Saturday, October 31, 2009

365 Project - Day 49

Day 49



Quick post tonight, Sara went to go Trick-or-Treating but didn't make it to one house, she fell a sleep on the way. She likes to count the mile marker signs, I guess it was too much like counting sheep for her. Today's picture is a tree we saw on the way to trick-or-treat, not too happy with the image as I didn't bring my tripod. I had to rest the camera on the ground to the get a some what steady shot off.

Hope everyone gets good candy and no Candy-corn!

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Friday, October 30, 2009

365 Project - Day 48

Day 48



Today's post is of the sewing machine that made an awesome Pirate costume for our daughter. I have to give a big shout out to my Mom for finishing the outfit, even though she got a cold half way through the work. It's funny the things grandparents do, to make their grand kids look good.

Now, allow me to introduce Pirate Captain Sara:


note: the pirate image was taken several days back when Sara was fitted for the outfit.

Arrr!
Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Thursday, October 29, 2009

365 Project - Day 47

Day 47



As we move towards the weekend, I decided to keep things centered around Japan for a little longer. Above is a shot of my current keyboard, it allows me to type Japanese whenever I want with out external applications [Unfortunately, I'm posting this on my laptop so no instant Nihongo].  The key to the left of the Alt key lets me switch between Katakana and Hirigana when typing. Katakana is a character set that is used for only words and names that do not exist in Japanese, like Brian, ブライアン (bu.ra.i.a.n).  Hirigana is another component of the Japanese writing system that all Japanese can be written with: さんにん (three people). Kanji are Chinese Characters used in the modern Japanese writing system in place of some Hirigana: 三人 (three people). Hirigana and Katakana are the easiest to learn, Kanji gets a little tougher but it's easy to remember once you get it.


.....As promised, below is a track from the album I recoded in Tokyo in 2003, it's called 'We Got It'. Recorded with my partner Dub Mo, Momoyo.





Enjoy.

Ja Mata.
Brian

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

365 Project - Day 46

Day 46





Today we are taking a little trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, 日本, Japan! I cannot say enough good things about Japan and I encourage everyone I meet - that hasn't been there- to make the trip. From the unbelievably cool and nice people, amazing food (like Tonkatsu!), arcades, and culture, there is so much to see and learn in Japan. For instance, there is nothing like getting off the train on a cool night and getting some Takoyaki (a.k.a Octopus Balls ...go ahead, make jokes) from a street vendor.
*note: Octopus Balls are made of batter, diced or whole octopus, tempura scraps , pickled ginger, and green onion, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, ponzu, mayonnaise, green laver, and katsuobushi. You can read more here.*

Other than visiting friends and learning about the culture, I also started a hip-hop group in Japan and recorded an album. I'll have to pull out a song, post it on the blog in the next few days, and then reminisce for a little.

Enjoy.

Ja mata,
Brian

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

365 Project - Day 45

Day 45



Since we are only a few days away from Halloween, why not get an image from a Cemetery? Say hello to Glendale Cemetery, refered to as the oldest cemetery in Akron Ohio. I saw the above shot a few weeks ago when we drove through Akron, and I came back today to get it. Besides Glendale being a cemetery of Akron's wealthy from 1839 and on, it is also a cemetery for soldiers from Akron, Ohio who did not and those that did return from war. There is a Civil War Chapel [the image above] for the soldiers who did return from the Civil War with the their names inscribed on the walls. Soldiers who did return and passed away outside of times of war, are buried in a tomb in the basement of the Chapel.

This is one location that I cannot wait to revisit to shoot again.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Monday, October 26, 2009

365 Project - Day 44

Day 44



Today, I decided to get the infamous shot of the moon, handheld @ 200 mm, F11, ISO 640. In post production, I bumped the contrast a little and cropped the image. I really enjoy astronomy, and while I am far from even starting astro-photography, star gazing and shooting the night sky are hobbies I would love to pursue to some extent one day. The above shot reminds me of a book I read some time ago called NightFall by Isaac Asimov. It's about a world with 3 suns, so nobody has ever been in complete darkness. That is until a ride at an amusement park is created that is nothing more than a windowless dome. The short ride causes some people to go crazy from the experience, which prompts an investigation. Also, a religious group begins to announce the end of the world is coming by way of fire & darkness, which happens every 20,000 years according to their book of teachings. Just as the title suggest, Nightfall does eventually fall upon the people, but you will have to read the book to find out when, why, and how this happens and why todays shot takes me back to the pages of Mr. Asimov's book.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,

Brian

Sunday, October 25, 2009

365 Project - Day 43

Day 43



Today was a peak color day for most leaves in the area, at least it seemed that way while we were taking a drive this morning. We actually passed the above tree and then turned around to go back and get the shot. I used a 10mm - 22mm lens (crazy wide!) to capture the image. That lens always shows off a blue sky if there isn't too much overcast, since it was a clear morning I knew what the results be. It's always good to know your equipment and what the outcome of selecting certain combinations will be, that way you will spend less time choosing what you need.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

365 Project - Day 42

Day 42


Day 42 is about 7 hours late, but it started off with promise. I got home at around 12:30am last night from a wedding, downloaded the images, grabbed the one I took for the day, and made a few little edits.Sometime after I said good night to Perla and opened  the image in blogger...I fell asleep on the laptop. Luckily, my daughter woke me up at 7:35am asking for milk.

*Tip of the day: When extremely tired and editing images, it's not smart to have a warm cover and sit on a comfortable couch.


So here is the image for Day 42, I second shot an awesome wedding with Jaci Clack in Youngstown, and snagged this image in the church before the ceremony.  I love the lines of the organ's pipes, they are always different in each church I go to.


See you all again tonight with Day 43!

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Friday, October 23, 2009

365 Project - Day 41

Day 41



For today, I am getting my equipment ready for an event that is coming up tomorrow. The picture, obiously, is of the batteries I need to charge to be ready. Using a speedlight bounced off of a slightly tilted shoebox at the camera left less than a foot away from the batteries I was able to light the left side of the batteries. On the other side of the batteries, there was a piece of paper folded to bounce light into the right side of the image. Just to take out some of the shadows using the excess light from the reflection.

Now back to formatting cards, cleaning lens, dusting the sensors, charging more batteries, checking the packed gear, and google mapping the locations.


Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Thursday, October 22, 2009

365 Project - Day 40

Day 40



So why not make a splash! I picked up a cool tutorial for shooting water drops with a speedlight, tray of water, and paper (I used a nylon bag) a few weeks back. Let me just say, the setup was super easy! Within 15 minutes I was ready to go, only tricky part was getting my timing down to catch the water crowns and spikes. I will have to try this again at a different angles and with more colors because it was a lot of fun seeing the results. Even Sara was pushing the shutter, then looking at the camera's display, and saying "Very nice water!" With the water tray at her level, my choices were to either let her take pictures or play in the water, so it was a picture night for Sara.

If you have not browsed the Strobist site I would highly recommend it, you will learn a lot about your flashes and what they can do.

I added two more images to my Flickr Stream from today's shoot.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

365 Project - Day 39

Day 39




Today's post I went back to leaves, just cannot get enough of them. :) My original thought was to just convert this to a black & white image, but I took the image further to get the outlined effect on the leaf. Also I like the bokeh in the background [the white circles]. Bokeh is a photography term used to describe the blur in an image from having the aperture opened wide [f1.0, f1.2,f1.4, f1.8 - f3.5, ect. the lower the # the wider open the aperture is.]. Bokeh come from the Japanese word Boke which means blur or haze. I feel like the father on "My Fat Greek Wedding" where he tells people to give him any word and he will show the root is a Greek word. But I would only get so far with Japanese.

I'll end with a short story. Perla loves to see the leaves changing colors, because in the area of Mexico where she is from the leaves turn brown and die. When Perla and I were dating, she traveled to the States to visit me in November. Even though she was excited to see me, I think she a bit more excited to see the trees in Fall. During her visit, we went to Chicago for my brother Joe's wedding. Normally, a trip to Chicago from Ohio would take 6 hours driving, but it took us about 8 hours because we kept stopping to take pictures of trees along the way. I'm about sure she hid a leaf in a book and took it back to Mexico with her as well. To see how much Perla enjoyed the leaves in Ohio made me appreciate them a little more than I did before she visited. It's funny how simple things, like a picture of a leaf, can trigger great memories.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata [Japanese for "see you later" or you can just say "Ja ne" ]
Brian

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

365 Project - Day 38

Day 38


For the 38th day, we were looking to photograph an apple orchard, if time permitted, for the post. Just past the orchard we found, was a large fenced in field with a pond in the middle of the property. As we drove closer, we saw a few horses grazing near the fence. Perla and I look at each other like "There's the shot!"

The sun was setting which made great sidelight and colors against the body of the horses. I like being able to see the muscle tone with the light and the shadows from the image above. The only difficult part about getting the shot, was one horse that kept walking in front of my composition as I photographed the scene. He would keep following me when I moved as well. I'm guessing he wanted a little attention as well.

And because the other horse wanted some attention so bad, we are posting two images for day 38. The  real reason for posting two images is we liked #2's final image so much, we decided to post the second one as well.




Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Monday, October 19, 2009

365 Project - Day 37

Day 37




If today’s subject for the 365 looks familiar to some, that is because we photographed his wedding. This is Joe, he married his beautiful wife, Emily, a little over year ago. They also had an awesome engagement session ice skating, which you can see on our Portfolio under “Engagements” too.

Since today was Joe's birthday (and he joked that he could be the photo of the day), I decided to go with a headshot since we were in a pretty cluttered location. Using a red wall as the backdrop helps keep the image clean and not distracting from the “birthday-boy” subject. Joe sat down on a desk next to a large window; I opened the aperture up to f2.8, set the shutter speed, and snapped the image you see above.

Getting the image early worked out perfectly, because I was on my way to volunteer at the March of Dimes 2009 Akron Signature Chefs Auction setup. The Signature Chefs Auction is an awesome event for the March of Dimes to raise money to fund their mission, which is "To improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality." There will be a live and silent auction at the event and attendees are able to sample foods from the surrounding area’s premiere restaurants. This was my first time volunteering with the March of Dimes, but it will not be the last as I had such a great time helping out. I encourage everyone following this 365 project, to find an organization [March of Dimes, MS Society, ect] that gives back to your community and donate your time and talents. Let’s help them help others.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Sunday, October 18, 2009

365 Project - Day 36

Day 36     !!!Warning Today's image may cause your kids to go bonkers!!! View with Caution...





Hello Chuck-E! We decided to take our daughter to Chuck E Cheese today, no birthday parties, just a chance for her to enjoy the games and giant rat. For the past two weeks, each time we pass Chuck-E-Cheese she would ask "Want to go Chuck-e-cheese and eat pizza?", we're still wondering who told her about the pizza. We are happy to report she loved it, the games, all the kids, and Chuck himself...from a distance that is. Chuck-e tried to get close to Sara at one point, but she ran to the other end of the table, and then waved at him. I have to give it to Chuck, since the last time we went there, they retro fitted all the games with card readers, now you don't have to carry around coins. Just swipe your game credit card and you're off. I'm sure kids and parents spend money faster since they don't see their Cup of Tokens running out anymore.

Smart Move Chuck!

Chuck-E-Cheese wasn't as bad as we thought it would be for a Sunday, so we're sure there will be a repeat visit in a few weeks. My apologies, if any one viewing this post is forced to take their child to Chuck-E-Cheese in the near future.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Saturday, October 17, 2009

365 Project - Day 35

Day 35


I was looking for a place to shoot this morning, before going to a wedding and found a set of train tracks. Why is it that any other time that I'm on tracks there are not trains, but today, after about 10 minutes, I hear the horns in the distance. All was OK, I was able to shoot the image I wanted, and get clear of the tracks before the train passed.

Just a quick post tonight to keep on track, yes Pun intended.
Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Friday, October 16, 2009

365 Project - Day 34

Day 34




This shot is of the Goodyear plant in Akron, Ohio. When I took the photo, I was thinking "Where did all the windows go? Is the company growing or staying stagnant? How are they staying up to date with the changing times? How are they marketing themselves and networking?" All, but the first question, could easily be applied to any business, especially photography. How do we keep up with the new equipment, software, social media, advanced in technology, workflow, trends, ect.? Similar to companies like Goodyear, Apple, Google, FedEx, and Johnson & Johnson, we have to diversify. I'm not saying we should turn into a one-stop shop for every type of photography under the sun, but bridging the gap for our [your] clients for weddings, maternity, and family portraits. The big question is "How will you diversify?"

The answer is: Next summer from August 8th - 11th in Las Vegas Skip Coen will be hosting Skip's Summer School 2010, where the topic will be all about diversity for growth and survival for your business and yourself. Not only will you learn from some of the brightest stars out there, it's an amazing chance to network with photographers from all over the world. We had photographers from the Philippines this past Summer School '09. It's a great opportunity see what other photographers are doing, bounce ideas off each other, make a new network of friends to shoot with, and like Skip says it's an "opportunity to participate in the “ultimate networking experience” while recharging your battery half way through the year..."

Hope to see everyone there as well as some new faces! The last Summer School spawned this 365 Project from a conversation between Tasra Dawson and Scott Bourne, I can't wait to see what comes from Skip's Summer School 2010.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Thursday, October 15, 2009

365 Project - Day 33

Day 33




Tonight, I had planned some cool shots with water drops, but on the way home Perla and I saw an awesome church, that had an overcast sky as the backdrop, and right away I knew it was the shot of the day. The forecast for the evening was cloudy and 'penguin butt' cold, so I wanted to spend as little time out of the car as needed. Once I setup the camera on the tripod for the long exposure, I had Perla [who was warm in the car about 30 feet away, facing the church on the camera's right] turn on the car's highlights while I focused on the church, checked my settings, and took the picture. The shot was a 30 second exposure at f8.0, ISO 320 at 24mm. About halfway through the exposure, a van drove past (unexpectantly) and added a nice light streak to the image. Couldn't ask for anything better!

Really loving this shot for the day.

365-ers Shout out:
I wanted to give a big shout out to Tasra Dawson over at Tasra365.com, she started this wave of 365-ers after being challenged by Scott Bourne to improve her photography 300% in one year. Without Tasra's open invitation to join her, I would not be posting as much as I am today. Thank you Tasra! To my followers on twitter, please take a moment to follow the rest of the 365-ers and check out their blogs as well. The comments and feedback from our followers really encourages us to keep going. Thank you.

365ers Twitter follow list:

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

365 Project - Day 32

Day 32



Leaves, leaves, everywhere...

For today, I decided to stay with the fall colors theme and photograph a leaf that was on a bed of mostly dried leaves. The idea was to capture the contrast between leaves that had fallen earlier versus the main subject, which seemed to have fallen more recent. It's a simple shot with a clean composition. Filling the frame with the main subject helped to isolate it, accompanied with the darker dried leaves as the background make the subject pop even more. There were a few bright spots in the upper left of the original image due to the sun coming through the shade, but I burned those out in post -production. *Typically our eyes go the brightest part of a picture first, so it's important that no other elements, that make up your overall image, are competing for attention with your main subject. But, as with most rules in photography, once you know and understand the rules/guild lines, you can always break or bend them when the situations calls for it.

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

365 Project - Day 31

Day 31



While watching the news this morning and I heard the dreaded four-letter 'S' word, Snow. Yup, the snow is coming, with that in mind I thought it would be good to get some of the scenic fall shots before all the leaves were gone. The shot above was from a street that is tucked away near a highway overpass, next to a very stinky creek, seriously, I cannot express how bad it smelled where I was shooting. Once the composition was set with the road to lead the eyes into the scene, I waited for traffic to clear up, and then shot a few images of the scene. After that, I returned to my car, packed the gear away, and was ready to drive off. Being that the air was a little crisp [meaning, it was cold out!], I turned on the heat in the car and Wow! I learned that a face full of warm-sour-creek-funk really clears up the sinuses. Enjoy the image today, I think I lost some nose hairs in the process.

Ja Mata,
Brain

Monday, October 12, 2009

365 Project - Day 30

Day 30!



I was thinking about getting this shot for a few days now, and I finally got it. The silhouette of this shot really works with me, using a low point of view to put the tree in a position with the sky as the backdrop. Additionally, I like how the clouds look as if they are outlining the tree, almost like a snake that is near prey, poised and waiting to make a move. The thick clouds at the bottom left represent a snakes body coiled together and the separated portions towards the top represent the head and part of the neck. What do you see?

Enjoy.

Ja Mata
Brian

Sunday, October 11, 2009

365 Project - Day 29

Day 29



Time to put a face to the name, company name that is, for Day 29. We were having fun driving around when we came across this building with yellow textured walls. With nothing but time on our hands, we decided to stop for a quick impromptu shoot. It's rare to find Perla and I in photos together, because we're normally both behind the lens photographing others. For today’s shot we photographed each other and then put the two images into one composite in post production. I will have to toss a few of the extra shots on our Flickr page tomorrow afternoon. For now, enjoy the above shot of us getting our jump on!

Enjoy.

Ja Mata,
Brian