My family has always and will always be important to me, and I've always found it interesting to learn about my family history. Hearing stories of my dad and his brothers from my Grandma while we flipped through old photo albums, or watching old home movies with my Great Grandparents while Great Grandpa told about his various trips always intrigued me. Walking through my grandparent's home and seeing the new and old photos on the walls, table, or refrigerator always made me feel warm inside. I didn't realize until much later in life the value of the old photos and albums we would flip through and the stories and memories behind those pictures. And today, as a husband and father, I realize those old photographs and the stories behind them were snapshots of the life and experiences that shaped us.
As a photographer, I have the ability and means to help preserve my family's story for generations to come. Why would I not want to preserve and share the moments of now to share as special memories later?
When I photograph my family, I want to capture a photograph that depict life as it is at that moment. Sometimes, it's simply my son painting or playing, or singing and dancing in his birthday suit, because that is a view of our daily life. Other times, it's because I feel like it's my responsibility to get the extended family together for family photo that will preserve the moment of the family gathered to enjoy food and fun together. And still other times, the camera is out and I had no intention of photographing my family, but a moment happens that I just can't let pass by.
Of the hundreds, no, thousands of photos I take of my family, I post some to Instagram and Facebook to share with friends and family, others I archive for later, and still others I print to hang at work or home. Of these photos, my favorite ones, aren't always to the best composed or sharpest photos, but they're the photos that have the most meaning to me.
"If you want to learn what someone fears watch what they photograph."
It's my hope and goal, that one day my wife and I will be able to sit down and flip through our own photo albums with our family and relive the memories we preserved in these photos: the silly antics of a toddler, the attachment we had to our pets, and the joy, craziness, and laughter of family gatherings.
I want to create a record of our living,
a legacy of memories so to speak, for now and for later.
As a husband, father, and as a photographer, I see the importance of preserving our special moments and memories of today. I know how I feel going through old photos and reminiscing about the events and people in the photos, and I want to be able to share those same feelings with my family later.
My family is important, and so is yours. For the same reasons I photograph my family, I would love to partner with you to preserve your family's special moments and memories for the future.
Weddings are probably one of the most important days in anyone's life. Unfortunately things don't always go as planned with weddings. Sometimes it's things we have control over, other times it's not, but either way we can be disappointed and/or frustrated by whatever doesn't/didn't go as planned.
When one of my good friends reached out to me about editing her daughter's wedding photos, and explained to me the issue behind the request, I was more than happy to help.
Up to this point, I had been focused on family portraits, action sports, and nature photography, and had never shot or retouched a wedding; but having committed to shooting two weddings, I thought not only would I be able to help out my friends, but that it would also be a great learning experience for me.
Here are a few of the Original/Edited photos
Retouching these photos provided me an awesome challenge. Not only did I learn a lot, but it also gave me some ideas and a lot to think about for when I photograph a wedding.
Here are a few more photos from the wedding.
The Flower Project is focused on capturing the intrinsic beauty of flowers in both a natural and creative manner. The project grew out of another much larger photo project, and is really the result of two different influences, my mother love of roses and my wife's love of flowers.
In the fall/winter of 2014, I decided I would embark on a weekly/monthly photo project/challenge which would help me to grow as a photographer both in the creative and technical skills. During the project two of the themes, Nature and Macro, saw me seeking to use flowers for the daily challenge.
My wife would often get a bouquet of flowers every week at the grocery store to put in the kitchen, and often it was those flowers that became the subject for my photography. This along with my mother's love of roses, which I would try to photograph a unique way to give her prints of those photographs as a Christmas present, sort of morphed into The Flower Project you see on my portfolio page.
The Flower Project photos range the gamut from bright and airy, to cool and relaxing, to dramatic and melancholy; you'll also find that way the photos are taken are widely varied. The goal behind the project really is capture and present the flowers I find throughout my normal daily life in a way I find appealing. Sometimes the look of the flower sparks a creative idea for me to run with; other times, I have an idea of what I want or how I want to photograph the flower before; and yet other times, I'll see a flower just on the tree or in the garden and want to snap a quick photo of it. It's kind of a bit of everything.
The photos in the flower project are lit in few different ways. The two predominate are natural light and off camera flash. When using natural light, I tried to position the myself and the camera in a way that made the best use of the natural light as it lit the flower. The times I opted for off camera flash, I typically had the flowers set up against a white background and the flash positioned in a way to best make use of the white background, and to add some texture and contrast to the photo. Often the flash ends up over the flowers with the camera in front of them.
For the more creative shots you see, I utilized a few different techniques including adding textural overlays during post processing and using a broken mirror to photograph the reflection of the flowers. On a few occasions, you'll see that I staged the flowers as if they were on some sort of table, either a dining or end table, in a house; these shots remind me almost more of a still life painting or some other sort of fine art piece hanging in a business or museum.
With the very broad sense of the project, I find that I'm constantly adding photos to the project. Not all of the photos have or will be added to the portfolio page, and there are some that totally forgotten to add the the project.
I think that as personal projects go, the broad and openness of this project allows me to do a lot with it, and to keep it pretty fresh.
So, what do you think? Would you like to be able to purchase some prints of The Flower Project photos? Would you be interested in a book or calendar of the photos? I'd love to hear your opinions and thoughts, and would be greatly appreciative if you took a moment or two to leave a comment here.
You can see more photos of The Flower Project:
- In my portfolio, The Flower Project
- In my Gallery: The Flower Project. Here you can also purchase prints if you'd like.
Thanks! And I hope you enjoy The Flower Project series as much as I do.
There are tons of ways to recognize athlete performance: Trophies, Medals, Ribbons, Certificates, Banners, etc; however, there is one in particular I want to focus on right now. And it happens to be a project I've been working on with the Head Coach of Gymstrada Gymnastics' Boys Competitive Team – Recognition Posters.
The goal behind this project was to show off the exceptional dedication and hard work these athletes put in for years, and the accolades they earned throughout those years. It’s a way motivate others by saying look what they accomplished through hard work and dedication.
When Coach Kevin reached out to me with the idea for the project I was super excited. Having coached at Gymstrada, photographed Kevin's team a couple of times, and worked specifically with one of the gymnasts we were developing a recognition poster for, I was even more excited about the project.
Having seen various recognition posters throughout his career as a gymnast and a coach, Coach Kevin knew the look and feel he wanted for the poster - he wanted a large mounted poster with the old school vibe of black and white and a modern layout to it, and it needed to highlight their highest achievement while showing some of their other major accomplishments.
So, I set to work designing a couple of options and plugging in the stats and photos Kevin provided. After the design was done, I sent a draft over to Kevin to socialize with the parents. And once everyone was excited and on board with the design, it went to print, and then off Kevin to be hung in the boy's training area.
The stats on the final posters:
- 20" x 30"
- mounted on 3/8" white foam board
- black/white photo and text
The recognition posters are now mounted in the Boy's Training Area where they are easily seen by gymnasts and parents. They serve to highlight the accomplishments of two exceptional gymnasts whose dedication, tenacity, and motivation can serve as reminders to the young gymnasts that train there, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Here are some images of the posters.
- The first set are the poster images.
- Thr second set is the printed posters before and after they were hung in the gym.
I am hugely appreciative to Kevin for reaching out to me with this project and giving me the opportunity to help recognize these gymnasts. And I'm excited to work on the next recognition project he's got for me.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU recognize outstanding performance and dedication with your athletes?
7/10/2017 0 Comments
I absolutely love to shoot on the beach, often wading out into the water with my camera in hand or getting close to the water as it rolls up the beach. Up until recently, I did it all using no sort of protection for my expensive camera equipment; I relied solely on my reflexes and familiarity with the beach and ocean to keep my camera equipment dry - tempting fate each time.
Over the years I've looked different cases, bags, and housings which would allow me to take the camera into the water without the fear of getting it wet. And each time, I looked I considered the pros and cons, reviews, and the biggest consideration: was the price worth the amount I would use it, and what I really wanted to do with it. Too often, the answer to that last question was a resounding "no".
A few weeks ago, I came across the DiCAPac WPS-10 case, and I immediately thought that just maybe I'd found a case that fit the bill with what I wanted, and at a price that was almost perfect.
The DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case is a waterproof case, or more accurately a bag, that when properly sealed, allows the user to use their DSLR camera in water depths up to 16-ft. After doing a little research, including looking at the reviews from Amazon and B&H, I decided that with decent reviews and for under $100 I'd give it a try.
I ordered mine from Amazon for the simple fact that it would arrive sooner; the fact that it was a tad bit cheaper was an added bonus.
Once the DiCAPac WPS-10 case arrived and I had unpacked the box, I was happy to find it was exactly how it looked in the product photos, and was described in the reviews I had read.
The DiCAPac WPS-10 case itself is made of a soft but very sturdy material with a hard PVC cap for the lens which has a UV polycarbonate lens cover. The lens cover screws into the cap for a nice seal, but beware there is no o-ring or gasket. The securing mechanism for the case is a super heavy duty ziplock bag closure, which after it is closed is rolled down and subsequently secured with velcro closure to keep it from unrolling; finally the large flap is secured down over top the rolled piece with its own heavy duty velcro closure. All-in-all, when the closures are secured correctly they provide awesome waterproof protection for your DSLR camera.
The bag has a clear back which allows you to see the back of the camera and your settings, as well as a finger hole for your shutter, and a two finger holes underneath the lens tube to allow access for focusing. The bag also comes with some foam inserts to be used if necessary to help raise the camera and align the lens with the lens tube.
TESTING OUT THE BAG
So, after looking and checking over the bag, I made sure it was correctly secured and tested without a camera in it. The test is not only great for your peace of mind, but also required for warranty purposes.
Operational test complete, I got the camera and bag ready to hit the beach. For the first time out, I decided to use my older Canon 7D with the 17-55mm f2.8 lens. In order to get everything setup, I noticed the camera body had to be placed in the bag first, and the lens inserted through the lens cap area separately. Slightly awkward, but nothing difficult about it. I secured the lens cap and bag closures and double checked they were sealed, and then played with the camera operations. Of note, I did end up using the foam inserts to help align the camera and lens with the lens tube. The 7D I used did not have a battery grip installed; had I used the battery grip I believe the camera would fit well and wouldn't need the foam inserts to raise it up.
In playing with the camera while it was in the bag I noticed a few things.
1. Using the access holes under the lens did not allow much use of zooming and or focusing (glad I wasn't planning to manual focus).
2. Access to the back of the camera for settings was possible, just not easy. Specifically the dial on the back.
3. There was some minor visual distortion looking through the clear bag into the viewfinder, but nothing which couldn't be adapted for.
4. The finger hold for access the shutter was easy to find and use (yay!)
5. Since the bag is made for a variety of lens dimensions, the lens portion is like a bellows or slinky which allows a variety of lenses to fit. The flexibility is great, BUT since the lens doesn't attach to the cap at all if the lens is shorter you have to hold the bags lens cap onto the lens to keep it from floating in/out of view in the frame.
Despite the things I noticed while playing with the camera and bag out of the water, I felt pretty confident it would do what I needed in the water.
SHOOTING AT THE BEACH - Day 1
When I got the beach the next day, I double checked everything including triple checking the watertight closures. I attached the strap and off I went to play in the water with it.
Shooting in manual mode with automatic focus worked well. I opted to keep my 17-55mm lens at 17mm to avoid having to try and zoom in/out with the tiny finger holes. Holding the bags lens cap to the lens wasn't much of a bother either, not that I really expected it to be. The camera and bag was slammed by shore break more than a few times with NO water intrusion into the bag. (AWESOME!) And the few times I did take my hand off the camera the bag floated as advertised.
The auto focus worked well through the polycarbonate lens on the bag. There was some minor focus issues when a drop of water happened to be over the focal point, but this was quickly remedied with a dunk in the water or wipe of the finger.
The biggest annoyance with the bag that I noticed was finger hole for the shutter. When my finger was in it, no issues. Getting my finger in quickly however was the issue. The fix, keeping my finger as much as possible to allow me to quickly take a shot.
SHOOTING AT THE BEACH - Day 2
I was a more confident in the bag heading out the second time to the beach with it. I choose the same setup as before, Canon 7D and 17-55mm lens, mainly to see how the two days compared. I took the time before leaving the house to set everything up in the DiCAPac WPS-10 bag, again making sure the water tight closure was fully sealed and closed.
At the beach, I took the camera out in heavier surf, where it was submerged numerous times by the waves. Again, the bag floated as advertised, and even better there was no water intrusion visible at all.
Here are a few shots I took using the bag at the beach over the two days I tested it.
POST BEACH - Day 1
When we left the beach, I left the camera in the waterproof case - The bag still had some water and sand on it which I didn't want getting into the camera. Once I got home I wiped down the bag with a towel and removed as much of the sand as possible. The zip/roll-down waterproof closure at the top retained some water on it which I diligently dried up before opening the bag.
When I did open the bag, the inside was perfectly dry which was I expected. When I removed the bag's lens cap, I noticed there was some sand in the threads, but NO WATER!
Knowing my camera and lens were weather sealed, and having exposed them before to more than what was lingering on the bag, I had no concerns. Still I took a moment to wipe the threads down and remove as much of the sand as possible.
In hindsight, knowing how saltwater can degrade things, I should've cleaned the bag with fresh water before wiping it down, but I didn't. I'll have to remember to do this next time.
POST BEACH - Day 2
After the second outing to the beach with the DiCAPac WSP-10, I left the camera in the bag until later in that evening. Again, I wiped down the outside as I prepared to get the camera out. I was not at all surprised that there had been NO WATER INTRUSION into the bag itself. After the first beach foray, I was confident in the bag maintaining its water tight integrity.
Overall I am extremely happy withe DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case. It worked as advertised, and I only had minor issues with it. For under $100, the protection the bag provides combined with the value of being able to go into the surf and not be afraid the camera is going to get wet was perfect.
The minor issues I had with the bag, such as the finger holes and holding the bag lens cap tight to the front of the lens, were minor and easily worked around. In the future I'll be trying out different lenses (mostly prime lenses) to see which ones fit better.
One additional issue, I noted as I began to my post-processing on the photos from outings was the water drops that remained on the bags lens cap. While not evident as "drops" due to the depth of field I was using, they presented more as smudges. If you look at the photos above you'll see what I mean. While they are probably removable with a lot of post-processing, ensuring that the lens cap is cleaned prior to shooting would definitely help, but how to best do that while in the water is another question. I'm wondering if something like Rain-X would help the water drops to roll of the cap better and reduce the number of drops on the cap itself; however, the question also comes up of what the Rain-X or similar product would do to the clarity of the lens cap in the long run.
I am extremely happy and glad I purchased the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case. I can't wait for the next opportunity to use it. And I think that if your goals and expectations are similar to mine, you'll be happy with the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case as well.
You can find out more about the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case at: