On Friday I had the belt test and moved up to red/black. Good times. For those keeping count, this means I’m now officially past the half way point to blackbelt.

Saturday I headed out east to Apache Trail and had a semi-productive shooting day. There were no clouds to speak of, so it was more of a learning day. Played around a lot with the polarizer to see how it’s affecting white balance if at all. Through the viewfinder, it looks like the image is shifting to blue through the polarization range, but testing with the Whibal shows almost no difference in color temperature. Same goes for having the polarizer off the lens entirely. This is a good thing, it means the polarizer is essentially neutral, which is impressive for how cheap this one was. It does however knock out a huge amount of light making a tripod necessary even in pretty bright sunlight.

I’ve been a lot more critical of my lenses now that I’ve got the full frame camera, so I’ve been staying between f8 and f11 and in the middle of the zoom range. I have to say, the sigma does an admirable job in this range with no vignetting that I can see. I haven’t shot a lot wide open yet, but I’ll get back to you.

You can check out some of the new shots on Flickr.

While I was at Goldfield Mine I overhead two old cowboy guys going off on the war in Iraq and Bush. Excuse me, “dumbass Bush” to use their term. I also heard them talking about how Reagan was our “last and best president”, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t bleeding heart liberals. They were talking about how Iraq was the new Vietnam. Nothing earth shattering here, just interesting that two older cowboys, who you would think are Bush’s core constituency are openly mocking him. Awesome.

On Sunday we went to catch the new Harry Potter movie. Not bad as a whole, but also not driven by the pace of the previous films. Try as I might, I just didn’t really like this one. I really tried, but I’m just not getting anywhere. It seemed too long, and a lot of the character development just seemed convoluted. Maybe it’s just me.

Next weekend I’ll be taking part in an art show in Tempe, where I’ll have one or two framed photos showing. The fellow running the show has recommended the prints I’ll be showing, and while they’re not my favorites, I trust his assessment of his usual audience. But it also means I need to get some business cards printed up. I’m going to try and pick up some frames and matting today and get the prints done and everything ready to rock by Wednesday.

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