Monday, March 31, 2008

Brushing teeth...

Okay, so I think it is clear to say that Desirae enjoys making movies more than she does modeling. I suppose considering how strict the modeling thing is (or how I make it I guess) that movies are much more fun to do. Plus the final product is more engaging than photos... Hmmm - that could be a drag I guess... But I digress - she was asking me to make a movie when I got home (which was late again) and we didn't get around to doing anything until it was time for the kids to go to bed. So the obvious choice was to video the kids getting ready for bed. So here's another boring video for you to watch!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Desirae interview...

Desirae was asking to do a photoshoot all day. When we finally set everything up (in the garage) she realized that maybe she didn't really want to do a photoshoot. There is that big problem of staying where the light is and not moving around. We soon realized that it wasn't going to work so we switched to making a video. I have been thinking about trying to use the studio lights (at least the modeling light portion) to light video. It actually worked pretty good and I think we got a cute video out of it. I did happen to like this one image form the photo shoot though. Anyway I hope you enjoy the video - Desirae is on on a video kick and wanted me to make more videos with her tonight. So we will have to work on that one!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Video Games... Slow weekend...

Today was a pretty slow day with the main event being video games. Denise back still isn't great and Deanna seems to be getting sick so we just stayed home today. Maybe everyone will be feeling better tomorrow. At least the kids go back to school on Monday...

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Planned boondoggle (Santa Barbara)

I really think I can get into this future planned leave thing. I had planned a few months ago to take today off for a photography seminar/photoshop seminar. I ended up turning today into a photography specific adventure and headed down to Santa Barbara for a day of creative shooting and exploration. The idea was to head down (early - that didn't happen) and photograph a collection of things to include surfers (if we could find any - and we did) and the Mission. For the most part the "mission" (hehe - cool play on words don't you think) was a pretty good success. Tom Van Langenhoven is the only one that end up going with me, Kris wasn't able to go and I didn't get a chance to run the idea across to Todd.

Bottom line it was a really cool day and I think we got some pretty good shots. The only "problem" (if you could call it that) is that it is spring break and there were quite a few people at the mission. People make it pretty hard to get neat landscapes of a mission - plus we didn't drag a working tripod into the mission with us. But we were able to make do with make-shift-tripods that I HOPE worked out pretty good.

Anyway I will get a chance to edit the shots later and go through them a bit more later - but right now I just wanted to do a quick post of what happened today.

It really is amazing how being away from work doing stuff like this really helps the way I am feeling. I really have to do this more often!

OBTW - at one point during the Mission trip Tom asked me to hold his camera (I can't remember why). Anyway I asked him to grab a snap of me with my iPhone to show "the complete goober package" with all the cameras hanging from me. It was prety funny (at least I thought so) and I think it made a good picture!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Turtle sitting...

Ann's family is going on vacation so she asked Denise if the kids could watch Aquaria's pet turtle Stoney. This actually worked out well because we were talking about a turtle as a possible pet so it is a good opportunity for the kids (Devin) to see if he would really like a turtle or not.

I know I am doing the video thing kind of hard, but I am having fun and I hope you guys are enjoying the videos as well. I do have photo boondoggle on Thursday so I should return to my normal schedule (photography) programming!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! We had a nice Easter we hope you had the same! I also uploaded a set of selects to here! We had a lot of fun and as always it is cool to watch the kids be excited about doing this type of thing. We also had Denise's brother Brian come up for the weekend too so that was pretty cool. Tomorrow they are going to make a day trip out to Calico so she can show him (and the kids) our favorite spot. It is also spring break for the kids so they are home all week.

I found some old videos and this was just too cute and needed to be added!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Town trip...

We decided to make a trip into town to hit Costco and Best Buy. We were going to look for coffee makers (and accessories) and movies. We were trying to make it a quick trip before Denise brother Brian came over to the house. As it turned out we were a little bit behind schedule and he made it here a bit quicker than we expected (in other words he got here before we did). So tomorrow we are going to hang out, color some eggs and basically have a good time!

Oh - the coffee maker search didn't work out very well but at least Denise found the movie she was looking for. I also picked up one of those Apple wireless keyboards. They actually had them at Best Buy and keyboard and mice where the only Apple computer products they had.

Oh, while we were waiting in the drive thru for dinner the lighting was pretty amazing on Denise's and that is where I took the lead in photograph. Right when I decided to take the shot Denise mom called her on her phone so I couldn't get one without the phone before the lighting changed... Oh well...

Sunday, March 16, 2008


First, I was sitting here at the Mac and an idea came to me to photograph a group of pencils in a row with only one sharpened. I really figured that someone else would have already shot this but after 31 pages of "pencil" results on iStock I found nothing like the same shot that I made above. I am sure there is something out there like that but I didn't find it. I did find a bunch of sharpened pencils but nothing with a "one above the rest" sort of theme. I would say this is in the same vein as what Steve is currently producing (and I hope to god there isn't a row of pencils in his portfolio) which is clean simple shots.

Denise and I spent some time today going through the garage making our first pass at trying to clean that mess up. Even though we didn't finish we did make some good progress and we are getting closer to our goal of making it usable again.

I ran across a weird Adobe Lightroom situation today. Adobe released version 1.4 last week but it appears they were too aggressive in that release and have now rescinded the previously posted update. I am not sure what is going on there and I really wish they wouldn't have made that mistake because I upgraded both my machines (their licensing allows for a desktop and notebook). So their recommendation is to remove 1.4 and reload 1.3.1. Not sure what I am going to do there... Kind of a drag though...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wind surfer boondoggle...

Late Friday Kris and I were talking about getting together to take some photographs. We were trying to come up with some ideas and I brought up finding some surfers. Especially considering the weather was going to be bad I thought that maybe the "waves" would be good. So today, after Denise came back from the Girl Scout thing today (which when I can see what she photographed I will post) I headed out. The weather was true to form and was pretty darn bad. It even started snowing on us as we were leaving Palmdale so it was pretty weird. So we drove down to Los Angeles area and headed down Sun Set Blvd toward the beach. First I have to say there are some really amazing homes in that area. Second it was just amazing all the way around. When we finally got down there we found a place to park, then found a place to setup and started shooting. There wasn't a lot of people out there but it was A LOT of fun to capture the motion of what the guys were doing.

After that we drove around some more, up toward Malibu just looking at the area and then back down toward Los Angeles International Airport. Kris has found a cool park right across the street from an In and Out Burgers that is in the approach path to land. It was REALLY cool and planes were going right over our heads. There were also a couple other (dorks) there doing the same thing. It was a blast shooting the planes and it is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. From there we headed back toward his home (in Lancaster) and then I headed back to California City. As you can see I got home kind of late so this is going to be a quick download of the images, pick a couple of selects and then I am going to bed!

Anyway it was really great and just what the doctor ordered! Considering our camping plans were blown out of the water because of the weather doing a photo boondoggle was perfect.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hmm, more food...

Denise had to run some errands this evening and went by and bought some sandwiches from our new sandwich store in town. I guess my energy level is starting to increase because before she got home I set up the studio lights and rearranged the table so I could make some quick shots of the food. It also helps having the studio equipment in different cases because it is MUCH easier (quicker) to get the gear out and set it up. Before it was a major ordeal to get the pieces that I needed. Anyway back to the food - the sandwiches were really good and I think we are going to go back there! It is really nice that our town is starting to get new stuff!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Shooting again - food and milk...

Denise took the kids to a birthday party today so I made a trip into town to pick up some photographs I had printed at Costco (they really do a pretty darn good job) from the shots I took of Brad, Brian, Cheryl and us and the kids. When I got back I decided I needed to pull out some of the studio gear and make some photographs. I have been inspired by Steve's recent highly successful and very simplistic (in a good way) photographs and a food series that Scott Kelby did on his blog. I think I could have done better but I did create what I had in my mind so I am happy with the results. It was really great to do some work again. With everyone gone it really made it easy to put everything together - and it turned into a mess when everyone got home. But that what makes it an adventure!

We have an exercise at work next week and I am working the late schedule. I hope that all the rumors are true and they are not going to run us through the ringer on this one. Typically I am like the backup to the backup person but we have so many people out right now that there are only two of us. Fortunately the other guy Jason is a veteran of this and he is taking the first shift. So I will relieve him with about an hour of overlap and I should be able to get a handle on what I am going to need to do.

As computer woes go my situation is working pretty good with all systems green and running good right now. However I got a call from Todd today who asked me what I did to his laptop because it gave up the ghost today. I think he is in a worse way because it is way way way out of warrantee and it seems like it too blew a motherboard. I really lucked out on my situation and I hope things take a turn for the better for him. I know if I had to I could have purchase a new machine (as I know Todd can) but neither of us really planned or budgeted for that expense right now...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Impromptu visit!

Well because of computer woes that I will address shortly I am behind on blogging. However we did have an unexpected visit and a house full (and trailer full) of folks show up for a visit. Denise's brother Brad, Brian, and step-mom Cheryl came for a visit. It was really wonderful having everyone here and getting to spend time with everyone. I really wish I could have taken some time off of work to really visit with everyone but that wasn't really an option. This was a bit earlier than they were expecting to come out but Brian needed some help with stuff out here and his family was there for him. I thought that was VERY cool. Brad had to get back to work so he flew back home today but Cheryl is going to spend a bit more time in California and probably leave sometime next week. So Brian is going to have another opportunity to show his mom his new stomping grounds and she gets to enjoy the mild California weather. There is a chance they will come back up here for another visit before she finally flies back home to Missouri.

Okay, now for the iMac issues. Apple fixed my computer and with Brad, Brian and Cheryl down in the valley they offered to pick it up and bring it back. That worked out REALLY well and I got it back on Wednesday I think. So far it is working though there were a few weird video anomalies. I have been watching it closely but it looks like everything is good!