Monday, March 21, 2011

New website and blog up and running!

Many of you know my strong passion for photography and have been very supportive. My newly revamped site has just went online. Please subscribe to my updates by adding your email in the "Subscribe to Updates" or "Subscribe to Blog" located on most pages on the upper right side. The new site will be much more functional and easier to navigate. Thank you all!

All new blog updates will be posted here.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Luck of the Draw

Is my photography all skill or am I just lucky? Well, it is both, but it is not the main reason I succeed. You have to be there. That is really 99% of the photo. If your not there, you won't get the photo. You need to go out looking for the compositions you want. Once you are out there looking it is luck's turn to help you out. Luck is what make a good scene great. Luck is what lines everything up for that once in a lifetime amazing shot. Luck is useless if you aren't out looking. Skill is what fine tunes the photo. Skill is what helps you see and capture strong compositional elements. It is skill that fine tunes your camera into a skilled tool. You need all three elements to pull off great photos.

Skills can be learned over time through repetition, training, and analysis of your own work and others. This is something that may come easier for some and harder for others, but in the end you have the power to advance yourself as far as you want. 

Luck is luck. You have very little control over luck. You can sometimes improve your chances of getting lucky by putting yourself in ideal conditions for what you want to capture. If you want to capture interesting clouds, you might be luckier if you go out on a cloudy day. If you want to capture wildlife, luck may be more on your side in the country rather then in an urban setting. But luck will be what puts what you want where you want it, in the right conditions at the right time.

When you really boil it down though, you just have to be there. You need to get out and get what you want. Being there will almost always get you something. It may not be the once in a lifetime shot you wanted but those are few and far between. Luck and skills will not go far unless your in position to utilize them. So for your New Year's resolution, you may want to just get out there and capture something that you want, once in a lifetime or not. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's here again.

With October almost over, winter is almost upon us. Temps today are at 32F already. Winter is one of my favorite times of the year to shoot. A fresh snow fall is just an amazing sight and morning frost is killer. A good snow storm is what I sit and wait for and it is just yard to beat. 

My hatred of the cold makes this a difficult time of year though. There is nothing worse then the constant internal struggle. I look outside and see the conditions that just burn inside me and drives me into the cold to go photograph in, just waiting outside the door. Soon they could be gone and I need to get out there. All I am thinking is why would I want to leave this warm house, struggle to bundle up and get all my gear ready, sit in the cold doing all I can to keep my camera from fogging up and the lens clear of snow. Well nothing makes that struggle any better, but my Blizzard Stalker boots from Rocky sure do keep my feet warm. I have never experienced warmer and more comfortable boots in my life. They are actually one of the most comfortable pieces of footwear I have ever worn. 1200 grams of Thinsulate does it's job. My feet have yet to get cold in these boots, even after hours in the elements. I'm not the only one that loves these. I have a few friends I talked into buying a pair and they will give you the same review and reaction I gave you. They are good boots, period. So for any of you winter photographers out there, these boots may help you as they have greatly made my winter shooting more enjoyable. 

Rocky Blizzard Stalker Boots

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hard Drive Surprise

With the amount of photos I take, I need some serious hard drive space.  Every photo I take gets uploaded to my PC hard drive, copied to an external hard drive, burnt to a DVD 4GB at a time, and then it gets deleted from my PC hard drive. One set of data is stored off site. All processed photos are then backed up on an off site server. 

I really like the Western Digital external hard drives. They have good reviews and have served me well. My Seagate drive had an issue and has a bad reputation via reviews. So as spaced filled up I went out to get myself another hard drive. I picked up a Western Digital My Book Essential that was on sale. That was a mistake. My other drives are all My Book Essentials also. You plug them in and you now have another hard drive that you can just drag and drop files and folders into. Slick and easy. The "new" My Book Essential drive has SmartWare program on it. This program turns the hard drive into a cheap and hard to use automatic backup system. It is horrible. You plug it in and you have no choice but to download this program before you can do anything. Once the SmartWare is downloaded, you spend hours trying to figure out how to disable the system to make it a normal external drive. After clicking on every option and setting that comes with the drive with no success, I was about to return it. A few minutes searching the internet led me to a solution. Western Digital offers a download that disables this SmartWare program and turn this drive into what it should have been out of the box. This was a disaster of a purchase. There was no indication that this was not a normal drive in the directions, packaging, or on the box. Western Digital dropped the ball on this drive. To save any of you this parasite of a program here is the link you will need to disable the SmartWare.

Western Digital needed to make the SmartWare program an option from the beginning and not mandatory. They also needed to inform buyers that this drive came with this program and or how to disable it. A External plug and play hard drive should not take 3 hours to get it up and working. Will I buy a Western Digital drive again? Yes, but I will do better research and make sure I get a SmartWare free version.

Friday, October 1, 2010