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salton sea . welcome to smell . the july edition

yesterday jaclyn and i took a much needed day off and headed out to the salton sea for a little photo field trip with our good friends the wiebners who were out visiting southern california from lancaster, pennsylvania. for some reason my tiny little brain didn't quite put two and two together that the salton sea is in the middle of the desert and we are in the middle of summer! so needless to say, it was hotter than blazes out there! our temperature gauge hovered right around 110 degrees all afternoon :( add on to that, the humid haze lingering off the sea, the very pungent smell of rotten eggs and fish, swarms of flies, and bright midday sun and you've got one heck of a recipe for fun photography! since the conditions were close to unbearable we only stayed out and shot for about three hours...with lots of breaks in the air conditioned car :) so our friendly photographer tip for the day...don't go to the salton sea in the summer! winter and spring are much nicer :)

here are a few shots that worked out...all shot with the canon 5d and 24mm tilt shift...manually focussing with sweat in your eyes and flies all over your face is really hard!
this is what i looked like after about five minutes of walking around outside in the heat! i even put a washcloth on my head just to try to minimize the blaring sun...very fashionable i know :)
want more salton sea, check out more pics from my last salton sea trip!

(20)


SMILEBOOTH

sleeping with the enemy

* WARNING ! NERDY PHOTOGRAPHER GEAR SPEAK AHEAD *

in this post i hinted to "something different"...well i suppose it is time to spill the beans :) the something different is a canon 5d and a whole bunch of new fun glass to play with :) i never thought the day would come that we would even consider the "dark side" but we've had a taste of the forbidden fruit and it tastes goooooooood! first up, the fun stuff...what we got:

two canon 5d bodies
canon 24L F1.4
canon 35L F1.4
canon 50L F1.2
canon 85 F1.8
canon 200L F2.8
canon 24L tilt-shift
canon 45 tilt-shift
sigma 50 F2.8 1:1 macro...for the ring shots :)
580EX II speedlight

this is basically a full kit for me (nate) and after a bit more testing we will be adding another kit for jaclyn with a slightly modified setup...we'll keep you all up to date on those developments too :)

we've been secretly playing and testing with this whole setup for the past couple weeks and have been REALLY pleased with everything! fixed focal length, fast glass, coupled with the insanely low noise of the 5d sensor is opening up a whole new way for us to shoot and it has totally re-invigorated our drive for shooting. we have been shooting little parts of weddings for our past three with the canon stuff and it has performed really well. grace's church camp and all the photos from my birthday are all canon. we still have a lot to get used to with the backwards-ass canon system but i am sure it will all be second nature soon :)

i suppose the inevitable question on most of your minds might be WHY? so here goes...

we have had a long love affair with the nikon system. when we started in digital imaging six years ago it was with a pair of D1x bodies and over the years we have owned just about every model nikon has produced. we have loved the rock solid build, incredible focus system, amazing flash capabilities, intuitive ergonomics, and their awesome (but limited) lenses. we have shot basically everything that is on this blog and our old blog (with the exception of ring shots, tight shots from ceremonies, and the few random fisheye images) with one lens and one body: the nikon D2x and 17-55 AF-S ED F2.8. that setup is a total workhouse and we have been completely happy with it. on the flipside of all those pros, the very fact that nikon has such a perfect "one stop" workhorse setup also has led to a bit of feeling trapped within that one pony show. after three years of shooting that we were looking for ways to add new variety into our dwindling creativity and since nikon has such a small to no selection of "wild and fun" lenses we started drooling after some of our friend's setups and images which all happened of course to be canon. add on to that the buttery goodness of the 5d full frame sensor coupled with the extra buttery bokeh (out of focus areas) and depth of field of fast fixed glass and we had some major gadget lust. oh, and the noise on the canon is insane...we have been shooting 3200 files that look like our nikon's 800 iso stuff!

so after our very limited experience with canon stuff so far here is the small bit of negatives we can throw at it:

* the 5d body is made like poo compared to a pro body like the D2x.
* the focus system is not as accurate or as confidence inspiring...especially when dealing with the razor thin depth of field at 1.2 and 1.4.
* i hate that the viewfinder isn't 100% coverage.
* the battery doesn't last anywhere near as long as the D2x one.

over the course of the next few posts we'll drop little tid-bits about what was shot with what etc...so stay tuned for more fun gadget talk!

on a side note, i'd like to give a big shout out to a number of our great photographer friends who provided us with advice and guidance over many IM conversations and phone calls that helped us make our choices!

sean flanigan
fred egan
my favorite workshop partner, susan stripling
anna kuperberg
the wiebners
jesh de rox

THANKS A MILLION GUYS!

(51)


borrow lenses

! simpsonized !

in honor of the big simpsons movie release this weekend...what better way was there to spend our first saturday morning off in months than to simpsonize the kaiser family!

have any of you guys had a chance to go see this yet? anybody stopped by a kwik-e-mart?

(16)


B!G DEAL BRANDING

the big two six

last friday i turned twenty six and took the day off to relax. jaclyn, grace, and i took a little day trip and off roaded up the backside of palomar mountain, then headed down to lake henshaw to fly grace's new kite, then we headed off on a mission to find some awesome apple pie a la mode with fresh apple cider in julian. not exactly what most 26 year olds would consider fun for a birthday but in the middle of our crazy busy wedding season it was just what the doctor ordered :)

grace's official "funny face" she MUST do every single time i point the camera in her direction!
a few random snaps from the towers on top of palomar mountain.
the incredible shrinking lake henshaw!
we bought grace this awesome kite a few weeks ago and finally had the chance to bust it out! she was so excited to see her butterfly finally flying :)
can't you just feel the concentration ;)
one of my favorite things about lake henshaw is that you can drive right up to the lakeshore so of course we rolled the land rover out there and took advantage of the cool tailgate and just chilled.
a couple snaps of the shorline.
after a few hours lounging by the lake we headed up to julian in search of apple pie a la mode and some fresh cider...which is a surprisingly hard task at 5:15 when all the stores in town close up at 5:00! luckily we found one place still open and chowed down. man, grace is going to hate us for pictures like this later in life :)
could a guy be any more blessed than with two awesome girls like this?!?!?
after pie i wanted jac to get a sweet shot with grace and i...well of course she "turned off" and this is all i got...not quite what i was looking for but very fitting i suppose :)
twenty seven, here i come....here's to another awesome year!

(35)


THE IMAGE IS FOUND / H20 CREATIVE ALBUM TEMPLATES

avalanch ranch (church camp)

last week grace got to go to a cool week long church camp with her three cousins. she had a blast and came home every day yelling her scripture verse of the day and singing very interesting *grace versions* of worship songs :) the last day we stopped in early to see her sing on stage and shoot a few pics...

by the way....do any of you sharp photographers notice anything different about these photos? :)

grace waiting to begin the show...
clap clap clap!
after the show they closed in a prayer...grace should be a saint for how hard she was concentrating!
grace's cousins phillip and josh.
the newest holley kid, baby jessica...seriously the most animated baby i've ever seen!
jac's sister nicole and her husband john holding josh and rachael
jac and nicole laughing it up :)
grace the cowgirl extraordinare!
grace and "grams"...notice grace's very fashionable choice of head attire :)
grace's other cousin...the always wild tiffany!
john and baby jessica making remarkably similar faces :)
the ultimate diva herself, nicole's daughter rachael.
awwwwwwwww....

(39)


the CRAZYBOOTH manual . for photographers

happy *belated* birthday america

(3)


B&H photo and video

where oh where have nate and jaclyn been?

hello all...we must apologize for being such bad bloggers this past week :( we have been SWAMPED at our studio due to some big changes happening...we are expanding! the opportunity presented itself (so conveniently right in the middle of the busiest time of our year) to take over the studio next to us so we had to jump on it! for the past year and a half we have been in an awesome four hundred square feet studio space. right next to us seperated by a wall was another four hundred square foot space we have always had our eyes on....well a few weeks ago the tenant moved out and we jumped on the opportunity and snatched up the space! so for the past couple weeks besides being slammed with real photography work we have been spending every waking moment demo-ing a huge wall, reinforcing the roof, painting, flooring, putting in new electrical, installing lighting, etc. as of today we are getting "close" to finishing...we need to install track lights, baseboards, paint the doors, install an air conditioner, build a bunch of ikea stuff, and actually figure out what we're going to do with all of our new space, etc, etc, etc... :) here's a small glimpse of the disaster zone...

(15)


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