Sunday, May 3, 2009

Official Website with blog up!

My official website, is up and running. It contains a blog page so i will no longer be using this account to blog. Please continue to follow me on my new homepage, and leave comments in the blog if you have any suggestions or just want to share your thoughts. Thanks for following me here, and I hope that you will continue to check in on me and my journey to make it as a professional photographer!

Thanks again!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Highly recommended book

I finally went out and bought the brand new book called The Hot Shoe Diaries, by Joe McNally. I heard about it on a recent TWiP podcast. The book is amazing, what i have read so far. It is entirely devoted to getting the most out of a single flash, and later with multiple flashes.

I have always been a little weird about using flash at all. I hate the look of flash pictures, but if you know how to really use one they can be great. This book, in the first 50 pages or so, has taught me more about flash work than i have ever know.

So, if you would like to learn how to use flash more creatively, or even just in general, definitely check out this book. It is by far the best i've read about the topic.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sports and Birds

Entry #1: Softball

Today I shot for the first time with the youth sports company that hired me. When i showed up I was all geared up, ready to take some nice action shots. Well, it turned out that we ended up doing team and individual shots first. I was a little terrified, just because i had never done that before, and wasnt sure that i could pull it off without any practice. There were 3 other photogs there, and i somehow managed to get put in charge of the individual shots. I was the only photog there that thought to bring a tripod, and im guessing that influenced the decision to put me in charge.

It actually went really well. It was fun having the kids go up and pose. After a few girls were out of the way, i got into a rhythm and went with it. We starting losing sunlight so i pulled out my trusty 580EX II flash, put an off-shoe cable on it and kept going. The flash shots looked even better than the natural light shots! Wow, i was really getting the hang of this! So, 4 teams later, i gave them my card to download all of my images, got my card back and was ready to shoot some action! I only had a little bit of time left at this point because it was already around 7:00pm and they wanted to be done by 7:30. The action shots i got were pretty good though, in my opinion, and they said the individual shots looked great.

Now that day 1 of this new venture is over, i no longer have my jitters. Tomorrow is more team pics for a couple of hours, then again on thursday. Pretty cool! Unfortunately, they keep all of the pics. I'm not allowed to use them for personal stuff, so i cant post any. But thats fine. They will probably be up on their website soon, and if they are ill post the link to them.

So that was part of my day.

This really should have been two posts, but whatever.

Entry #2: Birds

So lately, ive been really into bird photography. More specifically, large birds. I see hawks and vultures all the time when im not looking for them. I had Sunday off so Jill and I drove around to a few places where i knew i had seen some before. We ended up at River Legacy Park in North Arlington. I immediately saw the masses of vultures that common the area, and figured id try to get a few shots of them, even though they are ugly as all hell. What i was really on the lookout for were hawks. We drove through the parking lots, checking the sky for anything flying overhead. Then, just as we were about to leave i catch this guy flying over, very briefly.

I only managed a couple of shots of him before he was gone. Then i was left with the nasty turkey vultures. What the heck, might as well take some shots while they were flying low and close.

Boy, they are ugly.

I came home last night and posted on the Texas Photo Forum asking if anyone knew of any good birding spots around the DFW area. I got a few solid responses and had planned on going to one, the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, early this morning to shoot. I figured since i had to be back in Mansfield for the softball games by 5:00ish, it might be a better idea to wait until i could go out there and spend as much time as i wanted, and not have to be checking the time constantly to see if i needed to go.

So insted I went back to River Legacy to see if i could find the Hawk that briefly showed his face yesterday before flying off. No such luck at all! Only the stupid Turkey Vultures. So we went back into the woods down the walking trails and i found this guy.

I think he's a Heron of some kind. Still waiting on an ID from some fellow photogs though.

It was about 3:00 so we headed back and down to mansfield to get some lunch and head to the fields. I wanted to get there early so i could just make sure i was prepared for the softball shoot. For some reason i was still a little nervous about the whole thing.

We ended up getting to the softball fields about an hour and a half before i needed to be there, and it just so happened they had a walking trail through some woods that were located where the fields were. I figured i'd walk around and see if i could get some robins or cardinals in the huge trees overhead.

I found a few robins and that was about it. We walked back through a smaller unpaved path and i kept hearing a sound that i couldnt identify. It sounded like it was around eye level so i figured whatever kind of bird it was i may be able to get a nice shot. I followed the sound until i came across this beauty!

I was stunned! He was sitting there about 30 feet away, just looking around. I thought it was fake for a good couple of minutes, maybe to scare other birds away. Then he moved his head around, and finally flew off.

I followed him all through the woods trying to get close again, but he stayed up higher. This is another good one i got of him.

Maybe i shouldnt go looking for birds anymore, and just come across them! It was really cool seeing him sitting right in front of me. He couldnt have cared less that i was walking around him and snapping away.

So, all together i'd say it was a pretty successful day. Im going to try to get to the fields early again tomorrow to see if i can find the hawk again before i shoot more softball.

As always, click the images for the full web-sized version.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update on the youth sports deal

As i blogged about a little while back, i had an interview to shoot for a well known youth sports company here in the DFW metroplex. It went very well, and i signed my paperwork that night.

They asked me to work recently shooting action shots for a girls softball league. Then they wrote back a few days later and said I may be doing team and individual photos as well! Wow, talk about jumping in head first! I was to be there at 7:45am that morning, and shoot until about 4pm.

I got up at 6:30am (after working 12hrs the night before) and the weather was horrible, completely out of nowhere! It has been absolutely beautiful here in DFW the last month or so, minus all of the crazy wind we've been having the last few months. Well, this particular morning mother nature decided she would throw a screwball into the mix. It was 33* outside, with 25-30mph winds, making it insanely cold. But, this was my big day and i wasnt going to let a little weather spoil it.

I put on my fleece PJ pants, then layered my jeans over those. Put on a tanktop, a longsleeved under-armor type shirt, a longsleeved thermal and a hoodie. Socks, Shoes, and a beanie and im ready to walk out the door.

I get a call just as im walking downstairs to head to the car informing me that the shoot was off. Too many people werent going to show up and all of the girls that were there were layered in clothes, and lets face it, who wants an individual posed photo of their child dressed to go to Antarctica?

Needless to say i was a little bummed, but relieved that i didnt have to stand there for 8+ hours in that frigid weather. If any of you out there know me personally, you probably know how much i HATE being cold. I seriously cant stand it.

So fast forward a few days. I've now been asked to work this Sunday, April 5th, shooting softball again. Im really excited about it! As of this post, here is how the weather reads:

Sunday, April 5th: Sunny. High of 77*. 0% chance of rain.

Lets hope that holds up!

Okay, so that day is set.

Today, i got an email asking my availability for two different assignments.

Assignment #1: April 6-9. Definitely available that monday and tuesday, weds is a no-go, and thursday is good too. So that might be quite a bit of work coming in that week.

Assignment #2: April 18-19. Available there too!

So excited that i've actually got some steady flow of photography related income that will be coming in. Its definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully i can parlay this into bigger sports/venues and eventually up to the pro level. I'll definitely be needing a pro series camera body if i plan to step it up to that level. My current body (Canon 40D) is excellent for pretty much everything that will take me up to the pro level. I definitely plan to make that jump to pro-body in somewhat near future, hopefully by the time the next Hockey/Basketball season rolls around. The good thing about camera bodies is that you can actually get them used for decent prices. Lenses are where the money is at. Granted, there are some $8,000 camera bodies out there, but i dont need that one! The one im planning to buy (Canon 1D Mark II, or 1D Mark IIn),the last generation model, you can pick up used for anywhere from $1000-1700. Sure, it doesnt have all the newest bells and whistles, but it didnt have them 2 years ago when thats what all of the top sports photographers were using either. Basically meaning that even if the camera is a few years old, its still going to produce great images.

Well, i need to go spend some time with Jill. I feel like i've seen here all of about 10 minutes in the last 3 or 4 days. The last thing i need to be doing is coming straight home from work and sitting on the computer blogging all night.

Hopefully i keep this updated more frequently than i have been recently.


Work Work Work!!

Man, i've been working my butt off the last week or so. I finally have tomorrow off to get some much needed rest. I'd stay in bed all day long if i could, but ive got some post processing to do on some product shots. I really need a laptop to bring to bed with me!

This has been my past week and a half work schedule (with half hours taken out for lunch):

Mar. 24th - Stars Game. 11a-10:30p (11hrs)
Mar. 25th - Mavs Game. Daytime only. 10a-5p (6.5hrs.... yeah not horrible that day)
Mar. 26th - Off from day job, but drove to Austin to take some product shots, so still technically worked. That drive is exhausting going there and back in a day.
Mar. 27th - Mavs Game. 11a-10:30p (11hrs)
Mar. 28th - Stars Game. 12p-10p (9.5hrs)
Mar. 29th - OFF!!! YAY!!! Drove to Grapevine for a Photography Seminar.
Mar. 30th - WWE Wrestling. 11a-2a (15hrs)
Mar. 31st - Britney Spears. 11a-3a (16hrs)

That has been the last little bit, with a short burst left starting again on Friday.

April 1st - Mavs Game. 11a-10:30p (11hrs)
April 2nd - OFF tomorrow! Whew!
April 3rd - Jeremy Camp. 12p-Guessing midnight or so (12hrs)
April 4th - Stars Game. 10a-10:30p (12hr)
April 5th - Youth sports action photos all day
April 6th - Youth sports action photos all day (pending confirmation)
April 7th - Dayshift at the regular job, then possibly more youth action photos at night
April 8th - Mavs Game. 10a-10:30p (12hrs)

WOW. Thats a LOT of stuff going on. After the 8th I go back to mostly daytime until the Mavs Playoffs start up.

I've got a buddy who is starting his own fashion line, and at some point in the next week or so wants me to take some pics for him for ads. It will consist of mostly urban/street stuff, but im going to take him into the studio also and see what we can get done in there. Looking forward to that for sure.

I know most of this wasnt photography related, but i realized while talking to my mom recently that i havent updated this in quite some time. Making a new post after this about some actual photography related news.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sports Photography Interview/Training

This friday i have an "interview/training" set up with a youth sports photography company. I will be taking action shots of various sporting events all around DFW. Then, the pics get downloaded on-site to one of the "salesperson's" computers and sold to parents on a CD/DVD. They aren't really salespeople, because the company has already been asked to be there, so its not like we go take photos, then try to sale them to unsuspecting parents. They just specialize in the business side of the deal.

This is a paid deal too, so thats a start! Its not a ton of money, but if im making any money at all through my photography then i definitely cant complain. Im really, really excited about this. If i could choose one area of photography to specialize in, it would be sports. Any kind of sports. I just like the action and the challenge of getting the shot and freezing that moment in time.

So it starts with Basketball. I'm not sure if its a high-school tournament, or just younger kids, but it should be fun either way!

Also, i just ordered 1000 business cards to get started. I found a really sweet deal right now where you get 1000 cards, double sided (which i forgot to put a back side on mine... doh!) full color, and all you pay is shipping. So, that worked out to $8.02, shipped to my door! Cant beat that, at least just to have something to hand out. I even got to design them myself. Jill will be making some for her salon move as well.

This is the picture i used for the background. I took it last November at a nature workshop.

I thought it was perfect because the image left a nice spot on the side for text. I included my name, that im a photographer, email, phone number and website.

Hope those work out for me. I think they will be here next week or so.

Well, thats all i got for now. Im sure i'll be writing with all the juicy details from my interview and training on friday. check back soon!


Monday, March 16, 2009

New Website!! Come check it out. Let me know what you think!

Created a new website tonight. Spent way too much time doing it. I finally got it looking acceptable. Please stop by and let me know what you think. A ton more pics to come soon, hopefully.

As usual when I'm posting blogs, its now bedtime. Please stop by my website and let me know if you think its client worthy, if nothing else just so they have a feel of my work.

Thanks for checking it out.


Monday, March 9, 2009

WOW! What a night!

So tonight i got really lucky. I had my camera with me, along with my 70-200 f/2.8L IS at work. I still had all of my stuff in the car from the Bombsquad product shoot the night before. There was no way i was going to leave all of my stuff in the car all day so i brought it in with me. I kept joking around with my bosses that i was going to go walk around with my camera like i knew what i was doing and just walk up to one of the lens ports on the glass and start shooting.

Well.... I never did that, just because i like my job and dont exactly feel like getting fired! One of these days i really am going to do that though...

So, as i was leaving work after the Stars game i noticed that there was a college hockey game about to happen, and pretty much all of the security/ushers from the stars game didnt look like they were sticking around to work it. Hmm... maybe i should try my little trick now. I'll go back to my warehouse, set up the camera and walk around like i was supposed to be there. So i did. I managed to get a great spot on the NE side, by myself right at a port. Shot pretty much the whole game from there. During the second intermission i went up to the media platform where the TV cameras are and shot from there for a few minutes, but the 200mm was just a tad limiting for what i was aiming for. So back to the glass port I went!

I had SOOOO much fun, if even just sitting by myself taking pictures. You pros are so lucky to get to do that on a regular basis. One of these days....

The game was actually very high energy with some BIG hits and a massive fight. It took forever for them to sort it out. Then, when the refs were all deliberating on penalties, THE FREAKING GOALIES STARTED FIGHTING!! I've never seen that before. They were both tossed.

Anyway, here are some of the shots. Click them for a larger image!

Here are a couple of shots of me in action!

Another Product Shoot

Saturday evening I went by the Bombsquad shop to take some product photos for our website. Tanner and Wes mainly run the business, but myself, Doug, and William all put our two cents in as well. Tan and Wes handle the production and shipping however, and it is mostly their deal. We figured it was time to get some professional looking photos up on the site since we just released our first race deck and business is actually booming for those guys. Here are a few from the shoot.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

From blah to extremely excited!

I got home from work tonight around midnight and immediately sat down to try and color correct my previous efforts on the product photos i shot. The backgrounds in the last set were all over the place, some a yellowish tint, some a grey tint, and some a redish tint. I was shooting for the classic all white backgrounds. Thanks to a little help from Melissa (mmuhlenkamp) from the Texas Photo Forums, I think i got the exact look i was originally going for! These look amazing, in my opinion. I really hope the guys over at, Robby, Dorian, and Tommy, like them as much as I do. I did a few folders tonight and will have the rest done hopefully early tomorrow.

Here are a few of the pics, now redone how i originally intended.

As always, it seems to be in the 4am hour when i'm posting these blogs, so it's definitely time for bed. I've got a lot of post processing to do tomorrow! Night.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A little blah today

After doing the post-processing on 200 some odd pictures yesterday, i learned that my monitor was not quite calibrated correctly, so all of the backgrounds that look a nice bright white at home are actually not so bright afterall. All of the pics i posted last night, along with the other couple hundered are going to have to be redone. On pretty much every monitor but my own, the pics all have varying background colors, and only one or two are actually a pure white color. Blah. Most have a greyish, or yellowish tint.

I know what i need to do to fix them, but its going to take a lot longer per picture than i originally thought. This is all part of the learning process, so i'm taking it in stride. I've got a 13 hour workday today, so its unlikely i'll get to them tonight, but tomorrow i can spend all day fixing the problems. I'll try to do one or two tonight, just to get the technique down so i can hammer them out tomorrow.

Just needed to rant. I was so excited last night with my results, only to be shot down when i viewed them anywhere else but my house. Oh well. It's all part of learning.


First Product Shots

I made the drive down to Austin on Monday (with Jill along for the ride) to take the product shots for This is an online longboard store that will be opening in the very near future. It is ran by my buddies Robby, Dorian, and Tommy. I figured it would be a great time to build the lightbox, seen in my last blog, and get some professional looking product shots.

Between shooting all of the decks outside and doing the accessories in the lightbox, we took a lunch break and went to a place called Terraburger. This place was incredible. Everything they serve is 100% organic and all natural. I got a Hill Country BBQ Burger that was to die for. Everything inside the store is made from recycled materials, including their counter-tops, tables, chairs, and pretty much everything else. They even recycle their cooking oil into bio-fuel. If you are ever in Austin, you have to check this place out. I was a little iffy going in, since those of you that know me personally know that im a stupidly picky eater. But i have to say, seriously, probably the best burger i've ever eaten. And to think its somewhat healthy for me too! I hear they are going to be opening stores elsewhere, but for now i think they are just located in Austin. I sure hope they open one here!

I shot with Robby and Dorian most of the day and left to head back to Arlington at around 9:30-10pm. Not long after we left I started feeling really dizzy and nausious. I ended up having to stop about 3 times on the way back to get fresh air, and eventually just let Jill drive the rest of the way home. I took a quick peek at what I'd shot and then promply fell into my bed, with my head still spinning.

When my alarm went off at 7:30am this morning, nothing had changed. I still felt lightheaded and nausious, almost like i was motion-sick. I got up and let the dogs outside and got a little fresh air to see if that would help, but unfortunately it didnt. I let my boss know i wouldn't be making it in today and crashed back into my bed for a few more hours, still feeling like the room was spinning. And no I wasnt drunk. I havent had anything alcoholic to drink since Vegas last May, and I cant even remember before that.

Once i finally climbed out of bed today, sometime in the early afternoon, I started to work on the post-processing. All of the lightbox pictures came out really good in my personal opinion, but im still a little so-so about the outdoor pictures of the skateboard decks. I'll have to do some more work on them later.

I finally started feeling better this evening thankfully. Maybe my body went into shock after actually eating something that wasnt full of grease and fat for once! It's been way too long since that has happened! :P

Back on topic, here are some of the pictures from my shoot. As always, click them for the full size shot. More can be seen on my Flickr page.

Edited to remove old pics.

Robby told me when I got there that he had been quoted somewhere around $3,000 by a local guy to shoot their entire inventory like I did. I cannot believe product photographers get that kind of money left and right!! That's crazy. I know the market that i need to enter into now, geez. Forget sports photography! :)

Time for bed. 13hr workday tomorrow.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Homemade Lightbox!

I've got some products to shoot for my buddies down in Austin so I figured I'd make a lightbox to give them a more professional look. I made it out of a cardboard box, some tissue paper, poster board, and a couple of worklights. For someone with zero studio and lighting experience, i'd say the couple of test shots i took came out okay. The sides of the objects are a little hot, but i'm working on positioning the lights to eliminate that.

Here is what my setup looks like.

Here are a few of the test shots taken tonight. I haven't had much time to dial anything in, so these are just the first round of tests. I'm hoping to make it down tomorrow to go take their pictures. If i do, i'll definitely be posting the results here.

Well, its way past my bedtime so im heading off. I will update as much as i can!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Austin Skate Trip

Today me and a few of my longboard crew, Bombsquad Longboarding, drove down to Austin to meet up with some friends and skate the insane hills the city has to offer. We met Tommy at Robby and Dorian's house and then headed to the hills. It was a LONG day of skating and walking up hills, but as always, it was worth every second. Austin has amazing terrain and massive hills compared to here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. So any chance we get to hit some bigger stuff we jump on it!

Thanks to Dorian, Tommy and Robby for a great day of downhill! Hopefully we can make it down again very soon. You guys are awesome.

Here are some of the pics i got, so far. I haven't been through them all to get them edited yet, but here is the first batch of downloads.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A couple of pics from the hockey games tonight

Too tired to write much tonight, so i'll fill in the details of the shoot tomorrow. Just wanted to show a few pics that i got during the games earlier tonight.

Enjoy. I'll give you the whole scoop tomorrow. Have to go to bed asap. Another 12 hour work day for me tomorrow. Goodnight!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Favorite places around the net

Not a lot going on today in the way of photography since i spent all day at work (10am-10:30pm), so i figured i'd share some of my favorite places to visit on the net!

This Week in Photography (TWiP): Very cool weekly podcast hosted by pros covering a wide variety of topics, and current events in the world of photography. Each show is roughly an hour and a half long and shows are posted every week. Its the one i look forward to most out of all of my podcasts. Great hosts, good humor, and great information make it an A+ in my books.

7 Photography Questions Podcast: Another very cool weekly podcast. I really love the format of this one. The concept of the show is that the host (Dr. Audri Lanford) interviews one professional photographer each week. Each photographer has a different topic they cover for the week. One week she may be interviewing someone that specializes in Wildlife Photography, like Roy Toft. The next week she could be interviewing someone who specializes in pet photography. What i really like about it is that the week before she does an interview, she sends out an email saying who its going to be, and what questions her subscribers have for that photographer. She takes the 7 "best" questions and those are the ones she asks. The shows vary from 30 mins to over an hour, depending on how she cuts it up. Sometimes she may chop an interview to last two shows. One good thing about her format is that its not based on current affairs so you can download past shows and still get useful info from them. Its not like a show like TWiP where if you go back to July you will probably already know most of what they are speaking about. Another A+ for me.

Pro Photography Show: Another good podcast, but this one is only monthly. Gavin Siem hosts this one, and most of the time has a nice roundtable of pros from different fields with him. He does a few interviews too that have been really good, like his interview with Rick Sammon. This is another pretty topical show where most of the news is current, so i dont usually go back and download older shows. This is definitely worth throwing on your iTunes podcasts though so you can start at the current show and just stay with it from there.

Texas Photo Forum
: A great forum for Texas photographers, however there are people from all over that are members as well. The traffic through the site is pretty high and most of your posts get answered fairly quickly. There is a ton of information available to anyone interested in photography, whether you are looking to buy your first camera or are a seasoned pro. This is probably my most visited site on the internet. I have become a forum junky in the last few months, and this one is at the top of my list. I think i like it just for the fact of it being statewide. Ive already met a few other photogs off of the site, so its a good way to make new contacts as well as new friends. The forum is very easy to navigate with a ton of different sections, including a buy/sell section that i have personally used. It helps to make a buy or sale locally to avoid the hassle of the shipping process involved in national or worldwide buyers and sellers. Definitely worth checking out.

Photography on the Net (Canon Digital Photography Forums): Easily the #1 all around best forum ive ever been to. The traffic on this site is insane. For instance, it is 11:35pm right now and there are currently 1660 active members online on the forum. If you have a question about anything it will get answered almost immediately in most cases. One word of advise however, if you are going to post something, DO A SEARCH FIRST. I'd say 9/10 times the exact question has been asked and answered, probably many times over. You are free to post whatever you like, but there are some people that get really sick of hearing the same questions over and over. Most of the time there will be a few jerks that tell you to search first with a few other sarcastic comments that will discourage you from posting anything else in the future. Thats the only reason im saying now to search the forums, so you dont have to hear it in a rude manner in the future. Back on topic now. I can (and a lot of times do) spend hours on this board and never run out of information to learn. The catigories are broken down very well so that you can read about specific areas of photography. There is a section just for lenses, one for cameras, one for lighting, etc, etc. There is a critique section as well. Also, it has a great buy/sell section with a TON of new posts per day, so you can usually find almost anything you are looking for on a daily basis it seems. This is the site I go to if i have a question that i'd like answered with as many perspectives as possible. Ive had posts grow to 50 replys or so in a very short period of time. Another site i would definitely recommend bookmarking.

Roy Toft Photography: This is the website of Wildlife Photographer Roy Toft. This guy is an unbelievable photographer. His images have been featured in National Geographic, Nature’s Best, Smithsonian, Audubon, Wildlife Conservation, Discover magazines and other notable publications to advance conservation efforts globally. Roy was the instructor at the Tamron workshop i attended last November. I learned more from him in two days than i probably had learned anytime prior. He knows how to connect with people and explain things in a way that you can grasp. I was still throwing the idea of really focusing on photography around a little before i took this workshop. After it was over, there was no doubt in my mind that this is something i really want to persue. Ever since then i have made an effort to read any book i can get my hands on to take in more information. All of that thanks to Roy Toft. Roy leads tours all over the world to some of the greatest spots a photographer could ever dream of. He hosts trips to places like Bostwana Africa, Costa Rica, Alaska, and Japan to photograph some of the best wildlife the world has to offer. All the while he is teaching you and showing you how to improve as a photographer. I am doing my best to try and make the Costa Rica trip in December '09. His constant efforts for wildlife conservation put a special mark in my heart. I have personally written him a few emails with random questions i had for him and he has always written me back in great depth very soon afterward. I sent him an email a couple of weeks back with a couple of questions regarding the Costa Rica trip and his wife actually wrote me back letting me know that Roy was on assignment until February 11. She said if i had any questions i could call her if i'd like, or that Roy would write back once he got back in and settled. Today, February 11, I got a response back from Roy himself answering all of the questions i had and told me to give him a call if i needed anything else. Please check this guy out and let him know what a good job he is doing, not only with his photography, but with his conservation efforts as well.

Opacity: Urban Ruins: This site is dedicated to the photography of abandoned locations, like psych wards and hospitals, military facilities, etc. The pictures this guy takes are incredible. He does a great job of making you relive what it was like there through his photos. It can be a very creepy site as well, so dont look at it while you are alone in the dark! But do check it out when you can. You wont be disappointed. Click the Locations button in the menu to access all of the places he has documented, with a short description of each place. Many places have multiple galleries from different times he has visited. This is a wonderful site for some really cool wallpapers as well! Check it out for sure.

Arlington Camera: My local camera store here in Arlington, Texas. These people are great here and extremely knowledgable about everything to do with photography. They have events all of the time as well. I attended a Tamron workshop this past November that was fantastic. I learned a lot from the two days i spent attending. Arlington Camera also does rentals, which i havent personally taken advantage of quite yet, but im sure i will in the future at some point when i really need that 100-400L or long prime for a sporting event. Check these guys out if you are a local. Their prices are consistantly lower than any other brick and morter store ive been into, and their employees far more educated about photography. If you can, talk with Rick. He is my salesman there. Tell him Brad sent you! If Rick is unavailable however, anyone else can give you great assistance. You just may not get the same smart-ass remarks that Rick likes to fire off from time to time. :)

Thats all i can think of at the moment. Im sure there are many more, but im just not thinking too clearly right now after a looooong day at work. Check these links out though and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks guys.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More news every day

My wife Jill (for those of you that may not know her already) is a cosmetologist and recently told me that one of her clients is an ex-pro hockey player. He now coaches and runs pretty much all of the local Arlington area ice hockey programs. I sent him an email to ask what the rules are for shooting pictures at games, since im not related to anyone on the team and dont know anyone. I just didnt want to be "that creepy guy with the camera" taking pictures of people. I've been wanting to get more into sports photography and thought it might be a good place to get some practice.

Today he wrote back and not only gave me permission to shoot there, but actually asked if i would be able to shoot for their D League games on Thursday nights to use on their website! I'm not getting paid anything (as far as i know), but the experience will be great and also the publicity assuming the photos turn out for the better.

So, just another nugget of good news for me. February has been very good to me so far! I'll post up some pics from this Thursday night's games once i get them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A few more from the Zoo

Fort Worth Zoo

Today Jill and I went to the Fort Worth Zoo, for one because we hadn't been in a while, and two because i wanted to put the new lens through some more testing. The 200mm was just a little short for some of the shots i wanted to get, but thats no biggy. Its not exactly meant for nature photography anyway. Eventually I'll get a 1.4x Extender to give it just a little bit more reach, but that will have to wait for now. It was overall a very good day. We spent way more time there than normal and made a day out of it. Below are some of the images from the day.