Reinventing The Vision


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!

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.  

 

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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

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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?

Arenacross 006

 

 

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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. 

#30s Jason Isennock sets up for turn 1 during his heat race.

 

Or visits from older members of the racing family - 63 years old and still running.  The bike that is. 

63 years old and still racing. 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. 

 

Driven to excel.

 

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
www.fdphotovideo.com
www.dougmillerphotos.com
www.speedovision.com  

 

 

 

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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".

#30s Jason Isennock in the mix…  BCTRA Indoors 121011 #3 Brett Friedel Takes the Checkers

 

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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.

Behind every winner, there is a Mother.

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?

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A Tale of Two Days Rolled Up Into One.

October 1 2011 Some days are pretty much empty, some are full. Saturday was one of the full ones. Dateline AM. 1115 Scott Kelby 4th Annual World Wide Photo Walk - LochRaven Dam Townson Md. Cool, cloudy, a hint of moisture. Rain will come. I will hold it..   LochRaven Dam  HDR Been meaning to visit this place for some time.. And todays PhotoWalk made it happen.. I love dams, flat-out simple. Germany, Pa., of MD.. It doesn't matter, I will go out of my way to visit them. Dateline PM - 1700 Baltimore Trail Riders Association MC Flat Track. Delta Pa. Cooler, a light mist in the air turning to a light drizzle. BCTRA  Delta   - The eyes say it all. If one would have offered a wager this event wouldn't run to completion, I would have taken it. And of course lost the wager.. Maybe one of the fasted cards on record, but every one who came got to race. And in the course of shooting I hit on something technique wise that might pay off at the indoors. Test
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"Dust-n-Dirt" - A peek into the (my) creative process.

I will fist preface this posting with a single statement "It has been a struggle with this project to date" This video is dedicated to the memory of Gary Nixon..... Over at www.fdphotovideo.com I've finally posted a link to a shot teaser video, ( well a short teaser of the intro segment) of my current video project currently titled "Dust-n-Dirt" (Always subject to change of course, as is my customs) It will be composed of HD video captured on my 5DMII, stills DV video from tape, captured audio from my Zoom 4HN audio record over the last 4 years at Baltimore County Trail Riders @ AMA motorcycle flat track events. Final Cut Pro X has been both a curse and a blessing. A blessing because I understand it more than any of it predecessors, bar none. It's allowed me to do things I never could with the older versions. And I'm still learning which is part of the curse. As I learn something new I want to go back and change what already is in place. So nothing is really completed, ever. And a curse because FCPX & the New Lion OS can really tax a 5 year old low memory computer. Like bring it to a complete halt, freeze, stop, whatever. Until I can "Push Z Button" reboots are now a way of life.

Dust-n-Dirt - Intro Trailer - (Teaser) from DigitalDoug on Vimeo.

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BCTRA After the Gold Rush A retrospect

226:365  - BCTRA  After the Gold Rush  Pano 1

A visit to the track the day after the final event.

 

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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)

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Balancing the white, at night #fb

Last Saturday Night I traveled up to Delta Pa the catch the last motorcycle night race of the season for the BCATRA. As I was having some problems getting the outputs wanted with the flash so I mounted the 50mm f1.2 and went flashless. The images were closer to what I wanted, but as there were two types of major illumination sources I was having problems getting the white balance set. That is until my friend Craig over at Craig Thoburn Photography gave me a hint on how to solve the issue in Aperture 3. Shot with a 50mm f1.2 no flash @ 1/650sec.


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BCTRA Sumer Short Track Series 2010 Wrap-Up

Just posted the BCTRA 2010 Timonium Wrap up Slideshow/video.

Baltimore County Trail Riders Association (BCTRA) Summer Short Track Series. Race 4 081310 @ MD State Fairgrounds Timonium MD
You can view this and all the 2010 videos and all the imbedded images at www.fdphotovideo.com/motomania


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Workflow is not working

Went up to Delta Pa. today to shoot the BCTRA motorcycle races. Even thought it was hot and dusty, had a great time and retuned home with about 1000 images. The problem at hand is so far it's taken over 2 hours to D/L from the cards. Import into Aperture 3, and Geotagging. I hate to let the program do it's thing overnight. Plus I shot the images, I want to see them!


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Video inserting attempt

Baltimore County Trail Riders Association Summer Short Track Series Race 4

A video I made from images shot at the race.


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