I stopped by XYZ Bar to say bye to Joel B. Sacks, formerly of AdBrite and CNET. I came late and couldn’t stay for long.
Andrei left me my SB-800 so I did get to try out my new camera and remind myself that I need to relearn flash photography and crack open the manual sometime.
I had never been to XYZ Bar before. It is right across from the convention center and has a restaurant is on the first floor while the bar is on the second floor.
[three more photos after the jump.]
You can view my photos here. All of them were zipped through quickly using Aperture 2.0 (I spent more time tagging them than I did editing them). But, I thought I’d pick out three just for shits and giggles.
Which came first?
My photos were coming out miserable until I put on my cheapest lens: the 50mm f/1.8D “plastic fantastic”, turned off the auto-ISO and went to town in manual mode (letting the metering tell the flash how to fill).
Just when I was getting a handle of it, Coley pointed out the strange, dim, egg-shaped light fixtures and asked me to take a photo of her next to one of them.
I obviously didn’t spend much time thinking about the shot. In my defense, I was shutter-blocked from doing any proper framing. Besides, when I took the photo I was thinking about this t-shirt so I couldn’t devote any brainpower to the photo.
Rising above the crowd
Earlier in the evening, Erica and Neha were explaining me the “hot angle” which is when people looking up into the camera look a whole lot hotter than when they look down. I was trying to explain to them that a 14mm lens isn’t going to make you look hot, it’s going to make you look bald and your nose really big and unflattering.
When they noticed that I had switched out the lens and had the exposure right, I asked them for a do over. This time, I wasn’t trusting Live View (which when I had used earlier was unfocused because I couldn’t figure out which mirror slap was the focusing system kicking in). Instead I opted for the more prosaic approach of standing on a nearby couch.
Yet again, another reminder why I wish I was 6′ 5″.
Next time, I’ll bring the 85mm f/1.4D and make them look even better. But this isn’t bad at all when you consider that no retouching was done.
On second thought, maybe not. Since Erica J. Ogg has taken a liking to calling me “Terry Chay” instead of just plain Terry, which really weirds me out. So maybe I’ll have to drop on the 14mm and take shots of her forehead when “E.J.” stops by.
Returning to Nikon after using the Leica for so long, I noticed that the mirror return is so fast on the D3, that you don’t even notice the blackout in daylight conditions. Indoors at night, you can even pick out the preflash from the SB-800 freezing the subject in a wash of bright light.
My favorite of the night was this one, because, unlike the others, it was a true candid:
It also, like the others, shows that ISO 6400 is usable. I think I’ll make ISO 6400 my new favorite party film speed. Because I’m just the sort of photographer who believes that there is no point in having an absurdly expensive camera if you don’t plan on pushing it past the point of failure.
With vignette built in, I’m pretty impressed how easy it is to get Aperture 2.0 to create looks of photos the way I want to. I still would like to see integration with 3rd party RAW processing (like DxO Optics Pro) and editing tools (like PTMac and LightZone), but camera to Aperture 2.0 to the web is finally a usable workflow.
All this might mean I’ll finally be able to post photos from parties again—a great relief to all of you but Halle Tecco, I’m sure.
(As always, thanks to everyone I took photos of for being such great sports.)