Friday, June 28, 2013

July 4 Fireworks and the Canon Powershot G15

Some people would think that they need an expensive DSLR to shoot fireworks. I say, "No, all you need is a tripod! And a chance to control shutter speed and aperture value..."

See, I've been saying for a long time now that, unless you shoot professionally, the Canon Powershot G15 is all you need! And this includes shooting fireworks. (And I've been saying for a long time now also that you should not ditch your point-and-shoot for your camera phone.)

You see, with the Canon Powershot G15, you have the ability to control both the Aperture Value (Av) and Shutter Speed (Tv - for Time Value). And that's essentially all the control that you need to photograph fireworks! This is because you need to open up the camera a long time so that you get the streaks of light when fireworks explode.

And, of course, with the sensor exposed for extended seconds, you need to stabilize your camera, or else your photo will be shaky. No amount of image stabilization will help you when you open the sensor up for longer than 1/5 of a second or longer.

And now that you have your G15 and your tripod, the next thing that you should have is a remote trigger. Why would you need that? Well, steadying the camera and the tripod is the first step. However, if you touch the camera itself to take the photo, then you will make the camera move! If the camera is fired via a remote, then the camera will be steady while the shot is being taken - just don't pull the remote...

(Alternatively, you can use the camera's timer to trigger it. The only problem with this is, you will have to fire the camera before the firework explodes, otherwise your shot will be late.)

And finally, if you want some pointers on how to shoot fireworks, well, it really is not that complicated.

  • First, you should find out where the fireworks will be displayed. Normally, there will be a test fire so take note of that.
  • Set the camera to Manual Exposure: this will give you the ability to independently set the Av and the Tv.
  • Then, set your camera on Manual Focus and set the focus at infinity: the fireworks will be far away, right?
  • Next, set a small aperture opening, something from f/4 or smaller so that majority of the scene is in focus. (Note that, because of the smaller sensor, you don't need to set the aperture at a very small setting. If I'm using a DSLR, I set an aperture value of f/16 or smaller.)
  • Set your time at 1/10 of a second or longer. The long exposure time will give you the nice trails of the fireworks display. If your shot is over- or under-exposed, then adjust the shutter speed accordingly. And that's it!

Just note that the G15 aperture value maxes out at f/8 and the shutter speed cannot be longer than 15s...

So, what are you waiting for? Get the gear that will enable you to shoot the July 4 fireworks! ☺


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Klipsch Image S4i Rugged Review

I'm a sucker for orange things, for gadgets, and for sale items. And when those three things combined in one gadget, I purchased the Klipsch Image S4i Rugged right away!

The sound is great, the bass is great, the fit is great in my ear canals. It is a joy to wear and it does not cause any discomfort nor pain. I got to stretch it out while watching the iOS7 Mac OS X Mavericks keynote (after the fact, i.e., not live) and I got through with it without the earbuds causing any discomfort. And I watched a movie right after the keynote, so...

The remote control for iOS functions is on the chunky side, but I can live with it. With this remote, I can answer calls, raise or lower the volume, play, pause, go to previous song, or go to the next one.

This in-ear noise isolating earbud is a joy to use and a joy to listen with. It muffled the noise of the street but not so much as to really detach you from your surroundings: The noise is reduced but you can still hear some, so you would know if a car is blowing its horn even if you know you have the right-of-way. Of course, you should always pay attention to your surroundings wherever you are, especially on the streets!

This earphone is really comfortable to use. This is because of the oval shape of the ear tips: it moulds to your ear canal. Just make sure you find the right-size ear tip for your ear canal. Oh, and make sure you put the right earphone in your right ear canal and the left earphone in your left ear canal. I was ready to return the product because it was very uncomfortable, but it turned out I made the mistake of putting the wrong piece inside the wrong ear. After I corrected my mistake, it had been comfortable listening all through out.

Highly Recommended!!!

Get yours here:

PS. I love iOS7 and Mac OS X Mavericks.

Gear used to make this post:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice!

Another Year Around the Sun...

Thanks to the Wife, friends and family for making it a wonderful life. And thanks to my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook friends for keeping me company. To my readers of this blog and on my tumblr, thank you for taking the time to read my missives. And to the great people of Lowepro, Joby, ThinkTank Photo, BlackRapid and Manfrotto, thank you for trusting me with your great products!

Here's to more years spending our time together, whether in real life or in the world of apps and the interwebs. ☺

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Joby GripTight Micro Stand

You're a phone photographer - yeah, you know who you are! And you care about your phone so you put your well-loved phone in a case. However, the case can get in the way of your iphoneography. So, you take your case off when you want to take pictures and put it back after. What a hassle!

Enter the Joby GripTight Micro Stand!

It is essentially a clamp that you can use to steady your phone shots. And the good thing is, you don't need to remove the case if you want to use it. The clamp goes from 2.1 to 2.8 inches! So even if you use, ahem, a non-iPhone phone, then you are good to go! Well, unless you are using a 7-inch behemoth of a phone... (Can that still be called a phone?!?)

When you are done, just fold the GripTight Micro Stand and put it in your pocket. Just take note that this is a small accessory that you can lose. Yeah, sad story, though with a happy ending...

And you can even use the Micro Stand for your point-and-shoot! (Yeah, don't give up your P&S just yet: consider my posts here and here.) If your P&S is 8oz or less, then you're good to go. The legs even fold into almost-nothingness: it does not add a significant weight nor add a noticeable increase in dimensions. It's there when you need it!

And if you want to see how it "unfolds", I have prepared this short vid for you...

Joby GripTight Micro Stand - More Than Meets the Eye! from Gary Coronado on Vimeo.

(I originally wanted to make a Vine vid but I wanted to add the sound effect, so I "just" made a Vimeo!)

This gadget is Highly Recommended!

So get yours here:

Special thanks to Stephen Cheng for the great customer support!

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Lowepro Dashpoint 20

Want a bag for your Canon Powershot G15? Or, say, your latest interchangeable compact with a pancake lens? Well you're in for a treat!

The Lowepro Dashpoint 20, like it's bigger and smaller siblings, comes in three colors: blue, red and grey. It comes with a shoulder strap and has a T-lock system. With this T-lock system, you can attach the pouch to basically anything: your belt, bag strap, even into other Lowepro bags. With this pouch, you literally have a multitude of ways of carrying your favorite advanced compact. On the flap, there is a pocket for a spare memory card.

The only thing missing for this pouch, as far as pouches go, is a pocket for an extra battery. I also wouldn't have minded a space for my iPad Camera Connection kit, though I don't consider that last one a very large loss since I wouldn't be bringing an iPad if I'm using just this pouch.

The construction of the pouch is great and the materials used are top notch. There is no one loose thread in the whole system.

The Lowepro Dashpoint 20 is Highly Recommended!

So get yours here:


Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fashion in the Street Chicago 2013

The Fashion in the Street Chicago was a fun fashion event held at the corner of Dearborn and Polk in the South Loop. There were booths for food and, of course, fashion accessories. And the runway event highlighted the clothes and accessories by different designers.

I was able to witness, and photograph, 3 such runway shows. The ladies were lovely and admirable, especially on the second day of the event when we had temperatures in the 50s with isolated showers in the forecast.

I had such a grand time. For me, one of the thing that I want to get into is fashion photography. And I am glad I was able to photograph the Fashion in the Street!

It took me up to the second runway show of the second day to realize that I should have taken at least two photos of each model: one full-body and one up-close. Yes, I'll get it right next time! This also proves that photography is a continuing learning process: even though this is not my first rodeo in fashion (so to speak), I still learned something of value in this event.

PS: Something strange happened to me while photographing the event. All photographers I saw, even the professional-looking ones, were chimping on their cameras! I got so fed up that, right then and there, I turned off the photo review on my 7D! (I turned of the photo review on my 5DII too.) I know I sound old-school, film-camera throwback something, something. But my point is, those photographers (or people with cameras) missed a lot when they chimped! They were missing a lot of the action because they keep on looking at the back of their camera after - every - shot... Look closely at the photo of the model saluting... If I chimped, I wouldn't have made that shot! So, don't chimp!)

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)


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