Garden wedding. On a fine day

20121117-0001 Ok, when I woke up in that morning, it rained. Quite heavily. The couple and I were quite worried the whole week and making a plan B just in case if it rains as it was forecasted.

The ceremony was scheduled at 3PM in the park. Then the heavy rain started to slow down from like 2:30PM. Amazing!

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The day turned out to be a very, very nice day. It was actually too nice. Making it harder for us to stand in the scorching sun. I mean, who would believe it rained only like half an hour ago!?

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The ceremony was done as it was scheduled and there was no need for plan B. Well, it rained again as we walked into the reception, so I guess they needed a plan B...?

Congrats to Gina and Ross!

Engagement session

20121102-0001 One of the shots from the Engagement Session of Hae & Bacchus About half a day of engagement session. Just a little walk in the park and... well, another park. Get to know the couple and it's a great time to find out their style.

Congrats on their wedding, which is very near!

my favourite, small weddings.

20121110-0001 A small wedding in a small church with close friends and family only. I love this kinda weddings. It's so much more private and close, personal. You get to know these people and get to enjoy with them, which is the main reason why I enjoy shooting weddings.

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You laugh with them, make jokes, play with them. Just have fun. Get some ideas. Do some silly photos, too. Of course, I wouldn't share those with everyone! Then you get a bit calm quiet time with the couple only.

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Little bit of everything!

Wedding Photography, it's basically just having fun together! Thanks to Adam and Jill for inviting me to their wedding.... Luke

Recent Activities

20121004-0001 Well, last couple of months have been really busy.

Few weddings here and there, few voluntary works, too. Not to mention a big trip to Europe for the whole October. Gotta get some time to go through all these photos. Including the weddings, trips and voluntary works, I got about 12,000 photos to go through. So Stay Tuned!

Wedding photo shoot in Lake Tekapo

Beautiful wedding held in Lake Tekapo

Thanks to the couple and the whole family who made the work so much easier for me. I've had a great time.

Bride's Preparation

Probably the busiest time of all, trying to finish everything in time. Taking a little time off to get some shots done is a good way of relaxing... ish

Beautiful ceremony held at the Church of the Good Shepard.

A small but so much history and character with the church makes it perfect for wedding ceremony. Couldn't have picked a better place!

Beautiful scenery both from in and out of the church. If there was something that could have been better would be the weather! The bride had such a hard time in the bone chilling wind!

Photobooth

fun time at the photobooth by the dance floor.

Great people, great wedding, great venue, weather wasn't perfect but it didn't rain until we were all finished! Another blessing for the couple!

I've had a blast with the couple and with the whole family. Just wish I could see them happy when I give them the photos (which will be hard, they're not in NZ!)

 

preparation package for wedding photography

 

My preparation for wedding photo shoot.

D3s D700 + vertical grip Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 OS Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 VC SB900 x 2 Blackrapid DR-2 dual sling strap Fujifilm X100 Alienbees B800 Sirui Travel Tripod Lightstand+sync cable+Brolly Storm Jacket DSLR raincover

Yep, bloody heavy. But they were worth every bit of their weight. Working with around 2k of photos. So far, so great!

street photography begins

 

another genre of my photography will soon kick in.

I will need new studies and works done before I can put anything in action. Exciting stuff, trying something new.

Also, I should be ready for my new wedding season. New season about to kick in.

Glorious iCloud GPS tracking

On 28th July 2012, my wife and I went out sometime around 3:30-4PM and came back home late night around 11PM. As we were walking in, we've noticed couple of odd things that we were sure we did before we left, such as locking the sliding door to the back garden, closing socks drawer, etc. Then I've noticed, both my macbooks were gone. Not only macbooks but iPads, too.

Of course, first thing I do is, make a record of what happened. You don't know what you will be facing later on, and you need an evidence. A hard evidence.

Then, I called the Police.

As I was finishing up my report to the Police, I've realized one thing. the GPS tracking by iCloud from the web. Luckily, my iPad was 3G model. All iPad 3G models have GPS in them. I've already tried it at home with tracking and once it helped me find my iPad when I left it in some other place.

Police on the other side of the phone was patiently waiting for my GPS lock and it did on one of the houses in New Brighton. We've secured the location and I hung up when the unit left and there was nothing for me to do.

But I don't just seat around.

These are my stuff that got stolen, and no matter how caring and considerate the officers are, it is still just one of the burglary case. I went for the house myself.

Police was already there hiding in the dark around the corner and we talked and tried a few tricks we could pull without search warrant.

Problem was, there wasn't a lock tight GPS signal and we couldn't just march in to any house without search warrant. And the warrant would go wasted if the house was the wrong one. We had to give up and call it off.

My wife and I couldn't sleep till 3 in the morning. And we did somehow, I was up at 6:30 in the morning tried to get back to sleep.

I got out of the bed at 8:30 and with a toothbrush in my mouth, I went to the computer to see if my iPad has moved. I figured, even on Sunday, he might go to work.

I was right.

Signal was coming from somewhere in the middle of nowhere in between Belfast and Marshland. I made a phone call to the Police, gave them an update and took my ass to the area.

Possible thief was in Periodic Detention. Way to go clean. After careful thoughts between me and the officers, we decided to play a bit and do the same thing I did the night before.

Police approached the people and I pinged my iPad to make a loud noise.

It worked.

Noise came from one of the PDs' backpack and Police arrested the guy.

Yes, I got my stuff back. Not all of them as more are missing as time goes. But most crucial ones, I got them back.

Here are list of tips I'd like to tell the people who got burgled.

1. If you are certain that you got burgled, don't touch anything. Make a record of how it looks and report to the Police. The faster you do, the better chance you get to catch the bastard.

2. It will be extremely hard to get thief's fingerprints from drawers or door knobs. We touch them all the time, there are just too many fingerprints to work on. Rather, focus on things you don't touch normally. Like window frames, wall on the side of the doors, etc.

3. From 1st October, NZ Police gets a power to get in and search the property if there is enough suspicion. GPS tracking is a good example. Up until now, we needed a search warrant even when GPS track showed so clearly. NZ law is getting upgraded. This will help in great amount in such cases like mine.

4. If you have a lead, there's nothing wrong making a first move to the site before Police does. Just don't do anything but observe. It's Police who needs to do the job for you. Do the best to help the Police when they come.

5. Latest gadgets like smartphones and tablets, laptops come with a tracking technology. Even if they don't, there are some services online that offers them. Some are not as accurate as others but it will be a great additional security to have. If you move fast, you can nail the bastard. Also, when you buy something, have receipt in a safe place and box in a separate place. And make a note of serial numbers in a separate file. But don't save them in a computer but online. Cloud services are great for these. Like iCloud, Dropbox, Skydrive, Google Drive, etc.

Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 USD Di VC

I've been waiting for this lens for quite a while. A normal range zoom lens with Anti-Shake tech built into it. Many will argue that, "is it necessary to have an Anti-Shake tech on a normal zoom lens?" I will say, "no it's not. But it's damn good to have". It doesn't hurt to have a sharp image and it doesn't hurt to have anti-shake tech to help out to achieve that.

Ultra Silent Drive (USD) Tamron's new 24-70 lens offers an ultrasonic AF motor called USD that silences while it's focusing and makes focusing much quicker. I have both Tamron's 28-75mm and now the new 24-70mm lens and I can say the new 24-70mm focuses just as fast as Nikon's or Canons. I don't have an exact figure but rough calculation is good enough for me.

Vibration Compensation (VC) The reason why I chose this lens to be my main. While it is not quite necessary to have VC in a normal range zoom lens, it is a damn good thing to have. Especially if you are shooting video with it. It's a shame my D700 can't shoot video but I am planning to upgrade (either to D800 or the rumored D600) and be able to shoot video. I haven't tried on D3s just yet but am excited to have a go with video recording. I have played with VC. For me, it's not quite there yet for compensating up to 4 stops but very close. If I am careful with my posture while shooting, maybe I can pull it off.

Build Quality It seems pretty darn good to me. I'm not really good with describing stuff sadly. The lens feels quite solid on my hand and it's thickness actually helps gripping for me. I don't have problem with zoom sliding down when the lens is facing down yet, but then again, I've only had this lens for a day. So for long run, I think it's a great idea to have a zoom-lock lever on the lens.

Image Quality It's way too early to say about image quality just yet, but I can point one thing out straight away though,  vignetting at 24mm with aperture wide open. Also, at 24mm, there is quite noticeable distortion, too. But none of that matters too much to me. After all, my old Nikon AF-s 24-70mm f2.8 also had quite noticeable distortion at wide and also a bit of vignetting at wide open. I can also just use LR4's lens correction to get rid of these of course. However, somehow I had to set the lens Make manually as it didn't recognise Make of the lens. After getting the "Make" right, it automatically recognised the lens and corrected by itself.

Verdict It's a definite keeper. I fell in love with Tamron's 28-75mm when I was using Canon's film SLR camera. I bought 3 different copies of 28-75mm and keeping one for a backup normal zoom even now. It was such a great lens with amazing sharpness. Now 24-70mm VC is a total gem. I've decided to stick with this lens for as long as I can as a main normal zoom. The deciding fact is it's price, it's quality, and VC. I'm not going to give it points like other reviewers do, because, it doesn't matter how much point it gets in real life, and I haven't played with it long enough. But I love it for sure and it will be permanently on my D700 for a long, long time.

Additional Facts for Buyers

  • Filter size is 82mm. Dang expensive. Sad that I can't share my other lenses' 77mm filters. Even my Cokin filters won't fit.
  • Apparently Canon and Nikon mount are only getting VC. No VC for Sony's. But then again, Sony already have that in camera bodies.
  • It's weight is 825g. It's definitely heavier than my 28-75mm, but it feels a bit lighter than Nikon's 24-70mm (902g). I know 902g and 825g isn't much difference, but I could definitely feel the difference when holding it.

Samples Used software: LR4, Adobe Photoshop CS6 extended, VSCO presets

Other Reviews I Liked fstoppers ePhotozine

cuppa with a photographer

Had a little catch up with a fellow photographer / good friend. Talked over some normal life issues and useless mumbo jumbos.

Then to work. Some new idea popping up for personal projects. We will need to arrange some models and do a real plan out on light settings and details of poses and stuff.

After a long time of dry spell in creative inspiration, I am finally getting some brainstorms. Now, problem is how to put it to action..!

spirit of travel photographer

I am married. I have a wife who loves me. I have a day job that pays for my basic needs, although my heart and soul lives with photography. I have a house with mortgage. I am paying my taxes and living my life as my parents or friends, relatives would be expecting to normal people. We are doing quite well. We don't make good money or have a fancy house, great car or anything. But we are doing quite well.

But I have a wonder. Am I doing right really? Am I supposed to live life like this? Ever since I was just a kid, I always dreamt myself wondering in unfamiliar places meeting strangers. I love just looking around the strange people, atmosphere. I was never a stranger to the places I go.

I love travel. I am just biting my lips until my next paid leave I've applied for, so I can finally enjoy the excitement of preparing and packing again. Even now, as I am waiting for my first trip in August, I am already planning for another trip. This is crazy.

I need to be out there. I need to be free.