I’ve have always been vaguely interested in photography. Not hard to imagine when your parents own a photo shop so you practically grow up around everything photography. But growing up, I didn’t like shooting pictures or being in pictures. I had this funny habit of never smiling whene my picture was taken.
As I got older, I begin to appreciate shooting pictures. This interest grew rapidly during my car modification days. I wanted a way to keep track of the modifications with before and after pictures. At this point, I was really only interested in point-and-shoot as I did not fully appreciate and understand the need of single-reflex-lens cameras, or commonly known as SLR cameras. I did manage to get good pictures from my Sony CyberShot DSC-P71, a 3.1 mega pixel point-and-shoot camera. It was funny too because it took me almost three to four months after having the camera before I learned how to actually shoot decent night photos without the flash. I was pulling out my hair trying to figure out why all my night photos were dark and blurry.2004-11-06 - New York City - 090

It wasn’t until my friend, who got a Canon EOS 10D SLR camera, showed me how to better use my Sony CyberShot camera. At the time my friends and I all thought our friend was crazy spending a $1000+ on a camera with no lens. I never imagined ever even considering spending that kind of cash for any camera.

So I kept taking pictures of my car, my friend’s cars at various locations trying to get that one “money-shot” that I could post up on the forums and wow everyone with my little point-and-shoot camera.

My First Time With The Nikon D100 SLR

The first time I got a chance to lay my hands on an actual SLR and use it was my dad’s Nikon D100 that he used for shooting portraits. It made my little dinky Sony 2004-11-05 - New York City - 045CyberShot look like nothing compared to the size of the Nikon D100. The reason I was even borrowing the Nikon D100 was I was hoping to get some extraordinary shots of New York, where Andrea and I were going for her birthday. Before taking the camera, I should have thoroughly read the book on how to use it, but unfortunately my dad forgot to include the manual when he let me borrow the camera. I figured how hard could it be to use…boy was I wrong! The SLRs have so many configurable options that one could easily get overwhelmed. The multitude of available options is great for varying situations, but is fustrating when you want to just take pictures.

I never did quite figure out how to use my dad’s Nikon during the New York trip, but I did surprisingly got some decent shots. Most of the shots were shot in manual mode (which I didn’t know squat about anything to even be shooting in that mode). There are shots where I had set the camera to aperture prioritythinking the “A” on the command dial means auto (doh!). For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why some of the shots seemed so dark, now that I look at it, my f-stop was set to 13 for daylight and nighttime shots. No wonder I couldn’t shoot anything at night… The only reason I was able to even get a decent shot of Time Square was because it was so damn bright there, f13 would probably have been what the D100 would have chosen anyways.

Some of the main things I really liked about using the SLR is: 1) the ability to capture so much of a picture and zoom in so tight to a picture that normal little point-and-shoots aren’t able to achieve. This made me appreciate how nice it is to have optical zoom versus digital zoom. 2) The fast shutter speed. I was literally snapping everything I could see and frame. It was great! With my Sony CyberShot, I would take a picture, have to wait until that picture processes and then take another one. Quite slow

Fifth Floor Restaurant Review

5thfloorRestaurant.gifFor Andrea’s Birthday, this was my dinner selection. This was our first time at Fifth Floor Restaurant, which is located inside Hotel Palomar in San Francisco, CA on the (what else) fifth floor. This is an upscale French restaurant with superb service and splendid ambiance. The staff was very courteous, attentive, and sensitive to our dietary requirements. Continue reading Fifth Floor Restaurant Review

Le Cheval Restaurant Review

lecheval.gifSo before the Lionel Richie concert, we decided to eat at Le Cheval in Oakland, CA. This is a French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant that has an expansive menu including two tasting menus (seafood and beef, both reasonable priced at $18 for seafood and $25 for beef per person). Continue reading Le Cheval Restaurant Review

Lionel Richie Coming Home Tour Concert

Andrea and I was fortunate enough to catch Lionel Richie’s sold-out Coming Home Concert Tour at Oakland’s Paramount Theater, one of the two only concerts he’s doing in California (the other one in Hollywood) after a long concert hiatus. But before delving into the review, I would like to talk a bit about the venue. Continue reading Lionel Richie Coming Home Tour Concert

Reboot Complete

Bui4Ever has just gone through a reboot. This is Bui4Ever v13. The reasons for this reboot:

Bui4Ever v13 will continue to see some slight visual modifications, but this is ultimately the completed reboot. Please enjoy.

Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D AF Part 1

After using the Nikkor 28-105mm F/3.5-5.6 as my primary lens for the longest time, I finally accepted the severe limitation of a 3.5-5.6 aperture lens. This was glaringly apparent when I went to Muir Woods with Andrea.

Almost every picture I shot (hand held), deeper in the woods, came out blurry as if I was trying to do my own rendition of Blair Witch Project with a camera. Horrible. I was getting speeds of 1/3, 1/5, 1/10 and even increasing the ISO did not help much. Continue reading Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D AF Part 1