Monday, July 22, 2013

A trip photo to remember



Trunk Bay Paradise by Brian Shannon on 500px.com
Trunk Bay Paradise
  Trunk Bay Paradise by Brian Shannon

Thanks to those that have voted on my image.  I was thrilled to grab this shot and have many more to process after our recent trip.  My Nikon D800e, Nikkor 24-70 and Singh-Ray warming LB polarizer really did the trick and this is my go to combo when shooting for travel.

I will have more images to post up soon.

http://www.brianshannonphotography.com/buy/13702346_WhZMhn/

Thanks for reading

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Underwater in the U.S Virgin Islands

Happy Fourth of July.

We are enjoying another year in St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  I am pleased to report that my new AW 100 is working perfectly and providing a lot of fantastic images as well as underwater video.  I am learning that I do not know much about shooting video but I am having fun trying.

So far the photography opportunities have been abundant.  We spent the holiday today on a great day
sail with two snorkeling stops where I got some great images.  This Filefish was a new one for me and I was glad he finally let me take his picture.
Whitespotted Filefish


The Nikon AW100 is a great tool with some nice options. It has been performing well although if you want to grab video, pictures and use all the options like GPS and video light, then you need extra batteries.  I use three and they come in handy.

I will post some new info as I process some new images.

Until next time, keep shooting.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nikon D800e and casual photography

Everyone is so serious about the new Nikon D800 and the Nikon D800e.  As an amateur photographer, I have the luxury of enjoying my cameras and trying to gain some knowledge and improve my skills by doing even the simplest things.

It is no secret how hot it has been across the nation this summer and I have not been out much taking pictures, certainly not as much as I would like.  So when I saw my D800e sitting on my desk for another weekend I decided to experiment in my own front yard.

We have a ever changing assortment of butterflies that come to the half dozen Spirea bushes in our front yard and I enjoy trying to capture these butterflies as they move from flower to flower.  Getting my D800e and my Nikkor 24-70, I headed out into the yard.

Although a tripod would be better for tack sharp images, I wanted to see if I could catch them in action and went handheld.  Imagine my surprise for twenty minutes work, I came away with this image

Yellow Swallowtail butterfly
The image was shot at an angle over my head and was slightly underexposed.  A few minor tweaks and a crop in Lightroom 4 and I was pleased with my short time in my yard.  Beautiful bokeh from the Nikkor  24-70, soft light because of the angle and the butterfly held still for just a brief second that allowed me to grab this image.

Wow, I thought I had a good shot but when I posted it to my 500PX page, it quickly climbed to the Upcoming page with a score of 93 at the time of this blog.  This is my highest rated image and it brings a real smile to my face.  I have spent hours trying to get an image that would rate this highly and failed miserably.

Enjoy photography, take whatever chances you have to make images and practice, practice, practice.

Until next time, keep shooting!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kudos to Nikon

As I reported during my vacation, my Nikon AW100 which was performing really well for me, took on water and died during the third day in the water.  Up to this point it was doing great, I really like the GPS functionality, the scene modes are varied and well done and the easy auto mode is great for just grabbing some snapshots.

Underwater in St. Thomas
The colors are true and the fill flash does nicely for the shadows.  I was having a great time until the camera simply began to fog behind the lcd screen.

I did my best to dry it out by pulling the battery, putting it in a zip lock bag with dessicant packs and putting it in the sun.  It would start up just fine but nothing showed on the screen and the shutter would not fire.

Really disappointed I brought it home and sent it to Nikon for service.  I explained what happened and hoped that it would not be too much to be repaired.  I was expecting to pay for a repair since I have no way of knowing how or why water got in.  I received an email promptly from Nikon listing that there was water damage and that the product would be replaced.  Just as I was beginning to wonder during the third week what the status was, a package shows up on my front step.

Kudos to Nikon, I am impressed.  Inside the box was a "new" Nikon AW100.  It has a different serial number than my return and it started up just like brand new one.  I am pleased and glad that I have this camera back.  Not sure how long it will be before it goes back in the water, and when it does, I will be more careful with it.  I will enjoy shooting with it as a quick point and shoot camera to accompany my new D800e.

Thanks Nikon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

San Juan, a lot to see and do

Having a great time in San Juan, so much to see and do.  Not used to all this walking in this heat but we are making the best of it.  History abounds here, cobblestone streets, castles, beautiful architecture.  I am anxious to begin processing my images, I believe I have some nice shots.  Old San Juan has some great buildings and details.

Narrow cobblestone streets in Old San Juan



The two castles are magnificent, it would take a day to properly see each one.  The history is fascinating.  I like this shot with the play on colors and the amazing cemetery in front of the imposing castle El Morro.

Cemetery Maria Magdalena de Pazzis in front of El Morro castle

Tomorrow we head to the Camuy caves and the Aricebo Observatory.  Hope to get some nice shots in the caves.

Until next time, keep shooting.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Welcome to San Juan, Puerto Rico

After a grueling 17 minute flight from St. Thomas we made our way to the San Juan Ritz Carlton for the second week of our vacation.

Not much new on the photographic front to report, the Nikon AW100 is definitely dead.  I have not had a chance to take many other images but we will have our chances as we go to the El Yunque rainforest tomorrow and we visit the Camuy caves Wednesday.

Looking forward to getting my D700 out into the rainforest, caves and especially Old San Juan.  Here is  one from our new beach

Isla Verde beach

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Having a great time, my equipment not so much

Just wanted to update everyone on my new photo gear and how it is doing on vacation.

The Benro tripod A2197 is great.  Small, lightweight and very portable.  It is a big plus to have a tripod that packs flat.  Highly recommended.

My Zeiss 35mm 1.4 lens.  Fantastic quality, superior finish and mechanics.  I am sure I am not good enough yet to squeeze images out of this lens that wow me, but I will work on it.


This shot is with my Nikon D700 and the Zeiss 35mm 1.4


My Nikon AW100, spent two days in the water with some stunning shots.  On the third day I do not know if I was swimming too aggressively but I got water inside it.  Not sure if it is able to come alive again but I am disappointed to say the least.

Update to add, the AW100 is dead.  I suspect that a small nylon strap that I have to connect the camera to a float strap, may have become lodged in the battery door when I closed it there by letting water in.

My fault, I like the camera and will replace it.


Here is a shot before it stopped working.  Thanks for reading, I will update from Puerto Rico in a few days.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vacation once again

I have been absent from my photography and my blog for far too long.  It has been a difficult year for my family but we are slowly getting back to normal and this vacation could not have come at a better time.

Back in St. Thomas, USVI for a week and then we will be spending the next week in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  New camera equipment is traveling with me as well, a Nikon AW100 underwater camera, a new Benro travel tripod and a Zeiss 35mm lens.  I am looking forward to testing all of them in the coming days.

Getting some air
The Skim Slam 2012 competition was held on Saturday, June 16th and I managed to get a few shots.  Check out www.skimcaribbean.com for the results and more images.

Ft. Christian

The fences have come down but the fort is still not open.  The detail is very interesting, I intend to go back and shoot more images of the sides that are now in view.  Hopefully someday this structure will be open again.

Till the next time, I'll be posting events from our trip for all to see.






Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Think Tank Giveaway

Very cool Think Tank photo bag giveaway

http://blog.thinktankphoto.com/in-a-bag-thinktankphoto-competition/

I use and love Think Tank bags, I have three of them and they are all useful.  I use the Think Tank Airport Takeoff as my travel rolling bag.  It takes everything I need to my destination and acts as a storage locker for my gear.  Best of all, it fits in the overhead bin on most planes.  I use the Think Tank Shapeshifter bag that I pack inside my suitcase.  This backpack that folds flat is great for travel. Very slim but with tons of storage, it goes to the beach, the mountains or just city shooting.  Last of all I use a SlingoMatic 30 as my travel light bag.  I like over the shoulder bags if I am just out for a few hours and the SlingoMatic from Think Tank is awesome.

Enter the contest, you will be glad you did!

http://blog.thinktankphoto.com/in-a-bag-thinktankphoto-competition/

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Photo Shoot 11/11 - 11/13

Well it was an interesting weekend, I was working on a free lance shoot, creating some web content.  A beautiful fall day, brilliant sunshine, blue skies, just the right amount of clouds.  Got to wander some areas I had not seen before.  Most of the content that I was working to create was static, architecture, buildings, random city scenes.

A few times I had the opportunity to grab a few shots for myself.  With fall being my favorite time of year, I always look for things that reflect the season.  Here is one such shot of some fall grasses with great color in the background

Fall grasses
This park area was very tranquil, the sun gave me a chance to capture some great light, shadow and color.  This next shot of a simple bridge give me color and contrast between the leaves and the metal structure.

A bridge

Lots of images to go though, it was a busy day.  Until next time, keep shooting

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