Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

New York New York!

New York has always been an great place for photography.  We originally had a family trip planned in 2011 that fell through so there were a lot of flight credits that we had to used up before it’s one year expiration.  Tough problem to have right?

New York has always been a favorite destination with my wife.  With all the shopping, sight seeing, and exploring all the foodie spots, what’s better way to burn off the airline credit with an extended weekend in New York.  Within one week left to spend the credit, we booked and took flight!

Here is the link to the entire NYC set in Flickr

New York City
Flickr link:
http://flic.kr/s/aHsjC3U7iY

Turbulence

With the new 16mm Sony E-mount lens in-tow, I had to capture something during flight.  I love the ambiance of the Virgin America interior with the glowing comfort color lighting.  Just by slightly twisting of the perspective with the lady peaking back at me gave me a uneasy feeling during flight.  Of course, the flight was fine and very comfortable with the large screen between each seat.

Sony NEX-7 + Sony E-Mount 16mm f/2.8, ISO 1000, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, No Flash
Turbulence

Buildings

New York is filled with contrast.  I also taken a habit of shooting out of my hotel windows.  As soon as I looked out of the window, I knew this would a b/w shot.  The old red brick building contrasting with the modern white apartment/office buildings.  The old twin water towers with the light water stains.  Truly giving me the feeling of New York homology.  As a trend I try to build with my black and white shots, keeping the Yin with the Yen balance.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm f/1.4, ISO 100, f/8, 1/1600 sec, No Flash
Buildings

NYC Glow

I wouldn’t be doing New York any justice if I didn’t include any landscape city view picture as a top 3 pick.  This one was shot on top of Empire State building.  Originally we took the ride up to the top not expecting to be staying around that long.  Then it dawned (Pun intended) on me.  Wouldn’t it be a great picture to capture the sunset off the Empire State building.  I must give a lot of credit to my lovely wife for hanging out with me for an hour on top the Empire State building waiting for the sun to set.  Also, for her to fend off people trying to squeeze into my perfect spot!  Prior to the count down of sunset, I already scoped out the areas I wanted to shoot and the shot I was looking for.  Figuring out the correct exposure was tough.  With the sun right in your face, trying to capture enough detail of the city as well as the sky.  The make the entire process even more difficult, finding a spot to prop since I didn’t have a monopod or a tripod.  At the same time trying to shoot with people constantly bumping into you.  Atlast, one of the shot came out exactly as I imagined.  The glow from the sunset lighting up the streets while the City lights are slowly getting brighter.  At the same time capturing the blue sky with the white clouds.

Sony NEX-7 + Sony E-Mount 16mm f/2.8, ISO 100, f/8, 1/320 sec, No Flash
NYC Glow

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First stop.
Dubai
Flickr link: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzqHK1t

Burj Khalifa

With the busy meetings schedule, I finally found some time in the late hours to try to snap some picture of the tallest building in the world. With no clue on my bearing, I just walked aimlessly with this building in my sight. Eventually I stumble upon this spot right across from huge man made lake. I knew capturing this monument would require a very wide lens. The only lens at my disposal was the Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6 M-mount. I guess lenses don’t get wider than this for a Leica M mount. The only issue was that at f/5.6 in such a dark setting means even the most steady hand is not gonna cut it. I need a tripod. Where am I going to find a tripod in the middle of the night in the middle of Dubai when all the stores are closed. I wanted to capture this. Next option, bump up the ISO. The Sony NEX-7 does have somewhat of a usable high iso through not as good as the trusty 5D MKII nor the 1D MK4. Without any choice, I bumped it up to ISO 6400. Even at ISO 6400, I still need to be very steady. I found a spot right next to a light pole on the stairs. Literally contorted my body around the pole and wedged between the stairs and fire off the shot. I think the image of me taking this photo might actually be more interesting than this landmark.

Sony NEX-7 + Voigtlander Heliar Ultra Wide-Angle 12mm f/5.6, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/5 Sec No flash.

Burj Khalifa

Caravan

I had the opportunity to head out to the dessert to enjoy a very interesting meal.  It was about an hour and half bus ride to the middle of no where.  All you see is sand.  Since the meal was buffet style ie. there is no requirement for seated course meals, I had a chance to wonder around.  I saw a Camel caravan that was resting near us that’s just begging for a photo to be taken.  It was very dark with only a few fires stakes and lights making the entire caravan barely visible. Taking the picture was pretty much impossible not to mention checking focus.  Once again, no tripod so long exposure requires special talent.  Being in the middle of the dessert, there is no light pole for me to wrap around.  I got on my knees and dig in to the sand.  Bump up the ISO as high as the camera can go, set the aperture as wide as it’ll go.  Frame the picture as good as I can, then guess the distance so I can do the zone focusing the aid of my cellphone’s light on the barrel of the lens.  Hold still then click.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm Summilux-M FLE, ISO 16000, f/1.4, 1/8 Sec No flash.
caravan

Milk Bar

Dubai is a very interesting place.  For being in the middle east, it’s a very westernized locale.  Getting around speaking English is no problem.  Likewise, besides all the standard chain restaurants/bars you see in the state side, I came upon this bar as I was searching for dinner.  It immediately reminded me of Clock Work Oranges’ milk bar with the middle east twist of Arabic script on the ceiling.  The lighting was perfect.

Sony NEX-7 + Leica 35mm Summilux-M FLE, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/60 Sec No flash.
Milk Bar

Last week was an exciting week.
On Wednesday, I started to see rumors circulating about the new Leica price increase. This was something I had heard a few month back, but nothing substantiating. Then I saw a tweet from Leica Rumor about a fairly confirmed price list increase that will start on January 1st.
Click here for the Leica Rumor post about the new price list

Knowing that I still have one more lens on my wish list that I wanted to add to my permanent collection, the rush is on to source that lens before the $500 price hike. Ok, maybe $500 hike isn’t that significant considering that the lens cost $10,495, but a hike is still a hike. Not to mention, buying a new copy of the lens is still as illusive as capturing the unicorn.

I already place a pre-orders a few month back at all the common places like Adorama as well as numerous others. All I ever get is a monthly backorder email. I knew to hunt the lens down will require more drastic measure. I decided to hit up Unique Photo in New Jersey. They’re the only online shop I found that lists Leica lenses ship in 1 – 3 weeks. Not to mention I lucked out with them last time when I ordered my silver 50mm Summilux. They were able to find and ship me one the next day!! So I placed the order knowing that they have a policy of charging the full amount first and you wait. With January 1st just a little over a month away, I figure this might lock me in to a lens in case they do get one.

Next morning. I got woken up by a phone call from the East coast. Last time with the 50mm Summilux, Unique Photo called me to confirm that I indeed placed an order for the 50mm Summilux because it was a high ticketed item. So I thought it might have been them again. I was still half awake. Instead, it was a call from ePhotoCraft. At first, I was quickly racking my brain on wtf is ePhotoCraft. Is this another one of those telemarketers? Instead, Eldar from ePhotoCraft said they got 2 Noctilux in, one is already sold, and see if I wanted the other one. Without any hesitation I said yes! As I jumped out of bed, my mind was racing. Trying to figure out WTH ePhotoCraft was. I quickly jumped on my computer and looked up ePhotoCraft. Everything was coming back. I remember googling Noctilux looking for the obscure photography store that I might be able to place a pre-order. This store came up in the 3rd or 4th page of search. The place seems like a legit brick and mortar Photography store in DC. They still listed the Noctilux for $9995!! And there was a specific link for pre-order!! So So I filled out their online form and seal my name on yet another waiting list. Not expecting that my number will ever be called.

So this morning call indeed turn out to be legit! As I discussed with Eldar on the phone on shipping method, I decided to fork over the dough for overnight. Two thoughts crossed my mind. If I had it overnight, it wouldn’t spend that much time bouncing around in the truck across the country and If the deal was indeed legit, I would find out the next day. With payment sent right away, the rest of the day was most restless. Waiting for the tracking number.
The tracking number finally show up in the system near the end of the day as I was leaving work. Looks like my lens should arrive any time the next day. Now it becomes a waiting game for the big brown truck!

Friday was painful. We had a special offsite at work that didn’t require me to get in until noon so I sat around all morning waiting for that truck. Knowing how irresponsible my local UPS delivery person is, I wanted to make sure I don’t miss this delivery. They UPS guy been known to leave package in random places around the driveway or not even walking up the stairs to ring the door bell. It doesn’t help that it was raining as well. Last thing I wanted to see is my crown jewel being soaked by the rain. As the clock tick on, no truck. By 11am, I had to leave for work. I forced my wife to stay home and stare out on the driveway to make sure big brown don’t miss us. I think I probably called and message my wife almost every hour while I was at work to see if it showed up. “Nothing” was the word of the day…
I knew my wife would have to go pick up the kid in the afternoon so as soon as I was able to leave the work offsite, I headed straight home to make sure someone was home. I continuously check the front door to make sure Mr. Brown didn’t do his usual thing. “Nothing”.

Shortly around 6pm, the wife called while on the way back from picking up the kid. There was a Big Brown truck next street over making a delivery. I asked her to follow it and don’t loose sight of him. With more common sense, she decline my idiotic request.

About 15 minutes later, I saw the big brown truck pulled up near my driveway. I literally ran out to greet him. YES~!! It’s here!!

This is not the first time I handled the Noctilux. I played with a few of them from the last f/1 to a couple f/0.95. But this time was different. This is MINE!!

Here is just couple shot of the unboxing.

Noctilux-Close

Noctilux-Close


Noctilux-Open

Noctilux-Open

Here are a few shots around the house. Since I got the lens right around dinner time, might as well make dinner my subject.

Title: Green Guts
Green Guts

Title: Fly Fish
Fly Fish

Title: 2 Dollars
2 Dollars

The next day, I had a chance to hit up a good Belgium eatery in the city for a late night snack. Frjtz.. If you’re a big fan of fries and crepe, this place is great!! Price is reasonable and food was excellent. Make sure you order the Mussels!! the ambiance was dark. Perfect to test out the Noct’s capability!!

Title: Good Eats
Good Eats

Title: Morning Fix
Morning Fix

Title: Cut Off
Cut Off

On Sunday, I was able to take the beast out for some walk around shots. It was raining so I want to make sure I didn’t want to get it wet. The good thing was it was cloudy so shooting wide open wasn’t an issue!!

I gather a couple friends to go shooting with me. We ended up in San Francisco China Town. Here is a Tryptych of Arvin shooting the shooter with his Leica M8.2 and Voitlander 50mm f/1.2

Title: Leica Tryptych
Leica Triptych

Since this post is getting long, I will do a separate post in a few days with the China Town pics!!

Stay Tune!