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 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..
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
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
Job Interview at "the Dark Conservatory"
How can anyone journey for color and light turn into a much darker experience. From this ………………………. Images of pure joy…
To images like this, each with a story that hints of dark actions with deadly concurrencies.
Was it a cry for help from a tormented mind or was it just a black mood triggered by the less then OK hot dog, offered at the temporary “Terrace Cafe”. Most likely we’ll never know as all this is now water under the dam.
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..
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.
Here and there and back again.
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.
Torn, and torn again. But happily now on the mend
Yes I've been remiss. It's been a while, almost a month the be exact, since my last entry. But this time I have an excuse. Well.. some what of a excuse.
Drum Roll Please …….
I've been spending a lot of time over at Speed Vision of MD which in case you haven't heard is the new home for all my Motor Sport images. Web sites never come easy and because of the bleeding edge design, this one is taking some extra time to fully stand up. But I am happy to report there is some faint light at the end of the tunnel. Logos (well at least 1st gen) are done, Flickr, Facebook and Zenfolio sites and galleries are in place. And if by magic (not ) content is finally starting to appear. Not to much additional to add right now. But a "Arnold" said "I'll be Back"
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".
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?
Thanksgiving - A Retrospect.
Well gang, it's time to again turn on Professor Pebody's "Way Back" Machine, and set the dial back to thanksgivings when I was a kid.
For us, or at least me, the Holiday was segmented into two parts.
Part 1… AM on TV, Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, more specifically the toy add, many of which it was the first showing and of course the end when Santa in the Fire Truck arrived at Macy's and climbed up the ladder to take station in Toyland. That was it! The official start to the Christmas count down. Before the event, nothing, like trying to Trick-r-Treat before Halloween, after that moment ,All Christmas all the time. When the New York Macy's Parade was over we sometime would switch over to the Detroit Parade just to kill time.. The Detroit Parade didn't hold the fascination for us as we wen't familiar with the local Detroit media personalties, or the sponsoring local merchants. But I do remember it always seemed to be snowing there, of which we had seen none of since the winter before and they had more toy adds. Usually we would drift back to our rooms to entrain ourselves until the afternoons event.
Part 2 PM "the meal
I can remember Hot steamy windows, crowded tables. Turkey, always turkey. Filling/stuffing, Whipped Sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and the contents from a can of cranberry sauce , laying on it;s side. Sliced for your convenience. ( I swear I was the only one who ate it). There was always deserts but I can' t remember anything past the pumpkin pie.
Here's a link to my Thanksgiving meal on Flickr/Vimeo .
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.
NIK Color Effects 4 "The Cats Meow"
A Tale of Two Days Rolled Up Into One.
A Perfect Storm of sorts.
And the Winner is?...........
Craig Thoburn - Westcott Warrior
Congratulations to my friend Craig Thoburn for his "Westcott Warrior" image being selected as the top prize winner in Westcott's recent "Photo Shop World" photo contest on Flickr. I always felt his skill with a camera and Photo Shop is nothing short of amazing, guess the judges felt the same . Again my heart felt congratulations to Craig on this honor.
About the iPad, Netfix and crackers.
iPad's, Netflix and Crackers. What does that have to do with anything?
Last Thursday Craig, a good friend and incredibly talented photographer lent me his older iPad (V1) for a few days. Of course the official task was to check out, and troubleshoot iPad specific WordPress plugin i've installed over at the Central Maryland Photographers' Guild website. Which was done but sadly most of it's use can be categorized as:
Laying in bed, watching documentaries on Netflix, while my hands are exploring the inside of a not doctor approved, box of crackers
Of course not all the time was spent on Netflix, I played around with apps mirrored over from my iPhone. (Did I mention I love apps?) Time was spent viewing some training vids on Lynda,com, and maybe even a little "Angry Birds" time was logged.
While all but one of the iPod touch/iPhone apps worked on the iPad, some were standouts
The Audubon app was much better on a bigger screen, MovieSlate likewise. The image slideshows of myHDR's from the Air and Space Museumwere breathtaking, as good or better as portrayed. The Flickr experience was much better than on the smaller devices, much....much better.
As I user the iPod Touch/IPhone apps a lot and is painfully aware of the small screen limitations, I'm not surprised how much I enjoyed the iPad experience overall.
But as in many fairy tails.. this one had to end on a sad note....... Mainly I have to package it up so as to give back tomorrow, and the finances just wouldn't support a iPod purchase in the near term. Guess I'm just left with the Crackers box and the need for a winning lottery ticket for the time being.
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.
Gettysburg, why the fascination?
Over the years I visited the Gettysburg battlefield maybe over 100 times. And with out fail, on each return, I see it in a slightly different light. Over the last few weeks I've been fascinated with capturing sunrise images, which of course, means.
- Checking the weather forecast.
- Getting up at 0 Dark 30, & making the 45min drive.
- Picking the spot to be when the sun come up and hoping it works.
Other days it's some where else.
But the end state walking (yes walking is involved) around the park, seeing it in early morning "magic light, always adds to my sense of what went on here so many years ago and the sacrifices men of both sides made for their cause. Which of course adds yet again to my fascination with the place.
Two of the big helps have turned out to be a pfd copy of the Official Park Map, which is stored on an ipod touch, and of course, my AMOS AGL3080 Geotagger, which allows me to pin point exactly where each images is taken, which is referenced to above said map.
.... To be continued
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.
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.
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.