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Glad that's over with....

Sat Jan 31, 2009, 4:38 PM
Whew! dA has restored Barack Obama 01 and realitysquared sent me an apology. All is right with the world again.

Also, evanhwong :iconevanhwong: was the reason it all went so smoothly. He was my advocate in the process from the beginning, aside from being the GD for the image. I've always thought of him as one of my good dA friends, but he really went out of his way for me here. Everyone should go show him some love :hug:

So that's really about it for now, not a whole lot else. Oh, I found these two quotes in an old journal I wrote about the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The juxtaposition is still quite striking to me, so I thought I'd share them again.

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Hermann Goering, Reichmarshall of the Nazi party, at his Nuremberg trial, on how easily the Nazi party gained dictatorial control legally over the German democratic republic.

"To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve."
- John Ashcroft, Attorney General during the 1st term of George W Bush's presidency, on why the USA Patriot Act is needed and the nature of its domestic opponents.

Sean

My Daily Deviations:
Barack Obama 02 by StudioFovea You Silly Nazis by StudioFovea Le Fumeur Solitaire by StudioFovea Rocker Girl 01 by StudioFovea



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  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone -
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Cano
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
OH MY GOD.

I just resubmitted this as a scrap. dA says I stole this image and removed it.

This image had over 10,000 views and I think over 1,000 favourites, has been up for almost a year now and is part of a series that has been DD'ed on this site and published elsewhere.

No one contacted me first, to resolve the issue. I just got an automated note informing me of my theft of the image and that it was removed.

WTF dA? How can you not tell that this is my own image? There is so much evidence to suggest that it's actually mine. I am a professional photographer, I don't need to spend my time and effort on dA if I'm going to be treated like this - stealing my own work. My God.

That image still has the EXIF attached to it. You can clearly see that it was shot with the same 1D Mark II, down to the SERIAL NUMBER, that nearly everything else in my gallery was shot with. I also have the RAW file, with the same EXIF and I still have the 1DII. I can easily prove its mine... no one bothered to fucking ask me about it though.

This also means that somewhere else is what dA THINKS is the original. So now the ACTUAL theft is still up but my original is nixed.

I can't even convey how angry I am right now.

Hopefully the Help Desk gets back to me before the end of next week, but I am not hopeful. I've noted the proper staff member too, but nothing has been resolved yet.

I will keep you all updated.

Sean

My Daily Deviations:
Barack Obama 02 by StudioFovea You Silly Nazis by StudioFovea Le Fumeur Solitaire by StudioFovea Rocker Girl 01 by StudioFovea



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  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone -
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Cano
  • Watching: The Quiet Man

My Thanks to ^estudio... again

Wed Nov 5, 2008, 2:34 PM
Not a whole lot to say but thanks, many times over. evanhwong has featured one of my photographs today, this little rocker girl Rocker Girl 01 by StudioFovea

...And now another one! This time of Barack Obama!
Barack Obama 02 by StudioFovea

Wow, this was a real treat to wake up to today. First the election, now this. evanhwong is the best :chew:

I have about 800 images from the celebrations last night. Dancing in the street, spontaneous marches, elation the likes of which I have not seen ever before. I will try to have them up shortly.


So, thanks! I appreciate all your favorites and comments!

My Daily Deviations:
Barack Obama 02 by StudioFovea You Silly Nazis by StudioFovea Le Fumeur Solitaire by StudioFovea Rocker Girl 01 by StudioFovea



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  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone -
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  • Watching: The Quiet Man
That's right. I managed to finagle my name onto the short list for tonight's Obama rally in Madison WI. It'll a good one, it's being held at the Kohl Center downtown, and it's supposed to be a capacity crowd (around 17000 people... the city of madison is only 200,000)

So hopefully I'll end up with some pretty awesome shots of the rally and the very probably next president of the US.

I've got some work to do now before I head downtown, I'll see you all later.

Slan
Sean

My Daily Deviations:
You Silly Nazis by StudioFovea Le Fumeur Solitaire by StudioFovea



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DD #2

Thu Jan 24, 2008, 2:17 AM
Well, I received my second Daily Deviation today, much to my surprise. Winter's really had me down lately, and ironically my image "Le Fumeur Solitaire," a manifestation of all things cold and depressing.

Check it out:
Le Fumeur Solitaire by StudioFovea

Well, thanks to all of you who showed your support and appreciation for it before the DD, and after. I'm pretty satisfied with it, I think it's a solid piece of street photography and social commentary, and I'm really glad you all do too.

Slan
Sean

My Daily Deviations:
You Silly Nazis by StudioFovea Le Fumeur Solitaire by StudioFovea



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New lens!

Sat Nov 3, 2007, 2:13 AM
Oh dear, I just got a new lens! Rebuilding my stolen kit has been a lengthy process so far, but we can welcome another member back into the family....

Now, don't laugh....

it's the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mark II.

On my 1D Mark II. In the bag next to the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM.

Yeah, it looks ridiculously funny on the 1-series body, but it's sharp and I desperately needed a normal prime.

Pictures of this unlikely union will follow shortly.




Oh.... and there are whispers that there might be a new SF wedding/portraiture website going live within the next week..... rumour has it that I've even created the whole thing, from scratch....     shhhhhhh >.>


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Looking for TFCD + Collaboration work

Thu Apr 26, 2007, 11:01 PM
Yes! I'm looking for models, photographers, artists, whoever, to work and collaborate with. Need portfolio images? Sure. Are a photographer and want/need another camera/mind/body to help bring your idea to fruition? Cool. Just need photographic work and are not a photographer? What the hell, sure!

Ideally I prefer to work with people (this especially goes for models) who have an interest in the creative process - hence the collaborative part. Having both parties involved in the conception as well as creation is something I value; I think it produces a more interesting result and is a hell of a lot more fun. I'm assuming a photographer looking for help already has the conception, if they don't then I might be a little afraid...

I am open to shooting anything, in any style, but I must present the caveat that most of my work is either informal (photojournalistic, non-structured, etc) or doesn't involve people, so my level of experience shooting, say, high fashion, is not that high. Mostly because I prefer the feel of the less informal shot, with more action and/or emotion... but anything goes.

I'm looking for TFP... err, TFCD (still feel like calling it tfp for some reason) and image rights can be negotiable.


Well, if you're in the southern third of Wisconsin, or are willing to be, drop me a line and we'll see what we can't work out.

Please do, I'm getting kind of bored >.>


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  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
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Well, I've never featured or showcased another photographer before, and I personally know many that I'd be willing to, but today I found the gallery of HisN and was so impressed by it that I decided I must share it with you all.

He focuses mostly on portraiture, but his images contain either wonderful graphic control (texture, light, DoF, composition, et cetera) or stunningly beautiful captures moments of equally stunningly beautiful women. And in many cases both.

Make sure you give all of these images a full-view, it's well worth it. Go dig through his gallery yourself as well.

So, here are my favorites from his gallery.





Top favorites:
:thumb24612469: (<--favorite) :thumb23927385: :thumb9618796: :thumb15784663: :thumb14747573: :thumb16864600: :thumb17716705:




My other favorites:
:thumb52522619: :thumb23214750: :thumb27540702: :thumb28253114: :thumb41453959: :thumb43808341: :thumb22044735: :thumb15729121: :thumb20534714: :thumb22136634: :thumb30194576: :thumb9388973: :thumb8945092: :thumb7782265: :thumb11081298: :thumb14435427: :thumb15005079: :thumb37781099: :thumb6536295:
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
Well, I broke 20,000 pageviews this morning. I'm somewhere close to 250 watchers as well, so thank you all for your support.

The kitty pictures definitely put me over the top. I put them up before I went to bed, and when I woke up I was astonished. I haven't had that much stuff in my Messages since my Silly Nazi DD.

In case you missed them, here are the kitty pictures of which I speak:
Finnegan 01 by StudioFovea

I'm still breaking in my new EOS 1D Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM. I'm really enjoying it, but I haven't had a paid assignment or shoot yet, and spring is just starting to show itself. Hence many of my new images post-theft are of kitties. They're cute and accessible.

Here are a few of the other images from my 1D that I've posted:
Mallard female in flight 02 by StudioFovea Mallard in water 01 by StudioFovea Mallard female in flight 01 by StudioFovea
Clancy 01 by StudioFovea


Lilacwood and Lir 01 by StudioFovea


And some older pre-theft work that I recently worked on and posted:
The Overture Center Interior03 by StudioFovea Brick Building 01 by StudioFovea
Paul and Carolyn 02 by StudioFovea Paul and Carolyn 01 by StudioFovea
Seia 04 by StudioFovea Seia 02 by StudioFovea Seia 01 by StudioFovea
Carolyn and Seia 03 by StudioFovea Carolyn and Seia 01 by StudioFovea Carolyn and Seia 02 by StudioFovea



In making this I realised that I have entirely too many kitties in this gallery. Ah, oh well. Who doesn't love a kitty?

Thanks again for all your support.

I'm thinking of starting a featured work journal and an advice column, due to my new-found super uber fame ;) . I may make a poll on the issue. Tell me yea or nay and why. Thanks!
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
I had a chance to use the Sony Alpha 100 DSLR yesterday, and I felt so strongly about it that I was compelled to review it. In a nutshell it was extremely disappointing. After all the hype and awards and glowing reviews, I was sorely let down.

Usage:
First things you notice when you pick up the a100 are that it's plastic and that it bears a striking resemblance to the Canon Rebel XT and XTi. Sony basically stole Canon's physical design and UI, simply interchanging a couple of buttons and adding a second wheel at the top-left. Even the menu structure was so obviously copied. But in classic Sony fashion, the UI became more convoluted and harder to use. Perhaps I'm just used to Canon UI, but I don't have the same issues with, say, Nikon UI.

Mechanics:
Because this angered me the most I will address it first - the AF is SHITE! I tried both kit lenses (18-70mm and 75-300mm) and.... wow. Now I know that they're not exactly top shelf glass, but this is just amazing. In -bright- light, af was extremely slow to move any significant distance, and could be counted on to hunt a good deal once it was there. It was also noticeably loud. After using the lenses for a bit and testing focus, I wanted to beat them both on the counter in front of me until there was nothing left but a fine glassy-sand pulp left. They did however appear to be adequately sharp, if ever they were in focus. The lenses also were only adequately usable. The zoom rings weren't all that smooth, but it didn't seem to impair movement. The focus rings were extremely tiny and sort of silly.

The LCD screen on the back was nice and large, for what it's worth. In Olympus and now Canon fashion (a trend I do NOT like) vital stats are displayed on this LCD instead of on an LED window somewhere else. Big battery drain to use that screen constantly. This information display did lose some functionality though over the Canon and Olympus through an effort to make it look pretty.


Summary:
I know I didn't objectively critique all the aspects of the camera. Suffice it to say that everything else is at or just below the quality of it's competitors, nothing special to report. I felt compelled to express my angst over certain issues present however. The (poorly) copied design and UI, the AF that sucks monkey-balls, and so on. I didn't address the Super-Steady Shot... because on camera IS is kind of worthless. It reduces sharpness for one, and more importantly YOU CAN"T SEE THE STEADINESS IN THE VIEWFINDER. If the image in the finder is too shaky to frame up, there's not much point to having a possibly steady image after you've randomly let off a hopeful shot. And I don't care what they say, it's not giving me 3-4 extra stops. There's a reason Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Panasonic, and Leica build IS into the lenses - because it's better!

This is a mediocre camera - not a bad one. It does have some redeeming qualities, not that I've mentioned them here, but it does. However, for the level of hype and industry attention it's received, it is sadly lacking. Even if the body was better, the lens system frightens me. I see absolutely no reason to choose this camera over proven designs in both body and glass by Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and so on. The fact that Popular Photography gave this camera the "Camera of the Year 2006" award frankly makes me throw up a little in my mouth. I usually have a lot of respect for that mag, too.

The only reason to get this camera would be to use an existing Minolta lens system. Otherwise, get a camera that actually works.
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
An interesting fellow commented on You Silly Nazis a few weeks ago, turns out he's a white supremecist and a Nazi. I ended up having an honest discussion with him on his front page. I presented a question, in the vein of rationality and inclusiveness, and he responded, and we've been back and fourth for quite some time now. I'm stil waiting for another response, so I'll probably update this journal in a while.

Here is the conversation, without further adieu:


StudioFovea -

An honest question, please take it seriously:

Why do you believe in the superiority or inferiority of a person based on genetics or race, with no consideration of personal or individual merit? In other words, how does being born to certain parents relate to the quality of the human's intellect and moral substance?


Altblut -

Simple, history shows us the superiority of the white race,

the white race is the most advanced and the most powerful union of cultures in the world.

hopefully to stay that way.


StudioFovea -

As I recall, history tells us that the birth of civilisation happened in Mesopotamia, with decidedly semitic peoples. And while European cultures drove themselves into a Dark Age for 500 years, the Arab and Asian worlds experienced no such backward movement. In fact, while the Church was suppressing learning and education, it was the Arab scholars that preserved the knowledge base of Classical Greece and Rome, the foundation of Western society.

What history do you find to support your claim?


Conversation split into two threads here, the bold text is the first string, the non-bold text is the second half drawn from the above comment


Altblut -

19th Romantic germany, and the holy Roman empire.

plus the viking regime in the 8th to 11th centuries.

not to mention that just about every thing we use today in our lives was invented by a white man.


StudioFovea -

These things existed yes, but what about them demonstrates white racial superiority above and beyond that of any other race? The kaiserreich lasted for little more than a half century before it collapsed on itself. Not to diminish it, but I don't see it as grand triumph far and above that of every other nation's achievements.


Altblut -

Although what you are saying is right, when we look at the general picture:
in recent history the white race became the strongest race on this earth.

I wish to maintain this status as the master race.
a status the white race loses every day. with every product we go out and buy that is not made in Europe. with each and every non-white immigrant crossing the border into the Fatherland.

I am WHITE, and therefore seek the best for my family, for my nation, and for my race.



Altblut -

Christianity is a Semitic religion. and it is no longer needed for the white race.

Arab scholars only Preserved, white people create.


StudioFovea -

Except for that little bit we call Algebra....

And they created things like the concept of longitudes, and determined the solar system to be just that - heliocentric. Copernicus drew much of his work from Arab scholars' discoveries.

Much of modern medicine, like the concept of medical hygiene, were Arab creations.

And, if you really want to go there, the vast majority of all the things the Arabs "preserved" were created by Greeks and Egyptians, neither are white. There's a reason the center of all knowledge, east and west, was in Alexandria, Egypt.


Altblut -

o.k o.k...they have their share in the common knowledge of mankind.

but ancient Greece was a white culture.
plus Egyptians had white influences on them.


StudioFovea -

Egyptian culture, astronomy, mathematics, and science existed for a thousand years before the emergence of Greek civilisation. They determined that the world was a sphere before there even was white civilisation.

How many pillars of society or advances in civilsation are directly attributable to white supremecists? And not just Aryans, not just white people.




And there we sit, I wait for his response. It is quite amazing that even after dismantling his arguments point by point, he admits it but still persists in maintaining the same conclusions, as if his decision making and rational capacities are divorced from fact.

I welcome your comments.
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
Well, someone ( WrozkaKotek ) was kind enough to stealthily subscribe me today.

I'm learning CSS now ( I know I know, I should already know it)

I like to code, especially for visual things like this, I just hate learning the code. Should be well versed in a day or two, and making kick-ass journals!

Until next time, I'm Marty Stauffer  ;)
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
Update on the Update #2

Well, I've only received just under 4000 USD from the insurance company, with another 950 in "depreciated value" still in limbo. Not quite what I was hoping for, but it's a hell of a lot more than zero. And my finding of the silver lining doesn't mean I feel any less malcontent towards my insurer....

BIG NEWS THOUGH!!! I have equipment en route from the seller as I write this. Current new kit is as follows:

Canon EOS 1D Mark II (box opened, not technically new, but plastic still on the LCD)
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L (non-IS - it's sharper)
Canon backpack
Kingston 2gb SD cards (2x) (18mb/s write speed)

I know I know, I only have one lens. I didn't have the 400 USD I needed to get the Sigma 24-70/2.8, otherwise I would have. The 70-200 is my usual portrait lens anyway, and the real moneymaker, so I went with it first. Some of you may be questioning the memory purchase.... the 1D Mark II takes both CF and SD at the same time, and as far as Kingston goes, they're not a big name in photography, but they ARE a big name in computers, and my custom computer shop uses exclusively two brands of RAM: Kingston and Corsair. That and they cost half of what 4gb of CF from Sandisk would cost. Besides, I already have a 2gb Sandisk Extreme III, it's all I got to keep when my kit was stolen.

So, sometime on Friday I should be in possession of a camera once again, barring any cataclysmic events occurring to myself or the UPS guys delivering it. It only took 5 months to fix!

To tell the truth, I have been without a camera for so long that I am having trouble remembering what it's like to possess my own and get to use it at my discretion. There have been so many delays and problems with replacing this that it doesn't even seem real yet. The theft changed my life so completely, and now I'm gonna just change it back. Very surreal.

Anyway, thank you all who have stuck with me through this dead time, continually bugging me about when I'm gonna put up new stuff and so on. Your myriad forms of support have meant a lot to me. I hope to get right back into it straight away, and I don't intend to let anyone down ;)

I've got a 1-series!!! w00t!
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
Update on the Update #1

Today (Monday 22 Jan) I spoke with both my agent (a very good and decent man, and an advocate of mine within the company) and the claims adjustor (antithesis of the former). Much progress was made today.

First, I learned that my computer and iPod were omitted because insufficient proof of ownership or purchase was provided. Shouldn't have been an issue, but as I can provide adequate proof, all should be well.

Second, the insurance company should pay me the difference between what it cost me to buy back everything and what they gave me, but only after i make the purchase. Kind of an issue because, not including the computer or iPod, the items actually paid for by insurance as of right now total 5300 USD at the local camera shop, whilst I received 2900 USD. But I think I can manage, and this means that I should get all of my money eventually, if not all at once.

Third, and I learned this only after I arrived at the camera shop to attain the actual figure, my EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens (600 USD) was ALSO omitted from the list of things they paid me for. Oh, it's on my receipts and police reports and claim letters, she just forgot about it. Apparently.

Fourth, I was indeed correct that a lot of my gear was undervalued by the insurance company. The deal is I get replacement cost for the item. This cost is to be derived from a local retailer, a place that I actually have access to. Example: Actual retail cost from the local camera shop of a new 20D (if you can find one) - 1299 USD   30D (comparable model) - 1399 USD. Insurance company's assessed replacement value - 895 USD. WTF? You can barely get an XTi body for that price! This however shouldn't be much of an issue because of the fact that they'll be making up the difference between what I was paid for the equipment and what I shell out to buy it again, but still.

So, Apple lists my exact computer model, refurbished, as 1349 USD. The iPod, still current model, as 249 USD new. Total value of camera gear from The Camera Company is 5394.96 USD (after tax)

1349+249+5394.96= 6992.96 USD - total, real replacement value of every item lost. Current amount paid: roughly 2900 USD.


And so the saga continues.... again.



Update on the stolen camera/insurance debacle

Saturday saw the arrival of the payment check. W00t! Wait a tick...

Estimated replacement cost (by myself and local retailers): $6100
Amount I am willing to accept: $5000-5500
Actual value of payment: $2800

Why, you ask? Simple. Because they "assessed" the value of my CURRENT MODEL gear as lower, or took the prices of used gear for their replacement cost. Example: Canon EOS 20D - $800. WTF? I can buy it online, used, for that. Not new, not at an actual retail location. And there's the problem that they're using current values, when my gear was stolen in FREAKIN OCTOBER. I'm not accepting the devaluing of my equipment simply because they've dragged their feet long enough for new models to come out.

Oh, and one other minor detail: the claim adjustor OMITTED my 5th gen iPod and notebook computer. Replacement cost: $1700. Ahh, THAT'S where the money went. And they didn't deny it, or give me less than it was worth, it's just simply not addressed. This is incompetence mark #1

Incompetence mark #2 is this: along with my letter and check, I also received another person's claim letter. Apparently he lost a one karat diamond from an engagement ring. At any rate, it was in the SAME ENVELOPE as my stuff. Not like she slapped the wrong address label on his envelope, she just stuffed it in mine.

So..... Tomorrow we will be having a chat with her and her superiors. And I'm out of platonic patience. We'll be reassessing the value of some items and making sure others actually get acknowledged.

Updates to follow.
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
OK, I've been researching a lot of gear lately, since I'm replacing all my stolen gear. And after all the reviews I've read, I just have to comment on them.

Mostly concerning lenses, people say some crazy stupid things.

I'm looking at strictly professional, top shelf glass. Yet people will include in reviews - whether they're an amateur or pro shooter or even a formal reviewer for a mag - things like "mm, it was a little heavy though..." or "It's a little on the pricey side however..." or "It was a little large, wish it was smaller..." or some such thing. And it's said like it's a negative or detracting point.

OF COURSE! All those things are true! You're using top-shelf glass. It's made to be the sharpest, fastest, and have the greatest image quality possible. Yes, it is a 3-pound lens, but it's a 70-200mm with a constant f/2.8, and severe CA and distortion control, and has some of the best contrast and color of any lens. That takes a lot of glass. And it's made to take a beating - solid aluminum case. It's large and heavy for a reason. The reason is quality. Stop complaining about all these things. In a perfect world it would weigh 1 ounce and be an inch long, but physical laws kinda got in the way.

And the price. Yeah, it is expensive, because it's good. See all the reasons above.

It appears to me that people are coming off of cheap crappy lenses and only noticing the physical changes, and are completely ignoring the quality improvements of any aspect. Like saying, "Wow, it's long and wide! They shoulda made it not so huge!" instead of, "Wow, it's at 200mm and f/2.8! There's no distortion and it's totally sharp wide open!" And, "Geez, it's heavy! Gonna fatigue the shoulder for sure and never EVER be a walkabout lens!" instead of, "Wow, I could have never smoked that 75-300mm $125 lens on the ground and still used it after!"

And really, is carrying 3 pounds really gonna make your arm rip out of its socket? Even on a solid body the rig probably weighs less than the clothes and footwear you have on. Or a textbook in a backpack. Don't melodramatically exaggerate these things.


This just struck me while looking at various 70-200/2.8 lenses. All the comments I'm trashing now come from the Sigma reviews. It's a 3lb lens, that's almost 10 inches long. And everyone was complaining about these stats, even the lab tests and professionals. It's no different than the Canon or Nikon glass! That's simply the requisite build for durability, speed, and image quality.

Come on people, stop being whiny and start being realistic. I'd love my 97 Saturn SC2 to do 0-100 in 5 seconds and I'd love to get paid $100k for some portraiture work, but REALITY kinda throws a monkey wrench in that.



Ok, I'm done. Comment what you will.

I feel better now.
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
I am in dire need of help.

One of my all-time favorite lenses, including all my old FD mount gear, is the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX. Super duper uber sharp, even at f/1.4. Fast, accurate AF. It is a truly marvelous piece of glass, and saw regular use on my 20D. Unfortunately, that gear was stolen and has to be replaced now, and that lens is digital-only. Since I am replacing my 20D with a 1D Mark II, I cannot use the digital-only glass anymore....

Thus my dilemma. I have a very high demand for fast, large aperture glass, and a f/1.4 normal prime is just about as good as it gets (without dropping several thousand dollars for something like the 85mm f/1.2 II). Trouble is, having used Sigma's 30/1.4 and now looking critically at Canon's 50/1.4, I am thoroughly disappointed. It has chronic mechanical issues, is considerably soft under f/2.8 (which nullifies my primary use for it), and so on.

I need help! Someone please tell me of a good, large aperture prime for the EF mount. Sigma only makes one for the cropped sensor, Tamron is a no-show as well. I'm actually considering the Canon 50/1.8 for it's price and relative quality - it's actually sharper than the 50/1.4 from f/2.8-8. But that is far from ideal. I even thought of getting the Canon 35mm f/1.4L, because that works out to 45.5mm on my body, but it's 1200 USD.

Someone save me.
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
Well, my deviation Mallard in flight 02 passed 8,000,000 deviation views recently. Kind of caught me by surprise, didn't figure a mediocre shot of a mallard would become so ungodly popular... especially since it's still only had 4 comments and 3 favorites....

So obviously, something's gone awry with dA's system, again. Apparently, my average number of views per deviation is now... 13,874.44  Right.

Well, thanks for all your support.. of the ducks...?
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
Yesterday my car was stolen! I went out to go to dinner, and it was simply absent from the curb. So.... I called the police and reported it stolen. Ironically, the same officer that handled my my camera theft responded to this one too.

Then I go over my insurance policy. Theft isn't covered. No ifs, ands, or buts. Well now I'm royally fucked. So by the end of last night I'm sitting at my desk trying to figure out how to divvy up the money I just now got after five months for my camera settlement so as to get another vehicle and still get some sort of camera and computer. Arth Guinness and his fine brew made an appearance last night. And so did Sean Connery, good Bond helped.

Now it's late in the night, and lo, I have a missed call at 10:07 PM, and a voicemail. Turns out it's from Tim, with Mike's Towing, and they took my car. On accident. Some lady down the street with another Saturn and the same last three characters on her license plate was having her car towed for service. And they nabbed mine instead. They just figured out they didn't have her car and that they had in fact jacked mine instead. Oops. They even put it back where they found it. I ran outside at midnight to see, and sure enough, there's my car, right where I left it 24 hours ago, and right where it wasn't 12 hours ago.

What a mental loop yesterday was. At 2pm I was getting ready to go out to eat, my day looking pretty positive. By 4pm my life is turned upside down, no car and no insurance. By 12am the following day, somehow everything was back the way it was.

God damn. I'm really thankful to have my car back, but god damn. I can't take much more of this.
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
For those of you joining us now, in late October I had $7k worth of photographic and computing equipment stolen. Insurance refused to pay on bogus terms.

Tuesday saw a marked change in the status of this situation. My case has been re-opened by the insurance company and it looks like I'll be recompensed. I don't have the check in my hands yet, so no celebrating or congratulating, but things look fairly optimistic.

So here's the list of goodies I'll be buying with the money. It's quite different than what I had before:

Canon EOS 1D Mark II (refurbished)
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX
(maybe)Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
(maybe)Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX Macro

Apple MacBook Pro 15in (specs undecided)
Apple 23in Cinema Display (refurbished)

And other little bits, but that's all the big stuff.

Check back for more updates, and possibly a LOT of new images ;) :D :beer:
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man
That's right, 200 watchers! Thanks all for your continuing support. It seems like just a few months ago (well, it was a few months....) that I had barely any.

I've grown a great deal as a photographer through your collective support, but more through all the constructive criticism I found here. I have quite a community of fellow artists and aficionados watching, appreciating, and critiquing my work, and that means a world to me.

So, thanks!
  • Listening to: Ramblin' Rover - Silly Wizard/Coming Undone - Korn
  • Reading: The Lost Scriptures, texts excluded from Canon
  • Watching: The Quiet Man