On The Road and a new Photography Theme

Most of us have been there before, riding as a passenger on a long road trip gazing off into the distance, watching passing landscape rush by your eyes. For photographers its torture, theres a shot, theres a shot…. “Oh man can we pull over for just a second to get this shot, I don’t care if its dangerous.”

On a recent road trip, I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided to take pictures while sitting as a passenger in the back seat. I immediately became in love with this new form of shooting. Every second there was an entirely different scene. On top of the constant change in scenery I felt like I was shooting sports because timing was critical in every shot, too late or early and I got a tree or a car in my shot. I was mindful of other cars in that I didn’t distract them. For me life on the road just became much much more enjoyable.

If you want to shoot on the road please follow all or some of the following rules and I am not responsible for any of your actions:

  • Never shoot when you are driving 
  • Never distract drivers
  • Always wear your seat belt
  • Dont take so many pictures that you end up annoying the driver
  • Follow local and state laws

With those rules out of the way. I found that my 5D paired best with my 135mm. 135mm on a full frame seemed like just the right amount zoom. My shutter speed varied, initially you would a very fast shutter speed so you can receive the sharpest image possible. However during some of the trip we were driving after the sun went down so I had to drop my shutter speed all the way down to 1/25th of a second. Its all about experimenting.

So here is my first batch of photos, I have created a gallery dedicated to my photos taken on the road and will be updating in periodically

Gallery: ON THE ROAD

First Batch:


Oceanside Pier after the Storm

Finally got some time off to shoot. Strolled around the Oceanside pier right after a storm. It was cold by our standards but warm for the rest of the nation. I had a great time shooting whatever without a real goal in mind. The shots below were taken with the 5d mark ii and a combination of the 35l, 70-200L, 17-40L and my lovely $3 135mm.


iPhone: Goodbye 3G, Hello 5!

Its been a good run. I bought my iPhone 3G roughly six months after its released in 2008. I babied the phone, then in 2010, I dropped my phone from about 2 feet and could no longer plug in my headphones all the way. If I plugged them in the song I was listening to would actually speed up. The rest of the phone worked fine. Next my volume buttons fell off. At this point in time I was eligible for an upgrade however the phone still worked like a charm, minus the fact that I had to cram my finger nail in the side to adjust the volume. I didn’t want to upgrade because the phone still did whats is supposed to do… text, email, and make calls.

I got tired of putting a case on my phone so I went all natural.  The phone started to acquire small scratches on the back but nothing on the screen. Then the phone took a full six foot drop and received a small inch in a half crack on the back of it. The phone still functioned fine!  A couple of months later, my mute button broke off. Still the phone made calls, so no need to upgrade. One minor annoyance was that I had to turn off the phone in the classroom because  I couldn’t mute it. The phone acquired more cracks but still worked fine.

When the 4s came out I was very tempted to upgrade but decided to wait till the 5 came out. In the months leading up to the release of the iPhone 5 my 3G took a huge it…. I dropped it again but this time the screen cracked in a bunch of spider web like lines. This was the kicker, I had promised my friends and family that I would upgrade to the 5 no matter what but deep down inside I had this odd love similar to someone who owns a car or a truck with hundreds of thousands of miles on it. I knew that when they released the 5 I would still want to keep my 3G. However texting and reading with the cracked screen eventually broke me down and I preordered my iPhone 5 a day after it was announced.

Why I love Apple so much is their product worked flawlessly until I managed to give it too much physical abuse. Had the screen not have broken I probably still would have it. My mac is the same way. Working just as fast and as reliable as the day i bought it. New advances in Apple technology force you too upgrade your equipment in order to  enjoy the  latest luxuries however if your fine with old technology you don’t need to upgrade. Now I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to Mac or PC and iPhone or other. Apple is the only way to go. Theres a reason why everyone wants one and its not to be in the “in crowd”…. reliability. I could go on forever about the pros and cons, however I am happy with my choices and you are or could be too.

Be sure to follow my blog because as soon as I get my iPhone 5 which should happen this week. I am going to do an entry dedicated to its camera.

Photoshop: What to do if your brush diameter disappears

Occasionally I will be deep into photo editing and all the sudden my brush diameter will disappear. Years ago I would have to reset photoshop when this happened not knowing that the problem was caused by turning on the CAPS LOCK key. So thats it next time your brush diameter doesn’t work just make sure that your CAPS LOCK key isn’t on. I decided to make this post because I encountered the minor problem again last night and it made me wonder how many people run into the same problem and don’t know how to fix it.

The inevitable Mac OS name change

Today I was thinking , what happens when Apple runs out of cat names to name their operating systems? So far they have used the following names:

Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther,  Tiger, Leopard,  Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion.

Im no cat expert but Im pretty sure that Apple is running out of cat names. According to my calculations lynx, cougar, bobcat…. liger? ( don’t pull a napeoleon dynamite on me) are the only names left. So whats next ? Im thinking shark names. They still maintain a special ora to the operating system. In reality if Apple were to use the last four cat names they would not have  to worry about changing animals for five to six years. Im wondering what your guess are, comment below.

The Three Realms

The Three Realms is a  composite that I made from 8 photos. It is a depiction of Heaven and Hell with the Earth in the middle hence the title: The Three Realms. Originally, I was exploring the option of making a scene of Heaven with images from the clouds and the buildings. However, I was struck by inspiration and continued to add more and more to the composite until I was satisfied.  I really enjoyed working on this for a couple hours and then stepping away from the computer to contemplate my next move with the composite.

What makes this composite so special is that the images were taken with three different cameras (Canon Rebel XT, Canon 7D, and The Canon 5D Mark II) over the span of five years. Starting with the Heavenly Stars- taken from my backyard, The Heavenly buildings- The San Giorgio Monastery in Venice, Italia, Heavenly clouds, Earthly mountains – from a local mountain peak, and Hell- from local 2008 and 2009 wildfires.

My interpretation of the image moving from bottom to the top of the image:

Hell- the small specs of light represent the unknown…. they could be demons or eyes of monsters.  The fire and smoke represent heat and suffering. Fire is beginning to ignite the bottom part of the earth indicatiing where the world might be headed.

Earth- Life represent by lush greens. The large separated houses represent the desire for individuality and freedom.

Heaven- The dense clouds are my idea of the unknown location and difficult path to get to Heaven. Once above the clouds, everything is clean, simple, and clear. The buildings could represent the house of God or maybe a personal castle away from the evils of the Earth and Hell. The stars represent the vast size of what Heaven could be.

My interpretation and inspiration to apply meaning behind everything in the Three Realms comes from Dr. Fred Levine and his Art History lectures.