Wednesday, December 19, 2012


ISO 800, f/11, 2 seconds, +0.7EV, 19mm
  The new year will bring some new opportunities for me. Trips to Florida, Japan, and the Outer Banks in NC will take place in January, February, & March respectively. Those should all provide me with some fantastic photographic possibilities and am very excited about each of them (with the exception of the 14 hr plane flight to Japan).
  One of the neatest things that will accent my photography is a new Manfrotto tripod. I was very happy with my Dolica carbon fiber tripod but little things like sticking legs and loose grips really started getting old. I got a little more on a bonus at work than I expected and I treated myself to a new set of Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs and a 804RC2 Pan Tilt tripod head. These new items are going to take some getting used to.
  First, the legs are awesome! Rock solid Aluminum and without extending the center column stand at my eye level. My Dolica stood roughly 6 inches lower than my eye level and the difference is subtle but well worth mentioning.
  The center column extends and then can lay over on its side to both move the camera away from the legs and hold a very steady portrait orientation. This was a feature that I am very excited about. I can set the legs low and still get the camera right down on the ground if I need to. With the new 3 way pan/tilt head I can orient the camera in landscape in this position as well. Very cool.
  Speaking of the new tripod head, this will take the biggest adjustment for me. I am used to a ball head on my Dolica and moving the camera into position is very quick and easy. Now I have 3 different handles that revolve, tilt, and pan separately and if I have 2 or more loose adjusting at the same time gets very odd and confusing. I'm sure I'll get used to it and am will to be patient for the opportunity that this will give me in both being sturdier and being able to do some neat abstract photography  that I couldn't do with the ball head.
  Today is the first time I've been able to put the new gear to use and so far I really like it. There are two minor drawbacks that I am willing to deal with. 1)the tripod is a load to carry. The thicker aluminum legs are much heavier than the carbon fiber of my old Dolica but this also means they are much more sturdy and strong. Hiking with these sticks will get a little more strenuous but I need the exercise anyway. 2) That aluminum get COLD! It was in the high 30's this morning shooting and when I grabbed that bare metal it was a bit cold to the touch. I will just have to make sure I grab one of the two legs with leg warmers on them or make sure I wear my gloves.
  Today's post was taken this evening on my way home from work and couldn't resist the half moon hovering above the windmill just around the corner from the house. Very cool sunset tonight too so bright blue color surrounded it with some pink and yellow sunset color to the bottom of the frame.


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