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.
New Kid in town.
Mainly me, Downtown Baltimore that is. It might have taken over a quarter century but I finally made a visit to the iconic Bromo-Tower in Downtown Baltimore. Thanks to a Baltimore Bizjournal piece I stumbled across Friday that discribed the upcoming (Saturday) Open Door Baltimore event where 27 building that were not accessable, or had Limited or sporadic access to the public. I quickly scanned the list and picked three buildings for targets. The aforementioned Bromo-Tower, the spectacular Peabody Library. And to wrap it up the iconic Baltimore shot Tower.
Of the three the Shot Tower was the most disappointing to me. Mainly due to it vast interior space which was dimly lit and very hard to photograph. Of course all these are accessable at various times, and of course all will be revisited at a later time for additional attempts to capture these treasured bits of Baltimore history.
and maybe another lunch at my favorite Baltimore dining spot. Harry Attman’s Deli on Lombard st
Why I Love/Hate going to summer carnivals.
Yes: Can anything top the smell and taste of Carnival Food. Yum!
No: The idea that one buys a side here, (fries) and the entrée way over there, (sausage sandwich) and the drink (Lemonade) somewhere else.
Yes: Taste’s great.
No: Have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.
Buy for me I good for the long exposure on the rides after dark.
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.
Here and there and back again.
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.
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.
A Perfect Storm of sorts.
"Dust-n-Dirt" - A peek into the (my) creative process.
BCTRA After the Gold Rush A retrospect
A visit to the track the day after the final event.
How long has it been? July 3? I'm falling behind almost too much to catch up on but I'll try.
(Quick note, seem my old favorite blogging software BLOGO doesn't support the new Mac OS 10.7, so I'm giving MarsEdit a try until……. BLOGO comes up with an updated version, I find something cheaper <$39.00-ouch> , the 30 day trial is up and I have to buy.)
But I digress, back to orginal story line.
The 5 race BCTRA Kevin Mcnicholas Memorial Short Track Racing Series has come & gone As schedule would have it, I only had the opportunity to attend the 4 Friday night sessions, but I'll take what I can get. How can you even begin to look back at those 4 night of action? The racing was hot (so was the weather for the first 2 sessions if I recall), attendance light compared to other years. Seeing as the new groundbreaking Mac video software package Final Cut Pro X is in my toolbox, this year I decided to try something completely different. Less captured images, more HD video for a project I decided to undertake, attempting to capture some of the special magic offered up by the BCTRA and the dedicate army of local racers. Unnamed as of yet, it has been quite the learning experience. The video part is easy as long as one keeps it simple, trying fancy Hollywood techniques, like extreme DOF in daylight using neutral density filters, maybe not the best idea. Slide tracks, again a cool effect, but a real PITA to drag around. The interviews presented a "whole-nother" challenge, like sound. Which bit me in the but all 4 nights. I got better at it but their is room for improvement. End state I shot less images, maybe less then 2K for the whole series compared to the 10K I shot at last years events. But captured over 2 hours of interviews, race and "B" roll segments. Enough for now, back to processing media from Friday night. 1385 stills 1 hr of DV video, 38 min of HD video. Lots of material to work with.
Gary Nixon RIP You will be missed by me and the local racing community.
(Note: Links to all my racing images can always be found at my FDPhotovideo Website)
This was a very unusual week for me. I actually finished up one long open video project, and completed another video project that for various reasons had fallen off the production schedule.
The long open project was a video compilation of images I shot while supporting the "Rebuilding Together, Howard County Project in in April. I made the video right after the project and it sat, I never finished it. It took a request for more images from the project manager to remember this video was sitting around waiting for a home..
The second video project was driven by a capture made in Lancaster Pa. during a photowalk, of a lovely young street performer (Brittany Clawson), entertaining passerby's outside the Central Market with her violin. If memory serves I shot a series of still images of her playing, and walked away. When the softly receding strains of Ashokan Farewell (made famous by Ken Burns classic, "The Civil War") reached me, I stopped in my tracks and quickly returned to request a repeat for the camera. I married up that video with some clips shot last fall in Gettysburg to showcase her talent.
Linthicum 4H Hi Riders 662011
The day started out threatening rain. but then the sun came out and became HOT and dusty. With 56 posted equestrian events, it promised to be a long day.
And the Winner is?...........
Craig Thoburn - Westcott Warrior
Congratulations to my friend Craig Thoburn for his "Westcott Warrior" image being selected as the top prize winner in Westcott's recent "Photo Shop World" photo contest on Flickr. I always felt his skill with a camera and Photo Shop is nothing short of amazing, guess the judges felt the same . Again my heart felt congratulations to Craig on this honor.
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....
DSLR Video, the shape of things to come..
One item to address before tonight entry.
1. Same great taste but less filling
I've decided to combine the fdphotovideo &dougmillerphotos blogs to reduce my burden. Hopefully this will result in a more consistence posting pattern. As I'd like to start posting several times a week it sounds good right now but only time will tell for sure.
2. DSLR Video the voice that changed the media.
Attended a Penn Camera HD-DSLR Filmmaking training session this weekend led by Tom Sullivan from Gravity Media. Tom's been professional photographer and videographer for over 20 years with a very impressive body of work, and speaks from a wealth of real world, eyes on, knowledge. His message is relativity simple. DLSR HD video is sweeping the industry. Many TV show, parts of some movies and 60% of all commercials are now being shot with Canon 5DMII's. Up from 0% a few years ago. And it's really all about costs, in the industry a $2500 camera, $2000 lens, and a #2500 rig are still almost throwaway items, considering the super high production costs only a very few years ago. Lower equipment costs are also allowing more small production companies to output quality work so they can throw their collective hats into the ring. With the erosion of the mid to low cost, Wedding Photography Business, one of the bright points is the growing demand for quality videos telling the Bride & Groom's story. Which are more and more likely to be shot on DSLRs, by artists who know how to get that film like results, that brides love. The prize will go to those who are quickest to embrace these new technologies and techniques.
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,
Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat.
Kind of a slow start to this years Yuletide Photo collection. Hopefully those activities will accelerate in this final weekend before the holiday. Tonight's trip was to Jeff Revell photowalk at The "Festival of Lights" at the Washington DC Mormon Temple, where 1/2 million colored light decorate the grounds and buildings. First Stop was the Visitor's Center to meet the other walker. The night was rain/snow free but seasonally cold. Perfect for the lights/
While there lots of other visiting for the exact same reason as us, local church members make a point of greeting all who came.
The lights were nothing short of amazing. Have to end this post right now, can't drop any more images in the blog, have to find out why.
Guns of Glory, Days of death, Sunrises Sunsets
Hints on taking quality images at the historic Gettysburg National Military Park , Gettysburg Pa. Of course home to the famous 3 day, American Civil War battle in the summer of 1863.
1. If at all possible avoid the July 4th holiday weekend, Summer, weekends in general, holidays in general, way to crowded for anything other then snap shots unless you luck out or plan ahead to beat the masses.
2. Try to get there early, real early. As the , or at least, one of the most visited Civil War Battlefields it quickly fills up with visitors. The park opens at 6:00 am, closes at 10:00 pm (summer) 6:00 am - 7:00 pm (winter). By 9:00 am the flood gates are open, roads and key locations are descended on by hordes of "Stop, jump, snap & back onto the next site" visitors. As with so many parks these days most visitors never leave their cars, unless at one of the more noteworthy areas.
3. As the main battle site offers both open farmland, and rocky wooded hilly vistas. Part of the lure is the over 1300 (seems like nobody really sure) monuments ranging in size from the imposing Pennsylvania Memorial, to small almost invisible unit and company markers located off the beaten path, almost everywhere at the site.
There are many opportunities to use both the long and the wide lens.
Western facing sites such at Seminary ridge and Little Round top can be rich with shots close to sunset.
In closing it you can, visit the park and shoot away, but please cameras only, no bullets this time.
To those planing to visit in the future GburgInfo offers a wealth of information.
Toying with the technology.
I've become totally enamored with applications that can share with others.
Example is an image of one of the performers in the recent Bellydancers Passionate for Pink Performance on 101610. Image is hosted on Flickr. Just opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. Maybe not new to all, but new to me.
Balancing the white, at night #fb
Last Saturday Night I traveled up to Delta Pa the catch the last motorcycle night race of the season for the BCATRA. As I was having some problems getting the outputs wanted with the flash so I mounted the 50mm f1.2 and went flashless. The images were closer to what I wanted, but as there were two types of major illumination sources I was having problems getting the white balance set. That is until my friend Craig over at Craig Thoburn Photography gave me a hint on how to solve the issue in Aperture 3. Shot with a 50mm f1.2 no flash @ 1/650sec.
Craigs roof top pano #fb
3 weeks ago I didn't even know MD had sunflower fields, but thanks to the gang over at CMPG (www.cmpg.org. ) I became caught up in sunflower mania. Which it turns out isn't such the bad thing. Caught the sunrise over this field this morning. I'm really addicted. Might give it another shot tomorrow.