Category: technology

I Ordered A New iPhone, and It’s Not The iPhone X

I Ordered A New iPhone, and It’s Not The iPhone X

It’s Friday, September 15th, and I’m excited!

Apple announced two fabulous new iPhones at their event the other day, the 8 being an upgrade from the 7, and the X being a completely new design. Many folks have been going nuts over the X, but not I.

The iPhone X is pretty… it’s very pretty… but it’s a little bit too different for me to be as excited. 

My biggest hesitation is the heavy dependence on facial recognition: I’m just not sold on it being the new standard in authentication, but I have an open mind. My mind is more open than my wallet, though. I’m looking forward to it’s execution, and seeing how it works as a mass-market thing. I know it’s the direction these things are going, so at some point I’ll be adopting it, but I’m not ready to do so just yet.

The camera improvements are impressive on the iPhone X…for the non-photographer. For those unaware, I’m a photographer. I won’t ever be taking a selfie in which I want to achieve lighting similar to that which I’d use external studio lighting for…using my phone. If I want to take a studio-type of picture, I’m going to use studio-type equipment. It’s nice and convenient to have that functionality, but it’s not the tool I’d choose for that particular shot. 

The price is also a factor as well… I’m not interested in paying that much more for something I’m not that excited about.

These are just my thoughts… It’s a nice phone, and I’m sure whatever follows it will be even better, but it’s not the right tool for me right now.  I’m looking forward to receiving my new iPhone 8 Plus in the coming weeks.

Got My First Roll Of Black & White Film Back From The Lab

Got My First Roll Of Black & White Film Back From The Lab

One of the many great allures of shooting film is shooting in black & white. It’s been a very long time since I’d shot actual black and white, as opposed to taking color pictures and removing the color in post-production. The last time I shot anything in black & white was easily 20+ years ago, maybe longer, when I had my Pentax K1000.

I shot a roll of Ilford HP5 ISO 400, which I was told was a good all-around film for getting into this type of photography. For my first roll of non-color in a long time, I’m quite happy. Seeing these pictures is making me want to shoot more of it.

I’ve also learned that one should use filters in front of the lens to increase contrast, so I found a great deal on a few color filters at my local camera shop. I’m definitely excited to shoot more black & white shots.

All of the images below are straight from the camera, no post-processing has been done.

Enjoy!


Got My First Roll Of Color Film Back From The Lab

Got My First Roll Of Color Film Back From The Lab

Got my first round of pictures back from the lab – I’m optimistic! It was a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 color negative film, which the lab processed via a “dip and dunk” method. I’m told this is the best way to process film, but I haven’t a clue what it means or how it differs from other labs. The lab then scanned my negatives and electronically sent me high-resolution TIFF files which I can store digitally. I’ll be keeping the negatives from any film I shoot archived in case I find anything I want to print, as I’m told this will produce the best quality.

The good news:

  • The camera works! It’s always an unknown when it comes to buying used gear on eBay. Positive feedback has been left!
  • The light meter is fairly accurate. Most of the shots I took the meter was around the centerline, maybe plus or minus half a stop or so. I’m cool with that.
  • Kodak Ektar 100 looks very nice – appears to have a warm tone to it. It could be just my interpretation or my unfamiliar-to-film eye. I’ve got a roll of Fujifilm 400H ISO 400 in my camera now, so maybe I’ll take some of the same shots with that roll and compare.

The bad news:

  • Not that bad: I’m missing the first 2 images that I shot… I remember the first image I shot was of a few things in my office.  Perhaps they didn’t come out? It would make sense that pictures on the extreme ends of the film might be the most likely to not come out? Film photographers, your thoughts?
  • The camera is annoyingly heavy… will be a little annoying for travel…

I’m waiting on a roll of Ilford HP5 Black-and-White pictures to come back, and I’ll post a few of those once I get those scans.

All of the pictures are shown exactly as they had been shot from the camera with the exception of minor blemish cleanups on a few. No color correction has been made.

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good. What do you think?

 

Taking Photography To Another Level

Taking Photography To Another Level

I picked this baby up on eBay since I’d been wanting to get back into film photography. It’s a Canon EOS 1n, a professional-grade film camera. It works with (almost) all of my existing lenses, so it seemed like a good fit. I just shot my first roll of Kodak Ektar 100 and can’t wait to get it developed.  I should have thought this through a little better, since this camera is…well… a bit… heavy.

It’s a boat anchor!

I’m going to have to get creative with carrying this when I go traveling, but after trying “smaller form factor” cameras and not liking them for being too small, I’ll make it happen.

The camera was a joy to shoot with, I’m looking forward to taking more great pictures in the future.

Do you have any suggestions or tips for getting back into film photography? Please feel free to leave comments below. Thanks!

 

May 30 Vlog With Brian

May 30 Vlog With Brian

I’d just picked up a GoPro Hero 5 Session and decided to take it out and film some stuff with a good friend of mine. The drone also makes an appearance in this video as well. Enjoy!

A Handy Way to Rack Up United Miles

A Handy Way to Rack Up United Miles

Despite United having not had some great press lately, they do have one of the best loyalty programs out there. What sets them apart from many, I believe, is how easy it is to earn miles which you can put toward future travel. I did a video some time ago about an app you can download that makes it quite easy to rack up some miles. Check it out!

 

Crashed My Drone, and Got It Repaired… It wasn’t easy.

Crashed My Drone, and Got It Repaired… It wasn’t easy.

I crashed my drone… almost a month ago. I sent it in for repair, and rather than it being a simple process that took far long than I was expecting. Check out the videos detailing the whole process!

Once I got the drone back and all is well, I took it out for some long-awaited flying:

360-Degree Content – Apparently, it’s a thing!

360-Degree Content – Apparently, it’s a thing!

We love to shoot pictures and video with our phones or our favorite cameras, and these images can be anything from a captured moment at a family gathering, to a picturesque scene from an exotic island paradise. But…what about everything that’s outside of the field of view? Evidently, some folks have been crafting ways to capture images that don’t have a limited field of view. These images capture 360 degrees all around, and make the resultant file more of an immersive experience for the viewer.

As someone who sure does “love his gadgets”, I wanted to check this out and get in on the phenomenon… so, I started out my research by finding out what I need to do such a thing. Turns out there are a few cameras on the market that do this, ranging in price from a few hundred dollars all the way up to a few thousand. Since I didn’t want to break the bank on something so new, I went for the cost-effective alternative. I picked up an Insta360 Nano camera from Amazon and instantly started playing around with it.  I shot a little test video… nothing overly riveting, but if you watch below, you can actually pan around (either with your finger, or by moving your phone around if you’re watching on a mobile device) and feel like you’re right there in the car with my friend and I.

Since this format is still very new, playback isn’t fully supported on certain web browsers and devices. If you want a fully immersive experience, click here to visit the video directly (Use Google Chrome if on a desktop browser) or get to the video in the YouTube app on your mobile device to get the panning around experience.

What I mean by that, is while watching the video, you can pan your phone around and it will pan the video playback to give you that different vantage point; almost as if you’re using your phone as a portal to view the action of the video from different angles. Very cool!

The video quality isn’t super crystal clear, and I think that comes from the fact that it’s still an incredibly new technology,  and this was created to hit a price point more so than a certain level of quality.

Let’s not forget about pictures, though, because I think this is actually where this camera does a better job.  Here are a few 360 pictures that I shot, which you can manually pan around with your finger to get the full experience.



I intend to take some great pictures of my upcoming vacation and some other fun things around here and there.  Now, Periscope has granted the ability for users to broadcast in 360, so be sure to follow me on Periscope so you can be notified when I go live.