Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Unlike the last few tropically-themed pictures I’ve posted, this one is actually *not* from my recent Hawaii trip. Instead, this one is from Jamaica. Specifically, Negril. Even more specifically, this was taken from the restaurant at the Rockhouse hotel just outside of Negril. That, my friends (and non-friend readers), is an amazing place. There is a famous 7-mile long white sand beach in the town of Negril itself, but the Rockhouse (and a few other hotels) are a little ways outside of town, on what is known as “the cliffs”. So, there’s no beach per-se there, instead it’s a rocky shoreline, where all of the rooms are about 10-ish feet above the water, and there’s all sorts of little ladders and stuff that you can use to get in to the water. But, there’s some pretty great snorkeling and such literally feet from the door of your room. Like I said, not a bad spot.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 50mm.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
So there’s been a decent-sized increase in interest in the pictures I took in Jamaica recently which happens to be one of the best tourist spots for flower lovers. (The increase in interest is recent, the pictures from Jamaica are.. well, they’re also recent. But.. less recent. I was talking about the interest.) Not among, you know, “real people” per se, but among people that I work with. And my mother in law. On the one hand, it’s a little bit frustrating, because most of the pictures I take are NOT from Jamaica, and nobody cares as much about those. But, on the other hand, it’s making me realize that I should really sit down and go through those pictures. So far, I’ve only grabbed one here or there, but I haven’t yet dug through the whole pile to grab anything that’s interesting. Don’t get your hopes up or anything, I feel like I’ve already posted the best ones, so what’s left will just fill out the middle of the pack a bit. But, they’re still worth posting here.
In the meantime, here’s another one I happened to have lying around. It’s another shot of the hibiscus flowers that were so prevalent around the area(s) of Negril where we stayed. Hibiscus flowers are weird. They’re pretty, and have a lot of character, but they’re kind of hard to take interesting pictures of. That middle part can be really… droopy.. And it’s pretty long too, which can make it hard to get both the tip and the body both in focus, if that’s your thing. (And yes, I’m really going out of my way here to keep it clean. ) But the color is really fantastic, and there’s a lot of nice detail in there, so if you get one to turn out, it can be pretty cool.
Speaking of interest, by the way, I should mention that I can make prints of just about any of the pictures you see me post. And they’re cheap, since I get them printed at Costco. A 12×18 print is only 3 bucks, and a 20×30 is only about 10. Recently, I got one of my pictures printed on canvas, at 20×30, and it looked FANTASTIC. It was mounted on a wooden frame, so it was ready to hang. That came out to about 100 dollars, shipped. So, a few folks that I know are asking for prints here or there. If you want to get in on that action, definitely let me know.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm lens, and I think I used a little screw-on “macro lens” attachment for this guy. 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 800. Focal length: 33mm.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Apparently I’ve adopted a 3-days-a-week routine for posting to this blog. That wasn’t really the intention, I swear. It just sort of ended up that way for the past couple weeks. As a result, I set a new record in August for the fewest posts in a month (13 – that’s not counting May, 2009, which was the month I started, because I started it in the middle of the month). A dubious achievement, for sure. Especially since it was a 31 day month. Sigh. Maybe this month I’ll do better.
Today’s picture takes us back to Jamaica, which is where I went for my big happy vacation earlier this year. This picture is actually pretty similar to one I already posted awhile ago. But it’s different enough that I have no qualms about posting it. (I’m still pretending that there’s actually some kind of rule that says I can’t post the same picture twice.) This was taken at the Negril Craft Market, which is on the 7-mile beach in Negril, at the very western point of the island. The beach and the water are stunningly gorgeous, but it’s not the place to go if you’re looking for solitude and relaxation. It’s a very developed beach, meaning there are hotels along the entire stretch, and tons of people walking around. I’m not trying to say that’s a bad thing, but if you’re looking for a place where you have the whole beach to yourself, this ain’t it. When we were there, we split our time, half of it staying right on the beach, and the other half staying up on “the cliffs”, which is a stretch of rocky shoreline further along the highway. All of the hotels there still have access to the water and such, but the shoreline is all rocky cliffs (thus, the name) that are generally 10-20 feet high. So the hotels usually have some stairs built into the rocks, or little ladders to let you in the water. Those are actually fantastic choices if you’re looking for solitude. As an added bonus, you can find really great snorkeling and diving right outside of your hotel room. If you don’t actually require a sandy entrance to the water, I think I prefer it. Good times.
I’m rambling. Sorry. Back to this picture. As I mentioned, this was taken at the craft market. The craft market consists of a lot of little huts like these. At the time we were there, about a third of them were open for business, with people selling all the artsy and craftsy stuff that you’d expect (little figurines, cheap t-shirts, wooden carvings of Bob Marley, sunset paintings, etc). The backside of the market butts up against the beach, although it was a stretch of beach that nobody seemed to be using for anything (it was separated a bit from the stretch of hotels). The water was still awfully nice though. As with most of the pictures I got while down there, I used a polarizing filter for this shot, which is an absolute REQUIREMENT for taking pictures of the beach and the water. If you’re going somewhere beachy with pretty water like this, don’t hesitate, just go buy one, and thank me later.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/250s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Focal length: 26mm.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
So, I don’t actually really know that these are called Ixora flowers. I THINK they are, but I only feel that way because I did a bunch of googling to try to find an answer. I mean, sure, a google search for “ixora flowers” returns a bunch of results that look just like these. But the folks who posted all of those may have just made the same mistake that I did, and now we’re all in a giant echo chamber, assuming that if everyone else says that’s what they are, then that must be what they are. Of course, I didn’t just randomly guess “ixora”, and then hit up google to see if I was right. Ixora is kind of a strange word, honestly. I can’t remember how I stumbled on it, but it probably came up sometime when I was searching through a list of Jamaican flowers.
Oh, right, forgot to mention that little detail. This is another picture that came from Jamaica. These little guys were on the hotel grounds. Yeah, I totally worked hard to get the flowers that I did, I walked all the way down the sidewalk from my room. So, anyway, there they are.
At the time that I was in Jamaica, I didn’t yet have any of my totally crazy macro tools, so I ended up taking this with my Quantaray 70-300mm telephoto. It gets to 1:4 on its own. I guess I did have my reverse-mount adapter, but that would be way closer than I wanted to be. I also brought my “macro kit”, which is the set of little magnifying lenses that you screw on like a filter. I used that a few times on the trip too. But not for this one. I mean, seriously, why did you even bring them up??
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Quantaray 70-300mm lens. 1/500s, f/8.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 300mm.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So as long as we’re on a Jamaican kick, I may as well keep it going. This is yet another shot that I got when I was in Jamaica earlier this year. This is a hibiscus flower. Or, this is *an* hibiscus flower. Normally, I tend to be one of those obnoxious folks that’s always snarkily pointing out glaring grammatical flaws. (My two personal favorites are using an apostrophe to pluralize a word (using apostrophe’s to pluralize your word’s), and using “less” instead of “fewer”. God I hate that.) But, in this particular case, I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, I KNOW that you’re supposed to use “an” with words that start with h. But I just don’t buy it. It doesn’t feel natural. H is a consonant. It sounds like a consonant (most of the time, anyway). So why should we treat it like a vowel. Grrr, it eats me up inside.
Anyway, right, hibiscus. Cool, right? Yeah. I took this one with my ordinary walk-around lens (Tamron 17-50), but I used a cheap set of diopters aka macro lenses aka “a macro kit”. Basically, a couple little magnifying lenses that you screw on the end of your lens like a filter, that magnify the subject and let you focus closer. They’re a great way to dip your feet into macro photography, because they’re cheap. I mean, sure, if you’re a Canon purist, you can of course find a way to spend hundreds of dollars on one. But you don’t HAVE to, you can get an off brand (I have a set from Hoya and a set from Opteka. Different sizes, to fit different lenses, that’s why I have two) and only spend 20 or 30 bucks. I read a blog once from a guy that spent WEEKS researching which way to go, and eventually he decided to get the cheap ones, and he was just AMAZINGLY disappointed. He actually went so far to include the words “BIG MISTAKE” in his blog post. Yeah, that’s total crap. They’re not that bad. And besides, you spent 20 bucks on the goddamn things, how big of a mistake could it have really been? For things that are cheap like that, there’s no reason NOT to try them out. Sure, they may not be fantastic, but you may be surprised, and regardless, you’re only out like 20 bucks. Personally, I’m pretty happy with the cheapie cheaps. Sure, they’ve got their limitations, but as long as you realize that, you can work with it, and you can do some cool stuff.
Okay, rant over. Sorry I missed yesterday. I may also miss tomorrow, just sayin’.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens with Opteka macro kit. 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO 200. Focal length: 30mm.