A Little Organization

I have never been a really good furniture buyer. my home is full of mismatched furniture, some of it hand-me-down or second-hand, some of it was new, but they all lacked a bit of cohesion. it’s something I’m slowly working on. my friend over at swalrus.org is moving and had a set of Ikea Pax shelves for sale. I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade my photography organization a bit to something less cluttered and messy to something a bit more classy. I am a big fan of the steel wire shelving, you know the things most people reserve for their garages. although I didn’t get rid of it entirely, this Pax system works pretty well to keep my photography equipment in order.

Ikea pax closet relocation - before

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Steel Wool Spinning

I have always been interested in long exposures. there is a certain appeal to getting the shot just right and having to really plan ahead and make sure you get everything looking how you want it to. I think for most people, it starts with the simplest thing: a flashlight.

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Milestones – DD and Jason

DD + Jason Wedding 2013-3952.jpg

I am so excited that my second photographer DD got married recently! I got to hang out with the bride on her big day and was so happy to be a part of it. their wedding was at a gorgeous venue in Orange, Virginia. I have known DD for around a decade now, and she has been photographing with me for a few years now. I could not be more proud of her as a friend and a photographer. she has started her own letterpress shop on etsy, Lennah Press, which has some awesome handmade card and wedding invitation choices – all designed by DD herself!

I wish them and their two bulldogs the best and I look forward to seeing how they grow together! Happy wedding!

DD + Jason Wedding 2013-4050.jpg

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Burnside Farm – Holland in Virginia

Burnside Tulip Farm 2013-7001.jpg

A little known treat in Haymarket is the Burnside Farm Tulip Farm. There are tens of thousands of tulips planted in neat rows on this half-acre (-ish) farm. the rules are simple: $1 per stem and don’t trample the flowers. Keep up with them on facebook to find out when the peak time is for these tulips and plan a trip – the peak time is really short, so don’t wait!

They have so many varieties of tulips I didn’t know existed.

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Here are some favorites:

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Burnside Tulip Farm 2013-7016.jpg

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My Introduction to an ND Filter

Hawaii - Oahu 2013-6128.jpg

The Neutral Density (ND) filter was something I’d always heard about but didn’t really understand why I would need one considering software can apply filters in post-processing. It wasn’t until a recent trip to Hawaii which I really put the ND filter to use. I did some research and realized if I wanted those soft water fall pictures I’d seen in magazines, I would need to get an ND filter or hope for a somewhat cloudy, dark day. So before my trip, I picked up an B+W ND8 filter and did some practice runs on the street with moving cars.

The photo above was taken at f/22, 0.5″, 46mm, ISO 50. It was a super sunny day and I had to play around with the settings to get it to expose right.

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This one was shot about the same: f/22, 0.3″, 30mm, ISO 50 – it had about the same lighting conditions as the waterfall. It was interested to see how dark an ND8 filter made the available light. I didn’t have any problems with stacking a circular polarizer on top of the ND8 in the above and below pictures – although I’m sure some people are going to scream about image quality or whatever. I also put the circular polarizer and ND8 combo on top of my UV/Haze filter too (gasp!).

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It took a while to get used to composing landscapes – very different than the candid and portraiture I’m more used to. I really like the results and want to try some other neutral density techniques, like making people “disappear”. let me know what you think or how else I could improve landscape photography, it is definitely something I need to work on!

 

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Zoolights!

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if you haven’t been yet, there’s still time to see the Zoolights at the National Zoo. it is another one of the awesome free things to do in DC that comes around every holiday season. you can read more about it here. it is over at the end of the month, so find a nice night and get out there! Read More »

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Spider Holster: Field Testing

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my initial review of the spider holster was very promising for the recent wedding season. The current setup is a 5D3 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 L and a 5D2 with a 70-200mm IS f/2.8 L, this is coupled with a 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye and a 100mm f/2.8 Macro and a pair of speedlights to match. I put a spider pin on the ring adapter of the 70-200mm lens to keep it balanced on the holster. It is a pretty heavy setup, but the big advantage of the spider holster is it keeps the weight on my hips and not on my shoulders and neck.

bottom line: I could not have been happier having the spider holster. Read More »

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Ridiculousness at Work

tps reports

I present you with the most ridiculous email I’ve received at work, and some quick tips on how not present yourself as an ass to your entire department.

the staff at work received the following email (names have been replaced to maintain anonymity) written by one of our Clinical Specialist pharmacists. this is the email verbatim, ridiculous ampersands, poor grammar, and incomplete sentences:

Good day!

With all due respect to you [Department Chief], I believe this e-mail is another “Slap in the Face” to Pharmacist in general & especially to Pharmacist Supervisors in particular [Associate Chief 1] & [Associate Chief 2] who are here & you go over them & ask us to contact a non Pharmacist in your absence for Pharmacy related matters. Let’s not forget [Clinical Specialist] is still in the house & she does have management experience. Read More »

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Is Mass Transit Eco-Friendly?

Nyc subway maps

As part of my regular podcast routine, I got to the Freakonomics podcast and it was on one of my favorite topics: mass transit/public transportation. I’ve always thought intuitively that mass transit/public transportation is better for the environment. I never really thought about it aside from a cost standpoint (where the DC area subway system is not cheaper than driving for my schedule).

Dubner’s article doesn’t completely buy into the benefits of mass transit, basically saying it can help the environment or it can actually harm. this other article criticizes the validity of the article, which is compelling, but I’m not sure. Read More »

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Halloween 2012 – Domo

Halloween 2012 has come and gone, always seems too quick, doesn’t it? in light of last year’s hit halloween costume of Racing Teddy, I wanted to make another giant head. there were some improvements to be made, though. The Teddy head was a shoulder-mounted design where my forehead counterbalanced a bit of webbing that hooked into the back of my belt so it wouldn’t flop around when I moved. this limited my ability to turn my head, which was compounded by my limited field of vision. I wanted to make a giant head where I could be mobile, and it wouldn’t be too heavy to wear all night – enter the design for this year’s halloween costume: Domo

domo blueprint

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