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.


Ice Storm

A couple weeks ago we had an ice storm and everything was shut down.  My wife and I were home from work for the day and early afternoon I defied the news saying ‘stay off the streets’ and went and took a few photos downtown.  I must give the City of Sioux City credit, the roads were in fantastic shape!  I didn’t slip or slide at all.  And these are a few resulting images.

Following that ice storm, we had a snow storm a handful of days following.  That’s when I snapped that one of the truck.

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.

Going For A Walk

Last night, my wife, our three-month old Hadley, our Golden Retriever Calie and myself went for a little walk when I got home.  We just did a simple five or six block loop around our neighborhood, but I tell you what, it was good for all of us.  Calie doesn’t get nearly the time outside that she should.  Jess doesn’t get the exercise that she should.  I clearly need to get more exercise.  And Hadley has taken to looking up and watching the trees go by.  When we go for a ride in Jess’ VW Tiguan, Hadley sits in the back seat and just stares up through the glass roof at everything passing over her.  And on our walk she was doing the exact same thing while being pushed along in her stroller.  Always looking up and smiling. I have to tell you, I was so proud just watching her enjoy this simple thing so very much and it got me thinking about where we are today.  With the current state of the country, here is this perfect little girl, not knowing or giving a shit at all about what it happening.  She just looks up and smiles, bringing so much joy and love to her mom and I. Continually throughout the day, whenever I think about her, I feel better.

Obviously I cannot shield her from the evils of the world for ever, but I can, and will, do everything in my power to teach her, and talk with her, as she continues to grow and spread love and positivity, about what the world is and how she can impact it.  I know I have a tendency to get bummed out with were we all stand, and I want better for her.

Needless to say, walks are going to be something we do more often and as she gets older, walks and talks are going to be something we do together.

Indianapolis 500 Part 2


I won’t rehash the specs of the gear used, please just look at my previous post.  But here is another photo that I grabbed out wandering around the speedway.  I got a chance to shake hands with Mario Andretti just moments after this photo was taken.  Granted our exchange of pleasantries was abridged, however he did seem like a very genuine man.  People knew him obviously and people were pulling him in all directions.  But, he is there to do a job, he’s working.  So the fact that in walking between places he takes the time to pose with folks for photos and shake people’s hands and say ‘hello’, says a lot about his character.

Indianapolis 500


A couple weeks ago over Memorial Day Weekend, my wife and I traveled with her folks and one of their friends and a my sister-in-law.  Since my wife and I have been together, I’ve gone every year and this one marked my 6th.  I must say that this race is something people should witness in their lifetime.  There, that’s it, I won’t preach to you or tell you have to do this.  I’ll just suggest it.  You will have a great time and you’ll probably want to do it again.  Anyway…

So this year I took my camera along.  Full disclosure; it’s actually my wife’s camera that I have taken as my own.  Anyway, I borrowed a buddy of mine’s 150mm-500mm Tokina lens thinking I would throw that baby on the D3000 and get some great images.  Backing up a second.  This is a full manual lens.  I have a love for manual lenses and that’s what I like to shoot.  It’s my preference, so we’ll just leave that at that.  Anyway, I took that lens and my 50mm, again, manual.  This is the first time that I have used my buddy’s lens.  I discovered quickly that I really don’t like it.  It’s big and bulky and I knew that going into it, so I stuck it atop my monopod and started shooting.  Not a fan.  I found it just too heavy and bulky for my liking.  I did shoot some stuff with it, and I will share a few, but I think I’m going to just invest it a 100mm manual.  This event was an exception, but for what I like to shoot, I think the 100mm is going to be a better fit for my bag.

So this photo, I thought it was kind of interesting to see this guy standing and watching everything on the not-to-distant pit lane, drinking a beer, shirtless and tattooed.  This takes dedication and love to for not only the sport, but for just this track.  My sister-in-law has a similar tattoo, not that large or in that placement.  If I can find a picture, I’ll put that up here.  But for now, this one.  When I saw this image unfold, I just liked it because in a matter of feet from each other, you see a cross-cut of people that are attending this event, all with one common thread; racing.