Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wedding Season Break: San Diego

If you are here to look for our wedding photo blog posts, please scroll down to see the previous posts. Thanks!

Right after a few photo shoots, we jumped on the plane for our family vacation. When most families have their vacation in Summer time, we can only do it around Winter/Spring time. This year, we went to San Diego. I heard about San Diego Zoo when I watched Jurassic Park II (T-Rex escaped and ran around in San Diego). I was very curious about the zoo.

First of all, I'm a photographer. I care about travel photos. At the same time, I'm a father. I also care about home video because Ethan likes watching home videos. The experience in Tokyo teaches me one thing: Don't bring your work DSLR(s) to travel if you want to enjoy the trip. Last time in Tokyo, I locked the 5D Mark II in hotel room after the 3rd day. Olympus E-PL1 saved my back and my feet.

Important thing: You need to bring a camera with 400mm reach. If your longest lens is 70-200mm, you should leave it at home and take a cheaper/smaller super-zoom consumer DC with you.

We planned to visit San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and Sea World. We skipped Legoland because Jessie and Ethan couldn't play rides this year. The 7 days pass allowed us to go to these 3 parks anytime. The first thing we did in San Diego Zoo was taking the bus tour. It covered 70% of the zoo area with driver telling you some rough idea about animals and shows information. The tour was about 30~40 mins. The zoo had "Express Buses" every 15 mins cycling around the zoo between 5 bus stops. The park's cable gondola took visitors from one side to another side in 5 mins. The 7 day pass included the fee of all 3 rides.

We could see animals clearly. Closer than any Zoos near Vancouver but still need 400mm reach to take close-up photos.

Interesting... But I didn't need it. We took Express Buses

Bird Show: Need a camera with very fast frame rate to shoot. Birds were flying around my head very fast in the show.

Captured with 10 frames per second

Safari Park was a bit far from the center. We stayed at a hotel close to Sea World and 35 mins intensive highway drive was needed to reach there. It was a place for larger animals. Opposite to the zoo, animals were far away from us. I saw some people just turned off their small cameras during the bus ride. They couldn't see any animal clearly on their screens. Remember: 400mm lens!

Balloon Walk... Bad impression about balloon rides. It should be safe but they needed to pay me for doing that. (We still have a lot of wedding shoots coming. We don't want to take the risk...)

Safari Park was a one day trip. After the Safari bus ride, not many interesting things could be seen. We skipped the elephant show because of our hungry stomachs. A slow pace day. Lots of walking...

OK... The world famous Sea World! My first impression was... Where did the Mandarin-Speaking tourists come from? Yes, they were everywhere. A lot and a lot. They should be from cruise ships and they were gone on our second day visit.

We watched 4 shows. All good.

WET ZONE wasn't a joke. Need raincoat for sure.

Ethan loves this Elmo play area

Get wet? $5 would dry you up!

People who know me or follow this blog should know I'm a big fan of Olympus OM-D. Although we work with Canon cameras and lenses, I love using OM-D daily.

We brought Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 to the trip. I put an old Tamron 28-200mm lens on E-M5 for getting 56-400mm reach. The PRO series 12-40mm f/2.8 was super.

Like my travel photos? You can see the links below.

Raymond & Jessie
Like our Facebook Page

Monday, February 10, 2014

Yvonne + James Wedding @Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver

First of all, Jessie and I have to thank Brian for assisting us in this wedding shoot. Because of his own wedding in the coming July, he is very very busy recently. At the same time, Billy is still on vacation (Somewhere in Asia).

James planned his own wedding from the beginning to the day before the big day. He had a 2~3 inches thick folder with him when he met me. It wasn't an easy job to be a planner and the groom at the same time. However, he made everything well on the day. My team really appreciate the big room with food and drinks arranged for us. One of the "surprises" was the Food Truck Fest at the Vancouver Art Gallery. There were a lot of people packed at the plaza. It wasn't easy for us to get close to the stairs for photo session.

OM-D E-M1 was tested seriously on the day. Photos came out pretty decent. Same as Sony A7R, E-M1 doesn't have low-pass filter for making photos sharper but... moiré problem is visible on lines and cables. Dynamic range is quite good. We are happy with this little camera.

TT Films Same Day Edit Video

Ceremony & Reception: Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
Cinematography: TT Films
Commissioner: Kelly Yip
A/V: Four Seasons PSAV
Floral: Niki Trading
Cake: Cakeaters Edible Art
Décor/Same Day Coordinate/Setup: Absolute Events & Rentals
DJ/Uplights: Absolute DJs
Ice Sculpture: Cool Creations
Harpist: Janelle Nadeau

Raymond & Jessie
Like our Facebook Page

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot

↑ Brian's shot