Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Stay-cation

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas from the Soriano family. No fancy trips or winter travels this holiday season but a nice homely stay-cation in sunny Florida.

Who needs Rockefeller Center in NYC when you have joyous Manatees in your backyard? We made the most of our stay-cation with a large emphasis of our own local tourist attractions. Our first stop is the Manatee Viewing Center at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach, Florida. The Sea Cows were prancing in the warm waters of electric power plant runoff with glee!

A Christmas Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Florida kicked off the holiday weekend with family and friends. My measly pre-lit synthetic fraser-fur pales in comparison to the 500,000 LEGO brick Christmas Tree towering over toy hungry kids. Call it 6 tons of peace and joy!

Real LEGO Friends without the retail markup. Lasting friendships have humble beginnings on itchy St. Augustine turf. School winter break means two weeks of well needed fun and no school morning rush hour!

Home sweet home on Christmas morning. Gifts opened by my kids with joy and disappointment. Parents relieved the holidays are half over until New Year's Day. The long and treacherous journey to the in-laws begins. Oh joy!

My soon to be 22 month old daughter figured out Christmas rather quickly. Christmas tree with shiny boxes equals Peace on Earth! Back to back Cuddleuppets commercials on Sprout TV enlightened her on the true meaning of Christmas.

Ho! Ho! Ho!, the Filipino Santa with Kirkland Signature attire and a belly full of Jollibee Chicken Joy brings presents and his Canon EOS M digital mirrorless camera to capture the never ending holiday moments.

Filipino Santa was barely clicking away the slow focusing Canon EOS M from the holiday feast induced coma. Smiles and giggles inspired a sleepy Filipino Santa to move on to one more household.

Cousin chaos part 3. A three hour visit was well spent with my niece and nephew discussing the latest high school gossip and playing Black Ops 2 mulitplayer team death match over lunch. This is the true and priceless gift you cannot box and wrap. No sappy television commercial or Hallmark Greeting card can dare to repeat this true meaning of Christmas.

You can view more bundles of joy in my Christmas 2012 Gallery shot with the Canon EOS M paired with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS with EF-M lens mount adapter.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ready For Launch

Armed with three model rockets and waning golden hour light, the space race began with Cold War readiness. With the help of my son's God Father at GetAwayMoments and my whole family, they launched homemade rockets into the atmosphere. NASA would have been impressed.

This 1080p video shot with the Canon EOS M at 29.97fps was very impromptu. Completely handheld during the launch sequences, I barely managed to keep a steady track of the model rockets. I even used the built in Canon EOS M stereo microphones for audio capture. Luckily, the sunset and minimal wind conditions made optimal video shooting conditions. I edited with iMovie'11 and used Quicktime to compress a 240mb h264 video file at best quality.

A precious God Father moment with his God Son blasting rockets into the sky is also a opportune moment for a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition video shoot. Getawaymoments maybe working on his next DIY GoPro Hero 3 Aerial Rocket Video with G Class solid propellant multi stage engines. Imagine the first GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition in the upper echelons of the atmosphere.

Humble beginnings spark ingenious ideas. Model rocketry inspires future scientific endeavors for young minds and priceless moments for my family. Many thanks, Getawaymoments.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Proud Soccer Dad Cometh

Watch out David Beckham, the next Filipino footballer has arrived with kicking enthusiasm and revelry. With a little encouragement and a well needed break from video games, my son came out running, quite literally, to the local youth soccer program at N-Zone Sports.

The "Bulldozer" intercepts the ball to dribble the tumultuous path to overcome the wary goalkeeper a few yards away. The excited soccer dad shoots the action with his camera with simultaneous shouts of consolation. A task proved difficult.

Sports photography takes practice and more practice. With my Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with AF Servo enabled and my strategically placed AF point in the viewfinder, I managed to click some decent well composed soccer action pictures.

This is not my first youth soccer game photo shoot. My daughter played youth soccer a couple years back with much success. Her soccer interest has waned and is now replaced by social events and the latest fashion trends.

Just like life itself, I think my son is striker bound. Heading forward through obstacles to an ultimate goal. Keeping ahead of the ball is not an easy task despite the anarchy. This soccer dad cometh with overwhelming adulation this holiday season.

You can view more soccer chaos in Jude's Youth Soccer 2012 Gallery shot with the Canon EOS 1D Mark IV paired with the EF 70-200mm f/4L IS zoom lens.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

An Epic Thanksgiving in New York City

Fond memories. A fresh roasted turkey with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day sticks to my ribs like numb fingers and watery eyes on a cold evening at the Trump Wollman Ice Rink at Central Park in New York City. Let the hectic holidays begin with a family trip to the Big Apple!

The huddled masses came in droves for prosperity and freedom in early days. The Soriano family came with stroller draped with diaper bag and my Canon EOS M bound for non stop NYC cuisine and tourist attractions. Most huddled masses come to an abrupt halt at the $12 toll at the Lincoln Tunnel and take mass transit!

The early bird gets the worm at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you are not hitting the streets at the break of dawn for a good viewing spot, you get to watch the parade from a block away like us. With good timing and a zoom lens, you can witness the larger than life balloon characters stroll down the Avenue of the Americas.

Explaining the unexplainable to your kids is a daunting task. The epic National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center reminds us about that tragic loss suffered from the acts of terrorists. The two cascading waterfalls surrounded by the names of people lost during the attacks makes a thankful Thanksgiving this holiday.

This breathtaking 1080p video of New York City was brought to you by the Canon EOS M digital mirrorless camera. The "Canon Rebel T4i/650D in a Powershot form factor" gives outstanding image and video quality in a very small package. The smaller body paired with a large APS-C sensor packs a big punch especially when attached to good glass.

My kids hit the books during our family trip at the New York Public Library. Of course, I mean that quite literally and there was actually no reading involved. We were all to busy gawking at all the ornate architecture and amazing artwork. My fisheye images are from my Rokinon 8mm T3.8 Fisheye Cine lens paired with the Canon EOS M with Lens Mount Adapter.

Like all good Catholics, we made an obligatory visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. Like most of New York City, the famous church was under renovation. Amidst the scaffolding, the Rokinon 8mm T3.8 Fisheye Cine Lens captured every moment with beauty and poise.

New York City's finest paid me a visit during my New York City Subway photography session. I did my homework of the Mass Transit Authority rules and regulations when it concerns photography that cold morning. After a brief confrontation with the NYPD about "no photography allowed", I quickly resolved the misinformation about the law with my own copy of the rules. As of this date, there is photography with no tripod or lights allowed without permit in the New York City Subway system. Enough said!

Bright lights meet big city at Times Square in New York City. Night becomes day in this wall of lights from ground to sky. It is like orchestrated chaos of people, traffic and illuminated skyscrapers composing a light and sound symphony.

Cherish the freedoms of Lady Liberty and be thankful this hectic holiday season. Two values worthy of unspoken explanation.

You can view more Central Park goodness in my Thanksgiving in New York City 2012 Gallery shot with the Canon EOS M digital mirrorless camera. The Canon EOS M was paired with the Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS and the Rokinon 8mm T3.8 Fisheye Cine lenses.

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