Friday, September 25, 2009

Photojournalist Tyler Hicks in Afghanistan

Foreign Correspondence has a great look behind the scenes with NY Times photojournalist Tyler Hicks, and how he gets his sories filed from the other site of the world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Charm City Cross pics now posted!

If you raced in the Charm City Cyclocross Race, the pictures are all uploaded:

Charm City Cross Pics

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to Shoot (and Not Get Shot) in a War Zone

Gizmodo has a great piece written by a war photographer with some insights on the realities of his job.

Ever wonder how war photographers survive out there? We've enlisted Teru Kuwayama—a photographer who has covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots for Time, Newsweek and Outside—to explain the perils of working in a war zone.

Among military planners, there's an aphorism that states: "Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics."

The daily mechanics of photographing in a "war zone" don't have much to do with photography—mostly it's about getting from point A to point B without getting your head cut off, then finding a signal and an outlet.

I'm probably not the right person to be give advice on war photography, since I don't even count myself as a war photographer—but for one reason or another, I've spent the better part of the last decade in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I was a young photographer when these wars began—I'm not anymore, and from all indications, the "long war" is just getting started.

For what it's worth, here's some advice for first timers heading out to the badlands.

Read the full story and see some more of Teru Kuwayama's images on Gizmodo

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What apps are on your home screen?

I'm always interested in what applications people have on their iPhones. Have you rearranged your phones apps based on how you work? I've preserved most of the home screen for the iPhone's core functions, but I've added my top 4 apps: Omnifocus, NetNewsWire, Evernote, and Tweetie.

My second screen is the majority of my news & entertainment apps. The last screen is games & apple apps I can't delete.

Those are my top apps. What are yours?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We'll drop you off, then take Mike to the Emergency Room

Jenn and I just got back from a last-minute weekend camping trip to Luray, Virginia. Jenn was the driving force in putting the trip together-she wanted to get away one more time before the summer ended, and with the babies on the way, we weren't sure when we'd have the chance again.

Vin took Friday off, and got two sites at Camp Roosevelt, and we arrived Friday night. We were surprised by how nice the camp was. It was very small, but only had a few sites, and they had lots of room in between. Our site was near a shared bathroom, and had trash cans not too far.

We rented kayaks on Saturday from Shenandoah River Outfitters, and spent about four hours paddling down the river. Everything was going fine until Mike got out of his boat to take a swim. As he tried to get back into his boat, he cut his knee open. We didn't have much in the way of first aid supplies, but he held the cut closed until we got done. When we got back, Mike and Tris went to the hospital where Mike got five stitches, and instructions to stay off the bike for a week.

Sunday, I was making breakfast when it hit me that this was really the closing of a chapter in my life, the end of the carefree days before kids. I look forward to our babies, and I know my life will be richer with them, but it reminded me that time is always slipping way from us.

With Jenn and Mike out if the picture, people started grumbling about the length of the Kennedy Peak ride, and if they still wanted to go. I wanted to get in a ride, so I suggested riding Kennedy Peak backwards. That way, we'd get in some riding, without the full time commitment.

If you've never ridden Kennedy Peak in reverse, I suggest you try it. It gives you a good mix of the climbing and rocks, but with more rollers, and less of the brutal climb in the beginning. The climb still comes, but it's more broken up.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New projects

I had two events today. My first was a meeting with Lisa Jacobs, a Virginia based wedding photographer, to introduce myself, and learn what she was looking for in an assistant. I'll work with her on a wedding in August.

From Virginia, I raced back to DC to a casting call for an independent film called "Have Faith." I met most of the crew and am looking forward to the shoot.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

End of a long week

This week has been one of those weeks that seems to go on and on. We're launching a new web site at work, and the todo list didn't get any shorter as the week went on. My vacation starts Monday, the same day that the site launches, a fluke of timing because I was not included in the schedule planning for the launch.

I'm trying ot the Blogpress app, and creating this post on my iPhone. I really like it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Photo Mechanic

I finally tried out Camera Bits' Photo Mechanic software.

I've been using Apple's Aperture program exclusively, but I kept seeing Photo Mechanic mentioned in sports photography workflow articles, and I wanted to check it out. This spring, my digital workflow has really become an issue for me. I started shooting sports several times a week with my D300 and D200. Dealing with RAW files and multiple cards made the import/edit process slow down to a crawl, and I found myself spending too much time waiting for files & previews to load.

I decided to try Photo Mechanic to basically do the first round editing before I imported the images into my Aperture Library. I have to say I am very impressed with its speed, even on my aging powerbook. So much so that I think I can easily justify adding as a step in the workflow.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shooting Lacrosse

So I went over th Montgomery Blair to shoot their baseball game, but it looked like they called off the game due to the rain earlier in the week. Girl's Lacrosse was playing on the football field, so I shot that instead. I realized Al was right when he said that I'd have to get bigger glass for field sports. I compensated by setting up on the sidelines, and taking advantage of lacrosse's back-and-forth. That combined with the crop factor on the D300 let me work with what I got.

We're still heaing that the website should launch next Monday, so we'll see if people are interested in getting these

It happened

it happened. But I can't speak about it yet.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Add return info to your iPhone

Ken Rockwell has a great post on how to add your contact info to your phone's lock screen, so someone who finds it can find you.
How to put your info on your iphone lock screen.

I've created a photshop file to help you get started. you can add your favorite background as a new layer.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pics Posted From the Suntrust National Marathon

After hours of tweaking and uploading, my pictures from the finish line at the Suntrust National Marathon in DC are up. Some highlights include separate galleries for the half-marathon and marathon finishers, as well as "America's Fastest Mayor", Adrian Fenty, after crossing the finish line and besting his personal record.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Elephant Parade 2009

Elephants from the Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus march through historic Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 17, 2009.

It was great to get out and start using the D300. I was blown away by the large, crisp display. The light was strange due to the overcast, but I felt like the camera was capturing pretty accurate color.

See more images on my Flickr page.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I finally did it

I finally ordered the Nikon D300. I'm hoping to take advantage of the upcoming season and work shooting more sports & special events. Amazon had it for $1499.99, which was better than my favorite store, B+H Photo. It was also better than Adorama, Ritz and Penn Camera, a large, local, true camera shop.

I charged it, but I expect to have money come in from some other work, including the photos I sold to Singletrack Magazine. Between that and some tax return money, I should not be hurting that bad. The good news is I upgraded my lenses when I only had my D70s, so I can hit the ground running.

I'm curious how hard the transition will be, but I expect the interface will be similar from one Nikon to the next.

Monday, March 9, 2009

First Basketball Shoot

Shooting my first basketball game was a humbling experience. The Maryland Boys' Basketball 4A Regional Finals was played at Montgomery Blair HS on Saturday. As soon as I got there, I knew the lighting was going to be challenging.

The gym was so dark, I had to crank up the ISO to 1600, then increase the exposure compenstion, and even then, the images came out passable. I was jealous of the other photographers there from the local newspapers, with full frame pro level D3s and Canon 1Ds. Even they had to set up strobes in the corners. I set up on the opposite end of the court, because with my ISO cranked up so far, the strobes would blow everything out.

The closest I can get to a pro camera right now is the D300, and even that is going to take some work.

I noticed another photographer on Saturday had set up a speedlight on a light stand as a strobe, and I wonder how effective that would be across a large area like a basketball court.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mr President: Make the Morgage Fix Fair

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about banking, or running the country. I have bought a house, though, so I do have some insight into the minds of people who don't think the proposed mortgage fix is a good idea.

When we were looking at houses, my wife and I had to face the realization that we could not afford the house we wanted. We had good credit, but between student loans, the car, and credit card debt, we simply could not make the monthly payments for a single family house in the expensive DC suburbs. We had to settle, and make due with what we could afford.

That's why I have a problem with the idea that Americans are being asked to essentially pay the difference between what someone promised to pay and what they can afford. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we should just throw these people out of their homes, but I think there's a better way.

If we have to reduce some homeowners' principal balance as an emergency to keep them in their home, surely they can pay us back eventually. Like when they sell the house that we helped pay for. Its called a lien. If the government pays a percentage of the price of the mortgage, let the government recover that percentage from the eventual sale for the house. Those funds can reduce the deficit or be reinvested to help future homeowners.

To me this sounds better than just giving the money away.

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is the next iPhone the old iphone?

Over the last few weeks, there has been much speculation about the possibilty that Apple would unveil a new model of the iPhone. An analyst report earlier this week and published by contained the following suggested specs:

What would such an edge-only iPhone look like? I think we have a pretty good idea already:

Monday, February 9, 2009


Today was an exciting day for me. When I got home from work, I saw that Singletrack Magazine had arrived. This is the first time I've had my photographs published, and it blew my mind. The article and photos were part of a feature on the Shenandoah Mountain 100 race that I started shooting in 2006. It was such a thrill to see my photos as part of a nice, glossy mtb magazine. Every one of the photos in the article was mine, I couldn't believe it. Its a great feeling. It was also rewarding because the SM100 is an event that's been part of my life since 2000. Its been exciting to see it grow over the years, into one of the premier events of the eat coast mtb season.

In 2006, I found myself on the sidelines for the Shenandoah Mountain 100. I took my new Nikon DSLR and tried to capture images of the race. The results were not good, so I started learning as much as I could about digital photography. I poured over American Photo, Digital Photo Pro, and every magazine I could get my hands on. I read books on photojournalism, portraits, and sports photography. I studied the how-tos on lighting, aperture, depth of field and compostion. I carried my camera around all the time to be ready for spontaneous photo opportunities. I invested in better glass. The following year, I was ready for race season, armed with what I learned I was able to capture great images that told the story of the race. I sold some images onine and I was hooked. Now I'm looking at eight of my images of the SM100 published alongside a feature about the race in Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine.

Check out the images on my facebook page

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chinese New Year photos are up

More photos:

I was disappointed with the images I got. The sun was strong, but the angle of the sun cast ashadow fron the buildings at about a 45 degree angle, which made it tough to get any decent images. I saw other photographers that were closer in to the action and captured better images.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


more inauguration pictures
Jenn and I spent Monday night back on Capitol Hill. We decided over Christmas that we lived so close to DC that we simply could not miss an event so important. Vin offered to host us originally, but last week decided that he didn't want to deal with the hassle.

Tuesday morning, we met David & Danielle at their house around 7 am and left for the metro. The first train was packed, so we let it go and took the second. When we got off at L'enfant plaza, we were amazed at the number of people waiting to leave. It was packed so tightly you could barely move your arms. It took us an hour to get from the platform out the door to the street. There seemed to be no additional personnel on duty.

When we got to the street, we walked west on Independence until we found an open gate at 14th Street. We found our spot and waited for the event to begin. We appreciated the event organizers rebroadcasting the inauguration concert from Sunday as it helped to pass the time.

It was a thrill to see, and to be there and know that you you part of history in the making. But even more powerful was the feeling that the country was turning the page. And that was the overwhelming feeling of the day.

The way home was another story, as everyone poured onto the street at once, and the intersection of 12th Street & independence felt dangerous, like a stampede could start at any minute. We wound up walking south on 12 to I, then across the southwest section of DC to New Jersey Ave, and back up to the hill.

People said afterwards that metro did a great job, but I hope that the powers that be will do things differently next time. 1. Provide more paths onto the mall than just from the south. 2. When stations are overloaded, close them.