Friday, January 30, 2009

human stop-motion

OK, I just love this! Made by Tel Aviv photographer Eyal Landesman. More of a stop-motion creation than a time-lapse but you'll get the idea. As humans are already animated (at least in potential) this almost reverses the concept of stop-motion. Done from a series of still photographs.

part two to a recent finger point

That title sounds odd, doesn't it?

In a recent Finger-Pointing post (where I share stuff I've found around cyberspace) I pointed you to a blogpost from Melissa Jill that shares some terrific info on lighting and shooting a dim reception.

Well, the supertalented and immensely gracious Melissa Jill offers up a "part two" and I had to grab it for our readers (and she hints at a part three so stay tuned!). Thanks Melissa!
So check it out, learn a thing or two, then remember who else is looking out for you and come back to this blog!

I expect to run a short post about polarizing filters soon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

my 30 second day

Just a 30 second sampler of some of our wedding work. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

finger pointing monday: jan. 26. 2009

Plenty of goodies this time out the gate. Check out all this cyber plunder!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Since I shoot a lot of weddings, a think this very cute litte guide to bridesmaids is more than appropriate. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the last of the rodeo-hicans

I think this image will wrap up blogs about last Saturday's Equestrian Center. Force me to go shoot something new this weekend! BTW: I'm open to great ideas for subject matter! Thanks!

Revisiting Radio Triggers

OK, seems that there are some new radio triggers out there. And the old, tried-and-trues are still out there, too. Anyone have any strong opinions? As much as I'd love some Pocketwizards, I'm starting to think the RadioPoppers or the AlienBees Cybersyncs might be more bang for the buck. Please share your thoughts! My state of my creativity and checkbook depend upon them!






Elinchrom Skyport

Friday, January 23, 2009

beasts of burden

Also from the ropin' competition last Saturday. These are some beautiful, well-trained horses. The cowboys sure seem to know what they are doing, too.

Anybody know a good place to get a cowboy hat? And some boots? Heck, I just might need a horse, too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ridin', ropin', and wranglin'

Probably the most action-packed part of the Equestrian Center's grand opening (at least in an area with good light!). I was very impressed with all the skills that go into this. Riding, rope-work, strength, and probably more than a little animal psychology!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

good ol' boys

These two friendly fellows also performed at the Equestrian Center on Saturday. I enjoy the way that they both just seem so very content with their lot in life. Making music and making people happy. Certainly a goal to strive towards.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

he's tricky like that

Caught this fellow putting on quite a show with his lasso. He certainly made things easy for me by framing himself so nicely with the giant loop of composition.

Thanks so much! I can use all the help I can get!

Monday, January 19, 2009

racy racerson

More excitement from the world of equestrian events! You have to pay attention, because the dirt was flying!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

saving the photo

This photo started with the best of intentions. Nice subject matter, pretty good composition, timed it well.... but the original was just sort of flat and lacked impact. So it all started with the general malaise of subtle disappointment.

But then, thanks to the good graces of my favorite software superhero, Photoshop!, I have not only saved the shot, but turned it into something that I am immensely pleased with. What it lost in flat reality, it certainly gained in simple visual impact.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Either about this image or the more basic debate between photographic authenticity and digital manipulation.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

horsin' around at the Horseshoe Park

Went to the new Queen Creek Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Center today. Big grand opening event. Place for all nature of horsey stuff. Today they had folks riding fancy, shooting fancy, roping fancy and much, much more. Right behind the main, covered arena, they had a tent set up and some wonderful live music playing. One of the acts was the Katy Creek Band.

This is Nancy from the Katy Creek Band.

You'll be seeing lots of stuff from the today's Horseshoe Park grand opening over the next few days!

Friday, January 16, 2009

finger pointing friday: 1/16/09 edition

I've been scouring cyberspace to find you the best of the best in recent photography tips, tricks, gadgets, software, websites and more. Hope some of these float your boat as they have mine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DIY News

Recently read about a service that turns you into a photojournalist! Well, sort of. allow you to offer your original photos of events and they basically act as agent to sell it to established news outlets. If they sell it, you get paid. Interesting. Look at this:

And there already exists some non-paying outlets for your content, such as:

- CNN's iReport at
- Associated Content

I haven't tried any of these, but I just might! If I do, I'll revist the topic and give you my review. If you try them, let me know how they worked out for you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

my country, (copy)right or wrong...

This is entertaining...

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Future for JPG?

A Future for JPG

Received the following e-mail this morning:

We couldn't ask for a better community. In the week or so since our last email, the outpour of support has exceeded our wildest expectations. Your efforts, such as starting, writing blog posts, commenting on Twitter and Flickr, and generally making your voices heard, have provided exciting new opportunities for us.

We're thrilled to say that because of you, we have multiple credible buyers interested in giving JPG a home. We will be keeping the site up after all, and hope to have a final update in the next week or so on who the acquirer will be. Thank you for making all of this possible.

Laura Brunow Miner

Editor in Chief

Time will tell. In this economy, I am skeptical, however I am always excited when the power of the people, the sheer power of multitudes, results in forward momentum, productivity, and, perhaps in this case, creative salvation.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

to each skydive a landing must come...

This post will wrap up the week of skydiving pictures, videos, and oddball links, but I'll be sorry to see them go. I had great luck shooting at Skydive Arizona and there are few more exciting subject matters.

Although there is a very interesting motocross racing course not too far away..... Keep your eyes peeled!

This last one is a tandem jump. This is how Dawn and I jumped almost eleven years ago. We were each strapped to an instructor. This was the only way we could experience freefall without having many jumps or far more extensive training. From 13,000 feet we were able to freefall for about a minute to 5,000 feet. Then the chute, the grinding strain against the harness straps (they left welts on me), and a knee-first landing onto a surprisingly cushy pile of small loose, smooth rocks. Not sure if I'd ever do it again, but it was a hoot the first time.

Skydive AZ now also offers indoor skydiving (on a giant vertical wind tunnel). Wild!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

'chutes to jetpacks

I considered digitally removing the parachute in this picture and putting a jetpack on the skydiver's back. The way his body sits in the harness reminded me of old footage of jetpacks, "the future of personal transportation." But I managed to restrain myself.

Take a look at what modern-day jetpacks are able to do.

Friday, January 09, 2009

briefly diverting from the skies

Attention Mac users! (many photographers are Mac users so you see why this makes a wee little bit of sense here).

Just announced: The Mac Wheel (you've got to watch this - and laugh your *ss off!)

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

jumpsuits, not flightsuits

All week I've been calling them flightsuits. Nope, they're called jumpsuits. And here are some now. You probably can't pick it out in this reduced picture, but the fellow in the blue/green jumpsuit has a Stewie on his helmet!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

skydivers and superheroes

Okay, wait a minute, just hear me out. I'm not saying skydivers are superheroes.

All I'm saying is that some of the flightsuits are so colorful and interestingly patterned that they remind me of superhero costumes. Sheesh!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It at first you don't succeed, well, so much for skydiving.

Some more of my skydive photo offerings, but be sure to scroll down for some other fun tidbits today (and, yes, darnit, I'm sticking with this theme ALL week!)

The colors in this guys flightsuit make me think of Buzz Lightyear!

For your mind I offer a history of skydiving and, alternately, some skydiving history.

And for the thrillseeker in you, I offer two rather exciting videos. Extreme skydiving:

and wingsuitin':

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

the whale and the wind

And wow! Hey! What's this thing coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding word like... ow... ound... round... ground! That's it! That's a good name - ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me?
— Douglas Adams, "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy"

Monday, January 05, 2009

on gossamer wings

First you hear the airplane go by at 13,000 feet or higher. If you watch very carefully, you can see a smattering of black dots escape and trail behind the straining machine. They don't do much else for what seems like a long time. Just a bunch of dots against the clouds like black pepper on mashed potatoes against fine china.

Then one by one, each dot swoops away and transforms like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis and the sky is filled with a visual percussion of flourescent colors. Like a dozen unique rainbows indignant at having to share the atmospheric pallet with their siblings.

Then, before you have fully appreciated the spectacle, the butterfly storms into the landing area like a peregrine falcon on the hunt only to pull up short at the last second, legs stretched to terra firma and the canopy of colorful nylon collapses into just another fluffy pile of fabric and string, spent dreams and smoke.

I had great luck on Saturday. Enough to fill the bloggin' coffers with skydiving pictures all week. So I'm going to string you along a bit.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

skydive arizona

Yesterday Dawn and I went explorin'. Down through Coolidge, past Casa Grande, and into Eloy, which some of you might know, is where we willingly jumped out of an airplane almost 11 years ago. So we revisited Skydive Arizona, thinking that it would be good for some colorful pictures. We both got lots of great pictures that I'll be posting over the few days.

But for now, you get the wacky Dawn triplets. They're a fun-lovin' bunch, you bet!

Friday, January 02, 2009

jpg no more

Well it seems that JPG Magazine is no more. At least in three days it is. I received the following e-mail today:

JPG Magazine says goodbye

Today is a particularly sad day for all of us at JPG and 8020 Media.We've spent the last few months trying to make the business behind JPG sustain itself, and we've reached the end of the line. We all deeply believe in everything JPG represents, but we just weren't able to raise the money needed to keep JPG alive
in these extraordinary economic times. We sought out buyers, spoke with numerous potential investors, and pitched several last-ditch creative efforts, all without success. As a result, will shut down on Monday, January 5, 2009.

The one thing we've been the most proud of: your amazing talent. We feel honored and humbled to have been able to share with such a dynamic, warm, and wonderful community of nearly 200,000 photographers. The photography on the website and in the magazine was adored by many, leaving no doubt that this community created work of the highest caliber. The kindness, generosity, and support shared among members made it a community in the truest sense of the word, and one that we have loved being a part of for these past two years.

We wish we could have found a way to leave the site running for the benefit of the amazing folks who have made JPG what it is, and we have spent sleepless nights trying to figure something out, all to no avail. Some things you may want to do before the site closes:

- Download the PDFs of back issues, outtakes, and photo challenge selections. We'll always have the memories!

- Make note of your favorite photographers. You may want to flip through your favorites list and jot down names and URLs of some of the people you'd like to stay in touch with. You may even want to cut and paste your contacts page into a personal record.

- Catch up with your fellow members. Our roots are in this humble flickr forum and we recommend going back to find fellow members, discuss the situation, or participate in another great photo community.

- Keep in touch. This has always been much more than just a job to each of us, and we'll miss you guys! We'll be checking the account in our free time going forward. We can't promise to reply to every email (since we'll be busy tuning up our resumes) but we'd love to hear from you.

- Stay posted. Although the magazine is ceasing publication, we'll be updating you on what's happening with your subscription early next week.We're soggy-eyed messes, but it is what it is. At that, JPGers, we bid you goodbye, and good luck in 2009 and the future.

Laura Brunow Miner

Editor in Chief

Well, sad as it is, it is just another indicator of where the economy is. And the "non-essentials" like art (note heavy sarcasm) are usually hit first in these situations. So long, JPG Mag.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

finger pointing thursday

This finger pointing Thursday is all about technology. Gadgets, websites, and presets. Take a look, hop a link, zip into photoland, and tell us what you think!

  • Free Actions and Presets??? Freebies for you and a place for you to share your custom presets with the photographic community.
  • Pro-Optic 500mm f/6.3 Mirror Lens - I haven't seen any reviews of this lens, but it sounds like it could very well be the budget conscious answer to a wildlife photographer's dilemma
  • Free? flash-based gallery/portfolio site...... WIX. Again, I have yet to try it, but it sounds promising and at free, what have you got to lose?
  • 12 speedlite "ring light" contraption....egads! This is a fascinating sunlight killer and very clever for the DIY element but only presented here for the novelty. The actual cost to put together something like this with a dozen speedlites and a dozen triggers would probably be far more than just using some decent AlienBees, but you've gotta see this thing!
  • Professor Kobre's lightscoop -- this little gadget claims to take your on-camera flash to a whole new level. Basically just another way to mod (read: bounce) your flash. I have to think you'd still be under-powered in most situations, but for size and price, you might want one in your gearbag.