31 October 2007

HDR: Photoshop vs. Photomatix

so i decided to compare (with the best of my abilities) the difference in Photoshop's HDR and Photomatix's HDR and this is what i came up with. the top left is the original at what the camera thinks is the proper exposure; beneath that is the best i could come up with in Photoshop CS2 using 5 exposures; the two on the right are Photomatix, 3 and 5 exposures.

i just could not make the PS one look any better than that. i dunno.

these are both made from the same single RAW file and the same number of exposures. on the right is a 100% crop from it.

well, PS seems to make a more "realistic" picture i suppose, but right now, i'm just really enjoying how much more vivid Photomatix makes it. so for my money (maybe "time" is a better unit of measurement here), i choose Photomatix.

30 October 2007

This Makes a Great Wallpaper

i generally lean more towards color wallpapers for the computer, but lately i've found the B&W one's a lot less distracting. this one is very enjoyable. let me know if you'd like a "custom fit" version (so it doesnt get stretched). or whatever.

(i think this is 1680x1050. well, i thought it was but blogger seems to have resized it.)

28 October 2007

26 October 2007

Naked Green Junk & Pomegranate Tea!

these are 2 beverages that i've really been enjoying lately. the first is Pomegranate Tea (they have several different flavors). a) it's delicious b) it comes in a sweet glass jar you can use afterwards as a cup at home and c) it comes with a lid that pops on and off! delicious stuff. you have to try it.

the second is that that Naked Superfood you see in the background. Corey got this the other day when she was up here and it seemed weird at the time, but they are super good. there's a pound of fruit in every bottle. it's basically a fruit smoothie made entirely of fruit. it's got some awesome stuff in it. the green one looks disgusting, but tastes fantastic. i highly recommend this one too (and they make these in a bunch of different fruit combos).

25 October 2007

Weird Fishes Sounds Great in the Morning

i still stand by the fact that Radiohead is some of the best morning commute music there is. if you doubt it, try it. you'll regret doubting it.

i've been listening to In Rainbows a lot lately. it's really good. that's the one thing about Radiohead that's always impressive; every album is so different with the same Radiohead touch. like, you know it's them playing this new song, but you dont recognize anything about the song. i think that's cool.

today's morning commute track: Weird Fishes/Arpeggi.

also, if you dont have this album, there's no excuse. it's free.

saw this the other day. i thought it was funny.

23 October 2007

MJ Alumni Band & More

this weekend was a pretty fun little reunion for the mt juliet high school band. some people didnt play, but i did. i feel confident saying i was potentially the loudest horn there. potentially. nathan and dale and wayne and... others played too. it was fun. afterwards we went out for drinks. i think mr cox had fun too. he seemed to smile a bit more than usual.

on saturday (pretty much the most perfect day of the year thus far), jess and i went downtown to Hatch Show Print and American Apparel. both were enjoyable, but i'd like to take the tour at HSP.

this is what the fisheye does in the city. pretty fun...

this is a building of ours that's almost done. you can see the batman building reflection in it. the sun is actually behind it, but it's reflecting off the bellsouth tower onto it. i thought it was cool.

22 October 2007

jess came up to me last night while i was cooking and asked me to take a picture of her. so i did and got this. i love it. i love her expression, the colors, the depth of field... just really came together. you have to click on it and see it full sized.

19 October 2007


(i couldn't be happier that it's finally friday. i guess that's not as easy as TGIF. well, only time will tell.)

this is just too funny to me. i love the towering, creepy look on her face.

on an unrelated note, i believe this cat...

has stolen my wedding ring and hidden it somewhere in our apt. maeby has this thing where she loves to pick things up in her mouth and carry them around all over the place. well, i think she got my ring. i dont think she ate it, just carried it off to an undisclosed location.

so i've been wearing this temporary sharpie one. it's a bit "high school" but it works.

and finally, because i'm a huge huge sucker for sunsets...

14 October 2007

The Scholeses

first off, congratulations to the Scholeses. it was lovely and we all wish you the very best.

unfortunately, i don't have much time to mess with writing because i used it on pictures, however, we had a really great time this weekend up in knoxville seeing scholes get married. we played LOTS of frisbee and took lots of pictures. a good time was had by all. here are just a few from our time. (that one above is the only one where scholes wasn't blinking.)

this is maui. she's slightly less cartoon-character-like in person. slightly.

well obviously this needs no explanation...

this is when scott started crying because he got his thumb stuck in his eye.

at the good ol' elder burkas residence.

ya'll come back, ya hear?

11 October 2007

36 Reasons Flickr is a Photographer’s Ultimate Tool

i thought this was pretty good.

these are some i took the other day. the first 2 at the Mt Juliet Homecoming thing and the other 2, well, that's Maeby.

Makin' Biscuits D E H K? Maeby Open Maeby Closed

sorry for the photography surge. i'll be back with the scholes' wedding stuff (probably more pictures though) on monday.

10 October 2007

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

this is a great list i found over at Digital Photography School by Martin Gommel.

100 Things I’ve Learned About Photography

I found photography two and a half years ago I have learned different things which I would like to share with you today. These lessons have made me richer and I hope that you will find them refreshing and inspiring on your journey with the camera, too.

1. Never do photography to become a rock-star.
2. Enjoy what you are shooting.
3. Prepare well for your shooting, realizing that your battery isn’t charge when you’re setting up for that sunrise shoot is too late!
4. Always take one warm garment more than you actually need with you
5. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions while you are shooting
6. Set goals you can achieve
7. Write tips about photography, because writing is also learning
8. Never go shooting without a tripod
9. Be pleased with the little prosperities
10. Build relationships with potential photo buddies
11. Watch the place you want to shoot first with your heart then with the camera
12. Always stay calm
13. Know that you tend to overestimate yourself
14. Perspective is the killer
15. Dedicate yourself to photography, but never browbeat yourself too much
16. Take part in a photography community
17. Keep your camera clean
18. Never compare yourself to others in a better or worse context
19. Find your own style of photography
20. Try to compose more and to hit the shutter less
21. Seek out and learn to accept critique on your images
22. Do something different to recover creativity
23. Get inspiration from the work of other photographers
24. Criticize honestly but respectfully
25. Get feedback from your lady
26. Don’t copy other photographer’s style
27. Be bold
28. Take care of the golden ratio
29. 10mm rocks!
30. Take selfportraits
31. Read books about photography
32. To give a landscape photograph the extra boost, integrate a person (maybe yourself)
33. Every shooting situation is different than you expect
34. Pay attention to s-curves and lines
35. Always shoot in RAW
36. Keep your sensor clean, so you can save some work cleaning your image in post production
37. Discover the things you think are beautiful
38. It takes time to become a good photographer
39. The best equipment is that what you have now
40. You can’t take photographs of everything
41. Break the rules of photography knowingly, but not your camera ;)
42. Pay attention to the different way that light falls on different parts of your scene
43. The eye moves to the point of contrast
44. Clouds increase the atmosphere of a landscape
45. Start a photoblog
46. Accept praise and say “thank you”
47. ‘Nice Shot’ is not a very useful comment to write
48. ‘Amazing!’ isn’t useful either. Try to describe specifically what you like or don’t like about an image.
49. You are not your camera
50. Ask a question at the end of your comment on a photo to get a ping-pong conversation with the photographer
51. Do a review of your archives on a regular basis, the longer you photograph - the more diamonds are hidden there
52. Always clarify what the eyecatcher (focal point) will be in your image
53. No image is better than a bad one
54. Everyone has to start little
55. Your opinion about photography is important!
56. Leave a funny but thoughtful comment
57. Speak about your experiences with your photo buddies
58. Limit your photograph to the substance
59. Participate in Photocontests
60. Post processing = Optimizing your image to the best result
61. Shoot exposure latitudes as often as possible.
62. Use photomatix as seldom as possible, HDR’s always have a synthetic flavor
63. Always remember what brought you to photography
64. Never shoot a person who doensn’t want to be photographed
65. Always turn arround, sometimes the better image is behind you
66. It’s who’s behind the camera, not the camera
67. Mistakes are allowed! The more mistakes you make, the more you learn!
68. If you have an idea and immediately you think : No, this is not going to work - Do it anyway. When in doubt - always shoot.
69. Understand and look to your histogramm while shooting. It delivers very important information about your image
70. Know your camera, because searching the menu button in the night is time you don’t want to waste
71. Shoot as often as possible
72. Believe in yourself
73. Don’t be afraid of getting dirty
74. Pay attention to qualitiy in your image
75. Your photographs are a personal map of your psyche
76. Re-check your ISO-Settings. It’s aweful to detect the wrong settings on your screen.
77. Be thankful for long and thoughtful comments on your images
78. Never trust your LCD. Normally it is brighter and sharper as the original image.
79. Provide for enough disc space, because it’s cheap and you will need it.
80. Learn to enjoy beautful moments when you don’t have a camera with you.
81. Always arrive at least half an hour earlier before sunrise / sundown, composing in a hurry is a bad thing.
82. Try to amplify your mental and physical limits. Takes some extra shots when you think “it’s enough”
83. Pay attention to structures in the sky and wait until they fit into structures in the foreground
84. Visit the same place as often as possible. Light never shows the same mountain.
85. Print your images in big size. You will love it.
86. Calibrate your monitor. Working with a monitor that is not accurate is like being together with someone you can’t trust. It always ends badly.
87. Don’t think about what others may say about your image. If you like it, it’s worth publishing.
88. Never address reproaches to yourself. Learn from your mistakes and look forward, not backward.
89. Fight your laziness ! Creativitiy comes after discipline.
90. Ask yourself : What do you want to express in your images ?
91. Always try to think outside the box, collect new ideas about photographs you could do and ask yourself : Why not?
92. Search for a mentor.
93. Photography is never a waste of time.
94. Every community has it’s downsides. Don’t leave it out of an emotional response.
95. There will always be people who will not like what you are doing.
96. Henri Cartier-Bresson was right when he said that “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
97. A better camera doesn’t guarantee better images.
98. Always have printing in mind when you postprocess your images.
99. Photography is fair : You gain publicity with the quality of your images. Unless the images are stolen, there is no way of cheating yourself higher.
100. Write a 100 things list

if you get bored (jesse) and want to look through the international photography winners from last year... click here. there are some pretty awesome shots around.

09 October 2007

Fireworks From the 4th... of July

i've had these since the 4th, but just haven't gotten around to picking out the good ones. anywho, i thought these came out neat. some almost cartoon-like. i love the first one. these were taken with the fisheye so it completely distorts the actual height of these fireworks. i love it.

08 October 2007

Rowlf & The Swedish Chef

So Much... People OR How the Burka's Gots Girlfriends Now

okay, recap time. we went to memphis last week and visited with scott and his girlfriend, abbie (or "scabbie" as i like to call them). it was nice to get out of town and just eat junk food and sit around. and visit. we did that too. here are a few thousand words worth of pictures...

(sorry you're a little blurry scott, but it's a good one of abbie)

we ate at some bahama mama place. it was well decorated. it was nice to meet and visit with abbie. she was very nice. (i love jesse's face in the 2nd picture.)

the magnificent BBQ nachos...

these are funny. for some reason abbie is just cracking up back there. maybe cause scott's in the back windshield.

look at little puss n' boots here! holy crap, she's adorable.

and here's the lizzy hug. i think she's just holding on for dear life in fear that you'll drop her, but i LIKE to think of it as she's hugging me.

(i blacked out jesse's eyes cause they were mid blink and it just seemed better this way ;) )

THEN, fast forward to THIS weekend. we finally met the mau-ster. she was a lot bigger in person. big like, i thought she was a smaller human, so that was funny. she was cool and seemed too good for todd (way to go todd!). also, it was low light so i didnt get a great picture of them.

oh and maui brought her little stella dog that was very interesting to maeby. too funny.

i've come to learn that even those that consider themselves "unphotogenic" are in fact, photogenic, given the right timing and circumstances. you just have to have to know when to press the button and capture that split second... and helps when they're used to you carrying around a camera 24/7.