BLOG

Latest photos...

I try to be pretty active and post new photos to sites such as Instagram and Flickr. You can see my most recent uploads below. If you like, follow me on Instagram or Flickr.

Year One

I've had my Mavic Pro for just over a year. It's my first drone and approaching it as a photography tool, I love it. After gaining confidence in using the drone, it really is amazing. I'd love a better camera on it, even more so the ability to change lenses but considering how small and capable this drone is makes it a very impressive piece of kit. I decided to put together an edit from the footage collected over the past year. Still a lot to improve in terms of getting the most out of the Mavic but it's been a blast to use. Please watch with audio if you can.

God's Country

Exploring past Auckland's city limits, an hour or so west of the CBD and I came across an abandoned church in Awhitu. The day started off with clear skies but as I am quickly learning, winter weather here in Auckland is anything but consistent but I'll take some less than ideal weather if it will help add mood and atmosphere to a photo.

New Photography Focused Site...

I've created a new site to focus on my photography over at robertbrienza.com. Taking advantage of Squarespace 6's fancy new abilities I hope to shape this site into what I've always wanted but lack the CSS skills to achieve.

I will keep this site up and running but it will serve the specific purpose of showcasing my motion graphics demo reel and the blog will focus on animation/motion graphics posts, maybe geeky stuff as well. I'm still figuring things out on that end.

For now, the site is a bit lacking as I play with the new tools available to me, but I hope to start adding content soon.

Cheers.

Dramatic Performance [Encore]

I recently upgraded to Lightroom 4, I had not downloaded the beta so I was keen to give it a try. After playing around with it for a bit, my opinion is that it's Lightroom improved. It will still be an essential piece of my kit. That being said it be nice if overall performance could be improved, especially got a major new reelase. I'm on a HP 8440w laptop (core i7 M620 at 2.67ghz with 8gb or ram) running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

Below is the same photo, one treated in Lightroom 3.6 and the other after updating the image processing to 2012 in Lightroom 4.

Dramatic Performance [Encore] processed in Lightroom 4Dramatic Performance processed in Lightroom 3.6It seems I could control the shadows better in LR4 and that by just updating the image processing the photo got brighter and more contrasty. It makes me hesitant to go back to old photos and revise them as I would need to take the time and really tweak my adjustments. I still need to spend more time with LR4 to get familiar with all the changes but so far, so good.

2011 Year in Review

2011 was a year of big changes in my life, mainly moving from Toronto Canada to Auckland New Zealand. I thought it be interesting to put together a collection of photos covering the year.

Have a look and enjoy. There's no single subject matter, just photos of scenes I found interesting. There photos taken with my 7D as well as one's taken with my cell phone. In the end there photos I like and I hope you will too. Comments and feedback are always welcomed.

You can check out the gallery here.

Stock camera apps are for suckers...

Pixlr-o-matic Auckland

I had downloaded Autodesk's Pixlr-o-matic Android app to my Samsung Galaxy S a few months ago but never really used it. For some reason I decided to have a go with it tonight and it's not too bad. It's not subtle by any means in regards to post-processing but it's kind of fun.

Not sure if it will replace my main camera app which is Vignette for Android but it's a nice app to have on the side along with Snaptastic.

You can download Pixlr-o-matic for your Android or iOS device, it's free. You can also use it through your browser by going to pixlr.com/o-matic.

My first camera...

Kodak Medalist 1

This is the first camera I ever used - a Kodak Medalist I which used disc film. This was my mom's camera which she used for taking family photos but I always thought it was the coolest looking camera. It was so small compared to what everyone else was using.

I ended up getting my mom to pull this out of a box for me. The memories of using this, even the places I visited as a child that I know I have photos of because of this camera came flooding back.

I still think the design is cool, still compact. If I could find disc film and a place to develop the photos I'd like to take this for a spin.

Camera info:

Kodak Medalist I Disc
Produced between 1986 - 1987
Lens: 12.5mm f/2.8 Ashperic
Shutter: 1/100, 1/200
Film type: VR Disc
Picture size: 8 x 10 mm

Original Cost: $70

A Little Canadiana - Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe

 

A short while ago my wife and I headed up an hour or so north of Toronto to Innisfil Ontario, to Lake Simcoe. This is a popular spot in the winter for ice fishing. I don't fish, let alone ice fish but it was interesting to see and made for some interesting photos. We arrived a bit late in the day but the light was fantastic.

You can view the Flickr set here.

The best camera is the one you have with you...

I recently became the owner of a Samsung Galaxy S Android phone. The phone itself is great, Android is a cool if not geeky OS. First thing I did was check out the 5mp camera. I've read and seen photos taken with the iPhone 4 and was hoping that the Galaxy would also have a good camera. Not shockingly it was okay at best. Then I discovered an app called Vignette. This app can mimic various style such as a lomo or toy camera. So trying to mimic what is essentially crappy quality cameras turns out to be a good use for this mobile phone camera.

Since I have my phone with me all the time, I haven't thought twice about pulling it out if I think I can capture something some what interesting, and it's actually been fun trying to see what results I will get.

My phone will not replace my Canon 7D but I have received some positive feedback if not a lot of views on Flickr in regards to photos taken with my phone. Check out the slideshow below to see what kind of images can be pulled off with Vignette for Android.

Paris 1994 Photo Project

A small group of photographers got together to capture a choreographed dance routine. The idea is to have the thousands of images taken put together into a video montage. Of the 1125 photos I took this is a small selection of my favorites.

This was my first time shooting a person, not my usually subject matter and it was an interesting experience. I look forward to doing it again.

Dancer: Danielle Baskerville
Choreography: D.A.Hoskins 

Night at The Ex

Some random footage from the 2010 Canadian National Exhibition, a.k.a The Ex.

This is only the third or fourth time I've used the video recording function of the 7D, the second time using it at night. I must admit that it seems the 7D's video quality takes a hard hit at higher ISOs but this is still an area I need to play with and explore more.

In any case I hope to post another edit from a few months ago of footage I shot with my 7D, at night and of fast movement. Can't post yet as this footage was for a show open that has yet to air. I will say that footage was a lot more impressive then what I got from shooting at The Ex, so it more likely means that problems was with me and not the camera this time around!

Canon 7D Video Test #1 - Subway

I recently made the jump and purchased a Canon 7D, upgrading from my first DSLR, a Sony Alpha a100. It's a very impressive camera, amazingly fast, very quiet and impressively built.

At the moment I've only got one lens, a Canon 50mm 1.4. Seeing how I use my Minlota 50mm 1.7 on my a100 about 90% of the time I figured this would be a good choice. At least until I can get a Canon 16mm - 35mm 2.8.

This is a little edit I put together of some test footage I took one day while heading home from work. Just random footage, all hand held to just learn how the camera deals with video. It's actually been pretty busy at work so I haven't had much chance to use the 7D. I'd like to record some full HD video at 24fps.

For this clip, as I mentioned the footage was recorded at 1280x720 at 60fps. I then did a rough edit in After Effects where I also did a general levels adjust and quickly stabilized a couple of shots. I then worked my way down to a 30fps QuickTime with Photo-JPEG compression at 50% at 960x540 which is the clip I've uploaded to Flickr.