Monday, January 31, 2005

Quick tidbits -

I was talking to my wife at work when she got another call; we hung up; she called me back 10 minutes later just to say . . . I got busy and have to go. Hmmmmm. OK.

Since I've been doing a few paid jobs I've been waking up earlier and working more in the mornings but I still get to work late. I've taken to getting up at 5:00 in the mornings but by the time I get ready, get my daughter ready, deliver her to her grandmother's and edit wedding photos or print family portraits I'm still hauling butt to make work by 9:00. I've even been editing at night.

Invested in some fantastic portrait books by Amherst Media. One is on building a modeling portfolio for aspiring models. It includes some great material regarding how to shoot certain styles and how to help a model figure out both what she's "right" for and what she wants to do by putting her through some mental exercises where she picks out photos from magazines and describes things she wants from this type of career. The other book covers how to pose someone from the front cover to the back. It looks like it'll be a great resource.

There, finished in 5 minutes. Now you have an update.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Busy, BUSY weekend

So I had the Monday night session to work on this weekend and I had already scheduled a photoshoot (see photo following). Then I got a phone call late Friday afternoon asking if I could and would shoot a wedding for a family. The groom-to-be just got his papers and he was shipping back over to Iraq for a 2nd tour. He had a couple of months but apparently he was going to be traveling and taking care of business so Saturday was to be the big day. I picked up a Quantum 2x2 battery pack and rolled to the church building. We shot from about 1:30-5:00. The family was wonderful. I have their proofs on schedule to be reviewed Friday.
Today was more relaxed since it was just a TFP agreement between the model and me. We didn't have to shoot any predetermined amount or time limit. We tried out several things and I got to really play with the lighting some. Here's one photo from that set.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, January 21, 2005

Small Business Update

So I've gotten some paying business based on shooting portfolio work for models lately. I got some serious inquiries and some business for photographing groups and families, too. Now the business takes the next step towards being less unprofitable; I just signed a contract with a local hotel/banquet hall to photograph banquet attendees. I shot at this location once before for an organization's annual party and the photos turned out very good. If the next two events work out to the satisfaction of myself and the management at this hotel I suppose I can expect to obtain a long-term contract to work with them and they will offer my services on a consumption-based model to any type of attendees (businesses, conventions, reunions, etc) and also they will help me market to some wedding clients that use their services.

While this type of work isn't as profitable as it might at first seem, it is money for photography, it does get me working with people (something I enjoy) and its work that I can do and it doesn't persist after the event (since attendees will either pay for and pickup photos of themselves during the event or they can purchase them off the website afterwards).

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Busy but happy

Talk about raining and pouring. I went from not shooting with anyone for a month or six weeks back in November to suddenly having 5 sets lined up over the next 3 weekends and another couple of people who want to schedule some time. A young model who had taken some time off is looking to get back to shooting a set with me. I got an order off a family portrait session that I need to fill and I have a request for bid for photographing families for a church directory. I'm getting more and more busy at work and spending more time with my wife and daughter. Whew! Who needs an umbrella? Let it rain.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005


A co-worker supplied this to me and I have no other attribution. Regardless, this is funny.

Subject: Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues.

BONUS QUESTION: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature adn pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given me by Teresa during my freshman year that "It will be a cold ay in Hell before I sleep with you" . . . and take into account that I slept with her last night, then the second option must be true. Thus I am certain that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is, therefore, extinct; leaving only Heaving, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why last night Teresa kept shouting, "Oh my God!"

The student reportedly received the only "A".

Saturday, January 15, 2005


My wife told me back at Christmas that she wants a piano. OK, says I. Why? My thinking is that I need to know whether she wants (A) a hulking piece of furniture that'll give me a hernia, collect dust and never be played or (B) something that can be hidden, is lightweight and can be taken anywhere so that there is no excuse not to play. She considers and wrestles with the idea; tells me that she doesn't want a keyboard and finally agrees to at least look at electronic keyboards. Fast forward to today and we drop by one of the local music stores (perhaps the only one), L & M Music. We take a peek at the Yamaha P120 and she decides that an electronic keyboard may not be all bad. It has Yamaha's "Graded Hammer" effect which cause the keys to respond to weight so that they both feel weighted like an accoustic piano's keys and they respond differently based on the amount of pressure you apply; hit it harder and you get a slightly different sound than if you press the key lightly. The quality of the sound produced is pretty impressive. It'll cost right at $1200 but she's excited about it and I figure its only money. It'll take me a couple of months to save up enough but we'll have it for her before too long, Lord willing.

On a separate but somewhat related note we worked around the house a little while our daughter napped this afternoon. My wife cleaned up some boxes and nicknacks from the bonus room over our garage and I put together a bookshelf for the library and cleaned up a little in there. Looks like I'll be moving my lighting/studio equipment to the room over the garage and moving the birds out (two cockatiels: Sam & Stan) and I'll be using that room for my studio. It's not really long enough but it'll do until I earn enough money and get busy enough to warrant renting/leasing a place. I have two sessions scheduled already and a third in the offing. One session is an artistic attempt by me to find some vision and capture something artistic so I'm paying the model. The other session is one where a young lady needs a portfolio started for her as she's doing some music and promotional work and needs headshots plus some different looks. We may shoot a CD cover for her either at the studio or later in the Spring; her cousin has worked with me before on environmental portraiture shoots.

The Steelers gave us all a scare tonight. I'm not a lifelong fan or anything but I'm pullin' for them this year. I hope they steamroll everyone else (sorry Payton) and crush their opposition in the SuperBowl.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, January 13, 2005


I mentioned some studies that I'm engaging in. These are more personal and artistically expressive so I've been reluctant to share my efforts at these very much. I should receive my neutral density filter (which lowers the amount of light that comes into the camera; thus allowing me to take advantage of the faster glass I've purchased) and tonight my wife has agreed to sit for me while I shoot some lighting studies. That type of study has more to do with technical expertise rather than artistic interpretation of things so I'll share those photos online more readily. Hopefully I'll be able to get a subject in my makeshift studio at home or perhaps a location that I can share with a co-worker and shoot more lighting tests.

Oh well, without much more ado here is my first public shot on women's leg/foot fashions. I figured I'd go for something a little more innocuous than nudes as its just easier to explain around the Sunday lunch table with the family and so many women may find these more palatable than nudes.

If you click the photo and follow the link there is a color version as well; just click the Next link in the upper right corner.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, January 10, 2005

Farsightedness & Photoshoot

So I'm 36 and just realized over the weekend that my body is beginning to wear down in little bits. I'm not in great health or shape but my eyesight is something that I have always enjoyed in near perfect 20/20 fashion. I was tired this weekend and I've had some sinus irritations that affected me but at one point I picked up a paper and realized that I could not read it unless I held it at least 12-18" from my face. This was disconcerting. I tried a second time with the same results. Granted I had recently awoken from a deep sleep and my vision wasn't completely clear but the sign was clear (or blurry as it were in this case). Now a day later and I am able to focus on objects as close as 6" away. I can read moderate sized print at about half a foot away. Any closer or any smaller a font and my eyes feel like they're crossing. Well, with minor magnifications or corrections I should be able to make it without impacting my daily routine too much. I had my vision tested just over 12 months ago and the doctor prescribed a +0.75 magnification lens. Since then I've been wearing soem magnification glasses at work to help me reading a monitor or small print.

On a different note, I shot a new session for someone this weekend. I was pleased with the work overall. Still room for improvement on numerous fronts but here is one photo from the session (click the photo to be taken to more of my portraits from this session or previous ones.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, January 07, 2005

New Photo Gallery

I just updated my website with a new samples gallery. Take a look and see if you like it. I'm going to reorganize it; this was an attempt to put something together and get it migrated to the server. The next release will be an attempt at a cohesive representation of my best work.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Random Thoughts From My Drug-Encumbered Mind

Red Velvet Cake - ya know what's so good about this stuff? The darned stuff is actually a chocolate cake but with red coloring. It's all a mind game. It looks bright red but your tongue would swear that its chocolate. The whole enjoyment of it (after the taste and whatnot) is that its chocolate without being chocolate. How cool.

Proximity Payments - so at work we have these proximity badges that allow you to do all sorts of cool stuff like get into locked doors or use the super-D-duper Executive Washrooms (like its a shower with gold appointments or something). Now I know some fuel company also has a proximity pass that you use to automatically deduct the charges for your gasoline from your charge/debit card. Why not use something like this with the vending machines that are on every floor. I believe that its commonly accepted as truth (though I have no evidence to back it up) that people spend more when they don't have to watch the dollar bills disappearing out of their hands. Let me connect my proximity badge to my debit card and buy Snackwells (tm) or Andy Capp's Hot Fries (tm) by merely swiping my hip up against the machine. Surely there wouldn't have to be many instances of erroneous use. Has anyone performed a market study to see if this would work? Frankly I don't want to do this, I just figured it's coming down the pike someday and why not get in front of it and make a quick dime on all you moronic fatties eating too many Little Debbies . . . wait that's me.

Well, there you have two thoughts from me, or Glaxo-somebody-and-somebody-else (for the medication I've taken for my sinuses).

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Sugar Bowl and photoshoot

I've been re-cataloging images for the past few days. It really is time consuming. I'm back up to 15,000 out of 50,000 images in the catalog. Whew! I'm backing up my catalog this time so that I don't have to rebuild the darned thing if I hose it.

Auburn Tigers/WarEagles/Plainsmen just won the 2005 Nokia Sugar Bowl (screw the BCS). They held off Virginia Tech in the final minutes. I wish they could have blown them out like Tennessee did to Texas A&M (screw Texas while you're at it); but I'm glad for any win for them. Tuberville deserves it and the Auburn fans deserve it and apparently the football players for Auburn deserve it since they're the ones who actually earned all 13 wins this season. CONGRATS to the Auburn Tigers.

I had a photoshoot with a co-worker today. The office was closed to celebrate New Years Day so we tore off about 300 frames in a couple of hours. It was her first shoot and I think we got some decent shots. Here's one from that session. Click the image to see the rest of the photos from that session.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, January 03, 2005

Have a laugh on me

If you don't already know I am an amatuer photographer bordering on either insane or part-time professional. I currently have a vault of about 70,000 images. Not too many of them are anything that would ring your bell but they're all a step towards the next level of mastery. A website to which I subscribe has an upcoming contest for the best photo of 2004. I decided that I would finish profiling the rest of my 2004 photos into my cataloging software. At the time I had about 55,000 images profiled. All the images are either on CD or DVD. Apparently I got a bad piece of DVD media 'cause I tossed it into the DVD drive and started the profile right before going to the in-laws for supper. When I checked the computer (it takes a little while to profile 4-5 Gb of images), the profiling software had halted. I shut it down and tried to start it back up only to find that it was corrupt. Wondering at the cause I created a test catalog and sure enough the same DVD toasted that catalog. Hmmm. Now the annoying thing is that I should have backed up the catalog. It's not enough to backup the images multiple times. I've spent several hours just feeding DVDs into the machine and waiting for Portfolio to profile the images. Hopefully I'll get the catalog rebuilt in time for the contest deadline so that I can more easily evaluate my shots from last year and go through a weeding out process to find the image that I feel represents my best work.

Enjoy the laugh and thanks for reading,


Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy New Year

I hope you and yours had a wonderful New Year celebration.

UT Volunteers won their bowl game in convincing fashion. Year after year they struggle when given an opportunity to prove themselves. Often they've been awarded better bowl bids than they may have deserved due to how well they travel (meaning how many fans follow them and spend a lot of money). In several of those instances they underperformed or appeared lackluster. By contrast this year they went to the SEC Championship game and for once they actually responded to pressure of poor performance with some pride and heart. They didn't win but they didn't just lay down and quit when they fell behind; they came back out after halftime and bloodied Auburn's nose and made Auburn perform even better just to stay ahead of the Vols. They got the invitation to the SBC Cotton Bowl (screw the BCS, its a piece of crap; don't know how to handle the large corporate donations when we do go to a playoff but the point is screw the BCS). They walked onto the field at the Cotton Bowl and took advantage of almost every opportunity Texas A&M gave them. They were quick, they were focused and they were opportunistic. Congratulations to the men on the field who displayed a desire to win and a will to go take the game from the Aggies. You were the most impressive team to play yesterday. Go Vols!

Surely you've heard about some tragedies involved with the tsunamis that hit around the Indian Ocean last week. I don't endorse any particular method of giving to the victims of these diasters but if you are looking to find a venue for providing monetary assistance then try GuideStar service. The top link in their central column allows you to search for agencies that say they provide some measure of support to the people who have endured the effects of the tsunamis. Find one you feel comfortable with and use it at your discretion if you're looking to provide monetary assistance.

Oh yeah, thanks to one of you for helping me find a potential studio here locally. It may be a fluke but the same day I called about the studio location I got a call to shoot headshots and promo work for someone who's cutting a promo CD. I may actually make 1 or 2 percent of my expenses someday. Wouldn't my wife and Visa be happy. hehehe

Thanks for reading,