Categories
Photography

New photography gear

Nikon D7000

I got new photography gear after my last “accident” forgetting my Cannon T1i at the airplane on my last visit to Mexico city. Also, it was my birthday gift to myself.

I was sad about loosing my camera and about how long it would take for me to get new gear, since it’s very expensive. Luckily and without really searching for it, I accidentally stumbled upon a great deal at Best Buy that I couldn’t refuse: I got the Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens, two 8 GB cards and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for a very good price.

I’m very excited about the new photos I can take with this 50mm lens, which is not excellent but it has very good reviews and some say it will help me become a better photographer by moving around to compose my shot.

I wanted to switch to Nikon for a while. I’m very used to Cannon, but without trying to enter a Cannon vs Nikon flame war, I think Nikon has better image quality and build. Speaking of flame wars, I feel like switching from Vi to Emacs with this change. The Nikon system has a steeper learning curve but I’m sure once I get used to it I’ll feel it more comfortable. I still have a lot to explore with this new camera and lenses, so I’ll keep posting.

My new photography gear

Categories
Photography

Local fashion show at Batiz boutique

A new fashion boutique opened up in my neighborhood. Veronica Batiz, chief editor of Intrend Magazine just opened up her new boutique of haute couture in San Pedro. I got invited via email and I couldn’t let pass an opportunity to shoot some models picutres. I like fashion and I get very few opportunities to be at these events. I’m still not that well connected in the fashion circles.

At this event, while I was expecting professional hired models to walk on the runway, you could easily tell they were all friends of the boutique owner. It was nice to see good local talent. The event was very improvised, but the clothes were very nice and everyone had a good time.















I wish her great success in this new business adventure.

Categories
Events Photography

25th Anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet by the ESMDM in Monterrey

A few weeks ago I was invited to the 25th Anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet by the ESMDM in Monterrey. As I’ve done for the last 3 or 4 years (maybe even more) I’ve been attending to the Nutcracker (and other events) by the ESMDM and took some pictures of it. Instead of just sharing on my Flickr page, I’d like to share them here too.

This year I initially forgot my camera at home, but since the theater is about 5 blocks away, in the intermediate time I ran back to get it. So I don’t have any pictures of the first act this year. Before the ballet started there was a celebration and commemoration of the 25 years of the Nutcracker every winter. It was that they made a plaque with the names of every dancer that participated on the ballet for those 25 years.

At the end, all the ex-alumni of the ESMDM who were at some point part of the Nutcracker cast took a group picture. I think I saw at least two generations of the same family in that picture, that was something nice to see.

I used my Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with varying exposure times. For these type of events, since there’s low light and little time to adjust your camera, I use the Tv setting and adjust shutter speed as needed depending on current illumination. I still find it hard to find the perfect balance between fast shutter speeds and low light compensation to capture the movements in mid air, but I’ve found that the shutter speed setting and AI Servo auto focus mode makes it easier for starters.

Do you have tips for stage photography? What lens do you recommend for these events? Let me know in the comments.

Categories
Photography

Some days at San Francisco

San Francisco cable cart

I went to San Francisco last week and after the few things I had the compromise to do, I decided to walk around the city and practice my photography skills.

I stayed at a very cheap hotel, not knowing well the surroundings, let’s just say that 9th and Mission street is not a very touristic neighborhood to be. Luckily the hotel room was nice, clean and functional, so I decided not to cancel my reservation and stayed there.

Walking down Market street I stumbled upon a farmer’s market at Civic Center. It’s nice to see all the natural products by local farmers being sold there. I used to go to something similar in Mexico with my grandmother when I was little, so it kind of brings back some memories.

Farmer's market at Civic Center

Cello player and seagull

Horse statue

There was a kind of “food corner” in the market, lots of different options, mixed food scents in the air, it all made me hungry. I was in a very touristic mode, so I wondered if I could get a classic american street hotdog. I know, this is not New York, its California, so I couldn’t find any hotdogs (at least not right there). I found crepes, lots of mexican food (which I refuse to take, since for me it’s…well, just food, but with a crappy taste), and vegetarian options. Then I saw a Greek food stand, and I’ve never before had greek so I tried that. I enjoyed it a lot, very tasteful, loved the lamb and pita. Still, why aren’t there a traditional hotdog cart?

Greek Food stand

Then I bought some tickets for the musical Hair at the Golden Gate theater. The actors on stage interact with the audience a lot and the music is great (oh and there was this brief moment of full nudity on stage). I’ve only seen the movie before, and expected the play to have the same storyline, but it doesn’t. It’s the same topic and all but very different storyline.

Hair musical at Golden Gate Theater

Cable cart

Later that day, I saw the Occupy San Francisco movement by the Federal Reserve Bank building.

Port of San Francisco

Men statue

The next day I took another long walk (about 28 kms) all day along the bay and returned just in time to do some shopping around Union Square. I intended to take a tour to Alcatraz, but I couldn’t make it. I didn’t had the schedule at hand, so if you’re planning to take the tour, don’t be like me and visit the Alcatraz cruises website to have the information ready beforehand. It was a great sunny (but not hot) day and I hope the photos came out great as well.

Pier

Embarcadero street

49ers Flag

Seagull by the bay

Golden Gate at distance

San Francisco city sunshine

Street silver demon

Dog man

Street jazz players

Ended the day with some shopping around Union Square, where there was ice skating going on.

All in one band musician

Union Square's skating

View from Union Square's Cheesecake Factory

Macy's

Although it is always nice to have some self time and walk around a big city observing and taking pictures of all the interesting things (and some not as interesting) around you. If I didn’t have my camera, I don’t know what I would’ve been doing by myself around the city. Unfortunately, I’m not in any of my pictures, since I had no one to photograph me.

Cart by night

Travelling alone can get boring sometimes. The good part of it is that I got to do exactly what I wanted, go wherever I wanted and walked kilometers with no one else but myself to complain about it. I really enjoy those silent reflexion moments for one self.

Night street view

Have you gone travelling alone? What activities you like to do on those trips to not get bored or homesick?

Categories
Events Photography

Occupy San Francisco images

The 99% is waking up

Last week I went to San Francisco to do some business, and having some extra days I decided to get outside and take a few shots around the city.

Little did I know that there was an Occupy San Francisco movement over at the Federal Reserve bank building. It was an interesting and shocking thing to see all those signs and tents and people camping there. Everyone was in peace and calm. People got close to them to talk and exchange ideas, there were books and publications scattered everywhere and they had some kind of lectures and classes at certain times.

The funny thing was the coincidence that earlier on that same day I went to see the musical Hair, at the Golden Gate theater. It’s sad so see how similar the movement for peace in the 70’s is to the movement for freedom (and many other things) today, because it’s a sign that not much has changed, or a confirmation that history has repeating cycles. One way or the other, it’s not good progress for humanity.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the campings and the signs and some Hair music to accompany them:

01 Let the Sunshine In by Ritter Hanz

journalism

three strikes

occupy

end the fed

enuf

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Occupy Love

SFPD Police line, do not cross

give something, borrow something, take something

Occupy tents

99 occupy

occupy daylight

no life is illegal

Freedom is a hoax

What do you think about the movement? Have you participated in one? Tell me what you think in the comments, as a foreigner, I’d like to learn more about it.

Categories
Photography

Monterrey Monster Trucks

Car smash jump

On Saturday I went with my roommate to the Monster Trucks event at Monterrey, Mexico. We had a great time and it was the first event of this kind for both of us, so we didn’t know what to expect.

Nasty Boy Monster Truck

I recently bought a new lens for my Canon T1i DSLR camera. Since I’ve been frequently taking pictures of ballet dancers on stage, the “standard” 18-55mm EF-S lens didn’t allow me to take close up pictures and I had to sit at the front row on every show or else I would have very wide shots with small subjects in my pictures. So I finally decided to buy a 55-250mm IS lens. Even though its not a great telephoto lens, it was decent enough in features and specially in price. Telephoto lenses are very expensive!

Bounty Hunter driver saying hello

Since I haven’t had any ballets to photograph yet, the monster truck event was the perfect occasion to give my new lens a try. I have to say it was great to finally have a lot of zoom. I got crappy tickets and I was pretty far high from the main arena, but that made my lens test more interesting, and here are the pictures I took that day.

Car smash

Vertical challenge

Fire presentation

Vertical jump

This pink monster truck was operated by a woman driver. She was the best driver of all! She interacted a lot with the public, and even though most of the audience didn’t speak any English, she made them all cheer for her and love her.

Heart breaker monster truck girl driver

Also, she did the best, most impressive and longest jump in the whole show. The truck didn’t survive the jump, after landing the rear axle broke, but it was very impressive to see how far she jumped. At the end she won the first price given by the audience applause.

Mega jump!

I also took some videos, but I had trouble with the auto focus button unfocusing completely and back into focus while shooting as you will notice on some videos. So I ended up switching to manual focus for all videos and tweak the focus slowly myself so I won’t loose the image completely every time my subject moved farther or closer.

You can see more pictures at my Flickr page and more videos at my Youtube channel.