought she was calling about practicing, but when they showed up to drive up to the Stone Arch Bridge, I found out it was for the real thing.

Anyway, here are some of the photos:

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So, It’s My First Post…

“What do you plan to do with this blog?”

Hm, well, did you read the headline? Yeah, it’s at the top of the page. Something about a photo blog… oh right. I plan on documenting my photos, from all the photographerizing that I do, and help capture some lessons learned. Cuz nothing helps you remember these lessons like viewing, reviewing, and reviewing again.

“Well, what would you say your style of shooting is?”

Well, mostly, I like taking pics of people; usually friends and family. Portraits, group shots, action shots, etc. I don’t like to take pictures of people I don’t know, unless they ask. I don’t want to be some creepy stalker/perv. Probably has a lot to do with me trying to be non-confrontational. I like to take pictures that capture the moment, document the events that transpired, and will mean something to me, or to the people involved later on. Occasionally, I’ll try my hands at other types of photography; the kind of shots you see in magazines, or if something catches my eye. But that being said, I don’t know if I have a great eye for landscape photography, or the patience for wildlife photography. Although, I am liking the strobist type shots, use of off-camera flashes. I still need to develop my skills there.

“Okay, well… What kind of gear do you use?”

Why, an excellent question! I shoot with Olympus. Why, you ask? Well, that’s easy. When I first went out looking for my first DSLR, the obvious choices are Nikon, and Canon. But why did I choose to go with Olympus instead of the big 2? Well, I was looking for something that fit in my budget, that offered all the main things I was looking for:
– Ergonomics (has to fit comfortably in the hand, well-balanced handling, and easy to use… I took some human factors classes in college, so I knew what I was looking for)
– Good image quality
– Image Stabilization
– Good dust reduction system (why clean things when I don’t have to… use my room as a reference)
– Good kit lenses, and good quality lenses that I could upgrade to, later on, if I decided to do so.
– Bang for the buck (Did I mention I was on a budget?)
– And all in a nice looking package (that’s what she said!)

After reading countless reviews, and handling the different models, I ended up choosing the 4/3rds system and going with the Olympus E510; The camera system designed from the ground up for digital! Slightly smaller sensor means smaller lenses (meaning less money for high quality glass), but comes with some limitations: worse high ISO performance than the competition (but technology is only going to improve). The only really effective sensor cleaning system (or so I’m told… never had to clean mine, so, I’m a believer). In any case, I don’t need to convince you that I made the right choice; everyone is going to have their particular need, or legacy lenses they want to use, etc. But at the end of the day, the objective is to take pictures, and if you can work around the limitations of the camera, you can still take a beautiful picture. The camera is but a tool, and in the right hands, art can be made!

So, my current camera gear (Amazon List):

Camera Bodies:
Olympus E510 (My first DSLR!)
Olympus E1 (Weather-sealed!)
Olympus E620 (My latest and greatest, good balance of features, and improved high ISO quality)

Lenses:
Olympus Kit Lenses: 14-42mm & 40-150mm
My primary lens: Zuiko Digital 12-60mm f/2.8-4.5
My portrait/macro lens: Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2.0
My low-light portrait/dinner party lens: Sigma 30mm f/1.4
My awesome telephoto lens for candids: Zuiko Digital 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5
My compact pancake lens: Zuiko Digital 25mm f/2.8
My cheap manual lenses: OM 50mm f/1.8 & OM 135mm f/3.5

Flashes:
Olympus FL50
Olympus FL50R

Flash Triggers:
Cactus V4 Transmitter & 2 Receivers (All manual, no TTL)

Filters:
72mm ND .9 filter
72mm Circular Polarizer
72mm UV filter

Other Accessories:
A couple of wired remotes, a wireless remote, a couple of extra BLS1 batteries, an extra BLM1 battery, 2x 2GB Sandisk Extreme3 Compact Flash cards, 2x 8gb Sandisk Extreme3 Compact Flash Cards, Eneloop batteries for the flashes, and other things.

Well, that’s all I got for now… more later!