Monday, September 26, 2011


Our first real assignment for my Corporate/Industrial photo class this semester is an engagement shoot.

Since I don't know anyone who is recently engaged or planning on doing so soon - I faked it.

In the interest of doing something a little... less traditional, I decided to try get across the engaged-thing while also getting across the fact that not all girls suck at video games.

Here are the results:

In addition - I tried a new lighting technique for these images: faking TV light. It went better than I expected. The light is my Einstein 640 through a 5' softbox right about eye-level. I pushed the WB so the light comes across a bit cooler than usual. Viola. TV light.

Surprisingly enough - the people who have responded to my question so far on Facebook like the concept and like the images. I wasn't sure the idea would get across so I crowdsourced my decision. Now, it looks like I will turn these images in after all!

I've got a bunch more shoots coming up this week. In fact, I'm not quite sure when I'm going to fit everything in...

LG Optimus issue: resolved

Neither Sprint nor LG have figured out a true fix for the whole "your phone doesn't charge," thing. 
However, when I went in to the local Sprint store and complained (after having talked with the online chat people and sent an email to tech support) - they shipped me a brand new phone. 
Even better - the brand new phone is running Froyo! No more Gingerbread for me. I'll happily wait until they release the updated version. What's more, instead of blindly updating the second I see the update, I'll wait, read the forums and see what issues other people are experiencing before I update.

Anyway,  I now have a fully functional phone. Hooray!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Help-Portrait 2011 update

Hello world!

So far I've got the following people signed up to volunteer:
Photographers: Dano, Don, and Bryan, Hailey [room for four more]
Runners: Kristen [room for three more]
Greeters: [room for two more]
Workflow people: Andrew [room for one more]
Print slicer/dicer: [One spot]
Hair/Makeup: Geri [room for one more]

If you're interested in helping out - please drop me an email with your name, phone number, and the role you'd like to play:

I am also actively looking for someone or some organization to sponsor banners and signs for us to hang around campus. We would like to have at least three 6' banners and whole bunch of smaller signs on paper.

If you or anyone you know can help spread the world - December 10th will be that much more awesome!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No phone...

While I'm between working phones, please reach me here:

LG Optimus S and Gingerbread

Over the last week or so, Sprint and LG have been rolling out the Gingerbread build of Google's Android operating system on the LG Optimus S phones.

I happen to have such a phone, and was initially elated to learn that my upgrade had finally come! I clicked "install" without thinking and immediately went back to sleep because I've got a cold I'm trying to beat.

Anyway. When my phone and I had both rebooted, I picked it up and starting futzing around with it.

The new keyboard is a bummer and it doesn't recognize dictionary words. Seriously "today" is autocorrected to "Today" because for some reason the phone can't figure out where the dictionary is. Additionally, the keys are all smaller now - so typing is even more of a pain than it used to be.
On the bright side, the stock keyboard has a new cursor system that lets you edit mistyped words MUCH easier than the Froyo keyboard.

I am told the workaround (not fix) for these keyboard problems is to download another free keyboard from the App Market.

The major bummer about this update is that it did not fix the issue where my Mac (or any other computer) fails to recognize the phone via USB connection. I had this when I was running Froyo and I've got it still on Gingerbread - except now, the phone refuses to charge as well! This is a problem I had on and off for a while in April and early May - though eventually it started charging just fine again. Now it won't charge from the wall, the computer, or from my super-energized-mind-waves. Fail.

I've tried rebooting and resetting it - neither worked and I have read that even a full reset of the phone has not fixed this issue for other frustrated Optimus S users.

My hope is that Sprint/LG will get their hands on another update and send it out expediently, otherwise my phone very quickly becomes a paperweight and I will have to do all my phone calls/texting from Google Voice. This works just fine as long as I don't leave my house...

Overall, the following illustration just about sums up how my phone feels about the Gingerbread 2.2.3 update:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Inspired by Post Secret - day 2

I've finished up my second set of images from my new-ish "Inspired by Post Secret" photo series. Friday I convinced another 27 people to come down, be photographed, and share their secrets with the world.

Below are some of the secrets that resonate best with me. The entire collection is on my Facebook (or will be shortly)

Images from Day 1 can be found HERE.

This second shoot wraps up photography for this project. Now I am in the market for a sponsor (or sponsors) to help me print, frame, and hang 24 of the 51 finished pieces. I'd like to show the series off at the NAU gallery - then in galleries around Flagstaff and anywhere that is interested in hanging the show.

If you are interested, or you know someone who might be - please drop a comment below and I will respond lightning-quick!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


At least three times in as many days, I've been asked some variation of "What would you do if you broke your camera/it died?"

People seem to expect me to cringe at the thought - as though I can't possibly bear the thought of my (admittedly beautiful) equipment biting the dust.

I find that a bit odd. A camera to me is just like any other tool, whether that's a hammer, my pocket knife, or the pens and pencils I use in my everyday schoolwork. I don't baby or coddle any of my gear. I take it all out into the wet and the cold and the mud and the dust just as easily as I take it out on a beautiful Saturday morning like today.

One bag of my tools

My theory behind tools: If it can't do what I ask of it and take a beating in the process - I need better tools. If a tool breaks, why spend all day crying and moaning about it? Get a better one and keep hammering, cutting, writing, and shooting.

This same mentality is why I find the whole "Canon vs Nikon" debate absurd. I don't care which hammer or pen you use - why should you care which one I use? Why does it matter to anyone how many megapixels I have or whether my lens is Sigma or Nikkor? It doesn't matter one freaking bit. In fact, when a photographer comes up to me and says "Oh man, what are you shooting with? The D300s? That's pretty cool. I shoot the D90. Nikon's just better, ya know?" All I can think is about how that photographer clearly hasn't figured "it" out yet.

More of my tools

I know, I shouldn't look down on those people - I used to do the same thing. The difference is now, I've learned that the tools aren't what matter - the results are.

...and in case you're wondering, I have literally used my camera as a hammer before.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Help Portrait 2011 - Getting Started

Friends and Followers,

I am supremely excited to announce that planning for this year's Help-Portrait event in Flagstaff has officially begun!

If you are unfamiliar with Help-Portrait, please take 2:26 to watch last year's "intro to H-P" commercial:

I've updated the official Help-Portrait Community page for Flagstaff and will continue to do so up to the day of the event. Each major update that goes there will also be published here on my blog. Please not that although the video says Dec. 4 - this year our day to give back is December 10th. I don't know why they haven't released a new video...

The tentative list of volunteers and donations to make the day a success is shown below. Our goal this year is at least 200 people photographed, walking out the door with 8x10 prints.

8 Photographers
4 workflow people
1 print slicer/dicer
4 runners
2 front desk greeters
2 makeup artists
1 outreach/advertising pro

Munchies and juice for guests
Munchies and lunch for volunteers
Banners and signs to hang around campus and direct traffic

NAU is graciously donating the use of the studios, lighting equipment, backdrops, printers and inks. We have well over 200 feet of paper leftover from last year's generous donation from Mike and Maureen Beaty. 

If you're interested in volunteering, donating, or you have mad hookups to help us out, please drop me an email at Please include your contact information and what you'd like to do to help out. Please include "Help-Portrait" in the subject line of your email!

Monday, September 12, 2011

many months of 35mm film

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't shoot enough film.

When it comes down to it, I really enjoy the film experience. I enjoy the wait, the wondering if I "got it," second-guessing my exposure and my old Nikon FM1 meter.

Generally though, I am very pleased with the images that I get out of a roll of 24 exposures. Today's batch is actually from three separate rolls.


Post Secret Project

The other day I was inspired by Post Secret and Fifty People One Question to do a a personal project. Rather than wasting words on trying to explain it, I'll just show you a teaser from my 6 hours in the studio...

Right now I've got 24 in total. When printed, they'll end up being 24"x36". I hope to print a series of at least a dozen and show them off in a gallery or two. 
Unfortunately, printing these things that big and then framing them is an expensive ordeal. 
I'm accepting donations to keep the project going :-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Help-Portrait 2011 in Flagstaff

Faithful readers,

This year as in years past, I will be leading the Flagstaff, AZ chapter of Help-Portrait.
Like last year, we will be located in the NAU Photo studios.
This year, however, thevisualCollective will be heavily involved to improve our turnout and volunteer list!

The meetings are beginning in the next few weeks to discuss how we can improve on last year's procedures.

Here's the link to the 2010 Flagstaff Help-Portrait Summary.

Please consider joining us on December 10th for a day of charity, fun, and photography!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome Week photoz

It's good to be back on the blog with something to post for a change.

After seeing that super inspirational video at the beginning of the week, I carried my camera with me to the booth where thevisualCollective set up on NAU campus to recruit new participants.

 Over the course of two days, I got the following four images that I rather like.

That's what I got. Everything but the first frame was shot on the D300s with the 35mm F/1.8
I generally keep the lens at the sweet spot of F/4.

Because I had the 35mm lens on my camera, I used Taylor's camera for the first image of the statue-thingy - he had a lens that went wide to 18mm with him.

It appears I won't be shooting anything for my photo class for quite some time, so I'll get on some kind of personal project in the next few days and see if I can shoot something just for me.