The photos for the Decorations theme are up.  If you still want your picture in please feel free to still get it to me I will always put them up. Next week the theme is Traditions.

In the spirit of the theme I thought I would post a picture of the Decorations that adorn my office space.

30mm f/4 1/160s
1. Red Hat is what I wish I could be doing 90% of the time at work.  It is actually 0-1%.
2. Hammer.  there is no computer problem that can’t be “fixed” >:)
3.  Moutain Dew.  Why else.

As a side note check out the video that Nicoleys did for the Lensbaby event that was earlier in November at PictureLine here in Salt Lake.  See if you see anyone you know.  Hint: not me. (Link)

Photography Is Your Name

And frustration is your game.
Last night I went to Temple Square to take some pictures.  I went alone so that I could take all the time I needed.  Anyway, I waited 40 minutes in the church office “plaza” waiting for the following shot to clear of people.  40 minutes in the rain/snow standing in one place worrying if my battery is going to die before getting to take to the picture I want, worrying about the rain getting on the camera, 40 minutes of kids running WAY TOO close to my setup.  At one point two people in an empty plaza just stood in the middle of my shot for 10 freaking minutes for no reason what so ever.  The plaza cleared of people, and I was able to finally get my shot.
35mm f/25 8s
Can the class tell my what is wrong with the above picture.  That is right. It is out of FREAKING FOCUS.  ARRRRGH.  I was in such a rush I hit the shutter release instead of using the remote.  This caused the camera to shake and blew the whole picture. By this point the battery was gone so no chance to try again. I will try again later in the week.

I did get one picture that I am in love with.  Not because it is a great picture but because it told a deep story to me. 
90mm f/4.5 1s

This is the Father from the Mormon Handcart monument near the Assembly Hall.  Look at it as big as you can.  It appears to be sweating and crying as he is pulling his cart.  As soon as I saw it I felt like it was saying to me “You are here on my shoulders.”  Anyways, it was meaningful to me.

Gardner Village

35mm f/1.8 1/8s NO TRIPOD!!!
I feel like my blog is starting sound very monologue-ish.  But for better or worse it is what it is. I am also way behind on what I want to write about.  We went to Gardner Village October 30th, and I am just now getting around to posting about it.
Gardner Village is an open air group of shops in South Jordan it is build around an old grain mill and is really pretty cool,  There’s a knitting store and everything.  I think that I have only ever been in three of the stores: the Christmas store, the bakery, and the candy store, but I still love going there.  They really get festive, and it is a real fun time.  If you are ever in the middle, 7800 South, of the Salt Lake Valley looking for some place interesting to blow a couple of hours check it out

35mm f/1.8 1/200s

35mm f/1.8 1/50s
I probably took a dozen different picture of this plate on the wall trying to get the colors just right.  Curse you white balance why do you vex me so!!!

35mm f/3.5 1/60s

Photowalking Utah Food Photography Clinic

I have been told that I BETTER have a good post for this or else. So for better or worse here it is.
Rich Legg (link) and Nicole Young (link) did a tag team teaching presentation. Which they said that they would have as a PDF posted the group’s web site. I will put a link to that as soon as it is available. My notes are a little weak and maybe when the PDF is posted I will talk about what was said in the clinic (or at least what I remember).  So that being said here goes my take.

  1. Use colors correctly. See picture (link). Figure out what the main color is and use complementary colors to make the photo pop.  Rich recommend that we go get a color wheel for this from Micheal’s Crafts.  In the picture the main color is the yellow of the tart and the complimentary colors of yellow are blue and red the colors of the berries.Remember that warm colors come towards the eye and cool colors withdraw.
  2. Get good information.  They recommended a book Food Styling for Photographers (link).  Also there is a whole bunch of web sites out there.  I have listed a couple.  Nicoleys also posted today a couple of other books here (link)
  3. Try and aim for “Just Left Look”  It should look like someone has just left the room and should not look like pristine piece.  There is probably a fine line where a little “clutter” is good, a lot is probably not.  In fact in the live shooting demo Nicole actually took pieces of the crumbs and placed them on the plate.
  4. Use angles and layers to create interest.  In this picture (link) they pointed out several angles the plate, the chopsticks, even the stack of sushi is at a slight angle. And in this picture of a chef (link) it is easy to spot (at least it was to me once they pointed it out) the foreground (the parsley/pasta) the midground (the chef) and the background (the kitchen equipment in the back)
  5. Most food used in food photography is not suitable for human consumption.  They did mention Kelly Cline (link) a food photographer that takes pictures of food you could pick up and eat.  For example, in the beautiful pictures of breakfast cereal, Elmer’s glue is generally used in place of milk.
  6. One thing that they did not point out (maybe they did and I missed it).  Was context the food always told a “story” is was not just sitting there alone.

I also got to meet a great local food photographer,  Quinn Curtis from LimeLight Food Photography (link) check out her flickr stream.
Really that was about it the real fun was after it was all over there was alot of just hanging out. Rich, Nicole, and several others stood around and answered all of the questions that were thrown at them with knowledge, grace and a great amount of fun. I will be to as many of these as possible in the future.

YEAH!!!!!!! Lenses

66mm f/4.2 1/60s Dewalt work light to the right side, entryway spot light behind, and pop-up flash with diffuser

So this week has been a lens week.  I have been saving and was able to get two lenses.  I got a replacement for the one that is RIPing.  I have been watching the ads on KSL just waiting to pounce on a good deal and I found one.  The 18-55 AF-S VR for fifity buck off I was thrilled it was brand freaking new.  When I went to pick up the that one the girl and I got talking and she let me see her D80 (I am soooooo jealous Stace) with an attached 35mm f1.8 prime lens which I immediately fell in love with it is a super fast lens that actually will auto-focus on my camera and the focal length is perfect for inside of my house.  I know it is a geeky photo, but I wanted to try out some lighting ideas that I I have had and this was a great chance to learn.


Can I even call it camping any more?  Since we got our trailer our definition of camping has changed dramatically.  I still eat food that is not doctor approved, the kids still get dirty and in trouble for playing in the fire, I still listen to the radio, okay so what if it is an internet radio station and my generator is powering the whole thing. The fundamentals are the same.

Over the weekend -long weekend- I took Friday and Monday off.  We went to Maple Grove again for our September Camping trip.   It was alot, ALOT, of fun.  The weather was great, heck it was basically perfect.  Low 80’s during the day and probally 60’s at night.  We started off the weekend going to a fund-raiser in Fillmore for Primary Childrens Medical Center called Applefest it was pretty fun.  By the time we got back to camp there was only time to set the beds up and go to sleep.  Heck I barely had time to check classified to see if there were any screaming deals on camera gear.

This picture was a complete experiment.  I have been reading about rear-sync flash.  Where as the shutter closes the flash fires.  Any way I am reasonably happy with it other than there is ALOT of noise that can’t figure out where it came from (ISO 200 for those of you with the quick easy answer).  If you want to see a REALLY cool picture using some awesome flash technique check out this picture from Scott Smith.

55mm f/11 498.40s rear-sync flash

Adventures At the Utah State Fair

or I Hate Carnies (all of them, but the ones from Fillmore, thems I love)

The kids got free tickets to the state fair this year.  Christy demanded that we go.  It was clear that I had no choice.  She did say the magic words, “You could probably get some pictures, and see the results of the photography contest.”   After, walking the midway getting heckled by the @#% carnies, Yes I am cheap I am not going to throw darts at a fricking balloon to win yet another stuffed animal for the kids.  Anyway the kids got their free rides and we did have fun.  I was able to get a picture that I think is OK, but after seeing the pictures that were entered in the fair I’m not so sure. 

190mm f/25 1/10s
What the crap.  One man’s garbage I guess.

55mm f/5.6 1/125s

Parenting, What a Drag

So Tuesday night I took Chey to dance and while she was in dancing tried to be a photographer.  It is a learning curve.  Here are some of the experiments I took.  There is not much to look at in “downtown” west valley.

50mm f/5.0 1/100s

50mm f/6.3 1/160s

50mm f/6.3 1/160s

50mm f/6.3 1/160s

As we were driving home I was listening to the radio, and Black in Black.  Side note:  I have always thought life would be better with a sound track.  Everyone knew that Darth Vader was a bad dude because when he entered the room there was DA-DA-DA-DADA-DA-DA-DA-DU (whatever don’t judge me).  I, also, thought that Black in Black was my theme song.  I don’t know, don’t ask.  So I thought that it was time to see how loud the stereo would go, it goes pretty loud.  Chey started screaming at me from the back seat.  “Dad I’m trying to read the Book of Mormon here, and you are making it impossible.”  Sigh, how do you argue with that,  she is in Ether I think.  I shudder to think when she is going to ask how old I was when I first read the BOM cover to cover.  I have really good kids.