Last week, while my niece was visiting, we took her to the local Mall to visit Santa. Now, normally this wouldn't be something that I wrote about on this blog, but I noticed something going on while I was there that I found interesting.
The Santa area was setup so that you would have had to walk all the way around the far end of the display to actually see where Santa was. I assume this was done to limit the opportunities for you to take your own photos of your kid on Santa's lap, as you had a small area to watch from, and someone was there making sure you didn't even try to take a photo from there. I can't blame them, selling those photos is how they make their money, but the interesting thing was, that as my niece was getting to the front of the line, and I was standing in this little area, I happened to be responding to an email on my iPhone while I waited. This elicited a rather loud reminder that I wasn't allowed to take photos from there, and a request to put it away. Of course, I wasn't even trying to take a photo at that moment, I was using my phone for one of the many, many other tasks it's designed for. Still, rather than create a problem for my niece, I did put it away and responded to the email later.
It does create an interesting situation, at least to me. There are plenty of times where we might have a few minutes to kill, and pick up our smartphone to look at email or Twitter, or Facebook, where it would also be inappropriate to try and take a photo or video. (In a movie theater, on the way out of a restroom, in a locker room, around other people's children, etc.) Is it ok for people to assume you're trying to take a photo and ask you to put it away, or are we all going to have to get used to the idea what someone using a cell phone around us may just be taking photos and there's nothing we can do about it?
Since I love to travel, and I love to take photos, you might think that I really love going someplace new on each trip, and I do. On the other hand, sometimes it's nice to go to places you enjoy and are familiar with, like when Angela and I go to Vegas. We've been a few times, and really enjoy certain things and can't wait to go do them again.
In terms of photography, there's something to be said for going back to Vegas as well. Yeah, there are plenty of places in Vegas I've already taken dozens of shots of. Of course, in Vegas, each trip brings a new place that was recently built too, but it's also sort of nice to simply walk around looking for the "something different" to shoot. Finding a new angle, a new view, a different time of day, etc. compared to the shots I've taken on previous trips, makes for a fun challenge. Sometimes that challenge pushes you to try new things, like go on a tethered hot-air balloon ride. ;-)
So, my photography tip to you, is to go somewhere familiar and challenge yourself to find a new way to look at it! Heck, even if you're not into photography, find a new way to look at the things around you every day.
A coworker of mine hooked me up with the link to the beta version of Adobe's Lightroom 3 a couple of weeks ago, and of course, just in time for me to get home and go through the photos from Arizona. So I took it for a test drive. I like it, especially the option to go find presets and play around with a photo in all sorts of different settings.
The one thing I wasn't thrilled with was working with photos on my Macbook. Maybe it's just my eyesight, and given the new prescription for my glasses that could very well be true, but I wound up going back to my Windows PC for the larger monitors before posting anything. So, if I'm going to continue using Lightroom to process photos for the next few months,I may have to go ahead and install it there instead of on the laptop. :)
So, where are the best places to learn more about Lightroom and presets? Share your tips!
I believe I've mentioned this before, but one of the difficult things as a hobbyist photographer, is finding people willing to simply let you shoot them for an hour or so. I'd love to get more practice shooting portraits, but I also know I'm not good enough, nor do I have the lighting gear, for someone to be relying on me to capture something like their senior portraits, family Christmas card photos,or engagement pictures.
Let's face it, outside of those situations, people don't generally run to get their pictures taken as adults, and many of us outright hate to have our picture taken!
So, I'm always glad to get the opportunity to take some photos for someone who gets that I can't really promise them anything, but wants to just have some fun and see what we come up with.
I wrote last month about what I learned from spending some time with my friend, Christine, and she at least liked the finished product enough to give me permission to show off a couple of them myself. (She also made one her Facebook profile pic, which made me happy, I felt like I had at least accomplished something!)
I've started a little Facebook album of portrait work with some more of the photos, which is just photos of Christine at this point. Now I just need to find more people willing to let me order them around and take their picture for awhile with no expectations of the finished product. How do you find that when you don't have kids? ;-)
I had an opportunity this past weekend to take some portrait photos for a friend of mine, and since I so rarely find anyone willing to actually spend an hour posing for me, of course I jumped at the opportunity to work on my technique. Given the fact that we had plans to watch the OSU-USC game, I got the brilliant idea to do some outside shooting (I don't have lighting equipment as of yet, outdoors generally works better) late in the day to take advantage of the dramatic coloring you get as the sun goes down.
At least, that was my idea going in. What I learned, however, is that the reality of shooting a person at that time of day is actually quite challenging. Yes, you can do some nice things with the light, but you also have to really plan around the light much more. If you have the person you're shooting looking toward the light, you might have them squinting, if they look away, there are lots of shadows. It can be a challenge to get photos that really get the light exactly where you want it.
As I looked through the photos in the last couple of days, I realize just how much that challenge was distracting me from other details that I would normally pay more attention to. For example, I can see now that there were some poses that she wasn't very comfortable with, it's in the body language of the photos, but I didn't really notice it at the time. I was preoccupied with the sun! Or there are a couple where there are distracting items in the background, again, I was so focused on the shadows, I missed those.
Alas, all of these challenges were overcome because of the first rule of any photography that I do, shoot a lot! So while there were some photos that didn't really turn out the way I liked because I have plenty to choose from, my friend will still be getting a group of photos that I think are really good. Hopefully she will too and maybe she'll even let me come back here and post one with this post after she sees them. :)
So, the lessons learned? Don't let one challenge force you to lose focus. Keep all of the details in mind as you shoot, and shoot as much as you can, so you have plenty to choose from as you experiment and learn more about taking photos you love.
Still trying to get back into the swing of things, and caught up with all kinds of general "stuff" after being out of town for a family wedding, and then the ILTA09 conference. Expect that life will be back to normal, maybe, around the three day weekend.
Then again, life wasn't exactly normal before all of this!
In the mean time, thought you might enjoy a few photos of sunset over the Potomac I took while I was in National Harbor, MD.
Just a couple of notes from the first part of the long time away from home and normal routine. We drove down to Roanoke, VA for my cousin's wedding, taking advantage of the time to explore around the Roanoke area, visit with some of Angela's friends and family before going to the wedding and seeing a bunch of my family. It was pretty full, but I did want to point out a couple of neat things. First, if you find yourself in Roanoke, take some time to visit the Link Museum. We were blown away by the photography of O. Winston Link, a native Brooklynite like myself, who spent much of his time documenting the last days of the steam locomotive around this area of the country. The photos are really something in the way they capture not only the trains, but the integral part the trains played in the communities surrounding the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Secondly, my cousin's wedding was at Sundara, in Boone's Mill, VA just south of Roanoke. It was such a pretty place for a wedding, right at the foothills of the mountains, in the early evening sunlight. I didn't get to take many photos of the setting, being busy catching up with aunts and uncles I haven't seen for years, but I think Angela managed to snap off a few. Perhaps after she gets home tomorrow she'll post a few.
As for me, I boarded a train early this morning in Lynchburg, VA and am now in Washington, DC for the ILTA09 conference. I'll be blogging/tweeting what I learn, and even speaking on using social networks professionally on Weds. morning, so I'm sure you guys will hear from me a little bit this week. :)
Just because work has been crazy and zapped all of my mental energy of late, it was really nice to spend Saturday afternoon/evening just having a little fun again. Took this with the iPhone, and again, I don't think it compares to the digital SLR, but it's not shabby either.
We took a little trip to Dayton today, meeting up with the wife's brother and his family so we could take our niece to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Between her parents her aunt, her day was more than well documented in photos, so I decided to just try and grab a few to see how the iPhone camera stacks up.
As you can see, for a cell phone camera, it's pretty decent. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no plans of ditching my Nikon D50 for this, but it's nice to know I can get the occasional good shot for those times when I don't have the D50 with me.
One big reason I wouldn't necessarily want to do a lot of shooting with the iPhone is the battery drain. I would guess I took a total of about 20 photos today, and checked on email every once in awhile, and took one phone call over the course of 5 hours. My battery went from a full charge when we left this morning, to 47% when we were heading home. Ouch!
With last weekend being a three day weekend, and both of us just needing a break away from everything, we took off for Lexington, KY. Taking photos was part of the plan, but not the main focus. It was much more important to spend time with my wife, "running away" together for a couple of days more than anything.
Given that, our plans didn't really involve making sure we always were at the best place at the best time for shooting great photos, but even if you're not out shooting at the "golden hour" there are still a number of opportunities to take photos, and do some experimentation. Some of the experimental shots I took worked out just as I imagined it might, others not at all. The important thing was just to take some shots, explore the area of the country and have some new experiences. In that regard, mission accomplished!
All the photos from the trip are over on Flickr. Check 'em out!
The weather didn't always cooperate with our plans this past weekend, so we had to get creative sometimes to get some photos on our visit down to Tennessee and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
Still, we managed to get a few breaks in the clouds to get some photos in the small town where we we married in 2001, and on the campus of Angela's alma mater, as well as a chance to spend some time with Angela's grandparents, so I can hardly complain, can I?
As always, it was just fun to get out and shoot photos and see what we could find, reminding me once again that I need to do that even when we aren't traveling!
Finally found the time to get through all the photos I took over 5 days in New York and get them uploaded to Flickr. There's a little bit of everything in there, thanks to stops in the City at places like MoMA as well as Coney Island and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. That provided a chance to take some different "New York" photos this time around. hope you enjoy!
We had a good time at the games in Dayton Friday afternoon, even though both ETSU, my wife's alma mater, and Tennessee lost. Both games were close, and very entertaining, and that's all you could ask when you're rooting for the lower seeds. The ETSU fans did themselves proud, as they were outnumbered but were quite loud and very in to the game. Of course, many of them used the Tennessee game to get warmed up as they were cheering for the Vols as well. (Though many UT fans didn't reciprocate for the later game and cheer for ETSU very loudly, which was disappointing.) They were certainly more fun that the Pitt fans, who never really seemed to be very interested in cheering or getting behind their players until the very end. Shame on ya' Pitt fans! ;)
Angela got some better, aka non-cellphone camera, photos over at Flickr while I have some more pics from my phone on Facebook.
I spotted this post over at Digital Photography Schools by Neil Creek about photographing a tragedy, and decided to bookmark it to Delicious to take a closer look at it later.
This evening, I got a chance to take a look at the story behind Neil's advice, about how he was invited to Kinglake, a town that was virtually destroyed by the wildfires, and had the chance to talk to some of the locals and hear their stories. Between the post with practical advice for shooting in those circumstances, to the moving post and photos that you can see on his own blog, Neil does a great job of sharing the experience and the stories of what happened in Kinglake.
At the end of the day, what better way to show exactly why photography is an important part of telling a story.
Those of you who subscribe to the RSS feed for this blog haven't been getting the daily summary of Del.ico.us links that is usually included in the feed, because, apparently, the new and improved Feedburner, broke that feature.
Also, the Photography and Lit Support pages, which normally incorporate those posts into the page by using the RSS feed to republish those tags, are missing them.
Hopefully, it will be working soon. In the mean time, all the things I've posted to del.ico.us are over there on the site.
We did have some plans yesterday, but I fully expected to be able to spend some time online getting some things done during the afternoon before heading to a party.
Unfortunately, fate had a different plan, this was the scene about 2 blocks from our house, and was also the cause of our power being cut all day, and our internet/cable service being out until this morning.
Eric, from Motorola's M80 website sent me an email today about a series of video tutorials they had posted back in Dec.
Whether you’re a casual point-and-shooter or an aspiring shutterfly, this new video series presented by Motorola will provide some valuable tips for shooting great photos. In these three videos Professional Photographer Reggie Casagrande explains how to utilize lighting, compose your picture, and pose subjects for the best possible photos.
I took a peek at them and they do give you some basic ideas on lighting, composition and posing your subjects. It might not be earth-shattering stuff for those of you who've been hardcore photographers for awhile, but if you're just starting out or want to know how to take better photos in general, these short tips might just come in handy!
After a trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory this afternoon, followed by a nice lunch, we came home and my wife proceeded to head up to the office to work on uploading some of her photos. Not 10 minutes later, I hear her calling for me to come help her.
Somehow, the CF card she was using had become unreadable to her Mac. She had switched on the PC, which would read it, but didn't show anything on it. Obviously, this is not good.
Now, the software I had loaded on that machine that I had used one other time in a similar situation didn't read the card either, so I went out to grab a copy of PC Inspector Smart Recovery, which I had used numerous times in the past. Unfortunately, that program hasn't been updated since 2004, and trying to run it on Vista resulted in an error. This is not good either.
So, I stepped up to Google and found Recovery Manager 1.5 from VAIOSoft. That program doesn't list Vista as a supported OS either, but I took a chance and installed it, and it worked like a charm. The wife has her photos back, and I have her admiration, at least until the next time I do something dumb. ;-)
What do you all use for this sort of recovery, and more importantly, when this happens to me while traveling and I only have my Macbook, what Mac utilities are available for this sort of situation? Or am I better off starting up the Vista virtual machine and use this anyway?
Victor Cajiao, longtime host of the Typical Mac User Podcast, announced the start of a new podcast coming in January focusing on Photography. The idea came up during the end of year holiday tech discussion on Friends in Tech.
The same day that was released, of course, Victor announced the Typical Shutterbug Podcast would be coming, complete with a new website and Flickr group. I'm excited to see what we can learn from this new endeavor!
A couple of notes from spending Sunday afternoon taking photos at a children's Christmas party, complete with visit from Santa.
1. The event started at 1:30 and went until 3:30. I got there at 1, got myself set-up, checked out the layout of the room and took a couple of test snaps, to check the lighting in the room, etc. Thankfully, the folks in charge had their kids there, and their kids were great, so I could experiment a little bit. I checked the lighting in and around where the kids would sit on Santa's lap, and had a good idea of what I was up to. I was pretty proud of myself. as we closed in on 3 o'clock though, the lighting had really changed. The time of day change meant a lower sunlight coming in the windows of the room, the stack of presents that started out obscuring some of that light had dwindled down and was obscuring much less of it, etc. Conditions changed, and I had to make some changes on the fly, and try something different than what I had tested. The results were mixed, as expected, but I made sure to shoot more during this time and in different ways, to try and get the best results.
2. Kids are fast, and have the attention span of a gnat. When you see a candid you want to capture, shoot fast, shoot now, or you missed it. Having two cameras, one on a tripod, helped. I didn't have to put one down and grab another, or switch lenses.
3. Kids make the best faces, but you have to get close to really capture the expressions. A zoom lens helped, but just getting in there, on the ground and being one of them to some extent, helps more. Seriously, if you have a small baby crawling around on the floor, what's the best vantage point to photograph him? Not standing!
4. A tripod set-up also helps people realize you're there. I had a lot fewer people walking in front of the shot when they could easily see exactly where I had "staked out" my spot, as opposed to wandering around. Even if I did turn away from the tripod to use the zoom and capture something, my area was my area, and even most of the kids seemed to be respectful of that, even the ones who wanted to come over and see what I was doing.
I was happy with the results. I think there's a good chance that there's at least a decent photo of some sort of just about every kid who was there, though I don't know that for sure, and can't really verify that. I think that's all any parent could ask for, especially since I volunteered to do this. They should get to see the results later this week, I hope they won't be too harsh! Unfortunately, I won't be sharing any of them on-line, for obvious reasons. So you'll just have to take my word for it!
We got all bundled up last night to check out the new and improved holiday lights display at the Columbus Zoo. Yes, it made for a cold trip, not to mention a shorter one than usual, but it was fun, and despite the difficulty inherent with shooting holiday lights without blurriness in the dark of night, and the difficulty of keeping from camera shake because of the cold, we still managed a few decent shots to show you what it was like.
I shot exclusively with the Nikon 50mm f1.8D lens, which I think helped me eliminate some of the blur, but certainly not all. Of course it also meant I had to move more instead of zooming in/out to frame the shot, and that was a bit difficult. Since I knew it was going to be a fairly quick trip, I opted to only bring the one lens. Besides, the last thing I wanted to do was take my gloves off to switch lenses!
I'll get another chance to experiment with photos tomorrow, though I don't think I'll be able to share any of them on-line. I volunteered to shoot at our firm's children's Christmas party. Last I heard there were 91 children scheduled to attend this party. Given that, rather than shooting with multiple lenses, I'm going to bring multiple cameras with different lenses attached. So I can play with the 50mm for lower lighting on my D50, and also check out the D70 with 70-300mm zoom that we recently picked up used for my wife. With that many kids running around, I'm going to need some speed! Better get some serious caffeine before that one!
I recently got an email from Turner Publishing about this book, shortly after I had written about the Ghost tour and learning about the history of Columbus. Being a photo junkie and a bit of a history nut, I naturally couldn't turn down an offer of a free copy of this book in exchange for a review on the blog.
Historic Photos of Columbus is a collection of photos, mostly from the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Biography, History and Travel Division. In fact, the author, Nick Taggert, works in that division of the Library. It is one in the series of Historic Photos titles that Turner Publishing has put out representing many cities.
The book is divided into 4 sections, 1812-1897, 1898-1913, 1914-1930 and finally 1931-1970. The photos are a rich collection of the times they represent. Not only do you see plenty of historical, important buildings, but you also get to see simple markets, how the methods of transportation changed, how the city grew and changed, and even get to appreciate some of the older buildings that are still standing, and how they've changed over the years.
You'll see photos from the 1913 flood, Lincoln's body laying in rest in the Statehouse, Armistice Day, the return of soldiers from WWI, Presidential campaign stops, and of course, Ohio State.
Even though some of the older photos lack in quality, (Due to time, equipment, etc.) they still give you a real impression of the times, and the captions do a great job of explaining where the photo was taken, which then allows you to compare it to today. The photos of the Scioto River banks downtown prior to the 1913 flood themselves offer a stark contrast to what we see there now. That's just one example of being able to imagine how the city looked then, and how it's changed over the years. The electric streetcars, the lighted arches over High Street, (The original ones, not the ones the city recently built! *L*) the old Union Station, and even the streets around the Statehouse all offer a great view of Columbus on a timeline.
On another front, as someone who has worked in some capacity with Columbus Metropolitan Library staff in the past, I can't tell you how happy I am to see some of the many great things they've collected over the years about Columbus become more publicly accessible like this. They do such tremendous work, and are so dedicated to keeping local history alive, that I'm sure they love this book being available.
Like I said, for someone with an interest in Photography and History, with ties to Columbus , this would be a great pickup or a great gift!
I do have to ding the book just a little bit though. When I first received my copy in the mail, one of the first things I did was see if there was a photo of the Old Post Office and Federal Courthouse that sits on the corner of 3rd and State. I have an extra personal interest in that building, because I work in it every day, and I know there are plenty of photos of it throughout history because we have some of them hanging up. We are very proud of the building, and I consider it to be one of the highlights of downtown Columbus. Sure enough, on page 106, there's a photo of it dating back to 1908, which was before the addition was built, and long before the more recent renovations, but it's recognizable as the same building. The caption correctly identifies the building, and correctly identifies that there was an addition built shortly after the photo. It even correctly identifies that it is currently the home of law offices, however the name of the firm is misspelled! D'oh!
Despite this minor detail, I enjoyed leafing through the book, and learned more about Columbus and it's history through these photos than I knew before. I highly recommend it!
The Tweetup that turned into the Discovery Channel
Today, I had the freedom to skip out of work (due to the overtime on Sunday/Monday) and go to the November Columbus Tweetup - Tour of Ohio Stadium. Despite the cold, there was a pretty good turn out. Probably the fact that there was an OSU-Michigan ticket giveaway helped there, eh?
Anyway, after some socializing, and drawing for the tickets (I didn't win, though my name was drawn for another one of the giveaways. Alas, that giveaway was being organized by my wife from the Alumni Association, so it wouldn't have really been fair for me to win it, so I didn't. This now marks the second time I've won a drawing at a Tweetup, and had to give up the award. Last time I won Opera tickets, for a weekend I was going to be out of town, so I gave them away. I expect this will be the last time my name is drawn..*L*), we all got to take a guided tour of Ohio Stadium.
Obviously, walking on the field, and getting a tour of the band rehearsal space from the Assistant Band Director, Jon Waters, were huge highlights and a ton of fun. But the real unexpected "highlight" came in the press box for our little group. While showing us the view from way up there, the hawk that has taken up residence in the upper reaches of the stadium flew by. The guide proceeded to tell us that they had nicknamed it A.J. (get it, A.J. Hawk?) and that at first they didn't mind it being up there, but that it had gotten a bit aggressive and so they would remove it's nest whenever they could find it. Obviously, he kept building new ones though, because it was still around and still being rather aggressive.
Just as we were getting ready to leave the area and go down to the field though, our friend decided to turn this into a nature documentary, as he swooped down and plucked a pigeon right out of the air, and proceeded to have lunch in the NW corner of C Deck. Unfortunately, he was quicker than my camera, so I didn't get any shots of him swooping, and since I hadn't brought a zoom lens, I couldn't capture any shots of him way up in C Deck, cleaning his kill. Still, it's something we'll all remember for years to come!
You can see my handful of photos from the tour, including us goofing around on the field, here.
Thanks to the folks who organized this great event, the sponsors and the people I got a chance to talk to today. It was great!
If you're working an event as the photographer, and giving attendees the opportunity to view proofs and purchase prints online, you might sell a few more if the online proofs were large enough that I could actually tell whether anyone in the group might have their eyes shut, or mouth open, etc. If you only put up something like a 420x360 version of a photo of a larger group, it's a bit too much like buying it sight unseen for me to gamble my money.
We made it back Tuesday night. We enjoyed our stay in Orlando, spent some time at Sea World, Epcot and the Kennedy Space Center, met up with Kevin and Merrin Donahue for some delish Cuban food, took a whole lot of pictures, got rained on pretty heavily, and generally enjoyed some time away from work, and as it turns out, an Internet connection!
Meeting the Donahues after all these years of commenting on each other's blogs. That was fun, not to mention the fine food, and Sangria, I enjoyed at the Columbia.
Feeding the Dolphins at Sea World, as well as the Shamu show, and numerous photo opportunities around the park.
At Epcot, Soarin' was a lot of fun, touring around the different "countries" definitely got me stoked to do some more traveling, and we managed to find some unexpected photos there as well!
On the down side at Epcot, when choosing between the less-intense and more intense options on the MISSION: Space, there are quite a few warnings about not choosing the more intense option if you suffer from motion sickness. They're not kidding. It's a great ride, but I had to stop and sit down for a good 15 minutes afterwards. :)
The other downside was the humidity. Those storm clouds that were around all day brought plenty of that with them, but that was easily rectified by hitting the pool before heading to dinner at BB King's. (Which was a highlight as well, the white cheddar mac and cheese was awesome, and the band was pretty good too!)
On Tuesday, the threat of rain forced us into a last minute change of plans, instead of going for an airboat ride, we drove out to the Kennedy Space Center. That was a really cool experience, and we learned a lot about the Space Shuttle program, the history of NASA and the International Space Station. We even got out there during a time both Shuttle launch pads had shuttles on them, even if the tour only brings you within view of the backside of the launchers, it's still pretty cool to see how they get out there and where they take off from.
Of course, this was also where we got soaked, Angela taking the worst of it. But, it made for a good story to tell about our vacation, and all of our electronics seem to have escaped damage, so it's all good.
You can catch the full set of photos, so far, over at Flickr. Be aware though, that some of the photos look better at full size, so you might want to click through and check them out!
I was going over that RSS presentation I did a few weeks ago with someone who couldn't make it to the event yesterday at lunch, and an interesting question came up. I talked about how I use Del.icio.us as my shared items because it lets me use various tags, and each tag then has it's own RSS feed, which I can republish elsewhere. Currently, I use that feature to push out items tagged as tech, photography or litsupport to the various sections of my site, all in an attempt to allow folks to pick and choose what kinds of stuff they want to follow.
I noticed, however, that Google Reader does let you "tag" items, so I would think they would possibly be stored that way on your shared items site, but does anyone know if they provide a way to get separate RSS feeds for the tags, apart from the one big "shared items" feed?
I have to admit, I've never used the Shared Items feature in Google Reader, so I don't know much about it.
I also promise to get off this kick of asking questions on my own blog soon, and writing something more informative. :)
I knew it was just a matter of time. Today I saw a couple of weird referrers in my Flickr stats, a deal of the day tracker website, and a random hotel page from Expedia that I've never been to, let alone have photos of. A quick look showed me that there are, in fact, no links to any of my Flickr photos from those pages.
Much like every other referrer log, the spammers are starting to show up there too. Lovely....
For my birthday, Angela got us Photo Tour and Photo Pit passes for the Dayton Air Show this year. This was the first year they did this early morning tour, and it kinda showed. It wasn't the most organized event I've ever attended. But, it was a chance to hit the flight line to get up close with planes you normally don't get to, and see all the static display planes before anyone else, so we got up ridiculously early and made the drive over to Dayton Saturday morning.
The tour basically consisted of going in groups to each of the different areas and taking photos of the planes. I had hoped for an actual guided tour, with some information about the planes, maybe even a chance to chat with some of the crews, but the only information we got was that we would get in really, really big trouble if we took photos of the rear end of the F-22. Apparently, the engines are still classified. (Even the demo of the F-22 in flight, as impressive as it is, mentions that they can't show you everything it can do. As Angela said, "I'm glad we have that and not some other country..") As it was, they had inserted plugs into the engines, so we wind up being able to photograph it any way, we just couldn't get too close to it.
The Photo Pit wound up being a fenced off area near the end of the runway. It was not show-center by any means, but it was pretty cool to be able to get some shots of planes as they taxied and warmed up for flight. The area came complete with folding chairs. and free bottles of water all day, which we took much advantage of, since the heat was brutal! Which brings me to another recommendation, bring the sunblock in with you. The tour starts at 7, the show ended at 4, somewhere in between, our sunblock quit working as well as it should have. (Not to mention the spots I didn't get covered completely, and in turn baked to a bright red. OUCH!)
I did have some lens envy in the photo pit. There were some people there who obviously had, at minimum, 5-10 grand invested in their photo equipment, some much more! My little 200mm zoom just felt puny next to them. Oh well, I can't afford to drop that much cash on a hobby!
One last lesson, when your wife tells you to go ahead and walk over to get a t-shirt now, you won't miss anything, don't believe her! After spending much time "admiring" the male pilots, when the one female pilot of the FA-18 Super Hornet, Page Felini, call sign Pie, strolled by the photo pit area and said hello to some of the folks, I wasn't there. By my wife's own admission, she put to rest forever the thought that only the male pilots are hot.
Overall, the Photo Tour and Pit were pretty cool, once. I don't know if we'll do it again. I don't know what else would be worth it once you've had the one chance to get the photos this way.
The rest of the Photos are over at my Flickr, and Angela's are over on hers.
I managed to do something that I rarely do, I stayed away from any computers all weekend. I was disconnected with the exception of my Blackberry, which means I really didn't do much on-line at all this weekend. We had plans with friends Friday night, and a trip to Indianapolis Saturday and Sunday to visit with Angela's brother, his wife and our little niece.
We all went to the Zoo on Sunday, a nice sunny day, as you can tell from the few photos I put up on Flickr. Naturally, we had the cameras out, of course, there was a little girl to play with first and foremost, so the cameras didn't get as many good shots as usual. However, there were still a few in the small set over on Flickr.
I hadn't had the camera out much lately, so it was good to get back in that grove, even if it was just a little bit.
One of the interesting things I heard about at PodCampOhio last weekend was in the session led by Robin Maiden. He talked about having tried to capture the stories pilot's tell one another as a podcast, but found that somehow, when he put them in front of a microphone, the stories just weren't the same. The microphone changed things.
I immediately thought of my experiences with photography, and understood exactly what he was saying. Being in front of a camera changes people. People I know who have the most sincere, expressive facial expressions, stiffen up into the most unnatural, and unhappy, looking model. I know that it's nerves, and a good photographer/interviewer should do everything they can to lessen those nerves, but some people never get over them.
Or is it that they don't want to get over them? I don't know all that many people who enjoy having their photo taken, much less spending a significant amount of time doing a portrait session. (Hence the reason that as much as I would love to do more portrait work and gain experience, I've done one session) I wonder how many people love talking, but not being recorded. There's definitely a difference, not unlike the difference between laughing and smiling with friends, and someone taking your photo. The act of it being recorded creates changes in behavior.
Of course, this truth creates interesting questions when it comes to living in a surveillance society. People act differently when they are aware of being recorded. If we become aware of the possibility of being recorded everywhere, will our behavior change, or will we accept it to the point where our behavior doesn't change? I have my doubts about changing human nature. I tend to think it's rather difficult, and I tend to think the You Tube generation is already seeing changes in behavior, because of the constant presence of video and photographic equipment. But that's a topic for another time...
In retrospect, there's another reason I'm very glad we took our trip when we did a few weeks ago. Having just been to Arlington, and the WWII Memorial, Antietam and Gettysburg, etc. it's much easier for me to come into today with the proper level of remembrance.
It's certainly nice to have a three day weekend, and I'm glad the unofficial start to the Summer season is upon us, but this day is about more than that. Amid your celebrations today, take a moment to remember those who have made it possible and say thank you to those who are still with us.
If you're in Columbus between now and July 25, I'd highly recommend making an effort to get there. It was quite an impressive collection of photos. The one thing that was interesting, and we even heard other people commenting on it, when you see them all together like this, you begin to see a real pattern of what kinds of photos are considered deserving of the Pulitzer, and they mostly (with a few exceptions) deal with the darker sides of human existence, war, hunger, natural disaster, tragedy, etc.
On the one hand, that was slightly disconcerting. On the other, as Angela pointed out, it may just be that photos of the more joyful, happy moments are more common, and thus don't stand out as shockingly. There's probably some truth to that.
Yes, it's true, I finally have worked my way through all the photos from last week's vacation and have them posted to Flickr. You can see the week on the Archives over there. Not only are there a bunch from DC but also from Old Town Alexandria, HarpersFerry, WV, and the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields.
Next up are the handful of photos I took at Race for the Cure with my cell phone today. We'll see if any of them are worthy candidates. We had a good time doing the 5K and I want to say thanks to all my family and friends who helped me raise $225 towards what appears to have been a $2 million dollar day for the Komen foundation.
Just a quick note. I threw a few photos from Arlington Cemetery up on Flickr today. That's not the only place we took photos, but it's getting late, I've been up since very, very early and that was about all the time I had tonight. ;)
Arlington is a great stop, and viewing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns is truly impressive. To think that only 500 people have ever qualified to guard to tomb, in it's history, and that the post has never been unmanned, even during a hurricane, is really something. The photo's title above is based on the fact that during the 30 minute shift, the guard will take 21 steps, then pause for 21 seconds, before taking another 21 steps in the reverse direction. This is a symbolic representation of the 21 gun salute.
The cemetery certainly gives you some perspective on life, and on the meaning of sacrifice.
With the weather turning quite Spring-like this week, we went for a change of pace. Instead of going to the gym, we just walked right on by it with the cameras and did a little photowalking around campus. It was a good idea, I felt like I got some exercise, got the stress relief benefits of that, and got a chance to shoot some photos, which I haven't done nearly enough of lately!
Perhaps I'll get a chance to take some more photos on an evening like this, at least before I take a whole bunch the first week of May when we're on vacation. :)
Aaron Hockley does a good job of listing out the things you need to take into consideration when shooting an event with speakers and a large group of people. I've certainly run into problems with most of the things he listed, especially the last time I worked tech support onsite for a firm event. Granted, I was there first and foremost to do the A/V setup, keep the mics and presentation running , etc. but many times I take the camera and try to get a couple of photos that our marketing folks can use to market future seminars.
The last time I did this, it was in a room with one entrance at the back of the room, one aisle down the center, curtains that didn't quite cover all of the window (on a very bright sunny day no less), and generally no way for me to get around at all without being in the way of folks who paid to be there. Obviously, I didn't get anything worth writing home about.
Anyway, while Aaron's list is good, I'm going to add a couple of other things to think about from my experience working events:
1. If you're working with the event organizer as their photographer, get the script. Know what's going to happen, when and where ahead of time. This is especially important if the event takes place in more than one room.
2. During the event, stay in touch with the organizer, because the script will change!
3. Be helpful to organizers and guests. They'll be much more likely to help you get the shots you want if you're not seen as a nuisance. If you're friendly with the attendees you'll get better candid shots.
4. Get there early, stay late, and shoot as much as you can. Like any photo outing, the more photos you take, the more likely you'll have some good stuff!
5. Don't forget the sponsors. If you're working an event on behalf of the organizer, make sure you go out of your way to get photos of the sponsors. If they have a booth or table, spend some time getting photos. If you're taking photo-op photos with the speaker, get the sponsors done first. They'll appreciate the exposure, and in some cases, they may contact you about using the photos in their own marketing.
In short, communicate with the organizer, have fun with the attendees, and try to stay out of the way! :)
Naturally, there were bagpipes everywhere in Chicago this weekend, even at the lobby bar on Friday night! I guess they were just getting warmed up for the parade Saturday!
It was quite a lot of fun to get to see the Parade, and the Chicago River dyed green later on. After a few long days spent at Techshow then taking in all the sites, and finally flying home to a busy Sunday, I decided to sleep in today, in honor of St. Patrick's. I do, however, need to go get ready to head to work for the afternoon.
OK, so we're a little crazy about getting photos, but not that much. The strong winds limited us to just a few minutes outside, but trying to capture some interesting shots at least gave us a break from complaining about the weather! Looks like any plans we had for Saturday will be scrapped. I miss the days when Daylight Savings Time meant Spring weather was likely. Not this year!
I had the opportunity to do something new and different this past weekend. A friend of ours needed to have some photos taken of herself, and I offered to spend part of the afternoon shooting her. Now, since these were private photos, I can't show you examples of what I learned, I can tell you a bit about it.
First off, the reason we were doing this in the first place, is because this person is very uncomfortable in front of a camera, thus they don't have any recent pictures! I started out shooting with my 50mm f/1.8 lens. I love how this lens keeps the warmth of skin tone and gives me enough speed to not be blurry when I operate it without a tripod. Unfortunately, the fixed focal length has one draw back, though many might not see it as a drawback. If you want to get a closer shot, you have to move yourself closer to your subject. I quickly discovered that if I wanted to really get a close up of my friends' face, and get a good capture of her eyes, I had to stand fairly close to her, and that was, in fact, making her more uncomfortable than she already was! It showed in the photos too! I don't do a lot of portrait work, but even I know that an uncomfortable subject is not going to photograph well, no matter what lens you use, so the 50mm was quickly replaced with my 18-55mm. This allowed me to stand at a comfortable distance to the subject, and vary the focal length to suit my needs, from focusing on her face, to widening out to capture some of the background around her. This seemed to work much better for her. It probably also helped that I wasn't moving, especially towards her, so much.
The other thing I did, to help her be more comfortable, is simply let her talk. We chatted about work, people we both knew, stories from the 10 years we've known each other, etc. Obviously, having known her that long gave me a decided advantage here, but as she chatted, I shot. Now, that meant I had to do a lot of shooting, because she was talking as I took the photos, plenty of them have her eyes shut, or some silly mid-sentence look on her face, or a hand in her face, but she was comfortable, and laughing, so there was enough there to get what we were looking for. I took 245 photos in about 90 minutes. I think what I'll end up giving her will be somewhere in the 40-50 range, but I think it was worth it to get that many photos where she looks happy and relaxed.
The last thing about shooting with someone who's not comfortable is taking care about location. Yesterday was a beautiful day in Columbus, relative to what our weather has been like so many places we might have thought about going, would have been full of people. We started out at Northbank Park downtown, which was pretty empty, it being Sunday and all. That gave us some freedom to wander around to different places, while avoiding the possibility of us being watched. The second place we were going to go was the fountain in front of the Main Library downtown. It's an old Carnegie Library, a pretty magnificent building. Unfortunately, as we walked up, we realized there was about a dozen people just sitting out front of the building on the benches. We were going to have an audience there, so we just kept right on walking, over to the Topiary Park, a block away. That was much less occupied, and gave us some more time to venture around and take some different shots.
Overall, I think there are some real nice shots in that bunch, if I don't say so myself. I think we managed to get some shots that not only look nice, but also capture some personality, which was really the goal. The real test will be when she gets to see them after I get done processing later this week, but I suspect she'll be pretty happy with them.
Hopefully, the next time I get to do something like this, I'll be able to share some of the results.
It occurred to me earlier today, while I was sharing my love of the new Macbook and running VMWare Fusion on it, that I have become the thing I've always hated, trendy. Just since the new year I got a pretty trendy new lens for my camera, a Macbook, and now my wife and I have a Wii in the house!
See, the thing is, I've always fought against trendy tech tools because many times, they simply weren't the best tool for the job. Yeah Mac's have been the sexier choice for computers, but they never really made sense in terms of doing what I need to get done. There have been more trendy gaming consoles, but my Gamecube has always had what I wanted, so it was the right tool for me.
I realize now, that I haven't become trendy, the trendy tools have become tools that do the job better. There's nothing like the Wii on the gaming front, and now that Mac's run on Intel chips and allow me to access the Windows tools I need for my livelihood, it makes sense to own one. The 50mm lens adds a tool to compensate for some areas of photography that I had been ignoring for too long.
It's not that the old un-trendy tools I had weren't working, it's that, finally, the trendy technology isn't just trendy. It's actually a better fit for what I want to do.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get some ice, or a heating pad for my arm. Yeah, day 2 of having a Wii in the house, and my arm's sore. How cliche.....
Here's something I'm sure some people never expected to see me working on...
So far, so good. I'm not having too much difficulty getting things setup the way I like, and I've been pleasantly surprised by silly little things that are just nice. For example, the fact that the power cord is magnetized on the end, so I only have to get it close to the connector on the laptop. For some reason that seems pretty cool to me. :)
I am not overly impressed with the touchpad, but I generally dislike touchpads anyway. Luckily, my MS wireless mouse works just great!
Once I have the OSX side setup the way I want, it'll be time to get VMWare Fusion and get a Windows VM setup. Responses on that last entry seem to favor just using a VM instead of Bootcamp so far. Thanks for the feedback!
I used the Picnik integration with Flickr to put a very small, and hopefully unobtrusive, watermark on the last batch of photos I uploaded over there. It's an experiment at this point. Don't worry, I'm not suddenly going all professional on you, I just want to see if I can put a watermark on the photos, to sort of keep my name out there should someone decide to use it in a blog or something, without messing with the enjoyment of sharing the photos too much.
I may continue to do it with my photos going forward, I may not. I still allow any non-commercial use of my photos, and I'm still willing to send a higher-res, and watermark-free, version to anyone who asks for one to print. I'm not a professional, I take photos because I enjoy doing it first and foremost. If there's any "payment" from other folks it's seeing them enjoy the photos as much as I enjoy taking them. I doubt that will change.
We had a very productive day today, including a trip downtown to see the monet exhibit at the Columbus Art Museum. Naturally, while we were downtown, I had to take the opportunity to play around with the new lens a bit.
I ordered the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D lens on the recommendation of a few folks last week, and it arrived at the office today. Naturally, I couldn't wait to try it out.
The one thing I was really excited about was how well people told me this lens works with available light when you can't, or don't want to, use a flash. So I took it for a spin around the house this evening and I have to say I am impressed. I got some nice quality, without having to resort to using the flash, which definitely made for a warmer photo, and nicer skin tones.
I've got a few more in my 50mm lens test set on Flickr. Can't wait to get some more time this weekend and see what else I can do with this lens, I hear it's great for playing with depth of field, and taking photos of lights at night, we'll see!
After spending a few days living in a world that has Flickr Stats for Pro accounts, I've decided that it's incomplete at this point. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate what's there, it beats the heck out of what we've had prior to this, so I'm not complaining. I do, however, have some suggestions.
Right now, when you click over to look at your account stats you see two sets of stats, "yesterday" and "all time". That's it. If you were offline for a couple of days, there's no checking out the hits from the last few days, or even the last week. The only thing you see is the total hits for each of the last 28(?) days, no detail at all.
Secondly, there's no information other than photo views, and referrers. That's useful, but it'd be even more useful if they gave us some more info about visitors, so we can see how many people are clicking through to one photo and leaving, how many are browsing the photostream, etc., and maybe a little bit about where they are located and such.
Truth be told, I think they could give us this information, but they get into quite a bind trying to store it. I can understand that, visitor details for all of their users could get rather burdensome. Still, I hope they can find a way to accomplish that!
Yes, apparently, there is a Santa Claus! Flickr's got Stats for Pro members. I just activated mine, so I don't know how well they work yet, but they tell me there should be some stats to actually look at in a day or so. I'll definitely post more when I see more!
They've made it easy to edit your photos right on the Flickr site, with one-click access to Picnik's photo editing tools. I took it for a quick test drive tonight, and it works pretty well, I made a slight "auto-fix type of change to the photo below, and then saved it back. I was actually pretty happy with the way it made adjustments, and the range of features available.
The one thing that disappointed me, is that once you make your edits, saving it back to flickr in place of the original image, seemed to take an inordinate amount of time!
I don't think I'll be using it all that often, but it's nice to know it's there, and, as JR suggested, for photos I upload directly from my cell phone, it's nice to know that I have a way to do some editing to them!
Brett Trout has put together a pretty good list of links to help explain all the various legal rights and responsibilities you have when taking photos. It's definitely worth keeping handy, if not reading through some of it to keep yourself out of harm's way.
This is especially interesting to me lately, not because I ran into a problem, but because I had some interesting discussions about this with a coworker. A couple of weeks ago, I worked tech support at an all-day seminar that we put on. I was assigned to get out there and setup projectors, laptops, and help with PowerPoint. It was requested that I stay out there to troubleshoot anything that came up. Since I assumed that would mean a lot of time sitting around, I volunteered to take some photos of the event.
When our marketing folks decided they wanted to use one or two of those photos in a brochure for next year's seminar, they approached me about getting permission, and how they needed to credit it.
My response was that, since I was "working" at the event, and being paid to be there, you could certainly argue that the photos were work product, and that the firm actually owned them, not me. I'm not exactly sure if that's accurate, but that's pretty much how I felt about them anyway. It's not like I had big plans to use them anywhere else. But it does illustrate how even amateurs can run into legal questions about their photos.
For the record, if they use one, they are going to credit me, not because they have to, but because it's the nice thing to do. I can't really complain about that. :)
While watching Ohio State beat Michigan again today, I processed and uploaded a batch of photos from the trip to New York last week. Despite the generally gray, November weather, I think some of them turned out pretty well.
The trip itself was a lot of fun. The extra time to visit with some family and friends I hadn't seen in years was really cool, and the conference I was there to attend, WestLaw's e-Discovery and Records Retention, had a bunch of interesting topics. They definitely provided some food for thought as I go forward into the Litigation Support world. Some of those thoughts have, and will continue, to show up here in the coming weeks.
I say lucky because the current focus of their exhibits ins the Spanish Civil War, which was a period of time that always fascinated me, so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the photos and reading some of the history.
It also served as a learning experience in another way. They have an exhibit called "Other Weapons" which chronicled the use of photos and other propaganda during this war. Since you could boil down much of this war to a clash between Fascism and Communism, you can imagine the level of propaganda! It served as an interesting reminder that every one has an agenda, and a point of view, and even something that we sometimes take for granted as "truth", unaltered photos or videos, aren't. What you see is what the photographer or videographer has already decided he or she wants you to see.
The other interesting history was more of a professional lesson about always being careful when you're working with originals. They had the famous Robert Capa D-Day photographs on display, next to the story of how these are the only negatives that survived. You can read the history here yourself:
He had used three rolls of film and exposed 106 frames. After reaching England, he sped by train to London and delivered his precious film for developing. A darkroom technician was almost as anxious to see the invasion images as Capa himself. In his haste, the technician dried the film too quickly. The excess heat melted the emulsion on all but 10 of the frames.
The Francesc Torres project was also a very interesting, and disturbing, look into the history of the war, through the images of a mass grave being excavated almost 70 years later.
If you're in N.Y. before Jan 8, I'd definitely add it to the to-do list!
I've got the photos from the first part of our trip up at Flickr while I'm home this morning waiting on them to deliver our new washing machine. I've got the portion of the trip in West Virginia and Virginia up. Obviously, there is a bit of a Fall feel to many of them. :)
There are still a whole bunch taken in North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway to go through and get posted! Hopefully tonight! (Update 11:15PM -They're up!)
While wandering around Blacksburg today, we did walk over to the April 16 Memorial on VT's campus. Seeing the names of the victims and then seeing this plaque, literally, made us both stop breathing for a moment, and as we walked away from it, I'm not ashamed to admit that I put on my sunglasses to hide the tears welling in my eyes.
Just put up some more of my pics from San Francisco. Now I'm off to bed. There's nothing like being out at training for a week, coming back to the office, and being absolutely swamped with work to make you exhausted!
Not to mention the cold medicine, thanks to being stuck on airplanes and spending 4 days in a small classroom with cold germ carriers. Like I have time to be sick now? ;)
Utilizing the Wi-Fi in the training room to catch up on email, and uploading a handful of photos from the last couple of days.
Class has been good in terms of learning, but it's a mental drain. I'm looking forward to Friday and Saturday and being able to go back to just being a tourist. It's tough to really be a tourist when there are things you have to go to, and times that are totally committed during each day. I've been able to take the camera out a bit after class, in the few hours of daylight and get around to see some of the city that we didn't get to see when we were here last year. That's been fun, and of course, with the time difference, I'm usually pretty wiped by the time it gets dark, and ready to be in for the night.
So, my use of tech has been pretty limited. Once I get through a day of training, the last thing I want to do is go back to the hotel and play around with a laptop. Still, I'm enjoying the trip, and looking forward to passing my certification exams. ;)
Apparently, going places that are a bit off the beaten path pays off when the folks from Schmap go looking for photos to illustrate their travel guides. My photos are now displayed in the Schmaps for Chattanooga, and Richmond. It's pretty cool to see my photos, as well as what other photos folks took of the same places.
Have any of you used Schmap guides when planning a trip? I have to admit, I really haven't done that, but maybe I should. Heck, maybe this week I'll take a look around the San Francisco Schmap guide.
Since I'm going to be in San Francisco next week, I've been keeping an eye on Robert Scoble's blog for news of any upcoming Photowalks. This morning I saw him mention one on Oct. 9, Tuesday. I thought maybe I was in luck, so I tracked over to Thomas Hawk's site to see if he had more details. He had the link to the event details, which show a 4PM start time.
The training class I'm in S.F. for, lasts until 5.
Oh well, based on the location, and my lack of transportation, I would have had to try to find a ride out there anyway, so maybe it's for the best. I'm sure to get plenty of photos of the city on my own, but it would have been fun to meet up with that crew!
I didn't really know what to expect, other than the collection of WWII-era aircraft, and there were plenty of them.
There were also Air Force demonstrations of the F-15, F-16 and F-22. The F-22 Raptor is the most amazing plane I have ever seen in person. I watched this plane go vertical, into an inverted state, flip back around and stop. Literally, it had an airspeed of zero. It drifted downward ever so slightly while at zero airspeed, the pilot let the nose dip, rise, point to the left and then hit the throttle to accelerate, and was just gone from that spot before you even realized it. If I wasn't there in person I might have thought it was CGI.
I also learned that getting photos of jets, in flight, can be a very difficult thing! Luckily the air force does this really nice Heritage Flight, where the modern day jets, fly in formation with the P-51 Mustangs, to display the history of the Air Force, slowed down to that speed, it was a bit easier to get some nice photos.
It was really a great day! You can see more photos of mine here, and Angela's here.
I think I've mentioned before the reasons I'm attracted to photography, but as I've gotten somewhat better at it, more and more I find myself enjoying something else about it.
While I'm certainly enjoying getting better at it, now I'm also really enjoying seeing other people enjoy my photos. Today that really became clear to me. I was volunteering at the library this afternoon, along with a good friend of ours. After our work was done, I presented her with a couple of 8x10 prints of photos that I thought she would like, as a late housewarming gift for her new apartment. Turns out one of them, the photo below of Blackwater Falls, WV, reminded her of a place near where she grew up in upstate NY, and she was really touched by it. (Either that or she's a much better actress than I would have thought she was all these years!)
Later this same evening a friend of mine sent me a screenshot that had another one of my photos from his Flickr Favorites on his desktop. That really cemented for me how much I get a kick out of sharing my work. Not because people tell me how good I am, or how nice the shots are (which is nice too, don't get me wrong), but because I can see where a photo I took is bringing them a little piece of beauty and enjoyment in their life.
Is there anything better than feeling like you've done something that brings a bit of happiness, no matter how small it may be, to the people you care about? I spent my Sunday volunteering to help raise money for the library, and making someone I've been friends with for 10 years smile brightly with a small gift. With my wife out of town, I don't think I could have spent today doing anything better.
The Labor Day weekend here in the US gave us another opportunity for a quick trip, allowing us, and Angela's parents to spend some time in Chicago. We took the Amtrak from Toledo on Saturday morning, coming back to Toledo late Sunday night. It was a good time, both days were warm and sunny, without being overly hot. We got around to see quite a bit, and though we were all tired by the time we rolled into Findlay from the train station in Toledo, it was worth it! Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much.
Thing one is finally getting to plan out the details of my trip to San Francisco in October. I've got the Summation Certified Trainer Workshop Oct 8-11, but it looks like I'll be staying a bit longer than that, catching the redeye out of town on Saturday night the 13th. That should give me a full couple of days to take in some sights and get some more photos. Yes, I'm digging the firm's travel agent for getting all that taken care of for me.
I'm also digging my massage therapist. I had my usual appointment with her last night, but it was this morning before I realized I had forgotten my eyeglasses at her office. Now, I can function without my glasses, my eyesight isn't quite that bad, but it can lead to a few headaches. I left a voice mail for her this morning. she called back to let me know that she had my glasses, but no one would be in the office past 2 this afternoon. Since she assumed I wouldn't be able to get out of the office to get them, she asked if there was somewhere in the neighborhood she could drop them for me. Since her office is only about a quarter mile from my house, she agreed to take them by and leave them on the front porch for me, and sure enough when we got home, there they were. I already thought she rocked, but for going above and beyond like this, I can't even describe the customer loyalty she has from me.
Oh and yes, in true networking/friendship/appreciation/Manager Tools fashion, she'll be getting a hand-written note of thanks from me. This is one of those times when an email just wouldn't be personal enough. :)
I'm digging that there are only 2 days left in what has been a busy week, before we head up to Findlay, to "pick up" the in-laws, drive to Toledo and catch the train to Chicago for the weekend. Again, more good photo opportunities!
I'm digging that on Sept. 16, I'll be volunteering at the Friends of the Library book sale, along with a friend of ours, making good use of the time Angela will be away working the OSU game weekend in Seattle. And while I'm a little jealous, I'm digging that my wife has the chance to get a trip to Seattle.
I'll also be digging a few other trips in the coming months, some that Angela and I don't have finalized yet, some that she'll be taking without me, and maybe one I'll be taking without her. It going to be a busy couple of months, but I'm digging having so many fun things to look forward to!
Does anyone view this site from a mobile device? Would it be worth it to try and create a mobile feed, or does the Feedburner feed work well enough in a mobile device? If not, any suggestions on a mobile feed service that won't add advertising and doesn't just suck?
Douglas Welch sent me a link to BlogDay, coming up this Friday. I'll actually be traveling that day, and may not get to post my 5 recommendations for new blogs, but I'm curious about your recommendations. Leave a comment and tell me about a new blog, or blogs, even if it's yours!
Does anyone out there have a contract template for selling photographs? I've been approached by a couple of folks about using some of my photographs, and thus far I've simply been letting them use it in exchange for a photo credit. At this point in my life, I'm not that interested in being a commercial photographer, but as these credits add up, and become part of a portfolio of work, I might reconsider that. I'll have more details on where my photos might be appearing when I get verification.
Speaking of photos, I now have a camera phone, a Samsung A707 Sync. I'm pretty excited about the Internet access and camera phone capabilities of the phone. It's no iPhone, but then again, it cost me $50. :)
Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for me, leave a comment!
Yesterday, when we were taking photos, I tried to slide up closer to a butterfly that had settled on a flower. I was able to get one quick shot of him, the edited version of which is here.
When I fired off a second shot, though, I wasn't as lucky, as something had startled him and he flew off just as the shutter clicked, leaving me with this.
Now, on the camera, it looked like a wasted shot, but I've never been in the habit of deleting images from the camera without looking at them at home, except in some rare occasions when I know the flash didn't fire, or the image is blurred beyond recognition, so I did open it up at home. That was when I discovered what it was that spooked the butterfly away. A bee, or yellow jacket, had flown into the bottom of the frame.
After some cropping, I had a whole new photo, that I wasn't even attempting to get, but which I think is fairly cool anyway.
Sometimes, you don't know what you've got until you get home and open it up on the larger screen.
Today was a day for wandering around and trying to get some decent photos. Angela planned out a nice day of driving to Urbana, Ohio to the Robert Rothschild Farm, to pick some fresh raspberries, have a nice lunch, etc.
Unfortunately, the picking turned out to be more work than we had bargained for. Seems the pickings were kind of slim this time of year, and even those you had to find the one's the beetle's hadn't gotten to first!
Still she managed to come away with about three quarter's pounds worth of raspberries to snack on, so not bad.
The lunch at the Cafe was nice, especially the giant cookie sundae dessert. Good thing we had a lot of walking to burn that sucker off, but man it was good!
After that, it was a short drive to the Cedar Bog, which also happened to be a bit of a disappointment, we had hoped to get some nice photos of wildflowers but they weren't really all that spectacular. Still, we managed to get a couple of decent captures, so it was worthwhile.
Anyway you look at it, any day spent taking photos and spending time with the wife, is a good day! As always, there are more photos on Angela's and my Flickr streams.
I've also got an interesting story about one of the captures in there, that I'll share in the next couple of days.
I got the opportunity to cover a women's networking event this week, and I learned a few things.
The event was to have a VIP autograph/photo session with the keynote speaker, Eddie George. Unfortunately, his plane was delayed which messed up the timing for this. The event planner decided to do the main program at the scheduled time, then do the VIP session afterwards.
I was already in the VIP suite, along with about 40 other people, preparing to take those photos when we got word about him being late. I hurried down to the main event, figuring I would get in some candids from the bar/food area before the program, which Angela was actually covering at the time while I was supposed to be upstairs.
When the event started, I we both took a bunch of photos of Eddie, as well as the audience.
I had to then be "on the move" as soon as he was done, to get up to the VIP suite, and the photo session. That's where I really felt the most pressure. When I take a large number of photos of the event, I know the folks who "hired" me (It's the place my wife works, I mostly do it as a favor for her.) will pick out one or two, and use them. For the VIP session though, you had one posed photo with Eddie, if I screwed it up, that was it. Your photo wouldn't be very good. Luckily, all of the folks who didn't bring their own camera and were solely relying on me getting a good photo of them with Eddie, turned out pretty well.
Here's a couple of tips:
1. Be Flexible. When the schedule changed, everything changed. I had to stay later, I had to find a good spot to pose Eddie with folks, but still allow for people to line up and get in and out, in a different room than the one I had laid out before the program!
2. Divide and Conquer. Since Angela's "working" of the event included taking photos, we could actually be in two places at once. Setting up the VIP session before the program, and then scooting to get the rescheduled VIP session, meant missing the pre-program candids, and also the end of the actual program. Angela could be there for those.
3. Using a zoom lens: In a large room, this event had 400 attendees, the indoor lighting is your worst enemy. Any photo you take with a zoom lens from a distance, is going to be noisy, and many times, have red-eye. You're in a bit of a catch-22. In order to reduce the noise, you need to be close to the speaker, but you do not want to be a distraction to the people who paid to be there. It can be difficult. Communicate with the folks who hire you to do these events and get a feel for what side they want you to err on. I got fairly close to the side of the stage for the photo above. Luckily, Eddie turned in my direction, giving me a closer photo, without having to be in anyone's way.
4. Hydrate. This is not something you'd think of, but let's paint a picture here. I'm crammed in a hotel room, hustling to get photos in a crowd of 40-50 people, in the middle of an August heat wave. Twice, because of the rescheduling. The AC was cranked, but it's still HOT in there. I sweat. I sweat so much that I had difficulty sleeping that night due to leg cramps from dehydration. It's not easy to get a drink in the midst of it, but it's worse to be kept awake and then try to hit your day job the next morning. Trust me on this!
All that being said, while it was a ton of work, it was also a great opportunity. Not only for getting some good photos, but hey, I got to meet Eddie George and spend some time chatting with him. That's not bad.. ;)
I have to be honest. Before they contacted Angela about maybe using one of her photos on their online photo city guides, I had never heard of Schmaps. However, soon after she heard from them, I got an email as well letting me know they were considering one of my photos.
Today, I got an email confirming that my photo of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia is being used in the Philadelphia city guide. You can see the particular entry here:
Last night, I had plans to meet up with a friend, and take in some of the bands at the Dublin Irish Festival. I brought the camera, but when we ran into some other friends and started chatting, listening to some great music, etc. I made the decision to just be social, spending time in the company of good friends, as opposed to stalking out good photo opportunities.
Besides, I knew I could be flexible with my plans on Saturday, because I had plans to meet up with another friend on Sunday early, and could very easily stay after that by myself, catch a few bands, and take all the photos I wanted.
Unfortunately, on the way up there early this afternoon, some pretty bad thunderstorms wiped out those plans, and I wound up with no photos from the weekend at all.
A couple of photo lessons learned:
1. You can't change the weather. Sometimes Mother Nature will screw up the best laid photo plans, and there's nothing that can be done about it.
2. If getting good photos is important, take them while you can. (see lesson #1)
That being said, as much as I enjoy photography, and as much as we all become better photographers by taking photos at every opportunity, I wouldn't have done anything differently Saturday night. I prefer to think that makes me a good friend, as opposed to a lazy photographer. ;)
I've got a few more in mind that may show up on Flickr in the next few days. We'll see how the week shakes out. Today was a rough first day back. For some reason this vacation just didn't seem long enough, and I was very unmotivated in terms of getting back into the groove. Hopefully, that will get better as the week goes on.
We had plans to take a trip up to Marion today, for lunch. Since we didn't have any other plans, I suggested we take along the cameras and do a little photo exploring of Marion and maybe some other things on the trip. Angela suggested we try to fin the Harding Memorial, since President Harding was from Marion. That sounded like as good a place as any to get some shoots, so after lunch we headed out to find the memorial. We stumbled into the Marion County Courthouse, and eventually wound up finding the Harding House, both of which offered some good photo opportunities, before breaking down and asking at the house and museum how to get to the Memorial. The lady there was kind enough to provide us with a brochure and directions, so we did eventually get to shoot the memorial.
After leaving Marion, Angela's next suggested stop was at Delaware State Park, in Delaware, Ohio. We found a whole bunch of folks trying to spend some time on the water cooling off from the heat, and again, a handful of decent photos.
So, my photograph advice for today is, when you have some time and opportunity to shoot, take advantage of it. you may not always get anything of great quality, but the more you shoot, the more likely you are to get the quality you want! As always, you can see more photos from today on my Flickr as well as Angela's.
I ordered a number of prints of some of my photos today. Now that I have an office, I got tired of looking at the bare white walls and decided it was time to put some of my photos on display.
Let's hope I have better luck getting these prints than we did last week. We tried to get a photo Angela had taken at a wedding printed as a gift, but apparently, she did too good a job taking the photo, as the photo department at Walmart decided they couldn't take a chance with copyright law unless we could get the commercial photography to give us written permission to use the photo, yes the photo Angela took, not a commercial photographer.
To be fair, their website does have a copyright form that you can bring with you, but the instructions say to any bring that if you're having a professional photo printed, and if they question the photo at the time you go to pick it up, you cannot then fill out the form in person, which seems silly.
I think the fact that it was a wedding photo, and those probably are commonly reprinted without permission, definitely caused the problem. As it was, it wasn't that big a part of the gift so we just skipped it.
I'm having mine printed at a local photo store, and don't have any wedding photos, so I should be alright. But I do have to ask, how ridiculous is it that even a store as large and influential as Walmart is scared of copyright lawyers? Somehow, that doesn't seem right. Seems like if I'm the one asking them to print a photo, I'm the one who should be held liable if I don't actually own the copyright on it. It shouldn't be up to the printer to "guess" at what might be a violation, especially given how good amateur digital cameras have gotten over the years. It's not too difficult to take photos that are pretty close to professional quality, it's scary to think that I couldn't get them printed because they're too good. Of course, it's equally scary that they'll print it if I just fill out a form, isn't giving them the picture the same thing? Doesn't the simple act of uploading the photo assert that I own the rights to have this photo printed? So, why does the law require them to get me to sign a form, instead of just assuming that if I upload the photo, I assume the liability? More importantly, why is the form valid if I print it at home and bring it with me, but not if I sign it in the store? That's the kind of junk that gives lawyers a bad name.
Guess I just won't bother shooting weddings unless I decide to do it commercially. ;)
Update: I got all the prints back from Cord Camera here in town, and they all turned out rather well. One 8x10 had obviously been cut to that proportionate and served as a reminder to do that prior to uploading the next time. They simply cut equally from all sides, and while it's still a decent photo, I would have cropped more from one side than the other. I think it changes where the eye is drawn to, making it a different photo really. It's still good, just not the same.
I just posted a note to the FiT blog about a new "mashup" we created of all the Friends in Tech members various photography related feeds. I used a great service called xFruits to aggregate all the feeds into one single source feed. I really like the service, you should definitely check it out.
And if you're interested in checking out a bunch of tech guy's photography, subscribe to the feed as well.
As much as I'm a big advocate of experimenting with your digital camera, there are times where you only get one shot. Today, at the tour de Grandview bike races, which are run within a few blocks of our house, so it's really easy to walk down and do some shooting, I was setting myself up for the end of the Women's race. Obviously, the end of a race is a good opportunity to get a shot of the winner crossing the finish line.
Today, I was very prepared for the end of the race. I had the zoom lens on the camera, I had gotten into position to have clear view of the finish line, and it was a bright sunny day, so I should have a pretty easy time of it.
On top of that, I also had a bit of luck, it was a close race, coming down to a final sprint, and there was even a very excited reaction by the winner, just as she came into the frame of my shot. Couldn't have asked for a better shot, really.
Despite all that, the camera didn't quite adjust the way I would want to her motion, and despite an incredibly sharp focus on everything else in the frame, her reaction is slightly blurry. (Click for larger image)
It's not the shot it could have been, and there's no going back to get it again. But, I can learn from it, and try something slightly different the next time. There are always opportunities to take photos and learn from our mistakes. There's no use crying over the one that got away.
One of the tricks of the trade that I've seen used most often, and have only recently started experimenting with myself, is making slight adjustments to the shutter speed of a photo. This is especially common when taking a photo of running water of some sort, whether it be a stream, white-water, or some sort of waterfall, like this example.
Yesterday, on our outing to the zoo, I took a few moments to take some photos of one of the faux-waterfalls they have near the entrance to Asia Quest. First, naturally, I took the photo in Automatic mode, letting the bright sunlight of the day dictate the shutter speed, which it did, at 1/250:
Now, you can see where the quick shutter really did a good job at catching the water as it fell, exactly in that moment, but maybe you want a fuller photo of the waterfall? Setting the shutter to a slower speed will, naturally, allow the camera to capture more water as it falls through the frame.
I've really kind of seen two trains of thought on this as well. One is to create an almost milky look to the water, slowing down the shutter so much that it creates an almost-dreamlike scene of water falling, like this taken at 1/20:
I was pretty happy with this view. I've seen people use even slower speeds, and exaggerate the effect even more, which can be nice. Although I've also seen a photo set where every single photo was given that exaggerated effect, and I frankly thought it got a bit boring after the 4th or 5th picture. Like any effect you use on photos, I think some variety is key to having a good set of photos. You wouldn't take 15 pictures of gorillas and call it the "zoo set", would you? Why do the same with effects?
On the other hand, you could also split the difference, and create a bit more volume of the water flow, while still having a photo that looks relatively untouched. This one, for example was taken at 1/100:
Like anything else with digital photography, it's all about trying different things and seeing which one makes you happy. Shutter speed can dramatically change the way a photo looks, so it's worth spending some time to try out different settings and experimenting. The worst thing that happens is some of your experiments don't turn out too well, and you simply delete those photos and try again the next time.
I've often said that one of the biggest parts of getting a good photo is just being in the right place at the right time. It's pure luck. Of course, you can't get lucky if you aren't out taking photos, and going to places where good photos are likely, so there is a little bit more than luck involved.
In that realm, today turned out to be a bit of luck. We had plans to go up to my nephew's birthday party late this afternoon, and since the weather had gotten a bit cooler, and it was looking to be a pleasant day, Angela had suggested we take a trip to the zoo on the way up.
Now, we've taken plenty of trips to the zoo for photos, and we knew they had brought in a handful of new animals and that the Flamingo's had a new hatchling, so we were looking forward to some good photos.
When we got there though, we were surprised to see that they had the "birds of prey" out on display. Instead of being behind bars, they were out in the open, simply leashed to their perches, making for much better photo opportunities. I'm not sre if this is something they've been doing on a regular basis of not, but it's not something I've seen before. Of course, we couldn't pass that up.
Learning to Write left me a comment asking about specifics on what sort of enhancements I made on those photos yesterday. I've actually been thinking about doing a little before and after with the occasional photo so the comment really spurred me to go ahead and give it a shot. Let me know what you think:
This was the photo I started with resized from the original but with no other adjustments. A couple of quick notes about what I was thinking. One, it needs to be cropped. I want the gazebo to be the place your eye goes to immediately and be the dominant structure, and I want the red of the roof to stand out more than it does in the bright midday sun. So I cropped a bit off the bottom, and on the right I cropped it so that the brown building is out completely. That leaves me with the gazebo closer to the center, with a gray building behind it, which is similar enough to the gazebo to not distract the eye from the gazebo.
Secondly, I used the auto color enhance setting of Gimp to get to a decent baseline color. That helped brighten the red a bit, both in the roof and the reflection of the pool. Once I had that "baseline" if you will, I then went into the hue and saturation adjustments and simply played a round a little until I got to something that made me happy. I opted for very subtle changes there, again, it was a bright day, I didn't need to do much to make the colors brighter, but I did want to tone down the green so that the red showed up a bit more. In this case, I did that by changing the hue toward yellow ever so slightly, which made red stand out against the green more. You might make a different choice there. That's the beauty of digital photography!
One other note. The "aged" baseball photo was actually pretty simple. Gimp has a Script-Fu option to render as an old photo. That script blurs the photo, converts it to sepia, adds noise and adds the frayed border among other things. I actually ran that script once, then cropped the photo, which resulted in part of the photo not having the border, so I ran it a second time. After that I also took the extra step of toning down the brightness and contrast, again using a trial and error approach until I was happy with the result.
Again, I didn't have to put in a lot of work to get something that I was happy with, you could certainly put in more and experiment with other options in Gimp or your photo editor of choice and come up with something very different than what I have done.
One of the nice things about this past weekend was that I was able to take a bunch of photos without much forethought. For example, in Windsor, obviously I wanted to make sure I got some nice photos of the Detroit skyline so I went focused on making sure I got plenty of those to choose from and I did exactly that.
Greenfield Village, on the other hand, was a place that Angela had found and planned out with her parents to go visit, and I hadn't really had time to really look into what to expect when we got there. That gave me an opportunity to tour through the site as more of a photo-walk than anything else, taking photos that allowed me to play with the camera settings:
Or photos that allowed me to play with color enhancement a bit.
And, naturally, since this is an historic village, I had to play with some of the "aging" effects as well, turning the historic baseball game into a truly historic looking photo.
I'm enjoying taking my time and going through these photos. It allows me a bit more time to get creative and develop some more processing skills. I've only got a handful up in the Greenfield Village Set for right now, but I should be adding some more in the coming days.
We spent the weekend with Angela's family, including a little trip across the border to Windsor, Ontario. It's only about a two hour drive from where her parents live and none of them had ever been to Canada, so it was fun, even if the Border Patrol was suspicious of a car full of folks who went to Canada just for a couple of hours to have breakfast and take some pictures. :)
Anyway, we also made a stop at Greenfield Village on Saturday and I spent much of the trip trying out some different things with the camera, mostly taking some shots with the intention of doing some editing later to create some interesting looks. So while I went ahead and put up a couple of photos from Windsor tonight, I've got a whole lot of other photos I want to spend some time playing with in Gimp and trying out some different things. I'll be posting them over on the Flickr page, and more than likely adding some of the better ones here as well as I try to pump up the Photography category of this blog.
By the way, I wonder why, when I placed these photos on the Flickr Map in Windsor, the photo's properties all say they were taken in Detroit? Does Flickr not know where the border is?
I wrote yesterday on the Friends in Tech blog, about why I don't rely on on-line Office Suites, but here's a similar thought. Even for something as unimportant in the grand scheme of things as photo-sharing, or Twitter, I still get mighty aggravated when a service doesn't work correctly and I cant do the thing I signed up with them to do in the first place.
So when Zoomr goes "off-line" for what has been more than 24 hours, to do an upgrade, is it really any wonder I've stuck with Flickr instead? Listen, I know Zoomr is beta and is run by a couple of guys working out of their basement, or whatever, and we can't expect the same level of service, yadda, yadda. But if I have some photos I want to upload to share with family and friends, or have a photo stored on their site that I want to browse to in order to show it to someone, I'm not going to be real happy that I can't do that, possibly for days. (BTW, even though I'm not a Zoomr user, I am waiting for their service to come up so I can get RSS feed addresses for a project I'm working on with some of their users. Hence, my frustration.)
For me, the bottom line is being able to use the service for what I signed up for. The more often I can't use it, the more likely I am to look for an alternative.
I'm also somewhat puzzled because if this was another service, like Gmail, Flickr or Bloglines, people would be writing all sorts of complaints about the service being down for this long, but Zoomr seems to fit in that small group of "hip" services that no one will ever complain about. It doesn't say much for the blogosphere when some companies can get that sort of treatment.
Yesterday was the Centennial Celebration for the Main Library downtown here in Columbus. It was a free, community event partially sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Since we needed some stuff to talk about on the website, I volunteered to spend the day taking photos. (I had volunteered to do that well before I had stepped down from being a Trustee, so I felt it was important to follow through on that commitment.)
It was an interesting day. I learned a lot about covering an event like this as a photographer. One thing I learned is that any time you have an event with multiple activities going on in various parts of the building, it's going to require more physical labor than you would think. Just lugging the camera gear around the building and up and down stairs all day is exhausting! Secondly, I learned that when you're covering an event like this, you never really get to enjoy it. You're on the move to get the next photo, there's no time to sit and take in more than a few minutes of any one presentation. That was a shame, it looked like there was a ton of interesting stuff.
Lastly, I learned to stay flexible. I wound up spending a good part of the day with a reporter from the local paper who was collecting oral histories from folks who have been involved with the Library. Turns out he needed someone to take photos of people who came in to record their stories. So while that meant I had to miss out on some parts of the day, it also meant an opportunity to take photos that will be part of this experiment on both the Library's and the papers websites later this week.
Besides, the Library had a couple of folks taking photos, and there were just some volunteers and attendees taking photos all day long too, so whatever I might have missed, I'm sure got covered somewhere else!
Overall it was tiring, but a great chance to get some practice taking photos in an environment I don't get much practice in normally.
Posted a bunch of photos from our Texas trip to Flickr tonight. I don't know about you, but to me vacation isn't really over until I've got the photos uploaded to share. I guess now it's over.... :(
That may explain why Angela is still uploading as I type this on her Flickr page.
A few recommendations if you find yourself in San Antonio:
1. The Lone Star Café on the Riverwalk makes a pretty good steak. 2. Go to Pat O'Brien's at happy hour. Get yourself and your lady a Hurricane, and share a plate of Crawfish Nachos, followed by a bag of beignets (sp?). Heaven! 3. Go to the Iron Cactus. They're known for their Tequilas, they have at least 25-30 to choose from. Get a Tequila Flight for a good sampling. 4. Have lunch at Casa Rio. This place is so good it can get really busy at dinner time, we found lunch to be a great time to get a good table along the Riverwalk. 5. We really enjoyed our breakfast at the Original Mexican Restaurant too. Personally, the bacon cheese omelet rocked. 6. Take a tour. Aside from the fabulous food and drink there is a lot of history in San Antonio. You should take some time to learn about it, and respect it.
I never thought anything would top the cheerleaders
In terms of the number of views of any of my Flickr photos, I never thought anything would top the pic of the OSU Cheerleaders. I mean from the day I first posted in, views just took off and it had been far ahead of any of my other photos. I figured you know, cheerleaders still sell. :)
But this past week, that photo has been blown away. Thanks to a post on, what looks to be a large-traffic site, about Magnificent Trees and their use of my Flickr photo of the Lone Cypress, and a number of re-postings around the web, that photo came from out of nowhere to suddenly have over 3 times the views that the Cheerleaders have.
Just goes to show, even cheerleaders can't compete with a good link. ;)
I noticed today that Flickr opened up a new feature for Pro users, collections, which allows you to create a "set of sets". I wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but being me, I went and toyed around with it. I took a number of sets that we're all located in Ohio and made an Ohio collection. I think this could be kind of useful, probably more if I had been planning on using this when I was creating my sets in the first place.
Maybe I'll spend some time working on creating some new collections. It'll help satisfy my organizational fetish. :)
Anyway, it's always nice when a service like Flickr keeps rolling out new features!
Have you ever been out and about with just your blackberry, and found yourself talking about some photos you have on Flickr? Yeah, you could give the other person your Flickr username and have them take a look at them when they're next on-line, or you can pull out your BB, load up Jiveslide and show them off right then and there! How cool is that?
One tip, though, that I found on the support site. I was one of those folks who couldn't access Flickr by using my username, I had to use the email address I originally signed up for Flickr with. Weird, but it worked. :)
I was thinking the other day as I drove past the frozen Scioto River downtown that I should go out and get some photos of it before it got warm enough to not be frozen. It has been more than a week without temps getting much above 20F and today was no exception, but we braved the elements and headed down to North Bank Park to get some photos. Unfortunately, we could only stand to be out taking pics for 15 minutes!
However, I did get a handful of decent shots, and with the dominance of white in all the photos I even got to practice some color enhancement, a new filtered B&W script, and some other tricks using GimpShop! I think they turned out pretty well.