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Friday, January 04, 2008


Happy New Year!

Boy, oh, boy!

What a holiday season it's been! As you know, we spent Christmas at my mom's, which was nice. My mom really digs decorating for the Holidays, and this being the first Christmas in her new house, it was kinda special. Of course, Ren made off with the big take-away, with lots of fun stuff coming at him from all sides, like all the Bionicles:

Like every year, though, my brother hooks each of us up with the dope goods. You know how there are people who are so hard to get gifts for? My brother is that guy. But not only that, he always knows what to get all of us. Besides The Dark Tower graphic novel (which frakkin' rocks, if you're into Stephen King's Dark Tower saga), he hooked me up with The Digital Photography Book and Understanding Exposure. You all know how this is perfect for me!

These books couldn't have come at a better time, as Ren and I would be going to Las Vegas in mere days to attend Ren's Auntie Ariel's wedding, which she asked me to photograph. Which brings me to a bit of news that may not be news to you, my dear handful of readers. I got a new camera! Yes, I know, I just got the other camera not even two months ago (which, by the way, is now up for sale *nudge nudge wink wink*), but when Ariel asked if I would take photos at her wedding, I started thinking about whether I could adequately cover such an important event with a point & shoot.

Sure the Lumix FZ8 is a really good camera, but it is still a point & shoot. Now, I'll always agree that it's not the camera, but the photographer who makes the image; but the proper tool will give you the proper result. Now, what's wrong with a point & shoot? Nothing, as long as you're shooting in good light. If the camera has shutter speed control and your subject is stationary, then you can get away with some low-light situations. But if you try to crank up the ISO ("film speed") in order to take pictures in low light, your photographs get more and more grainy, or noisy. This is because the image sensor in a point & shoot is much smaller than the sensor in a dSLR. Another point I took into consideration was speed. With foresight and anticipation, a p & s will capture many, if not most, of the shots you want. But nothing beats the responsiveness of a dSLR. Now, this sounds all well and good, but to be honest, I'd been itching to make the jump for a long time, and this just gave me the rationale to convince myself to spend my holiday gelt on a new Nikon D40 (like Lauren and Lydia)!

So NYE weekend was beautiful, crazy, and too much fun packed into way too little time. First of all, we stayed at the Venetian. Can I just say, "Holy shit!" It had been 15 years since my last trip to Vegas, and back then it was Caesar's Palace (Forum Shoppes) with all the Ooh-Aah factor. The Venetian (and I'm sure all the other competing resorts) is pure opulence.

Actually, it's a shame that we had such a nice room, 'cuz we hardly spent any time in there. I think most of the time was spent feasting--from the 'rehearsal' dinner at Sushi Roku in Caesar's Palace, where the sushi seemed to be never-ending; to Fried Chicken and Waffles for breakfast with the boys at the Grand Lux Cafe; to the sumptuous meal at Zefferino's back at the Venetian. The wedding, held at a man-made-lakeside 'chapel', was quick and not-so-dirty, which was fine considering how cold it was. Our post-reception celebrating continued into the night, dovetailing into New Year's Eve debauchery.

We drank, watched an insane pyrotechnics display, then went back inside to do some dancing and more drinking. If the axiom "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" implies behaviour that would be unacceptable elsewhere, then the corollary must be true: "Whatever doesn't happen in Vegas is open for discussion, as long as you are willing to accept any ridicule for your lack of game." Here is an excerpt from my Flickr 2008 Daily Photo Diary:

Some two hours into the new year, and I find myself with these young ladies at their reserved private table in the Venetian's V Bar nightclub.

And that's where the excitement ends. I've always read about the way people perceive someone with a [slr] camera. Show up with something bigger than a Canon Elph, and people think you're the official event photographer--what more when you've got your new wide-angle attachment screwed onto the lens of your new dslr! So these girls were having fun on the dance floor when I pointed my lens at them. They responded encouragingly, so I snapped a few more shots, and when Monica (pictured with me above) asked about the photos, I gave her a MOO mini card and told her to email me for them. Later, she saw me taking more pictures and she said, "Hey, you're taking all the pictures, but you're not in any of them--come take a picture with me!" Of course, I acquiesced, though I was reluctant to hand my camera to the drunken newly-wed. He held on well, though, and even managed to take a couple viewable shots.

This was more action than I've seen in an embarrassingly long time; and while there really wasn't any action to speak of, if this is how 2008 starts, then maybe there's hope for me yet!
Really, though, as much fun as Las Vegas was, I really only went for Ariel's wedding. Otherwise, I could never keep up with that kind of craziness. It was fun to cut loose, though, and a lot of fun documenting it all.

It was not so fun, however, having to catch a 7:00 am shuttle to the airport on New Year's Day.

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Blogger Paida said...

Great post. Love the shot of Lydia with her new camera.

Yes the D40 is awesome. (and a great price too!)

Glad to hear you had such a great time in Vegas. Let us know what you want for your point and shoot and I can spread the word...

10:29 AM  
Blogger lydiafdc said...

Yes as Shawn has dubbed her (Lauren) as the Tech-pimp of the 07 season ;)

I'll have to see if I can find the pic on the otherside of my camera.

Great read...glad to hear you had such good times to close out the year!

3:57 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Happy New Year Emil!! xx

9:12 AM  

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