Archive for March, 2006

Priceless?

Shredded Mastercard

So bored was I on returning from work that I felt I had to destroy something. First thing I spotted within easy reach of my currently pathetic destructive abilities was a credit card, due to expire in 2007. Instead, it expired on the 27th March 2006. Oddly enough, cutting the card into hamster-bite-sized chunks had a calming effect. Quite the opposite of what I was looking for. Yes, I know, I’m odd. In other, completely unrelated news, my horoscope has already gone arseways this week. Cursed work, why can’t I just win the damn Euromillions already? I fear I shall have to soldier on with my campaign of passive resistance in some vain effort to finally and at long last get what I’m after. Hey, it worked for Ghandi; didn’t it?!?

Free hoods for all

The horrid guilt of not getting out to take any photos this weekend is starting to set in so I guessed I better post something; anything to get that monkey off my back. I suppose I could use the excuse that the weather this weekend was the worst in a long run of weekends, I’m sure that won’t have stopped some of the die-hards out there.

While browsing around DP Review a few days ago I came across a website that could prove incredibly useful. If you’ve just bought a frighteningly expensive lens and asked yourself the question “Where’s my fricking hood?”, this is a website for you.

Free Lens Hoods offers templates that you can freely download, print and cut out to form your own endless supply of circular or petal shaped lens hoods. I have yet to try it out but it looks very promising. If you have a printer capable of producing A3 prints, all the better as some hoods require a larger format. Time to raid the stationary cupboard at work for some cardboard, I can’t imagine a hood made out of copier paper would last too long.

There ya go, just when you thought that you get nothing for nothing these days, along I come with a little piece of brilliance!

Oh and by the way….

I am still pimping my new photo(only)blog; www.glasseyalley.com. Bookmark it / add it to your blogroll and claim your choice of coloured peanut M&M. Terms & conditions apply.

If I were a rich man…

(Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.) Less roof and definately alot less fiddler. Anyway; Last night I got to thinking that when the shutter life of my faithful 20D has run it’s course and eventually that time I press the button is it’s last (cue the shocking noise of grating metal and shutter blades slicing the cameras sensor in half), what would I buy? It’s hard to say really, what with each new year bringing a new camera or two, each seemingly better and more feature packed than the last. Well, except the 30D that is. If I had to go out tomorrow and buy a new camera and of course treat myself to a few lenses, what would I get? Keeping a budget in mind of course and shopping online to get away from rip-off Ireland. How much would it cost to get a cracking set of lenses that any pro, be they wedding photographer, photojournalist or wildlife photographer, could be proud of?

First things first, the body. I think my own personal preference would be a Canon 1D Mark II N for around the €3,200 price. It’s clearly the lovechild of a 20D and a battleship. I can’t imagine there’s much you could do to this camera to hurt it, aside maybe from filling it with plastic explosive and offering it a cigarette.

For the wide angle side of things, I’d have to stick with my Sigma 10-20 EX. It’s sharp, well built and costs alot less than the equivilent Canon 10-22 (which is an EF-S and wouldn’t go on a 1DmkIIn anyway!).. . You’d have to stick in what seems to be everyones favorite low-end L, the Canon 17-40 f4L. A handy walkaround lens. However, I think I’d nearly stump up the extra cash for the 16-35 f2.8L though. All that extra light and one mm more on the wide end (hurrah). Horrifyingly enough, that’s another €1,100.

Getting into mid-range stuff, While I like my current Sigma 24-70 f2.8, it’s noisy focusing does wreck my head sometimes. I would stick with it however, it’s been consistently sharp and has always worked as fast as I could. I love my most recent acquisition, a Canon 50mm f1.8 prime. It’s cheap and cheerful and so far I’ve gotten some wonderful shots with it. To that duo, I’d add a couple of primes I’ve been eyeing up lately. First is a Sigma 30mm f1.4, quite a tasty looking lens at €360. Next (and breaking into telephoto) maybe a Canon 85mm f1.8 (€360) and maybe even a Canon 135mm f2L (€800). What can I say, I’m developing a consuming love for primes!

Going telephoto (and this is something I’ve been condsidering revising of late) I’d definately go for the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 at €650. I’d add a Sigma 1.4x teleconverter to that for a little extra reach. A snip at €150. That’s low light sorted but what about that extra reach for one of my favorite subjects; surfing? A Sigma 50-500 f4 is a lens I’d dearly love but at €800 it’s a lot of money for a lot of zoom. Either way, by autumn 2006, I’ll hopefully own one of the two above. At the moment it’s leaning toward the 70-200 with 1.4x TC. I’d get a 2x but apparently it doesn’t play too well with that.

Money being little or no object, the ultimate poser lens would have to be the Canon 100-400 f4L, which at around €1500 is mere pocket change! To come up to matching the length of the previous Sigma, you could shell out for a Canon 500mm f4.5 prime. Or you could buy a car. Your choice…

Lets recap on my choices;

Canon 1D Mark II n – €3,200
Canon 16-35 f2.8L – €1,100
Sigma 30mm f1.4 – €360
Canon 85mm f1.8 – €360
Canon 135mm f2L – €800
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 – €650
Sigma 1.4x TC – €150
Sigma 50-500 f4 – €800

Decent Manfrotto tripod & head – circa €350?

Let’s say €8,000 give or take a few quid. Worth it? What do you reckon? What would you go for, given a budget of say €10k? I threw in a manfrotto towards the end given that my cheap (€40) & previously cheerful argos tripod is beginning to show signs of trauma around the quick release mechanism. It’s also a mare to use at the best of times. Although it seems there’s way too much time put into making this list, it’s something I’ve pondered on. Specifically the Sigma 30mm prime and the Sigma 70-200. Just a pity it’s not a 70-300. Then I’d manage some decent surfing shots too.

West Cork Rally

Never been to a rally before so I was hugely excited at the prospect after seeing a sign on the roadside. Dropped t’other half to work in Bandon then hastily made my way to Clonakilty. The traffic was frightening; an unhealthy mix of boy racers, white van men and various rally cars.


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I eventually made it to the location of the rally (I should say I eventually found the bloody rally) and made it to the incredibly packed spectators line. Sarcasm never did come across too well in blogging so I’ll point out that the “incredibly packed spectators line” was, in fact, the highest form of sarcasm. In future I’ll mark any re-occurences with **. I was the only one standing on the ditch, along with two marshals, who presumably were there to ensure that neither of them strayed into the rally inadvertently.

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Given that I arrived several hours late (because I didn’t know it was on), I missed most of the action. I was treated to the last of the vintage run and the entire junior run. I must admit I was expecting great things; mud tracks, powerful cars sliding around corners and so on. I was entirely hopefull that I’d leave covered from head to toe in mud, having been showered with filth every time a car past. Not so. For that I’ll have to travel. Not too shabby for a first rally ever though. Got a few nice photos too!


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Got a few more too but left after around an hour due to boredom. Then, when driving down the south link road today I spotted a big sign outside Vernon Mount; “Motocross Sunday 19th March”. Swore? I almost soiled myself.

St. Patricks Day

I would say I’m winding down from the madness of yesterday’s St. Patricks Day antics but that wouldn’t really be true. I’d have to first wind up. I decided to take the lazy option and make the most of my extra day off. To that end, I got out of bed at around 1pm and proceeded to avoid any kind of parade nonsense. I did however take a drive into the city centre to survey the aftermath.


How cool do we look?!?

That was more or less it. Loads of people in various states of inebriation, 90% of which wearing green hats, beards or an article of clothing. Pretty much what I expected. I fled post-haste to the relative safety of Myrtleville beach. After trying to take a decent photograph of the 20ft high waves crashing against the rocks, I got completely soaked head to toe by one of the more powerful waves. Luckily I spotted it heading toward me and had already turned my back with the intent on legging it. Camera didn’t get wet *phew*.

Bunny's in Myrtleville
After the water had calmed somewhat

Taking flight 2

Splash

And after all that getting soaked and getting knees covered in sand, a nice cuppa. So that was my St. Patricks day, entirely exciting and full to the brim with action and suspense. I also went to the pub, but that’s not even relevant!

Also, thanks to everyone who’s responded to “I want your body“. It’s going far better than expected so far (in that someone is actually interested). Just have a couple of things to sort out before I can start contacting interested parties to do a shoot.

Expanding and moving onward and upward (kinda)

Along the way (and possibly whilst under the influence of some intoxicating substance) I must have decided I had too much free time. What to do with the dreaded time however? Take up a sport? No, too much running and activity. Start a collection? Too much concentration and patience required. I know, what about setting up a new photoblog? Hurrah!

Something I’d been meaning to do for an age and have hinted at here for some time is converting this blog to a photoblog. Very few words, lots of photos. Well when it came to the crunch I just couldn’t kill this site. It’s grown on me, like some kind of artistic fungus…

With that in mind, please visit, re-visit, bookmark and re-visit again my new photoblog; Glassey Alley! Yeah I know, I couldn’t decide on a domain name so went with something dubious. I didn’t want to get rymus.org or visitmyphotoblogorillholdmybreathuntiliturnpurple.com, that’s just too much typing.

The aim of the game is to post one or more photos per day, every day, until the end of time. Well, the end of time or until I grow unable to hold a camera. They might not always be good, you might have seen some of them posted here before or on my flickr account, but hey, I figure I’m reaching a new audience that I could never have here. I’ll still post photos here; this will always be my place to post a new set and have a little rant when it takes my fancy.

So I urge you all to have a look and if you like it, come back and look again soon. As with all blogs, it’s a work in progress. I appreciate any comments or questions.

I want your body!

In the first of a series of what could quickly become pointless projects, I’m trying to develop my portrait photography skills and so looking for anyone who wants to become a model for an hour or so. Despite the awfully suggestive title, nudity is not a requirement :D

I could waffle on endlessly but I think everyone has the jist of the idea by now. Doesn’t matter who or where, I’ll travel as far as I need to. I’m just looking for anyone that can accomodate an amateur with an idea. For your generosity, you’ll get one free A4 print plus any further prints at cost price. I’ll give you a DVD of the photos if you wish. I might even buy you a cup of coffee. The whole thing is negotiable as you’d expect. I will of course want to display a certain amount of whatever photos I get so signing a model release (sample) is possibly a necessary evil.

If you’re in any way interested either leave a comment here or email me at mail [at] rymus [dot] net. Right, that’s kookie project number one in progress..

Back from the Blog Awards

After finding a convenient place to shave my tongue this morning following the previous nights drinking session, I made my way from south Dublin (cheers for the couch Caitriona & Aonghus) back to where I had parked… in Lusk. Eventually found Gavin in Rathfarmham and got back on the long and potholed road to Cork.

So, as you may have guessed it, here come the photos. I made the decision to give practically all of them the black & white treatment ‘cos hey, everyone looks better in b&w! Also, I figure this way I’ll have less people emailing me requesting that their photos be removed from the blog. Congrats to all the winners; I couldn’t be bothered listing them all as it’s been done many times already. Also a huge thanks to Damien who did a wonderful job organising the event and indeed to Rick for ensuring maximum drinking time by not dragging things out. Likewise I’m not going to drag things out; here are a few of the nights photos.


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Far more on my flickr account. There’s also loads of other peoples shots available on flickr. It was great to finally put a face to a name for all the fine folks I met on the night, thanks for not vebally abusing me every time I stuck a camera in your face :) (I’ve also decided on some of my now favorite bloggers but I shan’t divulge the details)

Oh and unfortunately my well rehearsed and finely polished acceptance speech goes back into the cupboard until next year. Just in case you hadn’t already figured it out…

The Rhythm of the Night

I love taking night photos, don’t really know why I don’t do more of it. Possibly because when I finish work I’m too damn tired to do anything except sit on the couch and watch crap TV. However, last night I took a quick drive out and about to see what I could see. Turns out I didn’t see alot, it being night and all! *ba-doom, tish*

So, before I head off and write my acceptance speech for tomorrow nights blog awards, I’ll leave you with a few random snaps, snapped while taking the pooch for a stroll. Whoever’s gonna be in the Alexander hotel tomorrow, see ye there.

Down the Hill

Construction 2

Get off the road stupid dog

Where am I living?

Ahh go on then, another few from a couple of weeks ago in Inchidoney. These are somewhat related. It was getting dark while I was taking these ones. Ahh shutup!

Waves at Inchidoney

Silky Seas

Horizon

Inchidoney

There you have it. A veritable cornucopia of long exposures and such and such. Enjoy. Photos of the Blog Awards to come by probably Sunday night or Monday (ish). Incidentally, these can all be found on the photobloggers favorite; flickr!