Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Well I should have pictures but it is VERY late and I just don't feel like going through them right now. Devin got his DAFOs today so we drove down to North Hollywood to pick them up and have them fitted. Desirae decided to be horrible so I ended up taking her out of the office and sat in the truck with her - while she screamed and cried for about an hour. She finally calmed down and we went back in to finish everything up. From there we drove to Bakersfield to pick up our travel trailer because they were finished with it. So it has been a very long day and I am pretty darn tired... So hopefully tomorrow I will get some images loaded...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More portraits...

I setup the studio today to test a couple of lighting ideas I have been learning about over the last few days. I ran across some information that went into detail on how the lights should be setup for certain looks and different ways to position your subject. We have been keeping the studio kind of setup so it is pretty quick and easy to pull out the lights, drop the background, meter, and shoot. I think this shot turned out pretty nice. The other reason is that what I took in town didn't turn out very well. I think I had some major camera jerk going on. But I did tweak my back when a bunch of 16x20 frames started falling when we were at Wal-Mart and I had to grab them and push Desirae out of the way - so when I tried earlier I wasn't feeling very well (Motrin hadn't kicked in).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Willow Springs...

A buddy from work (Ken Ryder) asked if we (Kris and I) would come out and shoot his practice runs today (he is racing tomorrow). So Kris and I met up and Rosamond and drove out to Willow Springs. Ken shoots with a Canon and had a tele-converter for his 70-200 2.8 IS lens so I just used his gear to shoot the event. My lens (basically the same thing) didn't have the reach without a converter. Kris used is Canon 100-400 IS lens. The shots posted here are from my Nikon and I didn't shot any of Ken's runs with my gear - I should get the pictures next week. It was really a blast and something that I have never done before so it was a lot of fun. It was also kind of weird using a different brand of camera. The controls were all in different places and I didn't really know how to navigate the menus. I think framing wise I got some good shoots and so did Kris. It will be interesting to see how everything looks at full resolution though.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sick day...

I caught that "thing" that is going around and ended up coming home early yesterday and slept pretty much from the time I got home until the next morning. I went ahead and called in sick for today and just tried to take it easy. It seems like a lot of folks are getting sick so I suppose it isn't that much out of the ordinary.

We did take a bit of time in the afternoon to do a series of shoots. The series was something I have been thinking of for a while and we finally just were able to pull it together today. It also helps when the darn studio is just setup so there wasn't much to just grab a camera and start shooting. I think they turned out pretty good and the one I used here is my favorite. Denise also wanted to do a series with Desirae so we took some but I haven't processed them yet.

We did have an interesting knock at the door. A tree trimming company was in the area and came by to see if we wanted our Palm Tree removed. At first I though we could just have it trimmed and asked him to do that. After talking for a while Denise informed me that she never really liked it and wanted it gone so we had them just remove it. So when they came back they sawed it down and used a robotic stump grinder to take the stump out. It was a pretty impressive operation and they cost was pretty darn cheap. The guy even let Devin operate the robot too - which he REALLY loved. I do have some pictures of that - but I didn't get them loaded yet...

Monday, January 15, 2007

More test shots...

We made our trek down to Los Angeles to hit the Lego Store for the kids. Like I mentioned before we told Devin he could have a new Lego set because of how well he did with his casts. So that trip went pretty good and after that we stopped at Calumet so I could check out their booms and instructional DVDs. I ended up buying their boom (they make pretty good stuff) and the DVD – which seems pretty good so far. The shot above was made using the boom to position the light directly above with a reflector directly below. I saw a similar setup during that Photoshop seminar I went to. I think the lighting is a little flat – but for stock I think it will work wonderfully.

The only bad thing about today is that I had to go into work to check on a scheduled power outage. We had three technicians (on my side) working today to make sure nothing bad happened. The outage went really well and they finished MUCH earlier than I thought they would have. That allowed us to leave earlier for LA than I thought we were going to be able to.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Another photo day...

I met up with Kris this afternoon to check out some new locations to photograph. We went to this one place with really cool rocks that I have seen on the way down to LA. I didn't realize that it was a park area and that you could drive out there. It was a pretty neat area with a lot of potential. I am sure people photographed the heck out of it - but it seems like a neat place to go back to. I took the above picture there. On the image to the left I was thinking about something Laurin had said about the latitude of DSLR sensors and how you really only have a 5 stop range. So I saw this rock face in complete shadow and thought of that. I think I am not starting to understand why you should shoot before sun rise and after sun set because the lighting is the most even at that time and you should be able to capture the most detail. For instance that shot was for 1 second at F/22 but I think the lighting is pretty nice and the details is spot on. Anyway since I have been switching my mindset away from a journalistic methodology and onto a more creative it has been really fun.

On the way back I saw the train with the steam and I pulled off the side of the road to get it. The only bad thing is that it was COLD COLD COLD! Anyway it was a pretty good time and I think I got some good shots. I have a couple that I think I will post as stock too.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New hair cut...

I am falling way behind again on things... This is just a quick one with a not-so-great quick picture. Denise cut her hair short again - I think this is the shortest and it looks pretty darn good! I never would have thought I would have liked her hair like this but it is REALLY nice! She is even considering have it cut a bit shorter. I figure might as well go for it! You can always grow it back! I think this is going to leave it like this for a while though.

On the flip side Desirae's hair is getting pretty darn long. I will have to do some pictures of that this weekend too!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More forgotten structures

In my search for a cellular tower shot Kris pointed out this old abandonded mining area - actually I think it was a movie set. Anyway the lighting was just about gone but it was a very interesting structure. I was also spending the time testing/playing with my 70-200 VR lens. I guess it is a good one because this shot is pretty darn sharp and it was at 1/10 handheld. Anyway my tower shot wasn't that good because the lighting was all wrong. But I did get some good angles. I need to re-shoot it during a sunrise and I think I will have the shot I see in my head. Now I just ahve to get up early to get it...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Last of the Cast

Today was a whirlwind day that ultimately ended in Devin having his casts removed. Denise and I were both under the impression that he would have another set of casts put on but that turned out to be the wrong impression. Our day at Children's Hospital lasted forever when Devin and I got down there at 1300. I kind of figured we would be out of there pretty quickly but we didn't actually leave the hospital until 1630. Perfect timing to hit all of the traffic! Anyway Dr. Kay though the casts worked out pretty good and said he didn't think we should have another set put on. We did go ahead and have hiim measured for his new braces which should be ready on the 24 Jan. I think the biggest single mistake I made was not even considering the idea that he would not have another set of cast and I didn't bring any shoes or anything for him. So it was a total nightmare trying to leave the place. The original idea is that we would have done some shopping when we were finished - but with his lack of mobility and protection (and how late it was) we just headed straight home.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Watching video games...

Devin started another marathon day of playing xbox. Desirae actually enjoys watching Devin playing his games and I took this shot of her watching him. At least I was able to figure out my focusing problem (operator error) so I feel a bit more comfortable about it.

The hard drive replacement went well too. It took a long time - but the backup/restore process worked very well and everything is just like it was before - just more space is available.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What a day...

Unfortunately there are no pictures for today. We took the trailer back to the RV place today to fix some damage that was caused from the work they did the last time on it. I am not sure when we will get it back but hopefully everything will be just as new when they are done with it. Our plan was to load get everything ready on Friday but I didn't get out of work until late and we (Denise) decided that it wasn't a good idea to try to do everything in the dark and wind. So we got up this morning and after breakfast went to work getting everything ready. It went okay albeit much longer than we really anticipated. We ended up leaving late and were a hour late for our appointment. However, we did finally make it and got it dropped off. We did some other running around to buy Desirae some new cloths and then went to the book store and CompUSA. I did buy another hard drive for my iMac and right now I am sitting on the MacBook watching the iMac download the software updates. At least I will have more space available which should make everything run much faster. My darn pictures really take up A LOT of space and the drive that was in it was just about full.

I hope to do some photography tomorrow and hopefully I will have something interesting to post!The shot above was from Tuesday. I have been going through the files a bit and there are a few shots that weren't terrible. This is a castle that is in the middle of no-where on the outskirts of Lancaster. There is a story about it - but I am not sure of the link right now. Kind of a neat looking place. It sure would be neat to get closers - but it is clearly posted to stay out.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Forgotten catastrophe

Yesterday I went on a photo boondoggle in search of great sunrises and interesting sunrises and beautiful scenes... Well let's just say it didn't quite work out the way I had it planned in my head! The first problem was Deanna not wanting to sleep and thus Denise and I didn't sleep (I did finally go to bed a bit after 0300 when she finally crashed). Next, my alarm that I thought should have went off at 0500 was actually set for 1700... I did happen to wake up at 0540 (which is a miracle unto itself) but that meant I got out the door and picked up a buddy of mine (Todd) WAY LATE. So as I was driving to his house (45 minutes away) I had the glorious opportunity to WATCH THE LIGHT GO AWAY!!!

However, am I one to be bitter about such little things as light? Of course not... Why be bitter about that when I can enjoy the fact that I couldn't focus to save my life! I mean I am using a freaking AUTO FOCUS camera... My technique was WAY off and I am sure having only a couple hours of sleep didn't help.

On the imaging side we did find this interesting abandoned (forgotten) house that we took some shots of. That was about the best I got during the outing. However, I do have to say this... It was very relaxing and enjoyable. I got to see stuff in the valley that I didn't know was there and basically just chill out for the morning/afternoon. You can check out Todd's better selection of photos here!

On a happier note - it appears that those holiday/vacationing designers are back to work and I had a good day of sales today. I was beginning to wonder if my images fell off the radar or something!