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!
It's almost Plunge Time again, just like it was last Winter.
It's all there in Black and White.
In an moment of weakness I accepted a B&W Challenge on FaceBook from by Friend and past winner of the prestigious Vicent Versace Award , at Photoshop World Cam Miller. Normally I avoid any FaceBook driven endeavor like the plague, but like I said, “In a moment of weakness”. 7 images over the course of a week, how bad can that be? Well so far, not bad, not bad at all, I decided to use images from a last weeks trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As of this posting 2 days down 5 to go..
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.
New Kid in town.
Mainly me, Downtown Baltimore that is. It might have taken over a quarter century but I finally made a visit to the iconic Bromo-Tower in Downtown Baltimore. Thanks to a Baltimore Bizjournal piece I stumbled across Friday that discribed the upcoming (Saturday) Open Door Baltimore event where 27 building that were not accessable, or had Limited or sporadic access to the public. I quickly scanned the list and picked three buildings for targets. The aforementioned Bromo-Tower, the spectacular Peabody Library. And to wrap it up the iconic Baltimore shot Tower.
Of the three the Shot Tower was the most disappointing to me. Mainly due to it vast interior space which was dimly lit and very hard to photograph. Of course all these are accessable at various times, and of course all will be revisited at a later time for additional attempts to capture these treasured bits of Baltimore history.
and maybe another lunch at my favorite Baltimore dining spot. Harry Attman’s Deli on Lombard st
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.
Hello Old Friend... StudioD and Alien Skin Enhance 6
What 4 months since my last post.. Bad Poster, Bad Poster…. Well what’s new? Other then a mindset redirection over at Speed Vision of MD.. Two things come to mind. One is the rebirth of “StudioD”, play on words. Studio for my vintage Sunpac folding lightbox and D for Doug, get it? and another is a trial run of Alien Skin Exposure 6. Lets look the specifies.
“ ©StudioD ” - In 2008 when I was much younger and new to Flikr, Santa left a SUNPAK Mini Studio under the tree. Forward to Feb 2nd of 2009 and one of my early Flickr posts was one a model organ made by Father in Law, using said device. As with so much of what I have, it saw sporadic use early on, but was quickly relegated to the back of the closet.
Lets fast forward up to last Wednesday (52814) when Norm Barker, Director of Pathological Photography @ The Johns Hopkins gave a presentation to the Central Maryland Photographers Guild on Micro Photography. Toward the end of his presentation it was mentioned he used a portable light box and carried a small bit of good black velvet in his kit to use as an impromptu backdrop because of it’s ability to absorb light. Being a good minion of who’s ever presenting, come Tuesday morning I too has a piece of my own. Up from it dark containment the Sunpak Mini Studio was transported, the black velvet backdrop incorporated and “©StudioD” was created. Immediately the resulting imagery of things laying around the house were a cut above what had been shot prior. I was pleased
Alien Skin Enhance 6 Saw several tweets a few days ago singing the phrases of Alien Skin’s new release of Enhance. 6. Being a constant user of NIK, Perfect Photo Suite, Topaz, and Alien Skin products on almost all of my posted images inside of Adobe CS6 or as a standalone I investigated and later D/L a trial copy of the software. On use I was very impressed with the vast range of effects included and started incorporating them into published images using “©StudioD” or on motorcycle racing images..
To be sure this software will be in my image manipulation tool kit but only when I can free up the $149 needed for purchase. Which is a shame as the more I look into the options the more Im amazed at it’s abilities
"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 New With You?
Nothing much as of now. Did visit the past in Ilkchester MD, The ruins of “St Mary’s Monastery” and Simkins Paper Mill will warrant a revisit as will the Old B&O rail infrastructure.
Later on in the week it was a visit to the Providence Cemetery in Gamber MD.
Like a Fish out of water .
OK I’m almost a week over due… Old ways return quickly.
Last Friday and Saturday I was inside the 53 year old Baltimore Arena to capture all the packaged action of “AMSOIL Arenacross” Never done this exact kind of shooting so I did some pre event scouting on the internet as to “the best way”. Thusly armed on Friday afternoon I headed down into the inner city for some high adventure. And then things started to go bad. First rule of anything is know your destination. Not being the most knowledgeable person about things Baltimore i went to the Downtown Convention Center, which I found out was not hosting a Arenacross event that night, or ever. I was advised to perhaps try the Baltimore Arena which was having some kind of motorcycle thing. So back out into the rain and city hustle and bustle went I, feeling a little stupid for the mistake. Finding the Arena (which turned out to be right across from my choice of parking garages.) my next challenge was to locate the “Promoters Will Call” which turned out to be “Go up to the next black awning, ticket booth is there” to “Go to the little Black Awning in there”, gurrr right back where I started. And a reminder that all this meandering was taking place lugging full gear, in some heavy cold wet rain. But once found, picking up my media package was quick and painless, the promoters had it down to a tee. Now the real business starts. Part of my pre-event routine is a pit walk through followed by reconnoitering of the racing surface, in this case, involved 4 levels. Previously I had set the flash up for second curtain sync. to add some “spoke blur” to the shots. I was very surprised to find the lighting in the Arena was great. No flash was really needed. Happily I kitted up and started shooting.
Because of the abundance of light high speed capture of the racing action were pretty easy to net. As I was after more of the unusual capture I quickly hit on a technique to use the flash set at 3 stops over power to override the ambient light and under-light the airborne bike and rider.
And that being accomplished is anyone shocked that soon playful Photoshop, Alien Skin Eye Candy 7, versions started surfacing in short order..
And then the camera died.. I’m still not sure what exactly happened but my 5DMIII shut down. I put in a fresh battery and it to shortly shut down. As a result Fridays captures of the actual show were mostly make with my iPhone. Dejected I went home to process and recover what I had capture and re-flash the camera’s firmware. My original intent was to shoot the Friday show only. Now I had to shuffle existing plans to allow a return Saturday engagement.
And return we did, everything worked as expected, the camera gremlin didn’t return. Now that I sort of knew the ropes, things went pretty good, with a good percentage of keepers to put on Speed Vision of MD. Most of the night I shot at f:5.6 around 1/250th ISO 850/1000. The Second-Sync flash worked a little to good, A few high speed pans didn’t benifit from the dragging flash.
Over all I had a great time, the event staff was more then accommodating, the Baltimore Arena staff were helpful and more then wiling to share their “tails of the road”, of course, of which I found fascinating.
Addressing the “Fish out of Water” title. This is a young mans sport, no real place for “silverbacks”. But if I could turn back the hands of time…. How fun would that be?
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
2014 Off and Running
Look how fast this year is already going, it seems only short time ago I was waiting at Liberty Reservoir for the first Sunrise of the New Year.
And now day 1 is almost history.. One of my New Year’s resolutons is to spend time updating the Doug Miller Photography website, I’ve been a sadly remiss in that area.. Second New Years Resolution is to post to this blog at least once a week. If for nothing else then getting back on the NSA tracking list..
I would like to wish all a Happy and Prosperous 2014.
See you soon.