Contrary to local belief my Head is full of ideas, most of them fleeting and unformed. Some reoccurring, but needing some form of outlet. A few are actually pretty good. Lets see what comes up!
Looking for something motorsport related consider visiting our sister site www.speedovision.com It's HOT!
As of today consider this site a work in progress. Things just are to dated and in no way reflect my current level of competence. Look for lots of unannounced updates, and structure updates. A total redo if you will .. But it all has to start somewhere. Like now!
"Seniors on the Go:
Had the opportunity to image those amazing ladies from South Carroll at the Annual Carroll County “Seniors on the Go” event at the Aug Center last Wednesday., sadly they were a lot more “On the Go” then i have been processing the images.
Fear no I haven’t forgotten, just fell behind a bit,, Some images have been up loaded to the event gallery located here More as time permits.
It's almost Plunge Time again, just like it was last Winter.
Setting the clocks, maybe but not when we’re talking updating this site. After playing around with several site designs I finally decided decided on a minimalist design. The final choice was “Strpped” by one of my favorite RapidWeaver designers. Henk Vrieselaar, Of course changing a theme is no big deal with a CSS driven website. But with so many options/looks/capabilities picking one is no easy task. With the “look” set, now I can continue to refresh the content.
I shot my first solo Bat Mitzvah this weekend, totally enjoyed the experience, but still waiting on the family’s take on the images I captured. A few years ago I shot an equestrian event and shot images I thought would meet the customers need. Not so, I had no idea a formal style portrait of the rider standing next to her horse wearing her prize ribbons just isn’t what they want.. Just the horse, i was told. maybe with the rider doing something.. Go figure. Hopping history doesn’t repeat the experience.
Hello Old Friend... StudioD and Alien Skin Enhance 6
What 4 months since my last post.. Bad Poster, Bad Poster…. Well what’s new? Other then a mindset redirection over at Speed Vision of MD.. Two things come to mind. One is the rebirth of “StudioD”, play on words. Studio for my vintage Sunpac folding lightbox and D for Doug, get it? and another is a trial run of Alien Skin Exposure 6. Lets look the specifies.
“ ©StudioD ” - In 2008 when I was much younger and new to Flikr, Santa left a SUNPAK Mini Studio under the tree. Forward to Feb 2nd of 2009 and one of my early Flickr posts was one a model organ made by Father in Law, using said device. As with so much of what I have, it saw sporadic use early on, but was quickly relegated to the back of the closet.
Lets fast forward up to last Wednesday (52814) when Norm Barker, Director of Pathological Photography @ The Johns Hopkins gave a presentation to the Central Maryland Photographers Guild on Micro Photography. Toward the end of his presentation it was mentioned he used a portable light box and carried a small bit of good black velvet in his kit to use as an impromptu backdrop because of it’s ability to absorb light. Being a good minion of who’s ever presenting, come Tuesday morning I too has a piece of my own. Up from it dark containment the Sunpak Mini Studio was transported, the black velvet backdrop incorporated and “©StudioD” was created. Immediately the resulting imagery of things laying around the house were a cut above what had been shot prior. I was pleased
Alien Skin Enhance 6 Saw several tweets a few days ago singing the phrases of Alien Skin’s new release of Enhance. 6. Being a constant user of NIK, Perfect Photo Suite, Topaz, and Alien Skin products on almost all of my posted images inside of Adobe CS6 or as a standalone I investigated and later D/L a trial copy of the software. On use I was very impressed with the vast range of effects included and started incorporating them into published images using “©StudioD” or on motorcycle racing images..
To be sure this software will be in my image manipulation tool kit but only when I can free up the $149 needed for purchase. Which is a shame as the more I look into the options the more Im amazed at it’s abilities
Job Interview at "the Dark Conservatory"
How can anyone journey for color and light turn into a much darker experience. From this ………………………. Images of pure joy…
To images like this, each with a story that hints of dark actions with deadly concurrencies.
Was it a cry for help from a tormented mind or was it just a black mood triggered by the less then OK hot dog, offered at the temporary “Terrace Cafe”. Most likely we’ll never know as all this is now water under the dam.
And then were none..
Almost at the exact same time as I reached the gates of Sandy Point State Park for the 2014 Maryland State Police, Polar Bear Plunge it was announced on 98Rock that the plunge was being canceled due to the dangerous weather conditions .
By this time the State Police were turning away the faithful so the only activity were crews starting to dismantle the Plunge infrastructure z
Well the no activity didn’t apply to the ‘Super Plungers” Tent.. Everyone in the tent were in shock that the event had been called off. Every hour for the past 23 it was out into the cold, in and out of the water and back inside to warm up.. I think all this involvement, and with a end in site they would never be able have, was the reason. With slight exception I knew no one in the tent. Well no one but my hero local TV news star Rob Roblin, He looked just plain tired.
and 98Rock Morning Show Host Justin Schlegel who I had photographed this summer at the Baltimore Grand Prix. I didn’t shoot any images but he told me this was the hardest super plunge he was involved in. He showed me a movie he took of the shore line at 2AM where the waves were washing in layers of fine slush ice. It looked real nasty and they did postpone plunges until 4am. At this time he wasn’t sure if they were done plunging too, or were going to continue to the end. Turns out they did go in one last time but we were on the other side of the site when it went off, so we missed it…
We did see some of the regular attraction The Ravens Roost guys and Captain “D”. All hard core Ravens Fans.
Wondered over to the fest tent for a cup-0-joe and ran into this really nice guy with a utterly fantastic beard.
whats left cold and windy empty beaches and time for the ever vivacious Ms Tina Miles and mineself to head to our respective homes. Smile for Tina..
"Hot Day in January"
In one of his songs, Cajun fiddle man, Doug Kershaw http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Kershaw sang “It’ll be a hot day in January when she'd ever leave me”. I guess they were talking about today. I’m showing 18° as I get ready for my 5th Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge. (Media) While not one of the brave plungers, braving the outdoor’s 0800 to 1600 has been a challenge at time. Most of my family and friends think I’m nutz, and would rather spend the day bundled up, inside. Thankfully I’m not at that stage yet.. And why, may your ask? That’s easy, I spend the day trying to chronicle the nobel efforts of the thousand of folks, plungers, staff, whoever, who do this each year to support the Maryland Special Olympics. Plus I get to hang around with one of the best media pros I knew Tina Miles. With maybe a bit of Rob Roblin thrown in. Who know what this year will bring? Cold, yes. Snow, maybe, In the meantime here’s some shots from the past to pass the time..
Off shortly, hope to see you on the other side
What's New With You?
Nothing much as of now. Did visit the past in Ilkchester MD, The ruins of “St Mary’s Monastery” and Simkins Paper Mill will warrant a revisit as will the Old B&O rail infrastructure.
Later on in the week it was a visit to the Providence Cemetery in Gamber MD.
Like a Fish out of water .
OK I’m almost a week over due… Old ways return quickly.
Last Friday and Saturday I was inside the 53 year old Baltimore Arena to capture all the packaged action of “AMSOIL Arenacross” Never done this exact kind of shooting so I did some pre event scouting on the internet as to “the best way”. Thusly armed on Friday afternoon I headed down into the inner city for some high adventure. And then things started to go bad. First rule of anything is know your destination. Not being the most knowledgeable person about things Baltimore i went to the Downtown Convention Center, which I found out was not hosting a Arenacross event that night, or ever. I was advised to perhaps try the Baltimore Arena which was having some kind of motorcycle thing. So back out into the rain and city hustle and bustle went I, feeling a little stupid for the mistake. Finding the Arena (which turned out to be right across from my choice of parking garages.) my next challenge was to locate the “Promoters Will Call” which turned out to be “Go up to the next black awning, ticket booth is there” to “Go to the little Black Awning in there”, gurrr right back where I started. And a reminder that all this meandering was taking place lugging full gear, in some heavy cold wet rain. But once found, picking up my media package was quick and painless, the promoters had it down to a tee. Now the real business starts. Part of my pre-event routine is a pit walk through followed by reconnoitering of the racing surface, in this case, involved 4 levels. Previously I had set the flash up for second curtain sync. to add some “spoke blur” to the shots. I was very surprised to find the lighting in the Arena was great. No flash was really needed. Happily I kitted up and started shooting.
Because of the abundance of light high speed capture of the racing action were pretty easy to net. As I was after more of the unusual capture I quickly hit on a technique to use the flash set at 3 stops over power to override the ambient light and under-light the airborne bike and rider.
And that being accomplished is anyone shocked that soon playful Photoshop, Alien Skin Eye Candy 7, versions started surfacing in short order..
And then the camera died.. I’m still not sure what exactly happened but my 5DMIII shut down. I put in a fresh battery and it to shortly shut down. As a result Fridays captures of the actual show were mostly make with my iPhone. Dejected I went home to process and recover what I had capture and re-flash the camera’s firmware. My original intent was to shoot the Friday show only. Now I had to shuffle existing plans to allow a return Saturday engagement.
And return we did, everything worked as expected, the camera gremlin didn’t return. Now that I sort of knew the ropes, things went pretty good, with a good percentage of keepers to put on Speed Vision of MD. Most of the night I shot at f:5.6 around 1/250th ISO 850/1000. The Second-Sync flash worked a little to good, A few high speed pans didn’t benifit from the dragging flash.
Over all I had a great time, the event staff was more then accommodating, the Baltimore Arena staff were helpful and more then wiling to share their “tails of the road”, of course, of which I found fascinating.
Addressing the “Fish out of Water” title. This is a young mans sport, no real place for “silverbacks”. But if I could turn back the hands of time…. How fun would that be?
2014 Off and Running
Look how fast this year is already going, it seems only short time ago I was waiting at Liberty Reservoir for the first Sunrise of the New Year.
And now day 1 is almost history.. One of my New Year’s resolutons is to spend time updating the Doug Miller Photography website, I’ve been a sadly remiss in that area.. Second New Years Resolution is to post to this blog at least once a week. If for nothing else then getting back on the NSA tracking list..
I would like to wish all a Happy and Prosperous 2014.
See you soon.
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.
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.
Torn, and torn again. But happily now on the mend
Yes I've been remiss. It's been a while, almost a month the be exact, since my last entry. But this time I have an excuse. Well.. some what of a excuse.
Drum Roll Please …….
I've been spending a lot of time over at Speed Vision of MD which in case you haven't heard is the new home for all my Motor Sport images. Web sites never come easy and because of the bleeding edge design, this one is taking some extra time to fully stand up. But I am happy to report there is some faint light at the end of the tunnel. Logos (well at least 1st gen) are done, Flickr, Facebook and Zenfolio sites and galleries are in place. And if by magic (not ) content is finally starting to appear. Not to much additional to add right now. But a "Arnold" said "I'll be Back"
The 90th Barbara Fritchie Classic
The Barbara Fritchie Classic Motorcycle Race promoted by is somewhat of an "odd man out" in the world of motorcycle racing. It attracts some big name Grand National and local riders. but is eclipses by the AMA Eastern most Grand National Race at Hagerstown Speedway. But there is no shortage of great motor cycle racing action, or interesting fans here in the heart of Central Maryland.
But is has a history
Like any bona fide classic, the Fritchie has stood the test of time. The Fritchie is held at The Great Frederick Fairgrounds. It is the oldest running half mile in the country. It’s a Fourth of July tradition in Frederick. But when it started in the 1920s, the race wasn’t even held on the Fourth. The Fritchie ran Memorial Day. And back then, it was called the Delphey Brothers Classic, promoted by J. Paul and Chester Delphey.
This years race was hot and dusty with no shortage of great racing action.
Young up and coming "Hot Shoes" like the #30s Jason Isennock.
Or visits from older members of the racing family - 63 years old and still running. The bike that is.
And at the end we saw locals on the podium Like #95 Samantha Bergman 3rd in class. But was the only one in the pre-race interviews seeing as the first and second place finishers crashed racing to the finish line.
Or even #62 Luke Gough from "down under" took 3rd place in Bababra Fritchie Classic.
Thankfully the race was relativity incident free. Here's hopping the grand old Dam will see the 100th running in 2022.
© 2012 FDphotovideo - - Doug Miller Photography
Aperture 3.3 and the power of Smart Albums
First off, I am a fan of Apple's Aperture program, have been using it since V1,0 (had lots of opportunities for improvement then ). Currently it's at V3.3 and it's developed into a mature, feature packed, stable program. I currently have about 110,000 images and videos in multiple referenced libraries, living on DROBO raids, Aperture has no problem tracking, managing, and modifying the images as I see fit.
Recently I received two requests for images, One was a request for a specific rider, in a specific motorcycle race, The 2011' Barbara Fritchie Classic . Easy enough as I only shot around 1200 images at the even. The next request involved one rider, and a whole series of races held by the Baltimore County Trail Riders Association in 2011. A bit tougher as I shot almost 9000 images at the race venues in last year.
Here's how Aperture and more specifically the Smart Albums made the task easy. First pass I looked at the images from the event date in "thumbnail view" which allows very fast scanning of galleries. I then used keyboard command to assign a color tag to all images that met the search requirement. Then I create a smart album based on that color. Paste in the riders name and # in the keyword metadata. Delete the color tags, and redefine the Smart Album criteria to reflect the riders name and number. I then use the Zenfolio export tools to move the requested products to a specific gallery. The Flickr export plugin to post to Flickr so I can post a link to Facebook. I was really surprised how quickly these tasks were accomplished.. Shout out to Apple, keep up the good work, allowing me "to get things done".
On two Winter weekends, not so long ago.
Christmas Eve 2011
Seems the Holidays are not only fast approaching, but there here! And while I will, like so many, will extend Holiday greetings and wishes for a Happy New Year. I'd like to slip in a non-holiday thanks you.
First thanks to the Baltimore County Trail Riders Association for all the unsung efforts in making these events happen for 30 some years, and allowing me to capture the digital record of the events.. Thanks to the riders, sponsors, crews, family for their skills and sacrifices to provide us with the finest of 2 wheeled competition. And thanks to all the fans who brave the cooler temperatures in order to support this effort.
Should one care to visit the 4000 images from these two indoor events, enjoy.
BCTRA "Second Time Around" 12/17/11
BCTRA "Gone in 1 minute, 42 Seconds" 12/10/11
Gone in 1 Minute 42 Seconds.... BCTRA Indoor Flat Track Racing 121011 on Vimeo
How bout some back story on this Video? When I shoot motion related events I like to shoot a lot of images, lots a lots of images. Why motion is hard to catch, it's easer out side with lots of light, but that makes indoors is even more of a challenge due to the lower light levels. And it is most important to have the camera pointed in the right direction, and focused on the subject(s). To me more shots = a greater chance of catching that "Once in a lifetime" special moment.
This image i shot at a NASCAR race at Dover Dl. Was totally a fluke. The wreck was already in progress and for once I had the camera to my eye, focused on the action, and a clear view, I actually squeezed off 5 shots before before everyone stood up.
But I ramble .. When one is looking at 1800 images, one better have a great workflow tool, and I use the best. Apple Aperture 3. It only took about 1 hour to do a 3 pass selection to get the real keepers and start post production. And what can I do with 1500 some images that are left? Make a movie out of them.. Of which you seen the first quick version I more or less threw together with Apple Final Cut Pro X NLE (Non Linear Video Editing) software and some event sound I recorded on a Zoom H4n. As long as it stays fun, it's all good right?
Bellydancer's Passionate for the Pink V2 (update 11/11/11 -AM )
Local updates 01/01/12- AM
At least one pic from each act has been posted to the Flckr. Some images may have the wrong performer listed… If so, many apologies. Contact me and I'll correct quickly.
This weekend was the second annual running of "Belly Dancer Passionate for the Pink". To say the large assemblage of amateur Dancers (Middle Eastern, Modern, Ballet ), of all skill levels, coming together to showcase their craft in support of the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" , was truly awe-inspiring, would be somewhat of an under statement. Captured 60 gig of media (over 1100 images and about 2 1/2 hours of HD video.) and filled my last chip, on the last shot, of the last act. Up side? Venue, performers, their performances, organizers, and of course the audience. Down side? Lugging about 100lbs of kit up three flights of stairs to the balcony, and then back down again to the car. What! Builds character and stamina you say? I'll have to take your word on it. . Hopefully the videos will follow suit. (? They all have some problemst). Enjoy.
NIK Color Effects 4 "The Cats Meow"
A Tale of Two Days Rolled Up Into One.
A Perfect Storm of sorts.
On Public Service
Just finished a string of two public service endeavors on behest of the CMPG
Rebuilding Together Howard County
Smithsonian Air & Space in HDR - Update
Earlier this week while in Northern Virginia for some Lean Six Sigma Project Management training, I had an opportunity for a short, no cost, visit to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located off Dulles Air Port in Chantilly.
Let me preface, The Short because we finished class at 4 and while the Center is only about 3/4 of mile away, it closes at 5:30. Free, because the normal $15.00 parking fee is waved after 4 PM. As my cameras and gear ( sorry monopods only) were already packed in the car, I made a mad dash over to the UHC. On the way over I decided tho shoot the entire visit with bracketed exposure so I could make HDR images if warranted. And as it turned out, in the hour or so I was in the Museum there was time for about 100 bracketed shots, of which many were turned into HDR images with NIK Software HDR EFEX Pro , my new HRD favorite, which allows a almost unlimited range of styles and adjustments pre image set.
The wealth of subject, just sitting or hanging around.............. make this place a must visit for all in the area... 15 buck a car parking on not.
4/6/2011 More images from another quick visit last week....
Cold as Ice.. and not outdoors.
While working to complete a project due this week it has become evident the aperture library contain all the 2000-2008 projects, versions, keywords, locations. are located on the failed Drobo. Sure I have all the images stored on other drives, but realizing not having that Aperture library, and from web searches, not really not expecting Drobo to proved any real support that will restore the data contained, sends a cold chill down my spine.. My mood is now as fowl as the weather outside. Gone Gone Gone,