Friday, March 28, 2008

Yesterday on New York Ave, NW

Had a meeting downtown yesterday and brought along my new little friend. I'm getting more used to this camera now although still haven't read the instructions. Here are a few images from yesterday, just keeping my brain busy. This Canon G9 is fun, isn't life great! Click an image and see larger to check the quality.This is how most of my images for have happened. Just being there.
See my previous post Wherever You are Be There.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Say Hello to my Little Friend

Last week I bought a new camera, a Canon G9, and I love this little thing. I've been wanting a small high quality take anywhere camera for a long time. Certain features like manual control of aperture and shutter speed, variable ASA, shooting RAW, I thought were just not available with anything but professional level cameras. I still have quite a bit of Leica M gear, haven't used it for real in ages now, but am to sentimentally attached to sell any of it. I thought my only option was to get an M8 but just couldn't bring myself to part with the 5K for a camera I thought wasn't all it should be.

I'm not Mr. Equipment and didn't even know this camera existed until Keith Barraclough turned me on to it. I am so glad he did. This is one high quality, well constructed/designed, sophisticated little camera. I received it just before the weekend and started shooting with it right away. Haven't read the instructions yet so I'm not even sure of all it's capabilities. I thought I was shooting RAW/jpeg but evidently was just shooting jpeg so I guess now the weekend's over it's time to read the instructions.

I wanted a camera I could take anywhere and just shoot random images As I Walk the Earth. Here are some images just for fun from over the weekend. I like to shoot available light so many of these are at high ASA. My only disappointment is that it seems a bit noisy at 1600.
Click any image to see it larger if interested.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Joy of Cooking

Well, it's been to long since I checked in here, and with good reason. A week ago Monday we had to take my Father to the hospital for complications due to his chemotherapy. I'm not sure if anything sucks your soul dry as sitting in a hospital room all day for 9 days. I am in serious need of getting my groove back on.

Two activities I love in life, photography and cooking. I haven't done either in almost two weeks. In a perfect world for me I would make images all day while they are aggressively marketed, distributed and licensed worldwide, then make dinner for my family. I love to cook, I really do, it makes me happy and yesterday I needed to be happy. Also, I just happened to get a call from my friend, the ever delightful and fabulous Renee Comet, an outstanding food photographer. I told her how I felt, haven't been working, ect, was going to cook dinner and she suggested I cook, photograph the results and put it on my blog. I instantly felt better, I now had purpose and motivation. Thanks Renee! (btw- Renee we had no budget for props, food stylist or assistants on this shoot, it's just the plate of food by the kitchen window)

I decided to try Roasted Mahi-Mahi w/Fennel, Olives, and Oranges. Wanting some fennel is what inspired choosing this dish (and Mahi-Mahi was on sale at Safeway). If you've never cooked with fresh fennel (the bulb, not the seed) it's wonderful. Also read of it's medicinal properties here. Now I never follow a recipe exactly, what fun would that be, so I did a few thing differently than the recipe above. One thing I decided was to not bake the fish, I prefer mine with a little pan roasted searing action and brought into play my beloved Sauteuse my Mom gave me for Christmas. I decided to add a little wine while roasting the fennel to ratchet up the sweetness but more importantly to give me an excuse to run out to the liquor store (Honey, I need one of those really big bottles of wine for this recipe). I chose a playful Mouton Cadet Bordeaux, an amusing little wine, a tad bold yet refreshingly unpretentious. 1 cup into the pan while roasting, remaining liter straight down your gullet. Even though this dish has a Mediterranean flair I thought I'd try including popovers. If you like popovers, and who doesn't, here's a pretty simple recipe for Easy Ethereal Popovers . I grated some fresh Parmesan to sprinkle on top before baking but that's just how we roll up in here.

Cooking for me is great therapy. Like photography I am creating something I enjoy, another form of creative self expression. These are important things to have in anyone's life. When you don't have them, or are missing them, you realize how important they are. Without them I would dry up into an empty lifeless husk and blow away.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Again with the LensBaby

Yesterday was was of those beautiful foggy misty drizzly dreary mornings. I had to be somewhere that morning but couldn't resist. I grabbed a camera and ran around the old homestead before the sun came out, with it's damn cheery sunshine, and made all this wonderful dismalness go away.

Yes, these are shot with a Lensbaby, again. Like I said before, stick with me long enough and you'll see that I'll take a perfectly good effect (if used in moderation) and beat it into submission. I can't help it. It's what I do. You should here me with a Wah-Wah pedal.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Postcard from this Week . . .

Writing unlocks your Mind

This guy Scott over at Hello My Name is Scott is one motivated smart self promoter. I like his blog and overall message, always positive. His material doesn't pertain to photography business necessarily but general business behaviour and attitudes. I like his post today because I was just talking about "writing" with Renee and Keith, two of my fellow APA/DC ADD friends about this very subject. When this topic comes up I always express almost exactly what is written in this post, but I'm sure no one listens. Instead I am looked upon with amused grins. Similar to how you smile when entertained as you watch the chimps in the zoo.

Writing not only helps you in business as mentioned below but the act of writing itself helps creative minds unlock further creativity and motivation. It's true, for visually oriented people, writing on any regular basis boosts creativity. I sure wish I could write more better. If I were tested, my writing skills would probably approach the 4th grade level. But having no ability never stopped me from trying anything. BTW- this guy Scott had a name badge tattooed on his chest, the same kind of name badge you would wear if you went to a convention. That's taking it to a whole new level. Oh here's his post on writing:

The more you write, the more material you have for your blog.
The more you blog, the more people will link to you.
The more people link to you, the greater your web presence becomes.
The greater your web presence becomes, the larger your WOM asset grows.
The larger your WOM asset grows, the more Google likes you.
The more Google likes you, the better your organic search rankings become.
The better your organic search rankings, the more mindshare you can create.
The more mindshare you create, the more you become That Guy.
The more you become That Guy; the more customers come to YOU pre-qualified.
The more customers that come to you pre-qualified, the lower your average sales cycle.
The lower your average sales cycle, the lower your marketing and client acquisition costs.
The lower your marketing and client acquisition costs, the more profit you can turn.

Writing is the basis of all wealth.

What did you write today?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lightroom: My new Best Friend

I love Lightroom. In fact the more I use and understand it the more I love it. Everything I shoot now goes through Lightroom. For me, all final images are still worked on in Photoshop but all now begin their lives in Lightroom. The interface is well designed and so very intuitive, I can see ( just as in Photoshop) spending years wrapping my head around how deep this program is. But this is a good thing and one reason why I like it.

When I first started using Lightroom over the Summer I found this book, Lightroom Adventure, very helpful in understanding the utility and scope of this program. With Lightroom the image processing alone is fantastic but also creating presets, wonderful web galleries, keywording, appending metadata, cataloging and more. There is so much more and will only grow as creatives embrace this program. One example, here is an independently produced module, Slideshowpro, which allows you to highly customize Lightroom galleries. Also, an interesting blog, Lightroom Killer Tips, with lots of good info. I pulled a few presets from this site and occassionally use them. Below are a few images from a recent shoot one morning that I have been working on today. For this project I wanted a vintage feel so I utilized a few Lightroom presets: