Just got home from another amazing year at the DCI World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. I’m blown away every year by the level of marching skill and musicianship these kids show. They give up their summer to travel the country performing in the sweltering heat at a level of professional athletes. If you’re looking to support youth in music, check out Drum Corps International (DCI); we joined the Friends of DCI this year and plan to continue our support next year. Though I support all the corps, I tip my hat to Carolina Crown (below) who had a performer injured during the show. He broke his leg near the end of the show, which was heartbreaking to see. But they finished their show, “A Second Chance”, and placed 4th with a score of 95.95. Check out the entire set here.
We’re off to Indianapolis for the Drum Corps Internationl World Championships tomorrow. It’s are annual “thang”, and I’ll get to try out my new camera this year. Out of the 12 corps that perform, I usually take 200 or so pics that I’ll share here and on flickr.
This will be our 7th year, and I’m like a kid at Christmas… don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Marching band has always been a love of mine, and these guys are the best of the best.
I’m ready for the goosebumps…
My Nikon D70 has been a great camera, but I haven’t taken a single photo since I started having trouble with the shutter release a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been exploring the new cameras from Nikon. I was fixated on the D700, but the new FX full frame format wouldn’t work completely with my DX lenses, and the pro-level full-frame lenses aren’t cheap. Not to mention the $2,700 price tag is a bit daunting for a non-pro hobbyist. I narrowed it down to the D90 – a good hobbyist model with video capabilities, and the D300 – a semi-pro model with much of the same features as the D700, but in the DX format.
I finally settled on the D300. It was a bit pricier than the D90, but with a magnesium body like my D70, it just felt more substantial. It’s much of the reason I chose the Nikon D70 over the equivalent Canon at the time; the Canon just felt cheaper to me.
I also splurged for the Tamron 18-270 mm lens, which will eliminate the need to switch lenses during my upcoming trip to Drum Corps World Championships. I purchased the last generation Tamron 28-300 mm lens last year, and was very unhappy with it. It was incredibly slow when focusing and most of the photos at 300 mm were out of focus and dark. But the good people at Cooter’s Camera (funny name, but worth a visit if you’re in the Dallas area) let me try out the new generation on a D300 and I was pleasantly surprised. The focus was quiet and seemed as smooth and quick as my standard 18-70mm Nikon lens.
Now with the Black Rapid camera strap I got for Christmas, I’m a photography force to be reckoned with. I’m convinced this strap is a must-have for any DSLR camera user who likes to get out and about with their camera, especially walking city streets. If you haven’t seen one, check it out.
So here’s the first photo I took with my new camera from my backyard. I’m happy with the initial quality already. With my D70, I always felt the need to edit the RAW photos, boosting the color, tweaking the exposure, adjusting the contrast. This shot was taken with the JPG Medium setting with no editing other than resizing. One of my goals was to spend less time editing and more time behind the camera. With the same 51 area auto focus and EXPEED image processing as the D700, I think I’ll be a happy camper.
Halloween is one of the biggest parties of the year on Cedar Springs in Dallas. We’ve been the last thee years, but haven’t dressed up. The last two years, I kept thinking I should bring my camera and get some shots of all the amazing costumes.
So this year I decided to take my “good camera”, and even decided to dress up like a 40′s journalist to help complete the package. Rich wasn’t sure what to be, and we saw this shower cap with wolf’s ears and the idea of the Big Bad Wolf dressed as Granny grew from that. We ended up at Wal-Mart shopping for a night gown and fuzzy pink slippers. He was pretty comfortable all night, since he got to wear a nightgown and house coat out.
The weather was perfect, though and we met some friends out and had a great time. We even ran into our long lost friends, Bob & Gabe, who we haven’t seen in months.
You can view the entire set here.
Dark Roasted Blend has posted a series of beautiful and haunting castles, just in time for Halloween. I’ve been following Dark Roasted Blend for awhile, and while the posts are photo-intensive, they have some really great and often funny posts.
Thanks to Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing, I’ve been enjoying some great photography at Red Nose Studio. I just love the odd little worlds they’ve created in these images. Of course, I love anything odd. I often wish I could just escape into these little worlds.
In case you haven’t heard, flickr has added video capabilites. Of course there are plenty of nay-sayers, and being a fan of great photography, I can understand how adding video could dilute what makes flickr great. Of course, there are lots of talented artists out there on flickr who can make motion an asset for flickr. I know I’m looking forward to seeing more like “The Blue Samurai”, a collaboration of flickrite ArtWerk and Manel Ortega. I’ve been following ArtWerk’s flickr feed for awhile now, and it’s nice to see another aspect of his talent. Not to mention some groovy sounds by Substatic.
I’ve recently stumbled across a wonderful photographer and storyteller on flickr. Michael (aka “frogmuseum2″) has kindly given me permission to share one of his photos. As you can see here, his characters come to life with their own little oddworld personas. Since quirky is my favorite kind of art, this is right up my ally.
Check out more of his work at flickr .
Pruned has posted a series of photos (with commentary) about the curious and fascinating “Broken Column House”, built just before the French Revolution by François Nicolas Henri Racine de Monville, an aristocrat with lots of time and money on his hands. Built to appear as a decaying broken column, the house went through a period of neglect in which it truly began to decay. In the 1980′s it once again was restored to its original pseudo-decay state.
Located northwest of Paris in a wooded area, I’ve added this to one of the must sees when I finally visit France.
I also find the photo beautiful and creepy – perfect for this time of year. Wouldn’t you like to Trick-or-Treat here?
Just a few of my photos taken at this year’s Drum Corps Championships in Pasadena, CA. You can see them all, including scores, here.
I made this with animoto, the best slideshow generator out there. You can upload your own photos or import them from photo sharing sites like flickr. You can also upload your own music you pick from their library. animoto then generates the video complete with effects. The free service is limited to 30 second videos, but you can create full-length videos for $3 each or $30 unlimited for a year.
I’ve been trying for some time now to get around to making an HDR image. I first learned of HDR when I started following Arnold Pouteau’s work on flickr. He’s posted alot of amazing HDR images of NYC.
If you’ve never heard of HDR (High Dynamic Range), it involves combining 3 different exposures of the same scene into one enhanced image. I used Photomatix which makes it easy.
Now that I’ve figured it out, I hope to do more with HDR.
I finally posted our photos from our trip to DCI World Championships in Madison Wisconsin, Aug 12th. First time I’ve ever been to Madison, and it’s a nice city.
Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin had some amazing acoustics. I definitely enjoyed the sound, but the photography angle was further back and lower than in previous years. So I couldn’t get any decent shots of the formations, but got plenty of close-ups of the color guard. I didn’t spend much time color-correcting the photos, but I posted almost 400 shots on flickr.
If you’ve never seen DCI (Drum Corps International), you can get a taste of the show on ESPN2 on Sept 5 at 8 pm EST.
Originally uploaded by CantikFotos.
Fascinating set of photos of an abandoned housing project in Taiwan. It’s too bad the’ve fallen into such decay. It reminds my of some of the modern designs of today, especially many of the flatpak or modular modern designs available.
These are haunting and beautiful at the same time; and it looks like their on the beach.
If any of you try this, I want to see the pics! (Jenn & Melissa, I’m looking in your direction)
Returning from our recent trip to Dallas, someone pointed out a complete rainbow in the clouds during our descent into Kansas City. I scrambled for my camera and managed to catch it just before ducking below the clouds. I realized that the shadow of our plane appeared to be entering the perfect circle formed by the rainbow. It really was an amazing site, and my photo didn’t capture the magic of the site.
But I took it as a sign; we had just returned from Dallas to make a significant committment to our move… signing a lease an an apartment. Oh yah, and we put our house on the market Monday. Amazingly, we had another realtor already view the house on Tuesday, and I’ve noticed several people drive by very slowly. Either their casing our house or want to buy it… one of the two.
Anyway, if anyone is interested in moving to the Brookside area, check out our house. Also, here’s the photo, slightly tweaked to emphasize the rainbow.
Just thought I’d post one of my fav photos from my last trip to Dallas. This is a temple in Thanksgiving Plaza in Downtown Dallas.
Sometimes the simple lines and color are just as moving as complex shapes. This building is really pretty amazing, and has a stain glass window in the spiral. Thanks to BrianBlevins, one of my flickr buddies, who pointed out the website with a great photo of the window.
I’ve stumbled across more than a few new software gadgets and websites lately, so I though I’d share them.
Kristopher Tate, a 17-year old programmer has created a competitor to flickr in 3 months. I visited the site and found that since word has gotten around, it’s currently being moved to handle the volume. But I’m curious and will definitely follow up to check it out.
From the article I read, it’s very similar to flickr, but with improvements, like a large amount of metadata that can be associated with each photo, including audio notation and “geotagging”. I’m not going to reiterate the entire article, but if you’d like read more and see some screen shots, head on over to Tech Crunch.
You know, I need more addictions like flickr in my life!
I’m not a big “social” user of IM’s… but meetro lets you incorporate AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo into one Instant Messenger. But it does more; it allows you to chat with other users based on proximity to your location and/or interests. I think it’d be kinda cool if you were traveling and just wanted to hang out with a local who might like Moby or photography or origami as much as you do.
It’s still pretty new, so I tried it out and the closest person to me is in Chicago, but I’m gonna keep it on the “back burner” and hope it grows
Another awesome service that I’ll definitely be going back to is KeepVid.com, a site that allows you to download streaming videos from services like Google and YouTube. Just enter the URL of the streaming video, and it’ll allow you to download the video to your hard drive.
Now, I have no plans to redistribute videos or otherwise misuse them, but sometimes I find a video that is so funny or great that I just wanna keep it on my computer so I can watch it later! With most streaming services, you’d have to save it in your bookmarks and visit the site again to view it; but with this I can keep my own copy!
Originally uploaded by J.L.B..
My pal Jenn (JLB on flickr) has has posted a cool pic using a photoshop trick that gives photos a kind of model-like depth. I read about this coincidentally and thought it was kinda cool, so when I saw that my psychic overflow had affected her easily-influenced mind, I had to post it. Or was it MY easily-influenced mind affected by her great and mighty thought processes?…hmmm
But I digress… cool shot, JLB!
Originally uploaded by mazhewitt.
I just read about
I’m still reading about it and hope to try out my own soon. Here’s a photo from Flickr using the method.. amazing comparison between the sky and the rink. Great job, mazhewitt!
The photo plugin for my site hasn’t been behaving lately. I’m using WordPress, which has just released a new version, so I’m expecting to upgrade soon.
So to all of my faithful fans (all 2 of you), I’ll hopefully have a new improved site up soon.
I also need to change my fall photo, huh?
We’ve had our first major snow here in KC. I took several shots on the way home (while driving a loaner car in terrible weather)… but I guess I’m a photo addict, huh? This is one of those and it actually turned out kinda nice through the windshield.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to capture the allusive “perfect shot” of fall color. When I started two weeks ago, I thought the color was peaking, but found it to be even better this past weekend.
We went to Loose Park here in KC and took some shots of the maples. Even though there was a wedding party photo shoot around my favorite trees, I think these photos are my favorite.
I was also amazed at how the roses in the rose garden were in bloom (and got some shots of those, too).
And of course, there was a very cooperative squirrel at the park chowing down on a mushroom.
Alright, I started with Drupal, but found it lacking with integration into Flickr. I could post my flickr photos on my site, but clicking them would take you out of my site to flickr.com. I found that WordPress has some great plugins for Flickr, including the ability to have all my photos available on my site!