I sent a few photos from my trip to my contact at Zeiss. Her response was:
“Wow, Mike. These are great. You should get some badge of honor for schlepping that beast around with you.”
It didn’t seem like much at the time but yes the Zeiss 28mm Otus isn’t subtle. I had planned my visit to London and Paris around my Zeiss deliverables, but you really have to carry it day to day to get the whole picture of its size. It’s kind of like the Blazing Saddles Moment. “S’cuse me while I whip this out…” On the other hand, most of my shots are handheld, so it’s clearly manageable.
The payoff of course is stunning image quality. Shots that really stood out on my editing laptop really bloomed in vivid, contrasty detail on my home 34″ 4K monitor. And clearly my editors at Zeiss are happy. Now where’s my badge? 🙂 #zeiss
May/June is Rose time for me. Warmer, longer evenings allow serene walks through some of my favorite local gardens. The Rose Garden in the Woodland Park Zoo is one of my special places. I’m slowly learning the varieties of roses and hybrids. Aside from that, its a thin depth of field floral bokeh paradise. I walk around smelling the blooms and looking for combinations of foreground flowers and interesting backgrounds. My favorite lens for this used to be my Canon 85mm f/1.2; Now its my Zeiss 85mm Otus 1.4. In these gardens I find peace and creative outlet. Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden More of my floral works: Mike Reid Photography
As the in-house photographer for the Columbia Center’s Sky View Observatory, I have a bit of experience shooting through glass to get photos of the awesome city view. Reading reviews of people’s experiences/frustrations there and at other similar properties around the world, I would like to share some of the expertise I’ve gained over the years shooting at SVO.
Basically, the issue is the reflections in the windows created by interior lighting. My solution for this doesn’t involve filters or anything in-camera. The work around involves bringing a black cloth. This can be a 2×2 foot piece of black cloth bought at a fabric store which is what I carry or a scarf, jacket, or even an umbrella cover like I saw last night up there. It also helps to be wearing something dark. Try to avoid the gold lame sequin dress look. It doesn’t help.
If you didn’t bring a tripod, set your camera on the ledge, use timer release and then cover it with the cloth. If you did bring a tripod, you can check out my technique and or use something of your own. Notice how the cloth is rolled up, wrapped around the lens up to the glass and then the ends cross over the legs of the tripod. I usually check below the lens for light leak as with wide angle lenses, that’s where the reflections creep in. In addition, notice how my tripod legs are unextended and perched on the railing with one leg down, so as to get closer to the glass.
A recent favorite:
and a short timelapse:
I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me with questions or ask if you see me at SVO. I helped 3 people last night get better shots and that gave me the idea to write this.
Seattle area photography classes and tours from a Seattle native.
People reach out to me from time to time about classes and tours around the area. I think my body of work online and in print leads people to ask if I can help them get similar results. This is something I really enjoy doing especially in small groups. I have a training background in software instruction and teaching comes naturally to me. I can put together a half day class or tour or more. Contact me for details. Contact me for more details about a class or tour
Had the chance yesterday to go flying with some friends up around the Central Cascades as we got a nice clear day finally. I went with my Sony A7R2 for its in-camera lens stabilization and my Zeiss 55/1.8 lens for its fast aperture and great rendering. With the settings on Continuous AF, Steady Shot set at 55mm and burst mode, I got mostly keepers.
View of the Snowy Cascade range
Snowy Cascades in the foreground leading up to Mount Rainier
A snowy Ridge atop the Cascades
Very popular hike called Mount Si peaks here, with a view back towards Seattle
One of my favorites taken from the Sky View Observatory recently made the cover of the January 2016 Where Seattle Magazine. Not only that, Universal Studios contacted me to use the image and the cover in their upcoming 50 Shades movie. A great day all in all.