July 17, 2005

Debate Over

It took only about five minutes with Gary at Adorama but it happened. I'm out exactly $5,700.00 and am the contented owner of a Nikon D2x and Speedlight SB-800. I wouldn't have bought the flash but it's a dirty trick Nikon pulls not to make their flashes incompatible with future camera models. Further aggravating the financial hit, they don't bundle their capture software with the camera so I'll have to buy that for another hundred and change later. Regardless of Nikon's nickel and diming, the camera appears to be just what I need.

I've been debating the switch to Canon's 1Ds Mark II but opted to give Nikon another few years. In part it was an economic decision but also because the Mark II is a bit too heavy and actually makes files too big for my day to day needs. 12.4 megapixels is just fine. Plus it's not just about the megapixels. I wanted the familiarity that comes with Nikon and the weight issue is a real concern for me. After holding a camera for twelve hours straight, every ounce matters and Canon's camera is really heavy. That said, for anyone debating between Nikon and Canon (and you don't have any lenses yet), I'd urge you to buy Canon. I can only hope that the next few years sees Nikon pick up the ball they've clearly dropped and I won't ever have to enter that debate again.

Take pictures and save your money.

Girl Collecting

I was just poking around more of my Niagara Falls photos and took a moment to make a mundane diptych and I think this is going to be the beginning of a collection. I can't say for sure whether it's a sustainable endeavor but there is something cliche and somewhat idiosyncratic in that word's repetition that is going to be fun to pursue. Heck, if these two were within 100 yards of each other on Lundy's Lane, once I really start looking for them, it might get ridiculous. We'll see.

Take pictures.

July 16, 2005

Seek and Ye Shall Find

The 4AM to 6AM scene on the lower fringes of Manhattan are quite a fun little blip in the daily cycle of the city. Like a kind of rush-hour gone bad, it's a brief window where a night of revelry wraps up with people stumbling about, the hailing of cabs and lots of nocturnal noshing in diners and on street corners. Invariably, there are folks hooking up and others whose night takes a turn for the worse. They end up slouched over in their own vomit like these guys. Last night a little stretch of 10th Avenue became an informal vomitorium.

I get a kick out of shooting these folks and oddly, it would seem that puke is a popular search term for folks who end up at my site. I can see folks who have clicked onto my blog while searching the oddest things from "Thai prostitutes" to "am I alone." So this is for you "kids puking" and "puke pictures." May your Google searches always be so inspired.

Take pictures.

July 14, 2005

Greetings from Niagara Falls

I popped up into Canada last weekend to watch Jody Evans do his thing at the casino and used it as an excuse to take a few days off. One of the things that stuck me about the place was that he falls was lost in the landscape. Between the Casino, wax museums, dinosaur adventures, mini golf, massive chain restaurants, strip joints and loads of hotels and motels, the landscape is a jumble of marketing hype and architectural disasters. I went out one evening to see if I could capture some of the feeling for my mundane series but along the way felt more inclined to use the full frame instead of the square. I carefully moved around the area framing the shot ever so carefully. I made this one standing in the middle of busy intersection so I needed the light to change a few times before I got it just right.

It's nothing special. I just thought I'd share it. Maybe I'll start making more full-frame mundane pictures to compliment the diptych squares. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out my website (clayenos.com) and click on the mundane link.

Look around you and take pictures.

July 02, 2005

Vocalizing Intent

In this era of digital cameras everywhere, I thought I'd try a different approach to making photographs last night. Instead of just banging up and taking pictures, I always asked first. Surprisingly, it worked fine and didn't really break my flow. By asking first, I set myself apart from the masses.

The scene at 4:15 AM was fairly typical of the place I had found myself. Some guy was standing up at the bar puking on the floor and then moments later two guys started a rather aggressive test of manliness. They were locked in a full-on grappling match. Again, rather than just diving in with my camera I spoke aloud that I wanted to take pictures. I spoke loud enough that everyone in he room could here me. I said "I have to take pictures of this," "I have to have this" and "I am going to take pictures now." No one was really paying attention to me as the boys fighting fell to the ground but I knew I was being heard. The lack of objection was my green light. I snapped about 6 shots before it was over.

I don't know if my announcement made any difference in how my actions were received. I think that if someone had objected after I started taking pictures, it would have been their problem, not mine. That simple vocal expression of my intent was important in such a heated space and I think it gave me the ability to get closer than I would have gotten without speaking up ahead of time. Since being close is important to me, I am looking forward to exploring my verbal technique more.

Also, if you are curious, I just added a little list of my primary gear. It's on the right side. Just scroll down a bit.

Take pictures.