Category Archives: Photography

Sci Fi Architecture

I’ve been sharing photos from our recent vacation over on my photo blog, so if you follow that, this might be a bit of a repeat. However, purely as a geeky interest, I wanted to also share photos of an area of Valencia, Spain known as the City of Arts and Sciences.

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a unique complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination which is made up of five main elements: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which takes care of the operatic programme). The Ágora gives the complex a multifunctional space.

Also, the architecture looks like something out of Aliens, which is very cool!
The Hemispheric and Palau de les Arts

Hemispheric

Palau de les Arts

Hemispheric and Museu de las Ciencias

Of course, the other cool, geeky, thing we found in Valencia was this bit of graffiti art. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it.

The Simpsons are Everywhere

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Vacations are a Good Thing

Sunset boating

Not that anyone in the US actually takes theirs, right? After being gone from work for these last two weeks, not to mention being without any internet access for 10 days, I’m beginning to see why that is such a huge mistake. We need the break. Not only that, but I think we’d all do well to have a part of our life that has nothing at all to do with our chosen profession. Life is about more than what you do for work, and we should probably remember that occasionally. ;-)

During the break, I’ve had a few thoughts about work life balance, and what working in a service industry really means. I’m planning some blog posts along those lines in the next week or so. I will also be posting many, many photos from the trip as well, in fact you can see the first of such posts over on the photo blog, with a link to the Flickr set with the handful of photos taken from our departing port in Barcelona. Give that site a follow, either by RSS, Facebook or email if you’re interested in seeing those.

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Beach Trip

Waves with a Flock On the Horizon

Just wanted to pass along that I’ve got a couple of pages worth of photos over at the photo blog from our recent trip to Myrtle Beach.

While you’re over there, check out the different ways you can follow that site and see new photos as they are posted, by email, RSS, Tumblr or with it’s very own Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/mikemcbridephotos

Looking forward to sharing more photos with you all!

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Nikon D3000 At Night

Ceasar's Palace Tower

While I was in Vegas recently for the ILTA conference, I decided that would be a good chance to take the new camera for a spin. Of course, with the conference going on all day, my only opportunity to get out of the hotel was in the evening. I will say, that I was very impressed with the clarity of the images captured in lower light (Let’s face it, the Vegas Strip is never exactly a “low light” situation) even without a tripod. I definitely see a difference from the D50 in that regard, not sure if it’s better stabilization or the increase in megapixels in the newer model, but I feel like these images came out pretty well given the situation. Shooting at night, even in a place as bright as Vegas, without a tripod is always a bit of a gamble, but I’m happy with what I was able to get during a short walk.

Waiting for the fountains at The Bellagio

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Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth by mikemac29
Hummingbird Moth, a photo by mikemac29 on Flickr.

Took the Nikon D3000 out for it’s first adventure to Furman this evening. Liked what I saw from the first batch of photos, going to be uploading them to Flickr over the next few days, I’m sure. This one was especially cool, just because it’s always fun to capture something that you’ve never seen before, and have to go home and hit Google to see what it is!

With the way the wings fluttered, at first we thought maybe it was a very tiny hummingbird, but after capturing this, we realized there is no way I could have gotten this, especially in low light with a flash, of an actual hummingbird. Luckily the Internet let us know what it was. Technically, we believe this is a White Lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth.

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New Purchase

20130728-002257.jpg

In the back of my mind recently, I’ve been thinking about my D50, and when it would be time to replace it. A couple of things have brought this to my mind, one being the fact that if I was going to continue using it as my main camera, I need to get it professionally cleaned. The other has been the lack of non-High Capacity SD cards easily available for purchase. The D50 doesn’t support those, and I recently had one of my 2GB regular old fashioned SD cards go bad on me, reminding me to start shopping around online for a couple of replacements, especially before our European Vacation in November.

So the question was, do I keep investing in my old die-hard, which is getting fairly outdated, and which might have a limited number of shutter clicks left in it, or replace it with something that won’t cost too much, but which would be my main camera going forward?

Today, the answer came to me in the form of a pretty good deal at the local Sam’s Club. We went in there to do other shopping, but the $419 price tag on the package above sold me on the fact that I could get a decent replacement without breaking the bank, and one that will serve as a decent main camera for awhile going forward. Yeah, it’s hardly the latest camera technology on the market, but it was a relatively cheap upgrade on what I have been using, and that’s what I really wanted.

Looking forward to playing with it, and posting random travel photos.

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Random Travel Photo Blog

In my experimenting with Tumblr with a sports blog, a thought occurred to me. I take quite a few photos with my phone while traveling, and some with my camera when I have that with me. Some of them get shared on Flickr, or Instagram or Facebook, but when I want to point people to my photography using the link from here, I don’t really have one link to point them to.

Since Tumblr is really designed for photos and videos, I thought why not take advantage of cross posting abilities and a fe IFTTT recipes, why not make a photo blog where people who don’t want to try and decide whether to follow me on Facebook, Flickr or Instagram, can see some of the random photos I’ve been taking while on the road? So I added a second Tumblr blog:

http://mikemacphotos.tumblr.com/

Enjoy!

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Old, But Important, Camera Advice

Tunnel connecting Tube platforms

While in London this week, I had a very stark reminder of some very old, but wise, advice about shooting with SLR cameras, digital or otherwise. The advice I’ve heard from way back in the days of shooting with a film SLR was to always keep one hand on the camera. As sturdy as they are, straps break, or just come loose. When it happens, you’ll be glad you had a hand on the camera.

As it turns out, my wife was kind enough to let me borrow her Nikon D5100. In the midst of trying to take advantage of the little free time I had while in London, I had to catch the Underground over to the Tower Bridge. With the camera around my neck, and a crowd of people heading to the entrance, I let go in order to fumble around for my pass. Of course, this was the moment that one of the camera straps came loose. Luckily I felt it coming loose with enough time to stick out my elbow, and lessen the fall. Instead of falling lens first, and fast, it fell slowly and landed on the bottom of the camera body. In the end, it was just a bit of a bump, no damage done. Obviously, this was a huge relief to me, as well as the young lady walking opposite me, who’s gasp and horrified facial expression could not be missed as this was happening.

Sometimes it’s easy to get focused on getting the perfect shot. I often worry about taking photos in a strange and busy place like London, because you have to keep your wits about you, and pay attention to the immediate environment, and not focus too much on what’s in the lens finder. While doing all of that though, take the occasional peek at the straps, and a hand on the camera body, too, ok? Let my scare be a reminder for you. If I hadn’t gotten a lucky bounce of the elbow, the only photos of the Tower Bridge I would have gotten would have been with my iPhone. And, I’d be buying my wife a new camera.

Tower Bridge from the other side of the Thames

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