Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekly Hindsight (Week 2)

This week was a bit hectic, but also quite a bit of fun in regards to my photos.  I started the week with the intention of focusing entirely on games, but, as with all good plans, things went "narky".  The first three days came out quite well (Domino #1, #2, and Card Trick), and I still have some great ideas for the other missing four days (including: Craps, Poker, Scrabble and one other random game).  Unfortunately, I was unable to "complete the plan", because we had some crazy events that happened that just HAD to be in the project. 

First, Thursday we got crazy-lucky when our friend invited us to go with them to the grand opening of the new Morimoto Napa Japanese restaurant.  I'm not going to call it a sushi restaurant, because it was soooo much more!  If you can afford it, I would *highly* recommend going at least once.  It was, hands down, the best Japanese food I've ever had (and that sentiment was echoed by the whole party we were with)!  And if you are lucky, you can meet an Iron Chef!  What more could you ask for!

This weekend was also very crazy (in a good way) and as such it altered my desired photos for the end of the week.  On Saturday, we visited two museum's, California Academy of Science and the de Young museum.  The CAS was a lot of fun, just to see all of the fish and animals, but WOW was it packed full of yelling, screaming, crying, children... I tell ya, at one point I was thinking; "I wonder how many kids I could fit in the octopus tank?"  I was able to get some good shots without using a flash using my f1.4 lens.  I really wish everyone else would read the signs that *clearly* state no flash photos because the flash scares the fish.  But, ever two seconds, "flash, flash, flash".  I wanted to walk up and shine one of those 1-million watt lanterns in their eyes and see how they felt about getting "flashed", but I just walked away shaking my head instead. 

After the CAS, we headed over to de Young for the "Birth of Impressionism" exhibit (May 22-Sept 6, if you are interested.  Web site is:  It was a nice exhibit, GO MONET, but way too many people.  I thought the kids at CAS was bad, this was much worse.  Hundreds of people being rushed through tiny rooms with large, intricate paintings that deserved more time and contemplation.  Still, since most of these works are housed in Paris, this might be your only chance to see them "in person".  I would recommend a weekday rather than a weekend to see them, if you can manage it.  Also, be aware if you aren't a member its $25.00 to see the exhibit (and there are no bathrooms in the exhibit hall itself, so use them before you get in line to see the works!).  Lastly, unlike the CAS, they will not allow you to take any pictures (flash or otherwise) in the exhibit... they are quite strict on this and they have many a guard in each room that will remind you of that fact.   
Saturday night, on our trek home from San Fran, we decided to stop at Best Buy to pick up some small things and as it goes with trips to BB, I decided to look in the camera section, only because I was sure there was something there I needed to drool on.  And by golly, there was!  They were selling a Canon 100mm USM Macro lens.  As soon as I saw it, I was nearly attacked and beaten to death by our Best Buy credit card in an attempt to purchase it.  To protect both Theresa and I, I had no choice but to but it and begin drooling. 

Sunday morning we made the trip to Santa Cruz (some family fun time!) and well... Macro lens + flowers = woo!  Ever since getting my first real macro lens in 2005, I have been in love with macro photography.  This lens is quite a bit more impressive than my older lens, but I think with a bit of practice I'll start getting some good pictures again. 

For next week, I do want to do at least one or two game shots, but I also want to explore the macro world a bit!  I'm also going to start investigating some lighting kits so I can work on both my staging and portraiture skills.  I found a few on Amazon, but the cost and quality varies quite a bit so some more research is in order. 

I hope everyone has a great week and finds something artistic everyday!  And advise or comments you have are welcomed and appreciated! 

Thanks again!


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