Going on a Digital Vacation

3 03 2009

As we enter our final week prior to our big family trip to Hawaii, I’ve been scurrying around trying to get things in place. Flight info, travel, hotel, the usual things right? Well, as a Dad, a geek and a budding amateur photographer, I’m also struggling with the questions of what gear do I take? This isn’t going to be a camping trip where electronics aren’t allowed. But, I still want to take the fewest things possible. Here, I present my vacation suggestions.

First, take your laptop. I recently upgraded my MacBook Pro to have 500 GB of drive space. That sounds like a lot, and normally it should be enough space. But, since I’m going to basically be on a mission of gathering digital artifacts, I’m going to need all the space I can get. I’m also bringing along an external drive with 250 GB of space. This drive is a normal laptop drive housed in a nice enclosure. In all, ~650GB of space should be enough. I like to be prepared. But, what is all this space for? Well…

Second, take a digital camera. I’m taking two. Recently, I upgraded my DSLR to the Canon Rebel XSi. I’ve got a few good lenses now, and I plan to set aside some time during this trip to just take some photographs. Hopefully the kids won’t mind. I’m also taking my new Canon SD880. The photos that come out of it are terrific for the size of the camera, and I’ll have it in my pocket, ready at a moment’s notice. Perfect for those times when you just don’t want to lug around an SLR and three different lenses. But these cameras only take a few GB of pictures, you say? Sure, but I use the DSLR in RAW mode, so I’m using 12 MB per picture (it’s a 12 megapixel camera). Ok, fine, but that still seems like overkill on the space…

Until you consider the digital camcorder. While my SD880 does have a movie mode, I also plan on packing my Sanyo HD1000. This high definition camcorder is capable of recording in 1080i resolution. I have a 4 GB card for it to help my be more mindful of my recording. I may yet still find an affordable 16 GB card for it. But, if you add up a few hours (over two weeks) of video, well, you can easily eat up the 250 GB drive alone.

Now, if you’ve read down to this point and started thinking “This dude is a total geek, and is crazy for trying to do all that to his family on vacation”, well, you’re right. I don’t plan on record every single second of my trip. However, there will be days where I will be focused on the pictures, and others where I will focus on the activity in front of me. But, it sure doesn’t hurt to bring along these little items just in case because they are just so small these days.

So, check back here, our vacation site, or on our photo page to see how our vacation is going!



2009 Mora Family Calendar

30 11 2008

Every year, since Eliana was born, I’ve gone through the task of gathering the best pictures we’ve taken in the past year and add them to a calendar for the next year. It’s been somewhat of a time capsule since there have been times in our busy lives where I look at the pictures on the calendar and say out loud

“Golly gee willikers, that was a year ago?”

Every year, I print out three copies, one for us, and one for each set of grandparents. This year, I’m going to do something a tad different, and make a PDF available for your viewing pleasure to see what we’re enjoying every day of the year.

I welcome your feedback you have on the preview PDF.

Movin’ On Up

28 09 2008

It’s been about two and a half or 3 years since I purchased my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. Over that time I’ve documented much of my families activities as well as grown my own personal picture taking abilities. My introduction to the hobbyist world of photography was with the ubiquitous Canon Digital Rebel XT (350d). This camera was so popular, that everywhere I would go that required picture taking, I would see at least 2 or 3 other people with the exact same camera. Even yesterday at the Diamondbacks baseball game, I saw someone with one. It’s a great camera, and it was easy to understand why it was so popular. Alas, it was time to put the past behind me, and step up to a new camera.

Since my experience with the Rebel XT was so positive, I decided to stick to the same line, and simply upgrade to the Canon Rebel XSi. My favorite improvements are the larger screen (3.0″  vs. 1.8″) and the better kit lens that comes with it. I’ve only had it for a day now, and the only grip I have is that the image size is even larger than the 8 megapixel images I had with my old XT. And, now, I’ve got to find a faster SDHC card since the ones I have are a tad on the slow side. So far, the images have been great.

Keep shooting!