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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chilly morning

This was taken on my way to work yesterday.

Cold Morning

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Explore

I recently had the opportunity to work on a Ford Explorer.  Evidentially the catalytic converter went bad and was gumming up the works.  In an effort to get the Explorer to run again I modified some of the exhaust system.  It is not my intent to leave the exhaust system in the modified condition.

Because the car is an SUV I had to get creative about getting under it and to the parts that needed fixing.

Explorer

The blocks of stone between the jack stands were my creativity.  I needed to get the truck higher than the jack alone would let me so it was a stepped process.  Jack it up as high as the jack would go, raise the jack stands, release the jack, place blocks under the jack and repeat.  I would not recommend this but it works in a pinch.

Nest I needed to access the rear catalytic converter.  When I put the below section back together I found out there is an exhaust gasket that needs to accompany the connection.  Oops.

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One of the muffler hangers can also be seen above the exhaust pipes.  Once I had the parts where I could move them and see inside it was time to get to work. 

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Above you can see the honey comb catalytic converter with the “modification hole” as well as some converter behind that.

Once it was all put back together the car ran “well” again.  The purpose of this exercise was to see if the problem was indeed the catalytic converter and it appears that it was.  Off to repair the rest of the car.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

8 months or pure cute!

Eli 8 months

By the way the new camera is so awesome.  I am so sad that I missed this awesome sharpness for a year but so excited to see the world through this lens. 

8 months or pure cute!

Eli 8 months
E is back and just like his shirt says... He rules!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It has been a while…

About 2 weeks ago I sent my camera in for a cleaning and was told it was beyond repair!  I thought my recent pictures looked great but what do I know.

Long story short, they provided me with a new camera and I will be up and shooting again very soon.

One of the first projects back will be a story of troubleshooting a Ford Explorer that is not running well at all.  Hope my camera doesn’t get taken this time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Good to Great

This is the latest in my automobile university collection. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

This book is a must read for anyone on Dave Ramsey’s leadership team and is a monster. This book is 300 pages and a 10 hour audio book.

I picked up this book on my iPod using audible.com.

I am about half way through at this point and it is a great book. Tons of data but very nicely balanced with case studies and stories.

Once of the principals this book talks a ton about in each of the companies that went from good to great is getting the right people. People are not your most important asset…the right people are. They emphasize having the right people before knowing where you are going. My understanding of this principal is that the right people can roll will the punches and are willing and most important able to change.

Not quite sure how this applies to me at this point. Hopefully in the future I will be able to apply this principal and gain a better understanding of what it means in my life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Castle Rock - Family Portraits

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15 people with cold weather and fading light was a challenge. I was a little timid but once we got going it was a blast. I recently read a blog about how to be a better photographer and one of their points was that the jobs that scare you the most trend to be the ones that build you the most.

I grew more than I thought I would an more than I know. There were many lessons learned.

Lesson 1: One hour is about the maximum that I can keep a groups attention. If there are 3 people or if there are 15 I can keep them going strong for about an hour. I guess I may need to learn more people skills.

Lesson 2: Don't delete pictures before you see them on a full size screen. There were lots of shots I was worried about that ended up being stellar. On the camera's screen the pictures can look very different in the sunlight than they would on the computer.

Lesson 3: Push yourself. Insanity defined is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Different can be better or worse but it is different. This time it ended up being great.

This family was so great and they made 15 people and 1 hour fly by and go so smoothly.

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Lesson 4: Always be shooting. Some of the best pictures of the little girls came when we were not expecting them. The girls tended to be shy but because I was super sly I was able to get some cute pictures of them smiling.


Castle Rock - Family Portraits

Moffatt-4

15 people with cold weather and fading light was a challenge. I was a little timid but once we got going it was a blast. I recently read a blog about how to be a better photographer and one of their points was that the jobs that scare you the most trend to be the ones that build you the most.

This family was so great and they made 15 people and 1 hour fly by and go so smoothly.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black and White

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are all enjoying seeing and eating with family. I know I am.

One of the pictures from my largest session was a favorite by the clients. Except... They wanted to see it in black and white.

There are so many possibilities for black and white conversions. Even when an image is black and white the color sliders can be used to change to “color” of the image.

These are a few of my renditions.

Black and White-3Black and White-2Black and White

Black and White-4

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Before and After Magic

The lessons from the 1 hour session just keep coming and will keep coming.  This lesson was to take lots of pictures of a big group because there might not be a single one where everyone is looking.  This is the magic of Photoshop.

Before:

Large Family

After:

Large Family 2

As you can see this was a large family and we had a great time.  Even with the cold weather the family couldn’t stop smiling and they take some amazing pictures.  There will be more post with more lessons learned to come.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Live and Learn, and rent lenses

This last weekend I rented a Canon 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.  You might remember the last post with the cute little baby.  I used the 20mm lens to take those pictures and I loved the lens.

Pro:

  • fast, fast, fast
  • sharp
  • fairly light for the length
  • price

Cons:

  • Limited focal length – duh right?

Well, I used the lens this weekend for a brief moment to take some head shots. 

That was it!

I thought I would use that lens all over the place.  The fact was that there were 15 people in this group and the demands for focal length were constantly changing. Using the fixed 200mm was not an option.

This is a stellar lens if you are in the right situation.  If I would have used it more last weekend wrangling 15 people would have been much tougher.

The moral of the story… Rent/Use the lens before you buy it.

I used Prophotorental.com which is a Colorado based company and I couldn’t have been happier.  They are definitely customer centered.  I ordered the lens with overnight shipping because I needed it the next day.  They then emailed me saying they could save me $30 because I was in Colorado.  That was a great surprise and because someone took 5 minutes to review the order they have made a customer for life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Knocked My Socks Off

I rented a Canon “L” lens for a few days for a shoot that is coming up and I don’t think I ever want to return it!  I love the pictures and the sharpness and depth of field the lens provides.  It is not tough to make this guy look good but the lens rocked!  See for yourself…

7 months

Monday, November 15, 2010

High Key Portraits

Just a quick little shot with a bright white background and the ambient light in the front.

Portrait

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Garden of the Gods – Family Portraits

 

I once used a quote by Marianne Williamson that stated we are more afraid of being great than of failing.  This is true but I think this says it better.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Taking the steps out into "professional" photography is a bit frightening but I was was given a spirit of power.  It seems the more I jump in and take greater and larger steps the better and sweeter it gets! 

It helps when you have a stunning family to photograph.

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We spent the afternoon walking around the Garden of the Gods competing with the wind.  I am not kidding you as soon as they showed up so did the wind.  We were mostly successful in avoiding the wind by dodging behind rocks and trees.  In the end we got some much needed breaks from the wind.

Garden of the Gods is one of the Springs’ awesome attractions.  Every time I shoot there I have new challenges but the pictures are great.

Awesome pictures of the entire family

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These next 2 may be my favorite from the day.

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The locations and possibilities were endless.

The kids by themselves.  It seems most girls have a smile always waiting.  The boys are a bit tougher to get a smile but the parents usually have some tricks up their sleeves.

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One of my previous clients wanted a “boys” picture and a “girls” picture and it was a hit so we did that again.

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Thank you so much for coming out.  You guys make this photography thing so easy.

That’s all for now.  See you all again soon

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