December 14, 2016

The way things are heading

The cloud.
Monthly subscriptions for software.
Remote backups.

No privacy.
No independence.
No freedom.

The centralization of the internet pushes our lives, our pictures, our stories, into the megalith of a handful of organizations.

But in spite of this, some choose to go the "inconvenient" route.

Backing up to a local server.

Purchasing the full software.

And saying no to the the cloud in general.

Because the cloud is just someone else's computer.

October 25, 2016

Caterpillar on Dill

From the archives:

Canon Rebel XTi
Canon 50mm Macro
Photoshop CC
Alienskin plugin

October 22, 2016

Work Flow

Sometimes the best and brightest programs get in the way of work flow. Especially with sub-par computers. No matter how great Aperture or Lightroom or Bridge were, they simply didn't run well on my first(low powered) Mac. And lets face it we've all been there. Or will be.

I instead relied on programs that weren't as full featured like Picasa and DIM. Not the best but my computer could run them and I could  get my pictures moving. Because that's the point. Get the pics from the camera to the computer to organized folders to the editing software to print or publishing.

I liked Photoshop(And still do.) but before that I used GIMP or GIMPshop, because the price was right. Sure it wasn't as smooth. Or powerful. But I'd rather have something than nothing. And when you shoot 500+ a day you can get buried fast.

Speaking of large quantities of data. Storage. Backups. Ugh. With today's cheap drives its an easier thing to do. But I made(And still have) stacks of DVD's several feet high. Honestly I'm not enthralled with the basic external hard drive for a backup either. I have a NAS that is setup with RAID 1 which is when drives are mirrored, so if one fails then the other takes over. I'll give a review on its setup at some point. But always backup. Redundancy is your friend. If the media made the cut, and found its way into your archive than you should back it up.

So Take the picture.(Use a Canon Camera with L series lens for best results). Pull picture from camera(I use Lightroom and store according to date -Names can get very hard to go through). Begin rating. (I used to save everything., now I'm more picky and handy with the delete key). Do light editing on keepers. Fire up Photoshop for any final editing. FTP, Email, or DVD the resulting images to client or print. And initialize backups.

Easy money. Just don't ask me about video. Because your workflow just got slower :)

August 8, 2016

From the Archives

Looking back at pics from a few years ago:

Canon 5D3
Canon 100-400L
Adobe Photoshop CC 
Alienskin Exposure X

August 2, 2016

The most popular camera.

With Apple selling their one billionth iPhone, it is easy to see the impact this "camera" has had on the industry. It doesn't seem to fit with the icons of photography like the Polaroid or the Kodak Brownie. Its been less than ten years. I have polaroids from the 80's that still rock. I have a brownie that still clicks. I have a 50's(?)Afga that takes remarkable images... My iPhone 5 is next to unusable. It's only 3 years old. So iconic? possibly. But very dependant on a massive infrastructure to stay alive. and then it's also needing repair or replacement at 3 years.

One billion is amazing. But it begs the question: Are they just keeping up with the disposal rate? If you sell a great device that wears out in a few years, and it is basically a certainty that people will upgrade, you are guaranteed that you will have a large number. Consumables. Like McDonald's. (They sold a billion burgers in their first decade, and are around 300 Billion now). Yes? I'd like a iPhone 6s, with the a side of fries and a mcflurry.

But it doesn't matter.

The photograph matters. What you use is almost irrelevant.

July 29, 2016


Why do we call a longer lens 80mm+ portrait lenses? If, as shown in this GIF it "adds ten lbs"
Focal length gif


A longer portrait type lens may fill out a face but through compressing it also regulates the size of extremities. Watch the ears. Watch the nose. Its a trade off. It may seem beneficial to lose ten lbs but it will cost you your ears and turn your nose into a beak!

June 30, 2016

Utility Cameras

The world of the utility camera is a humble one. It never finds it place as a main camera. It is a afterthought. Security/surveillance cameras. Go-pros. Live-streaming cams.

The have purpose and a use but never a prime spot. I have been working with a lot of pro cameras lately. All of the surveillance type. Honestly, while they are marvels of engineering, its hard to get excited about them. None of the thrill of unboxing a new SLR from Adorama. Or the slide and click of a new lens.

But they have a reason. And if they do their job properly, then we can get back to doing what we love. So I will impart words of wisdom, and possible setup a blog about a full install. But for now just know that, similar to the SLR world, specs should be taken with a grain of salt. Just because Canikon SLR has a bajillion pixels doesn't mean its the right camera(Are we still talking pixel count? That was so 2004!). A well built an properly integrated system wont give you the headache of poorly thought out gear with twice the resolution. and 8k video. and a espresso maker.

Hmm. Coffee...!


March 14, 2016


With today's date recording the tenth year of this blog, I'd like to review where we've been.

Starting out in 2006 I was adamantly against film. Now my primary camera is film(Although I still miss my 5D3).

We've traveled to 9 countries over four continents. Traveled across 48 of the contiguous US states.

Gone through 8 (Main)cameras. Dozens of lenses.

From Hasselblads and HP photosmarts to Elans and iPhones, Its been a fun and blessed decade.

The God has blessed me and my family greatly.

There are adventures ahead!


March 10, 2016

Breaking the rules

The rules -are more like guidelines. In photography anyway.

The object of this shot, an African Wasp, breaks a cardinal rule by being centered... But its still a cool shot.

February 15, 2016

There and back again.

The proverbial "Kodak moment" is capturing a moment, a time, a place. Having the right gear and settings are crucial to the perfect snap.

And being there.

Today we're talking about getting there. Because all too often we sit at home waiting for the shot to come to us.

Transportation. The best and first phothog choice is obviously a STAP. But failing that we look at the next best terrestrial vehicle. The Toyota Land Cruiser.

Don't be put off by the current American wussified crossover grandma models. The heavy duty version is still alive and well in the more rugged areas of the world. It would be sad for its confused and weakling American cousin except it's too busy hauling people and gear across some of the most treacherous and difficult terrain on earth. And hey! That's where we as phothogs want to go!

2012, Africa. Land Cruisers abound. Because they can take the punishment the roads, or lack threof, have to offer. I snapped some of my favorite shots after having been transported by one of these beasts. I referenced this here.

2016, USA. My faithful Nissan Pathfinder got its fuel lines cut and fuel drained. On the subsequent start the fuel pump burned up. And while I am still looking to get it repaired, I saw an ad for a diesel Land Cruiser on craigslist. In Canada.

Papers. Insurance. Royal Canadian Mounties, Import duties, and our first real adventure with our daughter, finally got the Land Cruiser home.

To be continued... As all great adventures do!


January 21, 2016

Been busy...

Sometimes... I'll tell you... Sometimes...