You are currently browsing the archives for December, 2009.
Once upon a time, I was a assistant swim coach at Bolsa Grande H.S., working with two great coaches, Howie Clarke and Mr. Henkle. They taught me how to be a good swim coach. Howie was my college coach and, to tell the truth, I owe him my career and what I have accomplished. But that is another blog.
This is about a swimmer from Bolsa. Rusty Perez. Rusty was an good swimmer and a great human being. First off, he is blind. That isn’t a big deal; at least he never made it a big deal. He swam sprints and was pretty good at it, if my memory is correct. In addition to being good in the pool, he was a leader on the deck. The team drew strength from him and he was always there helping teammates. All-in-all, he was a good person.
I found him on Facebook and he friended me. On December 21st, I saw that he was performing in downtown Riverside. First, I didn’t know he performed. Second, I didn’t know downtown Riverside had any kind of holiday event. I thought it would be cool to go see him. I mean, I haven’t seen him since he was in high school. You can see my blog about Christmas in Riverside here.
I got to Riverside after sitting in traffic for over an hour, but I still made the last half of his performance. He was singing Christmas Carols. He has a lot of talent and seems very comfortable in front of the audience. He had two back-up musicians, a percussionist who played a box and a bassist. Turns out that they had never practiced together and this was the first time playing together. You wouldn’t have known that from listening to them.
Rusty played a great set and when it was time to end, he announced that he would be back on stage on January 3rd and gave his website.
After his set, I went over and introduced myself. He remembered me, which I thought was nice and made me feel good. He was busy so we didn’t get a long time to talk, but I found out that he spent seven years teaching high school English and is currently teaching English at Riverside Community College. It was really nice to see Rusty again and hear him perform.
As for the photography, it was a VERY low light situation, so I kicked up the ISO to 1600 and then, using the 70-200 2.8VR, opened it up wide and shot. I have come to trust the lens/ISO combination in low light situations. As you can see the D300 is capable of producing some very usable shots at that ISO. The stage had a strange orange spot light focused on Rusty, which explains the weird coloration. I couldn’t remove all of it in post.
Here are nine of the images from that night. Please feel free to tell me what you think.
Posted 3 years, 4 months ago at 8:46 am. 2 comments
A couple of days ago (or nights ago) I went to downtown Riverside to see Rusty Perez, an ex-swimmer of mine, perform. I was amazed at the way downtown Riverside looked. And how he performed, but I’ll write more on that later.
The historical Mission Inn was just overwhelmingly beautiful. I kept wondering who put up all of those lights and how long it took them to do so, but that’s the geek side of me. They were everywhere. The kid side of me just couldn’t get enough of them. I kept walking back and forth, just looking in amazement of all the lights.
I was also amazed by the number of people who were there. The place was packed. I really didn’t think there would be so many people, but JEEZ, they were everywhere. The cool part was that everyone was in a great holiday mood.
So, here is my Christmas gift to you. A bit of Southern California Christmas Spirit.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 7:52 am. Add a comment
I’ve talked about Jessica and Robert of Jessica Elizabeth Photography asking me to second shoot an engagement shoot with Peyton Cooke of PVC Photography (if you don’t remember, check out the blog here), well we shot it last Saturday.
We met on the USC campus at Tommy Trojan at one o’clock. Ok, it was more like 1:30, the traffic into LA was insane! Robert and I talked about geek stuff (cameras) and Peyton and Jessica toured the area looking for ideas of where to shoot.
The couple, Marisa and John, arrived and the fun began. Now I have to tell the truth, I would rather be pulled over for speeding, face down a mother grizzly, or have my teeth drilled without Novocaine than shoot an engagement session. Robert and Jessica made it SOOOOO easy. I felt at home. I got to watch them work with the couple and just shoot until I started to feel comfortable.
Peyton, on the other hand, jumped in with both feet. She was giving instructions, directing poses, and pointing out possible venues like a pro. Me? I felt like a total fish out of water. It took me much longer to get the hang of how to get the shots I was looking for, but I finally figured it out.
Working with Jessica and Robert was helpful. I got ideas on how to interact, angles to look for, and different camera settings. We swapped lenses and, in general, had a great time. This is something I am beginning to think I can do.
Jessica, Robert, thank you for the opportunity to experience the shoot and thank you Marisa & John for allowing me to tag along on your special day.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 8:42 am. Add a comment
I was looking through the [b]school’s forums and came across a GREAT idea.
It was one of those “DUH!!” ideas. You know, the ones that say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!??!?”
Lawrence Kent, a photographer in Augusta, GA is issuing a challenge to his blog readers that for every comment he gets on his blog during the month of December, he will donate a can to the local food bank.
Ok, like I said, DUH!!!
I think this is a great idea. Like Lawrence, my goal is 100 cans and I will be counting the comments already made during the month. Which isn’t too many. Eight to be exact.
So, we have a LONG way to go to get to the goal of 100.
Like always, please feel free to comment, but now you can do it and give back to the community.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 1:53 pm. 6 comments
I love it when you look up and there, right in front of you, is the image of the day.
The Lava Lamp in my classroom.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 12:20 pm. 2 comments
A couple of months ago, I made a trip to Mono Lake, Bodie, and the eastern Sierra Nevada.
While there, I spent the afternoon and a sunrise in the South Shore Tufa area. During the afternoon shoot, I got some awesome reflections of the tufas in the still water of Mono Lake. Then, the next morning, I got the sun hitting the mountains in the background and the tufas in the foreground.
I think that Mono Lake is kind of a magical place during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. The tufas light up and show their complex texture and great color. Not only that, but there are always interesting wildlife opportunities if you take the time to look around.
Here are four images from Mono Lake’s tufas. If you wish to see more, please visit the Nature Light Photo Galleries.
Please take some time and tell me what you think.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 10:45 am. Add a comment
I took pictures for the school’s Comedy Sportz team a few weeks ago.
After posting the pictures on Smugmug I got a lot of pictures viewed and the visits to my site went WAY up, but I thought that was going to be about it and at the same time, one of the parents asked if they could use some of the images for publicity. I said sure and forgot all about it.
Flash forward two weeks. I got an email with a link to the Press Enterprise in the inland empire in southern California.
The link was to an article about the Comedy Sportz team. And there were some of my images!
Plus, I got photo credit. How can I argue?
Here is the link to the article in the Press Enterprise.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 1:39 pm. Add a comment
In October, I went to the first annual Morro Bay Photo Fest. It was full of workshops, photo opportunities, and other photography oriented experiences.
Part of the festival was a photo contest on Flickr. I entered two photos into the contest and moved on with life. After the deadline, I checked the site and, alas, I was not the winner. Oh, well. So goes life.
Then, about two days ago, I get an email from a volunteer stating that I had placed second in the contest and giving me a site to take a look at for more information.
After looking at the SLO Coast Journal site, I had, in fact, placed second in the contest!!!
Considering it was a workshop for photographers and some of the photographers were very good, I think second place is pretty good.
Here is the image I entered into the contest.
Please tell me what you think.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 9:33 am. 1 comment
Last Thursday Tuesday, I went to the OC SMUG holiday mixer. Ok, it was actually the LA, SD, OC SMUG mixer, but it was held in OC.
Usually the SMUG meetings are about business or motivation. the last meeting had Jasmine Star speak about netmaking. Not networking, but netmaking. She talked about getting out of her shell and into the photography community; learning and helping as much as possible. it was actually very powerful and made sense. I have been trying to do that since then.
Basically stepping out of my comfort zone, I have been trying to be active on different forums, websites, and in a few meetings/get-togethers. Trust me, when I said it was out of my comfort zone, it is WAY out of my comfort zone.
I’m usually the one who stands near the edge of a group and waits for someone to talk to me. Now, I am trying to go and introduce myself to people and talk to them. It is working.
I took a Torye Cooke of PVC Photography (a student of mine) to a FEO (For Each Other) meeting at Dane Sander’s studio about a week ago. It lead by Jen Disney and was about pricing. IT WAS AMAZING!! Jen let the discussion go, but kept it in the realm of the topic and let everyone have their say. Plus, she’s a good photographer.
People were very friendly and very knowledgeable about the subject. Plus, they shared. It was amazing to watch and fun to participate with such giving people.
The best part was when Jessica and Robert of Jessica Elizabeth Photography, started talking to us. We had talked to them once before at an OC SMUG meeting and they were very nice. Out of the blue they asked Torye and I if we wanted to shoot with them during an engagement shoot in the middle of December. I was caught completely off guard by that request. Why would anyone want to have me shoot with them? Of course, we said yes. Why? I need the experience.
Suddenly, I started to figure out how this interacting with others might help me in the business and that brings me to the OC SMUG Holiday Mixer.
Again, with the same student, who was VERY nervous, we went to the mixer. There I forced myself (and the student) to actually mix and talk with the people we met. And we met people.
We talked to Lori and Keith Anderson for sometime. I left Torye and visited with Gabriel Ryan and Chris Becker. I met Gabriel at the FEO meeting; his knowledge of photography pricing and the business is incredible. After that I went back and talked to Jessica and Robert about the shoot and hung out with them for the rest of the evening.
The talking part has never been hard, it was always the introducing myself as if I have something important to say and to add to the conversation. I am learning how to do that.
Here are a couple of bad (as in VERY BAD) pictures of the mixer.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 12:53 pm. 1 comment
While on a trip to Bodie in October for photographer’s day, I used the mid-day time to shoot some of the details of the town. I was facsinated by the old wood on the buildings.
Being an OLD ghost town, Bodie has some great old buildings and the wood in them is just amazing. Stained, filled with rusty nails, and the patterns of the boards make for some great shots. Using the Nikkor 105 f2.8 to capture smaller details
Here are four six of them. I would love to hear what you think.
Posted 3 years, 5 months ago at 9:42 am. 3 comments