Friday, December 28, 2007

Fingers Crossed

The tech should be here today to replace my motherboard. Hopefully I will be back in business next week. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and are planning a safe new years.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Great day for a Zoo visit since there was really no one there, COLD though, but hey the kids did not notice. Saw all the animals that were out and about on a day like today. New D300 + Very slow laptop = EXCRUCIATING process times. I am not sure I will be posting much more until I get my system back up and running.

Getting out today

Michael is out of school for winter break, so I was going to make a run towards Skyline with the kids, glad I checked because the part of Skyline Dr I was going to is closed from the ice storm last week. So it looks like a trip into the city to the zoo.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


and a slow laptop do not contribute to the daily posts on this blog, that and talking to
Jim my brother on his way home to sunny WPB for a hour and 25. It was good to talk to you tonight Jim. Safe Travels.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

ISO 1600

So what does a new D300 user do when he gets the camera from UPS? I will tell you what I did. I took a battery from my D200, Grabbed my 85 1.8 nikkor, kicked the ISO to 1600 and took a picture. I did set up some menu items, color space, the tip Scott Kelby, issued today about the memory card setting, time, playback etc... The arrival of it has taken the sting out of of my computer being DOA. At least Julia is getting to use her blackberry more since I have seized control of her laptop.

Monday, December 17, 2007


So I wake this morning to a computer that will not turn on. Storms last night claimed a victim, but I did buy the warranty and it had 5 days left on it (what a stroke of luck) So a tech will be coming to put a new motherboard in, I just have to be patient. I am doing this on my wife's laptop, and with my D300 coming tomorrow, I just may have to put lightroom on it so I can get over the hump of my system being down for a couple of weeks. Glad I started doing nightly full system backups.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Best Friend

I did not know how much I missed reading until last night. I grabbed a book and headed to bed to read about 50 pages before sleeping. Its been awhile since reading was even comfortable and did not require the movement of my arms to make simple focus. I had been using store bought reading glasses, but they gave me a immediate headache, I was in denial for too long about the inevitable fate of glasses.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pulling from the Archives

Its all down hill from here. Today I had an early eye appointment. Who me? Need glasses? I guess I should be glad that my far vision is still better then perfect, but that fine print is killing me. Hopefully I can shoot something later.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007


Yesterday was the Kidball Superbowl here in Potomac, MD. My son's team the Saints battled all fall to get to it. They did an outstanding job playing on the snow covered field and winning on Saturday in the playoffs. Then they came back Sunday morning to a mud bowl. These kids all showed hearts of champions on both sides of the ball. Michael gave me some of the proudest moments I have ever had on Sunday. Not only did be get a gusher of a bloody nose, but he got back in the game and made a spectacular play. The game is played by number of possessions and when they had their last possession they went for a two point conversion that would tie the game. The coach told Michael to go 3 steps and turn around. Life went into a slow motion when the ball was in the air and Michael made the CATCH!!! Did the Cowboys score on their final possession? Yes they did, but that is part of sports. I think Michael gained so much confidence in that one catch this year. He had a look in his eye that I have never seen before when he got his trophy for second place. He knew he contributed, and was not sad for a moment after they lost. This is one dad saying "That's my son"

Friday, December 7, 2007

Self Portrait

The theme this week at for the Geographic Composition was self portraits. I use the 10.5 on my D70, I used the remote for it so I was not playing beat the timer. You can see the light set up. I then used the OnOne Funky Senior preset for this one. Over at Jason's Blog I used the BW Holga preset. Use the link above to check out the other photographers and what they did for this weeks theme.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

First Snow

First snow for the kids, loads of fun yesterday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


HDR, 3 shots, Merged and tonemapped in Photomatix Pro, Curve and Crop in CS3. Can you figure out much about someone from seeing their workspace?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fire, Fire

Yep, no preset today. Shot this last night, tweaked slightly in lightroom.

Monday, December 3, 2007

From the Archives with Color Holga Preset

This shot is from last summer in the backyard. I like the original processed in Lightroom, but could not help running it through the OnOne Pro Photo tools plug in, so many presets, good practice now to get an understanding of them.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tiny Planets, In My Wine

Saw a link to a tutorial on how to make these little wonders from Pano's over at yesterday. So I had to give it a spin, I did have to do some extra steps with mine as the horizons did not match equally, but that what a tutorial is for. To get you started in a direction, where you end up is your interpretation. I used a Pano form San Fran and Skyline Dr.

You can see a third planet I did from Great Falls (my personal favorite of the three) over at for his weekly Geographic Composition.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Whites Ferry

Shot this last Friday when I took Whites Ferry to VA. Processed in Lightroom, jumped over to CS3, did some presets with OnOne Pro Photo Tools, and finished with a vignette and sharpening. The most interesting part of the image is the flood lines on the building, some are very recent.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quick Edit of Cora

Went to the power tour yesterday and saw Bobby, and the day got long (good eats Bobby). Got home late and found that most of the online orders I did on Sunday are going a bit nutty with shipping dates. So with that said, I did not have much time to prepare for today's posting. I did use the copy layer, multiply blend, vignette for this as well as a new sharpening technique from yesterdays class. Have to get busy fixing this online orders mess. Have a great day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

OnOne Holga BW Preset

Pretty Phat! One click, I kinda like it!! I do tweak the layer opacity to get my desired look from the effect. If you are unfamiliar with Holga . The shot was with D200, 80-200 2.8, 2 SB600' shot through white umbrella's, CLS on the strobes controlled by a SB800 on camera. Full on one and -1 on the other.

This is Tuesday's post on Monday night due to I am going the the CS3 Power Tour in the AM.

Wolf & Cora

Set up the studio for some family portraits on Thanksgiving. This is Wolf and Cora (the friendliest dog in the world). Nothing too technical, used a 600ws head in a medium light box for main and 600ws head bounced into a umbrella for a fill at stop below. Also used the OnOne Pro Photo tools to create a portrait that Wolf liked. He is a fellow shooter and we spent hours Thursday night going through presets and tweaking some of his images.

Did a lot of shooting last week, Portraits and fun with the kids on Thursday, Moon on Friday, Michael's football game on Sat., and the First annual "Cut your own Tree" experience on Sunday. So I have got some Lightroom edits to get going, the Xmas card to order.

Friday, November 23, 2007

HDR Moon

5 Exposures, Spot metered on the moon, 80-200 2.8 Nikkor, D200, Photomatix Pro Merged and tonemapped. 3 Posts in one day!!

Jason D. Moore Geographic Compsition

See this weeks entries for "What we are thankfull for"

Thanksgiving Fun

74 degrees on Thanksgiving in Potomac, MD. Great day! Thanks Wolf for the Turkey and that SAUCE. Did get a chance to get some others shots, Family Picture day! Will post more next week and what I did with them with the OnOne Photo Tools Pro. Have a good one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shout out to the Wife

Her yearly stint on the local news was today ...

Good job doll!!

One Click


After visiting one onone with Mike Wong today, I said what the heck and bought the PhotoTools Professional edition download. What I was not prepared for was how SICK this plugin was. I am posting a original image of Olivia, and with one click of PhotoTools preset of Magic Portrait Fixer the resulting image magically appeared. I see many hours of really getting to understand the power of this plugin. It takes what you read in books and puts it to practical use with one click. After the magic click it will respond with layer opacity fashion so you can tweak to your comfort level. OnOne has knocked one out of the F'ing preverbial ballpark with this one in my opinion. There are so many presets it makes your head buzzzz with "what if I did this" etc...... It is intuitive/subtle and right on the mark and the best couple hundred I have spent outside of Photomatix Pro (and will make you relook those archived images again). If you are not a NAPP member, join now and you get over $50 off PhotoTools Pro. Just that and the free shipping from B&H make it pay for itself in a year, not to mention many other discounts available. I F'ing love it!!! (can you tell I am excited) Have a great holiday!!!!!

HDR Macro

5 Exposure's, Merged and tonemapped in Photomatix Pro, Curves and Sharpen in CS3. I like the final result considering its a 2 inch tall figurine.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I saw a tutorial at the NAPP site over the weekend. Grabbed some grunge texteures from Istockphoto and made this. I had never done this type of appliction before to a photo. I like the final result.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Killing Time

I saw that Panos over at had a free action to make a watch. Its really cool watching this action fly by, and you can customize it easily. Worth a look if you have never been to his site. He has loads of actions for free and even more with a small charge.

Also head over to to view this weeks Geographic Compostion entries. The theme was Language.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HDR Model Train

I have been helping a fellow photog with the wonders of HDR. So I did some conversions last night. This one is a model train in Germany at Epcot in Orlando shot this past Feb. Did -2,0,+2 exposure's in Bridge, curves, sharpen, slight vignette in CS3.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Must be an itch for the new season of Battlestar Galactica starting soon. If you like the show there is a 2 hour priemere Nov. 24th on Sci Fi called Razor. . So glad DiretcTV is HD on SciFi, so go set your DVR Wolf.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - Enterprise

Took a trip to the National Air & Space Museum yesterday. I should have some more images from there to post this week.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wet but not wild about

Yep, the ole reliable "leaf" texture shot. But, I shot it today, so I am posting it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cowboy Card Collecting

My entry into Geographic Composition this week at This weeks theme was "collection". I bought a few card packs for Michael to start his own, but he was really into checking out the collection I have from the nineties.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Morning Glory

It was a bit chilly here in Potomac this morning. Tried to capture some frost, but did not make it out soon enough (coffee first). I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Finding Light

I think I am going to hang with the 105 micro for awhile.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Okay, so I hit the daily photo blog wall yesterday. I am spending way too much time trying to think of something to shoot, then just grabbing the camera and finding a shot. The whole purpose of this blog was to shoot something, ANYTHING, daily. I was finding myself concerned with what others will think, instead of just shooting. I know I can shoot portraits, a decent landscape, do HDR, macro studio etc..., I think I was trying to always show a strength instead of just a random shot of the day. I think I am over that train of thought, at least for this week. This is my outlet, I need to use it accordingly.
So, with that said, during my pacing of thinking what to shoot in my foyer, this light was coming in from the top of my door ands hitting the wall, it was difussed by the trees out front. I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple images. Hopefully it will come easier today.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pen and ink watercolor effect

Saw this effect on Pbase a couple years ago.

I am digging for images right now to use with the new Scott Kelby Seven Point System book. I picked up a copy on Friday and flipped through it (looks interesting). I am hoping to be able to get into the meat of it this week. With that said, I will more then likely be posting older images I have taken this week so I can dedicate time to get through the book. If there are any images that take on a drastic new look from doing the tutorials, I will post them.

Friday, November 2, 2007

"Snowbunny" AKA Rizzo

The streets were a little safer in Potomac, MD on Halloween this year with Rizzo patrolling. Used the Lensbaby tuturial @

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Skyline Dr Pano

Opened each image in CS3, stacked layers in one image, Auto-aligned and blended. Taken last summer on what I thought was going to be a bust day because of the fog, but I continued to drive (very slowly) and got over the fog to find this.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Michael jr rock scrambling

A cloud went over when we were out on the rocks Sunday. Looked back at my son and snap. Being six brings out the awkward smile a lot, so it generally takes some coaching. This is one of my favorite spontaneous images of him of the year. Toned in Lightroom.
Another shout out for Jason @, He invited me to be profiled on his Photography & Photoshop blog today. I am humbled to be included with some of the big guns he has profiled at his site. His site continues to inspire me, and always is worth a look daily.
If you are stopping by for the first time, thank you for taking interest.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Great Falls 4 shot pano yesterday

After raining all week, yesterday was a great day to get out. Went for a quick trip to the falls to check the water levels. D70, handheld, JPEG. Opened all four from Lighroom into CS3 with no adjustments. Auto aligned and blended, small levels, curves adjustment. Did a quickmask curves adjustment to get a little more contrast on the rocks in the bottom left.

Thanks to Jason for adding me to his weekly blogroll.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Smoke 2

Processed same was previous post. Enjoy the day!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

First try at smoke art

There was a great link over at to Graham Jeffery's smoke art tutorial Its been a rainy week all week here in the DC metro area. So what better way to kill a couple hours. So I set up with a ultra600 head at full power in a med. softbox and put a reflector on the other side, used D200 w/ 105 micro at f22 with a sync of 250th. It is imparitive that you use a shutter release because you have to manipulate the smoke (incense) while it is burning. I used a my hand to cup the smoke, or just blew it to clear the air and start new batch of smoke. After a lot of trial and error, the bottom line is just as it says on his tutorial, you need a lot of light, depth of field, and a bunch of smoke. The small thin incense sticks I were using gave me a couple results for me to take into CS3. After I found an image that I liked I opened it in camera raw, bumped the exoposure, blacks, and clarity. Opened in CS3, inverted, did 2 hue/sat layers, soft brush on vector mask to paint in color, also painted out any amoke I did not like for a final image. This was FUN I must say. With all this rain and winter approaching I am sure that I am going to go back to this project. I must get more smoke though.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Antietam Solder Reenactors

1 shot raw, saved -2,0,+2 from camera raw, merged and tonemapped, opened in camera raw, bumped clarity, pulled back on vibrance this time, opened in CS3, cropped, did antique color action and vignette action that came with class I spoke of earlier this week. Where is that easy button, actually would do some burning in on it if I were to print. I am posting the before (original raw) and after.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lock Building

This building is on the path that follows the locks at Great Falls in MD. It is a 5 exposure HDR merged and tonemapped in Photomatix. Saved as a JPEG, opened in camera raw, adjusted clarity, vibrance. Opened in CS3, since the tonality was all over the place, I used curves for adjust contrast on certain selections using the quick mask tool. Used also the soft contrast action provided with tutorials. It was a great image to use for the tutorials I mentioned yesterday but that's about it. This one was more about the journey than the destination.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Great Falls HDR

With a little help from HDR tutorials at, I started his class a couple weeks ago, the last chapter on what to do after you generate images in Photomatix for me were the most help full. This image is a 5 exposure shot, saved as JPEG, opened in camera raw, tweaks to almost all sliders in develop, biggest adjustments in clarity and vibrance. Cropped in camera raw, and opened in CS3, layer adjustment curves, marked lighted and darks in areas to boost contrast. A layer adjustment with Hue/Sat and removed some green and yellow. You can tell where by looking at the image posted under water levels a couple days ago. The green algae was incredibly bright after converting to HDR. The last step was a bit of sharpening and used his action for vignetting lowered opacity to around 35%. I am working on one more image from the great falls trip, I need to do some final adjustments to have ready for tomorrows post.