Image Slider Test

This was something that I’m fooling around with for work, but thought it would be neat to try to make a test page here to play with it. It’s a nearly fully CSS solution, just some simple JS to deal with the slider updates.
Todd (in progress)
Todd (Varnished)

New Toy

So I finally scrapped together enough pennies to get a new lens for my camera. Between Christmas money, birthday money, tax refund money, selling some of old and unused camera gear and buying a used lens I was able to make it work.

So today was the first day I got a chance to get out there and see what all that scrimping and saving had bought me.

Here’s a nice shot of Pikes Peak as seen from UCCS.

Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods

Here’s a zoomed in version of just the peak.

Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak, just the peak

There’s actually enough pixels that you can actually see the structure at the top of the peak…

Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak, just the tippity-top

Here’s a portion of Garden of the Gods as seen from UCCS when zoomed way in… I wonder who owns those giant houses. I’m jealous of their view.

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods

One more picture of Garden of the Gods.

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods

I’m very impressed with the new lens. It’s got a huge photo range and it sufficiently sharp for shooting whatever I need to. Really happy with my 2-lens setup now.

New Lens

I’ve been wanting a new lens since I got the new Nikon DSLR body. Unfortunately lenses aren’t terribly cheap and the old 50mm manual-focus lens I’ve been using does work just fine.

Amazon must know I’m a sucker for a deal though. The 85mm lens I’ve had my eye on dropped $100 in price. That never happens, they know they have a captive market since you’ve already got their camera body if you’re shopping for their lens. For 20% off I decided to jump and I’m glad I did; it already went back up to full price since I ordered it.

Here’s a test shot of one of my favorite models with the new lens…

Test image shot with 85mm Nikkor lens
Test image shot with 85mm Nikkor lens

Shooting a baby with nothing more than ambient light is a challenge without a very fast lens. That’s the trade-off, it’s not a zoom lens but it is very fast (F/1.8). According to DXOMark, it’s one of the sharpest lenses you can get for the Nikon and though it’s not what I would call “cheap” it’s quite affordable for a fast, high-quality lens. Prices jump up significantly and rapidly above 85mm. It’s also an FX style lens, which means if I ever become rich and can afford one of the higher-end Nikon camera bodies I’ll still be able to use this lens.

I didn’t really need to the new lens right now… there’s a good backlog of subjects waiting to be painted. But next time I need to get some new shots I’ll have a new tool in the tool bag. Can’t wait for the next shoot…

New Camera

I’ve been needing to get some new source photographs for my artwork. I wish I had the ability to just work from life, but my schedule doesn’t really permit that. I’ve been using the same DSLR that I bought back in NYC in 2005 for a while now and the technology has moved on significantly since then.

I’ve been doing a lot of research about the newer cameras and trying to optimize for what we could afford and still get something that would be worth investing in. I ended up buying a Nikon D5200. The D5300s just came out at the beginning of the year so it’s possible to get big discounts on the 5200s now.

In order to keep the cost down I bought just the body and I’m using the lens form my old D40. I actually had a nice 50mm 1.8 Nikon lens. Which would be perfect. Unfortunately they’ve change the technology of lenses a bit in the last decade. It used to be that the focusing motor for the lens was in the body of the camera. Now they’re in the lens itself. So the net result is that the old lens still works… but I have to focus manually.

That’ll be okay for a while and I can pick up a new lens in the next month or two. I did spring for a nice lighting kit though so I should be able to get some nice photographs now. Here’s a couple of shots I got tonight with the new camera and lighting kit.

Theo in a Chair.
Theo in a chair.

Freyja in a chair
Freyja in a chair

You’ll notice that they’re not quite in super-sharp focus. I’m still trying to get the hang of the manual focus. But they’re pretty close. These are significantly reduced from the 24 mega pixel originals.

So far I’m really happy with the new camera, can’t wait to get a new auto-focus lens.