On March 13 , 2016 Donald Trump came to Bloomington, IL. While I arrived at the rally too late to get in, I was able to hang out with the protesters and supporters just outside of the event.
While I consider myself to be an independent and not really aligned to a traditional political party or ideology, I am open to listening to both sides. And here, both sides were willing to tell you how they felt.
Overall the atmosphere was fairly calm… for a Trump rally. Thankfully I didn’t witness any violence, but I did hear that there was some isolated incidents.
I went to the event with the hope to capture both sides and represent the overall feeling of what it was like to attend a Trump Event. I think I was able to to just that.
So I’ve been busy with my full time job working 60+ hour weeks with barely any time to spend with my family let alone to get out and take photos and update this site, but I got my hosting bill today and I figured I’d give it a crack! Since my last update… almost a year ago (WOW!!!) a few things have changed, my job, some of my equipment, and my idea of what I’m looking for in Photography.
First off my job. The day I won the Red, White, and Boom photo contest was the same day I changed jobs. Since then my time has been 100% dedicated to making that switch be a successful one.
Next, my equipment, I got a new camera the Sony A77II, love it, a new to me minolta 135mm, and some random bits to add to my kit. The Sony A77II was a huge improvement over my old A700 in terms of focus reliability and speed. Image quality remains top notch and easily bests the 7+ year old A700 by at least a stop, if not 2-3 stops.
I did add a Rokinon 85mm 1.4 for a bit, but I rather quickly decided the manual focus didn’t suit what I was looking for in a lens. Image quality wise it was lovely, creamy bokeh at 1.4, tack sharp at 2.8, I’m sure there were other F stops, but I’m not sure why anyone with that lens would go over them. On the A77II the Rokinon seemed well balanced if not just a tad to large. The issue for me was the focusing using peaking didn’t seem to make sense… the A77II is one of the fastest autofocusing cameras on the market. To have a MF lens on it seemed to be a waist. Also since the Rokinon lacked any connection to the camera, one of the major advantages Sony holds over other DSLR makers is the In Camera Image Stabilization (SteadyShot) was not available. This was ultimately the deal breaker for me with the lens. So I sold it. 🙁
But I did buy an old Minolta 135mm 2.8 prime to replace it and wow, what a lens. Sharp at 2.8 with just slight CA in high contrast transitions. The Bokeh at 2.8, while not as melty as 1.4 on the 85mm, is still very nice and has that classic minolta smothness. Colors are great, and tend to be on the warm side. The biggest shocker for me was the AF speed, it’s fast for a screw drive lens. Easily faster than any other prime lenses I have (Sony 35mm 1.8, Sony 85mm 2.8, and Minolta 50mm 1.7) I’m not a test chart person, I prefer to use the lens real life performance to determine if I like it or not. Plus at this point… who wants to read a lens review.
On to my idea of what I’m looking for with photography – For me Photography has been a hobby, something I enjoy, and an outlet for my creativity. With my recent job change I’ve had to give time I had normally spend taking, talking, and editing photos. I’ve missed it. I am shooting a wedding in June and have discussed several other weddings for this year and next. My focus for photography will be to continue to work on my own creative style, focus on putting out more content to my site, and to shoot more with the equipment I have… well I hear the sigma 18-35 is nice… or the Tameron 70-300 is good for soccer/sports…
I was honored to win the 2014 Unity Point Health Methodist Proctor Red, White and Boom Photo contest for the image below.
The grand prize is not a new camera or a trip or even tickets to a concert… just a little bit of money. But it’s not about that.
I want to say thank you to all of the positive comments, likes and shares I received from this contest.
I will be posting a video up showing how I edited the image and the process that it went through. There was a comment on FB that stated the image had been “dr’ed” and was not a natural image… I’m not sure what that even means. However, I can assure anyone that the image, while not straight out of camera, only has basic lightroom adjustments and a bit of “Pro Contrast” by Nik Color Efex Pro 2 applied. So be on the look out for that video.
Again thanks for checking out my page! Be sure to like, share or comment!
I spent the weekend and early part of the week with my Family in St. Louis, MO. My wife had been suggesting we visit a place called the City Museum. Of course I had never herd of it, but she insisted I would enjoy it. As soon as I saw the School Bus hanging off the side of the building I new I would!
I didn’t get my camera out for many pictures mainly because I was busy climbing and crawling around the building’s thousands of “features.” We spent about 4 hours there and most likely could have spent another 8. If you have a chance to visit, be ready to do some crawling, climbing, sliding and jumping!
This past Sunday Peoria Area Photography Society (PAPS) had a model meet up at Lower Bradley Park in Peoria, IL. Here are my finished photos from the meeting. Cameras used were ye’ old Sony A700 w/ 85mm 2.8 and The OG Fuji X100. Edited with various programs that may or not include Lightroom, Photoshop, VSCO, and NIK. Please comment or share this page!!! 🙂
The models in the photos are released to print or post the image, copyrights are reserved by Photo Works By Shaun.
I had a chance to spend about an hour out in Banner Marsh State Wildlife and Fish Area this evening.Banner is located about 25 miles outside of Peoria off of route 24 and features a 4,363-acre freshwater marsh.
I headed out with the intention to try some long exposures to smooth the water. I did this by stacking two 3 stop ND filters on top of the internal ND filter of the Fuji X100. All images were shot RAW in B&W, and edited in Lightroom and/or NIK Silver Efex Pro 2.
I met up with some friends from the Peoria Area Photography Society this morning for a freezing photo walk. We met up at the new, soon to be abandoned, museum to trek across the snow covered Down Town Peoria area. Here are some of the images from that walk.