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City Center in Morning Light.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Location - Las Vegas, NV. Las Vegas Blvd.

This is a monster of a development right on the Vegas Strip. Sandwiched between Belagio and Monte Carlo. I don't know how many buildings were leveled to make room for this development. Even with the economic downturn, it does not show any signs of stoppage/slowdown, it is moving right along.

Camera - Olympus E500. I chose to bring this camera because of its light weight.

Nite Shot - Hoover Dam By-pass

well, a day time shot.
Location - Hoover Dam

I took the first 2 shots as we were stuck on Hoover Dam on the 26th, waiting for our turn to go through the single lane due to traffic accident. On our way back on the 28th, no accident, but seeing the traffic backed up as people heading towards the Neveda side, for maybe 2 miles south of the dam. I don't know how long the wait was, but we saw people going potty on the side of the road.... I am sure people wish that the by-pass is completed.

Camera - Olympus E500.

Fay Canyon Hike

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Going up to the arch.

Fay Canyon is a fairly easy hike, unless you want to reach the arch. It was fairly rough path up to the arch, but we're glad we did it.

The trail is very shady in the afternoon, and the temperature difference is quite noticeable.

To get there:
South on 89A (from Flagstaff direction), turn right on Dry Creek Rd.
Turn Left on 152C
Turn Left on Boynton Pass Rd.
The first parking lot on the left is for Fay Canyon. If you go a little further, 1/4mile maybe, you will see the parking for Doe Mountain trail, which we visited last week.

Camera - Olympus E500.

Doe Mountain

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Location - West of Sedona, AZ

Doe Mountain trail - only 0.7 mi, 450 ft gain in elevation. Not too bad of a hike, but last 200 yards to the top is a little treacherous, or, interesting, where the trail gets narrower, and more loose rocks. But once at the top, you have a very nice view of the red rocks. You are actual on top of a small mesa, and you can walk around some more so you can have a panoramic view. The parking lot you see is for Fay Canyon Trail, we'll have to visit that one soon. Shot is a little washed out, very bright day at 72 degree, nice.

Camera - Nikon D80.


Location - Sedona, AZ
Wired burro sculpture, carrying a heavy load.
Camera - Pentax DL with SMC 50mm f1.4.

The Wave

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Location - Page, AZ
There are layers and layers of these crumply sand stones in this area. I am wondering what geological event led up to this formation here.

Camera - Pentax DL.

Holding On

Location - Page, AZ

Looks like the person on the right is holding on tight! I am sure I'd be worse than that if I am up in the air. Funny, I am not afraid of flying, but not sure about this, I think it has something to do with sense of control.

Camera - Nikon D70, 200mm.

Ready For Take Off

Location - Page, AZ

3 balloons getting ready with last minute prep.

Camera - Nikon D70.

Article - SB-20 Mod

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I have purchased several Nikon SB-20 flash for use with my off camera flash project. Recently, I found this article to perform some minor surgery to make it compatible with non-Nikon cameras, specifically if you want to use it with Canon cameras (all manual mode) - see link here. I am more comfortable of using it now as an on-camera flash with my Pentax DL, and occassionally, Canon G2.

Unlike traditional flash head, it is a little difficult to mount a light modifier to it (such as a snoot), due the the shape of the flash head.

SB-20s are nice flashes, tt offers 45, 60, 75 and 90 degree tilt, so you can bounce off the ceiling, but does not allow you to swivel the head. But I do find it a little lacking when I bounce off the ceiling, so I thought I'd try a small mod to see if it would help.

first pic - on camera, bounce off of ceiling:

I noticed the SB-20 has a slot right behind the flash head.

That gave me an idea, so I prototyped a bounce/reflector with a card board material.

Set the flash head tilt to 90 degrees, I noticed an immediate difference, even with the small size of the reflector, what this gave me is that I don't have to use full power with the flash, so that means faster recycle time. Notice my prototype has a small tilt.

The card board reflector works, but doesn't really look very nice. I was hoping I can hit some sign companies here in town for some scrap material they have, but a quick stop at Home Depot, I found some acrylic sheets that are fairly reasonable, so I grabbed a couple of sheets for fun. And with some trial and error, I made this:

Hmm, why is it wider than the prototype? Well, while I was at Home Depot, I also picked up some white paint swatches, and they happened to be wider, :).
And this is what it looks like:

Unfortunately, although I have mastered the technique to cut and shape the acrylic, bending it require some special heating strip/tool, so my acrylic reflector mod is straight up, but it doesn't seem to have any ill effect.

Here's the result, same camera/flash setup as above photo, does bring in a small amount of shadow, but I'll work on another mod for that, :).

Horseshoe Bend

Monday, November 3, 2008

Location - Page, AZ

This is a must stop for anyone who likes to shoot landscapes. From the edge, it is only 1200 feet down to reach the river bank. I took the river boat ride last year, and saw how high it was from the river, it was pretty intimidating.

Camera - Nikon D80, 17mm.

Hot Air Balloon Regatta

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Location - Page, AZ
First weekend of November, Page holds the Hot Air Balloon Regatta. Since its only 2 hours away, I thought I'd take a visit. The send off is at 700 AM in the morning, so I got on the road around 5 AM to get there in time. I am glad I made the trip, as it was a gorgeous day, and light wind, not very cold once the sun was up.

Besides the hot air balloon, there's the Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, and Horseshoe Bend that you can visit.

Camera - Nikon D70.

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