30 January 2008

Who Wants a Family Portrait?

jess and i were messing around with a ghetto portrait studio last night in the dining room. (there are a lot more of jess and i. i'll get to those soon.) that's a pretty good one considering all the outtakes looked like this:

this was something i'd been wanting to try this for a while now (just one shot setting off the flash multiple times (i.e. no multiple exposures)). there are just some many possibilities in the world of flash photography.

(that me on the right has some shifty eyes.)

29 January 2008

3 Seasons of LOST in an 8min Recap

this is awesome. (this'll catch ANYone up to speed.)

also... 5 Questions the LOST Writers Need to Answer (and Why They Won't)


That one above is kind of creepy if you look at it too long. Like she's about to get hit by a car or something. This was messing around last night with the new flash diffuser and wireless sync.

An over exposed Dudley is the best exposed Dudley.

For every photo you see on here, there are probably 15-20 additional ones i took. Does it seem bizarre to anyone that I take this many photos (on average) per day? Sometimes it does to me. It's like I'm subconsciously preparing for some photo extravaganza somewhere down the road. It'd be neat if that turned out to be the case. (Although I'm not exactly sure what any type of extravaganza would entail.)

On an unrelated note, this would be the awesomest present ever (wink). (Oh man, you can get 'em for like $11 on ebay!)

28 January 2008

Animal Collective (& Jon Brion) (& Hans Zimmer)

I’ve been listening to this CD recently by the band Animal Collective (Strawberry Jam) and it is seriously one of the most unique I’ve heard in a while. It’s extremely chaotic, but so melodic. It you can let the chaos kind of wash over you; all the underlying sounds are just incredible. (It’s kind of like the beach boys on... some sort of electronic drug.)

These are my two favorite songs. I’d love to know what you think (particularly since Todd didn't like them) (give them a sec to load on the download page)...

For Reverend Green


I also thought I would throw this song out there. this is an orchestrated piece by Jon Brion from the movie Magnolia. I love this song. I think it's probably more moving if you've seen the movie because you can imagine all the characters struggling so hard to fix their lives. I love the rest of the soundtrack, but this one lately has really stood out to me. If you haven’t seen Magnolia, you really should. It’s tremendous.

I've Got a Surprise for You Today

[01/29] Having said that, I’d feel like I cheated you if I didn't also include my favorite song from The Thin Red Line. I think that I enjoy that song from Magnolia so much because it reminds me of this one. If you haven't seen The Thin Red Line, you should, but not late at night. It’s a slow movie with lots of internal dialog; however, the parts that are (emotionally) moving are really quite moving. And the music really is something else. This is my favorite song from it. It really seems to encompass the entire movie. It’s so colorful and emotional; it just keeps driving and building to the heavenly second half.

Journey to the Line

My Newest Camera Toy(s)

will it ever stop? (i'm sure jess asks herself that everyday...) honestly, i'd like to think so... but here we are.

on to the toy!

it's a wireless sync for my external flash. now i can take a picture and have the flash go off anywhere within 30m of me. how fun is that?

look how weird i look without glasses. (honestly though, i'm starting to like how i look without them, so that's a bonus!) you can see the little transmitter thing on top of the camera and the flash behind my head.

is that Gozar in my freezer? (sorry, i couldn't find one daggum link to Gozar (i.e. Ghostbusters))

this is with the flash (sittin' in the tub) in total darkness. check out our new shower curtain jess picked out! does it rock or what? (it's made up of travel posters)

what's maeby cookin up under there?!

and speak of the devil, my other toy JUST came in while i was writing this! (what an awesome monday!) any guesses as to it's use?

26 January 2008

My Left Eye is 20/20 and My Right is 20/15

pretty amazing. (thanks to my awesome wife for bringing the camera. i was bit preoccupied to think about it.)

i was pretty dang nervous about it (as you can see from my picture down below), but jess and jordan were there with me so that helped.

the doctors walked me through everything for the first 2 hrs, then they gave me some valium (i requested a full 20mg (double normal)) and then went in for the kill.

honestly, the actual surgery was rather uncomfortable. my eyes were pried open and really bright LEDs shined into them and squished into a holding device. however, the sugery only took 5 min. 5. my vision was corrected forever in 5 min. incredible. so while it was really uncomfortable, it was also super fast and not bad at all (overall).

i came home and slept for several hours, woke up and could see everything. it was... beautiful. truly. and today i'm fine.

there's not much to see here, but it's here (you can hear the music he was playing in there. it was funny how loud it was, but it REALLY helped take my mind off my cut-open eye)...

i'm going to try and convert the real one where you see my eye close up. i'll try and post it soon. thanks for the prayers everyone.

24 January 2008

Girl Talk Live in Seattle

this is from sometime last year. it's a Girl Talk show. and it's awesome. download it. listen to it.

Girl Talk in Seattle (123mb)

if haven't heard Girl Talk (and if you haven't, keep it to yourself and quietly download the CD) here are 2 songs from the CD to whet your appetite:

Ringing the Alarm Once Again

Run This MFer (warning: there's a cuss word in this one) (also, i REALLY like this one :) )

Goodbye, Old Friend

Goodbye, Old Friend

(no one died. just one last shot with my glasses.) (if this doesn't make sense, click here.)

22 January 2008

"Facebook Claims Right to Create Derivative Works from Members’ Photos"

...which is a bad thing. (from Photopreneur.com)

So what could Facebook do with its members’ photos?

According to Bert Krages, “[a] derivative is any work based on a preexisting work. Any change to a preexisting [work] will create a derivative work.” In theory then, the phrasing of Facebook’s terms allow it to take any images that you’ve uploaded to the site, alter them slightly and start selling licenses for other people to use them.

So if you had uploaded a picture of a house, for example, Facebook would be able to change the color of the walls, put the image on a stock site and pocket the license fee. Facebook wouldn’t need to inform you and it certainly wouldn’t need to pay you. As for permission, you supplied that when you clicked the “agree” button on registration.

read the rest of the article.

(i'm glad i only link to my photos on Facebook. well... most of them, at least.)

21 January 2008

Backlighting and Spot Metering at 907

("Yes... It's all coming together. Today is the day Maeby get's hers!" ...is what I imagine her thinking in this picture) (sunlight bouncing up from our table; metered off the orange on her face)

I just finished reading this book, Understanding Exposure. It was really great. The guy really knows what he's talking about and of course I was inspired to try many things. Since it was a bright sunny afternoon, I thought I'd try some backlighting, which is a type of lighting I really enjoy, but can be difficult to pull off if you don't meter the subject correctly. Which leads me to the other "thing" I tried, spot metering. Generally, we all use matrix metering (which works really well, obviously), but anything "auto" can't work right everytime.

So this these are my attempts at shooting with spot metering (and some backlighting). I'll try and describe what's going one with each.

(side lighting from a halogen wall lamp; metered off a darker part of her face)

(sunlight off the table from behind; metered off her dark fur)

Dudley get's the tiger-horsetail in his sights (sun off the table from behind me; metered off the horsetail)

Today's film noir, Dirty Dudley & The Case of the Tiger-Horsetail

(sunlight from the table w/ something creating a shadow falling right below his eyes; metered off those freakin bright gold eyes)

this next shot really sums up Dudley's general disposition...

Dudley is not amused... (halogen light; not sure)

Dudley is technically the most difficult cat in the world to photograph. He's black, which absorbs all available light AND throws off the camera's light sensor. So either Dudley is exposed properly and everything else isn't or vice versa. Plus those gold eyes aren't easy to get right.

I love the look of "HELP DAD!" in Maeby's eyes in this shot...

(halogen light; metered off Jess's face)

The rest of these are backlit with sunlight & metered off the face. I love these. I love how the light from behind causes edges to glow (due to them being overexposed) (Maeby's wiskers and Jesse's hair). Such neat effect. Also, look at all the crap floating in our air!

("You will sit here with me while your dad takes a picture whether you like it or not!")

(mother and daughter)

I love these next two...

and just for the heck of it, a stairwell... from church.

And that's it. For now. I'm not sure if non SLR camera's allow you to change the metering; you might just have an exposure lock (which lets you point the camera at something that you want the camera to read off of, lock it, and go back to the shot you had originally intended for).

18 January 2008

Glasses? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Glasses.

well, this is officially my last week wearing glasses. as of next friday, i will have laser corrected corneas... via LASIK. and i'll be honest, thinking about it makes me rather nervous. not so much that something could happen to my eyes (because it's a pretty straightforward surgery, the doctor i'm going to is awesome, and the eyes are the fastest healing part on the body), but that it's such a change. i've been wearing glasses since the 6th grade (i tried contacts for a month but was too lazy for them). it's the only "accessory" other than a watch that i can'tremember not having. i told todd, to me, it's basically the equivalent of having a procedure done that would give me the knowledge of knowing exactly what time it was at any time without a watch. i'd never have to wear a watch again, but i like watches and i'd probably wear one anyway because i'm so used to it. i'm worried that i'll feel stupid with glasses; i'm worried i'll regret having it done and not getting to wear glasses anymore. and that makes me nervous.

however, as a long time glasses wearer, i do know how crappy they can be to have. going from hot to cold, dry to humid, rain, exercising, wiping sweat from my face, binocular eyepieces, camera eyepieces, swimming... all of these things and more are impeded or hindered by glasses. not to mention night vision and glares from cars and street lights. so there is a large part of me that says, "f glasses. i renounce glasses." and that part of me can't wait to get my eyes fixed.

i'm excited about it. i'm nervous, but i think it'll be for the best. i dont want to mess with glasses in the peace corps.

17 January 2008

Facebook Fun

back in december i noticed someone on facebook was using one of my bonnaroo fountain shots as their profile pic. i was intrigued and slightly disturbed by this. well, upon further inquiry it was the guy who designed the fountain. "well that's cool," i thought. he had previously contacted me (soon after bonnaroo) about using any of my shots in his portfolio. i said sure. why wouldn't i? well, i uploaded those shots, but i never heard anything back from him so i assumed he forgot. then of course months later we arrive here. i add him as a friend, he asks me if i like his profile pic, i'm like, "of course." but no where on the page with the photo is my name (nor is it on any of the pages with my photos). this kind of bothers me (i dont need much credit, but some is necessary) so i write him about it and here is how the conversation goes... not the most productive talk:

i really tried to explain how i wasnt looking for much and that i was honored he liked the photos enough to display them, but i'm not sure anything came across other than "this guy (me) wants credit for my (his) fountain." i mean, did i do that poor of a job conveying my side? well, i didnt hear anything back and i checked the picture a couple times and nothing changed. "ah well," i thought.

well today i just randomly checked his profile and noticed he had the photos in his "photo sets" section:

all of them say this somewhere on them:

that's all i could think to say (just on that one, i didnt bother with the others). was he just ribbing me for giving him a hard time or was he really trying to piss me off? i still stand by what i said. the debate wasn't about who's art the fountain was. i doubt the architects of the empire state building expect to be referenced in every photo of it. honestly, when it comes to copryright/credit, i dont see how the contents of the photo are relevant at all. i guess he thought differently.

either way, i feel like i've needlessly made an enemy of the bonnaroo fountain designer guy. so, i've got that going for me.

The Library of Congress Gets a Flickr Account

i thought this was pretty awesome. THE Library of Congress just recently opened up a Flickr account and has uploaded about 3000 photos on there of just... history? they're great quality, they're free, and there's no copyright so everything is free to use/download/alter/you name it. check it out.


16 January 2008

15 January 2008

In Day-to-Day Photography, Is There Such a Thing as "Photoshop Ethics?"

this was taken early one morning out in colorado. this is 3 exposures combined with a magenta gradient applied in photoshop (where all that purple comes from). this leads my to a thought i've been having... how much photoshop is too much? in short, i believe whatever produces an image that you like is the appropriate amount. for me (and this changes from time to time), i enjoy the fine line between impossible and plausible. heavy contrast and saturated colors, but just shy of "that's not even possible." sometimes i fail at this and sometimes i think i succeed with flying colors (you just got punned) (i think).

the example on my mind currently has to do with the photo above. i'm reading a book "Understanding Exposure" and the author seems to use a graduated magenta filter on many of his sunset/sunrise photos. most people wouldn't think twice about considering that a valid way to add/change color in a photograph. this would be "in camera" work. however, if i told you i added the same grad mag. filter to my photo, only i did it in photoshop (and i had a million shades of magenta to pick from), i think most people would say "yeah but that's not really what it looked like" despite the fact that it's the exact same operation, just in a different order. so why does everyone (including myself at times) think it's "less" if it's done in photoshop? is it just the connotation of the word "photoshop?"

(here's the regular single exposure untouched version)

14 January 2008

MJHS Eats Food Together

these are from a few week ago. due to popular demand (i assume), here are the ones i liked. for some reason johnna looks like an angry italian movie star or something and hg, well, it's a good thing he's got such a lovely singing voice...