Archive: September 2008   |   View all recent posts

Let's Talk
WHAT: News   |   WHEN: September 29, 2008

In reading Erin Vey's Bark blog the other day, I was reminded how cool it is to have so many people willing to openly share their experiences and what they know about photography. It's people like Erin and many other photographers that have made themselves available to pass on the information they've learned along the way in order to help others grow. I've been the beneficiary of a LOT of hard work that many others before me have put in, so I feel like it's about time for me to start sharing a little.

I don't profess to know everything there is to know about photography, not by a looong shot; I'm still finding my way in this industry and, in fact, still feel like I've barely scratched the surface most days. And just like most things in life, there's more than one way to do photography, so I'm not saying the way I do it is the only way or even the right way, it's just the way I learned to do it. And I'm more than happy to share what I know as others before me have.

So, this Friday I'm going to open up the proverbial phone lines (or more likely the comment lines) for questions. I'll be available from 3-4pm this Friday afternoon (October 3rd) to take a shot at any question you want to ask. If I don't know the answer, I'll make something up. Kidding. I'll tell you if I don't know. I haven't done this before, so we'll see how it goes. I'll post a blog entry at 3pm letting you know I'm available, and then you can just post your question in the Comments section of that post, and I'll address them on a first come, first served basis until 1) we run out of time, 2) we run out of questions or 3) the Dow drops another 800 points (in which case I might have to cut the chat short to go back to work and make more money to cover my tanking retirement investments). Then you'll just have to hit the refresh button on your browser to see updates as the session goes along.

Please understand some questions might be too lengthy to give quick answers via this format, so I may have to be brief at that time in order to get to as many questions as I can. Then again, if there's only 3 of us chatting, we'll have lots of time, right? Also, I would ask that if you join in the session after we've already started that you would check the comment history before asking your question(s) to avoid duplicate inquiries.

That's it. Just come ready Friday at 3pm CST with your questions. It should be fun! Now, if I can just learn out how to type a little faster so I can get to more than 3 questions during that hour...


An e-Garage Sale of sorts
WHAT: News   |   WHEN: September 28, 2008
I'm getting ready to eBay/Craig's List some equipment I'm no longer using, but I'm giving first dibbs to the faithful blog readers out there. Let me know ASAP if you want any of the items below, and of course, it's first come first served. Happy shopping!

Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED Lens - $975 (sells new for $1400)

This lens is in great working working condition, and I LOVED using its mid-range zoom with the D200. Only reason I'm selling it is since I bought the Nikon D3 camera and new 24-70mm and 14-24 lenses to go with it, I don't use this lens anymore. It comes with the original Nikon lens hood, lens cap, hard protective/carrying case, and the original packaging. Fantastic, versatile, workhorse lens in top shape and ideal for a non-full frame Nikon camera (D300, D200, D100, D90, D80, D70, D60, D50, D40).

Nikkor AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 IF ED Lens - $900 (sells new for $1200)

This awesome wide angle lens is also in perfect working working condition. Again, the only reason I'm selling this lens is because I haven't used it since I bought the D3 with the new 14-24mm wide angle lens made to work with the D3's full frame chip. This 17-55mm lens comes with the original Nikon lens hood, lens cap, soft protective/carrying case, and the original packaging. This is Nikon's top wide angle lens for non-full frame Nikon cameras (D300, D200, D100, D90, D80, D70, D60, D50, D40).

Nikon D200 Camera Body + Nikon MB-D200 Multi-Power Battery Pack - $725
(The D200 body currently sells new for $995 and the extra battery pack with vertical grip shutter release currently sells new for $159.95)

This camera body is also in perfect working condition. Not sure exactly how many, but I would guess that this camera only has 10-15k shutter clicks on it so far. I used 2 D200's for all my portrait work until i bought the D3 back in January of this year, so the camera's about 2 years old, but has only been used for about a year and a half. Now, I no longer have a need for two of these, so I'm keeping one as a back-up camera and selling this 2nd one.

Although I loved having the multi-power battery pack with the vertical shutter release button, I will take off $75 if you don't want this add-on.
This price includes:
- D200 body in mint condition
- Multi-Power Battery pack (with vertical grip shutter release)
- 2 Nikon EN-EL3 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Packs
- Battery charger
- Nikon D200 camera strap
- USB cable (for downloading images straight from the camera)
- Alkaline battery tray insert
- Manual
- Original packaging

D200 shown without the MB-D200 Multi-Power Battery pack (with vertical grip shutter release). Again, take $75 off the price if you don't want the add-on battery pack.

Here's the MB-D200 Multi-Power Battery Pack.

Minolta IV F Light Meter - $50 (sells new for $210-$230)

Sorry, I don't have the manual for this, but I'm sure you can Google it, and then download it if you need to. I'm selling this because I already had a light meter when I inherited this one, so I don't need it.

Apple Airport Extreme Wireless Base Station - $90 (sells new for $179)

When I signed up for new Internet service at the house, they gave me another wireless modem, so I no longer need this guy. Like the camera gear above, this guy is in mint condition and works like a champ. Comes with power cables, wall-mounting attachment, and original packaging including SW CDs.

Tamrac CyberPack 8 Camera Bag - $75 (sells new for $190)

This is a great camera bag for the right person. I say 'for the right person' because it can get a little on the heavy side when loaded to capacity. You can wear this bag like a backpack and you can easily fit:
- 2 DSLR camera bodies
- a long lens (i.e. 70-200mm lens)
- 2-3 additional large lenses
- a couple flashes
- laptop computer
- lots of batteries, memory cards, PocketWizards, filters, manuals, etc...

Has big, cushy straps and lots of places to clip-on accessory capabilities. I have 3 camera bags, so I figured it was time to unload one, and it's a great bag that's like new.

And finally...

TiVo Series 2 TCD540080 80hr DVR - $90 (sells new for $199)

I. LOVE. TiVo. Period. So why am I selling this? Lemme tell ya, it was a tough decision, but my new Satellite service came with 2 DVR boxes, and while I hands-down prefer TiVo's interface and ease-of use experience, I just can't justify hanging on to this box when I have two others included in the service. If you purchase this, you'll need to sign up for TiVo service which I believe was costing me $12.99 month, a bargain in my book for the great service they provide. Also included with this item is the extra wireless network adapter I bought to be able to allow the TiVo box to talk to my computer's wireless network so I could share music, photos, etc.


Another day, another USB drive in the washing machine
WHAT: Fun   |   WHEN: September 25, 2008

I was unloading the washing machine tonight (I'm domesticated like that), and found a little present in the bottom. I'm notoriously bad about not emptying pockets before throwing pants in the washing machine [note: for those of you from the north, you may refer to this as the worshin' machine]. Normally, it's harmless stuff like loose change, which, by the way, makes a nice racket in the dryer for 40 minutes straight if you're too lazy like I am once you've moved on to the next room to actually walk back in and open up the dryer door to fish out the offending coins. Occasionally a few business cards make it in, too, only to come out in about a bagillion soggy little shreds... usually matted to a black shirt. The worst offender, though, is my wallet because it usually turns everything black. The good news when that happens? It generally means I get to buy new clothes. The bad news? I have to wait for my wallet, debit card and $ bills to dry out before I can go and then hope the debit card still works.

So anyway, back to the point of this post. Tonight I found my trusty 128MB USB Flash drive in the bottom of the washing machine and assumed the worst. No way this baby's gonna still work!. Well, you can probably guess where this story's goin'. I plugged her in to my Mac, and she hesitated for a split second, but then worked like a champ. All the files I had on there before the 10 minute permanent press cycle were still there. Go figure.

So here's my question... why is it that a super cheap, dumb little USB drive - something I could care less about in the grand scheme of things - can survive a full wash cycle submerged in water and come out smelling like roses (or at least Downy Clean Breeze fabric softener) when three drops of Coke on a laptop keyboard - a fine-tuned $3200 piece of computing horsepower - causes a catastrophic melt-down??


William & Harry in the Park
WHAT: Kids   |   WHEN: September 23, 2008
I met young William and Harry this past weekend after their mom, Deborah, was the winning bidder for a photography package at an auction event benefitting Bradfied Elementary School here in Dallas. By the way, yes these two little guys are princes in their own right, but they're names have nothing to do with the little known duo from over the pond in Great Britain; these two were actually named after their grandfathers.

When discussing where we would meet for the session, I was stoked when Deb mentioned trying a shallow stream in a nearby park. Such a great idea for these two as both couldn't wait to kick off their shoes and jump right in. I followed right behind them and suddenly wished I'd brought a towel... soggy socks for me for the rest of the session. On a side note: it could've been much worse. When Kylie and I were doing a little pre-session scouting of the area before William, Harry and mom arrived, I slipped on a wet rock and ungracefully [read: 1.8 on the judges score card] tumbled to the ground on my backside, all the while thinking to myself in slow motion on the way down, "D3 camera. Water. D3 camera. Rocks. D3 camera. Water. D3 camera. Rocks." The good news? The good news? I was able to keep the D3 dry and unharmed. The bad news? I looked a little tarnished and dirty before the session ever got started. No worries, though, as I spent some time in the stream and then rolling around on the ground playing football with William and Harry during the session anyway.

Here's a few sneak peek images from our session in the park.

William and I connected right away since he loves football. In fact, he was excited to tell me about his first flag football game the week before our session where he scored a touchdown on a long pass reception. He wasn't shy when I asked him to show me later in the session some of his favorite touchdown dances.

I love this image of little Harry. He was a little shy as the session got started...

... but he warmed up in no time.

Maybe one of my favorite images of the session because of the context. This was towards the end of the session and I think I probably told these two for the 6th time, "Okay, guys, we're almost done. Hey, I've got an idea for a cool picture..." Apparently Harry was on to my game.


My First Official House Guest
WHAT: Fun   |   WHEN: September 20, 2008
Little Zoe dropped by and checked in for a little dogey (doh-gee) bed and breakfast getaway for the weekend. We've been hangin' out doin' some painting, staining, laundry, photo downloading... the usual.

She's the first official overnight guest at the new house, so come on down anytime. Plenty of room here for anyone lookin' to getaway for a weekend.


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