This summer, I had planned on taking the family on a vacation that they will never forget to Disney’s Aulani Resort on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Ofcourse, I wanted to document the trip but, I was indecisive weeks prior to the trip to which camera or cameras to bring. Here were the options I considered and why:
Nikon D800 DSLR with a 28-70mm lens: I had expectations that this trip to Hawaii would be one that the family will never forget so what better tool to bring than a 36MP machine with one of the sharpest lenses that I own. Plus, if I really want to, the D800 is capable of shooting 1080p video. The main problem is… this setup on my shoulder is worth alot of $$$ and I would be worried of theft, damage, or leaving it somewhere.
Canon G10 Point and Shoot Camera: This has been my “go to” vacation camera for several years. Small, pocket-able, and produces great images due to it’s 14MP sensor. The problem is, I dropped this camera awhile back and it damaged the video capabilities. Still images were great but, I wanted to include more video on this trip.
GoPro Hero 3+ Black: I knew the video capabilities of a GoPro and it would have accompanied me to this trip no matter what. The question I had was, are it’s still photo capabilities sufficient enough to capture my vacation of a lifetime? Before leaving for Hawaii, I practiced shooting stills with the GoPro.
The fourth option was to purchase a new Canon G16 point and shoot: The new G16 obviously has great still image capabilities plus it is capable of 1080p video (vs 720p video in my G10). The G16 also had built in wifi which will allow me to post images on social networks almost immediately.
Ultimately, I did not purchase a new camera as I could not justify the cost since I had all the capabilities of the Canon G16 already… just in different devices I already had. As we boarded the plane, what I had in my ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro backpack was my Canon G10, GoPro Hero 3+, extra batteries, chargers, and accessories.
I had both cameras on me most of the time throughout the vacation… obviously, if we were near water all I had was the GoPro in it’s waterproof housing. What surprised me when we got back home and I injested all the images and videos I took on our week long vacation is that over 90% of the images and videos I took were using the GoPro!
Who would have thought that a GoPro is all I really needed to capture our vacation!
Below are some still images and a YouTube link of the video I created… again, only camera I used was a GoPro!
YouTube link to video: Our Aulani Vacation… 2 seconds at a time.
Recent had the opportunity to test out my newly acquired fplate (www.fplate.net) and I cannot believe I waited so long to purchase one. The image above was literally the first image that was captured after the initial setup, prefocus, and test shots.
Nikon D800 | Nikkor 17-35mm @ 22mm | 1/400 | f4.0 | ISO 6400
Here’s where I placed the camera mounted on the fplate. I’m sure people who were was watching me setup was taking side bets to how many times I would hit my head against the wall as I was trying to stick my head in a small area to prefocus the camera. In hindsight, I have a solution to that problem and I’ll share it on a future post.
I’ve always tried to be in the right place at the right time. Being able to capture emotion is one of the most difficult things to do in sports photography but, when I capture it… I am reminded why I do what I do. Click on the image above to view my new Game Winners, Walk Offs, and Championships portfolio on the main website.
Setup as a floor remote, I gaffer taped a single AA battery at the bottom of the camera so that there is a slight tilt upwards. I plan to purchase an fplate in the near future to give me a more consistent and sturdy base. The remote camera is triggered via Pocketwizard.
Remote: Nikon D800 with a 35mm lens @ f4, 1/400, ISO 5000
Main: Nikon D3s with a 85mm lens @ f4, 1/400, ISO 5000
Dec 20 2014 || Sacramento, CA: 11u Bay Area Renegades vs Jam On It held at Jam On It at McClellan
Camera on a tripod on the stage behind the backboard. Manually pre-focused and tirggered via Pocketwizard from the balcony on the opposite side of the court.
Remote: Nikon D800 with a 28-70mm (at 28mm), @ f4, 1/400
Dec 12 2014 || Vallejo, CA: 5th Grade Holy Spirit Knights vs St. Vincent held at St. Vincent Gym.
A few days ago, I had the opportunity to go back to my roots and shoot portraits. My passion for photography started in portraiture work many years ago… in fact, my very first real job was as a photographer at a portrait studio. So, when a good friend from High School asked me to shoot her and her Knockouts Figure and Bikini teammates, I didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity.
I had some time to think of ideas and worked closely with the clients leading up to the shoot. They gave me some examples of images they were interested in and I also put together some ideas that I had in mind. I was prepared and confident… well… I thought “I” was prepared and confident.
I meet 4 of the 5 ladies for the first time on the day of the shoot. In the 2 hours working with them, I realized that the preparedness and confidence that I felt in myself to deliver the images the clients wanted were no where near the level of preparation and confidence these ladies had in themselves and in each other as they prepared to compete in a natural bodybuilding and fitness competition to be held today.
I’ve always felt that “knowing” your subject is a key element to a good portrait… I’ve learned something in these last few days after the shoot… The subject “knowing” themselves can also create some great images.
Congratulations ladies, be proud of your accomplishments and know that when you step on that stage this evening, that you all have and will continue to inspire others.
© 2014 John Encinas || With the bases loaded, Darryl Dilworth Jr. of the 10u Solano Nationals hits a base clearing double for a walk off victory to secure the 10u Open Championship by defeating NorCal Baseball 9-0 on July 27, 2014 at Mitz Alverson Field in Santa Clara, CA. || Darryl Dilworth Jr. was eventually awarded with Tournament MVP honors.