Category Archives: Trips

Business Trip Photography

Airplane flying overhead against a blue skyWhile dates and times are subject to change, it is now official that I will be traveling to the UK on business for two weeks.  Naturally, my first thought was what camera gear will I take?  But see, since this is a business trip, I am somewhat limited amount of space to pack my own gear.  So, the question becomes, what do I take?

Computer

I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to have to take my MacBook.  This will force me to carry two laptops (work provided and personal), but I really can’t figure out a way around it.  My only form of communication with my wife and friends will be through Skype and since my company completely locks down my work laptop, I have no choice but to take my own personal computer.  This brings up problem right away though.  I now have to carry on two computers.

From what I can tell, you’re better off with only one carry on bag for international travel.  So I started searching for laptop bags that would hold two laptops.  I also didn’t want to purchase a single trip item so I wanted something that I’d use for a long time.  Having owned one Timbuk2 bag, I knew that if I could, I wanted to stick with them.  Their bags are great!  So I ordered a Commute 2.0 with the idea that one laptop can go in the laptop area, and the other can go in the main compartment.  Keep in mind that I have to also have power cords, plug adapters and assorted cables for both laptops so that eats into my remaining space.  So… what room is leftover for camera gear?

Camera Gear

This is where things get tricky.  I have basically two options.  My Nikon D200 with one lens, or my Canon G10.  Remember, whatever I take has to fit in the above bag!  Now obviously, these two cameras are somewhat opposite with regards to size.  And as much as I love the G10, I’m a bit concerned that I’ll miss my dSLR once I get over there. Plus, when else will I have a chance to travel to Europe?  Shouldn’t I take the best camera possible?

On the other hand, the G10 and charger take up less space than the dSLR body itself.  And I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to remove the lens on the D200 to get it to fit into the bag.  Which means if I’m walking around, seeing sights, I’m going to have to remove the lens ever time I want to put it back in the bag.

Whatever I choose, I’m definitely packing my Ultra Pod. I received this as a gift and I can’t begin to explain how handy it is! It’s tiny, fits anywhere and is far superior to trying to balance your camera on a ledge, rock or picnic table!

So what do you take when traveling on business?

I’ve asked many people what they do when they travel for business. Everyone has different answers and it’s clear that many people have honed their preferred kit from years of experience.  For now, I’m leaning on taking my G10 and concentrating on enjoying the sites.  By all means, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Moving in to Zenfolio

Well, it’s been all quiet here for a bit — but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy. Over the course of the last week, I’ve tried to get a good chunk of photographs uploaded to Zenfolio. So far, I don’t have everything I want available online, but I have made huge strides.

Having worked with it for a couple weeks, I do have to say that I am loving the interface. it’s simple and quick. Thanks to Jeffery Friedl’s Lightroom Export plugin for Zenfolio, it takes only a few clicks to get whatever set of photos I’m working on uploaded.

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What’s New for 2009?

Having given some serious thought to my article writing lately, I’ve decided to re-commit myself to writing down some of my thoughts.  While I really don’t know how many people actually find these articles useful, I figure it can’t hurt to continue to jot down my thoughts — if only for myself!

2008 was a great year.  Exactly one year ago today this web site and photography business was merely a dream.  While I can’t claim complete success with regards to turning my photography into a full time job, I can say that I’ve had a great time, taken more and better photos than ever before, and actually made a few sales here and there.  I’m overjoyed and continually amazed that my work is considered good enough by some to hang on a wall!  For that support, I say a huge Thank You!!!

In other news, I’ve been slacking in my photography over his holiday season.  The last real opportunity I had to take some photos was when I traveled down to Washington DC to meet up with some family.  We had a great time, and I got some really interesting photos!  Check them out here.

NIKON D200 @ 18mm — ¹/10 sec, ƒ/3.5, ISO 100 | zoom in
Winding Staircase

Due to the rather gloomy weather we had all day, we were ducking in and out of restaurants and museums in a somewhat vain effort to stay dry.  While the above shot isn’t perhaps a photographic accomplishment, I really found the winding staircase visually interesting.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — 4.5 sec, ƒ/5.6, ISO 100 | zoom in
Capital Building at Night

The above shot of the Capital Building is one of my favorites.  It was taken in almost total darkness with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D.  I actually dialed in a full +1 2/3 exposure compensation to get the lights to stand out.  Overall, I find it very striking.

Lancaster Train Museum

On the same trip where we visited the Lakewood Gardens discussed here (part 1) and here (part 2), we also visited the Lancaster Train Museum.  Not only were there plenty of historical photos discussing the history of trains in the United States, but there was a huge warehouse sized building with actual steam engines, cabooses and passenger cars and much, much more!

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/10 sec, ƒ/1.6, ISO 100 | zoom in
Train Wheels

I was intrigued with the designs under many of the trains.  All the cogs, push rods and wheel spokes seemed like a wonderful photographic opportunity.  Not a lot of my photos came out well, but I particularly like that one.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/40 sec, ƒ/3.2, ISO 100 | zoom in
Blue Contrail Train

I really liked this bright blue train.  Unfortunately, I had only acquired my D200 a couple months before I had purchased the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens a couple weeks before.  this resulted in some very oddly exposed images!  The ceiling is overexposed and there are some dark parts of the train which are underexposed.  Luckily, with Lightroom 2.0 and the new selective adjustment brush, I was able to add a layer mask with an exposure mask of -1.0 to the ceiling and it doesn’t look too bad.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/50 sec, ƒ/3.5, ISO 100 | zoom in
Pennsylvania 4465

I had the same problem with the overexposed ceiling here, but to a lesser degree.  Much easier to correct using the same technique.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/60 sec, ƒ/2.5, ISO 100 | zoom in
Old Fashioned Controls

I finally got my act together for this last photo.  I used some fill flash dialed way down to just lighten some of the shadows.  While it may not be a great shot, it’s at least exposed correctly.  I can’t imagine being an engineer on one of these things.  Very complicated!  Unfortunately, they had to go and ruin it by putting a “NO SMOKING” sign in the middle.  The fact that there was no smoking anywhere in the building apparently didn’t deter people enough.

We’re supposed to head up to the Syracuse Zoo tomorrow.  Hopefully, the rain holds off and I can post some good shots of animals tomorrow!

Longwood Gardens Part 2

As I talked about in an entry a couple days ago, our visit to Longwood Gardens was most enjoyable. I ran out of steam that night so I didn’t post as many photos as I had wanted.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/500 sec, ƒ/2.5, ISO 100 | zoom in
Beautiful Colors
NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/500 sec, ƒ/4.5, ISO 100 | zoom in
Red and Yellow

As beautiful as the conservatory was, I really want to go back in the summer. Some of the outdoor paths, though a bit bleak this early in the year, looked like they would be beautiful.

NIKON D200 @ 50mm — ¹/100 sec, ƒ/8, ISO 100 | zoom in
Outdoor Path
NIKON D50 @ 31mm — ¹/200 sec, ƒ/7.1, ISO 200 | zoom in
Bush Sculptures

Overall, we had a great time and there were lots of good photo opportunities.