Breaking in my New Lens

I recently purchased a slightly used Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens off eBay. Since then, I’ve frozen to death at Cars and Coffee in Birmingham, made some new friends in a photo shoot, and tried my hand at some “Golden Hour” photography.

Cars and Coffee

Saturday Morning, 7:30 AM, My Apartment – I woke up to my phone alarm and got myself ready in a hurry, having already decided to grab a Hardee’s biscuit and coffee for breakfast. I grabbed my trademark black leather jacket and headed out the door. My phone said the actual temperature was 25 degrees. I believed it.

Saturday Morning, 8:00 AM, Hardee’s – I ordered a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit and a small coffee. I winced a little bit when the cashier told me my total was almost $6. I didn’t want hash browns, but maybe I should’ve gotten the combo anyway. The coffee was warm, but it was horrible. The biscuit was good. Hardee’s should have all-day breakfast.

Saturday Morning, 8:55 AM, Hoover Tactical Firearms – I pulled into Birmingham Cars and Coffee and parked near some cars I recognized from the previous week. I assembled my Canon Rebel T5 and Sigma 30mm prime lens, braced myself for the frigid air, and got out of my 2014 Camaro. Ouch! The arctic wind physically pained me despite my thick jacket. Once the shivering subsided a little bit I took aim at my Camaro and took my first shot with the new lens.

My first shot ever with the new-to-me Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens. Not bad for the first time.

I wandered around the sparse crowd to find the individual who had contacted me earlier in the week about a photo shoot, talking to some other enthusiasts as I went. The hot topic of the day was the cold weather, until this rolled in:

This McLaren 570S would’ve stolen the show regardless of attendance, but it really drew people in on this occasion. I also found it remarkably hard to focus the camera on this car.

The Shoot

Saturday Morning, 10:15 AM, Hoover Tactical Firearms – I talked to the guys who wanted to arrange a photo shoot to figure out where we would go for the shoot. None of us knew any great places in the area to shoot, so we just drove over to the nearby Riverchase Galleria mall.

Saturday Morning, 10:30 AM, Riverchase Galleria – I arrived at Riverchase Galleria and drove around the mall to find the cars I was soon to photograph. It took a full lap to find them because they had gone to the top of the parking deck only to discover it was gated off. We settled on a long section of barren wall to use as a backdrop. I took some group photos, then had each car get in line for individual shots.

The line-up
Left to Right: Acura TLX, Mitsubishi Evo X, Subaru WRX, Scion FR-S (Toyota GT86 badges)

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Full gallery and all pictures I take can be found here.

Golden Hour

Monday Evening, 4:30 PM, My Apartment – It was finally warm enough to be comfortable outside, so I decided to go practice more. I originally planned to go to the University of Alabama campus to take pictures, but there was a campus police officer at the spot I was planning to shoot. Since we pressed our luck at the mall on Saturday as a mall cop gave us the evil eye, I decided to go to the public parking deck downtown.

Monday Evening, 5:00 PM, Tuscaloosa Downtown Parking Deck – I drove up to the top of the parking deck to find that I was not alone in my hunt for a golden hour picture. There was a crowd of about ten high school girls taking pictures of one another. In a classic display of the difference in men and women, I began to photograph my car – even though it hasn’t been washed in months.

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