Yoko goes to the garden (finally!)

Poor Yoko, she must have felt terribly neglected since Rin seems to get the preferential treatment. She gets all the nice outfits, gets to go to conventions, and has even been to the garden twice! Well, the streak ended this weekend as Yoko finally got the chance to go out! Equipped with a new set of shoes from Mimi Woo, a pair of jeans from Mai Little Alien, and a top from Dark Dollhouse, she was ready to go out!

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And here she is! It was a lovely day out, with the exception of the humidity. Yoko didn’t seem to mind though, she was outside!

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Shooting in Macro

After almost a month of being on back order, my first macro lens arrived on my doorstep yesterday! This is also the first non-Nikkor lens I’ve purchased and instead is made by Tokina. After a lot of research and digging through reviews, I settled on a AT-X Pro D model featuring a 100mm focal length and f/2.8 maximum aperture (at full macro mode, it stops down to f/5.6).

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Nikon’s equivalent in this range is a 105mm f/2.8 with VR. Getting the first party lens comes at a price… The Nikkor cost over twice as much as the Tokina. While most reviews rate the Tokina a bit lower than the Nikkor (VR being the big differentiator), the difference in price makes the Tokina a much better bargain.

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Rin goes out… again

Now that I’ve gotten some more equipment in to assist in Dollfie photography, I decided it was time to put it all to good use. Since Rin’s last outing, she got a new outfit, a tripod mountable stand from Dollfie World, and a new mode of transportation. I’ve since acquired a new lens for my camera which has already proven itself to be great for close ups and portraits. Rin’s last outing to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden happened to be on Mother’s Day, so pedestrian traffic was higher than normal. This time, I picked a “normal” beautiful Sunday morning, when everyone else in the area was attending church. There was barely anyone else on the grounds, which allowed me to shoot in peace.

I also chose to start near the back of the garden and move forward to further reduce running into someone early on. Enough text, time for some cute!

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Somehow I’m reminded of a line from a certain Monty Python movie… something about huge tracts of land?

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Dabbling in close-up photography

A couple weeks ago, I picked up a brand new Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens from Amazon to shoot with. Being used to various zooms, it was a bit of a change in shooting style going to a non-stabilized prime lens. Once I got used to it, I found that it produced far sharper images, wonderful background blur, and beautiful portraits. The somewhat short focal distance got me to thinking… how good would it be for doing close ups?

To find out, I signed up for a macro photography workshop at Daniel Stowe. The instructor walked us through some tips and showed us some (expensive) equipment that would help, then it was off to the field!

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My first attempts showed how sharp the lens is. These were taken at f/5.0 (and cropped a bit). I’m sure if I worked at it, I could get my reflection in those water droplets… Just as a quick note, all of the photos in this post will display the full sized counterparts when clicked. 🙂

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Rin goes out

As I mentioned in my post last week, I live fairly close to a nice botanical garden. As a member, I get unlimited general admission and discounts to events and classes. After doing some scoping last week, I made plans to do another session this week. This time, Rin go to go along. I don’t have an actual carrying case or bag that will fit a Dollfie, however I did discover that one will fit in a backpack when placed in a sitting position. To keep the hair from going too out of place, I took a small towel and wrapped it around her upper body.

I figured I’d go with an early morning session, hoping there’d be less crowds to contend with, cooler weather, and generally less embarrassment over carrying a doll around in a public area. The garden is open 9am-5pm, so I got up early today and arrived shortly after 9. Of course, I didn’t make the direct correlation that today was Mother’s Day and the garden was offering free admission to mothers today. I was greeted with a small line waiting to get in. Scratch that last item off the list. Fortunately, it was still early enough where there weren’t a lot of people inside yet and I quickly set to work.

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I started with a couple test shots of some flowers in the orchid greenhouse. Confident that everything was fine and I’d established to onlookers that I was taking pictures, I opened up the backpack…

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Weekend visit to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

The weather was gorgeous in Charlotte this weekend, with temperatures slowly creeping up past the mid 80s. Summer isn’t quite in full swing yet, so I decided to take advantage and make a trip out to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. I grabbed the D50 and headed out.

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Sadly, one of the things I forgot to do was grab a shot of the front entrance. On the grounds, however, I did snap one of the greenhouse which is home to the garden’s fine collection of orchids. It wasn’t a completely cloud-free day, but I really enjoyed the cool breeze that came through.

 

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Merri Kurismasu!

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Merry Christmas from Charlotte, North Carolina! Sadly, no snow here today, only rain. As with last year, some coworkers and I went to the Daniel Stowe Botanical garden to see the holiday light displays. I keep saying that I’ll bring a tripod or something with me to steady the camera, but alas, I forgot. It’s a step forward from last year, however, when I forgot the camera all together…. >.<

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