The Designers Chic

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birthday Girl.

I sometimes have a tough time remembering how old I really am because the husband always tells me that I am 29, lol! Well, I was 29 when I first met him but that was like what 9 years ago, phew!

But anyway, I am now a year older and wiser hopefully, lol! These photos are taken by my hubby on my birthday. I initially didn't plan to have a birthday shoot but my mom kinda suggested that I should have one..just.. you know.. to have updated pictures on my FB page, lol!

As I've mentioned in my earlier post, the husband did give me an expensive brand spanking new lens. Probably not expensive to the professional photographers standards but to me, since I am just an amateur hobbyist, my Canon 85mm f/1/8 prime lens is an expensive, excellent portrait lens that I own so far. I could not stop raving about how sharp and great this lens is. I really love it despite the fact that I would need quite a lot of room to use this thing. This is like a perfect outdoor portrait lens for me. Below are a couple of shots using this lens.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A new addition to my gear.

I celebrated my birthday two weeks ago. Nothing fancy, just quality time with my 3 year old and hubby. I've never been into birthday parties anyway, lol! It was wonderful watching the two made a strawberry cake with pink frosting for me. Then I made some baked cheesy tortellini for dinner. I got a box of chocolates and card from my little guy. Like I've said it was just a simple celebration. However, my wonderful hubby surprised me with an expensive birthday gift though. I've always wanted to own an 85mm f/1.8 lens by Canon but I never thought it would happen sooner. I was really in cloud nine to say the least, lol! Just as I've expected, this lens is amazing. It's the sharpest and most expensive lens in my arsenal at the moment. I couldn't wait to try it out so I had a mini photo shoot with hubby as the photographer using my new lens on my birthday. And I am going to share those pictures on my next post. Ciao!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Back from a long hiatus.

I know...I know...It's terrible! I have been away from blogging for what seems like forever. I don't even want to attempt to make up any excuses this time. I lost inspiration to write. Plain and simple! Yes, I have been busy...with work, family and my new found passion in photography. But I could have spent a little bit of my time blogging but I didn't because I didn't feel like it, lol! So there you go...Just the laziness and lack of motivation have gotten the best of me lately.

However, I am proud to say that I am back...hopefully for good this time! I didn't realize how much I've missed blogging until I just have so many things in my head and I wanted to express it with no holds barred and I thought wait a minute, yeah I do have some kind of a virtual diary where I can pour my thoughts out. So yeah, I am happy to be back..I have so many things to share. I will try to write updates more often that I had been. So please stay tuned, lol!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Vigilante Parade 2014.

Last month, I had a wonderful opportunity to witness this year’s Vigilante Parade here in Helena which is one of the longest-running high school parades in the nation. The parade was originated in 1924 by Helena High principal A.J. Roberts, whose goal was to replace several activities that had “gotten out of hand,” including Skip Day and Senior-Junior Fight Day.

The parade started around noon-ish so instead of eating lunch, I went down and watched the parade and took pictures. The young minds of these HS students are so brilliant, creative and so full of life. It got a little crowded especially when the parade was in full swing, so I find a sweet spot away from everybody's way. I stood on an elevated part of a building where I can see the floats and participants without having to deal with heads obscuring what could have my great shots.

I used my medium telephoto lens (55-250mm) and I thought that was the perfect lens for that shoot. Not only had I gained an insight on the rich history of this town but I was able to enjoy photography and captured colorful pictures. So hope you enjoy some of the parade highlights as shown below:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eliminate language barrier in the corporate world.

Most businesses aim for globalization. As part of that objective, they try to cater to the diverse need of their clientele. However, the language barrier may prove to be a significant deterrent towards that goal. Thankfully, there are a number of reputable translation companies out there to help bridge the gap on this aspect of business. Basically, a translation agency like Rosetta Translation provides a full range of translation services to companies worldwide. They specialize in high-quality document translation for business and commercial texts. They make this happen by employing the right person for the job. This is particularly important if you’re dealing with financial and legal translation. To ensure that they’re giving their clients the excellent service that they deserve, this company only uses translators with immaculate linguistic skills. Being accurate and reliable as far as meeting tight deadlines are also very essential aspects of being a great translating agency.

Even in just a small business setting, the need to communicate and be understood is paramount. I remember when I use to work in IT at a bank, they have their own group of multi-language speakers set up. While English is the most preferred language in business, a wise business entity wouldn’t turn away a prospective customer just because they don’t speak English well. I think that’s their goal why my previous employer had a group of multi-lingual employees. They have anticipated a need to reach out to more prospective customers by eliminating any language barriers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Camera Bags.

For someone like me who had just ventured into DSLR photography as a hobby, I was on a serious hunt for a camera bag. Initially I wanted a roomy, nicely-padded, waterproof bag that could hold a camera body, 2 or more lenses and other accessories. I know that I would eventually invest on better lenses so a big camera bag like the Canon 2400 SLR Gadget Bag for only $32.00 was what I wanted right off the bat. I was quite happy with its price and quality. I love the padded adjustable dividers which allows me to customize it to my equipment. It has a durable shell, with rugged water repellant nylon fabric and a shoulder strap with non-slip, adjustable shoulder pad for carrying comfort. I actually don’t have that much gear and accessories yet but I think the bag is big enough to house all my current gear and probably more should I decide to get more lenses, external flash and what not.

However, I could think of one con with this bag though. It looks too geeky and flashy for me, lol! It screams “Hey, I got expensive stuff worth mugging in here” so I really wasn’t too comfortable lugging it with me wherever I go. I stopped taking my camera with me for a while because there were just too many things to pay attention to in every morning dash to Caleb’s preschool and my work. But now that days are getting warmer and spring is almost here in Montana (not quite but it’ll eventually get here, lol!), I want to carry my camera with me everywhere so I won’t miss any opportunity to shoot good pictures of flowers, bugs, and possibly birds on my break my quest to find me a small, handy but still can give my camera the best protection it needs continues!

I find these holster type camera bags really cute and not too bulky. I decided to get Case Logic SLRC-201 SLR Zoom Holster on Amazon for only $28.00.  I didn't expect much of the quality considering the cheap price but much to my surprise, this cute little thing really exceeded my expectations. My T3i with my longest lens attached to it fit snugly and comfortably. I like how small and easy to carry this bag is.  

The interior has memory foam which serves as a padding and the water-proof EVA base which allows the case to stand up on its own is a bonus. Obviously, I can only carry one lens attached to the camera with this bag and store my extra memory cards, batteries and filters in the three zippered compartments but that's the whole point of getting this bag. I want it to be my perfect everyday easy-travel camera bag.

Another thing that I love about this bag is the hammock system as you can see in the picture below. My camera does not sit on the bottom of the case, it's actually being suspended by this sort of an ingenious suspension system which added a superior impact protection. Ok, I know I sounded like this was a paid endorsement but it's not. I happen to just simply love this purchase and I want to brag about it, lol!

For now, I am really happy with my camera bags. But in all honesty, I am really drooling over the Epiphanie camera bag collection. They look girly, stylish looking camera bags that you wouldn't even think of them as gadget bags. But for $165.00? Nah, that would have to wait! My money would be better off spent on a professional lens than a bag, lol!

Friday, March 28, 2014

I love my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens!

Photography isn’t exactly a low-cost hobby but it doesn’t have to break the bank either. I think one of the cool things about having a DSLR is the ability to switch lenses. My Canon Rebel T3i came with the 18-135mm kit lens and while this lens performs pretty good for a beginner like me, I know that I’m going to need the 50mm f/1.8 a.k.a. “Nifty Fifty” as part of my “learning curve” arsenal. So just a couple of weeks after hubby got me my new camera, he also bought me the 50mm f/1.8 lens that I was wanting to have. Oh boy, how I love this lens! It’s staying in my camera until hubby can get me the 100mm f/2.8 macro that I have been drooling over, lol!

The reasons why I love this lens so much apart from the fact that every amateur photographer should have a 50mm lens in their bag are the following:

1. It’s cheap!
For $99.00 at Amazon, it’s a no-brainer. Don’t let the price tag fool you. This affordable lens easily outperforms any kit lens offered in the market. It is great value for your money and definitely worth it as a first lens investment.

2. Great for low-light photography!
While I like to practice shooting outdoors, let me be honest by saying that since I’m a working mom, I shoot indoors with my 3-year old son as my subject, most of the time. I love capturing him in his most natural element, that is in his playroom while he’s busy destroying his toys, lol! Or goofing around with his other favorite person in the world, his Daddy! The downside to shooting indoors is the amount of light available to capture great pictures. With the wide aperture of f1.8, especially coming from a typical kit lens which is usually f5.6, this lens gives me 3 stops or 8x more light coming through the lens opening. Basically, what this means is I’d be able to use a faster shutter speed and avoid camera shake. Now if you have taken pictures of your kids, you know why it’s important to shoot fast. Kids at this age can’t and won’t sit still. They are on the move all-the-time! So for me, shooting wide open is a must!

3. It’s lightweight and small!
I like taking my camera with me wherever I go. And I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t too keen about drawing much attention to myself by lugging around a fancy camera with a long and heavy lens. At 4.6 oz., this lens is ultra-lightweight which makes it a perfect walk-around lens.

4. Super sharp!
Prime lenses are lenses that have a fixed focal length like the 50mm f/1.8. Meaning they don’t zoom! Prime lenses are usually inherently sharper than zoom lenses. They say you truly haven’t experienced a tack sharp image until you have shot with a prime lens, especially for the price. I was greatly impressed with how sharp and crisp my photos came out using this lens. I mean, I am not an expert by all means, but I have truly noticed a huge difference with the quality of my pictures when I’m using this lens as compared to my 18-135mm kit lens.

5. Killer Bokeh!
What is bokeh? The term comes from the Japanese word “boke” which literally translates as “blur”. So basically, bokeh is the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry parts” of an image. This is particularly useful when you want to isolate your subject by rendering the unimportant elements of your photograph like the background “out-of-focus”. This makes your photos visually appealing and more professional-looking. Bokeh is rendered by the lens, not the camera. A lens with a large maximum aperture like f/1.8 yield more pleasant-looking bokeh than your regular zoom kit lens.

6. It’s versatile!
The 50mm lens is a great street shooting lens, not too wide, not too long. Mount on a cropped camera body like my T3i, it can also be a great portrait lens, just long enough to remove distortion from your subject’s face. On the more expensive full-frame camera body, 50mm focal length yields a “normal” perspective and field of view similar to what we see from our very own eyes.

7. It’ll make you a better photographer!
Since this lens doesn’t zoom, it forces you to be creative with your shots. It makes you zoom with your feet, walk around your subject and explore different view angles thereby improving the quality of your composition. In short, it forces the photographer not to be “lazy”, lol!

There you go! Now you know why I am in love with this lens. :) As a matter of fact, when it starts to feel springy here in Montana, I’m going to take my family outdoors for a spring family portrait. I am excited! In the meantime, below are some of the shots I have taken of my little boy using the 50mm lens.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Montana State Capitol.

The weekend after I got my new camera, I went on a self-guided tour inside the Montana State Capitol building. I have heard good things about the place and I just wanted to see for myself if this were indeed true. So armed with my brand-spanking new Canon Rebel T3i, I spent quite some time photographing the exterior of the building using my 18-135mm kit lens. The facade of the building speaks highly about this great piece of architecture. I'm not a history buff but the interior of the capitol just screams of so much history. I could not believe how delighted I was to see a real but old Supreme Court chamber. I would say that my favorite room in the building was the Senate Gallery. The wall art in that room was just awesome. The intricate details of the ceiling, walls, pillars and floors are reason enough to be "wowed". I simply love the main dome and the grand staircase was impressive. I had a great time touring the capitol. It was indeed a lovely photo session for me. Below are the highlights of that tour.

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