Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Once again, it's been WAY too long.

The day job's been keeping me more than busy, and I've been working on my first real vacation in an embarrassingly long time. Yes kids, an actual vacation.

I was originally thinking about heading to South Dakota and doing a photo tour of the Badlands NP area. Then, one day, a guy I went to High School with posted on Facebook about an upcoming solar eclipse. I did some poking around, and found out that Albuquerque NM is dead center in the path, right at sunset. I thought for about two seconds, and realized that this would be a great photo opportunity. Add to that the fact that I have family in ABQ that I've barely seen in longer than I'll admit to, and the decision was made.

I've spent the last couple months putting together things I think I'll need for the trip. Besides the fact that I'm pretty sure I didn't own any clothes I might need to be wearing in the high desert (we don't see any weather like that in the Philly 'burbs), I needed luggage, and some way to transport the photo gear, as well as some gear I didn't have.

After a couple hours of searching, I found a source for solar lens filters at thousand oaks optical. The eclipse is going to be an annular eclipse, meaning that the moon is going to be too far away to fully block the sun; so there is going to be a good portion of the outer ring of the sun still in full view. I definitely DO NOT want to point my camera at that, so I ordered a few filters to protect my sensor.

Since I've been shooting mostly landscapes lately, and I'm going to be in the desert, I decided to do something about the fact that my 24mm lens on my camera (Nikon D300) is not quite wide enough. I decided to rent a Nikon 14-24 f2.8 zoom from While I was thinking of that, the thought that THAT lens on my camera body was OK, but let's look at a body that it would really perform on. Originally, the thought was a D700, but then they got the brandy-new D800 in. I'm happy to say that I'll be writing a daily review of that. The only thing that's worrying me at this point is the idea of putting it back in the box and sending it back. (36Mp DSLR!?) From what I've seen so far, they've fixed several of my gripes about the last couple bodies in that range, But I'll get to that at a later date when it's been in my hands.

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