OnLocation- Washington, D.C. (2012)
Last summer Mike and I had the privilege of taking our first dedicated photography trip. In the past, we would either make a day trip to a local spot (ie: NYC) or we would take photos on vacation (ie: Bermuda). However, this was the first time we were making a trip with the sole intention of taking pictures. Being a small start-up, I wanted to maintain budget consciousness and did not want to go very far or spend a lot of money. So, we started looking for places beyond the day-trip radius from our home. After much talking, we chose Washington, DC. As the capital city of the United States, Washington, District of Columbia (DC for short) is a dynamic metropolis and civic center with many outdoor and indoor attractions. Anyone who has visited the city will tell you the variety of monuments, museums, and public spaces. For photographers, Washington, DC provides many opportunities of landscape, street, portrait, and even sports photos.
The Schedule We were only intending to stay overnight to save money. So, we left our house at 0500 EST on Friday, July 27 and arrived in the city at around 0930. We spent much of the daylight shooting the exterior monuments and only rested when needed. Mike and I checked into our hotel after 1500 and took a brief dinner break. After our dinner break, the sun was going down, and afforded us many more landscape shots outside at the various monuments. The following day, Saturday, July 28, we woke up early, checked out and continued where we left off. During the course of the day, we visited two museums. Since we were going to make the trip home that day, we quit around 1600 EST and arrived home around 2000 EST. Thankfully, we had all day on Sunday to rest and review our shots.
The Gear Mike and I primarily shoot Canon EOS Rebel T2i’s. Our lens kits include the EF-s 18-55mm, EF-s 55-250mm, Rokinon EF 8mm fisheye, EF 50mm f1.8, EF 24mm f2.8, and EF 70-200mm f2.8L. Aside from our digital cameras, Mike and I both carried a film camera. I purchased a second-hand Canon EOS Rebel XS and Mike was using a family borrowed Olympus point and shoot. Because of the nature of landscape and architecture photography, a wide angle lens is preferred to shoot wide subjects or buildings from a short distance away (sidewalk). The EF 24mm lens I have is cropped with an effective field of view of around 38mm. So, I contacted BorrowLenses.com and rented some gear. The gear we rented was as follows: Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR, EF 16-35 f2.8L II, EF 24-105 f4L, and extra 5D battery pack. I didn’t shoot or write a review of the gear and really wish I had. Both lens and the 5D2 were phenomenal. In fact, I think I walked around with the 5D2 and EF 16-35 most of the time. We each used a backpack to haul most of the gear around town and I used my Pelican 1500 and 1600 cases to safely transport the gear in the car. I have the adjustable padding kits for both cases and was able to quickly configure the cases for the additional rental and film gear which I don’t normally carry.
The Locations For only being in the city for 1.5 days, Mike and I covered a lot of ground, which you will see in the photos. While we did not cover the entire city and surrounding tourist attractions, I think we covered all we planned to with the exception of Arlington National Cemetery. Extensive planning went into our itinerary. We first sat down and considered what sites and even “shots” we wanted. to shoot. After that we mated the sites and shots to the map and planned a route that would not only take us to the locations, but also considered the time of day that we wanted to be at the locations. The locations in Washington, DC that we visited were:
  • U.S. Capital Building
  • U.S. Botanical Garden
  • U.S. Native American Museum
  • National Mall
  • Washington Monument
  • World War II Memorial
  • Vietnam War Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • The White House
  • U.S. Air and Space Museum
  • Newseum

The Experience Though our photography trip to Washington, D.C. was short, Mike and I learned a lot. As our first dedicated photography trip, we learned how to plan and map out our itinerary to maximize production time, including not only where, but when. On the other hand, we also learned that you can’t plan every shot. Many of the greatest photographs in history were spontaneous and organic. We learned gear is far less important than good composition, perfect exposure, and framing a meaningful subject.
OnLocation- Washington, D.C. (2012)
As we close out our first photography trip, we look forward to many more in the future. Right now we don’t have specific plans, but we hope to enjoy a lot of the same experiences that made our trip to Washington, D.C. so memorable. If you have any questions about our trip to Washington, D.C. or would like to learn more, please send us a message | HERE | .
WEBSITE 2.0

Back in November 2011 when I purchased this domain (MetroPhotog.com) and uploaded the under construction page, my primary intention for this site was to share our photos with our family, friends, and any who wanted to view them. And while my first blush at coding this site did accomplish that, it became very difficult to get the content up on the site. Every time we wanted to upload a web gallery or blog post, we would have to ftp into our domain server and change multiple html files and massage them into the format you saw. Needless to say, the process was tedious. So, I began looking for a solution which would give us the most flexibility and room for growth. I looked at numerous prepackaged Content Management Systems (CMS) and blog systems (i.e.: Word Press) and came up empty. Most had a few features that we wanted and lacked others. There just wasn’t one that I could really get behind.

Ultimately, I chose to write my own PHP / MySQL system for the blog feed and gallery viewer. Because I do work full time and knew nothing about either PHP or MySQL, it took much longer than I would have liked. But, last Sunday, I was finally ready to upload the near complete site. While there are many features and functions that I will be adding in the coming months, this was a good place to stop and publish the site. Below is a list I have compiled of the benefits and changes stemming from the complete rewrite:

Overall Site:

  • Faster page loads and less load on the server. Most pages load 2x faster over previous code
  • Increased reliability in page display across platforms including mobile devices
  • Better search engine visibility and indexing
  • Solid framework for growth in the future
  • New graphics site-wide that are much more sleek and clean
  • More social networking integration and features

Home Page:

  • Blog section is automatically generated from gallery and video postings.
  • New organization of articles / postings for easier navigation

Gallery Page:

  • HTML5 web galleries allow viewing on most platforms especially mobile devices (i.e.: iOS / Android devices). Flash support is dwindling, so we have chosen to upgrade now. Older web galleries will eventually be converted from Flash to HMTL5
  • View web galleries by type (and soon by photographer). Want to see all the galleries containing cars or motorcycles, simply choose Automotive in the left hand side selection box.
  • Ability to link our viewers with a specific gallery.

Video Page:

  • View all our YouTube videos right on our site
  • Ability to view videos hosted on our site only. We have some projects in the works that will be exclusive to this site
  • Future ability to search and view video by category (Coming Soon).

I am really pleased and excited with version 2 of MetroPhotog.com. I think that we now have the right foundation that we need to accomplish our goal, which has always been to display our photos how we wanted and share the experience with our audience, whoever it may be. I strongly encourage you to browse the new site. Please feel free to Contact Us with any issues or features you would like to see added in the future.

Thank you for your continued support,

Joe Cuomo

Canon Announces New APS-C DSLR - EOS 650D T4i

On Friday (06/08/2012), Canon USA announced the release of their upgraded entry level APS-C DSLR or XXXD line. The new T4i (650D) is a solid upgrade from its predecessor and takes many of its features from the XXD line of DSLRs. A few highlights from the new camera's specifications:

  • DIGIC 5 Processor
  • 5 FPS Continuous Burst
  • Variable Angle LCD
  • 9 Pt AF (from 60D)
  • Enhanced Movie Servo AF
  • Built-in stereo microphone, manual auto level adjustment
  • 3" Touch Screen LCD
  • In Camera HDR and other Creative Filters

Since the launch of the Digital Rebel series of DSLRs in 2003 with the EOS 300D, Canon has sold millions of cameras to amateurs and beginning photographers looking for great features at an affordable price. The T4i continues this tradition with large improvements in AF performance and video capabilities. The 650D borrows its new 9 point AF system from its bigger APS-C brother (EOS 60D) along with the bump in continuous burst shots up from 3.5 fps to 5 fps. The new DIGIC V processor is to thank for that improvement, which brings more features like in camera HDR and other creative filters. The T4i also sports the first touch screen LCD on an EOS DSLR camera. The touch screen could be used to change settings in the menu system and even choose focus in Live View mode.

Many content creators and amateur filmmakers have been using DSLRs for their principle photography. DSLR cameras provide additional functionality and customization that HD Camcorders do not at the same price point. Canon continues to show their dominance in the DSLR video niche with big upgrades to the Rebel line with features such as the new enhanced Movie Servo mode. Continuous AF in video mode has been a missing and demanded feature by consumers. And, if used with one of Canon's new STM lenses, the AF performance is smooth and silent.

Some other features of the new T4i are: lens correction tools, menu feature guide for beginning shooters, new GP-E2 (new Canon GPS Unit) compatibility, JPEG resizing, and image rating like the EOS 5D Mark III.

Overall, I'm impressed with the upgrades Canon made to the Rebel line. I think Canon knows this camera has a flourishing market and will sell very well. It's also interesting to see Canon's lineup taking a different shape in the APS-C format. These big upgrades to the XXXD line raise questions to the future of the XXD line and XD line of Canon crop-body cameras. Will the 70D be a super 650D? Will the 7D Mark II be killed off or go APS-H to fill the void left after the merging of the flagship 1D line? Only time will tell, and 2012 is shaping up to be a truly exciting year if you shoot Canon.

For more information about the EOS T4i and other Canon DSLRs, head over to CanonEOS.com.

Stay Connected to MetroPhotog

If you want to be connected to the best camera, photography, and photography news website around then always follow us on our social links! Make sure to find us on twitter for our most recent news that we update everyday! Check out the YouTube channel for the best photography news and review videos on Camera related products. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for retro photos taken by the MetroPhotog Team that showcase our day to day photography adventures! We will post links to all of our social networking pages below. Please feel free to ask any questions or send us an email from our Contact page! You can also feel free to check out our most recent status updates by clicking on the social badges at the top of the page as well.

Adobe Launches CS6 and Adobe Creative Cloud
Last week Adobe launched Creative Suite 6 (5/9) and Adobe Creative Cloud (5/11) after announcing the public beta on March 21, 2012. Adobe held an official launch party for the software suite on April 23, 2012, introducing updates to the core applications including (but not limited to) Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects.

Aside from their traditional software package model, Adobe launched a subscription-based option called Creative Cloud. Users pay a relatively low monthly rate to gain access to the CS6 applications, web services and limited file sharing. While some software companies have offered this model in the past, this is a first for the industry leading applications and a large change in market. No longer will smaller graphics / content producers have to invest large amounts of capital to keep pace with current offerings. For (1) low monthly rate, you get the most up to date professional software on (1) main workstation and on (1) backup / mobile workstation. Institutional and Educational pricing is available to those who qualify.

MetroPhotog was on board with Creative Cloud since the official launch and looks forward to using the suite. More to come on this ...

For more information on Adobe Creative Cloud and CS6, visit Adobe.com . If you have any questions regarding our use of Adobe Professional creative products, email us at info@metrophotog.com


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HOME | ABOUT | GALLERY | VIDEOS | CONTACT MetroPhotog.com was established by Joe Cuomo and Mike Cuomo in the winter of 2011 as a place to share experience, tips, and gear reviews with other amateur photographers. New photo galleries are published by both Joe and Mike on a regular basis ranging from casual street photography to sports and landscape photography. The MP team also posts videos to YouTube and Vimeo with subjects ranging from Canon and third party gear unboxings to photography tips and post production tutorials. To learn more about the senior editors of MetroPhotog.com, check out the About page. While MetroPhotog.com is currently a hobby for Joe and Mike, the team has high expectations for its future. Be sure to check the site frequently, as new content is posted regularly. The best way to stay connected to MetroPhotog is through social media. All of the social media links are at the top of the page.
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