Mini Photo Shoot

Over the weekend, Jess and I had a few minutes before we headed out for the day.  I said, ‘hey, I want to get a few photos up here (in Hadley’s room), the light is great right now.  Don’t move!’ And I ran downstairs, put my camera together and ran back upstairs.  I took some photos and ended up with a few really good ones.  See below:

I’ve been digging my new Sony a6300 out a lot more and I must say, I totally love shooting with it.  Years ago I was looking for a nice hybrid body that would shoot both digital cinema footage and killer stills.  I have long been a Nikon guy and picked up a D3100, hoping that was going to be the silver bullet.  Nope.  I was just a little ahead of the technology curve for where my budget was at.  And now, with the a6300, I think we’re there.  I am VERY happy with the footage I’m shooting (I just set it up with saved profiles for 24p and 120p and I’m very excited to shoot a project where I can mix frame rates) and I’m more than happy with the quality of the stills.  What I’m not really in love with is my trusty old manual Nikon 50mm f1.4.  We have captured so many things together and after shooting Hadley, realized that having a fast autofocus lens is going to be a must.  I’m pretty good at following her, but am just no match for one of the fastest autofocus cameras on the market.  Sony makes an absolutely gorgeous 50mm f1.8 that I would like to pick up.  The speed difference from 1.4 to 1.8 isn’t going to be THAT much for what I’m going to be using it for, plus, it’s not like I’m going to get rid of my 1.4 so I’ll still have that when I need it.

I’m looking forward to producing content.  I think this is the beginning of my creative spark coming back to life.

The Darkness of Home

So I’ve been wanting to do a photo series for a while now and I knew that I wanted there to be a theme to it.  But, I wasn’t quite sure what that theme was going to be.  Until now.

More often than not, people will always describe their hometown with the good points, the bright shiny things that would make people want to come to their town.  I tend to lean slightly more roughed up, more fucked up macabre than I probably should.  So, as the title of this series introduction has already let the cat out of the bag, I am going to be sharing a series of my town, Sioux City, in the dark.  I want to shoot some areas that are those bright, shiny places that draw people to our fair town, but put a little different, a little darker slant on them.  You’ll see what I mean as we go along and I hope you enjoy feeling them as much as I will creating them.

Challenge 2017

Turns out I began writing a post a while back, saved it and then never came back to it.  So, I’m coming back to it!  It’s as follows:

As 2016 comes to a close, I took the last couple of weeks and reflected on what happened this year, how it changed me for better or worse and then adopt the challenge platform for next year, rather than a bunch of resolutions.

A big one, and most decidedly my most proud moment, was meeting my first child, Hadley Grace, in June.  The love and joy that I feel every time I look in her eyes simply cannot be put into words.  Or, if it can, I simply do not possess the elevated language need to adequately convey those emotions.  Another thing great this year was celebrating my first wedding anniversary.  I have enjoy collecting memories with my wife, Jessica, thus far and am really looking forward to the ones we make as a trio moving forward.

Something else that really affected me significantly more than I had anticipated was celebrating my daughter’s first Christmas.  It was an amazing feeling sharing those moments with my family and my wife’s family (all my family).  However, not to get too down, what affected me was celebrating this Christmas without my dad.  My dad has been gone for four years now and I’ve done plenty of accepting and living and moving forward, but what really caused pause was that he would have loved sharing in these experiences too much, the love that he would have felt and poured over Hadley, and my niece Claire, would have been so great that, combined with ours, no other love would be able to fit in that room.  So, I am just going to continue to be the best dad I can be, because I learned from the best.

Moving on to 2017, I have rediscovered my love of photography.  I first dipped my toe into motion pictures years ago with a strong base in film photography.  After a career in film and video for so many years now, the last part of 2016 reignited my desire to create fine art photography.

So I have decided that I am going to challenge myself in 2017 to do four things, change my habits to live a more healthy lifestyle; especially with our new daughter and the time she needs, continue to build and grow our marriage; assemble a book of photography; and finish this book that I have been writing for the last three years.

I am going to be looking at my life and really figuring out how I can change and change the things around me that are creating chaos and negativity in my life, which are hindering the successful completion of my challenge.

Creative Goals

As 2017 kicks off, I’m getting creatively excited to see where the year goes.  I am excited to get back into still photography and I’m going to be hitting still and motion photography pretty hard this year.  I have a couple self generated weekly and monthly guides that I’m going to be adhering to and I will be posting those results here on the blog as well as on my Instagram.  I can tell you right now, there are going to be a lot of pictures and videos of my wife, Jessica, and our daughter, Hadley as I hone and evolve.  So get ready.  Here goes.

SD Card Files Recovery

it_photo_191077Being a videographer, I have a ton of SD cards for a variety of capture devices.  And, since I get paid and pay my bills by what is captured on those tiny plastic squares, having them perform is something that I don’t think about, but rely on heavily.  Which brings me to yesterday.

Yesterday I was working on a project and realized that I had not, for some reason unbeknownst to me now, captured some clips related to the project.  So, I went back to the SD card and inserted it into my Mac Pro.  Final Cut Pro promptly issued me a dialogue box something to the effect of ‘card structure corrupted, no found files.’  WHAT???  What the hell am I going to do???  (Side note.  You hear about date recovery all the time and back up, back  up, back up.  But, we never really do.  Which is why I found myself right here.  Continuing…)  I ‘hid’ FCP, and control+clicked the card icon on the desktop to ‘get info’.  Much to my surprise, it was still showing that the card was full, with available storage at just less than one gig.  So I quickly scrambled and launched Google on another system.  I wanted to do nothing on the Mac Pro that would in any way jeopordize any fleeting chance at recovering that data.  I did a search for ‘SD card file recovery Mac’ and one of the first ones that popped up was Disk Drill.  I had checked a couple of the other ones websites out, and I did download another one to begin with.  It did not find anything on the card.  I don’t mean like just a few files and not all 63 gigs worth, but it found NOTHING.  Not a single meg.  I know that there is shit on there because I then did another ‘get info’ and still, a little less than one gig.  So I deleted that piece of shit application and went back to the web and to Disk Drill, which is what I should have done first, but I didn’t.  Disk Drill will let you scan your disks, but there is a Pro version that, in my case is what I was going to need, and I really didn’t want to put out the $90 for that license.  I wish I would have just started out with it though, because not only did Disk Drill find all the files, it was able to recover them and restore my ability to complete this project.

If you need EVER to restore any disk drive at all, don’t do what I did and waste several hours looking for ‘cheap’ solution.  Just save yourself all the time and effort and just start with Disk Drill.  It will be the best money you’ve ever spent on a project.  And, you’ll be able to save that project!  Take my word for it.  Disk Drill.  Do it.

50 50 50 Project

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Or, I think I’m just going to call it ‘Project 50’ to make it easier.

A little back story. I have been trying to find a project that I can shoot that will keep my eye in shape while experimenting with some techniques and styles that I don’t really want to use client work to practice. I had read somewhere over the weekend about a photographer somewhere in the U.K. that did a series using only his 50mm lens. Now, I love my 50mm lens and every chance I get I shoot the hell out of it. It is by far and away my favorite lens that I have and work with. So, I have decided to adopt what he did and do it as well.

Which brings me to the three 50s. I am going to keep my camera pretty much attached to my hip for 50 days. I am going to shoot a ton of images throughout each day and then I’m going to pick my favorite for the day. That will be the image I’ll use for Day One. And then so on for all 50. Each day I will put my favorite photo on here with a little write up on why I took it and why I choose it to by my favorite. So armed with my camera with my 50mm lens, away I go to begin shooting! I will begin this little experiment on the 20 of February. So be ready, because on the 21st you’ll see the first one! I hope you’ll enjoy viewing this little experiment as much as I think I’ll enjoy shooting it. Stay tuned!

some new ideas

Today I began writing down some ideas of short films/TV shows/web series ideas that I’m going to look into producing.  I have been in the producing game for a while now and am looking at these new projects as some smaller projects that will allow me to dive deeper into areas that I haven’t been in for a while or as focused as I’d like to be.  So over the next month, I’m going to be heading to different parts of the Des Moines area at large and filming.  Using some different techniques, lenses and other equipment, I’m hoping to have some really diverse and unique vignettes to share.  This week I’m going to be working with saturation and colorization.  I’ve long had a desire to take the original plates and make them something completely different and unique than what the scene was when it was captured.  By working with color and saturation, a totally new mood can be created and take the viewer to somewhere that they never thought about.  So, stay tuned to Friday as I’ll be posting what I’ve captured and assembled over the week.