Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bad hair day...

Well, it isn't so much a bad hair day, more like a messy hair day.  Plus not too much is going on.  Denise and I still feel like crap from either being sick or allergies and we are just kind of hanging out.  Denise and Desirae did deliver some of their Girl Scout today so I suppose something was accomplished!

You know Denise doesn't feel well when she takes a nap in the middle of the day...  I think this is probably the fourth time since we have been married that she has done that! 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Desirae's Birthday...

Desirae's 9th birthday was today!  As I mentioned yesterday today was to be a low-key day just staying around the house.  Fortunately everyone, except Denise, was feeling much better today.  For some reason Desirae decided that she wanted a red velvet cake so Denise made one for her.  She picked meatloaf for her stay-home birthday dinner.  She wanted a "Skippy Jump Jones" or something like that for her birthday and I had secured the said item from a previous trip into town.

The really funny part though, we bought a new office chair yesterday while we were in town and the kids spent pretty much the entire day playing in the box.  It was either a package, present and various other imaginary containers.  It's really funny how kids can at one moment not have "anything" to do and then the next they can be playing hours with a box...  Go figure...

OBTW - sorry about the screwed up white balance...  I did the video really quick with the Canon Power Shot and didn't have time to measure a white balance...  I really wish I would have!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Desirae's Pre-Birthday...

Today was the day that we did Desirae's "birthday dinner".  I didn't mention this on Devin's posting but we decided not to do the normal birthday party that we do and instead told the kids we would let them choose wherever they wanted to go for lunch/dinner for their birthday.  Nothing was off the table and whatever they picked would go.  Devin picked Super King Buffett and Desirae chose the same thing.

The one real difference about this trip is that everyone (well, except for me this time) wasn't feeling well.  Denise, Devin, Desirae and Deanna have all been either having really bad allergies or they are getting sick.  The main point of this is that instead of trying to do something "fun" (like the snow from last weekend) we just went into town and came back.

Pretty much everything went well and the kids were all happy with Desirae's choice.  Honestly I don't' think Denise and I were real happy with the food this time but oh well.  Anyway, we did dinner and then did some running around and headed back home.

So, how were we rewarded for this great in-town-adventure???  Desirae threw up about 20 minutes after going to bed...  I'm thinking this is going to be a great weekend!

Okay, the salt-and-pepper shakers?  I figured I was going to talk about food and I happened to photograph this tonight while screwing around with a "hot" let setup I'm playing with.  Did you know they made 300 watt compact fluorescent 120V bulbs?  They do!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Graham Cracker Inspiration...

I have been pretty disappointed with myself for not shooting anything stocky this entire weekend.  That isn't to say this wasn't a productive (and relaxing) weekend but all day I have been feeling pretty edgy about not shooting any of the concepts I have written down in my little digital book.  I really can't complain I mean I had a four day weekend, went to the snow with a great birthday dinner for Devin, tagged along a commercial shoot with my buddy Mike, had a relaxing Valentine's day hanging around the house and today we did some chores that needed to be done.

So here I was watching the Winter Olympics (which is really neat by the way, Denise is really into it and I can see why) thinking, darn...  I didn't shoot anything.  Well, part of my new "diet" is to have a glass of milk and some graham crackers before I go to bed.  So I figured, that might work!  So I put the glass in the freezer and set everything up.  Played with the new tethering app (which worked really well) and framed the shot.  Then got everything in place, poured the milk and shot a handful of the image above.

Nothing really spectacular, but if you end up thinking about a glass of really cold milk and some graham crackers then I think I achieved my goal!  And if not, at least the milk and graham crackers were REALLY good when I was done!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Short notice tag-a-long...

My buddy Mike called me late Friday and asked if I wanted to go with him on a last minute photo shoot he was going to do for a vintage clothing line.  Of course the answer was YES and I made plans to meet up with him in Burbank early this morning.  Mike has offered me some of his spare studio equipment he has (cleaning out room in the garage) so we mad the exchange too.

You see, Mike spent a boat load of time working in the film industry before he decided to slow down the pace and spend more time with his family.  That led to a job out a Edwards working in the audio visual (photography) shop.  Anyway he also took me to a place called Film Tools and basically demonstrated why the industry uses certain type of gear.  It was a MAJOR eye opener...

Anyway we then met up with his friend/model at Paramount Ranch were we spent the rest of the day going through different wardrobe and settings.  It is a really great place (I'm going to take Denise and the kids back there soonish) and worked very well with the motif of the clothing (shirts).  While "chimping" the images looked REALLY cool and everything was really coming together.

As you can see if was killing me not having a camera on me so I finally just pulled out my iPhone to capture some behind the scenes work.  All in all it was a really cool day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A day of leave and snow...

Denise told me earlier in the week that the kids had a really long weekend which started today (Friday).  The weather has been getting better around here so I figured this was probably going to be the last day that we would have an opportunity to drive to the snow before it really started melting.

It was basically a surprise and we didn't mention it to the kids until we were basically driving up the mountain and they started seeing it.  I did find out later that Denise had told Devin to help motivate him to change clothes when we were talking about leaving.

The kids had a blast playing around and basically getting soaked.  I did have a chance to play with the intervalometer  to get the group shot above with everyone in the picture.  I figure I never actually get evidence that I was actually there so this worked out pretty good!

The really "funny" part.  When we decided to move I was having a heck of a time withe the Bronco not wanting to move and acting like it was stuck.  I really thought the transmission was toast or something then Denise was like, it smells like brakes are burning...  Would you know that I had left the darn parking brake engaged...  To get the Bronco to move I was in 4x4 LOW...  Oh well.  That was pretty stressful but it all worked out.  We ended up going the rest of the way up the road and stopped again for the kids to run around a bit more.

After that we headed back into town for Devin's birthday dinner choice.  He ended up picking the Super King Buffet and we all basically stuff ourselves...  I haven't even checked my blood sugar numbers for today...  I'm afraid I will break the meter!

Anyway it was a pretty good day and I think everyone was pretty happy with it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Devin's Birthday...

Today Devin turned 11 years old!  It's pretty amazing to think how the time keeps flying!  Denise made him an angle food cake and the girls put all the candles on it!  It was a pretty low-key event with just us here but it was still a special day filled with all the normal birthday adventures.  Denise also made cup-cakes the day before so she came to school today loaded with them so everyone in Devin's class had a nice treat too... 

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Spaghetti in the trailer...

I tried something I have been thinking about today and that is using the trailer as a location for some food photography.  Denise was making the old standby spaghetti tonight and although it isn't an elegant meal it's kind of a staple and was good for a test.  Hopeful the shot looks natural and simple (and sellable).

The intriguing part is that since it was dark when I got home (well, getting dark) I used three lights to make this work.  Two lights outside with large softboxes to simulate bright sunlight.  I used a medium one inside to provide some fill.

Other than the problem of triggering all the lights (I really need more pocket wizards) it worked out pretty good.

Well, that isn't completely true...  The first batch of shots was a complete loss because I set the ISO to 1600 which made all the images unusable...  The REALLY funny part about that...  I was just talking to my friend Todd about that mistake which is something I don't generally do...  Go figure...

Monday, February 01, 2010


So have you ever had one of those nights where you just couldn't sleep?  You lay in bed for a couple of hours just staring at the ceiling wondering when your mind will stop racing so you can get some sleep?  Then you finally get up thinking that you will wear yourself down for the impending crash?

So here I am sitting in front of the computer just messing around when I head over to my apps folder to do I don't even remember now and I find this program called sofortbild...  What in the world?  Where did that come from?  The icon has a lens and some polaroids on it so I figure it must do something camera related... So I open the darn thing and it kind of looks familiar but I still don't have a clue what in the world it is...

Come to find out it is a tethering application for Nikon cameras and Apple Mac OS X computers...  The funning thing, I was just thinking I needed a tethering application, I was even looking at the Nikon program (until I saw the nearly $200 price tag, then I stopped looking).

It just so happens my camera bag was basically at my feet and I just happened to have a USB cable in the drawer so I figure, what the heck, lets see what this thing will do...  Damn, it's pretty darn cool.  You take a picture and it immediately (well, it has to load first) onto the display... Huh, you can even change the settings, take the picture and basically remote control the camera from the computer.  You can also just push the button on the camera.

I'm thinking I am going to have to pull that thing out for my next studio shoot with the Mac so I can see the images on the larger display (I know 13" is small, but it is hugh compared to the 3" screen on the camera).

So, at least I accomplished something while I couldn't sleep.  So, if you're a Nikon shooter surf on over to and check it out!  After that, go to bed!