You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2007.

After years and years of futile attempts, I finally learned to ollie. Well, to be truthful, I know the theory behind it, and I can get a little lift, and once in a while, I can actually land with both feet on the board – well, you get the idea. I suck at skating.

Today, I did what I’ve been wanting to do for years: go to the local skate park and check out the action with my trusty 18-50mm F2.8. I met some guys there who were willing to let me photograph them while they skated. Needless to say, I was blown away. Amazing the kind of talent you’ll find in your own neighborhood.

Thanks, guys for letting me hang with you today. I had a great time capturing you catching big air – and now you have proof that you can clear 3 boards – power stacked!!!

If you’re reading this, leave me a comment.

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Spring collage 480

Ah – spring in the burbs. Amidst the mud puddles, decaying leaves and grass from last year, a whole winter’s worth of discarded newspapers, Tim Hortons cups and dog poops – now freshly uncovered, we can always find tiny hints of beauty. New life. A new beginning. Near our house there is a section of undeveloped land – barren and covered in rocks. But take a walk thru it and you’ll be amazed at all the forms of life living in those rocks, trying to make this harsh environment their home.

Click on the image for a closer look.

www.samandmaryphotography.com the prestigeWOW.. This movie is stunning! Its one of those flicks that I’d watch again because the story is just that interesting. I love stories with twists and turns and this one is just that. Also from a cinematic point of view, check out how all the scenes have a dark and moody look to them and compare that with the footage they actually captured on set (as seen in the extra features). I love this processing and the way it enhances the mystery and magic of the movie.

I won’t give away the story, but make sure you go out and see this one… TWICE!!

Trailer at: apple.com/trailers

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No, I don’t miss the snow already. I just wanted to rave about my new toy… ahem.. tool.

Earlier this year, I sold all my recording equipment – amoung the departed, my beautiful Equitek E200 large capsule, studio condenser mic. www.samandmaryphotography.com equitek e200The problem was that just as I thought I’d never record again, that darned itch to lay down some tracks came back. (kicking myself). Now I’d have to buy all my gear back – at least a good mic, a decent mixer that supplies power to the mic and a really good sound card.

It was then when I stumbled upon a great discovery. A company called BLUE microphones who have been building boutique mics for ages is well known for creating sonically “colored” mics. Which means that each mic is optimized for a certain range of frequencies. i.e. a mic that is suited for female vocals might not work well for male vocals or a Marshall stack . Anyways, back to my point, BLUE has just introduced an all-in-one solution for home recordists like myself. The Snowball.

blue snowball www.samandmaryphotography.com
Its a dual capsule, condenser mic, a pre-amp AND a sound card all in one geared towards the home recordist and podcaster. And all for the sweet price of $130 Canadian from the apple store!

What struck me at first was the cool retro styling. This thing looks good – kinda Jetsons meets Ella Fitzgerald. Like it would be completely at home on a David Letterman set. The interface is super easy and clean. There’s a USB plug in the back with connects it to your computer (cable supplied). And a small switch which switches the mic from cardioid mode (picks up sound in the front) to omnidirectional mode (picks up sound all around). Cardioid mode is used to help isolate the mic from noise sources (computer fans, screaming kids, etc) that are behind the mic. It also helps enhance the bass frequencies when placed close to the sound source. Omni mode is especially good to reducing .. or not over enhancing the bass frequencies and picking up room characteristics (natural reverb). The switch can also attenuates the signal in case you are in fact miking a Marshall stack. The software was super easy to install and there is an additional firmware update to boost the volume for really quite singers or acoustic guitars.

So, the big question: how does it sound!!?? BLUE had designed this mic primarily for podcasters so one can assume that this mic is supposed to be “tuned” for vocals. I must agree. I was very pleased with the sound that came straight out of the mic. It was clean, and crisp with accurate transient response. But the best part about it was that it wasn’t too bassy or too thin.. just right. I believe this is the first time I’ve been happy with my recorded voice straight out of a mic without having to add any EQ at all. Recording my acoustic guitar took a bit of experimentation in order to find the right placement. I found after several tries that the best spot for me was right at the 12th fret pointing towards the sound hole. At this position the mic performed wonderfully, picking up the articulation of my picking plus the tone of the body. As for the preamp and analog to digital sections, the mic is surprisingly quiet. Not as quiet as my Mackie/Equitek combination, but very good for $130! Also the latency on the mic’s soundcard is very low and definitely within reason for hobby recordist. For the price, I’d have to say this mic is an amazing deal!

All is not perfect, however, my small niggles include:

  • this mic needs volume knob. It’s inconvenient to adjust the volume in software.
  • It should come with a more adjustable mic stand or mic stand attachment – one that can tilt. This would help tremendously with mic placement.
  • Although USB is great for signal rates and providing power to the mic, the limited length of a USB cable can cut down on your miking options.
  • only good for a one mic setup. Unlike a soundcard and a mixer, you can’t plug multiple mics in and mix their signals together.

Overall, this is a fantastic mic. I would highly recommend it for anyone with a simple home studio or people who are into podcasting. BLUE has a true winner here when it comes to the sonic coloring of this mic and I’m looking forward to many many more jam sessions.

Well, that’s all for now.

Note: I won’t post any of my recordings because even though the mic is good, its not magic – and can’t turn this shower singer into the next Canadian idol.

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Jamie as nick danger1
Once referred to as “Hank Williams meets the Velvet Underground and goes surfing”, Nick Danger and the Danger City Rebels break the speed of sound for the Rock and Roll ride of your life! A well bred mix of garage, surf and pop topped with beat lyrics and rich vocals. A distinct sound compared to early New Wave with a hint of nostalgia for tubes and vinyl.

Based out of Ottawa, Ontario this Power Pop trio is going global. Recognized internationally for their work on “If I could write poetry I would: A tribute to Television Personalities”, their cover of “Diary of a Young Man” even made it to Dan Treacy’s Top 10 list. International ears were also turned with their contribution the “Into the Jetstream of Pop” released on Ottawa’s own “The Beautiful Music” label. They have a growing cult status in the national capital’s rock scene and are touring in support of their latest recording.

Come check out their song “Submarine” on track number 8 at http://www.sam-mary-photography.com

Find out more about Nick Danger and the DCR at www.thebeautifulmusic.com/danger or at www.myspace.com/dangercityrebels

nick danger press image

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CK engagement - spring special

Spring is here at last and love is in the air! The warm and sunny weather is really getting us excited for the upcoming season – and to celebrate, we are now offering our Spring “Love is in the air” Special.

For all our brides who book before March 31, 2007, we will include the digital files for free if you purchase any one of our collections and packages. This allows you to obtain the files and use them before our usual release period of one year. Inquire now about our special packages and get all your wedding images on a dvd as a part of our spring special!

Please call or email to book your free consultation today

info@sam-mary-photography.com

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We are now listed on weddingbells.ca – Come check us out. Also, we will be listed in this July’s issue of the magazine. Here is a link to our online ad through award-winning magazine, Weddingbells:

www.weddingbells.ca/listing/sam-mary-photography/?province_id=1&region_id=16&city_id=&subcategory_id=42″>

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Sophie Contest Winning Picture

Every photographer loves a good photo contest. And we like to enter ones that we think would be fun to do. This was an online photo contest in the States. The contest rules were: Send us an image of your lower legs and high heels girls, and men send a photograph of you wearing a tie (no face or lower torso showing). Of course, me not owning a pair of heels (unless platform shoes count), we decided sam should take the hit this time.

There were over 1400 entries, and we were very humbled by some of the amazing entries. We were even more thrilled to hear that we had won the contest! We had a great time taking the photo. Sam’s tie was a gift from a friend who bought it in Italy, and it’s still one of his favorites.

Here is the judges’ comment: “Congratulations to Sam Limster. Not only do I love your tie but you appear to be sensual, hot and someone I might take home to my daddy.” What kind words!

At the end of the day, as photographers, we love to be inspired by other artists. It’s a great way to share our common interests and to grow better at what we do.

And it’s just plain, fun!

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