Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Irish Pub

Last Saturday, I had lunch at The Irish Pub in Atlantic City on St. James Place just off the Boardwalk. The place is very warm and friendly. We had a good lunch and the prices were very reasonable. If you want to get away from the casinos for a while and enjoy a good beer in a relaxing environment, this is a great choice.

We went around noon and the back area was empty.

I had the Crab Cakes with French Fries which was delicious and only $6.50.

My fiancee had the Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Corn.

Christmas Trees

My fiancee and I took a short trip to Atlantic City this past weekend. The holiday spirit was in full swing at Caesar's.

This Christmas tree is made up entirely of Poinsettia plants:

This Christmas tree was in the lobby of the hotel:

Friday, December 21, 2007

In the Studio

A recent studio session with Francesca.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Getting Ready for the Holidays - Part II

Yesterday I did a quick 20 minute shoot with this beautiful little girl for her family's Christmas cards. She looooooves Christmas trees.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Birds at the Queens Zoo

I recently took my 2 year old nephew to the Queens Zoo, a 5 acre zoo located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in Queens, New York. The zoo is home mostly to animals native to North America. Here are a few pictures of some of the birds that can be found there.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

PNC Park

PNC Park is the home stadium of the Pittsburgh Pirates. My fiancee and I went to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago and watched the Pirates play the Mets. This stadium is a great place to watch a baseball game because of the amazing view of downtown Pittsburgh, the riverfront and the Roberto Clemente Bridge. I took this panoramic picture during batting practice, from our seats, using my handy point-and-shoot camera.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Camera and Lens Recommendations

Recently, I've had several friends ask me for advice as to what are good SLR cameras and lenses to buy for loved ones for the holidays. Since I mostly have Canon equipment, I can make a few recommendations for digital Canon SLR camera equipment to purchase. Other manufacturers such as Nikon and Olympus make excellent products, but I have very limited experience with them.

The Canon EOS 5D (left) is an amazing digital SLR camera. It features a 12.8 megapixel full frame sensor which produces excellent image quality under low light conditions. You can buy the camera body new for about $2,100 - $2,200. For professionals and serious amateurs, this camera is a good alternative to the Canon EOS1D Mark III which retails for about $4,500. The 5D is my primary camera and I am extremely happy with it. This camera is a favorite among wedding photographers.

The Canon Digital Rebel XTi is a terrific consumer level SLR camera. It features a 10.1 megapixel APS-C sensor. At approximately $550 for the camera body only, the XTi is 4x cheaper than the 5D, but is still a quality camera. I prefer the 5D because the image quality is far superior under low light conditions. However, the XTi is a terrific camera for the price and more than adequate for a hobbyist.

The Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens (left) is a very impressive, high performing zoom lens. It is widely regarded as one of the best general purpose lenses available. The 24-70 L delivers excellent optical performance and is very sharp for a zoom lens. The fixed f/2.8 minimum aperture makes this lens a very fast zoom lens. In my opinion, the only downside is it's weight. At about 2.1 lbs, it is hefty. On a full frame camera, the focal length of 24mm is reasonably wide, but on an APS-C sensor camera such as the XTi, I find myself wishing it was a bit wider. For APS-C sensor cameras, I recommend the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lens which retails for about $950. The 24-70 L retails for about $1,050.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens provides a very useful focal length range with excellent image quality and image stabilization. Like the 24-70 L, this lens features a fixed f/2.8 minimum aperture. This lens is heavy at 2.9 lbs. However, this high quality lens is a favorite among professionals and serious amateurs. At around $1,600, this is also a very expensive lens, but well worth the money.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens is terrific because it is small, light, inexpensive, sharp and has a fast f/1.4 aperture. At around $300, it is a must buy for both casual and serious photographers. For traveling, this lens is excellent in combination with the XTi because both are very light. Unless you really need the flexibility of a zoom lens, this is a great lens to keep on your camera most of the time. This is my favorite prime lens in the Canon line of consumer lens. The professional line of Canon prime lens are definitely superior, but they are also at least 3 to 4x the price. If you can afford the steep $1,700 price tag, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens produces stunning images.

You can find numerous consumer reviews for these cameras and lenses on the Fred Miranda website. For samples images taken with this equipment, a quick search on Flickr will generate plenty of examples. Have fun shopping.

Winter Blues

It's cold in New York City. The temperature is about 30 degrees fahrenheit, but the wind makes it feel much colder. The temperature will get even colder over the next 2 months. It's weather like this that makes me long for Spring and Summer.

This past Summer, my fiancee and I spent a few days relaxing at the Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. These pictures remind me that warm weather will return. I woke up around 5:30 a.m. to take these first 4 pictures of the grounds around the lodge.

The sun is just beginning to rise over the horizon. It's still too dark to see the lake which is at the bottom of the picture.

The rising sun is creating a beautiful glow over Skytop Lake.

This is the view of the lake from the observation tower of the lodge. I like this picture because of the light mist over the hills.

The suns rays reflecting off the moon.

There are numerous hiking trails around the lodge. This is my favorite picture from the trip. The trees kept the forest relatively dark, but we came across a clearing which allowed the sun to shine through.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Earlier this week, I took some photos for a young couple for their holiday cards. Their little guy was having fun decorating the Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My New Website is Up!!!

I am pleased to announce that my new website has finally launched.


Thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts and ideas during the development of the site. I especially want to thank my fiancee for her constant love and support.

I hope you enjoy your visit. Keeping checking back for the latest updates to the photo galleries. Of course, I will continue to contribute to my blog.

Ed Miyashiro

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Laura & Jonathan

Back in August I did a photo session with a young married couple from Long Island, Laura and Jonathan. We did most of the photo session in Cold Spring Harbor in the Town of Huntington. This was my first visit to Cold Spring Harbor. It's a beautiful area with interesting little shops along Main Street.

Laura and Jonathan were both amazing to work with.

Whatever Jonathan whispered to Laura made her crack up. It took her at least a minute to stop laughing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Maria & Louis - Part II

Last week I posted some pictures from my photo session with Maria and Louis in the Financial District and Battery Park City which are located at the southern tip of Manhattan. They were so enthusiastic about the experience that I have posted a few more.

This picture was taken on a walkway bridge that overlooks Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park and the Hudson River. This is a nice, quiet spot to enjoy the view of the water.

These last three pictures were taken near the South Cove which is another park area in Battery Park City. This is one of Battery Park City's most popular destinations because there are plenty of seating areas where you can enjoy the view of the harbor and the many ships that pass through.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium

My fiancee and I love going to baseball games. She is a die-hard New York Mets fan and still won't talk about their late season collapse of last year. Every year we plan a short trip where we go to see a Mets game at a stadium we have yet to visit. In the last few years we have been to Wrigley Field in Chicago, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Camden Yards in Baltimore, RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and most recently, Turner Field in Atlanta.

One of the reasons we like to go on these baseball trips is because we get the opportunity to visit a U.S. city we might normally never go to see. Atlanta is a good example. It's a fine city, but I never really considered taking a trip there.

What I discovered is that Atlanta features the world's largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, which opened in 2005 and was funded mostly by a $250 million donation from the founder of Home Depot. Also, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the few aquariums in the world to feature whale sharks.

As a kid, I was fascinated by sharks and loved to visit the New York Aquarium in Coney Island to see them. The whale shark is interesting because it is the largest living fish species and can grow to 40 - 60 feet long. As we might never get the opportunity to see a whale shark up close, we decided to visit the Georgia Aquarium. They had about 4 whale sharks on exhibit, but none of them approached the 40-60 foot range. Nonetheless, they were very impressive.

I write about our trip to the Atlanta and their aquarium because yesterday was the first time I checked out my pictures from that trip and came across one I found interesting. Sitting in front of the huge shark tank was a father and his baby as a whale shark swam by.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Verrazano Bridge on a Cloudy Day

The Verrazano Bridge is a suspension bridge which connects the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York to Staten Island. When construction of the bridge was completed in 1964, it became the longest suspension bridge in the world. A few other suspension bridges have been built since which are longer, but it remains the longest in the United States. The second longest in the U.S. is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Many people today know the Verrazano Bridge as the starting point for the New York City Marathon.

I took this picture of the Verrazano Bridge on a cloudy day last January. This picture reminds me of my childhood. I grew up in Bay Ridge and spent many weekend afternoons bike riding with my father and brother along this bike path. Since this is Thanksgiving weekend and I am thankful for my family, I thought I would post this picture.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fun New Gadget

I've wanted to buy a fisheye lens for a while now and recently picked one up. I bought a Sigma 8mm f/3.5 EX DG AF Circular Fisheye. This is the widest circular fisheye with autofocus. It is capable of capturing a 180 degree field of view. I love how it produces an exaggerated perspective and dramatic distortion especially along the edges of the frame.

On a full frame camera such as my Canon 5D, this lens can achieve full circle images. Except for the occasional dancing at the reception shot, I probably won't be using this lens much for my wedding photography business. However, this lens is great fun to play around with and can make mundane subjects visually interesting. This lens is not really meant for taking pictures of people close up as it will greatly exaggerate a person's features.

Here are a few test shots I took on Thanksgiving in my fiancee's sister's backyard: