Sunday, February 28, 2010


[this grumpy old man stayed firmly behind the camera]

Unfortunately, these edits were a tad rushed this evening.  
If any parents of these children would like better versions with different crops you know how to reach me :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We got hammered with another winter storm.  It didn't accumulate much more than a foot and some change but due to the high winds there are some impressive drifts.

The photo below is the view from our dinner table which is not too spectacular normally because the moron that designed and built our house decided that the garage roof was a nice sight.

Later I went for a walk across the street in knee high snow.  This shot is actually four frames stitched together vertically.  I don't have the proper Panorama equipment [thus the fish-eye look] but it's still a fun technique.

Friday, February 26, 2010


This "shot a day" thing is getting hard.  I hate being an overacheiver.  Sometimes I don't have the will or time to set up a really great photo and have to settle for what I can just snap.
Luckily, I have this cutie-pie [and whatever that canine-ish thing is] around.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


My daughter taking a break from obsessively reading her chapter books for some art.  
She wants so bad to read bigger books and is basically force-feeding her brain until it gets easier. 
I just hope she still enjoys reading when she's done.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Holy crap, I'm moody tonight and so is my over-achieving clunky 2003 computer.
I should just go to bed.

Here's a picture of a skull hanging on my wall.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I was in the mood for some light-painting tonight. [and another nip of tequila].  This image was shot in complete darkness and "painted" with a cheap key-chain flashlight.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I just drank a glass of tequila [a small glass and it was Patron on the rocks so it's classy, that's how I roll].  I'm not on-call and the kids are safe in their beds, my wife is absorbed into medical books/webcasts of Olympic curling so it's mellow time.

Tonight, I decided to use my wife as a model and took these shots while she studied.

My parents in AZ gave my wife an awesome gift this summer when we were out visiting.  My late grandmother's pearls and wedding/engagement ring.  My dad bought these pearls for her while he was serving in Vietnam.  They were well worn by a classy Texan lady for many years but still in good shape.  I had them cleaned and re-strung for my wife's birthday present.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Yesterday, as we were driving out of town and basically the entire way to Chautauqua Lake I was drooling over the beautiful hoarfrost covering all the trees, bushes, everything.  I was extremely irritated that I was not out shooting it this rare and beautiful winter spectacle but instead just driving by it.  If there's anything good about winter photography it's hoarfrost.  And I ignored it to my disadvantage [handpalm]

I decided to wake up early this morning in the hopes of finding more frosty goodness.  Unfortunately, I am a lazy piece of crap and slept until 9.  There wasn't any good frost anyway.

I did finally get myself outside and back to the frozen swamp from Friday.  I went for a short walk into the swamp and the 3 feet of snow.  I thought about putting my knee-high boots on before I ventured out but nah my snow-boots are much warmer and any standing water will be very solid.

Wandering into the swamp, the ice was very firm although the scenery wasn't as photogenic as I had pictured it from the road.   Some wild turkey were pacing around further back in the swamp so I tried to slowly creep up on them.  At about 100 feet from them I was in good shape, they were still unaware of me.  I took a few shots but still wanted to get closer. With another step my foot suddnely sunk into water up to my mid-calf and of course my other foot followed.  Oh yeah, these snow boots are real warm now.  Luckily, I was only uncomfortably far not dangerously far from my car.  My feet had pretty much disappeared by the time I got home but they were still pink and sensation quickly returned.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


With about 20 minutes notice we all rushed out the door this morning to go see an ice castle on Chautauqua Lake, NY.   I grabbed all my gear and we were gone.

We arrived 45min later and I got my camera out, turned it on and noticed the little "-E-" icon on the screen, NO DISK!  I was not happy.  I decided that I would find just a 2G SDcard somewhere in this town.  It's 2010, there has to be a store carrying them nearby.

First stop - RiteAid
"Sure, we have those, which size do you want?" 
"Just a 2 gig will do it."
"They're a little pricey"
"That's OK, how much could......$50! [eek]"
"Yeeeah, like I said"
"Thanks,  I'll pass"
"They might have them at Dollar General"


Luckily the boy grabbed the ol' Sony point-and-shoot and saved the day.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Wow, fifty days and fifty pictures.  I'll admit it.  I've had to force myself to do this some days and other days it's felt like a chore but overall I really look forward to creating my daily image.

I'm too damn stubborn to give up, which was part of the reason I knew I could do this project
[listen to me talking like I don't have 315 days to go]

I got home from work, immediately grabbed my camera and went back out the door, even though I had a migraine level headache.  Amazingly my headache was gone by the time I got back and I managed to  nab a few good shots.

I'll likely be going back to this frozen swamp tomorrow morning.

This is the frozen tundra in which I reside.

I saw this hawk as I went by on my way home and it was in the same place 20 minutes later, I parked and found a good vantage point, put the camera to my eye and...he flew away.
I was able to snap a few crappy shots as he moved down the telephone poles then he was gone.  These birds keep alluding me but I'll get them yet!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Our daughter was doing some schoolwork up in our loft wedged in a little corner behind a couch and watching her brother playing wii down below.
Bingo, picture time!

Me: "Look through the railing again."
Daughter: "Why?"
Me: "Because it was cute and I'm taking pictures"
Daughter: "uuuughh..."
Me:  "Pleeease?"
Daughter: "UUUGHHH...okay.  But first, how do you spell cob, like with corn."
ME: "You know how to spell cob."
Daughter: "Is it a K or a C?"
Me: "What do you think?"
Daughter: "C?"
ME: "Yup, now just put your face like it was before"
Daughter: "Like this?"
Me: "No, like it was before"
Daughter: "This way?"
Me: "No, your arm wasn't in front of your face"
Daughter: "uuuugh..."
Me: "THERE! good don't move for just a sec"
Daughter: "This hurts my face"
Me: "You don't have to ram your head into the wood, just rest it there."
Daughter: "Are you done?"
Me: "Yes sweetie, could you just leave your hands there for a sec"
Daughter: "okay"

I was trying for nearly 20 minutes to get the dog to poke her head through the rungs and look at me.  I got a treat and set it just out of tongue reach on the ledge.  That worked.  This is her looking at me and wondering why I'm torturing her.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This was just an experiment in creativity.  You be the judge if it worked or not.

With all the excitement about TTV, I thought I might try something along a similar vein, yet different.  I set my old Yashica SLR on my table facing my camera with a fruit/veggie bowl behind it and took the shot backwards "Through The Viewfinder" of the SLR.

I really need Spring...I'm quickly running out of ideas trapped inside this house.  I've got some fantastic ideas and  locations for some nocturnal photos with startrails and lightpainting but it's so damn cold and snowy and cloudy and cold...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My wife has had these little wind chimes forever, not sure where she got them but I love them.  They're about 2 inches tall.  I've always obsessively loved miniature things.  Anything that is a tiny version of something normally big makes me tingle inside. 

My mom says it's because my pediatric nurse was a midget and I apparently adored her. 

Monday, February 15, 2010


Today felt like the day after a bad trip.  Felt really weird all day.  
Must have been the nutrient rich VanDeKamp fish trapezoids I had for dinner last night. 
[No, my wife did not feed that to us.]

Anyway, I'll never understand how I can grow an onion by ignoring it on my kitchen counter but when tending to plants and having a vested interest in their survival, they die.

I found this onion in a bowl in our kitchen and took pictures of it.

Then I realized my wife is more appealing to look at.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Just got home from our date.  Sushi and Avatar 3D.

I was reluctant to see this film because of all the hype, frankly I was annoyed by all the endless chatter about how great it is.  Now I'll eat my words and leap upon the bandwagon.

Avatar was the single greatest cinematic spectacle I have ever had the pleasure to behold.

Here's some crappy shots from dinner in the dark at Aoyama.
(they still count, if they're crappy, right?)

The wife sharing

mmmm...squid roll

Friday, February 12, 2010


Today is my beautiful wife's birthday.  I would have loved to take a portrait of her today but I can't tear her away from the Olympics.  We don't have cable tv and NBC is too weak for our antenna to pick up so she will be camped out at my parent's house for the next two weeks.  I know is awful to say but save for a very few events the Olympics bore me to death.

I did manage to take a couple interesting shots over at my parents this evening.  There was a big sparkling snowflake outside the kitchen door and oddly enough there was a fly sitting in the snow next to it. 
So it was macro-time.

I tried another focus stack on the fly.  Without the precision of my Wacom Tablet and only the crappy fingerpad laptop mouse I think I did fairly well.  The image is actually 6 different frames stacked in Photoshop layers then tediously erased layer by layer.  The snowflake is just a single frame.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Well kids, the word of the day is  BOKEH (bow-keh).

Originating from the Japanese word boke, it's a term describing the blurred element in a photograph.  Using wide apertures creates a narrow focal plane causing the background (and foreground) to be significantly blurred.  This is the quality that makes or breaks a portrait [some room for debate here, just my opinion].

Background lights make great bokeh, in this shot I hung christmas lights on the wall about 5 feet behind the focus point (our faces).  Normally the lights would be circles, which have their own sparkly charm but you can change the shape of your bokeh.  By cutting shapes out of black paper and shooting through them.  I could be mistaken but I believe this only works [well] with fast lenses (wide apertures/low f-stop values).

In this shot I made a heart shaped "iris" out of black paper and stuck it to the front of my 85mm f1/8 portrait lens and...

SHAZAM!  Valentine's Day magic!

[yeah, it's cheezy.  I know]

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well this little virus I've been fighting finally found some muscle.  
I feel like I've been run over by a snow plow.  

Here's Pearl the pug...good night