Monday, February 21, 2011

3/52 - Water Droplets

Saw so many great water droplet shots, I had to try it myself. Too lazy to setup the tripod, so I handheld it, relying on image stablization... Not very sharp. Will try again next time with the tripod.

Both are at ISO 100, SS 1/250, f/8, flash used. Also used all 3 Kenko extension tubes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2/52 - Night Long Exposure Shots

These were supposed to be posted last week, but I just didn't get a chance to yet. Here they are, SOOC, no editing or processing. I'm getting LR soon, so I will soon learn how to process my images...

Tripod, ISO 100, f/16, SS 25s:

Tripod, ISO 100, f/8, SS 46s:

Tripod, ISO 100, f/6.3, SS 41s, you can see the moving clouds:

These were all shot with AWB, what WB should I set my camera at when I do night time long exposure shots?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cheeky Lime Camera Bag

I was very disappointed at the XcessRize Designs camera bag that I received which is impossible to be a camera bag unless I want all my gear to break upon any kind of impact - a slight bump by someone who makes you run into the wall with your camera bag for instance.

Cheeky Lime was mentioned on one of the boards I frequent, but I had never heard of them before. Went to check them out, me being the visual type, I really liked the look of the bag. I guess my friend Andy was tired of me talking about camera bags all the time, he said I should just make a decision already, so he ordered this bag for me, I guess to shut me up. :-D Thank you Andy!!!!!

So excited to finally receive this bag!! This was the box it came in:

After opening the box, I found a white bag inside the box:

The Cheeky Lime Camera Bag is actually inside a white bag:

Cheeky Lime logo, right in front of the bag:

A little side view:

Cheeky Lime tag:

This is what it looks like right out of the box, and right out of the white bag:

So cute, with a little pink camera charm:

Now, the egg test. What's an egg test? I did this exact same egg test on XcessRize Designs bag, and it failed miserably, let's see how it does with this Cheeky Lime Bag. I take an egg, put it in a plastic ziplock bag, and put that bag inside another ziplock bag to avoid leakage in case if the egg breaks. I put the plastic bags with egg inside the middle compartment of the Cheeky Lime bag, lift it up 4+ feet high, drop it down to my tile floor.

What a loud noise it made, with all the metal pieces hitting the floor, I thought for sure the egg inside was broken. For sure, I thought. Look what I found instead:

The egg was INTACT!! OMIGOD, I could not believe it!!! I inspected the whole egg and also inside and outside my bag, nothing was damaged. There's padding on all sides of the bag including the top, and double padding on the sides and the bottom except for the middle section where the camera goes, not sure why there is only a single layer of padding. The egg actually went to the middle, I didn't realize there was only one layer of padding until after the egg test. So even with only one layer of padding, the egg survived!

Anyway, let's move on. This is one of the side pockets, also padded, magnetic closure:

Magnetic closure for the front padded pocket:

Another side pocket on the other side, also padded, with magnetic closure:

This is what the bag looks like on the inside:

Back zipper pocket, this is the ONLY pocket that is not padded:

Bottom is equipped with 4 metal feet, so the bag doesn't touch the floor/ground:

The bag also comes with a separate padded pouch with magnetic closure, for memory cards I think, and you can tug this into the inside of the bag:

This is the only place that I found some black marks on the side and bottom of the bag. Quality control? Not a big deal considering all the other good things about this bag. Wish they weren't there to begin with though.

Cheeky Lime bag loaded:

Another view of the Cheeky Lime logo:

Front pocket:

Little pink camera charm hanging in the front of the bag next to the front pocket:

A closer look at the charm:

Another look at the charm:

This is the top flap on the inside, there are 3 mesh pockets to put lens caps in, this top flap is also padded:

zipper closure of the top flap:

Another look at the bag from the front:


I LOVE this bag. The actual color is not as bright as the pictures on their website, but I really like this color too. I just wish that there was double padding for the bottom and the sides of the middle of the bag, then this bag is perfect! Okay, I will overlook the black markings on the inside of the bag I mentioned above. I LOVE this bag! It's so efficiently designed, and it's not big, and it's got enough padding to protect my gear. My husband says it looks like a picnic bag! Even better since no one wants to steal a picnic bag, right?! ;-) Thank you so much Andy!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Project 365?

I'm not sure if I can do Project 365, but maybe Project 52? ;-) Project 52 may be doable...

This was a quick SOOC shot from this afternoon's cookie baking:

Indoor, no flash, SS 1/100, ISO 200, 50mm, f/1.8, AWB. No change in the image, just resizing and conversion to JPEG from RAW. This was taken right next to the window behind a curtain. Should I have used a different WB?

I just started doing the Two Peas 12-week course, hopefully by the end of 12 weeks, I will have good photographs to show for.

2/14/2011: Here's one with Picasa edit - I brightened the image and added contrast:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

XcessRize Designs Bag Review

Was looking for a new camera bag, I was so set on getting a Kelly Moore b-hobo bag but it was out of stock. Then she had to increase the price on all her bags while I was waiting for the b-hobo to come back in stock. Though it was only a $10 increase, I was not happy. I started my search again for a camera bag.

The first one that I decided on was an XcessRize Designs Hobo Camera bag, this one specifically:

After waiting for a month, my bag finally arrived! The box looked like this:

It was mailed USPS, they misrouted the package, so I got it late.

This is what it looked like in the box when I opened it:

I thought I should do an egg test to make sure that it was sturdy enough and had enough padding to protect my gear, so I put an egg in a ziplock bag. To avoid the plastic bag breakage, I put the ziplock in another ziplock bag:

So what is an egg test? I put this bag with an egg inside inside my new Xcess Rize camera bag. And then I raise the camera bag 4 feet up the air, and then drop it on my tile floor.

What happens next?

This was what I got when I took the egg bag out from my camera bag:

Broken!! This bag is definitely not as tough as I want it to be. It will only be my in-town camera bag, not a travel/vacation camera bag since it could not even protect this poor egg. Now I have a cracked egg in my fridge and I need to figure out what to use it on. Maybe some Chocolate Chip Cookies tomorrow... Mmmm...

So here's what it looks like on the outside with the top up, this is the back side:

I added a pocket on the outside, rear of bag. I don't like how it was done. The pocket piece of fabric is all by itself, the cut side of the fabric was hanging loose inside of this pocket. Basically I can take my scissors, and cut out the threads, and you wouldn't even know that there was a pocket there before.

This is what it looks like on the inside:

Four lens pockets, they're all sewn flat to the sides of the bag, you have to pull them open to put stuff in there. Two smaller pockets for smaller things.

Bag loaded with camera stuff:

I'm just a hobbyist, and I don't have a lot of camera gear at all, but this bag is not even big enough for everything I have.

Water Bottle? Forget it! See the bottle on the top left of the bag? Can't fit.

The 4 lens pockets, misleading, once you put a lens in a pocket, it's hard to put another next to it. If you manage to put 4 lenses in there, you will have no room for the camera itself, unless of course, you have a tiny camera.

The waterproof layer I paid extra for is just right below the very thin fabric layer on the inside of the bag. I was surprised that I was actually able to see the plastic itself through the weaving of the thin fabric. The plastic makes noise when I carry the bag and when I move stuff around or take things out or put things into the bag.

Here's the front of the bag and the side of the bag:

It does look cute, and it does have structure to it since it can stand up on its own without anything inside. The "waterproof" layer is only at the bottom and the sides of the bag up to where the patterned fabric ends. There is no shoulder strap pad, the loop for the strap is plastic, looks cheap. The top doesn't close completely, so when it rains, water will surely get in. There isn't enough room inside for everything I want to bring.

I would not recommend buying this bag as a camera bag because it really does not protect your gear. If you like the design like I do, it's best to get the regular hobo bag, no added waterproof layer, just get a waterproof camera insert with good padding on all sides including the top from somewhere else to protect your gear and put it in this bag and carry it as a camera bag. It's cheaper and better that way and you will know that your gear is safe.

Still in search for the perfect stylish camera bag...

XcessRize Designs, Xcess Rize Designs, they are on Etsy and Artfire.

2/16/2011 Update: I posted my bag review link (what you're looking at right now) on XcessRize Designs' facebook page in response to a positive review, she deleted my post immediately and "Un-Liked" me from her page. If it were me, I would do whatever I could to improve my products and respond to a review instead of hiding the truth from people. The padding is only 1/8" thick and I'm not quite sure what's in the padding, it sure is not enough padding to protect any camera gear if the bag is dropped from even 1 foot from the ground, let alone the 4-foot test I did.