Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hanging out...

Everyone was watching kid nation and Desirae and Deanna were running around the living room playing. I tried to get a photograph of them doing that but when I got my camera they took and break and started watching the show again. Pretty weird show.

I did get some good news at work. We have had four open positions, with another two coming open soon, and have been waiting MONTHS to get the jobs on the street. So today we found out that one of them has posted and applications are being accepted. This still means that we are probably a good two months out from having any inbound people but at least it is forward movement!

Update: I added a link to Chase Jarvis. He is a professional photographer who has some amazing work and videos of his work at his web site. Very inspirational stuff!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Getting back in the grove...

It is very slow going, but I am finally getting back into the grove of things. I am taking more photographs and generally started to get back on track on the things I (we) want to do. I think it is going to be important over the next couple of weeks to slow down and take a step back. Plus we have all the holiday festivities to take care of. Bottom line I am just really glad that I am starting to see photograph ideas in my head again...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Today after work, and a quick trip through Mojave to pick up a replacement camera body sitting at the UPS location, we did a studio shoot. We have had some ideas for some Christmas photographs and we were able to set it up and make it happen. It was a bit rushed which make tensions very high but out of 240 images I have what I think are 15 good stock shots. It has been a LONG while (like months) since I have done a shoot like this or uploaded a series of images so hopefully I am not too rusty. Even though Devin didn't want to be apart of the main shoot he did want to have his photograph taken and I got a nice capture of him and Denise.

The only real bad thing was that Deanna snuck into the other room, grabbed my $900 12-24 wide angle lens, took off the rear cap, scratched and finger the rear element and brought it out to us... I am not sure if I can clean up the damage but I finally just gave up on it... Oh well, I suppose it's only money...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Playing around...

Today was a lazy day with everyone trying to recuperate from all the good food and running around. Max and I had talked about going out and trying to photograph things again so we took a hour and went out into the desert to see what was going on out there. As you would expect for a long holiday weekend there were a ton of dirt bikers and RVs out in the desert. We got a bunch of neat shots but my favorite was the one to the left. It was just simple and I thought the image just worked. I can honestly say that I am REALLY glad that I am shooting again and it is really helping my piece of mind!

Before we went out Desirae and Deanna were playing with the letters on the refrigerator. It was a really cute scene that I thought I would photograph. Max and I were both playing around trying to get a unique angle. At first I was having a problem with exposure and the way i was lighting it but once I finally remember what in the world i was trying to do I was able to get everything to start clicking.

Oh, I also ran into a TON of problems with Apple's new OS Leopard (10.5.1), Adobe's Lightroom and my Epson printer. As it turned out Leopard broke parts of Lightroom and the printer drivers for my Epson R1800 don't work right either. So last night I just clobbered my Macbook and reloaded Tiger (10.4.11) back onto it. So now everything is working again and I am able to print! It seems like Epson and Adobe should have their problems fixed soon enough but so I won't worry about the iMac but at least I have something that is working now!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Parks and rocks...

Denise and my mom went into town early to try to get some of the super deals and sales that were available at Joanne's. Max and I left a bit later with the kids and met up with them when they finally finished (it took forever to get trough the lines). When they were finally done we met up at a Park in Lancaster so the kids could run around and play. Everyone really got into it and Deanna was just all over the place.

After we were done in the park the plan was that Max and I wold hit the road to find some interesting area to photograph. It was a bit early than I expected to be out, but we made our way to Vasquez Rock. It is a place that Kris had taken me before and I figured it would be a good place to go. Other than it was REALLY cold out there it was a lot of fun. The lighting wasn't that great but it was neat to visit there again and Max seem to enjoy herself. Desirae and my mom decided to tag along with us so we had a little group. You know, even if the lighting isn't that great, it is still a lot of fun to get out and make some pictures.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Work that turkey off!

Well, this isn't a typical Thanksgiving post, but after all the festivities were over Desirae and I went out back to shoot a series of shots trying to capture her running and jumping. Everyone else ended up coming out back to try and help it was it pretty cool. Desirae was having a lot of fun being the center of attention and she was really running her legs off. We got some really great captures and kept shooting a lot longer than I thought we would have. The generator came in real handy too as I used that to power the Photoflex Starflash 1600 with large softbox. It worked really great and I think I need to try to do environmental shoots more often. I suppose there are some places that you can't take a generator but it is still very convenient. Max also got some really neat captures of use doing the shoot, behing the scene type stuff, that will be way cool to see when she can process them.

Denise, as usual, put on an amazing spread and the food was wonderful. Everything was great and very well done. I think everyone made themselves sick eating too much and then again after they had a break. All in all it was a really great day!

Earlier in the day Max, Desirae and I headed into Tehapachi to hit Starbucks. I know, I know, it is pathetic to drive that far for a coffee but nothing can really compare to their coffee. It also gave Max and I an opportunity to scout around for some photographs. We ended up stopping at one area that I have always wanted to stop. The weather and lighting were horrible, but at least I have a good idea of where to stop and setup. We also came across some fire trucks parked together that were pretty cool. The best part is that Desirae wanted to go along and had fun just hanging out!

Oh, and the shirt she is wearing is a custom embroidery that my mom did. Desirae really likes dogs so she made it really big on her shirt. As soon as she gave it to her this morning her other outfit was on the floor and she switched to this one. I did have her change for shoot above because of potential logo issues.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Preparatory work...

All stop and no quit Denise decided to start staining the new wood for the playground in the backyard. The company sent us a new set of wood because there were problems with the original set and they had a recall on it. So to make sure we don't have the same problems she is treating the wood with a sealant to make sure it will hold up. We still have to take the old one down, prepare the site, and then rebuild. The kid are really starting to use it so it will be worth it in the long run.

I had an idea for the shot to the right so we went out in back and made it. I am thinking about expanding on this idea but I really like the way it turned out. Having real grass in the back yard really helps too! So this is the first new image I have uploaded in over 60 days. I am WAY behind on making new images. I have some other ideas that I hope we can make happen a bit later.

Well, no joy on the later photography thing. I had really hoped to set up the studio for some shots but it just didn't happen. Hmm, this might be a good idea to take some time off this week so I can work on some shots! Then again I guess I would need some leave left to make that happen!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Outside... For a bit...

Denise went into town today with Ann for some shopping and a break from the kids. So it was just the four of us for most of today. We didn't get a lot accomplished - considering what the original plan was - but we had a good time. Toward the end of the day I finally got them outside and Deanna and Desirae had some fun playing on the thing we have in the back yard. It was pretty cool and they were really happy. Deanna even swung on the swing for a while and she was really happy about that.

So right now we are taking another break. I am working on the blog, Devin is playing a video game, and Desirae is complaining about being bored!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans' Day

Today our little city had a Veteran's Day Ceremony at the baseball fields. The girl scouts had planned to be there so it was on Denise's calendar. We almost forgot but we were able to get ready and get everyone loaded up to go. The event started with a motorcycle group bringing flags to the event and officiating. Oh-by-the-way the picture above is framed with Denise in her flag shirt, I thought it looked pretty cool but then again it could just be me.

I wasn't really sure what I was going to photograph but once I got there I decided to just shoot the thing like I would have back in the day when I was trying to be a journalist. It was actually a lot of fun and neat to be thinking of different angles and views to photograph. I also had the local Mojave news photographer come up to me and ask if I was shooting for the Valley Press (the Antelope Valley daily paper).  Then again I can understand why, I had more gear than he did and I kind of looked the part.

Even though there was a lot going on Deanna just wanted to play around in the dirt. I guess some other folks didn't like it and someone complained to Denise that Deanna was getting dirt on their kid. But considering their kid was still in their pajamas I can understand, I mean who wants their pajamas dirty! Some people really amaze me. Anyway just as I captured the image to the left Deanna saw me and came running over to me. It was really kind of cute and I was glad that I made the shot I did because she moved pretty darn quickly!

Once the event was over the motorcycle group mounted up and rode off with police escort to make a trip through the boulevard. I was fortunate enough to get a good angle and make some really neat captures while they were leaving. It was pretty neat and at one point one of the riders paused to get my card to get copies of the images. I am not sure if they will write me but that would be cool and if they do I hope they like what I shot.

Once everyone broke Denise rounded up the kids in the brownie troop for a group photo. As we were taking it the Mayor of California City wanted to do a photo op with the kids so I shot that as well It was pretty cool and the troop had a really great turn out with only one girl not making it to the event because she was out of town.

Anyway it was a lot of fun and I am glad that Denise drug (literally) everyone out there.  Devin really didn't want to go and it isn't something that I would have generally wanted to attend.  I am going to try to turn over a new leaf on things like this though.

I loaded all the selects here!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I tried to get out more and shoot something today and it didn't go to well.  On my first frame my Nikon D70 decided to bit the dust and the display just went "Err" after releasing the shutter.  After trying to do a soft reset, hard reset, switched batteries, switched lenses, basically anything I could think of I finally just gave up.  Fortunately my D70 isn't my "main" body but it was still frustrating that the first frame of the day was a disaster.  The reset of the day was pretty good and I am pleased with what I got.

So today the plan is to do things around the house. We have some clean-up type of things we had needed to do for a while so today will be the day. Maybe we might even try some more photography but I am not sure. Anyway more to come...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wayward blog

It has been a really long time since I have blog. Things have been a bit odd with me lately and I haven't really had the energy to take any photographs let alone blog. Today we went into today to get out of the house and to do something different. Deanna has the starts of pink eye, which you can see in the photograph above, but we still headed out. Devin has been wanting to go to a particular Mexican food place in Bakersfield so that was our intended goal for today. I had hoped to take more photographs but I really only shot when we were getting ready to leave. But at least it was something and I like the image I captured. Hopefully I can bring myself to photograph (shoot) something tomorrow.

I also bought a new XBOX game (FEAR) and I made the MISTAKE of playing it when we got home. It is a bit more intense (freaky) than I would like and it kind of like playing a scary movie. If anyone knows me they know that I don't like scary movies so this is kind of weird. I also think that playing it before going to bed was probably not one of my better ideas, but then again I haven't had too many good ideas lately so that isn't too much of a surprise.

Anyway - hopefully more to come soon...