Thursday, December 04, 2003

Back to Blogging in December

OK. I've stopped blogging for all of Nov. My website has been down for weeks and I've not gotten myself back on the web. Mostly because the only people I know who are on the web consistently are my coworkers. For most the web exists as a self-service (please pardon the pun) locale. Come here to find out about movies or order a present for someone to commune with a community of likeminded individuals. I see little benefit in putting up and maintaining so many websites. Oh well. I figure I oughta keep this up as someone might find it interesting or perhaps humorous.

Lately I've been focusing (I'm just eat up with it today) on photography. I'm done a few more model shoots and I've gone out shooting landscapes or nature subjects solo and with friends. A couple of my friends got Canon EOS Digital Rebels (known throughout the world as the 300D). They are slightly cutdown versions of my EOS 10D. They use the Canon EF lenses, too. I finally got a print ready to sell and posted it. You can find it at It's a white or cream colored rose that we found blooming in December. 'Course December doesn't get that cold in Tennessee (I saw 2 lovely, young ladies wearing open toed shoes the other day).

I'm really starting to acquire some good accessories for my photography business but I still don't have any reflectors or lighting setups. I will be getting the Canon 550EX flash for Christmas and after that I'm going to get myself a good frame (either a StroboFrame Pro-T or a Newton Di400CR, which is really what I want). As I begin to produce better and better work, I start to remember what energized me and jazzed me about this as a hobby in the first place. I just love taking photos and capturing the essence of some scene. I've tried drawing and it just takes too much patience and time right now. I want immediate rewards. Now I make immediate reminders of things we did or places we went and I'm getting better the more I practice.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Week before vacation

Wow. My last update was almost exactly a week ago. How . . . punctual of me?!?

This weekend was a letdown. Wasn't too bad but it was less than outstanding. I was supposed to make a photoshoot Saturday morning and I missed that due to a burned out wire on my Jeep resetting the onboard computer so that the engine wouldn't even run. Oh, it'd try and start but it just wouldn't catch and run. I was a good hour ahead of schedule and ready to really setup and have a great shoot and had to tell the model that it just wasn't going to happen. And to top it off, it was perfect weather. I mean it was overcast with a terrific ambient light. I'm still sick over missing that photoshoot. After that, Cindee and I did drop off our daughter at my Dad's and he and my step-mother kept her for about 90 minutes while Cindee and I went out for a date. I was probably still a little strained as I was ticked about missing the shoot but I think we had a decent dinner. We went home and sat down to watch the football game and WOW!! Georgia kicked the poopie outta Tennessee. That was not fun to watch but it was complete in dismantling any illusions that Vol fans might have had about our team this season. Mark Richt's team just totally dominated TN. Not fun to watch but you gotta have some seasons like this along the way. Right now its 2 losses (Auburn & Georgia). We better work hard to win out and have a decent season and a decent bowl bid (Miami is at Miami this year so its liable to be a very hard game).

Sunday was Prater's Mill (an outdoor festival where vendors setup booths and people demonstrate old, traditional southern lifestyles and skills). It was fun and Cindee bought a beautiful woven basket. Oh yeah, we got a new entertainment center and she placed the basked on top of the dark wood entertainment center. It looks good.

Well, back to work; thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Monday afternoon break

OK. I'm taking a break to add this to my BLOG.

Busy weekend. I spent most of Friday night in Kinkos getting business cards printed and release forms for photography produced. I now have full color photos on my business cards and I have professionally prepared model and property release forms that are two-part, carbonless forms so that I get the original and the model or property owner gets a copy of the contract. The cards were supposed to be ready at 10:00. I went back at 11:30 and had to wait about an hour and they had to print some of them a second time as the cutter was off and it created an odd angle on the cards.

Saturday I had a class in portrait photography from Pat & Tom Cory. They live here in Chattanooga but the class was in Huntsville. I learned some and did my first shoot with both preschoolers, young elementary aged children and two teens. Several good photos so go see them out at PBase ( Look in the portrait class folder at the top of the page. Got back home and downloaded the photos to my desktop computer. Copyrighted them, thumbnailed them and then took the family up to my Mom's to watch the TN game. We lost to Auburn. I wasn't a happy camper and we were all tired so we left a little early.

Sunday we just had a lazy day. My server died during the night (I think from trying to host so many pictures for models (average about 400-800 photos per photoshoot). I worked to setup my computer to host the domains for a couple of days but I need that server back to keep on hosting the pictures and letting models select the photos for me to work on.

Well, back to work for me. This was a nice little break.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, September 26, 2003

Weekend - whew

OK. So its late Friday night and I finally made it through the week. I'm sure it coulda been more difficult but not more stressful or straining. Just take my word for it; this week sucked.

I picked up my desktop computer from my bro-in-law this afternoon. He fixed (yeah, yeah, I'm a programmer, remember, not a computer tech anymore). He took it to his computer business and figured out that it needed a 400+ watt power supply. After he told me what was happening, I asked for the biggest thing he had on hand so now I'm running with a 500 watt power supply. That outta power the 240 gigs of hard drives and the 1 gig of RAM and the CD burner. I know everyone is saying I should get a DVD burner as DVD players are becoming ubiquitous and I could store more on a DVD but I'm just not satisfied that a DVD burner in my computer is going to be satisfying; perhaps I'm looking for a piece that I can connect to my video out or something as well as other components and rip VHS to DVD or something. Just not sure about that move. Regardless, this computer should handle opening several 36 meg TIFF's at the same time.

Next big thrill on the digital front: I got home, got the desktop in place, connected it, booted and started installing software and connecting scanners, printers and digital camera. Suddenly when I tried to insert it into my home network all heck breaks loose. I have just rebuilt part of my webserver (all of my website) so that I can provide models with a fast and efficient online photo album they can use to look through all the photos I take during a photoshoot and select the ones they want. This functionality isn't polished and it could stand some serious work but at least now its available. Just finished it in the last 24 hours. Suddenly, the server just up and decides it can't find the C drive. Hmmmmm. Time to panic? Naw, just reboot it. Tried that. Try it again but this time let the computer sit for a few minutes. Surely enough the server finally comes back up and I can login after about 15 minutes of it loading all kinds of crap. I don't know what your experience was in trying to reach but at the local level its almost impossible. Guess I'll be making a trip back to Tim's to get him to check out the server soon.

Cindee is going to a walk tomorrow and I'm gonna take our daughter to watch Mommy. I figure I can get some good action shots, too while we're there. After that, we're gonna hit the county fair and see what's up over there. Then tomorrow night is TN vs SC (actually SC is coming to Knoxville). I'm pretty pumped after the win over Florida. We could end up having more than a winning season, we could end up wining the SEC East. At least it seems like a feasible option after seeing Georgia beat. I figured they'd own us this season but who knows.

Ah well, time to head to bed.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. - if you have around $15,000-20,000 I'd love to get another camera and some goodies for it. Just mail it to Kevin Riggs . . . .

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Long week

I just finished 6 photoshoots in 8 days.

  1. Model shoot at 9:00 AM Saturday 13th

  2. Wedding Rehearsal 5:00 PM Saturday 13th

  3. Wedding & Reception Sunday 14th

  4. Model shoot Tuesday 16th

  5. Model shoot Thursday 18th

  6. Supposed to go to Wedding as backup photographer but daughter was sick with 102 degree fever

  7. Model shoot Sunday 21st

Each shoot consists of at least 400 exposures (some were more than 1,000 frames). Each exposure takes at least 5 minutes to process and normally more like 10+ minutes. You can see that my time quickly becomes taking and editing photos. I had to work on my server to get my photo ordering website working so that the models can order their copies of the photos (if we are shooting TFP).

I'm enjoying the work and I feel like I've found 3 valuable models who have more than just good looks to commend them as models. They have some measure of personality that transcends the photographs to allow the viewer to feel like they're making contact. I like shooting these 3 models especially as the only thing that hinders the output is my own ability so far.

I'm still looking to get a studio and it looks like it'll have to be at my house as I don't want to lease a location in the city (man, what kind of money would I need to be making to make that profitable). I'm getting more pleasant results with my portraits lately and I think that I need to start shooting some studio work and some fake advertisements if I ever really want to pursue commercial regional work. I'd love to actually photograph a couple of regional ads and maybe get some contracts to do test work for local modeling agencies but I don't feel like I can begin to solicit that kind of work without a decent studio and some decent lighting. Ah well, that too will come in time.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. - Tennessee Volunteers beat Florida in the Swamp. Way to go Vols!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Talk about Random

Boy, it sure has been a long time since I posted. Lot's happened since then and right now my time feels about as frenetic as it can get. My daughter can now pull herself up to stand on her own, she says "Da da" occasionally, a friend got married, I've gotten a couple of photoshoots in and we made it through the first 2 weeks of the NFL season.

Katie is growing up fast and if I remember my own childhood I'm sure she's chomping at the bit just wanting everything to happen faster so that she'll not have to rely on Mommy or Daddy to take the time to come over and pick her up or get something for her. As for me, WOW. I just wish everything would slow down a bit so that I could spend some time with her. Luckily I get to keep her tomorrow night. It'll be nice to have Mommy out of the house for awhile so Katie and I can just relax and do Pop & Daughter stuff like brushing the hair and blowing spit bubbles. Besides, when am I supposed to take advantage of her natural childish exuberance for farting if not at this age. She now has 2 teeth (both bottom center teeth) and she is absolutely the perfect baby. I've already told Cindee that I want 2 more just like her. Not so sure she's up for that but . . . .

The photography is going better than I have any reason to expect. I've gotten 5 models and 6 shoots under my belt and I'm starting to feel much more relaxed and comfortable when we shoot. My shots are closer to production quality directly out of the camera with little to no processing required for a decent portion of the shots. I have 4 sessions scheduled with models over the next week and one wedding to shoot this weekend. Who knows if I'll ever make a dime off this (Lord knows I've spent several dimes on it already) but it is rejuvenating for my spirit. It's great to look at a well taken and produced photograph of a lovely model and know that I had the lion's share of creating that image (of course the model is there but if everyone could get the exact look out of a model then you wouldn't have premier photographers would you). It's good to feel like I can help a model relax and we can work together to generate an artistic shot that evokes some feeling in the viewer.

The friend that introduced Cindee and me just got married this last weekend. Sarah Stein married Stephen Shelbourne. I like both of them. Steve seems to be a regular guy with a good perspective on life for his age. I hope they're enjoying the junk outta their honeymoon right now.

So the Titans lost to Indianapolis. I guess I should care a little more but I figure they can make that up over the season. I'm actually more interested in McNair's finger and the rehabilitation of it. Watched Dallas go up to New York last night and take on the G-men. Long, loooonnnnngggg game (lasted from 9:00 EST until 1:00 EST) but it had several sparks that kept me watching through the dull moments. I do like Fassel and the Giants more than Dallas (say it ain't so, guess I grew up) but I was happy to see Parcells get a win on his first trip taking Dallas back into his old house.

Well, that's about it. I'll be posting more photos from the modeling sessions on my PBase account ( so take a look when you have time and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

F*%#ing Tennessee Football

OK. Let's get all the young, flashy superstar kids to stop reading. I'm 35 years old and don't want to invest any money in purchasing season tickets or helping the program so all you're gonna hear from me is bitching or cheering - not the bling bling.

Now that those candy-assed, loud-mouthed wannabes have told their college tutors to stop reading the webpage to them I can actually get to the point.

I've been a Tennessee Volunteer fan every year out of my 35 that I can remember. I've either had Orange and White toys or worn Orange and White every f*#%ing year for 35 years. Then some limp d*^k, loud-mouthed pu$@y like Kelly Washington comes along and because he's fast or flashy he thinks he's bigger than the program. Ya know what, he's not. Hell, no one's bigger than the program. You wanna know why we LOVE Payton Manning even though he never won the national title? Because while the rest of the fu$#ing nation was touting him as the second coming of Christ, he remembered that UT was here before his daddy (Archie), it was here whether he came back for a fourth year or not and UT is still here for hundreds of thousands of us (if not millions) even after he's gone off to Indianapolis. We love Tee Martin for the same reason. Shit! Tee had heart. When that team was expected to be lackluster because Jesus himself had just walked off the grounds and headed to the NFL, Tee stepped up and you saw a team gel. That wasn't 11 individuals out there on the field, mutherf$#@er! It was a team. T E A M. They played with heart and picked each other up. God d@m#! Who the hell wanted Leonard Little or Al Wilson. They were too f#(king slow and too small to be linebackers in the NFL. Well, guess what you showy shit. They are playing on Sundays only because they have heart. They stuck it out in the trenches and hit people in the f#(king mouth and weren't afraid of any damn body coming into Neyland Stadium.

So F#(k you and your 4.0 speed.

F#(k you and your 450 lbs bench press.

You wanna know when you'll get some respect? When you f#(king earn it.

When the pansy-assed Thundering Herd shows up on your doorstep and you don't knock someone out of the game after they make a 96-yard touchdown drive, you'll get no respect from me or anyone else in the NCAA. You know what, football is a contact sport. F#(king contact someone. Bones heal. Blood dries. Knock someone the fuck out of the game! Knock them down; knock the shit outta them. Hit them, hit them, hit them. Play fundamental ball. Don't give that fast MF a 5 yard cushion just to show how fast you can close. Shut him the hell down coming off the line. Shoot the gaps and break someone's spirit by knocking their punter out of the game. Hell, there are enough games in a season. He'll heal up and come back to play in someone else's stadium. Where the hell is the Dick Butkus.

Flash and speed gets other young players to come to TN in the upcoming years so that they, too, can show off. Hard-nosed football that bloodies someone else's jersey or brings a stretcher out on the field wins national championships. I'm not talking about killing someone. I'm talking about demoralizing the other team through attrition! Bust their mouths. Break an arm or two. Give someone a concussion. F#(K! If they were gonna have a career in football, they'd have been recruited in your place and they would be at the F#(King Holy Hill! They would be dressing in righteous Orange And White instead of you.


Edit - 7:30 (with 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter)

Well, well. It looks like the Fulmer staff was able to challenge the team during halftime. In the second half Tennessee held Marshall to -7 for the 3rd quarter and knocked Marshall's starting quarterback out of the game. They also beat the heck outta the backup QB. Actually, Constantine Ritzman was all over the backup QB.

Now, do I respect the heart of the Marshall players? Sure. They kept trying to fight back. Should TN have stomped their collective team heart flat in the first quarter instead of waiting 'til the 4th quarter? Yes! I hope Stan Hill (Marshall QB) recoups and beats the hell outta some teams but that's the way football should be played. He should be hit and hit and hit again until he can't play in our stadium. Then he can recoup and play against another team. I don't say this because I believe Tennessee is better than any other team. I say this to in hopes that Tennessee will get better than any other team. Defend your house! Protect that endzone and at the end of the game, if you've shut down your opponent and you've scored even a little, you'll win. Away games are a different story. I'm talking about playing a 2nd tier team (at best) in our stadium. Knock some people silly and make them respect you; don't just expect that they'll be dazzled by your speed or your reps in the weight room. Stan Hill showed he's a warrior with heart. Anyone can respect that. Tennessee showed that he just can't walk on the field at Neyland and not expect to pay a price.

Good job Defense. Good job Cedric Houston, Troy Fleming, Mark Jones and James Banks. Good job O-line for protecting the QB and opening running lanes. Good job to the coaching staff for helping to raise the level of intensity after the first half. I actually saw a little blood on someone's uniform in the Herd's huddle. Now that's old school football fundamentals. Knock 'em down until they don't or can't get back up again.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Sick baby


Katie was sick last night. We thought she was just teething Tuesday night but it looks like she was coming down with her first cold. The real nuisance (for her) is that she developed ear infections with the cold and everytime she lies down, pressure builds up in her inner ear and hurts her like she's in a pressurized atmosphere. She doesn't know how to clear her ears yet so she just cries. Then Cindee or I hold her upright and the pressure is alleviated. Last night either Cindee or I sat up with Katie all night long so that she didn't have to lie down to sleep. We're both worn out. The doctor gave us a prescription for the infection and some drops to help reduce the pressure in her ears so that she can sleep. Hopefully tonight won't be a repeat as I'm not sure either Cindee or I could take another night like the last 2 and still be able to work in the morning.
Speaking of, back to the grindstone.


Monday, September 01, 2003

Labor Day weekend

Well, we just got through Labor Day weekend and it was pretty full for us. Nothing spectacular but we did have 3 other couples over on Saturday from 3:00 - 9:00 or so. We slept in late on Sunday with all three of us in Mommy and Daddy's bed (that was totally cool). We went to Art In The Park in Marietta, GA on Sunday. We had a lazy morning Monday and got out of the house late. We went and swam. Cindee and I had fun swimming with our daughter and I even got some pics of here (you can see them on her website later). Ya know, sometimes I stop and focus just long enough to realize just how blessed I am. I definitely want more children in my life. Another daughter and son, perhaps. That plus many years to share life with Cindee. But, for right now I have a beautiful wife, a wonderful, healthy daughter, a job that I like again, a hobby that gives me something else to focus on (no pun intended) and re-energize myself and friends to share all these things with.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

First Saturday of College Football (one of my holy days)

OK. So we didn't plan this very well. We have several couples coming over and none of them are into college football like we are.

I'm sure I'll update this after watching the games that I'm taping today.

Right now (1:00) I'm watching Georgia push around Clemson and West Virginia frustrate Wisconsin. Lemme say, "Georgia looks impressive." They seemed to have already gelled as a team especially on the lines. For the first couple of series they just outperformed Clemson and it looked like Clemson couldn't match up athelete for athelete. By the end of the 1st Qtr Clemson had started using their schemes to cut down on Georgia's sheer atheleticism and slow the Bulldogs' offense. All I know right now is that I don't think I'm gonna enjoy the UT-GA game. I think their defense will confuse Clausen and completely shutdown our running game. I think their offense will drive up and down the field all day long.

I'll get a look at TN (3:00 ESPN2) when I watch the tapes later tonight. I hope they impress the hell outta me but we went up to the Orange-White day and I watched GA's Red-Black scrimmage and from what I've seen so far, I'm ready to beg for some new lines and something to clear Clausen's head. Sometimes he seems to just get in a fog and be the single most confused person in the stadium (remember, that's after having to teach my wife how football is played -- her family is weird, they didn't raise her to enjoy southern college football).

I'll update later; thanks for stopping by.

I still haven't watched the tape as we watched parts of the game with the sound turned down while we had friends over. I saw some short passes and some defense but nothing to write home about. From what I saw we'll have to play above ourselves against both Florida and Georgia to have a decent chance at beating them. The O-line looked pretty solidified based on Cedrick Houston's rushing but then again, we were playing Fresno State.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003



If you read this then you know that I'm trying to start a photography business of some type on the side. It'll be a long road to reach any level of professionalism with artistic merit (I mean I could go shoot kids at different events but that doesn't take much of an eye to produce something that Mom&Dad and the grandparents will buy). I'm interested in producing commercially viable artistic photos. That means models and still lifes and studios and portraits. To help me on the way I've joined a model/photographer meeting place ( and setup several shoots with models. This week alone I scheduled three shoots: one in Murfreesboro, one in Knoxville and one in Huntsville. The Murfreesboro and Knoxville sessions were canceled as I couldn't get a confirmation from the models. Each had valid reasons for canceling but this is just to point out that starting a business and shooting TFP is an exercise in patience. So far I've scheduled somewhere around 10 photo shoots and actually made 2. I've never scheduled a photo shoot and gone to it the first time; its always been rescheduled. This isn't a problem in the big scheme of things and I hope to increase both my portfolio and several models' portfolios with high quality shots that we can both be proud of. I'm not ranting or angry. Just commenting on the nature of this experiment. My tendancy is to shoot landscapes for a week or two, shoot fauna (animals and insects) for another week or so and then need to setup a photo shoot so that I can get some variety. I'm trying to build some habits and some skills for studio shoots as I hope to build an in-home studio over the next few years. I'm already happier with the shots I take than I was a few months ago. I've gotten some of my eye back for panoramic or nature shots but as this is my first real attempt at learning to shoot models as well as learning to compose creative shots (especially for DPC) I'm finding several facets of this challenging.

This weekend Cindee and I went down to Atlanta and I got to hold the Canon 1D. I never thought I'd want a camera that advanced or that heavy (that thing is like 2 or 3 bricks strapped together but ITS SOLID). Now I know that I would really enjoy setting up some flashes with umbrellas and softboxes, hooking up a sync and shooting until I just wanted to pass out. That camera was just awesome to hold. I love my 10D with its servo and its 6.3 megapixels but the 1D is impressive. Maybe someday I can afford to retire and travel with Cindee shooting beautiful landscapes with whatever passes as the next generation (or maybe two or three generations removed) from the 1D.

'til then,


Monday, August 25, 2003

Lunchtime post

What to blog today.

I ate at my desk and just decided to go ahead and blog something before I got back to the grindstone. But what to blog.

OK. Last night I watched the Mind of the Married Man on HBO. I like this series. It's a show that depicts a married man and his interactions with his wife, his co-workers and his friends. I couldn't tell you the name of any of the characters on the show but its pretty darned accurate. So last night dude's wife sets up and eye test at the optometrist. The doctor is no doctor. She's a female doctor and a classic beauty to boot. You can see his comfort level get tagged about 0.003 seconds after she walks in the room and his libido starts screaming, "Hey, she's totally doable!!" He makes the mistake of telling his friends and they all schedule time to get their eyes checked. Now his personal little battleground of lust vs disconnected observation has become overlain with the multiple levels of desire shown in his friends. In my experience, this demonstrates a mostly male encumberance: that of openly leering at women with friends or making jokes about how attractive women are but then playing demure towards women when the wife is around. He tries to walk this tightrope by not engaging with the guys on the topic of how hot the doctor is but then his wife shows up downtown and mentions that he needs some certificate from the doctor's office and she wants to go with him to pick it up and then get some lunch. Whoa!! My wife meeting a woman that I not only find attractive, I shared that with the guys?!? No way!!! Can't happen!! My worlds can't collide. Of course, she picks up on that and asks what's up so in the heat of the discussion he asks just how much she wants to "know him" (one of her earlier comments about the depth of their relationship). She says that she wants to hear it and then immediately follows it up with "Are you having an affair?" "Nope" "Fooling around?" "No way!" Now see, this just demonstrates what little bit women understand about men. If a man is having an affair or even just stepping all on the line with some flirty touches or suggestive discussion, he's not going to start by asking how much you want to know. He'll keep that little tidbit to himself, hoping that he can have his cake and eat it too. He isn't going to volunteer that he's completely undermined your trust. If a man starts off with "So do you really want to know me? Want to know what I'm dealing with?" Guess what. He's about to open up and show you that he does actually deal with gray areas where he's not sure of the lines and the definitions and that you aren't the only one that doesn't know everything that's happening or how to define it. Some men want to share an honest, open relationship with one woman. But don't think it'll always be neat and tidy. Sometimes we guys are trying to balance the claxon shouts of NOW advocates that say, "Women are exactly the same as men." with the siren softness of hair rinse commercials that show us that women are WAAAYYY different from guys (at least physically).

As one member (pardon the pun) of the male gender of our species, accept it when I say that I love women. I love their bodies, their minds, their jokes and I love that I don't get them. I love that I don't understand their motivations or their desires. From the tips of their lovely little toes to the split ends of their luxuriously long, vibrantly highlighted hair. I just find women to be incredible. Smart ones that challenge my mind and pretty ones that uplift my hindbrain. So many things about any woman can turn me on and pique my interest. However, after seeing women all my life, I only want to be intimate with one. You're all great and sexy and any one could be cool to work through life with but I've found someone that I enjoy fitting into life with. Some other universe might see an alternate me hitting stuff like a six-year-old with an unlimited rides ticket at Disney but in this one, I only want to share my thoughts and life with one woman. I'm sure its difficult to tell us apart and no one gets the "see into the future" card so that you know if the one you're with is a dog or not. All I can say is that as confusing as life is, I like a show that presents some of the conflicts that I live through as people hear some of my comments about women and automatically assume I'm the worst kind of man. So I admit that I find someone attractive. Big deal.

On a separate note, I got my Canon 50mm prime. It is f/1.8 (very fast and very bright lens) and I still haven't shot it yet. I have a photoshoot in Knoxville tomorrow and I hope to get some usage out of it then. I'll post here when I have some updated pics for your perusal.

On DPC I got my highest rating so far - 5.95. Just 5 100th's of a point from 6. I placed 44th out of about 150 pics so that's the top third. I'm pretty happy with that. I'm starting to notice my basic photography skills have improved. I can handhold shots that are about 200mm or less and I generally frame them better than when I started but I'm still not composing compelling stories in my lens. The next contest is Tools and I think I should try some new compositions with my props at home (the backgrounds and colored sheets. This is a member challenge so we probably won't have 150 entries this time again. Maybe I can shoot for the top 25. It'll take some creativity and some work with PS to produce something that breaks into this rarified air but I'm up for it. We'll see in about a week how I do.

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, August 24, 2003

First night away

Well, Cindee and I did it. We dropped Katie off for our first night away since she's been born (6 months). She spent the night with my Mom while Cindee and I went to Atlanta. We stayed at the Crown Plaza Buckhead and it was both nice and conveniently located. We went out to Stone Mountain to enjoy the laser light show and found out that if you get there late enough admission to the whole park is free. We showed up at 7:30 and no one was in the ticket booths so we just walked in with the rest of the crowd. It seems to be a smallish park (compared with Six Flags or DisneyWorld or even EPCOT) but it offers several historical southern venues such as a sundries store and glassblowing exhibitions. It would be a nice stop for kids to play around and see the area at the bottom of the monument (we didn't make it to the top of the monument due to time restrictions). We got something to eat, sat and people watched and as the sky began to darken (8:30 or so) we made our way to the grassy area to pick our seats and wait for the show to begin. At 9:30 the show started and we enjoyed cute stories set to southern music including such diverse tunes as Georgia On My Mind (Ray Charles transitioned into Willie Nelson), RockyTop, The Devil Went Down To Georgia and Sweet Home Alabama.

The next morning, we slept late (a novelty if you've ever had a six month old in the house), went to the mall and ate lunch and then stolled and shopped with the IN crowd. You know, the people who's kids get Lexii and Bemmers (BMW's) for their 16th birthday. We were in Buckhead. Anyway, the 9 West store had a great sale and we picked up some funky sandals for Cindee for next to nothing. I went down to the Wolf Camera where I bought my Canon 10D and looked around at some of Canon's glass (17-40mm L USM is the latest and greatest for digital so I was told) but just couldn't find it in my heart (or bank acount) to drop $800 on a lens.

After shopping we came back home and picked up Katie from Mom's, went home and crashed for the evening as all three of us were tired.

Monday, August 18, 2003


Hmmm. Maybe this is the hallmark of professionalism. Never yield or respond to pressure in any but the most unruffled manner. Always present a calm exterior; exude confidence. Always be in control.

The project I'm working on right now has been ongoing for a couple of months. At first, the goals included getting me more familiar with object oriented programming (that we accomplished) and then introducing me to Microsoft's N-Tier design concepts that they've recently espoused with the advent of .NET and Webservices/Remoting (got that one, too). Finally, the penultimate goal - produce an application. Now that one I'm having trouble with. I spent a good month and a half working through my first object oriented app design and learning how to break my code apart into 6 or 7 different pieces and then make those pieces talk and play nicely across multiple platforms. Now that the rubber meets the road, I'm having difficulty producing a release version of the app. Why? Is it overly difficult? Nope. Are we incorporating technology or methodologies that tax my skills? Nope. Have I been hit with a virus, an ActiveDirectory profile rule and some weird, random video problems as well as an SMS update to my CD burner software? Absolutely. I spent one day recovering from a virus, one day at home with my daughter (no sitters), one day trying to get the SMS'd induced arguments between my video drivers and the video card and my CD burner fixed only to find that somewhere in the mix Visual Studio 2002 (.NET Framework 1.0) had been corrupted. So I stayed late Friday night to finish installing it and I checked it ONE TIME. It ran correctly. I walk back in Monday morning and (A) my computer won't boot while in my docking station and (B) Visual Studio 2002 has again become corrupted. My deadline is Wednesday. I HAVE to get something finished for this project. I'm not sure exactly how to handle this. I'm sure the world will go on if I miss the deadline but this is one of those times that things just run around and around in my head like "Oooh, what if you miss it and get fired?" Or "Wow, won't you feel like such a loser in front of the rest of the team who have let you just play and learn new stuff and now you can't deliver on an easy little crappy program like this. It just hits the database for goodness' sake."

Pressure. So, I stand up; let the pressure drain off me mentally; sit back down and just start working like nothing evil just ran through my mind naked as a jaybird screaming at the top of its lungs, "You're a piece of crap! You can't do this! You never could! Who would trust you!!!???!!!" I just look at those fears running around inside my head and think, "What the hell am I doing looking in my head? People didn't hire me or hang out with me because of these things. They want what I can produce. Not what I'm scared I can't." Then I just start working again.

Here's hoping I get this finished. I know I'll give it a good effort.

Friday, August 15, 2003


OK. I don't want to get off on a rant and I don't have time right now to say much. Lemme just say that trying to work with amateur models is a difficult proposition at best.

I've setup 6 photo shoots and actually made 2 of them. Often I don't get a call until a few hours before (granted once it was a death in the family so that's understandable). This doesn't anger me but it is discouraging to get myself ready for a shoot and then have it postponed or cancelled entirely. The latest episode was when I ran into someone that I thought would make a good model. I asked if she'd ever considered it and she seemed excited and enthusiastic. She even went so far as to allow me to take a few preliminary photos and she signed a model release form. I gave her my contact information and took hers. Sent an e-mail that evening and called back within 48 hours. She still sounded excited and said that she was busy until after the weekend. I gave her an extra couple of days to read the e-mail explaining the difference in my job as a photographer and the job of a model representative as well as the different types of modeling she might want to consider (like casual, elegant, fashion, etc). I explained the difference between fee-based and Time For Prints (TFP) work. She never contacted me but based on her enthusiasm I figured she was just a busy person and knew that she had not only given me her contact info but told me not to call her until after 9:00 when she was off work. I called her a third time and left a message saying that if she was interested to please let me know and if she wasn't that I would appreciate either a phone call or an e-mail response so I would at least know to stop wasting my time and efforts. So does she call . . . nope. But she has her boyfriend call saying she won't be doing any modeling. Now look. It's not a problem if someone doesn't want to model. Heck, I can understand being excited and then changing you mind. What gets me is being excited for a week and then having someone else cancel the appointment.

Well, I still have a few models that have said they want to pose for a sitting for either fee or TFP but we'll see how many of those we're able to get. There's only so many times you can shoot the landscapes and insect macros and the same models before you want to see new faces and new expressions. And as this is just a side job for me, I can't afford to pay for 2 and 3 shoots per week.

Keep your fingers crossed and if you know anyone that would like to pose . . . .

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Photography Stuff

OK. So I'm starting into the world of blogging. My first foray will be centered around photography as its my current obsession. I just got a Canon 10D digital camera. 6.3 megapixel SLR. I have a 35-80mm Canon lens and a 70-300mm Quantaray zoom telephoto lens with macro. Quantaray is Wolf Camera's brand that can be produced by any number of suppliers overseas and then rebranded. Neither of these lenses is a great product so I'm thinking about getting my hands on one of the Canon 50mm prime/fixed focal length lenses. It's still not an "L" series lens but at least it is FAST. It is F/1.8 and only for around $60-70. That's a ton of light; just no zoom.

I've joined the Digital Photography Challenge community ( - my stuff). I'd like to take some stock photo shots but who wouldn't. I'm still developing my artistic eye and style. I just found out today that professional photogs working for National Geographic expect to shoot 10,000-30,000 pics per assignment (each article in NG) over a four week period. That's a ton of frames. Someone else shared with my a comment from Ansel Adams that photographer should expect to take about 25,000 frames a year and expect to like about 1 or 2 of those. That might explain it. He was shooting medium format at around $2/picture. I'm shooting digital so I should probably expect to multiple his estimate by 5-10 times and then maybe I can expect to produce something aesthetically pleasing and commercially viable. With this in mind, my wife has agreed to doing without me for one night a week so that I can travel around for either landscape shots or photo sessions with models. I'm trying to build my portfolio and I've already shot 2,000-3,000 shots with the 10D. You can peruse my photos on PBase.

Thanks again for stopping by,