12/8/2017 0 Comments
did you see that epic sunset?
I've traveled the world and seen sunsets in various Europe, Asia, and Middle Eastern countries; and I've seen sunsets from the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean, Red, Norwegian, Greenland, Java, and South China Seas. I've seen a lot of beautiful and amazing sunsets, but out of all these sunsets, in all of these different places, there are only maybe 5 or 6 that I have considered to be amazingly epic and absolutely stunning.
I've said it before, but out of all the places I've been, Southern California has some of the best sunsets.
A few Saturday's ago, my family and I headed out to take our annual photo for our Christmas card. Each year, we try to do something a little different, and this year we decided to head down to the rocks on the beach just north of Scripps Pier.
We knew the sunset would be pretty good with the clouds hanging out in the sky, and with low tide and sunset coinciding nicely with each other, we figured there wasn't a better time to get the photo we wanted.
Daily life can span the gamut from the mundane to the absolutely crazy, especially when you have a kid or multiple kids running around. Too often though we forget that within our daily life, no matter how crazy, there are moments and things worth documenting and remembering.
I mean sure, as a parent we're always looking for those big milestones we "need" to document: first steps, birthdays, first time riding a bike without training wheels, and the list goes on. But, how many of the daily activities or shenanigans that go on do we overlook because they happen everyday?
You may not have thought about it yet, but how long do you think some of those daily activities or shenanigans are going to keep going? Will the kiddo always be coming into the room without undies on and turning around and yelling "Tushie!!" with a big smile on their face (an almost daily occurrence in my house)? Hopefully not, but it's not a shenanigan I want to forget. What about, that smile my boy has as he stands on the stool admiring himself in the mirror while we brushes his teeth? I certainly don't want to forget that, and there are countless others as well.
How do we preserve those memories if we don't photograph them? Memory loss happens with old age, it's a fact we can't dispute, and unless your name is Benjamin Button we aren't going to ever get any younger.
7/28/2017 0 Comments
Why I Photograph My Family
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.
7/10/2017 0 Comments
PRODUCT REVIEW: Keeping my DSLR protected using the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case
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:
6/26/2017 1 Comment
Mass Creativity @ The New Children's Museum: Seeing and Creating Art in the World Around Us
One of the coolest things about living in San Diego, in my opinion at least, is The New Children's Museum (NCM). The NCM is located in downtown San Diego off of Front and W. Island Streets, and across from the San Diego Convention Center and Seaport Village.
According to their website (thinkplaycreate.org), The NCM is a "new model of children's museum whose mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art."
Like many children's museums, there is painting, clay, and building blocks. Unlike other children's museums, The NCM has awesome one-of-a-kind art installations that the kids can fully interact with: from towers with "hidden rooms" to climb and explore, to a toddler area filled with larger than life food items to play with, and a rain house and other areas to explore the art of sound. A previous exhibit was an "orange grove" which incorporated sound effects that were triggered as the kids climbed, swung, and pulled on the trees in the grove.
Since 2013, The NCM has been putting on an awesome and free event known as Mass Creativity. Partnering with other organizations and artists in the area, Mass Creativity brings to the San Diego community an opportunity for kids and families to experience art in unique and creative ways. In a way it's an embodiment of The NCM mission, and a way to share the uniqueness of what The NCM provides to the community and our kids through art and creative play and learning.
My family has attended Mass Creativity ever year since 2013 in some form or fashion. And I think it's safe to say that each year has been better than the previous one, and this year was no different. With art projects and creative play for the kids outside and inside, there was more than enough to keep the kid busy, and happy.
I didn't take as many photos as I had in previous year's, but I think you can clearly see from these photos just how much fun he had creating and playing at Mass Creativity this year.
If you're interested in learning more about The New Children's Museum (NCM), please check them out on:
- The web at: http://www.thinkplaycreate.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thenewchildrensmuseum/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newchildrensmuseum
- - Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-new-childrens-museum-san-diego
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thenewcm
The NCM is a non-profit organization and relies on the support and donations of its members and the community. If you're interested in donating or supporting The NCM your can find information on how to do that on their website as well.
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