Preparing for the Next Photography Project

Over this past year, I have considerably retooled my photographic tools repertoire. The goal of this has been to highly improve the quality and ability to take pictures versus where I started at five years ago.

First, the hardware has now been rationalized to:

  • Canon EOS 1D Mark IV – The low-light and 48-point auto-focus make it a no-brainer. I have loved the first 6 months of ownership so far versus the original EOS 5D.
  • Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – This is my newly-acquired general-purpose lens. The clarity and speed make it the top-choice.
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM – This is my newly-acquired general-purpose zoom lens. The clarity, IS, and speed are amazing.
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.6-5.6L IS USM – This is my old-standby super-zoom and it works very well – especially with the auto-focus on the 1D Mark IV.
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM – This is my old-standby wide-angle zoom. It works very well – and even better with the 1D Mark IV.
  • Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM – This is my macro lens. It is not top-end but does the job for the rare occasions I use it.
  • B&W UV Haze + Circular Polarizer filters – To be used on the 24-70mm, 70-200mm, and 100-400mm lenses.
  • Hoya UV Haze Filter – To be used on the EF 16-35mm lens.

On the software front, using 64-bit MacOS X Snow Leopard as the basis on my original first-generation Mac Pro and last-generation MacBook Pro – I am leveraging:

  • Adobe Lightroom 3 – basic workflow/RAW processing/touch-ups
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5 – advanced touch-ups (e.g. – dust removal) or filters
  • Flickr (public galleries) and iPhoto/MobileMe (private galleries) – viewing on the Web
  • Streaming and storage on all of my Apple devices (AppleTV, iPhone, iPad) – viewing on devices

With this, I feel that my next set of photographic endeavors will definitely be a step-up from those in the past. I can’t wait!

San Francisco 2011

San Francisco 2011 #72 by rdonovan
San Francisco 2011 #72 a photo by rdonovan on Flickr.

My pictures are back from my trip to San Francisco and Napa 2011. This journey was the first trip with the 1D Mark IV. Overall, it has proven to be absolutely worth it in every respect. The biggest letdown is the lack of sharpness in the 24-105mm L-series lens – perhaps time to look around and upgrade at long last.

Enjoy the sets:

Demo Hell – thank you SharePoint 2010

I just built a demo system for presenting Commerce Server 2009 R2 CTP on top of SharePoint 2010 at the Microsoft MVP Summit. The experience was NOT fun, hampered by two major gotchas:

  • SP2010 will not configure unless you are connected to the network. And the domain controller of the domain to which the machine belongs is accessible. The error will complain about configuring the database, but this is the real root cause.
  • CS2009 R2 CTP – leaving authorization disabled caused – of all things – an authorization error. Configuring the XML files for Authorization Manager rectified the problem.

Many, many hours killed – if you run into these – hopefully they help!