Friday, January 15, 2010

Sea Port Views


Wandered into South Street Sea Port with the usual gang - Jaclyn, Pauline, Eugene - looking for photo locations in the absolutely BLISTERING cold. I used to love this kind of weather, but now that I'm taking pictures in it it's really a pain. We found a beautiful location at the South Street Sea Port Mall with the lit up bridges as great backgrounds. Wonderful as a place for photographs, not so wonderful for operating photographic equipment. Huge gusts of wind blowing lights around, cords needing to be velcrod down constantly, and standing right next to a big metal building (which screws with cheap radio trigger's signals) made things difficult from a technical standpoint. Had to weigh down stands with bags and wait for one out of eight frames trigger the flash (if that).


Despite all that, got some really nice frames of Pauline. She was great about standing in freezing temperatures and putting up with all my technical difficulties. Absolute trooper. Big thanks to her, Jaclyn and Eugene for sticking out there. Definitely visiting that location when it's a bit less.. below freezing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To Everything...


Sometimes a pun is so bad you have to go for it. I really apologize for that one, though.

Horrible jokes aside, these little terns were really good about being photographed. It was a chilly day at the beach in Florida. We'd managed to go during the coldest two-week period they'd had in decades, so the beaches were pretty barren and the birds were mostly huddled together for warmth. It was surprisingly easy to inch forward towards the birds until I got about 4 feet away from them, enough to fill the frame with them at 200mm.


This little guy was busily moving between big groups of gulls and terns like he had some really important business to be getting on with. I thought he was a baby gull at first, but later found out it was a plover (I also thought those terns were kingfishers; can you tell I live in a city?). He kept weaving in between birds four times his size at lightning speed, occasionally dipping his beak into the sand looking for whatever it is plovers are looking for in the sand. I like to think they're searching for buried treasure. Mostly because I think they'd look adorable with little eyepatches.

He moved so fast he even got into the foreground of a couple frames:


Shaggy Dog Story

Mac Stare

One of the cooler parts of my trip was visiting my Aunt Marie and Uncle Bob and getting a chance to see their awesome little dogs, Mac (pictures above), Henry and Dylan (below).


Photographing them was a real challenge, especially because I wanted to work with a small 1.8 aperture. They're pure balls of energy, constantly moving around and going from perfectly posed to looking the wrong way in an instant. Patience payed off, though, and I got a couple really choice frames.

I also got a chance to take some video of Henry - by far the calmest of the three - taking a ride down a slide near my Aunt & Uncle's house. Had a lot of fun with those three furballs!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again

My Future Watchdog

Probably the coolest actual place we went to in Florida was the Festival Flea Market. It's like all those big covered markets you see in the center of cities all over the world. Except instead of fresh produce and quality stuff it's watches, perfume and belts. Full of really old white people who don't quite know how to dress themselves. Lots of pleather and ill-fitting pants.

But right in the middle of the whole thing is a gigantic antique store, and as soon as I saw it I knew I was going to be all over it.

Moody Pearl Model

I could have easily spent a whole day in the place. It was full of all sorts of little curios and chotchkies. Drawers of interesting old jewelry, decrepit dress-forms and head wear from time's past.



Busy busy working on a whole bunch of bird pictures from Florida. Expect a punny Hitchcock reference post sometime during the week.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Creativity -> Things

Three Dudes Kite Co.

Chase Jarvis recently talked (and has been talking) about creativity and the importance of just getting what you do out into the world, no matter how polished, deep or amazing it is. Eventually - at least according to him - that incremental creating of cool things eventually becomes sustainable.

At the start of writing this blog I was really concerned with the view-count on pictures and the traffic stats that would build up. Inevitably the first day after an upload I'd check the stats and get some satisfaction or dissapointment, depending on how things were trending. I got really emotionally invested in how many people saw what I did.

Which is natural when you create something. We should want what we create to be seen by all sorts of people; it's good for the work and it's good for you. But it shouldn't overshadow the work you do. It's unhealthy when checking popularity and page views takes the place of producing more work.

I've got no idea how many people read this blog or see my pictures. Actually that's a lie; I have a rough idea, but I find myself checking less and less. Eventually the workflow should become so fast that I don't have time to. In a perfect world.

As time goes on I find myself caring less and less about actual numbers and more about their feelings. One person being into what I do enough to talk to me about it is worth more than hundreds of thousands of faceless views. It's the back-and-forth sharing that's really worthwhile both personally and professionaly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

35mm Cuchka 2

Shot a few frames of a captive Cuchka last night with the new toy! Really loving the tiny focal plane of the 1.8 aperture with the 35mm length, which is a lot more usable indoors with the DX sensor crop.

I initially didn't like this particular frame because the nose is in focus and the eyes aren't, but it's grown on me. It makes her look bigger and more removed, I think. Like a ghost of a big cat.

Click through the picture for a few more angles.


I'm in Florida for this weekend to visit family, so intermittent updates until next week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I've Been Wasting My Time

Erection Specialists

If I knew I could be doing this for a living I would have never wasted my time going to school or doing photography. Geesh.

(Sorry there's been no real holiday update; been busy not being busy. Expect photos taken with super-cool 35mm lense and softbox(es!) next week. And lots of them! Gonna be a good year for picture-takin', methinks!)