Category Archives: Photography


With the way the world is going, it’s too convenient to shoot photos on your smartphone. Charging your DSLR battery pack(s), making sure the memory cards are cleared, and lugging around a backpack full of lenses is a lot of work.

I have an old Canon 40D camera with both EF (full frame / crop) & EF-S (crop only) lenses. I’ll be traveling in a few months and I want something nicer than my iPhone for taking photos.

It seems like the two main options are: get a crop DSLR body or get a full frame DSLR body. Staying within Canon’s ecosystem would be the most convenient. Leaving Canon opens up a can of worms (Nikon, Sony, Pentax, etc?).

If I were to just suck it up, it seems like the answer would be to get a new full frame DSLR & L glass (24-70 EF lens). But I’m leaning towards getting some relatively cheap new crop DSLR body and just make do with what I have (as an economical choice).

With a camera, I care about low light sensitivity (ISO grain) and maybe shutter speed. I don’t care for video options as I don’t intend on shooting and editing movies.

Even though the standalone camera market seems to be dwindling, the big lenses & big image sensors of DSLRs will always provide photography that mobile phones cannot.

An Evening with Vincent Laforet – NYC Talk

Earlier this month, I attended a talk at Adorama in NYC that provided great context to Vincent Laforet‘s career. As a photographer who saw the writing on the wall, Vincent transitioned his career from still photography into motion picture.


Vincent’s presentation was statistics heavy and illustrated the amount of content (image and video) that gets produced every day. The future holds even more consumer made content that reduces the role of big media as tastemakers. Also, viewer attention span keeps going down over time.

When Reverie came out in 2008, I assumed that Canon reached out to him to produce it. The reality is that Vincent was at Canon and happened to come across the 5d mk2 prototype. Vincent was rejected several times, but Canon eventually let him borrow it. And history was made.

Vincent said that he takes most (95%) of his photos on his iPhone. As someone who shot for the NYTimes and is a Canon Explorer of Light, I’m surprised he doesn’t use his DSLRs more often. It makes sense since convenience is king, and we always have our phones.

Another point that was brought up during the talk was Constant Photography. Instead of taking THE photo at THE right moment, you could just take a film of ALL the moments and cherry pick the photo that you want. Why would you need a photographer when you have a videographer that does both?

What I got out of Vincent’s talk was that passion and being open to change are important. Vincent could have kept working as a photographer, but changing to a Director/DP was a risky move that paid off in the long run. As a new DP, he doesn’t know everything, but he is able to hire great people with complimentary skills and get it done.

Discovering Columbus by Tatsu Nishi

Some Columbus Circle pics:

Waiting in Line

Waiting in Line

Climbing the stairs

Climbing the stairs

View towards Broadway

View towards Broadway

View of the entrance line below

View of the entrance line below

View of the entrance line below

View of the entrance line below

View of Trump Tower

View of Trump Tower

The man himself, in his living room

The man himself, in his living room

View out the living room window

View out the living room window

American wallpaper

American wallpaper

Another stair view

Another stair view

All pics taken with the old school iPhone 4.

Pier 15 – Downtown NYC

Pier 15 is just South of the famous South St Seaport in downtown Manhattan.

Street Side Entrance

With the Winter weather over, Pier 15 is a great place to soak up the Vitamin D on a lunch break for those near Wall St.

Pier 15 with South St Seaport in Background

Pier 15 is a two level structure, and they’ve applied to serve drinks here during Summer.

Stairs up to the Rooftop Lawns

From the upper level, you can see the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges.

East River Bridges

Upper Level looking Downward

SHoP did a great job here.

Northern Staircase looking towards Brooklyn


Upper Floor View towards Brooklyn

Wooden Upper Floor View towards South

From Pier 15, as well as most of the Southern portion of the East River, you can see the helipad and Governors Island.

Downwards View of Seating and Planted Area


Seating Area View from Ground Level

The design (including furniture) is mostly well done.

Large Open Space next to the East River (Facing Brooklyn)


Small Enclosed Tiered Seating Facing South

Pier 15 has a great, open air dynamic that allows many people to use the space at the same time.

Lower Level Room with South St Seaport Reflected


From Front to Back: Pier 15, the East River, and Brooklyn

With Winter behind us, this park will continue to get more and more attractive to the public.

The Future of Photography

A photography prediction: the future will include (1) wearable, (2) video (3) all-focusing cameras.

Eyez by ZionEyez

1. Wearable

By wearable, the camera of tomorrow doesn’t have to be a pair of glasses. It could be on a jacket’s button, hat, belt buckle, etc. What wearing your camera does is free you up from consciously choosing to take a photo. Everything you see while wearing your camera will be recorded from the point of view of your camera. This is like livestreaming yourself, but the streaming to the public part would not happen (unless you opt to). (via BB)


2. Video

As Vincent Laforet talks about, you no longer need to take a single photo. Instead, you might as well video record everything. Afterwards, you would review a time range to pick your ideal photo.

Video takes up significantly more storage than stills. Since this is the future we’re talking about, small devices like an iPhone Nano will have 10TB, so storage won’t be an issue.

Lytro by Eric Cheng/

3. All-Focusing

Lytro is a new type of photographic camera. If I understand correctly, their light field cameras aggregate light at many different points. Think of it as many camera sensors recording many light rays instead of the traditional one camera, one sensor. In addition to picking the time of the shot (#2 above), you would also pick your desired focus. (via NYT)

Put it all together

With these aspects, photography will become a constant lens in your life. Privacy controls would be key. But think of the benefits: Evernote would be on steroids and The Hangover would be solved right away.

The exact configuration has endless possibilities. A team of photographers could cover the Olympic Games with an army of Zeiss mounted to drones.

Japan's Ministry of Defense Ball Drone

The camera of the future could even use gestures (à la Kinect) to control settings instead of the current screen based menu hierarchy.

Boston Landmarks

Went to Boston recently. It’s 4-5 hours by bus.

Charles River & Downtown Boston

Boston is surrounded by water and sailing is quite accessible.

Mike's Pastry

Mike’s Pastry has seriously huge pastries, and they are known for their selection of cannoli. This trip was taken before the Boston Stanley cup win.

Boston Public Garden Swan Boats

Make Way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings is a popular set of bronze sculptures. Here they are decked out in Bruin’s gear.

Kanye Glasses

Cuz I’m a dork, here’s some tourist shop Kanye glasses.

John Hancock Tower

This building looks so sleek & modern. The Prudential Tower gets more attention, but I liked the aesthetics of this one better.

Christian Science Center

The Christian Science Center is near the Prudential Tower/Shopping Mall and is nicely built as well.

Staten Island September 11 Memorial

Went to Staten Island today. The free ferry is convenient from downtown.

Staten Island Ferry Terminal

They’ve gotten very efficient with loading/unloading the ferry (I think, but I don’t have to take this as part of my commute).

St George Terminal Architecture

The terminal architecture is very photogenic.

Staten Island September 11 Memorial

The Staten Island memorial is very tastefully done. It contains granite plaques with a silhouette to honor each victim.

Staten Island September 11 Memorial

The memorial faces ground zero.

Staten Island September 11 Memorial

The memorial is situated in a park next to the Staten Island terminal and baseball field lighting is visible in the background.

Staten Island September 11 Memorial

Each silhouette bears the person’s info and can hold memorial flowers.

Staten Island September 11 Memorial

From the memorial site, NJ & NY fill the skyline.