Some recent Videos…

I got the urge to start mucking about with videos again over the holidays… embedded below are a couple of short videos I put together with some of my pics from last year:

1. Monster Jam

Shot at the Monster Truck show last year in Toronto at the Rogers Centre…

2. Wiarton Hockey

Erin’s younger cousin’s hockey team were playing in a tournament near us so we went to watch the game. The game ended up being their first win of the season so it was a fun one to watch.

I plan on doing a few more just to keep the creative juices flowing, and considering I took over 10,000 pictures last year there’s more than enough material to work with!

Check out my Photoblog
If you haven’t recently, be sure to swing by my Photo blog at it’s updated daily and, if I may say so myself, is on a pretty good roll right now images wise…

Photo Blog Redesign & Berlin Photo Series

I just uploaded a redesign of my Photoblog “Found in Focus” – swing over and check it out – I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments. If you see any display weirdness please pass along a screensnap and I’ll try and sort it out.

I also queued up a series of pictures from my trip to Berlin back in October this morning that will run through December (and resume in January). It’s a great series of pics, I was really happy with a lot of what I shot while I was there. So while you’re there be sure to subscribe!

– Ryan

New Toy: Nikon D80

After a year+ of steady hinting, nudging (and I’ll admit it, flat out whining) I finally convinced my wife that it was a good idea for me to get a Digital SLR Camera – my 5 year old Sony Cybershot was starting to get a little long in the tooth.

I’ve been superficially watching the cameras (mostly just window shopping pictures etc.) but the decision had basically come down to the Canon 30D and the Nikon D80. After talking with a couple of camera stores, reading a bunch of reviews and even soliciting feedback via Facebook status messages I finally ended up on the Nikon D80.

Photo: Pedro Prats

In the end the decision came down to simple preference and previous experience. While a good chunk of the TorCampers seem to use Canon as their camera of choice, my father-in-law has had a D70 for a year or so now and I’ve done a fair amount of shooting with it up at our cottage. Price, feature and feel wise there wasn’t a clear winner for me – so I went with familiarity. Nikon also has that killer 18-200 lens that no one else does – the sales guy even said “This lens alone has sold more of these D80s than anything else”.

At ~$1000 for the 18-200, I’ll have to settle for the kit 18-135mm for now but the big one is on the list for next year ;)

Early Thoughts
Three days in and I’m loving it so far. The things that do annoy me a bit are stuff I already expected from the D70 and they’re all correctable/adjustable – it’s just a matter of finding the setting and getting it right. One is overexposure – the camera seems to err on the side of over exposure, but it’s correctable by adjusting a setting to underexpose everything.

The most annoying so far though is it’s flash happy as all get out – it seems so far it will pop up the flash even if there’s a bit of shade. Hopefully there’s a setting that allows you to adjust the sensitivity – in the meantime I’ve set the function button to override the flash. The button is placed perfectly so it lies right under the middle finger when you grip the camera, so you can push it down without having and awkward grip to activate the shutter.

It’s a lot like getting back on the bike for the first time in the spring, there’s that familiar feeling but you need to get that rhythm back.I’ve been essentially a point & shooter for 5+ years so getting f-stops & shutter speeds back in the mix (and remembering just how they work) is slowly coming back. Overall though it’s a lot of fun.

You can see the pictures I’m taking with the new camera on Flickr here. Also, stop by my photoblog as I’ll be posting new images daily (weekdays).

Photos by Photojunkie

Some of you may have noticed the new profile picture I’ve started using over the past week or so for my online profiles. Credit where credit is due, the photo was taken by a local photographer Rannie Turingan (a.k.a Photojunkie) and is part of a series he’s in the process of taking.

Rannie’s a well-known Toronto photoblogger and played a key role in instigating the Toronto Photobloggers community online. After meeting him at CaseCamp he approached me with the idea of taking a few photos as part of a series he’s doing on some of the local TorCampers as part of an effort to help build up his portrait portfolio. He’d already photographed Jay Goldman, David Crow & Michael Glenn with Mark Kuznicki waiting patiently on deck – and what I had seen looked really good.

Rannie's BarCamp Series 1

I’m Not Photo Friendly
It was perfect timing as I was just cursing my lack of any good photos of myself to use as a headshot etc. online – as I had mentioned in my profile before I’m a “behind the camera” kind of guy so it’s rare that I end up in front of the camera. When I do I’m usually wearing:

a. Sunglasses
b. a Baseball Hat
c. a Stupid Grin
d. All of the above

In the rare cases none of those apply I’m invariably:

a. Blinking

Needless to say it gets pretty tough to find a good “headshot” image out of that pile.

The “Shoot”
So, early last week Rannie dropped by the office and we spent about 30 minutes taking a variety of shots. As a photographer he’s got a nice, relaxed style is big on using natural light (it was just him and his camera) and has a really good sense of how to get a shot of people in a way that I think gives a pretty true sense of them.

The Results

Overall I’m really happy with the end results:

Rannie's BarCamp Series 2

If you want to see more of Rannie’s work by all means check out his Photoblog – And if you’re in the GTA and needs photos done I’d highly recommend giving Rannie a shout, you won’ be disappointed.

disclosure: Rannie’s taking of these photos in this case were “no strings attached”, he didn’t require or request blog mentions etc. I needed a head shot and he needed portfolio pieces, it was a win-win for both of us.