Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Robin, I Can’t See

Robin, I Can’t See, originally uploaded by Cale Bruckner.

Lately I’ve been getting a kick out of taking pictures of the toys my kids are playing with. We have a good time prepping each toy for the photo-shoot, they can be a bit nervous about all the picture taking, and the kids enjoy looking at the end result. This picture of my son’s Batman action figure is called “Robin, I Can’t See.”

I also enjoy taking pictures of toys because it helps me appreciate the details of the design work that goes into each toy. How much time do you think somebody spent designing this Batman figure? See the detail in the ears? Somebody put a lot of effort into this and the design behind a toy often goes un-noticed by parents that are more focused on trying to keep the toys in the right bins. Spend a few minutes looking at the detail work that goes into the toys your kids play with. I’m guessing their toys are more interesting than most of the other things in your house.

More toy pictures in my Flickr “Toys” set.

Shooting w/ a Canon Rebel XTI

 Rebel XTI

Back in December I blogged about my search for a new lens for my Canon Rebel 300D. My plan was to keep the older camera for another year or two – instead, investing in a Canon L series lens. Well, the plan changed a little.

I’m now shooting with a Canon Rebel XTI 400D and I’m loving it. I was a bit concerned about the size of the camera (its grip is smaller than the 300D’s) but by adding the optional Canon battery grip I solved the problem and doubled my power capacity – nice if you don’t like having to worry about keeping the camera charged. I bought the camera without the kit lens – instead opting for the highly regarded Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR DI lens. This lens takes fantastic pictures and it covers a popular focal range even on a camera with a 1.6 FOVCF like the 400D. I also picked up a copy of Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 lens for shooting the kids indoors in low light situations without my flash. The 50mm takes fantastic pictures, with excellent background blur, and it’s a steal at less than $100. This rounded out my end of 2006 camera upgrade and I feel like I’m set for at least a few years. Eventually, I’m going to want a full-frame camera like Canon’s 5D but I’m happy for now. I’ve also got my eye on Canon’s 85mm f/1.8 prime as well as a their 70-200mm f/4 or f/2.8 L lens but that will have to wait for a while.

I upgraded from the 300D to the 400D because I thought the enhanced feature set warranted it. I also felt like the time was right to sell my 300D – resale value will decrease sharply this year as 10MP cameras become the standard. I managed to get $425 for my 300D on eBay – that’s pretty good considering I paid about $700 for the 400D body.

I’m not going to bother with specifics about any of these products because they are all reviewed by better resources already – instead, I’ll provide you with links to some of the resources I used to research my upgrade.

Related Resources: 

Lens and Camera Reviews: – great resource for Canon lens and camera reviews

FM Reviews – a lot of professional opinions here / Canon and Nikon lenses – detailed lens and camera reviews – the ultimate camera review site

Buying: – always competitive, great for lenses

B&H – bought the camera and one of the lenses here 

Flickr’s Best of 2006

I’m always constantly amazed by the caliber of the pictures you can view on Flickr. The Best of 2006 discussion is a great place to browse some of the best photography of 2006.

Autumn Leaf and More

Autumn Leaf is an excellent time-lapse photography piece – recommended by Thomas Hawk. Interested in this type of thing? Check out Thomas Kranzle’s time-laps photography – click “SHOWREEL” in the NAV bar to get it started.


Reflections, originally uploaded by Cale Bruckner.

I like the way this turned out. Shot here in Eugene, Oregon – by me.

Microsoft Media Center SDK Features Thomas Hawk’s Work

The new Microsoft Media Center SDK includes a sample application that features Thomas Hawk’s photographs. Hawk, in my humble opinion, is a fantastic photographer and I just love browsing his work on Flickr. Check his work out for yourself.

Flickr’s Best

Flickr is teaming with fantastic photographers. Here are some of the best.

Camera Lenses

Camera Lenses


I’m an amateur photographer. I wasn’t much of a photographer until I had kids. It was my desire to perfectly capture the moment that pulled me into the hobby.

Currently, I’m shooting with a Canon EOS 300D – an older generation Digital Rebel. I’d like to upgrade the camera but I think I’ve decided to focus on the primary lens 1st – the camera is good enough for now.

For years I’ve been using the kit lens and an inexpensive telephoto lens from Tamron. I’m finally at the point where I want to upgrade my lens. A high quality lens can really make a difference in the quality of your photographs. Mind you, composition and mastery of the basics should come 1st, before you start spending thousands on equipment but you do reach a point eventually where you want/need better equipment to take you to the next level.

I’m looking for a good general use lens to replace the kit lens that came with my Rebel – an 18mm to 55mm Canon lens. The kit lens is a decent lens but it isn’t very fast and the optics are, well, entry level. It’s time to move up.

I’m writing this post to share a few favorite resources for reviewing the different lens available to amateur and professional photographers. is fantastic if you’re into the Canon lens. They do cover a few of the 3rd party lens but they’re mostly focused on Canon equipment. also features excellent lens and camera reviews. I recommend both of these resources for learning more about the equipment available to photographers these days. And, last but not least, there’s – the ultimate digital camera review site.

I’m not going to write a lot more about this but I will share with you the three lenses I’m considering at this point to replace the kit lens that came with my camera. If there’s a lens that isn’t on this list, that should be, drop me a comment.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens (optically excellent, EF-S mount only)
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens (optically excellent)
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II Lens (EF-S mount only)

Happy Halloween!

Originally uploaded by cale.

Happy Halloween! I took this shot with my Canon SLR while out trick-or-treating with my kids. Halloween night offers a lot of really cool low-light photo taking opportunities – I always enjoy it.

About palmIT

palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

Cale Bruckner

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