Sunday, July 31, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"Don't wanna talk about it.
I say why not?
Don't wanna think about it,
I says there's got to be some good..."

No, it's not a Sin City Ripoff

Sinister self-portrait of yours truly, made to answer the question posed by David Rees in the bottom comic on this page. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 29, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"And there's one more kid
who will never go to school
never get to fall in love
never get to be cool."

BTW, that last one was "I wanna be there" by Blessid Union of Souls.
When Kansans get bored: My brother Drew and our Rat Terrier Riley out on the Jet Ski. Posted by Picasa

It sucks to be a Boy Scout

First a leader has a heart attack at the National Jamboree.

Then 4 leaders die from electrocution at the National Jamboree.

Then hundreds of Scouts get sick close to the point of death from dehydration at the National Jamboree.

And now this.

I can only conclude that God hates Boy Scouts.

Well, maybe just Khaki shirts, and the people wearing them.

By the way, I'm an Eagle Scout. And now I'm going to go sit in a box and drink beer from a hat while I still have the chance.


Today was strange.

I got a free 2GB CF card from Lexar as an apology for taking twice as long as they said they would to fix my original 2GB card, coupled with my 1GB card I now have 5 GB of Compactflash cards, altogether that's $500 worth.

I agreed to cover the Shriner's Bowl for the Manhattan Mercury this weekend. I was the only writer that was free to cover it, so I got the ticket and press box pass. What's funny is, they have two, so my brother might cover it with me too.

Finally: I held a dear, dear friend of mine in my arms today while she cried on my shoulder, literally. My only thought is that I wish I could have helped her more.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"Won't you let me catch you fall?
Won't you let me lend a hand?
Those lonely eyes have seen it all,
But love's too blind to understand."

Changes to Photoshelter

Take a look at my gallery, see anything different?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Space shuttle hits bird

"Footage also showed the fuel tank's nose cone hit a bird about 2 1/2 seconds after liftoff -- a point at which Discovery was probably still traveling too slowly to sustain any damage, he said."

Geez, it seems you can't do much these days without killing a bird.

Full Story Here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A friend of ours picked up some lobster for us on his recent trip to Maine, here's the cooler seconds after being opened. They're still kicking and they smell of the ocean. Soon, they shall smell of Old Bay seasoning. Posted by Picasa
One is my father. The other is a lobster. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which. Posted by Picasa

For Sale

My brother and I are selling a car for a friend, it's a good car, I looked it over and took the pictures. If you're interested, click the link:

1995 Mazda 626

Monday, July 25, 2005

This little bugger is growing up in a hanging flower basket on our front porch.Yes, he's purple. Posted by Picasa

Photographer convicted, and rightly so

Since Scott's been laying out opinions on may things in law, I figured I should comment on an issue in the world of professional photography.

First, read this.

My analysis:

John Rutter, the photographer, made several huge mistakes and did several things wrong. Some of these things got convictions, others are part speculation.

1. He shot images of a semi-nude person, but failed to either keep the model release in a safe place or get one in the first place. A release is important in this sort of work, because publishing a nude photo of someone is going to cost you if you don't have permission. It's very easy to sue on the grounds of defamation of character if someone publishes your image without clothing and a release, unless you were out in public like that. Then I suppose it just serves you right.

2. He took pictures of an aspiring actress with very little clothing and, once she's gotten rich and famous, he tries to have them published. That's predatory, and downright cheap.

3. He offered to sell the images back to Diaz for several million dollars, threatening to publish them if she wouldn't. That's blackmail, and if his threats were false, theft.

4. He presented a release with a forged signature. That's forgery and fraud. He should have known better as he should have been involved in its drafting.

5. He said in a civil case that it was real, when it wasn't. That's perjury.

I might have missed a few mistakes, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is that a bad businessman is getting what he deserves: up to six years in jail. John Rutter is not an artist, he's a con-artist with a camera.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I'm photographing the Girls Swim team here Wednesday, this is the composite I designed for it. Comments and input are requested. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2005

New changes to "Hey Mister! Take my Picture!"

I just added a shoutbox to HMTMP, along with a creative commons license, just to be nice

Friday, July 22, 2005

Think "Benedic" from Shakespeare's "Much ado about nothing"

During a conversation online last night, a friend of mine pointed out that I haven't been updating very often lately. I didn't really answer.

This blog has been "Declare that Ditty" over and over with little else for the past month or so. I want to write about what's happening with my life and what's going on in my head, but there's this little problem I keep slamming into at rather high speeds:

Mushy, gushy, mind-clogging love.

Whenever I try to say something about my life, whenever I try to express it these thoughts of dating and romancing and all that stuff just take up all the space in my thought processes. I can't think about politics, about business, about life.

I just think about this girl that I love. I'm not in love with her now, I've never been in love with anyone, ever. I have no idea what it's like to be at that level with someone, just this whole constant-longing stuff that will not go away. It's like an ugly puppy that followed me home one night and hangs out on my porch to beg for scraps, and naturally I keep feeding it because it's really, really annoying when it whines.

Some of you are saying "Ah, how sweet, it's love" at this point, some of you are thinking "ooooh, we're gonna see love poems and romantic portraits," some of you are powering up the voyeuristic parts of your mind and preparing to get some sweet, delicious stuff out of me.

Stop. Stop right now.

This is not about trying to fall in love with a girl. This is about getting out of love for her.

There are all these films out there, always a sappy romantic comedy, that try to talk about the loser-guys of the world getting the brilliant, beautiful girl of their dreams just by having a great personality and saying all the right things. The most recent example was "Hitch."

This is not that sort of thing. This is someone who decided he did not want a relationship, but whose heart is pretending not to have gotten the memo.

So, please forgive me for not posting all that much, my writing process has a giant monkey wrench jammed in the gears. Once I've gotten that taken care of, things should pick up.

If I can get it taken care of.

Declare that Ditty

"I'm standing at the crossroads in life, and I don't know where to go.
You know you've got my heart babe, but my music's got my soul."

Oh, and there's some new pictures at the wire.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"A human being's made of more than air,
with all that bulk, you're bound to see him there.
Unless that human bein' next to you
is unimpressive, undistinguished, You-know-who. . ."
By the way, this is my 400th post.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

In case anyone cares how my shoot went this morning, you can see the best 40 photos here.

This is not meant for any one, single person...

It's not that I don't care, I really do. I care a great deal.

I just figure that if you want to talk to me, you'll say so.

And I'm sorry, for what little it's worth.

Friday, July 15, 2005

For the Lord's sake, this is T-BALL!

Declare that Ditty

"Sometimes it feels,
like bars of steel
I cannot bend with my hands"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"Your blue might be grey, your less might be more.
Your window to world might be your own front door.
Your shiniest day might come in the middle of the night..."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Digital Retrospective

The Quicktake 150. Posted by Picasa

The first time I used a digital camera was on my eigth-grade class's trip to St. Louis. I was given the job of making the slideshow of the trip for later on, so I was handed a pair of Apple Quicktake 150's to carry in my backpack and use on the trip by Gordon Schmidt, the media director at my grade school's library. He never told me they were worth a few hundred apiece, he just trusted me.

He set each one so that it would get 16 images and that would be it. I didn't know much about digital cameras at the time, so out of fear of ruining them I asked airport security not to put them through the x-Ray scanners or metal detectors. (pre 9/11 was nice)

We got back and I handed them back to Mr. Schmidt, he uploaded them and I spent quite a few afternoons staying after to work on the show. In the end, it went over well. My first endeavor with documentation of an event with digital imaging was a success. Not once did I think it would ever be useful in real life.

I thought of this today while reading this piece of history on the NC 2000. It made me look back to the tiny moments that were the hidden beginnings of what may become a career in digital photojournalism for me.

There's also the Sony Mavica I used in High School working for the Trailblazer, the official school paper. It recorded up to Four 1.3 MP images onto a single 3.5" floppy, and that was it.

After that, there's a big leap to the 20D now, and I must say I'm a bit sentimental about it all. Neither the Quicktake or the Mavica had any ergonomics, both had atrocious shutter-delays, and neither took to0 many pictures. Neither took too big of pictures, either.

But still, it's nice to see your own history.

Declare that Ditty

"I'm just a regular Joe, with a regular job
I'm your average white, suburbanite slob"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The best laid plans...

Last night, after processing and editing my pictures from the two games I'd covered earlier that day, I tried to backup my pictures on my iPod, just to be safe.

The download went ok for a little bit, then stopped itself, saying that files had disappeared from where they were supposed to be. I was tired, it was late, and my good ones were safely uploading to photoshelter, so I didn't worry about it.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I'm surfing the sportsshooter boards, and apperently there was some interesting news: my 2GB 80x compactflash card had been recalled due to issues with several Canon cameras, including my 20D. The issue is this: they have a slight tendency to just forget data from time to time.

So I've filled the online forms out, and am expecting further instructions on how to mail them my memory card. At the same time, I bought a brand-new 1 GB Lexar card, making sure it was a different series first of course, and it will be here Thursday or Friday. The Lexar folks told me I'll have my card back within a week of them recieving it to fix its firmware (software on the card that governs how it sorts and stores data).

Then, just after this all happened, a nice thunderstorm came in, knocked over a huge ole tree two blocks from here, taking out the electricity, internet, TV, and telephone for our home. Naturally, I had been getting ready to do a bunch of work for my business online at the time.

Several hours later, I drove by the scene of the newly-christened firewood, and noticed the trucks were leaving. I came home, and the power came on. We rejoiced and celebrated, cheering as we reset all the clocks.

Then the power went back out again. I can only theorize that somewhere there was a Westar Energy employee standing next to a switch and laughing his ass off.

A few minutes later, and it was back again. I got online, and now, I have work to do.
My new ad for local TV, should be out any day now. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Yet another blog...


I had to do something with these pics.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hurricane Dennis gets personal

Jessie Bonner was a fellow intern in DC with me. This summer she's working a fellowship with the Poynter Intstitute in St. Petersburg... Florida. Which will saying hello to a Hurricane soon, it appears.

Declare that Ditty

"He said 'Friend, it's good to see you,
it's nice to know you care,'
then the wind picked up, and he was gone,
was he ever really there?"

Friday, July 08, 2005

My first TV ad. Yes, I was disappointed with it too, and I'll be calling the TV company Monday to have it changed. Posted by Picasa
My Card... Posted by Picasa

Don't worry, my scanner sucks. It looks a lot better in real life.

Lessons Learned

I covered two softball games last night, you can find them on my photoshelter account.

I learned a few interesting things last night. First, is that Canon was totally honest when it said their batteries for the 20D will last about 1000 frames before going dead. I took home 904 frames on my card last night, and I had deleted well over 100 while chimping on the sidelines between moments of action.

I also learned how to time it right when photographing pitchers so that you get them in their motions just after throwing the ball, with the ball itself hanging in midair in front of him/ her. Here are some of my good pics from the game, including all my good pitcher photos.

Finally, I learned that it was definitely a good idea to buy business cards, which I'll post a picture of in a minute. Parents wanted mine pretty badly, I brought around 40 and I gave out every one I had. so they could look at the pictures later. I loved the look in their eyes when I told them they'd be able to see the entire gallery by morning.

But there is one thing I do not know: Besides the size of the ball and the pitcher throwing underhanded, is there any real difference between softball and baseball? Does it really matter?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

With my teeth on the bumper....

I sold 5 baseball prints today, and I know that many other orders are on their way.

My mom gave an 8x10 print to the coach of his son at the BBQ for my little brother's team last night, and you could see in his eyes how much he loved it. I also brought along a few example prints and some homemade business cards, and the parents were on them like crazy.

I must admit it's strange to be where I am right now. I've been dreaming for almost a year now of starting my own photography business, going digital, and making lots of pictures that really affect people. And now that I'm on the very verge of it, I feel like the dog that chased cars, and caught one. I am making my own dreams come true, and I love it.

Next week is a five-day baseball tournament, and I may very well get to be the official photographer. I don't know where this will take me from here, I could be a youth sports photographer for life, or five years from now I could be flying from stadium to stadium each week to cover every sport. (Wanna be my assistant and stand on the sideline at pro games, Scott?)

I'm happy with wherever this takes me; it all comes down to how good my pictures are, how good they get, and how I manage myself as an artist.

And I wouldn't want it any other way.
I may not have been able to find those darned kittens (I think they relocated to far, far away) in my garage today, but I did find these munchkins in a hanging basket on our front porch. Posted by Picasa

Jim Shea of the Hartford Courant on Miller/Cooper

The best column yet on why the courts are making a big mistake if they're going to send Judith Miller and/or Matt Cooper to prison:

Assimilation: Reporters such as Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper, if they are sent to prison for failing to reveal sources, will be protected by an inmate population that respects the concept of confidentiality.

Their experience would, of course, be in contrast to that of someone like, say, Novak or Braveheart (Pearlstine, EIC of TIME), who would almost assuredly become part of the dating scene.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Declare that Ditty

"Cheat on your taxes, don't be a fool.
Now what does that say about the golden rule?
Well, never mind the rule just play to win;
and hate your neighbor for the shade of his skin."


My little brother Ryan's baseball team. Such professional young gents, eh? Posted by Picasa

Skyyyyy... rockets in flight!

I covered the whole Fourth of July Bash last night and took just shy of 500 pictures, 150 of the crowd and performers, and almost 300 of the fireworks.

The whole public gallery can be seen here, and a few pics are available on the Wire.

It was very difficult as it was obscenely humid, as you may be able to see in some of the pictures. That didn't stop me, as many turned out rather nice.
These are the friendly ladies who went around asking for donations to pay for the show and free food. Yes, I made a donation.  Posted by Picasa
People around here tend to pick out spots as soon as possible. Why there aren't dozens of chair thefts at these events, I doubt I shall ever know. Posted by Picasa
Some of my competition for the day. Looks like he's using a Canon EOS-1V (or some other Canon 35MM film body) with an EF 100-400MM f/4.5-5.6L IS USM set at the 400MM setting. Posted by Picasa
Walking along the riverbanks before the big show, I spotted this reflection. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 04, 2005

Generation Gap: Two decades of Canon innovation

On the left, my Canon AE-1 Program. This camera started selling in the 1970s, mine was originally purchased in 1983. Attached is it's Albinar (3rd party manufacturer) 80-200MM f/3.9 zoom lens.

On the right is my Canon 20D, introduced in Fall of 2004 and purchased by me a few weeks ago. Attached is its 70-200MM f/2.8L USM lens w/o its hood. Posted by Picasa

Strange observation: The 20D and lens are much, much heavier than the AE-1P and its lens, but the 20D is much easier to hold for long periods of time. I can't stand to use the AE-1 for long, but I held the 20D up for more than 2 hours for a baseball game and didn't have any arm pain the next morning. This is partly due to the fact that Canon discovered the importance of ergonomics after they built the AE-1P but before they made the 20D.
We got hit with a nasty Thunderstorm last night. Here's what our front yard looks like. Posted by Picasa
Hello, Chainsaw. Posted by Picasa
This one actually held on to the tree for a few hours after mostly breaking off. Later on I heard a loud "snap" and felt the house shake a bit, as if had fallen the rest of the way. Posted by Picasa
Originally, this branch landed on the garage, but my Dad pulled it over here. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Mmmm... Pretty colors. Posted by Picasa
Water pours through the mini-waterfall under the Council Grove Riverwalk at the Neosho River. Posted by Picasa
Grass growing out of and old millstone at the Kaw Mission Museum. Posted by Picasa
"You wanna piece of me?" this squirrel seemed to say when I came too close to him. I took another step and he turned around and scampered off to safety. Posted by Picasa