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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Doors Open Hamilton 2015

Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone who stopped by 270 Sherman Avenue and visited our studio this weekend. Rachel and I were happy to be a part of Doors Open Hamilton 2015.

We met a ton of wonderful people, including a few neighbours we've seen in the hallway but never formally met.

For those of you who do not know us - Rachel and I toured 270 Sherman as part of Doors Open Hamilton 2014 and immediately feel in love with the building - so much so that we went on a waiting list and began renting studio space in December 2014.

We've been in our space for 6 months now and we've finally settled in our new home. Being surrounded by creative professionals at 270 has been an amazing experience.

So from Rachel and I - we bid you a sincere, heartfelt, thank you for stopping by and spending a portion of your weekend with us. Some of you even enjoyed our photo both and it was a pleasure to bring a smile to your face. After all, that's what this is all about.

Cheers,
Joey & Rachel.







Friday, November 21, 2014

November 2014 Update

Back in May 2014 Rachel and I toured 270 Sherman Avenue as part of Doors Open Hamilton and absolutely fell in love with the complex.

For those of you who are not familiar with 270 Sherman, it was once home to a cotton mill and is one of the most complete textile mill complexes remaining in Canada.  It has since been repurposed into a wonderful creative space and we are now extremely happy to call it home.

Here are a few photos of when we toured the complex back in May:

 
 
 





We quickly decided it was someplace we wanted to be and immediately went on the waiting list for studio space. When they announced that they were creating additional studios in the Storehouse building we were extremely excited and returned for a visit.

Here are a couple of photos of our space from September/October, still under construction::




And finally, we're extremely happy to announce that we signed a lease agreement this morning and move in on December 1st!
 
 

We can't wait to get settled into our new home and look forward to sharing the process with you on this blog.

Cheers,
Joey & Rachel.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nikon D300 Eyepiece Replacement

In addition to letting in a lot of light, I've always found the eyepiece on my Nikon D300 to be quite uncomfortable.


D300 with standard eyepiece. (DK-23)
So a few weeks ago I started searching the internet for an eyepiece replacement. Since the camera is now 7 years old there are tons of forum posts about replacing the eyepiece. Unfortunately due to the age of the posts, most of them contain broken images and links.

I wasn't interested in any of the available magnifiers for the eyepiece, I simply wanted to change it to a rubber cup and I wanted to do so using Nikon genuine parts.

I ended up ordering the following 3 parts from eBay:

Eyepiece for FM3A/FM2/FA/FE2, DK-3 Rubber Eyecup, DK-22 Eyepiece Adapter.

Installation takes less than a minute. You simply slide the existing DK-23 standard eyepiece off the camera.

Standard D300 Eyepiece (DK-23)

Next, take the eyepiece replacement (FM3A/FM2/FA/FE2) and place it into the eyecup (DK-3) and screw it into the eyepiece adapter (DK-22). The eyepiece essentially holds the eyecup to the adapter. Once that's done you simply slide the new eyepiece assembly onto the camera.

The new eyepiece is very comfortable and doesn't let any light in when pressed up against your face.

This setup would also benefit anyone who wears glasses while shooting.
 
D300 with the modified eyepiece.
D300 with the modified eyepiece.




Friday, August 10, 2012

BlackBerry PlayBook & Eye-FI Wi-Fi SD Cards

Have you ever seen ads for Eye-Fi Wi-Fi SD cards and wondered how they performed? Have you ever wondered if they could replace your USB or HDMI tethering cable? I certainly have.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a huge BlackBerry PlayBook fan. I received a 16GB tablet from work a year ago and have since purchased a 32GB and 64GB for personal use.

I use it daily as a music player and GPS in my car. I use it to surf the web, play games and occasionally connect it to my TV/Stereo via HDMI for movies & music.

When I stumbled across the Eye-Fi Android app and found that it was sideloadable on the PlayBook I decided to ask the Photography Manager at work to order one. :)

My development PlayBook is currently running the 2.1.0.560 beta operating system which has improved Android Player support.



To start, you'll need to download the DDPB Installer and Eye-Fi Bar File. Follow this tutorial if you're unfamiliar with sideloading apps.

At this point I'll assume you have the Eye-Fi app installed on your PlayBook and configured on your desktop. If not, search 'Eye-Fi BlackBerry PlayBook' on Google or crackberry.com.

I initially tried using an SD to Compact Flash adaptor in my Nikon D300 and Canon 7D but the wireless performance was horrible. If I was more than 5-10 feet from the tablet it would stop working.





I ended up borrowing a Canon 60D from work since it has an SD slot. I was really impressed with the Eye-Fi menus built into the camera firmware:



Unfortunately the card didn't see my Wireless-N network and I didn't feel like testing it on Wireless-G so my tests were all done in 'Direct Mode'

My first test was on the "Small" file size. It took 5 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook.


My second test was on the "Medium" file size. It took 7 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook.



My third test was on the "Large" file size. It took 17 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook. (Whoa white balance oopsie)



My fourth and final test was on RAW.  It took 53 seconds from the moment I pressed the shutter release until the image showed up on the PlayBook. 



My PlayBook lost connection to the SD cards wireless network several times despite the card being set to never time out. I had to constantly reconnect it after a few minutes. It was quite frustrating.. 

Also, the SD card gets pretty warm but I don't think it's anything to worry about.

In summary and my very humble opinion - the Eye-Fi SD card is definitely neat but it cannot replace a true USB or HDMI tether. The transfer time, especially in raw or Large/Fine is way too long. 

PS - one of my cats makes a surprise appearance at the end of the Medium file size video.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Killbear Provincial Park

Killbear is a 4300 acre provincial park located on Georgian Bay just north of Parry Sound, Ontario. It opened to the public in 1960 and is home to 9 different camp grounds and 1200 sites.

I camped at Killbear for the first time last year and immediately fell in love. I'm not sure if was the sandy beaches, nature trails or the amazing scenery begging to be photographed. Maybe all of the above.

I decided to go back this summer, albeit a little late - I was only able to book my campsite for one night. We stayed at site #57 in the Kilcoursie Bay, which is right on the beach, close to the showers, water, toilets and poison ivy.

I ended up taking several hundred photos during my stay but here are a few of my favourites that I've processed so far.

Killbear Provincial Park 2012
 

Afternoon Storm


The Night Sun


I'm already looking forward to going back next summer.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

DIY on the cheap part 2.

I wanted to follow up my DIY on the cheap post with some examples.

To recap, here's my $0.20 diffuser based on this instructables post:



The setup - SB-800 on camera left, tri-grip on camera right, white seamless background.

  


No flash. Camera is at 1/13 @ f / 2.8.



On camera flash. 1/250 @ f 5/6.




SB-800, no zoom. 1/250 @ f 5/6.




SB-800, 105mm zoom. 1/250 @ f 5/6.



 


SB-800 + diffuser dome. 1/250 @ f 5/6.



 

DIY + diffuser dome. 1/250 @ f 5/6.

 


DIY lightsphere + diffuser dome + wide flash panel. 1/250 @ f 5/6.


 

DIY no zoom. 1/250 @ f 5/6.





DIY 105mm zoom. 1/250 @ f 5/6.


There you have it. No shadows with the DIY and 105mm zoom. Not bad for a 20 cent DIY diffuser.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIY on the cheap.

Who says photography gear has to be expensive?

I stumbled upon this DIY diffuser a week or two ago and decided to give it a try.

"Professional" diffusers retail for about $60.00 and the DIY version costs about 20 cents per.

I headed over to Ikea and picked up a roll of the transparent drawer mat for $7.99 and followed the directions. I had extra velcro laying around and used it to fasten the diffuser to my SB-800.

I was pleasantly surprised with my initial tests. Shadows were nice and soft and the subject was evenly lit.

I'm planning on putting the diffuser to use during my vacation and will post some examples.