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.
It's almost Plunge Time again, just like it was last Winter.
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.
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 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?
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".
PressPausePlay by House of Radon
An extremely well done media project on the current state of electronic media from the inside.
Society has been given a gift. This wonderful film has captured the interior segments, discussed and speculated on it's ramifications. As is the case of so many of the best gifts, it was dreamed of, but not asked for. Many who profit will find this gift unwelcome and try to control, or even stifle it in the name of .........…whatever.
The "Old" look on this gift with speculation, the norm is changing. The old don't like change. It means learning new rules and at best once learnt, becoming a second rate player. Hence the attempts to control change. In the name of………..whatever.
The "Young" don' t look at this gift as a give at all, It's just there. Part of their world. Just there.
In the new paradigm all can play, be a part and produce. But the hard realty is the collective hive mind of the mass will dictate what will stay today, and what is relegated . That's the scary part, as this is the same mechanism that gave us chain restaurants, kept American Idol on TV, and of course made "The Twilight Saga" hit media.
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
Gone in 1 Minute 42 Seconds.... BCTRA Indoor Flat Track Racing 121011 on Vimeo
How bout some back story on this Video? When I shoot motion related events I like to shoot a lot of images, lots a lots of images. Why motion is hard to catch, it's easer out side with lots of light, but that makes indoors is even more of a challenge due to the lower light levels. And it is most important to have the camera pointed in the right direction, and focused on the subject(s). To me more shots = a greater chance of catching that "Once in a lifetime" special moment.
This image i shot at a NASCAR race at Dover Dl. Was totally a fluke. The wreck was already in progress and for once I had the camera to my eye, focused on the action, and a clear view, I actually squeezed off 5 shots before before everyone stood up.
But I ramble .. When one is looking at 1800 images, one better have a great workflow tool, and I use the best. Apple Aperture 3. It only took about 1 hour to do a 3 pass selection to get the real keepers and start post production. And what can I do with 1500 some images that are left? Make a movie out of them.. Of which you seen the first quick version I more or less threw together with Apple Final Cut Pro X NLE (Non Linear Video Editing) software and some event sound I recorded on a Zoom H4n. As long as it stays fun, it's all good right?
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.
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)
This was a very unusual week for me. I actually finished up one long open video project, and completed another video project that for various reasons had fallen off the production schedule.
The long open project was a video compilation of images I shot while supporting the "Rebuilding Together, Howard County Project in in April. I made the video right after the project and it sat, I never finished it. It took a request for more images from the project manager to remember this video was sitting around waiting for a home..
The second video project was driven by a capture made in Lancaster Pa. during a photowalk, of a lovely young street performer (Brittany Clawson), entertaining passerby's outside the Central Market with her violin. If memory serves I shot a series of still images of her playing, and walked away. When the softly receding strains of Ashokan Farewell (made famous by Ken Burns classic, "The Civil War") reached me, I stopped in my tracks and quickly returned to request a repeat for the camera. I married up that video with some clips shot last fall in Gettysburg to showcase her talent.
Linthicum 4H Hi Riders 662011
The day started out threatening rain. but then the sun came out and became HOT and dusty. With 56 posted equestrian events, it promised to be a long day.
On Public Service
Just finished a string of two public service endeavors on behest of the CMPG
Rebuilding Together Howard County
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat.
Kind of a slow start to this years Yuletide Photo collection. Hopefully those activities will accelerate in this final weekend before the holiday. Tonight's trip was to Jeff Revell photowalk at The "Festival of Lights" at the Washington DC Mormon Temple, where 1/2 million colored light decorate the grounds and buildings. First Stop was the Visitor's Center to meet the other walker. The night was rain/snow free but seasonally cold. Perfect for the lights/
While there lots of other visiting for the exact same reason as us, local church members make a point of greeting all who came.
The lights were nothing short of amazing. Have to end this post right now, can't drop any more images in the blog, have to find out why.
Fly Like an Eagle, Thunder round the track (Part 1)
Last Saturday (12/11/10) was a day of extremes to say the least. A pre sunrise departure found me heading northbound to Conowingo Dam to join with other from the Central Maryland Photographers Guild for what has turned into an annual visit to photograph the migrating Bald Eagle(s) at the dam. We were greeted by cold, damp, weakly lit conditions, that while not ideal, for some in out party, were evidently tolerable to the Eagles, as they were plentiful and flying and feeding frequently.
As Photographing migrating Eagles is to me very similar to "Ice Fishing" (Cold/Long periods of inactivity broken by much shorter spells of frenzied activity. and little-to-no worthwhile results) This year trip was no exception, & I joined the "When's Lunch Time? discussion very early-on in the outing. Which turned out out to be Woody's Crab House in North East Md. which, while not providing a magician, did serve up a mean "Fish&Chips"..
But I digress a bit. As luck would have it, the best images of the day was two eagles fighting over a fish no more then 20 feet in front of us. I raised my second camera with the 28mm - 90mm knowing I could best those "big lens boys" who were struggling to find the birds in their 800mm viewfinders. As I raised the camera expecting to see a viewfinder filled with eagles I was rudely reminded that I had just put the lens cap back on only seconds ago anticipating the group leaving for lunch. Skunked again! Eagle shooting Ice Fishing samo samo.
Oh well lunch done, and a quick visit down to street to St. Mary Anne's Episcopal Church established in 1709.
And now it's time to head home for part 2 of the adventure. Stay tuned.
Toying with the technology.
I've become totally enamored with applications that can share with others.
Example is an image of one of the performers in the recent Bellydancers Passionate for Pink Performance on 101610. Image is hosted on Flickr. Just opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. Maybe not new to all, but new to me.
Bellydancers Passionate for Pink" performance at McDaniel College's "The Theater on the Hill" Westminster MD. *Update*
Added as non HD, lower resolution version of the Passionate for Pink video. Less choppy and kinder on lower bandwidth users on the "Middle Eastern Dance" Page.
Attended Bellydancers Passionate for Pink" performance at McDanies College's "The Theater on the Hill". The selfless dedication of organizer Nawal Qalbi, her staff, & all the performers involved in this production must be commended. Their efforts were so very apparent, and so very heartwarming.
Had a Great time, shot some great Images (633 to be exact) & HD Video that I will be assembling into a movie presentation shortl. As I noted the images, considering the venue impacts, came out OK, but choosing the music for the movie is going to be a bit of a challenge. Seeing as I'm officially on vacation both the images and the slideshow locations should be posted within the next few days.
(update- 101810 ) I've posted a link to the images on the "Middle Eastern Dance" Page.
(update- 101910 ) Posted Video on the "Middle Eastern Dance"
(update 102110 )
Just received a list of all the stage performers.
emcee Wendy Holthause!
- Amerabic Magic
- Makeda Maysa'
- Nomadic Sisterhood
- Nawal Qalbi
- Aliya's Kismet Dancers
- Nawal Qalbi
- Nomadic Sisterhood
- Nina Amaya
- Eva Nadira
- Amerabic Magic
Will be including this in a V3 release of the video(s)