Saturday, December 8, 2012

Riding the rails of Calgary's West Leg of the LRT.

With just 23 days left until the end of the year I am already starting to think ahead and what I will do with my consecutive shooting streak.  It has been a lot of fun, sometimes tedious and very much a challenge.  I have learned a lot and have seen my own enjoyment of photography return.

Using the iPhone as a tool of choice for the past year as given me a lot of freedom to create images that I have enjoyed.  Like today's photo, taken while I was traveling the length of the new west leg of Calgary's Light Rail Transit system.  I had my boy's with me and with the fairly large crowd of people who turned out to check out the new line, my attention had to be on them throughout the afternoon.  There were plenty of photographers out shooting all the activities and architecture of the new train system, but I was here to enjoy with my kids.  Working with a DSLR can take your attention away from your surroundings as you focus on what is around you.  Phone cameras though seem to give you more freedom to quickly take them out, compose your shot, capture it and then move on.  This is very important when you are looking out for the safety of little one's.  So while we were waiting between trains I was able to photograph some of the decorations adorning the new Sirocco Station.  Once I returned home I was then able to crop it and post process it with Snapseed and share it as my Instagram 366 photo.
One of the reasons we had ventured downtown and thus were out to be able an take advantage of the open house for the West Leg was that I wanted to pick-up some extension tubes from The Camera Store for my Canon system.  I have really started to enjoy shooting close up using the iPhone and wanted to have this ability with my DSLR.  Now I know that a true Macro lens is one of the best tools for doing this type of work, yet I like some of the versatility of extension tubes.  My reasoning for this is that I can use them on lenses that have different focal lengths thus giving me some other options that a prime lens macro might not offer.  There is also the factor of weight when one is traveling and as I will be spending sometime in India in the near future this was an important part of my decision.

I put the new tubes on my Canon 7D when returned home and tried a variety of things at the start to see how they worked with both the 24-70mm f2.8 and the 70-200mm f2.8 lenses.  They were a little tricky at first but I slowly got use to them.  After trying some different small items I looked around to see what I could find that would be interesting and something I would be willing to share.  I noticed our Hibiscus plant has some new buds on it and figured to work with them.  Now it was late in the day and the sun was setting creating a nice back light.  I tried a few different angles before getting down low with the sun behind the bud and the 24-700 at 1/100 sec at f5 and 100 ISO. I loved the silhouette that was created and how large the sun became.  After downloding it to my computer I uploaded it to my iPhone so I could add the frame using RealCamera+ and then sharing it on Instagram, Tadaa and Streamzoo.

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