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