Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quick slot machine

This was on my Shutter Stock main page when I awoke this morning. Kind of like a slot machine. So since I was trying to show Denise want I wanted her to do I am going to end up plaster somewhere... Wonderful... Anyway iStock is REALLY picking up. I am not sure what the deal with that is, or why it is happening but my numbers are increasing and since the sales are generally higher than Shutter Stock I think it will meet their value and surpass it pretty soon.

Today I passed the mark on iStock were I have sold more images than I have posed. I currently have 51 images available and I have had 54 images downloaded. The majority of the images have not been downloaded and it is only a handful of images that are getting downloaded, but this is a cool milestone to have reached with iStock. I still have a long way to go, but this is the next step in many!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Long weekend...

This has been a pretty long weekend. When you consider the air show on Friday and the Disney on Ice & Daisy thing on Saturday today felt like an extra day. We decided to head into town to do some running around. I wanted to find some 150 watt 2500 lumen halogen light bulbs for my Alien Bees strobe units. Denise wanted to get some black shirts/pants for Devin to wear under his Darth Vader costume. We also ended up doing lunch at El Torito where although the service was horrible the food was outstanding. At one point on the trip back Desirae decided she needed a potty break. The sun was going down and the lighting on Devin was wonderful so I grab a couple of quick snaps.

I was playing around with a photo montage from the Daisy meeting yesterday. I took different elements from the photographs that I captured to put this together. The background is a shot of the table after the kids were done painting their pumpkins. The snapshots are just from while they were painting - and the group shot was well - a group shot. I picked the purple color from a different section in the photograph for the text. It seem like something that would work well. Will be interesting to see what the other folks thing. When printed out on that luster paper it really pops - I really love that new paper!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Daisey Meeting...

Desirae had a meeting today with her Daisy Troop. They played some games, did some crafts and at the end they presented the girls with the different patches they earned over the last week or so. Desirae got a couple of patches so next meeting she will have more petals on her outfit. I was designated the photographer of the day so I ended up covering the whole thing. I loaded the images here!

Devin went with Gabby to see Disney on Ice in Bakersfield. They left at 0900 in the morning and came back pretty late. It sounded like they had a lot of fun and Jennifer (Gabby's mom) took some photos so hopefully I can get copies of those soon.

Friday, October 27, 2006


This weekend is the Edwards Air Force Base Air Show featuring the Thunderbirds! Today was the practice air show where the Thunderbirds performed their entire show. We signed Devin up for a special viewing through the Make A Wish Foundation. Actually when the announcement went out I didn’t realize it was that program – but it worked out very well. After the Thunderbirds finished their performance they came over to meet and talk to the kids and to sign the programs. Desirae, Deanna, and I were not able to go into the area during the show but we were able to come in when it was over so Desirae also got to meet the pilots.

It was a VERY busy picture taking day! I ended up snapping off 714 pictures in just over three hours. Pretty amazing stuff! Denise took the D70 and a cool 140 shots. She had the best position, center stage, and everything was geared toward that location.

At one point when one of the pilots came over Devin noticed that his number was upside down. The pilot that it was really cool that he noticed that because his job was to fly upside down and they put his number on upside down so it would be right side up when he was flying! You can also see in the picture that the number on his plane is also upside down. It was pretty neat that Devin noticed that because no one else had up to that point!

They also had the chance to meet the first female member of the Thunderbirds. Desirae especially glad to meet the “girl” pilot. Even with the excitement of meeting pilots Desirae still had to pronounce that she was going to be a rock-star when she grew up. I guess I should have been happy she didn't say she was going to be the next top model.

Denise also had the chance to meet some of the pilots too and in this particular shot Deanna was pretty fascinated by him.

I have finished going through the images and have posted the selects here!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Family LRS...

Before Nana and Max left for the long drive home we setup the LRS and took a bunch of photographs. I think everyone, except Devin, really got into it and had a lot of fun. At first it was only going to be a couple of quick photographs but we ended up taking a little over 100 shots. Denise, Nana, and Max also took a turn BEHIND the camera so that I had the chance to be in a few of the shots. Before they left I put together this grid sheet on the left and made a nice print of it. It was really great that they drove all the way down here, and we really wish we all lived closer together!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Renaissance Festival

We made our way to the California City Renaissance Festival today! Denise and the kids have been looking forward to this for a long time and this was the best showing we have seen for this festival. They did change it up a bit this year and charged people to enter although that did not seem to hurt the numbers much. Nana and Max also came down so they went there with us. In this picture here Desirae is waiting to see the Queen. Folks from the festival had visited the school to encourage participation and Desirae was very excited about it.

Speaking of the Queen Desirae REALLY wanted to meet her and was looking forward to that all week. She finally got her opportunity when the Queen made it back with her entourage to her tent. Desirae waited patiently and then finally came up to the rope and asked permission to speak to the Queen. She was VERY intimidated and stood straight almost at attention while speaking with her.

As I mentioned above Nana and Max came down for the weekend. I think they were both missing the kids and this was a little quite moment when Nana and Desirae had some time together. Actually I think Desirae was being a little brat and Nana was trying to talk some sense into her.

Toward the end of the day Denise and Devin were playing this wooden block game. I can't remember the name of it but it is where you take a block out and move it to the top trying to make the next person knock it over. The game was going pretty good with a lot of onlookers and Devin ultimately knocked it over. It was pretty cool and he did VERY WELL moving the blocks around. It was really a close game!

Desirae did get into the fun with games too. Here she was playing a ring toss with the goal being to get 3 rings to hang on a post. She worked at it for quite a while but was never able to get three rings to land in the right place. I think because she was being so polite and friendly about the entire thing (she had to collect her rings and give them to the next person in line) the folks there went ahead and gave her a prize for doing so well.

Trey Cromwell was there again at the festival and put on a pretty good show for everyone there. He is a juggler and is pretty entertaining. Here he is getting ready to do the fire juggling and eating thing. There was a pretty good turn out for that. When he was finished and passing the hat both Desirae and Devin gave him a couple of bucks for a good show. He and another fellow performer really had some fun with Devin and at one point after talking about Star Wars they searched him out to put him in a dark cloak so he could be Darth Devin a Sith Lord. It was pretty funny and Devin had a HUGE smile on his face. It was really great that they searched him out to do that.

All in all it was a really great time (even though it was a long day!). Anyway I will post the entire gallery hopefully sometime tomorrow. I took over 480 pictures so I have a lot of images to go through and cull down.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pre-Hallowwen Pic...

Desirae was feeling left out today and wanted to do something so I offered to take pictures of her. She decided that was a good idea but wanted to model her Halloween costumes. I did not really have an end goal in mind and it was really more a lighting test/check but I thought this shot really worked, even with her messy hair, and played a round with it a bit to create the image above. The best part, Desirae was having a lot of fun and she went from being upset to happy!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another link in the chain...

Well, with not getting to bed until 0130 I have been dragging pretty much all day today. Now I am in the wonderful situation where I can't seem to relax to go to sleep. So I figured I would blog and then try to shut down for the night. I did have my doctor's appointment and yet again they said that this thing on the back of my neck is not a big deal and nothing to really worry about. This guy is an ear, nose, throat, and neck specialist though he has scheduled me for an MRI and a biopsy just to make sure. So I suppose in some respects the photo is appropriate because this is just another link or step in the process... Anyway I am going to bed!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Psydo recovery...

First, Deanna is doing fine after her fall yesterday! She stayed up way late last night because she slept so long on the trip home, but no ill effects have been noticed! Second, when we came home from dinner tonight (I need a break from homework) Denise and Desirae we playing "kick the ball" in the front yard. It was pretty fun to see Desirae running around like a wild child trying to kick the ball around the yard. Desirae was just telling Denise a few moments ago that she wanted to do that again tomorrow - so hopefully we can all get out there tomorrow.

I just can't help post this shot - I was playing around before we left and snapped this capture. Even though she is looking down I really liked the shot. I really have an advantage in taking photographs that everyone is pretty used to me having a camera pointed in their direction so they just ignore it. I still can't get the kids to stop the fake smiles when doing the studios, but we are getting there!

Okay, this might be because I am VERY tried (and sick of homework) but I was talking a break to check out the blog and I just have to stay I love taking/making pictures (depending on how you look at it). The imagery of it is just amazing and rewarding. You know it has been a really long time since I felt this way, but this is exactly how I used to feel back in high school when I was taking pictures. I am really grateful that I have been able to recapture that.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Lego Store & Calumet....

We decided to drive down to Los Angeles today because the kids wanted to go to the Lego store and I wanted to finally check out Calumet. The Lego store was pretty cool and Devin found another kit to put together. This one was about 200 more pieces than the last thing he built so it should be pretty intense. Desirae bought something a bit simpler but they both really liked to visit the store again. The only bad thing is that it was a weekend and there were a million people there.

Calumet was pretty interesting but it wasn’t as large as Samy’s Camera. I ended up getting a bit lost and went the wrong way. I was thinking that we could get there on the 5 but I was WAY wrong. So we ended up having a nice surface street tour of downtown Los Angeles. The store was pretty neat though. Devin and Desirae were also pretty good and held it together without any problems. I am not sure if I will be heading down there again, I still think that Canoga is my store of choice – and for selection Samy’s beats them all.

We let Deanna run around a bit before we got back onto the road. She was pretty good until we stopped to get something for dinner. We were letting her walk around before dinner and she did a head plant on the corner of the doorframe. It almost split open her little forehead and she wasn’t too happy about it. After a bit of ice she calmed down and now we are in the watching game to make sure there are no problems as a result. It was a really nasty fall and it could have been a lot worse. We ended up trying out our new “call a nurse” feature of our insurance on the way back and they gave Denise some things to watch for and they are going to call back tomorrow to check. This kind of put a huge damper on the day!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Meeting, what meeting...

Devin's boy scout meeting is supposed to be every other Friday. If you have been following along that would be today... However when we showed up, no scout master , no open door. I guess the scout master (or whatever he is called) forgot that today was the day. Anyway since we were there another with another father and son we decided to let the kids play at the park for a little while. So we made or way over there and had some fun. Devin did REALLY good walking around the playground. He ditched his canes and just went for it. That was really neat to see!

Well, it doesn't seem like it has that long since Caleb came back from Afghanistan but as it turns out he has just about hit his two year mark. So on Wednesday he was notified that he is to deploy and must report and fly out on Sunday. According to his orders he should be back Feb 2008... His schedule was pretty crazy this week getting everything ready to be gone for over a year. Fortunately Rob and I had the chance to take him to lunch before he gets out of here. So he will do a couple of months of training before he goes in theater.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Darth Daisy...

Devin had the chance to put on his Darth Vader outfit tonight and Desirae got dressed up for her second Girl Scout meeting. Devin is really enjoying his costume and was go around the house doing his Darth Vader choke hold. It was pretty funny the first time he did it. Desirae was really excited about going to her meeting. They haven't made it back yet - but I am sure they are having a good time.

Anyway don't have too much time... Have homework to start and finish!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My window is closing...

Man I sure am tired! As I was sitting her, with my Nikon D70 on the desk, I decided to pull the pictures off the memory card. Anyway there was this image of Devin that I took, who knows when, and I thought it was a neat shot. Devin's PT appointment went well today, for some reason it was moved to Tuesdays. Anyway he did really well and they had him walking on the grass and such. You know it is really amazing to think that he is starting to walk without his canes. I know sometimes I get frustrated with his progress but when you think about the fact that we were not sure if he would ever take any steps it is pretty amazing. I think he is starting to decide he wants to do things on his own so hopefully the progress will continue.

You know one thing that is truly amazing about this blog is how everything is just right there. For instance, if you have been following this for a while just click back to a year ago. Before you do think for a few moments on what happened last October and I am almost guarantee you that you will be surprised at what comes up on the screen. I know I was. you forget things so fast and it is neat to be able to just click a button and all those memories just come back.

OBTW - "My window is closing..." is what I say when I am really tired and I know that I need to shut down and go to bed. Typically if I stay up too much longer than I won't be able to sleep at all tonight... So on that, I am going to hit publish and go to bed!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pumpkin cleaning...

Today after the kids got home from school we setup a shoot with the pumpkins I bought yesterday. It was pretty cool and the kids kind of had fun doing it. I used some of my excess background paper to provide a clean surface for cutting the pumpkin up and it make clean-up MUCH easier! We only made it through the first one, and the smallest one at that. I figure we can try to do the other one tomorrow. They are pretty darn huge and it is kind of neat to have a couple of large ones. I don't think they will last until Halloween though - just because of the weather.

Well tomorrow I have to go back to work after a nice long three day weekend. Unfortunately I had a BUNCH of work that I needed to do that I didn't finish - so I am going to try to do that tonight and maybe in the morning.

We also have the joy of having mice in the house now. We had the exterminator come out today and he left some traps but he said really there isn't much that can be done. There are a bunch of mice around this year and everyone is having the problem. It also sounds like we have one stuck in our walls in the office. I am not really sure what I am supposed to do about that - I don't really think there is anything I can do - and I don't really want to cut open the walls to get a mouse - or something else - out...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pumpkin patch

I really wanted to get out of the house today so I took Desirae and we went into Lancaster. The idea was to head to Staples, get some gas, then go to the book store. Somewhere in there, around the gas part, Desirae saw a pumpkin patch carnival and asked to go. So once I finished filling up we headed over there. Desirae ended up riding three of the four things they had. They had a really large slide, which was the first thing that she rode. I was a bit worried about that one because I think the height of it was really getting to her when she crawled up there. Right behind her was another little boy and she watched him VERY intently before she scooted over the edge. Then she went on this swing thing that went around in circles. The last thing she did was one of those jumping house things. I also ended up buying LARGE pumpkins that I think we will crave up tomorrow!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Something different

Today we tried something a bit different than we normally would. Denise took Deanna into town and I took Devin and Desirae on a little trip around town that ultimately ended up in the park. It was pretty cool and they both seemed to have a good time. Desirae really wanted to do some running around and at first we were thinking about just walking around in the desert. The park turned out to be a better solution and after a bit of complaining Devin even got into it and kept going around to come down the slide. We started out walking around the pond watching the ducks, and then getting over to the playground equipment. There were a bunch of people there and we moved over to the less populated area so the kids could play without being trampled.

The original plan for the day was to do some exploring looking for a spot to potentially take the trailer and do an overnighter. I would really like to find a good place to photograph and use the trailer so that we could do some late afternoon shooting and early morning stuff. We did find a couple of good spots that seemed like good camping locations - though I didn't really have much success finding the "right" photographic spot.

Denise's run into town was a Costco trip and a Boy Scout trip. It turns out that we bought the wrong size of shirt for Devin and we needed some more stuff to finish up his "uniform". So he should have a good outfit for the meeting next Friday. Devin is pretty excited about getting all of his stuff.

Friday, October 06, 2006

More white...

I am still trying to figure out this high-key light theme. I employed all my flashes, 2 Alien Bees AB800 and my Nikon SB800, to try and light everything correctly. This was a bit frustrating because I was having a heck of a time with the ratios but I think I kind of figured it out. The only problem with testing lighting out and using the kids is they get VERY bored VERY quickly! Devin did last for a good while though.

So today is a three day weekend for me, the kids still have school on Monday. I am not sure what the game plan is but we are going to play it by ear. I think we MIGHT try to do a desert camping thing tomorrow with the main idea being to get some good morning and evening light, so I will probably search out for a location tomorrow morning.

Denise went into town today for Devin's PT appointment and also hit the Girl and Boy Scout stores and bought the kids their outfits. Once she gets all the stuff sewed onto them I will take some pictures of the kids in their stuff!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Little twiddle...

We were playing around with the studio again today and I grabbed this capture where Deanna was twiddling on Denise's sleeve. The control of the lighting with both lights is really nice. I do need to figure a better way to increase the ratio of light to the background (without Photoshop) but that is going to be more complicated. Generally for these blown out white background shots you use separate lighting for the background and subject. Either way I really liked the control I had with the 2nd light.

The entire concept of this shoot was to first check out the new light, and second to capture Denise's new knitting she is working on. She has been working on this poncho and having a lot of fun doing it. It seems like she makes her most progress on it when we are driving into town. She did did it quite a bit yesterday while we were on the road. I don't quite understand what it is going to look like when it is done - but so far it looks pretty cool. You can find all the pictures here!

For some reason Devin wanted Deanna in the bath with him today. I think he wanted a more interactive "toy". Denise stayed right in place to make sure she didn't drown. They both seem to have fun though. So I guess for the most part it was a "fun" weekend... Hmmm, will have to think about that some more! Speaking of that, Devin tore apart his Lego ship and rebuilt it yesterday. I was VERY impressed and he only asked for help on a couple of little areas. He stuck with that for hours yesterday, when we got home. As a treat we "camped" out in the trailer last night.