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At the Grand Prix.
Here and there and back again.
A truly learning experience
You may quote me "One day you get the Lensbaby, but most days the Lensbaby gets you". Last week mostly, out of curiosity,I let a Lensbaby Composer Pro /w Sweet 35 Optic come into my life. And as after other life changing moments such as Marriage and Childbirth, things are never quite the same. I love the endless possibilities this little tilt shift lens hints at, but in practice worthwhile results are seeming to elude me.
On Saturday I went on Andy Smith's Visual Reality (re)Photowalk in Gettysburg Pa. with the intent of making this a "Lensbaby" only event. To compound the issue I decided to also shoot 3 shot bracketed images for HDRs. Because this was my first real world outing with this little lens my lack of familiarity with it's operation became apparent quite rapidity. Let me explain, as this is a manual lens, F stop's and focus are entirely up to the user. But what really bit me was setting the shutter. A very high percentage of images were either under or overexposed. To late i discovered if the cameral was set to AV mode, a decent shutter speed was set But that was a day later, on Saturday my total capture of "Keepers" could be counted on my fingers. Oh well, live and learn. Maybe next time.
A cold day by the Bay.
Saturday the 27th of January, 2013 was the 17th Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge and my forth consecutive trip to cover the even. And as per the norm, it was cold (air temp 34°/ water 35° ) but sunny. A great time was had by all. While all the credit has to go the the plungers, some 11,000 of them who raised almost $2.000.000 for Special Olympics Maryland , In some aspects it's just as tough if not tougher on the media. For a lot of the plungers it's come an hour or so before, walk around, change, plunge, dry and change back. then go home. For our media team it was arrive at 0800, shoot the last 98Rock "Super Plunge" at 0900, then wander around shooting the normal and the maybe not so normal fellow attendees. Cover both the 1300 and 1500 plunges water side, shoot more and finally head for home around 1600. A long day in 35° weather to be sure. But I whine a bit too much, it could have been worse, like three years ago when it snowed and sleeted all day.. And I did get to photograph such notables as Miss Maryland, Miss Teen Maryland USA , Miss Teen DC USA
and Some of the Ravens Cheerleaders
did I mention Britney Girl Dale?
But apparently the Cold Air and Water Didn't Stop the Plungers from Having Fun.. So I guess a good time was had by all.
Time Time Time into the Future
OK I know that an upgrade to this site was promised last year, Good intentions but life just got in the way. I'm happy to report now that the Chris Klinefelter Tribute project is done over at Speed Vision of MD, I will have more time to focus on this ( www .dougmillephotos.com ) site and kick it up a notch.. Shortly I will be posting a piece on two recent projects/focuses . The Trandscend 32gb SD WiFI card and the latest Magic Lantern Release, and how Aperture made finding and extracting 1000+ files for the Klinefelter Tribute, from a almost 30 thousand image collection to Zenfolo and finally Vimeo, a relative snap.
Enter the Winter
A passing of an age. fdphotovideo
On Friday night I left the light in www.ffphotovidoe.com go out for good.. I've had the site up for almost 10 years but lately with the new www,speedovision.com site showcasing motorsport events, It became more and more obvious,that maintaining three sites were just to much of a chore. So it's God Speed and Following Winds to you and all the joys you brought to countless children over the years. Well maybe that part is made up.
To every thing turn turn turn, there is a season and a purpose under heaven.
How do you spell "Train Wreck"?
For starters try this example www.dougmillerphotos.com!
I noticed I hadn't done much with this website since I spun off www.speedovision.com and www.dougmillerphotos.com from www.fdphotovision.com, while trying to add the Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! event. It became apparent this puppy need a major overhaul both to structure. and content. Well there's no time like the present. Please bear with this mess until I can redress, and redo.. What's that I hear Mr. Anderson, sounds like old 99 a coming down the track. I better get started quick.
Dance they said, and it was good. Update
This year events seem to be few and far between. Almost at the last second, my young Child Bride (CB) and her dance companion decided to attend Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafl at the Pasha Land restaurant in Gaithersburg MD. Reservations were made over the phone for the following night (Sunday) and the excitement slowly started to build for both of us. Her, because she loves the Dance , and has so for almost 35 years. Me, it was an event, my real passion, photographing events. I have my favorites but as a rule, The Middle Eastern Dance events are not on the top of my list.. Don't get me wrong, I love photographing Middle Eastern Dancers of all shapes and sizes. And what's not to love, the colors, movements, music? No what's not to love is the venues.. It's a real challenge to capture a worthwhile images of the dancers in a High School Gym, Senior Center, parking lot or worse. Which with small exception is where they are. Fact of life, the girls love to dance where ever they can to show off their skills, and to do this "You takes what you gets."
But I have, as they say, digressed. We both went into our usual preparation modes, hers are not for public consumption, mine are more of a mechanical nature. Batteries to be charged, cameras & lens' needed to be selected. Which always proves to be a dilemma. Most times not knowing the where's why and whens of the venue always makes it at best, a guess. This time not being different, I decided to travel light with the 5DMII, a 50mm f/1.2, 100mm f/2.8, and one flash to deal with what ever lighting situations were presented.
When we arrived at Pasha Land at the appointed time, I was a bit distressed to see the restaurant was really not that large, and was packed with dancers and guests, with space already at a premium . which built when we came to find out our reservations had more or less, "flown the coupe". Lucky for us the owners daughter did some magic logistical redirection and we were ushered to our table, right out front. This was much appreciated by CB and friend as they almost were out on the dance floor. For me any use of the 100mm F/28, was ruled out. The only other bullet I had was the 50mm f/1.2 which was still a little long for this space. ("Darn why didn't I pack a wide angle?" ) As the excitement built, drinks ordered, menu choices made, I stated to realize the pickle i was in. When the dancers started to line up for the first group dance, the front line was only a foot and a half away from the front of the lens.
Nor perfect but Oh well, time to make some lemonade.. It's only pixels anyway. The music started, the light dimmed (I wish) and the magic started. Knowing things were far from perfect but I would get what I could i sat back, stretched my right pointer finger and started firing away. The rest of the afternoon was a blur of whirling dancers, delicious food and trying to get that "perfect shot.
A note of apology to the dancers, I was unable to capture "keepers" of all the dancers due to their proximity and lighting, and I'm still trying to mach the dancer listed in the flyer, to the images..
My thanks to all involved in making Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! a smashing success. The images posted are from my Flickr site but many more are posted or are in process of being posted on my gallery site. so check back often. .
Changing Seasons, Changing directions
Look outside the season is changing, summer is giving way to fall, which will in turn give way to winter. My approach to images likewise has started to change somewhat. Prior I would accept more of less what ever the camera had captured, perhaps with some minor tweaks in Aperture. Now more and more I find myself using one, or more, of the NIK plugins, with an occasional forays into PhotoShop to use the AKVIS SKITCH plugin or to provide background effects.
Above John Brown - NIK HDR Efex Pro 2, NIK Color Efex Pro 4
Above "The Dancers" Post processing With Aperture 3, NIK Color Efex Pro 4, ApertureExpert’s Preset Pack #5 “Film & Funk”
Above NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and Aperture core tools.
NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and Aperture core tool set. Also becoming a fan of the square crop in many circumstances.
Above Aperture 3, Adobe Photo Shop, AKVIS SKITCH Photo Shop plug-in, NiK Color Efex Pro 4.