Noodles and Beef

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I deserve this.

Inspired by my friend @sugarray53, I was originally going to get the Sony 28mm f2 with the 16mm fisheye attachment. Affordable, compact, good reviews, and my shortest prime was the 55mm. This lens would fill a big (narrow) gap in my collection.

Got to play with it hands-on in Akihabara…where it was sitting next to this beast:

The Carl Zeiss 25mm f2 Batis.

Smaller, lighter, and prettier than the Sony lens. It uses an OLED range finder on the barrel and looks like the brain child offspring of Jonathan Ive and Dyson.

I played with it. Love at first shot.

The best sub-55mm lens I’ve ever used. I had to have it.

My camera equipment:
Sony NEX 5N (APS-C sensor)
Sony a7ii (full frame sensor)
85mm f/1.4
24-240mm f/3.5-6.3
55mm f/1.8
18-200mm f/3.5-6.3
10-18mm f/4
16mm f/2.8

Playing with my new Sony 85mm F1.4 GM.

The thing is a beast. Stupid big and heavy, it completely removes the
portability afforded by my mirrorless full-frame camera. You know, the
entire reason why I shoot with a mirrorless system.

And yet, I can already feel myself falling in love with this lens. I might
have to make a concession for it’s size because the photos it produces are
so beautiful. Exceptional blur, extremely fast, and incredible performance
in low light situations.

These photos were taken at 100iso in a dimly-lit hotel bedroom. Its like
the thing has night vision.

Anonymous asks:
I know this is a strange question but....Who the fuck holds the camera? You take such good pictures and most of them are always full shots. I am specifically talking about any of the photos that you away from home and there are only 2 of you.

I made this video almost six years ago to illustrate how I do my self portraits.

  1. Position camera with flexible tripod.
  2. Set timer or use remote trigger
  3. Take photo

Here’s the resulting photo:

My technique hasn’t changed much over the last six years, although the technology has improved a lot.  I used to have to take the photo blindly over many takes using a timer…now I can position myself perfectly using a remote view-finder on my smartphone.  Incredible.

alexandersen1593 asks:
What camera equipment do you use? All of your pictures look great!

My primary camera is currently the Sony a7ii with the 55mm F1.8 Sonnar Prime lens and 24-240mm telephoto.  (Pictured above).

You can see my exact camera setup for every photo simply by visiting my Flickr account and looking at the EXIF data attached to each photo page.

Let’s talk about my recent cameras.

Above photo taken with the Sony a7ii and the 55mm prime. See all my Sony a7ii photos here.

I’ve only had the Sony a7ii for six months (since February 2015), but its my favourite so far.  In-body image stabilization works great for hand-held photography.

Above photo taken with the Sony a7r and the 55mm prime.  See all my Sony a7r photos here.

I upgraded (or downgraded, depending on who you ask) from the Sony a7r, which had a much higher resolution (36.4 MP vs 24.3 MP).  This was my first full-frame camera.  Had it for just four months (September 2014 to January 2015).  Great for studio photography, but not the usual handheld shooting I did.

Above photo taken with the Sony NEX-5N and the 18-200mm telephoto.  See all my Sony NEX-5N photos here.

Most of my photos before September 2014 were taken with the Sony NEX-5N.  Its an incredible, not-quite-pro camera, highly recommended.

Other cameras I’ve used:

mindcakebliss asks:
When you have a photo shoot, how much time do you spend on prep like the setting, time of day, composition, etc.? What about your candid phone photos, is it “one and done” or do you take several? I try to balance being in the moment vs planning too much for my photos; to live for the experience, not trying to capture everything in a photo. Is this balancing act your experience too? Has having a wildly successful blog/journal influenced how much time you take pictures in your everyday life?

Finished photos ranked and sorted using Adobe Bridge.

Most of my photos are spontaneous or require very little setup.  The obvious exception is when I do studio photography (like the portraits of my groomsmen) or photo projects that require a very specific look (like my charity calendar, a homage to the style of Jim French).

My recent photoshoot with brandedbulltank took about 5-10mins.  I had him pose for me while I calibrated my camera, then jumped in for a couple photos together.  I took about 8 photos and selected my favorite from the series.

My art direction style was heavily mentored by a stuffy (but brilliant) creative director.  She insisted that there was only one good photo from any scene, and to prevent repetition (which is boring) we had to be ruthless with our editing.

How ruthless?  On a recent trip to Taiwan and Japan, I filled my 32GB memory card (Roughly 6,000 photos).  After a weekend of sorting through photos, I had just 96 photos to post.

I do all my art direction and photo tweaks in Adobe Bridge.  (I think I’m the only person who uses Bridge).  I much prefer the Adobe Bridge raw photo plugin to Adobe Lightroom’s editor.  First pass I mark photos that might be good, second pass I use a star rating system, anything under 5-stars usually doesn’t make the cut.


I have no art direction process for my cell phone photos.  I usually just upload those directly from my phone and hope for the best.

When I first started I needed more time to get the right shot, and sometimes that would interrupt the moment I was desperately trying to capture.  Thats not an issue now that I’ve grown comfortable with my equipment and photography style…but, I find I’m taking my camera out less in favor of enjoying the moment.