Yesterday I competed in my first "alley cat" race and I have to say, even though it was incredibly tiring (one speed, 40lbs of crap, varied terrain, cardboard box baskets taped and tied to my bike, 90 degree sun) it was also very fun and satisfying. I didnt have a little trip computer on me, but I mapped it out on google last night and from my best estimation I rode probably about 24.5mi all told (23.7 + riding around hunting for objects to fulfill each checkpoints challenges)
It was a scavenger style race with checkpoints throughout Boston and the surrounding neighborhoods. At each checkpoint you would be given a task to perform "find 5 pounds of stuff, carry it to the finish," "find 10 pounds of stuff," "find something that cant fit into this envelope" etc etc. The idea was that by the end of the race we and our bikes would be covered in random objects and whoever had the most interesting stuff and the MOST stuff by the end of the race would win a prize.
In the end, I finished the race 7/52 racers in about 3 hours with 40lbs of crap on me--which turned out to be good but not nearly enough to beat the eventual winner, Joshua, with an amazing 100lbs of junk hauled in on his cargo bike.
The race was followed with a BBQ and bike games, all in all a very fun time that I hope to repeat again in a few weeks at the next race!
Banksy and the Bristol Museum have recently unveiled a ground breaking installation that features a ton of new work from one of the greatest working artists in the world today. I am seriously considering making the trip to check this one out...it looks absolutely stunning.
Just watch these videos and you'll see what I mean.
Calling all students, calling all students...yesterday I discovered a tiny link at the top of B&H's home page that sends you to the "student advantage" section of the website; something I didn't even know existed. There are a whole bunch of different benefits to this program, including discounts on all sorts of stuff, pretty sweet eh?
I used to shoot concerts all the time but in recent years, as I have gone to less and less concerts, I have taken less and less photos. I mention this because I have shot 3 concerts in the past 3 nights, and I had a great time doing it! Thanks to my new internship at The Boston Phoenix, I was able to shoot, and enjoy, fantastic concerts by The Roots/Antibalas on Thursday night and Andrew Bird last night.
I toyed around with a few ideas for this one but, faced with a fast approaching deadline for placing my order, I decided to do some silhouette profiles and be done with it. Came out pretty neat I think...
Within 5 minutes of relieving the UPS man of his parcel, I finally had a 5D Mark II gripped firmly in my hand. This camera represents a dream come true for me, and then some; I have been hoping for a camera like this for a long time now.
The 5D Mark II is a perfect balance of power and portability; at home in both the studio or on the street. There are, of course, some new features and design elements that will take me some time to get used to, to quickly name a few:
The button placement on the back of the camera. I am used to just sliding my finger down onto the last button on the left side to playback my most recent image, not so anymore. The trash button is now the southern-most button on the 5DII's posterior.
The AF-On button. I am so used to hitting the "star" button on the back to focus that it took me about 2 hours of shooting to train my thumb to float just a little further left to hit the focus button.
The ISOadjustment has a new partner in the form of flash exposure compensation. Formerly paired with the drive adjustment, the ISO button is no longer in the center of the 3 main buttons on the top of the camera. I was regularly poking the wrong one trying to change ISO; this might take a little getting used to.
These gripes aside, the camera feels very natural in my hand, almost identical to the old 5D; which is a very good thing. Also, for those who care...the shutter has a very nice click to it, very different from the clunk-slap of the old 5D. It sounds tighter and more precise; very pleasing.
Live View is a new feature for me and I'm still kinda wrapping my mind around it. I used it a few times today to make some pictures from tight angles where I could not get an eye on the viewfinder. A welcome addition and a very necessary one when using the new video mode.
What I am most impressed with, beyond all else, is the image quality produced by this camera. It is better than good at 1600 and good at 3200. I have not tried out 6400 yet, or 12800, OR 25600. It is just beyond me that this camera still has 3 more gears to shift through if needed, simply astounding. Beyond ISO performance, the new 14-bit files are noticeable easier to manage while editing and the dynamic range seems to have significantly increased as well (compared to old 5D).
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the camera and I look forward to making many memorable images with it in the coming years.