A word about the Blind

In the past i have heard and seen that individuals that are blind actually make great photographers.  Several years ago i saw a photo book from a blind man.  He lived in New York City and had taken photos with a Kodak point and shoot.  He took photos by what he heard.  Every photo was very well composed and the book was designed very well.

My thoughts on this came about when i passed the School for the blind on my morning commute.  I then thought about what kinda derogatory remarks one blind person would say to another.  “Darkey” came to mind.  If any one knows about this let me know, i am sure that this is gonna be a great useful piece for trivia night.

Back to  Blind Photography.  Just Google stuff on it, i am sure there are lots of blind photographers.  What i have seen out there is way more landscapes and city scape photography from that group.  Makes way more sense.  I am not doubting the capability of Blind Portrait photographers, but i imagine it would be hard to set power outputs on studio lighting blind.  Unless their assistants were damn good.

here is the first link that Google comes up  with.


Found a Flickr group too.  Awesome.

Here is a link to the Quadras from yesterdays post, i forgot to get that for you all.



Not my typical Wednesday

My Wednesday started out pretty typical.  Work, Game night for summer heat.  Yeah we won!  Our second shut out in a row.  every one on the pitch earned it, we worked hard.  Andy (Fast as shit) Rocketed a lovely goal in the upper 90.  Any who, i decided to skip the typical Ruckus Celebration after every game, and go see a friend play at an open mic.  I was a bit out of it cause of the game but i really did enjoy my self.  There were a few bands playing last night, and i did enjoy them.  But i was there supporting my friend.

For me what was some what interesting, this is probably the first music event that i didn’t take any pictures.  Odd for me since i really do enjoy live shows.  Local small venues are my favorites.  Before i forget, here is a link the my friend Lisa’s Reverbnation site.


her profile pic is one that i had done for her a while back.  I wanted the pic to look some what like she just had a three day bender.  Not the case though.  But in my Portraits page there is a page and a slide show of the pics we recently too together.  Here is a link for those a bit too lazy to search for it.


These new pics were shot at my studio and like always with my D7000 and Tamron 28-75 f2.8 combination.  For the lighting i was using the Elinchrome Quadra Ranger set from work, set real low.  (Tangent)

Another Tangent, that will be tied back to last nights music.  The Quadra set is my favorite lighting set of all time.  It is ultra compact, powerful and easy.  The three things  most should look for in lighting.  There is a try before you buy promotion going on at Peace Camera.  $75 gets you the Quadras for a day to see if you  want to purchase them.  You will if you use them just once.  The Quadras are not cheap though.  $2300.  I can tafford that just yet, hence why i rent/borrow them from the store often.  Now to tie it to last night.  If i were shooting last night, no doubt i would have the quadras with me to light up the Lovely Lisa Quinn.

Go check her page out listen to her music, and if you  know of or have a place she can play, Hire her! My room mate David did when he had a fund raiser for his Bike and Build trip last summer.

Last night Lisa got some wonderful complements, and high fives and great jobs.  She made some good contacts.  I just hope i can make her some great pics she can use to promote her self.

Fun at the State Fair

These pics are several years old and shot with film.  But the following advice goes for both film or digital. Exposure is exposure!

First off these pics were shot with Manual exposure setting up the cameras ISO with 100 (Had too since it was film) Shutter speed was 2-3 seconds and  i set up my Aperture to be one stop Under exposed to allow for the shutter speed.  Her is sorta what my cameras meter would have looked like.  – I..I..0..I..I + (One of the markers shall look like it is bold) That was not exactly how i imagined it would have typed out. ( I would be more than happy to talk with any one one on one about it.)

I was using day lite balanced film, so i would suggest a Day lite balanced White balance, only to keep true to color.  You might try a custom white balance with an Expo Disk or something.  Finally I used a sturdy tripod and a cable release.

Maybe i should get a group together and we all meet up at the Fair for a photo workshop. Show you all my secrets!  Below are my results, I am more than happy to discuss and meet up and give advice.

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Couple of quick things.

Ok, so some of you may know that I am in a coed soccer league.  I want to invite you all out to come and watch.  If you are in need of practice for shooting sports, come on out, and when I am not playing I would be more than willing to give some tips and tricks about sports shooting.


I am on the Ruckus FC (Soccer) team.  We happen to play tonight at 615 at the Kwanis Park.  There is a link to a map to find all our locations we play at.  Come cheer me on and see my mad football skills, then join me at Ruckus in Mission Valley for a few slices and some Beer.

Second item on  my mind today is about the Sony CLM-V55BDL Video Monitor.  We got two in last week at the store, and Greg bought one, right when i showed him.  They are absolutely great for those that do video.


Local celebrity Christopher Martin (Play the one with out the big hair, from Kid-n-Play) was a bit upset with us when we showed him how awesome it was.  He took one home too!.  I will write more about the monitor when I get a hold of Greg’s for an evening.  But next week we will have more in stock for you all to check out.

Third thing on my mind today it kind related to stuff that is covered in my Fotosmartz photography workshops.  My Fundamentals workshop has been very popular and we have many attendees showing up because of referrals from friends that have already taken it.  During the introduction of Greg and myself, I always emphasize the rush we all are in our lives.  Kids gotta be at an activity at 7pm, pick up the dry cleaning, get Dogfood, etc…..

Why is it that we do the same thing with our photography?  Why are we in such a rush to just capture a pic.  Does it not sound more impressive to say “I waited just for the right time to Compose this lovely image?”  The great photographers of the past would walk by the same object daily and say to them selves, “Not today, it is not ready yet.”

I promise that if we all adopt this in our photography lives we all will get better images.  Taking the time to observe our subject and study it, you will get the “WOW”  from your friends when you show them the new image you took!  There is no need to take a thousand pics of the same subject, you later lose time from your family and friends when you are in post editing, and you also rack up the shutter actuations in your camera, shortening the life of it!

So my favor to ask of you all is to slow it down when you shoot, and make Compositions, and not just capture your life’s images.


My newest photo toy.

Wireless flash is something that s not new to me.  I started using wireless flash back in the early 2000’s.  Minolta had a great simple system when hey introduced the Minolta Maxxum 7 and the HS3600 flash. The system worked so great that it really was point and shoot.  The HS5600 flash they made was more manual if needed.  This wireless system tansfered in to the Sony Alpha line when they did their whole thing.

So Off camera wireless flash has been around for some time now, ad has gotten just wonderful.  But i truly feel that to truly learn how to “Paint with light”  you should learn how o build up light and manually control it.  Enter the Radio Frequency triggers.  Hands down Pocket wizards are the best.  But who can really afford to drop thousands of dollars, possibly, to cover every  flash and strobe that you own?

Interfiit distributed a “Twinlink” system made by a company called Secline, and they worked great, ad priced really well at $150 for a receiver and transmitter.  They were my go to fr just over a year now.  I still love them, ad highly recommend them.  But because of price mainly i decided to give the Phottix a shot.  The local rep for them came in and showed them, ad i thought what the hell, i will try them.


There is the link to get all the technical stuff about them, but here is my experience.  After unloading the shipment, i pieced them together and attached a vivtar 285.  I figured that if i can handle an old vivitar, then they will have no problems with a Nikon or Canon Speedlite.  So i left the flash and phottix on the counter in he back of the store, at about 1/16 power, for the fast recycle time.   I then walked towards the front of the store hitting the button on the trigger every few steps. I did this until i ht the front door of the store.  So far no miss fires.  So i continued out the front of the store in to the parking lot. No miss fires.   Crossing the street now, pausing in the middle to trigger it, and an to the other side.

So now i am across the street from the store, and in the parking lot of the company across from us still hitting the triggers button. So finally i make i to the back of the parking lot, up against the corner of the building, across the street from were the flash and Phottix receive is.  Impressive, i thought.  For a very inexpensive trigger, to not miss fire and have the rage of 150-160 feet is great.

Since then, i have used the Phottix in studio firing a Viviar 285, Nikon SB28 and an Elinchrom Quadra Ranger. I like the fact that the Phottix has a hot shoe connection on it, to were i don’t have to use little connecting cables.  I let a frind borrow my Photix an she has done two shoots with them.    I even had sold her the Twinlink system i love. She has not had any problems with the Photix either.

The last two thing about the system and then i will shut up. The price. $80 will get you a trigger and a receiver.  Additional $50 per receiver. Great value. Not only is this a wireless flash system, it is a RF wireless camera release too.  Inexpensive RF releases are $50, so I feel Like I really scored with this one.  Third thing, and he last.  The plastic casing is not cheap, I really do not feel like it is cheap plastic, even to Chinese cheap plastic standards.  I feel they will take some abuse.   I sure will be giving it to them!

one of many reasons i love my Nikon D7000

So i work at Peace Camera and make a few posts a month.  There had been a few posts that i included a few pics.  I used a wonderful feature in the D7000.  In the menu system of the 7000 you can take an image either in Nikon RAW (NEF) or a jpg and scale it down for web use.  It then i saved on to the SD Card.  The in camera editing has really been stepped up in this camera.  If i were to just make the RAW file in to a jpg, cause it is an NEF, i have all the same edit controls i would in  very basic editing program.  Sizing, Compression, WB, exposure compensation, Picture Control, noise reduction, color space and D-Lighting.

What would one do with this feature?  Well,  for one use it to update on my works blog and will use it to upload pics to this blog. Since i am solely a RAW Shooter.  Other Social Networking sites, you could do the same with.    Another useful way of using this future would be making a jpg for a paying client right then and there. Or possibly making a print of the image you just captured to see how the dynamic range of the three tones in it will truly look.  You would do this because Printers can not read RAW files.

That is if you do Print.

example image just converted with this feature.

Yep, that is my perdy face

First Real Post

So having the day off, and not wanting to watch TV or go for a ride on my bicycle, i figure i would be productive and make some sorta web presence.  So as of right now, i think my focus of the blog is to show some of my work, and maybe, just maybe clear up some confusion about the mysteries of the Nikon D7000 camera, which i purchased in January and have also created a workshop with friend and co worker Greg Myers.