In an earlier post titled “Ricoh Theta S: The Perfect Blossom” (see below), I did a review of the Ricoh Theta S, a 360 degree camera that took okay pictures and video. I knew when I plunked down $300 that the images were sub-par, however the holidays were approaching and I did not want to miss out on capturing the moment. Unlike traditional cameras, 360 degree cameras are so immersive when viewed using a VR headset that you feel that you are there, at that moment. Truly it destroy’s Thomas Wolfe’s premise that “You can’t go home again.” Yes you can, via 360 photos.
While I began developing my videography skills with the filming and editing of family videos, as well as my annual motorcycle trips videos, I didn’t really focus on improving my photography skills until 2017, when I bought my a7rii and some quality, non-kit glass. I’ve decided that I don’t want to sell security software for the rest of my life and would like to transition into something around photography, videography, motorcycles, or some combination of those. Since the day I stepped up to a full-frame camera, I’ve worked hard on improving my portrait, landscape/cityscape, street scene, night time and 360 photosphere photography.
I work for an Israeli company and every year we have a Sales Kick Off, essentially a chance for the entire Sales, Marketing and Executive Teams, as well as select Engineering resources, to get together to review 2017, as well as prepare for 2018. Last year we all met at The Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, which was amazing. This year they did one better, flying all of us to Israel. While the SKO was worthwhile, the opportunity to see Tel-Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Galilee, Nazareth, Capernaum, the River Jordan, Masada and the Dead Sea were a once in a lifetime experience (although I’ve been to Israel before!).
Yesterday was warm for Chicago, about 34 degrees, sunny and no wind, perfect for a lakefront shoot. I futzed around the house earlier and began trying to figure out how to use the Godox X1s with my ultra portable Godox tt350s. By the time I figured it out, I was 10 minutes behind my planned departure time, so I quickly packed my camera bag and left for Montrose Harbor, north of Chicago.
I was really looking forward to the afternoon shoot. It was a cold day in Chicago and my sister offered to give me access to her office building’s patio, located on the 23rd floor. I arrived at 3:30 pm, plenty of time to set up my gear and get situated. My sister and I rode the elevator to the 23rd floor and alas, the patio door was locked, even though the sign clearly indicated it is open every day until 8 pm. I needed to improvise; the view overlooking Millennium Park, Cloud Gate (The Bean), the ice rink, Michigan Avenue and the city Christmas tree was too good to pass up.