Category Archives: Photography

Wow, 2 posts in 1 day!

Or how not to treat customers.

Ok, My wife and I get Studio photos taken of the us and our baby and then print out selected photos from the CD.  As they are professional, I take the CD jacket which has the license that says the images can be used for Non Commercial uses. This is in case Costco has any issues.

We’ve had no problem before but this time the the Manager comes out, cuts me off when I showed him the CD jacket and lectures me about “copyrights”. When I pointed out that the CD jacket has the license, he “reads” it and says otherwise (it actually has the license printed on it) and turns away.  I asked his co-worker (in front of him) what the remedy is. Shocking: He took less then 15 seconds to get the form where I certify I have the right to reproduce my photos…

I don’t have a problem with Costco covering their Collective Ass, I do have a problem with rude “managers” who can’t read.  Next Time I print anything there, If he gets rude like that, I’m filing a complaint.

Costco: You really might want to get managers that can read what is in front of them and NOT cut people off.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
Nothing. My wife and I are watching the Oscar pre show on E! channel.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7

Costco sent us a $30 coupon, so I figured I’d get it. After using Photoshop CS2, I find this really does most of what I do now with no problem.

Best of all: it works OK on my 2001Pentium 4 PC.  (In an effort to save money, I’m using it until it falls over.) So far, it works very well. I’m able to process RAW images from my D80 without any problems.

As I play around with it, I discover that it has some features that really like. In the Organizer, you can right click and assign a location to an image by right clicking it and selecting ‘Place on a map…’, and then paste the address. It looked it up the address, prompted me for confirmation and added the GPS coordinates to the files I selected. This sounds trivial, but when I upload to Flickr, it automatically place the image correctly on the map. Here are the EXIF Tags it adds:

GPS Latitude        : 40 deg 45' 9.00" N
GPS Latitude Ref    : North
GPS Longitude       : 73 deg 58' 39.00" W
GPS Longitude Ref   : West
GPS Position        : 40 deg 45' 9.00" N, 73 deg 58' 39.00" W

Which, when posted to Flickr, says the photo is in “Taken in Tenderloin, New York“. Odd. The only gotcha I found is when I add GPS to a NEF file, the coordinates did not make it to the JPEG version. Maybe I did something wrong.

It comes with a photo downloader that I’ll be testing too and It has version control so I can see the before and after of an edit. Moe as I play with it.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment.

Visit to the Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Originally uploaded by S.D.

Lots of fun, with an added bonus: Janny works in the building. That means that we don’t have to stand on line. Instead of taking 30 to 60 minutes to get to the top, we just go right to the head of all lines.

I think that got some people annoyed at us (we heard “Hey! There’s a Line!!!” a few times) but it was worth it.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy and hazy but we could always go back. Since the sun is setting earlier as winter approaches, I think we’ll go after work one night and get some great night shots.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing, I’m watching Mythbusters.


Dragon Boat in TorontoI wanted to check out the 2008 Dragon Boat Festival today, but it’s raining *AND* there is lightning, so I bailed. I know people on at least three different teams, specifically, Team Xtreme, DCH, and Women in Canoe. Knowing some of the team members, I was hoping to get them while they were racing or just on the boat.

Hope tomorrow is better, I’m hoping to get some good photos.

UPDATE: Went on Sunday, saw several friends and took over 500 photos. Unfortunately, we got there late and the light was not too good, but it was fun and I think I got some good photos. I’ll post to flickr later.

Music I’m listening to now:
Hero/Heroine“, by Boys Like Girls from the Boys Like Girls album. You can see the video here.

Moo makes Business cards

I’ve been ordering Moo Mini cards for a while now and just about ran out. So, I go to and see that they now have business cards too. Like the mini cards, you can select your own photos to print on them. The main difference is that a set is 50 cards, unlike the Mini cards that come in sets of 100.

I’ve just ordered a set and can’t wait to get them. Moo’s print quality is quite good and I’ve never been disappointed with the results. I’m betting I’ll like the business as much as I like the mini cards.

Music I’m listening to now:
Dream Catch Me“, by Newton Faulkner from the Hand Built by Robots album. It’s a good song and great video. You can see the video here.

Adorama Equipment Rental saves the day

Quantum Turbo Battery

Ok, As lots of people know, Photography is a hobby of mine. I also volunteer to cover events for my friends at work. As I always pack my camera, no big deal right?

Except I naturally forgot to pack my flash for an event that had about 300 people scheduled to attend…

After I freaked out for a second, I called Adorama’s Rental Dept on 18th St. and reserved a Nikon SB-800 and a Quantum Turbo Battery as well. It was a little weird renting a flash I own, but the battery pack was a great idea. I ended up shooting close to 150 shots and the battery pack kept up without any problem at all. It’s really nice NOT having to worry about the flash batteries dying unexpectedly.

Next time I need to shoot an event, I’m renting one again.

Related: DXO has updated their DXO Optics Pro to version 5.2 and the results are a lot better. On my old PC, Ver. 5.04 used to take over 5 minutes to just start and had a host of bugs. Ver. 5.2 started right up, properly recognized my 18-200mm lens, and I was off. Seriously, I nearly wrote off DXO as a loss, which would have been a shame as version 4 was great. I think DXO is a good company and I’m glad the software is better.

Edit: I Wish my brother would warn me when he upgrades MY blog software…

Music I’m listening to now:
Hero/Heroine“, by Boys Like Girls from the Boys Like Girls album. You can see the video here.

Nikon is officially Evil…

Nikon D700Of course, I’m joking, but I know several Canon users who are jumping up and down right about now. Naturally, I’ll be teasing them next time they mention the Canon 5D.

What am I talking about? Nikon just announced the new D700 Full frame DSLR.
From DPReview:

Nikon D700 Key Features

  • 12.1 megapixel full-frame sensor (8.45µm pixel pitch)
  • Image Sensor Cleaning (vibration) *
  • ISO 200 – 6400 (with boost up to ISO 25600 and down to ISO 100)
  • Also supports DX lenses, viewfinder automatically masks (5.1 megapixels with DX lens)
  • 14-bit A/D conversion, 12 channel readout
  • Same ultra-fast startup and shutter lag as D3
  • Nikon EXPEED image processor (Capture NX processing and NR algorithms, lower power)
  • New Kevlar / carbon fibre composite shutter with 150,000 exposure durability *
  • Multi-CAM3500FX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
  • Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
  • 95% coverage, 0.72x magnification viewfinder *
  • Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning), fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings
  • Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
  • Picture Control image parameter presets
  • 5 frames per second continuous with auto-focus tracking*
  • Optional MB-D10 Battery Pack (same as D300), increases burst rate to 8 fps *
  • UDMA compatible single CF card slot *
  • 3.0″ 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus
  • Virtual horizon indicates if camera is level (like an aircraft cockpit display)
  • HDMI HD video output
  • ‘Active D-Lighting’ (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
  • Detailed ‘Control Panel’ type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
  • Magnesium alloy body with connections and buttons sealed against moisture
  • Improved Info display on main screen *

* Different to D3

Mind you, I’ve liked Nikon long before I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of their D80 advertising campaign, but I have to say, this sounds like a great camera. You can read the well written preview here at

Me, I’m still saving up for a D300, but if I wanted a Full Frame DSLR, I’d seriously consider the D700.

I’m not one of those people who ONLY like “their” own brand. I just happen to really like the feel and capabilities of the Nikon line of SLR’s starting with a Nikon F and now I’m on a Nikon D80. When people tell me that they are thinking about buying a DSLR, I’ve recommended that they find out what features they want, Spend time actually handling the camera (very important!), and purchase what feels right. In the last few months, I’ve helped enough people buy a DSLR that the sales staff recognize me at Adorama (which, BTW, is a great place with a great staff And no, this is NOT a paid endorsement…). In the last 6 months, the count is 4 Nikons,  2 D80’s and 2 D60’s, 1 Canon 40D.

Image from

Music I’m listening to now:
Pocketful Of Sunshine“, by Natasha Bedingfield from the Pocketful of Sunshine album. You can see the video here.