Cal Poly vs. San Jose State in the HEAT

I shot the Cal Poly/San Jose State football game on Saturday.  Cal Poly did really well, starting out with the first two scores and keeping it within 6 points into the 4th quarter, but eventually falling 34-13.

But the real story was the HEAT.  Saturday was right in the middle of a multi-day heatwave and the temperature at the 4:30 kickoff was about 107.  There was way more of a crowd than I expected and pretty good Cal Poly turnout.  They gave everyone in the stands wet towels which was a really nice gesture, and let all the fans move to the shady side of the stadium, instead of keeping the visitors and the students in the sun.

I got some good stuff, using the same pair of old Canon 1-d mk III bodies and the new-to-me-but-actually-old 300/2.8 and 70-200/2.8.  Lots of missed focus shots that make me want to upgrade to a 1-Dx, or at least re-read the camera manual on auto-focus settings.

I experimented with not using the monopod for the 300/2.8 body and instead just hung it off my BlackRapid strap and it worked out very well.  I was concerned that it would be too heavy to manage effectively or cause too much fatigue but it did very well.  Its probably worth doing it this way in the future to avoid the cumbersome monopod.

I've got a gallery here on this blog but you can see more on my flickr account.

The heat started to backoff during halftime

Older Canon cameras for sale

It's time to clear out some older cameras that don't get as much use as they could with someone else.  Both cameras are about 8 years old and come with the boxes, the original accessories, and multiple extra batteries.  They both take pictures just fine and would be good for somebody just getting into the world of digital SLR. Note:  I'm not including any lenses with these cameras, unless you want a broken 17-85 EF-S lens that does not focus.  It works (worked) well with the 40-D for a long time.

First is a Canon 40-D which is a "regular size" dSLR good for general stuff.   It takes Canon EF and EF-S lenses and shoots about 5 frames per second.  Read the DP Review of this camera here:   DP Review of Canon 40-d

Next is the Canon 1-D mk ii which shoots 8 frames per second and is great for sports!  This camera has had a lot of use and I purchased it used last year.  Read the DP Review of this camera here:  DP Review of Canon 1-D mkII

I just shot a football game this week with this camera and you can see the results on flickr in these two galleries here:

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Let me know if you're interested in any of these cameras.  I'm making good deals, especially for friends.   Cash in person, please.

Suffer for my art

This weekend makes twice in the last year I've been painfully bitten by bugs while doing photography.

I was first bitten by a wasp last summer wile standing on a beach at Lake Tahoe at 11:00 pm. What kind of wasp bites people in the middle of the night? The resulting picture is here:

Tahoe Stars

Then just this past Sunday while I was lying on my belly in a field I picked up a tick that burrowed into my torso. I was only on my belly for one photo so I'm pretty sure I know exactly which picture I was taking when I picked this guy up:

The Tick

That picture was taken after expert extraction by my lovely wife.  Her comment was "are you going to pass out now?"  (I didn't)   I find it ironic that I was on a field trip for a class on shooting macro photography when I picked this up, giving me the perfect opportunity to take a picture of something very small!   The picture above is really just a snapshot taken quickly in the kitchen - not a lot of setup involved.   It's not exactly professional quality, but I wasn't really in my right frame of mind at the time.

The picture I was taking while lying on his home is here:

Yellow Flower

Also not really top-rate but I'm including it here for completeness' sake.   I guess this is all the more reason to spend $200 and pick up the Canon angle view finder attachment - because sometimes kneeing is way better than lying down on your belly...

New Canon Stuff Tomorrow

Canon is introducing a bunch of new mid-range and high-end photography gear today. Well, tomorrow really, since it's still Wednesday where I am. I'll include some links to the DP Review (owned by Amazon) press release pages. The list includes the new 60-D, a low-end L-series 70-300 variable aperture lens, a really neat looking 8 - 15 mm fisheye zoom, revamped 300 and 400 mm f/2.8 lenses, new versions of the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, and an announcement that new 500 and 600 mm f/4.0 lenses are on the way.

Here are my quick thoughts on each of these, with a bit of a Product Marketing eye:

  • 60-D: It had to happen sometime. In fact, the 7-D should have been called the 60-D. After the 7-D, I guess this is now the bridge between the old 20/30/40/50 lineup and the Rebel line. SD cards. This camera might be popular, but it sure had better be a lot cheaper than the 7-D if they want to sell many of them.
  • 70-300 variable aperture lens: Is this just an upgraded version of the wildly popular 70-300 series? Is this for people who want an L-lens without really investing in top-quality glass? How much will it cost?
  • 8 - 15 mm fisheye zoom: Sweet. This lens is going to be really fun. I love my 15mm fisheye, which this is apparently replacing. It's obviously not as small and pocketable but it sounds like a great lens.
  • revamped 300 and 400 mm f/2.8 lenses: Who was asking for this? Why do this?
  • new versions of the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters: Seriously? Who asked for this?
  • announcement that new 500 and 600 mm f/4.0 lenses are on the way: I sure hope they don't have any backstock of these to clear out now! Again, who's asking for this?

I think all big white glass from Canon can be divided into two categories:

  1. The 200-400 mm f/4.0 zoom
  2. Everything Else

Is the new 200-400/4.0 zoom out yet? You know, the one that Canon should release to match the Nikon lens that is so popular people will sell their entire Canon setup to get? Not yet? OK, well, wake me up when that comes out.

Canon 10-22mm wide-angle zoom lens is for sale

Since upgrading to the Canon 5-D mkII last year, I've been planning to phase out my reduced frame (EF-S mount) lenses. I just picked up the 17-40 mm wide angle zoom which means the 10-22 EF-S lens is ready for a new home. I've found I really enjoy the wide angle view and this is one of my favorite focal ranges. This is always the second lens I'll take when I go somewhere, after a more medium length "walk around" lens. Different photographers are drawn to different things and I find I'm drawn to wide angles. This is also a good lens to make panoramas out of, by taking a single wide shot and then cropping it down to a 2 by 1 aspect ratio, or even a 3 x 1.

Keep in mind that 10-22 on a reduced frame (APS-C, or 1.6x crop) sensor is equivalent to 16-35mm on a "full frame" sensor. So the 17-40 is almost the same lens but not quite as wide. The angle of view is almost 90 degrees in the horizontal direction which means you can stand in the corner of a room and take a picture of the whole thing - sometimes including all four walls.

This lens has been well cared for, but not babied. It was purchased two days before a trip to Burning Man, where it was taped up and sealed pretty well. I've carried it a lot of places and it shows some light scuffing, but that's because it's actually been used. (It also went to Jamaica and Vietnam.) It's always had a filter attached on the front for protection and it works 100% as far as I know and has never gotten wet.

The current price at B & H is $720 after rebate and I'm asking $550. That's about 25% off.

Email me at if you're interested.

Canon 20-D for sale [sold]

I'm selling my Canon 20-D. It's an 8 megapixel camera from 4 years ago and I'm the original owner. I can't say it's been babied - I've taken it a lot of places and taken a lot of great photos with it. It has a very small ding in the side, near the Compact Flash door but other than that it's just scuffs here and there. It just came back from a clean-and-check at Canon's service center so it's good to go. It includes two batteries, the charger, the box, everything that came in the box, etc. No lens, no Compact Flash card. Well, I guess I could throw in a 2 GB compact flash card...

I'm looking to get $300 for it, based on completed eBay auction prices. I could settle for a little less for a friend.

This thing takes some pretty good pictures. In fact, there's no real reason to sell it, other than I don't need 3 cameras very often. It was my upgrade from the original Rebel and I was blown away by the responsiveness and speed of it.

Let me know if you're interested.

UPDATE: I sold it.