Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sinbad Under the Stars

Sinbad Under the Stars

June 28, 2012. Sinbad Under the Stars. For those wondering what epic Hollywood blockbuster had our backyard moviegoers enthralled in yesterday's post, it was "Houseguest" starring Sinbad.

I thought today's post would be a fun follow-up to complete the scene from yesterday. The same settings (listed below) were used, again hand-held.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/8. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Backyard Movies

Backyard Movies

January 28, 2012. Backyard Movies. In the backyard of an old home in Orlando's College Park historical neighborhood, some lawn chairs, popcorn, an inflatable screen, a projector, and a few friends makes for an instant drive-through movie under the stars.

Tomorrow's post will feature a shot showing the classic Hollywood blockbuster they were watching. Photos were hand-held at 1/8 second exposure time, with candles on a table acting as the light source.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/8. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Authorized Personnel

Authorized Personnel

January 24, 2012. Authorized Personnel. A self-portrait.

In case you're wondering, the camera is in the helmet, on a 12-second timer. If you look closely, you can see it.

The two self-portrait shots this week are practice shots for a street photography contest next month featuring self-portraits as the theme.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/4. f/14. ISO 400. LR 2.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Street and Convention Shots from CES 2012, Las Vegas

Some quick shots taken during the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As aptly labeled, these are "Not Florida" shots. I figured some of you may appreciated them, however, so I am sharing them all together in this one post. Some highlights are below, along with a link to the complete Google+ album.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

January 24, 2012. Homeward Bound. A self-portrait. Camera on ground, set to 12-second timer, and aimed at a nearby window.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/4. f/8.0. ISO 400. LR 2.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Roman Baths

Roman Baths?

December 30, 2011. Roman Baths? Winter Park, Florida.

 No, it's not the Baths of Caracalla. This oversized imperial bust guards the bath fixtures in Restoration Hardware in Winter Park, Florida. We take culture wherever we can get it.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 400. LR 2.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Orlando Skyline 2006

Orlando Skyline 2006

October 24, 2006. Orlando Skyline. As sun set, this picture was snapped from a patient room in the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, Florida.

At the time of this photo, there was very little residential space in Downtown Orlando, making it something of a ghost town after dark when businesses were closed.

I will try to do an updated skyline picture soon, reflecting additions in high-rise residential condominiums such as 55 West, which was under construction on the left side of this photo back in 2006.

Canon EOS D60. 94.0 mm. 1/45. f/5.6. ISO 400. LR 2.

Friday, January 20, 2012



April 23, 2005. Schilling.

I am in a nostalgic baseball mood after yesterday's post.

It was one of the first games of 2005. The previous season, Curt Schilling's famous intensity helped lead the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series since 1918.

Before starting his game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Schilling sat as if in a trance staring out over Tropicana Field.

The Rays went on to win the game, but this image that I took of Schilling remains one of my favorite baseball memories.

 Canon EOS D60. Tamron SP 24-135mm lens. Unknown settings. LR 2.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Peanuts and Cracker Jack

Peanuts and Cracker Jack

May 15, 2007. Peanuts and Cracker Jack.

I'm still catching up from the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas, so I decided to do a quick look for old shots in my library that captured something special about Orlando.

I've also been missing baseball terribly. Watching non-Florida NFL teams and basketball does nothing for me.

That's when I came across this May 15, 2007 shot taken at Walt Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports, right before the first Major League Baseball game ever played in Orlando.

The Tampa Bay Rays (still the Devil Rays back then) won the game and went on to sweep the three game series against the Texas Rangers.

The seats that my wife, father, and I had for this game were extra special. They were in the same section from which my wife and I used to watch the Minor League AA Orlando Rays play on our weekly dates when we first got married.

So this photo goes up, looking forward to the upcoming Rays season, and looking forward to the return of baseball to Orlando someday.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS. 1/100. f/4.0. LR 2.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012



December 16, 2011. Chocolate. Another luscious shot of Claude's Chocolates in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/8.0. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Monday, January 16, 2012



December 26, 2011. Storekeep. A woman tends shop overlooking a garden on St George Street in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Friday, January 13, 2012

CES 2012 Video - Fujifilm X-Pro1 Demo

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs. Leica X1 comparison shots were so popular that I went back to the Fujifilm booth today, where Brandon gave me a feature-rich demo of the new camera.

Awesome camera. When they come out in the next couple of months, get yourself to your local Fujifilm retailer and see if they will let you put your hands on it.

From CES 2012 - Size Comparison Between the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and a Leica X1

Some quick size-comparison snapshots between the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Leica X1, side-by-side.

Note: The Fujifilm X100 (not pictured) is slightly smaller than the Fujifilm X-Pro1.

While still not final production hardware at the show, the X-Pro1 looks and feels like an excellent camera with high build-quality. The few quick shots that I took with it looked wonderful. Looking forward to this camera going into production.


I Shoot Cannon.

I Shoot Cannon.

December 26, 2011. I Shoot Cannon.

(Actually, I do when I am using an SLR. This one was taken with my Leica X1, though, which I find much more convenient to travel.)

I loved the textures created by the sunlight shining on this dark cannon barrel at Fort Matanzas.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/8.0. ISO 100. LR 2.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dogs Not Allowed

Dogs Not Allowed

December 26, 2011. Dogs Not Allowed. A man plays with his dog outside the Fort Matanzas National Monument, about an hour and a half outside of Orlando.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/8.0. ISO 100. LR 2.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jericho March

Jericho March

December 30, 2011. Jericho March. Winter Park, Florida

A little boy runs laps on top of a park planter retaining wall.

Children are precious creatures. Parents can be peculiar ones. My wife (pictured) and I were reading on this park bench. After about half an hour, a father with a young boy and young girl decided that the wall right behind us was the perfect place for his children to run, as opposed to the acres of open park that were right in front of us.

After two laps, I looked up from my book at the father. After four laps, the boy almost tripped and fell on us. After seven laps, I framed a shot of my wife and made it obvious that I was taking pictures as his kids went by. The running stopped.

When all else fails, making it obvious that misbehaving children are in the background of your shot can be very effective in silently reminding their parents that their job is to be parents...

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/500. f/8.0. ISO 200. LR 2.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wine Shop Open

Wine Shop Open

December 26, 2011. Wine Ship Open. A man and his loyal dog wait to greet newcomers at The Monk's Vineyard in Saint Augustine, Florida.

 Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 800. LR 2.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Five things I look forward to seeing at CES 2012

Thanks to the generous support of my employer, i/oTrak's E-Z Photo Scan, this will be my first year attending the International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas. This year, the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) has joined forces with CES for a co-located portion of the show that they are calling PMA@CES.

So right now, I am double geeking that I am about to experience both.

I thought it would be particularly appropriate to go over a few of the things that I am most looking forward to seeing at the show to see if there is some substance to the hype.

#1 - The Fujifilm X-Pro1

The logical follow-up to the Fujifilm FinePix X100 is here, with a nice set of interchangeable prime lenses, a promised Leica M-Mount adaptor, and a luscious-sounding 16MP APS-C sensor.

This could be the future of prosumer photography. With a body-only pricetag of around $1600, it may not be in my future anytime soon. Nevertheless, this has the makings of the mirrorless camera that will set the standard for this genre in the foreseeable future. This camera could very well be the photographic highlight of the show for me. It has the makings of a wonderful travel and street photography camera.

With a special door that can cool a soda, beer, or bottle of wine in 5 minutes, need I say more?

#3 - Victorinox Swiss Army's 1TB USB/eSATA Pocket Knife

No. Really. 1TB. In a pocket knife. With blazing fast data speeds. It wasn't a typo.

A pocketknife like this could make the small SSDs in a MacBook Air seem like much less of a dealbreaker in my next laptop purchase.

A perfect companion to their instant beer-chilling fridge, this TV could be the talk of the show.

I am not much of a TV guy. In fact, I don't even own one right now. Displays like this could end up changing my mind at some point in the future, especially with the growing popularity of Google TV among manufacturers at the show.

I would need a much, much bigger house to put this in, though.

I am curious to see the first U.S. offspring of the Microsoft and Nokia coupling. Microsoft has put together a decent user interface in Metro. While I am not into locked-down phones tied to only one app market, I look forward to seeing if this phone lives up to Microsoft's hype.

So those are my top five. What are yours? Any special requests of gadgets or gizmos that you'd like to see from the showroom floor? I'm interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Is that a fanny pack

Is that a Fanny Pack?

December 26, 2011.
Man: "Is that a dog that you're bringing on the boat to Fort Matanzas?"
Dog: "Is that a fanny pack?..."

There are "No Pets Allowed" signs all over Fort Matanzas National Monument on the way to the ferry boat. One creative family decided to dig in their heals to get their poodle aboard by putting the lapdog in a "Service Dog" leash harness and claiming that the dog was a medical necessity.

As a vacationing chiropractor in an Aloha shirt stared at the dog, wondering if it would work, I couldn't help but think that the dog was staring at him, wondering, "Is that really a fanny pack?"

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/500. f/8.0. ISO 100. LR 2.

Friday, January 6, 2012



December 26, 2011. Blam. Two men talk in Spanish while waiting for the pontoon ferry boat to Fort Matanzas National Monument.

I could not make out what they were saying, but I could hear the man on the right say "Blam" repeatedly as he gestured like he was holding a rifle.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/8.0. ISO 100. LR 2.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family In Motion

Family in Motion

December 26, 2011. Family In Motion. A family runs around Fort Matanzas National Monument about an hour and a half northeast of Orlando.

Built around 1742 to protect the southern inlet approach to Saint Augustine, it only saw about ten minutes of combat action as warning shots were fired to let the British know that the cannons were operational, even though the tower was still under construction.

The area is called "Matanzas" or "bloodbath" because this was the site of a 1565 slaughter of hundreds of French troops from Fort Caroline, modern day Jacksonville, by the Spanish.

The official National Park Service Brochure has some wonderful information about this hidden historical gem, one of my favorite historical and natural spots in Florida.

 Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/500. f/8.0. ISO 100. LR 2.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012



December 26, 2011. Pottery. Taken at Market to Market in St Augustine, Florida.

I don't talk a lot about technique typically, but I realize that I probably should. Here's a little background behind some personal composition projects that I've been working on during my photo walks, and how several of them came together on this shot.

First is textures. I love textures, and the Spanish pottery, concrete, and trees in this one had plenty. I set f/8.0 to try to capture those textures with a good depth of field even though it was dark. I knew that ISO noise would be acceptable due to the subject matter, so I set it to ISO 1600 with a 1/15 second shutter speed, hand-held.

Second is lights fading away towards infinity. This one had a bunch of those, so I was good there, too.

Third is sectioning off the photo by depth. This one had a light foreground, a dark middle, and a light background thanks to the open door at the end of the room. Lots of parallel lines gracefully intersecting near corners and thirds are also a plus, as was the way that the pots in the foreground continue the composition off of the frame. I like when little elements are left to the viewer's mind to complete.

The fourth was a very pleasant accident. After taking the first shot (not shown), a tourist walked into the doorway wearing dark clothes. I've been working on shooting light subjects on dark backgrounds and dark subjects on light backgrounds. I'm also partial to people entering, leaving, or viewed through doorways since it seems rich in symbolic potential.

The subject cooperated by not moving very fast, the second shot was clicked, and the result is seen above.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/15. f/8.0. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bokeh Verde

Bokeh Verde

December 16, 2011. Bokeh Verde. Paper lanterns dissolve into dreamy bokeh over a lone storekeeper at Plaza Verde in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/125. f/8.0. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cafe Canem

Cafe Canem

December 30, 2011. Cafe Canem. Winter Park, Florida.

The Romans were known to have mosaic signs warning "Cave Canem" or "Beware of the dog," not because their pets were fierce, but rather because their pets were small and easy to step upon.

Orlando's nicer and less-touristy neighborhoods are known for their dog-friendly sidewalk cafes. This owner was just sitting down and scooping his pooch up so that he wouldn't get stepped on by the people walking down the sidewalk.

I am trying a new technique with my Leica X1 when shooting shots like this to compensate for its extremely slow focus times. Instead of trying to autofocus, I zone focus to a distance before starting my photo walk and set f/8.0 to give good clarity and depth of field. I set the shutter speed to somewhere around 1/500 of a second and adjust it as needed. I've found ISOs of 400, 800, and 1600 work well for these settings. I try to avoid 1600 to avoid excess noise.

This shot would have been better had both the owner and the dog been looking up. Still, I like diagonal formed by the five main subjects, along with the dark/light/dark alternation between what they are wearing.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/500. f/8.0. ISO 800. LR 2.