Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busted Shutter Studios

Well folks, this concludes the broadcast of this blog. I'll be starting up another site shortly for my new business. I've finally decided on a name...Busted Shutter Studios. Sounds kinda cool? Maybe? Time will tell I guess. The new site will be a blog but will mostly relate to business news and basically be my initial web site for the business. Once my budget allows for a hosting company, I'll probably create an actual site, but for now, any excess cash goes to more photo gear.

So be on the lookout for a new site and some cool offers.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where the F*%# Have I Been?!!?

Well...quite busy actually. Things are just starting to wind down now at work. THe last three weeks or so have been quite hectic and have seriously given me second thoughts on whether I'll want to be doing the whole office thing much longer. Just getting real sick of being stuck in front of a computer screen all day. All the more reason to keep the photography thing going full steam.

Some photo news in my world below, as well as some of the pics I've taken over the last few weeks. More to come...

- Have been asked to be the photographer for the breast cancer walk in Dover this October. Will be nice to volunteer my time as well was promote myself a little bit. Gotta get on some business cards.

- Was asked by an old co-worker if I would be up shooting her wedding next summer. Still have to get back to her on that actually. I'll end up saying yes and at the same time strongly recommending she hire a professional while I do it for free. Will be cool to see how it goes though. Will be a real test.

- Asked by a friend if I'd be willing to take some head-shots for her. She's an aspiring actress and I'm an aspiring photog so it's a good professional match I think. Can't wait to help her out while getting some good experience and hopefully, finger's crossed, some nice additions to my portfolio.

I'll be sure to keep all my readers (are there any of you??) updated in the coming months.

Time for a picture dump. These two shots were my submissions for the Portsmouth photowalk. Yucky day but got some good shots.

These next two shots were some test pics I took with my new 70-200 lens. Some sexy glass my friends.

Took this shot in Newburyport with Sara. Spent the day on Plum Island at the wildlife refuge. What a day.

These two shots are from Odiorne Point but on two separate occasions.

Well that's all for me. More to come soon comrades. Stay classy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Michael's Graduation

Howdy do fellow comrades, patriots, and lovers of democracy! It's been a while since my last post. I always look forward to summer as a time for relaxing, kicking back, and just taking it easy. However, so far it has been anything but. Over the past couple weeks, I slowly moved from my condo into an apartment across the street. I had help from a lot of people, but it still was a time warp it seemed like. Didn't have time for much else other than packing and cleaning.

The following weekend I was finally able to take some time off from moving and visit some old friends from home. Our family friend had just graduated high school and his family threw a little party. I thought this would be a great opportunity to practice some people photography. Armed with just my D200 and 18-200 lens, I collected a handful of decent images. I wasn't too impressed with them to begin with, but for what they are, I think they came out pretty good. More time in better light would have been good....a better lens would have been nice....and the willingness of my subjects to have their pictures taken would have been even better, but I wont complain........

In other news, I picked up a copy of Tamron's 70-200 mm 2.8 lens over the weekend. What sharp one it is! I'll have some test pics up tomorrow. Until then...happy Monday.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moving Sucks...

Greetings commerades! It's been about a week since I've made a post…and with good reason. I've been a pretty busy guy as of late. I'm about 99% moved out of my condo and into a new apartment after days of punishing my back. My old roomate recently purchased a house with his soon to be wife and has basically achieved the American dream. Hard to believe that sort of thing is still possible now-a-days, but kudos to him.

The picture above is the HDR shot of Thompson Hall I posted earlier, only I've converted it into a poster layout using photoshop. This is done pretty easily by selecting "Canvas Size" from the Image menu. I think it looks alright. Fun to try out different fonts.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I took these shots looking into a mirror so that's why things look flipped around. I wanted to do this so I could show the new battery grip I got for my D200 about a week ago. The grip itself is that extension along the bottom portion of the camera below my hand. If you looks carefully, you can almost see the seam between the camera body and the grip. It's screws right into the bottom of the camera via a plastic command dial just below the lens. The grip holds an additional battery so it gives you twice the shooting time. It also adds some additional weight to the camera which will be nice when I get a couple bigger lenses this summer. Soon as I can save up enough cash.

Another benefit of the grip is that it contains a second shutter release. This enables you to turn the camera sideways to take a vertical picture while still holding the camera in a comfortable manner. Very handy. If you have a DSLR, I would highly recommend picking up one of these grips. 9 times out of 10, there's a grip for your specific camera, you just gotta look online for it. Not to mention, they just look badass...and I'm all about the badassness.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Gallery Switch

Just can't seem to stick with one place evidently, but this will be the last move for a while. I've decided to go with Zenfolio for a hosting site for my pictures. They're cheaper than Smugmug and much easier to customize. They don't allow the same freedom with CSS like Smugmug does, but I like they're standard themes and layouts enough. Within a month or so, I'm hoping to have the online store available to purchase prints, but I'd still like to test that system out myself first. Anyways, here's the link for the new gallery. I like it much better.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thompson Hall

Took a ride over to campus this evening and took a couple shots of Thompson Hall. Tried a little HDR out with a couple shots and I liked this one the best. Decided not to go with the "surreal" type of HDR shots I've done before. This time I used the powers of HDR to just give a broad tonal range and I think it works here. Always brings back great memories walking around that place.

Gotta get up early tomorrow morning. Gonna try and pick up some sunrise shots near the ocean so I'll most likely be out the door by 4 tomorrow morning. Oh boy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This past weekend, Sara and I took a little trip out to Kennebunk, Maine for the afternoon. For our 1 year anniversary, we thought it would be best to take things slow and thought a nice walk around the port area would be a fun. Sara has this book of walks and trails along the seacoast area of New England which we consulted before we left. We found this cool little trail along the water at a Franciscan Monastery. This made for some cool photo ops of the port area, shrines, statues and other neat little attractions.
We then made our way to the beach for a nice walk on the ocean. I wish I had taken my camera with me for this walk, because I encountered a funky worm-like creature in the sand. I had never seen anything like it before. Was quite strange indeed.
After the beach, we took a drive out to my grandmother's old house. I used to spend time there with her and my grandfather every summer when I was just a wee lad. It brought back some great memories of cheating in checkers against my grandmother, driving past the presidents place on the coast and shouting at the house from the car, going on whale watches with my grandfather, and just enjoying some quality time on the beach.

All in all, a great day. Didn't get too many keepers picture wise, but it was a much needed day of relaxation.

Monday, June 8, 2009

HDR Monday

Time for a little HDR Monday. I've got so many other pictures to touch up and post before this one, but I thought this was too cool to wait. I took a stroll over to Dover High School on Sunday afternoon this past weekend. Was bored and figured I would kill some time by trying out some HDR shots of the campus and athletic fields. The sky was real moody for these shots. Rain was in the forecast, but wasn't due for a few hours so I took my chances. The photo at the top was my favorite. Pretty simple. Captured this up on the bleachers overlooking the football field. Looks really cool, but didn't take much to make this shot, surprisingly. The photo is three exposures merged into one. One metered correctly, and the other two are over and under exposed by two stops. Merged in Photomatix and colors punched up a bit in photoshop. The afternoon clouds made for some great HDR shots. This shot below of the baseball field is ok, but I like the first one better.

Well that's it for me today. Check back tomorrow and hopefully I'll start on my backlog of photos; starting with my trip to Kennebunck Port this past weekend.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

An End to the Filter Debate

Well, not really an end, but basically I think I can present my case pretty well enough. Let me start by first explaining why I personally like to use the filter. First of all, they do not affect image all. For 99% of the people out there, they will not know the difference from a picture with a UV filter and one without. To prove this point, I decided to take some photos. I recently purchased the 50mm 1.8 lens and grabbed a clear UV filter from Ritz to put on the end. Look at these two pictures. Can you tell which one has the filter?
The picture on the top has the filter and the one below it does not. It's virtually impossible to tell this difference with the naked eye.

The other reason why I like to use the UV filter on all my lenses, is because it provides that extra layer of protection for the front lens element. I've heard so many horror stories of people dropping their lenses, only to have the front UV filter get damaged while the precious glass underneath remains unscathed. It's much cheaper to replace a 20 dollar UV filter than it is to replace a 1,000 dollar lens.

Don't be an idiot. Protect your glass.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Achilles with the 50

I haven't posted a pic of Achilles in a while so I figured I would take one and throw everything I had at it. I set up the tripod in the upstairs hallway where he likes to sit and I attached my flash. It's a tight area with white walls so it's pretty nice for doing a small bounce job. I also touched it up quite a bit in photoshop...which I think is pretty apparent here, but I wanted to try a couple plug-ins I just picked up. Came out pretty great I think.

Got the one year anniversary tomorrow with the lady. Very exciting! Check back Sunday night when I personally put an end to the UV filter debate.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Portrait with a 50

I've decided to venture into portrait territory and decided to be my own first subject.  I currently have no light stand and just one speedlight and nothing to modify the light with.  Just a cold, hard, flash.  I set my camera up on the tripod in my bedroom and took a few test shots to get the focus just right.  I went back and forth a few times making small adjustments to get it close enough, but didnt fuss with it too too much.  I think the focus looks decent.  I set the flash to remote and just basically held it out at arms length and that was pretty much it.  Converted to black and white in Photoshop.  I probably tried ever facial expression imaginable but I liked these three the best.  All were taken with the new 50mm 1.8 lens.

Really liking this lens so far and highly recommend it.  Might even use one of these for the profile pic.  Well that's all for me.  Time to fold some laundry and hit the sack.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Boston with a 50 & New Wesbite

Well I've got my first 50mm gallery up and running on the new website. I decided to make a "Personal Collection" page for any galleries I create outside the realm of normal landscape or portrait work. This gallery was shot entirely with the Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens. The first set of images are from the museum of science, followed by a black and white set in the Beacon Hill area, and some final shots of the gardens in the Common. The new website also contains some additional galleries of my previous work in the Landscapes and Pets sections. It's still a work in progress, but at least it's viewable now. The whole thing is pretty much done in CSS which I haven't really used since college so I'm a little rusty. At some point I'll host it myself, but SmugMug gets the job done. Links are below. Enjoy.

New Website
Boston 50mm Gallery

Sunday, May 24, 2009

50mm Fun

Since Sara and I planned on going to Boston for the day yesterday, I decided to pick up a 50mm prime so I wouldn't have to lug my 18-200 around all day. I decided to go with Nikon's 50 f1.8 lens which I picked up form Ritz for about $139....I think. Don't quite remember the exact price. You can find many technical reviews online, but I thought it would be cool to show so finished photographs I took with it. Overall I think it blows my 18-200 away in terms of quality and sharpness. It also forced me to really think about my shots since I had move around to frame things. It's kind of fun to limit yourself to one focal length for a couple days. It almost forces you to be more creative. The next couple posts will be the shots I've taken in Boston and the Redhook 5K this weekend using only the 50mm lens. This will give me a chance to show off the new website too. Check back later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Well hell has frozen over because I've joined twitter. Never thought that would happen, but there are actually some cool people to follow if you're into photography. Scott Kelby, Moose Peterson, and Matt Kloskowski are three of my favorites that post some cool information regarding their seminars, shows, and books.

If you're in the unfortunate position of actually caring about what's going on with me, look me up. Here's the link to my twitter page.

Finished With Landscapes

I've been shooting landscapes pretty much non stop since I started on this whole photography kick about six months ago. That's a pretty long time. The only shots I'd really like to capture around here are some more sunrise/sunset shots near the ocean. Kinda tough to get those during the week, but I'll definitely have more opportunities for that this summer.

In the mean time, I'd really like to start getting into more "portrait" type shooting or just shooting more people in general. I can start with a photo journalism type approach with my current 18-200 lens, but I'd really like to pick up a different lens for the majority of the people shots. Most likely a faster lens with at least an f/2.8 maximum aperture. I'm currently leaning towards a Nikon 50mm 1.4 or the Tamron 20-75mm 2.8 . I'lll probably end up getting both at some point, but once I pick up the lens, I'll want a stand for my flash and an umbrella. Both of those should be fairly cheap.

On a side note, I have a prospective buyer for camera at work. Might end up getting the 400 bucks I was asking for it and pick up that 50mm.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bye Bye Cassius

Well after one year of living in the Dunns Bridge condo development, my roommates are leaving me. They've recently had an offer accepted on a house in Rochester so at the end of May, they'll be moving out. When they go, they'll be taking their dog Cassius with them. Kind of stinks because I think I might miss him. I've been able to reap all the benefits of having a dog without having to take on any of the responsibilites of ownership...which has been real nice. I mean with a picture like this, how could you not miss him? So long Cassius. I promise to visit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Website

Hey folks. I finally got around to putting a quick website together. Rather than dive right in with a hosting company and domain registration, I figured it would be much easier to display my photos through SmugMug instead. They do charge money, but for the cost, it's much cheaper and I have the flexibility to register my own domain with them later if I chose. I'm hoping to upload some more galleries today, but if you want to check it out, click here. Another cool thing about smugmug is that they allow the ability to edit your own CSS files, which provides some more creative tools at your finger tips than standard preset themes they provide. Of course you need a little HTML background to do that. I'm gonna try and take a crack at it later and add a flash intro and my own banner. Too bad the weekend is already beginning to slip away... Man I hate Mondays.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gear Review Backlog; New SB-800

Got a few new pieces of gear to review that I just haven't gotten to yet. My tripod and new D200 are the main ones I've spoken of to date, but last weekend I was able to add an SB-800 to my collection. After skimming Craigslist early last week, I came across a listing for a bunch of used photography equipment. Nestled in the list of 30 or so items, I noticed "Nikon SB-800" was listed and for only $270!! I couldn't believe how cheap this guy was letting this go for. Since the SB-800 is no longer being produced, they currently go for a much higher price. Amazon has them for $800 right now so that gives you some idea. Granted the thing was used, but it's in great condition and looks brand new.

I drove up to Rochester to meet the gentlemen who was selling the flash and I quickly understood why he was selling it at the price listed. His mother had been the previous owner and she had just passed away last month. He was trying to sell some of her things, but he obviously wasn't aware of the flash's true value. Fortunately, I was. I gave him that cash and pretty much hopped and my car and sped off. Victory!

I had planned on waiting until I built up a solid lens collection before I got into lighting, but this deal was too good to pass up. I'll post some test shots with it later today.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mount Kearsarge

Went hiking in the white mountains this passed saturday with my girlfriend and couple other cool peeps.  We braved the treacherous Mount Kearsarge up in North Conway, New Hampshire.  Well...ok...wasn't really all that treacherous to someone in shape, but I got my ass kicked pretty badly.  Not gonna lie.  The map said the north trail was only 3.1 miles to the top, but it definitely seemed closer to 4.  Was probably 7 or so miles round trip, but it was a pretty nasty climb.  The first mile wasn't so bad, but the last couple to the summit were the worst ever.  I almost threw did throw up.   There was even a fair amount of snow to be seen on the last half mile or so which was a little unexpected and made for a slow finish.

Anways...I got some pretty great pics and once I finish processing them, I'll be sure to post them.  This one was probably my favorite one though.  Such a cool shot of Mount Washington.  I wish the peak wasn't covered by the clouds, but oh well.  I'll keep this one for now.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hamilton House

Sara and I went on this fun little walk in Maine at the Hamilton House. It's a historic site in South Berwick near the Salmon Falls river. I still don't really know why the place is a historic landmark, but the house is pretty damn cool. The house is definitely something you'd see in a horror movie or something. Which is why I was blessed with some cloudy skies for these few pictures. A little fun with black & white and some photoshop and presto.

On a side note, I'll be posting a review on the new tripod once I get some uses out of it. I should be getting my D200 tomorrow so I'll be sure to post some test shots with it when I get a chance. I'll have an even better time with it when it goes hiking this weekend.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shot From Yesterday

Took this pic yesterday in Portsmouth near my girlfriend's place.  Just happened upon the place at the right time I think.  The sun wasn't quite low enough in the sky yet, but I think it came out good.


Let the Games Begin...

So I finally got my first paycheck on Friday and to my surprise, it was more than I budgeted it to be.  Must be in a different tax bracket now or something.  Anyways...the point is, I now have income again so it's time to exercise my patriotic duty and stimulate the economy.

I took the liberty of ordering myself a new tripod which can be found here...

I also decided to take the sweet deal currently being offered at Best Buy online for the D200.  It's currently $599 which is an unbeatable deal.  The camera came out in 2005 I think, but it's a professional body at a amateur price.  When the camera first came out, I think it was around $1500...maybe more.  Here's a link to the Best Buy listing...

UPDATE: Looks like the deal of a century is over and the price is back up to $799.  Boy was I lucky.

Before I start investing in some speedlights, I'd like to grab a few more lenses first.  Next on my list is Nikon's f/1.4 50mm.  Will be nice for some low light shooting.  After that, in no particular order, I plan to pick these up in no particular order:

- Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
- Tamron 28-70mm f/2.8
- Tamron 12-24mm  (don't remember the F stop with this one and I'm too lazy to look it up right now)

Well I'm done sitting inside.  Time to get out and enjoy this weather.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

How I Met the President

It's taken me way too long to tell this story.  I took this picture back in mid September at a small town meeting with Obama in Dover NH, my current place of residence.  I took it with my iPhone and I think it came out pretty good for a cell phone pic.

I believe it was a Friday and on this particular day, the company I was with at the time decided to have a barbeque at a golf course in the next town.  It was some employee appreciation thing and everyone was going.  I listen to political talk radio most days at work and I had heard that Obama would be holding a town hall meeting in Dover that afternoon at around 1 or 2.  After hearing this, I immediately asked my boss if I could skip out on the BBQ to try and catch a glimpse of Obama.  He approved the request and I was outa there by like 11 so I could try and get in.

When I got to the gymnasium where he was scheduled to be, the place was already mobbed with people.  I overheard some people talking and they mentioned that it was a "ticket only" event in which you had to be invited to.  Apparently, the only people that got invited where local elderly citizens and independents who were still on the fence with who they were going to be voting for.  I thought this made sense.  When you're campaigning, you don't want to speak to your base.  You want to speak to the people who DON'T know who you are or may have some misconceptions about you.  This was crappy because I did not have an invitation, but I still wanted to get in and so did the hundreds of others outside.

About an hour later, a massive, tinted, black tour bus rolled up with another large bus filled entirely with photographers and news media.  Apparently, this media group had their own bus and basically toured with him across the country.  The bus pulled up so close to the gym, that I couldn't see him walk into the building.  At this time, they had the crowd standing across the street.  After he was inside, they let the crowd move in and I was pretty much swept up with everyone has they rushed the building.  Was pretty nuts.

I found myself standing next to a group of local reports towards the front of the line.  I was laughing to myself because I was saying how funny it would be if I pretended to be one of Obama's press and snuck in with them.  I was dressed in professional looking clothes since I was coming from work and I was wearing my work badge which, at first glance, looks like a press badge.  Then this woman came up to the group of local press from the other side of the rope and said "Alright...I can only take five you you."  And then she starting pointing to people, "I'll take you, you, you, you and you."  When we she said the last "you" she said it to me and grabbed my arm and pulled me in with the rest of the local press.  I was pretty much whisked away with them and before I knew it, I was leaving the crowd behind and entering the building.

At this point I started to get a little scared because I was thinking I could be in big trouble if they find out I'm not really a reporter.  I went through the press entrance and found myself backstage with a bunch of press people.  Some guy with a clip board was going around asking people for their press credentials.  When he got to me I just looked at him and said "Listen.  Don't get mad, but I'm not really a member of the press.  I was accidentally pulled in with a few other people.  I was just hoping to catch of glimpse of the man and nothing more."  The guy looked around and said rather nervously, "Well, you made it this far.  May as well keep going and see if you can find a seat inside."  He walked me over to the security check and after they patted me down, they sent me into the gymnasium.  I couldn't believe it.

There were a few empty chairs scattered about with a huge crew of news cameras and reports in the back.  There were only about a 2 to 3 hundred people there and seats were placed in a semicircle around a small podium.  I walked all the way around the full crowd to the farthest side and found and empty chair up against the side railing about 3 rows from the front.  I was pumped!  I knew at this point I had a great seat and would be able to see the entire speech without any trouble.  Then, to my amazement, Obama came through the side door right near my chair and made his way towards my line of seats.  He came down the line and I stuck my hand out and he shook it.  I just about pissed myself.  I slid back into my seat and watched the speech.  Was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life so far and I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Job, No Time

Been a while since the last post. Been a while since I've been out shooting too. I can already feel the effects of a 40 hour work week and I've only been back to work for 3 days. This coming week will be my first full week at the new job and I already miss being unemployed. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a paycheck again, but damn, where does the time go? I can no longer put things off by saying "ahhh....I'll just do it tomorrow." I actually have to schedule things out on my time off, which is no fun.

The reason why I haven't been shooting as much is because I don't really have much to shoot. I'm getting annoyed by shooting the same old scenes so I need to switch some things up a bit. I also want to pick up some lighting gear so I can dip my feet in the portrait pool. At some point I'll need to start building a portfolio of sorts so I might enlist some people for help. You get a free portrait session and I get the experience and possible portfolio addition. Great deal no?

I've been considering upgrading my camera too to either a D90 or the new D400 which might be announced in a couple weeks. If you're interested I'd be willing to sell my D60 and its 18-55 kit lens for $450. This also includes a battery and a charger. I would also throw in a memory card, UV filter, and a polarizer at no additional cost. Leave a comment if your interested, otherwise, it will be making its appearance on Craig's List shortly. Here's a link to the camera at B&H so you can see the specs. Its only 3 months old and in great condition.

That's all for me today. Got some grocery shopping to do for the week ahead. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Alright...I'm Obsessed

I just can't get enough of this Adam's Point place in Durham.  It seems like every time I've gone out there to shoot, I've never walked away empty handed.  I was out there for only about a half hour last night and I managed to grab some really great shots.  The one posted here is probably my favorite.  A dog happened to walk into the frame at the last minute.  I was a little annoyed at first, but after looking at it I think he really makes the photograph.

The lady and I found a cool little trail that circles the point through the woods this past weekend.  I saw some cool locations on the walk so I decided to head back out there last evening to try and grab some cool sunset shots.  I was going to go tonight, but the clouds looked pretty great last night so I'm pretty happy I decided to go then.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll even go back tonight.

ISO 100, 18mm, f/18 at 1/40

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I can finally rest easy. I got a call from the company I was applying to and they made me a job offer. Very very excited.

The past couple months have been absolute hell. I'm so glad that it's finally over and I'll have a pay check again. I really feel bad for anyone who has to go through what I went through. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. It's very scary out there right now so do what you can to make sure you have enough cash to get yourself through a few months on your own without a job. It definitely helped me...along with the love and support of my family, friends and lady of course.

Hopefully we bottom out soon, because I honestly don't see us recovering from this recession for years. Maybe even a decade. Much like the "lost decade" Japan faced in the 90's. I wish I could say I had faith in my government right now, but I honestly don't think they're doing enough. I get the feeling that it's only enough to patch some of the holes, but not enough to fully rebuild the dike.

At least things are looking up for me again though. I think I'm going to do my patriotic duty and stimulate the economy by treating myself to a new tripod and wireless cable release. Get out there and spend spend spend if you got it! Something tells me not many people do though...


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sports Break

Had my fantasy draft last night and I must say I'm quite impressed with how my team looks this year.  Decided to go a bit more on pitching this year with some stable players in the rest of the line up.  Here's who I picked up..

C - Bengie Molina
1B - Justin Morneau
2B - Alexei Ramirez
3B - Aramis Ramirez
SS - Jimmy Rollins
LF - Johnny Damon
CF - Jayson Werth
RF - Magglio Ordomez
DH - Carlos Pena
Bench - Adrian Beltre
Bench - Milton Bradley
Bench - Kelly Johnson

SP - Johan Santana
SP - Roy Halladay
SP - Carlos Zambrano
SP - Ted Lilly
SP - Zack Greinke
RP - Brad Lidge
RP - Jose Valverde

I'm feeling it this year...

Look out...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Great Bay

I received a lot of good feedback from the last pic I had up so I decided to post another one from the same batch.  This one is almost the same scene, but shifted left slightly to include the trees.

Hopefully I find out about that job on monday or tuesday this week.  I heard they contacted my references so as long as they didn't screw me I should be good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Great Bay Mist

I just took this shot a couple hours ago over at Adams Point in Durham. I've been there a few times to shoot before, but today was extra special. The fog in the late afternoon provided some cool atmosphere. I'm pretty pleased with how this came out.

ISO 100, 18mm, f/20 at 1 second

On the job front, I received a call back from one of the places I interviewed with. They were just asking me to upload some references because I had forgotten to earlier in the process, but this makes me think my chances are pretty good. Why would they have me complete the application if they weren't impressed by the interview? Right? It would be really nice to know I had a steady pay check coming in again. I feel like as soon as I got back into photography, my financial rug was ripped out from underneath me. There are so many little additions I'd like to add to my collection, like nice tri-pod of my own, a wireless shutter release, a Nikon SB-900 flash with a stand and umbrella for some portrait work, a host of other lenses, and maybe a D300 or the new 400 when it finally gets announced.

I'd love to do my patriotic duty and pump some money into the economy, but I just don't have it right now...along with the rest of the country.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lil' HDR Fun

Got bored so I decided to mess around with a little HDR today.  This is a shot of my living room in a sort of "fantasy" style.  Looks kinda cool.  I need to eventually do one of these outside some day or in a more interesting location.  My living room is pretty lame.

Had a second job interview with a company yesterday that went pretty well I think.  Hopefully this works out or I'm gonna be toast.  Just found out that I wont be getting the position with my old company after all, which really sucks since that was supposed to be a safety for sure.  Oh well.

Gonna go read before class.  Lates.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Gallery Soon

So I picked up the latest issue of Digital Photographer from B&N the other day.  Probably one of the coolest photo mags I've seen yet!  Lots of cool articles, tips, how-to, and user submitted photos that are critiqued by the staff.  It was a little pricy since it's imported from the UK, but I thought it was worth it.

Browsing through the pages, I came across an ad for free web galleries hosted by the magazine's website.  The site allows you to post your pictures and then others can rate them and leave comments.  Pretty cool when seeking input from other photographers on your work...or from random jerks and idiots.

Anyways...  Here's the link to my new gallery.  Feel free to check it out and leave comments and such.  As soon as I get my actual website up and running, I'll be able to create and host my own gallery without going through a third party.

Take care.

UPDATE: So apparently you have to be a member to comment and rate the photos.  Sorry for the inconvenience...not that anyone cares anyway.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Stop Looking at Me Swan!"

So I decided to head over to Hilton Park late yesterday to try and grab some good sunset shots on the water. I went down to the shore line on the rocks and was setting up my tripod and such when I look over and there's this massive swan coming right for me. It scared the crap out of me! He definitely meant business because he was coming right towards me and he showed no intention of moving. I grabbed my gear and turned around to climb back up on the grass area and he turned around to head back out to where ever the hell it was he came from. However his leaving helped me grab this cool shot with him silhouetted against the water.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Wow it's been a while since I've posted anything.  Been a little busy lately...ah screw it.  There's really no excuse.  I'm unemployed remember?  How could I possibly be too busy to make a post?

I went to my parents house this past weekend to visit and to go to a doctors appointment.  While visiting, I took a walk with my dad at Moody Park and saw this cool mushroom growing out of a tree.

Not much else to a report on.  Guess now you see why I haven't posted in a while.

ISO 200, 170mm, f/5.6 at 1/100sec  

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This is a shot I took of my roommate's dog.  He's an American Staffordshire Terrier and his name is Cassius.  Cassius hates old people and small children.  If you even look at him wrong, he'll chew your face off.  Cassius diet consists of raw steaks and the neighborhood kids.  If your paths should cross on good day, he might just decide to let you keep one of your legs.  Beware of dog... 

ISO 400, 105mm, f/5.6 at 1/50sec

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Website Coming

Hi all.  I've been looking around at some good web hosting companies to get an actual site up and running.  If I end up getting one of the jobs I have lined up, they wouldn't start until April 1st, so that leaves me with over a month with nothing to do.  I figured I could devote the time to setting up a website and some better galleries to showcase more pictures.

Like I mentioned in an older post, I've been using Apple's MobileMe for my web gallery and the trial period is almost up.  Not worth it for me to keep using it so I'm going to get rid of the account in a couple days, before they start charging me for it.  I figured I can pay for a few months of hosting service and see how that goes rather than cough up 100 bucks for a MobileMe service which I wont really use.  Personally, I think they're online galleries suck anyways.

The picture above was taken on a walk at Kingman Farm.  I really like the sense of drama the clouds add to the photo.  100 ISO, 18mm,  f/18 at 1/10 sec.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Zack Arias Video

On Wednesday's guest blogger post over at Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider blog, Zack Arias chose to post a video instead of writing something.  I was absolutely blown away by this.  Check it out if you have the time.  It's one of the most inspirational things I've seen in a while.

Click here for a link to the post with the vid.  Enjoy and share it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Time to talk about one of my new favorite things in photography. High Dynamic Range or HDR. This shot I just took a couple hours ago came out pretty cool, but would you believe that it's actually 3 of the same photo merged together? That is pretty much what HDR is.

I took three pictures of the same scene, with each one exposing the detail in a different part of the landscape. First, I took a shot that brought the details out in the sky, then another to pick up the detail in the mid-tone areas, and finally a shot to grab the details in the shadows and trees. Using an application called Photomatix, I merged all three files together and defined the contrast strength for the three pictures. The software pretty much does the rest for me. Once I export the final image, I load it into Lightroom and then to Photoshop to fine tune some details.

I should have waited till dusk to grab this shot. I'm sure it would have lookwd a lot better, but I dont have a job right now so I honestly don't have much to do in my free time. Maybe I'll go out again tomorrow to try and get a better one.

Stay classy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Discin' at Dusk

Met up with my buddy Ryan over at Bellamy Park for a little disc golf action late this afternoon.  The sun was just going down and the light was perfect so I got some nice shots of Ryan and the course.  Haven't finished processing the pictures of Ryan yet, but this shot was taken at the end of the day and I think it might be one of my favorites.  Probably gonna head back there tomorrow before class, and try to get a couple more shots of the river that runs through the course.

If you've checked out my gallery using the link provided at the right, you've noticed I've been using the gallery provided with my Apple MobileMe account.  It's not bad, but I think I can do better myself with a separate web host and save some money too.  I'm nearing the end of the 60 day trial for the MobileMe service and to be honest with you, I don't find myself using the other features aside from the gallery.  Doesn't make much sense to keep it, so I'll be doing away with my current web gallery and starting over.  So enjoy the photos while they're still posted.

Well it's bedtime for me.  Night all.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

One More Before Bed

I took this shot about a month and a half ago but I never got around to posting it.  I was just lying in bed going through some older shots when I came across this.  It's the view from my bedroom window.  I took it through the screen so if you look close enough, you can see the grid going across the picture.  I think it gives it kind of a neat effect though.  Looks almost like a painting.  Anyways.  Thought you might enjoy.

Thompson Hall

This weather we've been having recently has been wonderful.  Granted, it was a little colder today, but I certainly will not complain.  It's all a big tease though.  Those of you who actually live up here know that we can get our worst snow in February and March.  Hopefully we can ride this next month or so out without anymore snow though.  I'm getting sick of it.

Managed to take a stroll through the UNH campus today to try my skills at some architectural photography.  It was a lot harder than I thought...especially at around 1:30 in the afternoon.  I didn't have a whole lot of angles to work with at that time due to the sun so my shots were quite limited.  Can't wait till the summer when I can get up early and have it be above 10 degrees.  This shot of Thompson Hall came out okay though.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Depending on what Nikon announces at PMA this year, and if I have a decent job by then, I would very much like to purchase one of these.

Mmmmm.  Tasty.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Migrating to Lightroom

For the past few months, I've been using Apple's Aperture to catalog and adjust my photos.  I've recently been giving Adobe's Lightroom a try and I have to say, I like it a lot better...for a couple reasons.  First, I find the file system much more convenient.  Aperture's standard library comes in a "package" file that stores everything.  Adjustments, metadata, versions, the actual images...EVERYTHING.  So when you go look in your file directory, you dont see your photos, you see the single library file.  Now I don't know about you, but the idea of storing all of my precious masterpieces in one single file scares me a little.  If something were to happen to that file, I'd be F'd in the A so to speak.  Lightroom stores all this information in a catalog file as well, but it keeps all the images separate in their own directories.  This puts my mind at ease and also makes the switch from my laptop to my desktop much easier.

The next thing I've found better in Lightroom are the adjustments, especially the new adjustment brush in version 2.  There's just so much more control now than what Aperture has to offer.  I also like the adjustment interface better in Lightroom.  Granted, there are no modules in Aperture and you can adjust pretty much anywhere at anytime, but I haven't really found the module separation in Lightroom that much of an inconvenience.

Finally, the training and documentation available for Lightroom beats Aperture 10 fold.  The Kelby Training website has a three part in depth series on Lightroom which I just finished and was absolutely amazing.  I highly recommend signing up for their online training programs if you're interested in learning more about Photoshop and Lightroom.  

Well that's all for me today.  Gotta finish laundry and get started on migrating my library over.