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!

How do you spell "Train Wreck"?

For starters try this example  www.dougmillerphotos.com!

I noticed I hadn't done much with this website since I spun off  www.speedovision.com and www.dougmillerphotos.com from www.fdphotovision.com, while trying to add the Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! event. It became apparent this puppy need a major overhaul both to structure. and content.  Well there's no time like the present. Please bear with this mess until I can redress, and redo..  What's that I hear Mr. Anderson, sounds like old 99 a coming down the track.  I better get started quick.   

 

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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 

- The Dancers -  a Reflection

Above "The Dancers"  Post processing With Aperture 3, NIK Color Efex Pro 4, ApertureExpert’s Preset Pack #5 “Film & Funk”

Monday Morning, 3AM

Above NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and Aperture core tools.  

The eyes of a young competitor

NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and Aperture core tool set. Also becoming a fan of the square crop in many circumstances.   

Battle for Turn Two --- Rejoined

Above Aperture 3, Adobe Photo Shop, AKVIS SKITCH Photo Shop plug-in, NiK Color Efex Pro 4. 

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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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NIK Color Effects 4 "The Cats Meow"

Been a fan of NIK software for some years now with HDR pro and Silver Effect 2 being my go-to Just upgraded to Color Effect 4 and have been trying to get my head around it for about a week now. Are all reworks of old images using the software. The more I play the more impressed I've become . Lazy Saturday
301:365    Glam Mamn
300:365 Just waiting around for summer to come.
302:365  DIGGER-57  Big V-Twin Looks for traction
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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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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.


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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.


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Guns of Glory, Days of death, Sunrises Sunsets

Hints on taking quality images at the historic Gettysburg National Military Park , Gettysburg Pa. Of course home to the famous 3 day, American Civil War battle in the summer of 1863.
1. If at all possible avoid the July 4th holiday weekend, Summer, weekends in general, holidays in general, way to crowded for anything other then snap shots unless you luck out or plan ahead to beat the masses.
2. Try to get there early, real early. As the , or at least, one of the most visited Civil War Battlefields it quickly fills up with visitors. The park opens at 6:00 am, closes at 10:00 pm (summer) 6:00 am - 7:00 pm (winter). By 9:00 am the flood gates are open, roads and key locations are descended on by hordes of "Stop, jump, snap & back onto the next site" visitors. As with so many parks these days most visitors never leave their cars, unless at one of the more noteworthy areas.
3. As the main battle site offers both open farmland, and rocky wooded hilly vistas. Part of the lure is the over 1300 (seems like nobody really sure) monuments ranging in size from the imposing Pennsylvania Memorial, to small almost invisible unit and company markers located off the beaten path, almost everywhere at the site.


There are many opportunities to use both the long and the wide lens.


As a relatively local visitor, I know more or less my favorite shots and focus on trying to get them. Download the Park map, Do some research. My favorite area of the park are in the wooded areas Around the "Wheat field" "Peach Orchard" "Devils Den" "Little Round Top" "Big Round Top" and the "High Watermark" "Copse of Trees" areas, and the Soldiers National Cemetery. Unfortunately all of which are on everyones hit list. Pick one get there early, Sunrise is great, especially in the open areas. High sun as always, is a problem for me.

Western facing sites such at Seminary ridge and Little Round top can be rich with shots close to sunset.

In closing it you can, visit the park and shoot away, but please cameras only, no bullets this time.
To those planing to visit in the future GburgInfo offers a wealth of information.


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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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CMPG Aug meeting

I think perhaps one of the central themes that is most important to any photographer is peer-to-peer interaction to help foster understanding and help build technique. Tonights critique of images at the Aug meeting of the Central Maryland Photographers' Guild was one of those nights.


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