Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vacation: Hilton Head Island

Last week Jenna and I went on vacation at Hilton Head Island, SC. We decided to take the trip as a last attempt to relax before the baby arrives in August. The trip was a success and very relaxing since the majority of our time was spent walking on the beach and lounging at the Mariott hotel. The island is obviously known for its array of golf courses but neither of us are interested in golf so this was not a big deal for us.

We decided to stay at the Mariott because it was one of the only hotels with a true ocean front room available on I think this was an excellent decision because we had a wonderful view and a near constant breeze coming from the ocean. The hotel also had hammocks and lounge chairs which we frequently used. Our only complaint was our rather pitiful air conditioning unit which was bothersome at night when we closed our patio door.

Overall the trip was fun but we had to be mindful of our budget. The liquor at the hotel was overpriced as expected; however, there was a liquor store a couple of miles away. I purchased a bottle of rum and some pineapple juice which kept my camelbak well supplied. There are several resturants to choose from on the Island including chains and unique family owned resturants. We opted to sample the family owned resturants and one resturant in our hotel, Blu.

I also used the trip as an excuse to play with the 50D some more. It seems that the more I use the camera the more I love it. I didn't take as many photos as I had expected but that was probably because I was afraid to take it onto the beach with the frequent wind gusts which left my mouth tasting like sand. I have posted a few photos on flickr but they are mostly sunrise and sunset scenes.

This is a great place to visit if you are looking for a beautiful beach, golfing, and a relaxed atmosphere and you are willing to deal with high prices of a very tourist driven economy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New photo equipment

A couple of weeks ago I decided to sell my photography equipment and start fresh. I sold my 20D and a couple of lenses to one of my co-workers, David. After selling the 20D I ordered a Canon 50D and 17-55mm IS USM lens.

I did quite a bit of research before ordering the 50D and feel that it was the best choice for me. I was debating purchasing the Canon T1i upon its release; however, there were many features removed (or reduced) from the 50D that I wanted:
  • 1/8000 sec shutter speed
  • 6.3 fps burst
  • Pentaprism view finder
  • Scroll wheel for quickly changing settings
  • Top controls with LCD
  • Larger body which feels better in my hand
Those were the features which mattered to me (and that I can recall) but dpreview has a great side by side comparison of 50D and 500D. The HD video (1920 x 1080) almost lured me to the 500D but after reading that it is limited to 20fps I lost all interest. The fact that the 50D uses the BP 511-A battery was also a huge plus since I have an extra battery and battery grip from the 20D.

So far I absolutely love the 50D and I feel that it has rekindled my love for photography. I'm forcing myself to make time for photography; however, I also have a lot of plans such as school, the baby, and home improvements that may impact my ability to shoot as frequently as I should.

I also moved to flickr in hopes to post more photos and gain additional exposure.