Contrary to local belief my Head is full of ideas, most of them fleeting and unformed. Some reoccurring, but needing some form of outlet. A few are actually pretty good. Lets see what comes up!
Looking for something motorsport related consider visiting our sister site www.speedovision.com It's HOT!
As of today consider this site a work in progress. Things just are to dated and in no way reflect my current level of competence. Look for lots of unannounced updates, and structure updates. A total redo if you will .. But it all has to start somewhere. Like now!
"Seniors on the Go:
Had the opportunity to image those amazing ladies from South Carroll at the Annual Carroll County “Seniors on the Go” event at the Aug Center last Wednesday., sadly they were a lot more “On the Go” then i have been processing the images.
Fear no I haven’t forgotten, just fell behind a bit,, Some images have been up loaded to the event gallery located here More as time permits.
Setting the clocks, maybe but not when we’re talking updating this site. After playing around with several site designs I finally decided decided on a minimalist design. The final choice was “Strpped” by one of my favorite RapidWeaver designers. Henk Vrieselaar, Of course changing a theme is no big deal with a CSS driven website. But with so many options/looks/capabilities picking one is no easy task. With the “look” set, now I can continue to refresh the content.
I shot my first solo Bat Mitzvah this weekend, totally enjoyed the experience, but still waiting on the family’s take on the images I captured. A few years ago I shot an equestrian event and shot images I thought would meet the customers need. Not so, I had no idea a formal style portrait of the rider standing next to her horse wearing her prize ribbons just isn’t what they want.. Just the horse, i was told. maybe with the rider doing something.. Go figure. Hopping history doesn’t repeat the experience.
Why I Love/Hate going to summer carnivals.
Yes: Can anything top the smell and taste of Carnival Food. Yum!
No: The idea that one buys a side here, (fries) and the entrée way over there, (sausage sandwich) and the drink (Lemonade) somewhere else.
Yes: Taste’s great.
No: Have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.
Buy for me I good for the long exposure on the rides after dark.
And then were none..
Almost at the exact same time as I reached the gates of Sandy Point State Park for the 2014 Maryland State Police, Polar Bear Plunge it was announced on 98Rock that the plunge was being canceled due to the dangerous weather conditions .
By this time the State Police were turning away the faithful so the only activity were crews starting to dismantle the Plunge infrastructure z
Well the no activity didn’t apply to the ‘Super Plungers” Tent.. Everyone in the tent were in shock that the event had been called off. Every hour for the past 23 it was out into the cold, in and out of the water and back inside to warm up.. I think all this involvement, and with a end in site they would never be able have, was the reason. With slight exception I knew no one in the tent. Well no one but my hero local TV news star Rob Roblin, He looked just plain tired.
and 98Rock Morning Show Host Justin Schlegel who I had photographed this summer at the Baltimore Grand Prix. I didn’t shoot any images but he told me this was the hardest super plunge he was involved in. He showed me a movie he took of the shore line at 2AM where the waves were washing in layers of fine slush ice. It looked real nasty and they did postpone plunges until 4am. At this time he wasn’t sure if they were done plunging too, or were going to continue to the end. Turns out they did go in one last time but we were on the other side of the site when it went off, so we missed it…
We did see some of the regular attraction The Ravens Roost guys and Captain “D”. All hard core Ravens Fans.
Wondered over to the fest tent for a cup-0-joe and ran into this really nice guy with a utterly fantastic beard.
whats left cold and windy empty beaches and time for the ever vivacious Ms Tina Miles and mineself to head to our respective homes. Smile for Tina..
"Hot Day in January"
In one of his songs, Cajun fiddle man, Doug Kershaw http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Kershaw sang “It’ll be a hot day in January when she'd ever leave me”. I guess they were talking about today. I’m showing 18° as I get ready for my 5th Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge. (Media) While not one of the brave plungers, braving the outdoor’s 0800 to 1600 has been a challenge at time. Most of my family and friends think I’m nutz, and would rather spend the day bundled up, inside. Thankfully I’m not at that stage yet.. And why, may your ask? That’s easy, I spend the day trying to chronicle the nobel efforts of the thousand of folks, plungers, staff, whoever, who do this each year to support the Maryland Special Olympics. Plus I get to hang around with one of the best media pros I knew Tina Miles. With maybe a bit of Rob Roblin thrown in. Who know what this year will bring? Cold, yes. Snow, maybe, In the meantime here’s some shots from the past to pass the time..
Off shortly, hope to see you on the other side
What's in my Kit?
I promised a new post a week and a post a week ye shall get.
This weeks saga will touch on those items of kit that I currently use.
Canon EOS 5DMIII
Canon EOS 5DMII (W/Magic Lantern 2.3 firmware Mod)
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 30D
Canon 17-40mm f/4L
Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM Pancake
Canon 50mm f/1.2L
Canon 70-200 f/4L
Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS
Canon EF Extender 2X I
Flashes and Triggers
Canon 600 EX-RT
Canon 580 EX II
Canon ST-E2 Speedlight Transmitter
Of course this is part of a list for my use I developed. Tripods Heads and brackets will be addressed next week
A truly learning experience
You may quote me "One day you get the Lensbaby, but most days the Lensbaby gets you". Last week mostly, out of curiosity,I let a Lensbaby Composer Pro /w Sweet 35 Optic come into my life. And as after other life changing moments such as Marriage and Childbirth, things are never quite the same. I love the endless possibilities this little tilt shift lens hints at, but in practice worthwhile results are seeming to elude me.
On Saturday I went on Andy Smith's Visual Reality (re)Photowalk in Gettysburg Pa. with the intent of making this a "Lensbaby" only event. To compound the issue I decided to also shoot 3 shot bracketed images for HDRs. Because this was my first real world outing with this little lens my lack of familiarity with it's operation became apparent quite rapidity. Let me explain, as this is a manual lens, F stop's and focus are entirely up to the user. But what really bit me was setting the shutter. A very high percentage of images were either under or overexposed. To late i discovered if the cameral was set to AV mode, a decent shutter speed was set But that was a day later, on Saturday my total capture of "Keepers" could be counted on my fingers. Oh well, live and learn. Maybe next time.
A cold day by the Bay.
Saturday the 27th of January, 2013 was the 17th Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge and my forth consecutive trip to cover the even. And as per the norm, it was cold (air temp 34°/ water 35° ) but sunny. A great time was had by all. While all the credit has to go the the plungers, some 11,000 of them who raised almost $2.000.000 for Special Olympics Maryland , In some aspects it's just as tough if not tougher on the media. For a lot of the plungers it's come an hour or so before, walk around, change, plunge, dry and change back. then go home. For our media team it was arrive at 0800, shoot the last 98Rock "Super Plunge" at 0900, then wander around shooting the normal and the maybe not so normal fellow attendees. Cover both the 1300 and 1500 plunges water side, shoot more and finally head for home around 1600. A long day in 35° weather to be sure. But I whine a bit too much, it could have been worse, like three years ago when it snowed and sleeted all day.. And I did get to photograph such notables as Miss Maryland, Miss Teen Maryland USA , Miss Teen DC USA
and Some of the Ravens Cheerleaders
did I mention Britney Girl Dale?
But apparently the Cold Air and Water Didn't Stop the Plungers from Having Fun.. So I guess a good time was had by all.
Time Time Time into the Future
OK I know that an upgrade to this site was promised last year, Good intentions but life just got in the way. I'm happy to report now that the Chris Klinefelter Tribute project is done over at Speed Vision of MD, I will have more time to focus on this ( www .dougmillephotos.com ) site and kick it up a notch.. Shortly I will be posting a piece on two recent projects/focuses . The Trandscend 32gb SD WiFI card and the latest Magic Lantern Release, and how Aperture made finding and extracting 1000+ files for the Klinefelter Tribute, from a almost 30 thousand image collection to Zenfolo and finally Vimeo, a relative snap.
Dance they said, and it was good. Update
This year events seem to be few and far between. Almost at the last second, my young Child Bride (CB) and her dance companion decided to attend Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafl at the Pasha Land restaurant in Gaithersburg MD. Reservations were made over the phone for the following night (Sunday) and the excitement slowly started to build for both of us. Her, because she loves the Dance , and has so for almost 35 years. Me, it was an event, my real passion, photographing events. I have my favorites but as a rule, The Middle Eastern Dance events are not on the top of my list.. Don't get me wrong, I love photographing Middle Eastern Dancers of all shapes and sizes. And what's not to love, the colors, movements, music? No what's not to love is the venues.. It's a real challenge to capture a worthwhile images of the dancers in a High School Gym, Senior Center, parking lot or worse. Which with small exception is where they are. Fact of life, the girls love to dance where ever they can to show off their skills, and to do this "You takes what you gets."
But I have, as they say, digressed. We both went into our usual preparation modes, hers are not for public consumption, mine are more of a mechanical nature. Batteries to be charged, cameras & lens' needed to be selected. Which always proves to be a dilemma. Most times not knowing the where's why and whens of the venue always makes it at best, a guess. This time not being different, I decided to travel light with the 5DMII, a 50mm f/1.2, 100mm f/2.8, and one flash to deal with what ever lighting situations were presented.
When we arrived at Pasha Land at the appointed time, I was a bit distressed to see the restaurant was really not that large, and was packed with dancers and guests, with space already at a premium . which built when we came to find out our reservations had more or less, "flown the coupe". Lucky for us the owners daughter did some magic logistical redirection and we were ushered to our table, right out front. This was much appreciated by CB and friend as they almost were out on the dance floor. For me any use of the 100mm F/28, was ruled out. The only other bullet I had was the 50mm f/1.2 which was still a little long for this space. ("Darn why didn't I pack a wide angle?" ) As the excitement built, drinks ordered, menu choices made, I stated to realize the pickle i was in. When the dancers started to line up for the first group dance, the front line was only a foot and a half away from the front of the lens.
Nor perfect but Oh well, time to make some lemonade.. It's only pixels anyway. The music started, the light dimmed (I wish) and the magic started. Knowing things were far from perfect but I would get what I could i sat back, stretched my right pointer finger and started firing away. The rest of the afternoon was a blur of whirling dancers, delicious food and trying to get that "perfect shot.
A note of apology to the dancers, I was unable to capture "keepers" of all the dancers due to their proximity and lighting, and I'm still trying to mach the dancer listed in the flyer, to the images..
My thanks to all involved in making Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! a smashing success. The images posted are from my Flickr site but many more are posted or are in process of being posted on my gallery site. so check back often. .
Changing Seasons, Changing directions
Look outside the season is changing, summer is giving way to fall, which will in turn give way to winter. My approach to images likewise has started to change somewhat. Prior I would accept more of less what ever the camera had captured, perhaps with some minor tweaks in Aperture. Now more and more I find myself using one, or more, of the NIK plugins, with an occasional forays into PhotoShop to use the AKVIS SKITCH plugin or to provide background effects.
Above John Brown - NIK HDR Efex Pro 2, NIK Color Efex Pro 4
Above "The Dancers" Post processing With Aperture 3, NIK Color Efex Pro 4, ApertureExpert’s Preset Pack #5 “Film & Funk”
Above NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and Aperture core tools.
NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and Aperture core tool set. Also becoming a fan of the square crop in many circumstances.
Above Aperture 3, Adobe Photo Shop, AKVIS SKITCH Photo Shop plug-in, NiK Color Efex Pro 4.
The 90th Barbara Fritchie Classic
The Barbara Fritchie Classic Motorcycle Race promoted by is somewhat of an "odd man out" in the world of motorcycle racing. It attracts some big name Grand National and local riders. but is eclipses by the AMA Eastern most Grand National Race at Hagerstown Speedway. But there is no shortage of great motor cycle racing action, or interesting fans here in the heart of Central Maryland.
But is has a history
Like any bona fide classic, the Fritchie has stood the test of time. The Fritchie is held at The Great Frederick Fairgrounds. It is the oldest running half mile in the country. It’s a Fourth of July tradition in Frederick. But when it started in the 1920s, the race wasn’t even held on the Fourth. The Fritchie ran Memorial Day. And back then, it was called the Delphey Brothers Classic, promoted by J. Paul and Chester Delphey.
This years race was hot and dusty with no shortage of great racing action.
Young up and coming "Hot Shoes" like the #30s Jason Isennock.
Or visits from older members of the racing family - 63 years old and still running. The bike that is.
And at the end we saw locals on the podium Like #95 Samantha Bergman 3rd in class. But was the only one in the pre-race interviews seeing as the first and second place finishers crashed racing to the finish line.
Or even #62 Luke Gough from "down under" took 3rd place in Bababra Fritchie Classic.
Thankfully the race was relativity incident free. Here's hopping the grand old Dam will see the 100th running in 2022.
© 2012 FDphotovideo - - Doug Miller Photography
Eastern Museum of Motor Racing A sardine can of memories.
Driven inland by the projected crowds at Sailabraton I spent a most amazing 3 hours at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing today. Located Just south of Dillsburg PA off or RT 15 this hidden treasure chest of motor racing artifacts that is truly a wonder to behold.
As a life long fan of, any and all, motor sports, for me the contents unleashed a flood of fond memories. But what made the visit amazing wasn't the fact that I have seen two of the cars race in their day, or the supporting contents that i found highlighted reference to all my favorite drivers from Reading, Nazareth, Langhorne, Dorney Park. But that every one in the museum, visitors, or volunteers could, and would, talk racing.
Like the # 5 of Bobby Gearhart I've seen race at Reading .
Or this veteran example of a midget, I believe to have seen race at Dorney Park a as kid.
Legendary cars, legendary engines, dusty trophies. they all are in attendance
If you're ever in the area stop on in.. You will not be disappointed And admission is free (donations are accepted) I'm already planning future trips.
© 2012 FDphotovideo - - Doug Miller Photography
Aperture 3.3 and the power of Smart Albums
First off, I am a fan of Apple's Aperture program, have been using it since V1,0 (had lots of opportunities for improvement then ). Currently it's at V3.3 and it's developed into a mature, feature packed, stable program. I currently have about 110,000 images and videos in multiple referenced libraries, living on DROBO raids, Aperture has no problem tracking, managing, and modifying the images as I see fit.
Recently I received two requests for images, One was a request for a specific rider, in a specific motorcycle race, The 2011' Barbara Fritchie Classic . Easy enough as I only shot around 1200 images at the even. The next request involved one rider, and a whole series of races held by the Baltimore County Trail Riders Association in 2011. A bit tougher as I shot almost 9000 images at the race venues in last year.
Here's how Aperture and more specifically the Smart Albums made the task easy. First pass I looked at the images from the event date in "thumbnail view" which allows very fast scanning of galleries. I then used keyboard command to assign a color tag to all images that met the search requirement. Then I create a smart album based on that color. Paste in the riders name and # in the keyword metadata. Delete the color tags, and redefine the Smart Album criteria to reflect the riders name and number. I then use the Zenfolio export tools to move the requested products to a specific gallery. The Flickr export plugin to post to Flickr so I can post a link to Facebook. I was really surprised how quickly these tasks were accomplished.. Shout out to Apple, keep up the good work, allowing me "to get things done".
A New Dawn, A New Day. Happy New Year!
"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Tis the season to be jolly, Don we now our gay apparel,Troll the ancient Yule tide carol, See the blazing Yule before us, Strike the harp and join the chorus. Follow me in merry measure, While I tell of Yule tide treasure, Fast away the old year passes, Hail the new, ye lads and lasses, Sing we joyous, all together, Heedless of the wind and weather" (Yes, the La La Las have been removed as a public service. )
As expected a new dawn has brought a new day. The slate is clean, waiting for the story of 2012 to be drafted.. You have the pen, you tell the story.
Happy New Year from Me to You.. Buckle in, Hold on, & Enjoy the ride.
On two Winter weekends, not so long ago.
Christmas Eve 2011
Seems the Holidays are not only fast approaching, but there here! And while I will, like so many, will extend Holiday greetings and wishes for a Happy New Year. I'd like to slip in a non-holiday thanks you.
First thanks to the Baltimore County Trail Riders Association for all the unsung efforts in making these events happen for 30 some years, and allowing me to capture the digital record of the events.. Thanks to the riders, sponsors, crews, family for their skills and sacrifices to provide us with the finest of 2 wheeled competition. And thanks to all the fans who brave the cooler temperatures in order to support this effort.
Should one care to visit the 4000 images from these two indoor events, enjoy.
BCTRA "Second Time Around" 12/17/11
BCTRA "Gone in 1 minute, 42 Seconds" 12/10/11
How fast is too fast, how close is too close?
Shot the first of two BCTRA indoor events last night. Had at fantastic time and have 1798 images to proved it. Of course now I last nights images to deal with but also a backlog of images from Tuesdays Chapelgate There tics, production of "It's a Wonderful Life". And the Christmas light that don't work… Busy Busy Busy. More on both projects when I'm dug out a little. The link to images from last night will be posted on the website shortly.
It's a wonderful life"
Some teasers from last night to include Megan Bell being awarded for her scholastic achivement .
And what racing posting would be complete with out a crash?
How bout some racing action?
Bellydancer's Passionate for the Pink V2 (update 11/11/11 -AM )
Local updates 01/01/12- AM
At least one pic from each act has been posted to the Flckr. Some images may have the wrong performer listed… If so, many apologies. Contact me and I'll correct quickly.
This weekend was the second annual running of "Belly Dancer Passionate for the Pink". To say the large assemblage of amateur Dancers (Middle Eastern, Modern, Ballet ), of all skill levels, coming together to showcase their craft in support of the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" , was truly awe-inspiring, would be somewhat of an under statement. Captured 60 gig of media (over 1100 images and about 2 1/2 hours of HD video.) and filled my last chip, on the last shot, of the last act. Up side? Venue, performers, their performances, organizers, and of course the audience. Down side? Lugging about 100lbs of kit up three flights of stairs to the balcony, and then back down again to the car. What! Builds character and stamina you say? I'll have to take your word on it. . Hopefully the videos will follow suit. (? They all have some problemst). Enjoy.
A Tale of Two Days Rolled Up Into One.
"X" marks the spot Part 1
A Perfect Storm of sorts.
"Dust-n-Dirt" - A peek into the (my) creative process.
BCTRA After the Gold Rush A retrospect
A visit to the track the day after the final event.
How long has it been? July 3? I'm falling behind almost too much to catch up on but I'll try.
(Quick note, seem my old favorite blogging software BLOGO doesn't support the new Mac OS 10.7, so I'm giving MarsEdit a try until……. BLOGO comes up with an updated version, I find something cheaper <$39.00-ouch> , the 30 day trial is up and I have to buy.)
But I digress, back to orginal story line.
The 5 race BCTRA Kevin Mcnicholas Memorial Short Track Racing Series has come & gone As schedule would have it, I only had the opportunity to attend the 4 Friday night sessions, but I'll take what I can get. How can you even begin to look back at those 4 night of action? The racing was hot (so was the weather for the first 2 sessions if I recall), attendance light compared to other years. Seeing as the new groundbreaking Mac video software package Final Cut Pro X is in my toolbox, this year I decided to try something completely different. Less captured images, more HD video for a project I decided to undertake, attempting to capture some of the special magic offered up by the BCTRA and the dedicate army of local racers. Unnamed as of yet, it has been quite the learning experience. The video part is easy as long as one keeps it simple, trying fancy Hollywood techniques, like extreme DOF in daylight using neutral density filters, maybe not the best idea. Slide tracks, again a cool effect, but a real PITA to drag around. The interviews presented a "whole-nother" challenge, like sound. Which bit me in the but all 4 nights. I got better at it but their is room for improvement. End state I shot less images, maybe less then 2K for the whole series compared to the 10K I shot at last years events. But captured over 2 hours of interviews, race and "B" roll segments. Enough for now, back to processing media from Friday night. 1385 stills 1 hr of DV video, 38 min of HD video. Lots of material to work with.
Gary Nixon RIP You will be missed by me and the local racing community.
(Note: Links to all my racing images can always be found at my FDPhotovideo Website)
DSLR Video, the shape of things to come..
One item to address before tonight entry.
1. Same great taste but less filling
I've decided to combine the fdphotovideo &dougmillerphotos blogs to reduce my burden. Hopefully this will result in a more consistence posting pattern. As I'd like to start posting several times a week it sounds good right now but only time will tell for sure.
2. DSLR Video the voice that changed the media.
Attended a Penn Camera HD-DSLR Filmmaking training session this weekend led by Tom Sullivan from Gravity Media. Tom's been professional photographer and videographer for over 20 years with a very impressive body of work, and speaks from a wealth of real world, eyes on, knowledge. His message is relativity simple. DLSR HD video is sweeping the industry. Many TV show, parts of some movies and 60% of all commercials are now being shot with Canon 5DMII's. Up from 0% a few years ago. And it's really all about costs, in the industry a $2500 camera, $2000 lens, and a #2500 rig are still almost throwaway items, considering the super high production costs only a very few years ago. Lower equipment costs are also allowing more small production companies to output quality work so they can throw their collective hats into the ring. With the erosion of the mid to low cost, Wedding Photography Business, one of the bright points is the growing demand for quality videos telling the Bride & Groom's story. Which are more and more likely to be shot on DSLRs, by artists who know how to get that film like results, that brides love. The prize will go to those who are quickest to embrace these new technologies and techniques.