Monday, June 30, 2008

An open window

The architecture may be interesting, but what is the best light to photograph it under? Usually, it's not at mid-day, but rather early morning or just after sunset when the sky is still a bit blue and the lights in the building are coming on. Know your subject, and under which lighting conditions it looks best.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

California Wildfires

View Larger Map
Here's the latest map on the growing California Wildfires...

Summer Solstice Parade

Here's sort of a visual recap of the Summer Solstice Parade. I had a lot of fun putting it together. Amazing what you can do with software these days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Looking Back

Silhouettes are like Chiaroscuro paintings in that they are stripped down to just a few elements, mainly light and dark shadow. These are what you use to compose your image and convey its story.

Remember, in photography it's always about light.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Improving Your Alamy Rank

Thought I'd share this link with you Alamy folks.

Five practical tips to help increase your Alamy Rank -

Over the Horizon

I think this image tells a story and that really is the goal of making images is it not?

Of course what story the image is telling really comes from the viewer and what they bring to it. This picture is a good example of this. If I don't point out that this is a sunrise, some people would think sunset and others the opposite. It depends on where they're from.

People in California naturally think sunset, and yet this is a sunrise shot taken in California. How can this be? Well, there are a few spots along the coastline that "bend" and run from East to West, but that's not really the point.

It all comes down to a few simple elements coming together as an image, and whether or not those elements can elicit a connection with the viewer and say something.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nautical Moments

I had some fun putting together my own "music" for this slide show. Another time sink I know, but still a lot of fun. I can't wait until I get to know the software a little better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I purchased Mixcraft 4 so that I could start making my own music for my photography slide shows, and I have to tell you - It's great!

I was able to install it and begin using it right away. It's made by Acoustica and let me tell you they did an outstanding job.

If you're looking for a windows equivalent to GarageBand, this is probably it.

Check it out!

Public Domain Music

I want to get back to a topic I mentioned earlier, Public Domain Music, and the reason for this is using music in slide shows.

If anyone has a good source of Public Domain Music, or can explain how to go about using and licensing Creative Commons music, please feel free to share that information.

I'm sure there are many others like me who'd love to get a clear understanding on how this all works.



Adobe Bridge

I just found this helpful resource for Adobe Bridge and wanted to pass it along.

Face It

It's one of those mornings where I find myself behind a cup of coffee with not much to say. These days, I guess that would that be called bloggers block.

How about some maxims for the 21st century:

1. If at first you don't succeed, give up.
2. If your dreams aren't coming true, stop dreaming.
3. Failure is the path of least resistance.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That sinking feeling

A good visual metaphor for what's going on in the world these days, don't you think?

It's incumbent on us to stay focused, positive, and make the most of each day.

(Note: I've been posting from my flickr account and I hate the formatting. Things get goofy when I add a label or make an after the fact change. Sorry about that. I'm working on this issue)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Around and Around

Around and Around, originally uploaded on flickr by Damian Gadal

One of these years I'm going to have to use a wide angle lens and shoot the parade from a low angle using the sky as a background. This should give everything a whole new perspective.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sun Dance

Sun Dance, originally uploaded on flickr by Damian Gadal

As usual, the Summer Solstice Parade was unusual, fun, and wacky. It was hot, which kept the crowds a bit sedate and trust me that's not such a bad thing.

I'll most more photos on flickr as time permits.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This YouTube Thing

Well my 2nd upload and I can say this YouTube thing isn't too difficult. Make a slide show or movie in the proper format and upload.

I've made sure that I'm using Public Domain Music with these slide shows.

I'm also looking into how one goes about licensing some Creative Commons Music. I think that would be a great way to go, and get people some exposure for the great music they are putting together.

YouTube for me is just a venue to get some exposure for my photos, not a quit your day job cash cow. And fun too.... but beware it can be a time sink.

Update: September 27, 2008 - I had to change out the music on this. Always try and use all your own content. I've found that even though something says Pubic Domain you can still get a take down notice. I'd rather use all my own content anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weather on Mars

I just ran into this. How cool, now you can get the Weather on Mars. Doesn't look there's any rain in the forecast.


I think it's official - Summer's here. It just raced in like a wet noodle, but.... now time to make some Summer images. Off the top of my head that would be: beaches, picnics, parades, camping, parks, travel, BBQ's, etc....

If I can think of anything else, I'll add it to the list.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ProShow Gold

It's been a while since I've put together slide shows, though I've been meaning to for some time. Anyway, I upgraded my ProShow Gold software and want to report that the output options that have been added are great. For those who don't know, you can now output your work directly to Youtube or as a Flash file, though I've not tired the flash option yet.

This is great as getting work out onto the web is really the best venue to distribute things.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My First YouTube Posting

Okay... I'm still working on my big project (more on that later) which required a software upgrade. After running into a couple of minor glitches, I threw together a quick video.

So, here it is:

Human Flag

There are times when you will get opportunities for unique images. If you find out about them, make the effort to photograph these types of situations.

The value may only be the uniqueness of the image. Such is the case here. How often does a stadium fill with people dressed in red, white, and blue posing as a flag occur? Not often in my part of the woods...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get Firefox 3

Firefox 3

Firefox 3

I downloaded Firefox 3 earlier today, and let me tell you it's Smoking FAST!!!

This is a huge improvement on an already great browser.

Old Photos

The one thing that starts to become obvious when going back and looking at old photos are the subtle changes that occur over time.

Things that you've forgotten about or just didn't notice are right there in front of you.

This alone can add a bit of value to these old photos.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Putting the pieces together

I've been working on putting together a slide show of images for a project that I've been asked to do. It's coming together a lot faster than I planned thanks to a program called ProShow Gold.

If you're not familiar with this program, you should check it out.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


For anyone interested in Photography, or who just wants a great way of experiencing images on the internet, you've got to check out PicLens. It's got to be one of the coolest things out there.

Boats and Water

For me, the best way to make some interesting nautical images is to use as few elements as possible. Find something simple if you can. Look for lines, shapes, and patterns, the basic elements of what you're trying to convey.

An image of a crowded harbor is just that, and yet it's filled with elegance and beauty waiting to be photographed. If you look around, something should speak to you visually and that is a good place to start.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunrise on wings

This year I haven't done much of any sunrise photography. I just haven't made the time available to do so.

With a big project coming up, I had to go through some of my archived images and it didn't take much to convince me to make some time for morning shots.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Geocaching Scare

Well, Geocaching may have gotten a bit out of hand. Police in Santa Barbara get called out because a geocache is mistaken as an explosive devise. The Santa Barbara Daily Sound had an article about it.

Firefox 3

I'm getting excited. The release of Firefox 3 is just around the corner. I'm expecting great things. My IE days are long gone. I just ran across the Firefox 3 Field Guide and thought I'd pass along the link.

Race Day

Well, the weekend is just around the corner. Time to get busy and come up with some photography projects.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Alamy Images

I received an interesting email from Alamy Images regarding what they call "Novel Use".

In essence what Alamy Images is trying to do, is target a market segment dominated by the microstock sites. Of course, it's not quite as simple as that, but that the gist of it.

Here's an excerpt of what I received:

"- Alamy Limited Use is not the same as microstock.

- Microstock images are available to all buyers of stock photography.

- Alamy Limited Use restricts usage to three types of user - teachers,
students, and bloggers - none of whom feature in our customer base.

- This is not the beginning of a shift towards universally low prices
at Alamy. It is not in our interests to slash prices of our conventional
business to microstock levels, but nevertheless we think that we have
something to offer this market. In 2007 the market leader in microstock
generated over $70m in revenue and is projected to achieve over $120m
this year. This business model is here to stay and we are leaving
money on the table by not taking the opportunity to compete with them
in some areas."
Lots of folks have responded in shock and anger. The feel they've been misled. Alamy has given its contributors an option to opt out of this scheme. That's good.

I can understand where Alamy is coming from, and their business point of view. Unfortunately for them, they've got to walk a tightrope for a while and see how things play out with the market they are after and with the contributors who provide the commodity the images buyers are after.

I have to say that I wasn't surprised in the least. In fact I've been expecting something like this and frankly I'm surprised that this has happened sooner.

As the saying goes: "May you live in interesting times". We certainly do.... in more ways than one.

running down a dream

Images like this are where geotagging is going to be a big help. Where is this? A back road just off the California Coast.

When was it taken and exactly where is it? I can look up the EXIF data and tell you when, but I can't tell you exactly where.

Right now, I keep a log GPS coordinates for images I want to tag with a certain amount of precision, and others I map using Google or Yahoo and their mapping tools.

I know there are units that you can get to plug into the camera's hotshoe that will embed GPS data for later extraction using mapping software. That's great, but it doesn't work with all cameras.

It won't be long when digital SLR's have built in GPS and a new era of mapping and photography begins.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Wow, something new just came up on iStockphoto that caught me off guard. This image which was accepted earlier in the day, got rejected later on. The reason was that a couple of the keywords weren't relevant. One of the words was "backgrounds"... but in the email that I got, it said that I used "plus sign" as another keyword.

So, scratching my head I went back to the image and looked to see where that could be coming from. In the list that I typed in under the file info using Adobe Bridge, I had typed "Addition" when I meant "Addiction"....

All my fault, I need to slow down. I know I go too fast and the text is small and there's no spell check that I know of. Just a heads up to the rest of you sleep deprived micro stockers.

I do try and make all of my keywords as relevant as possible and used to type them in each and every time for each image after I uploaded them.

Lately, I've started key wording in batches using bridge to be more efficient and save time.

So, the lesson for me is wear my glasses and be even more diligent.

Correction (6/12/2008): This image didn't get accepted and then rejected. It simply got rejected for the reasons stated above. I've corrected the keywording problem and resubmitted the image .

Headed around the corner

When an opportunity comes along to photograph something completely different I'll give it a try if I can, if for no other reason than the experience of it.

It's a great way to discover the challenges that other photographers face getting their shots and gives you a nice perspective and appreciation of their work.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Story Time

In ten seconds or less, tell me a story. I really think that's what it's all about. People viewing hundreds or thousands of postage stamp size thumbnails stock images want a story. If you can do that, your measure of success should improve.

Monday, June 9, 2008

iPhone News

Some of the rumors were true: Coming soon, 3G, GPS, and better prices. There will even be a 16gb iPhone for $299.00

This is great. No word yet about the camera, but 2 out of 3 isn't bad...

Checking the tide

If you do any beach photography always check the tide and weather in the area where you plan on working. It's more important than you think.

On a non-photography related note: Today we should get a glimpse at what's in store for the iPhone. There's been lots of speculation such as 3G, GPS, Better Camera, etc. So, I guess we're going to find out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

iPhone Blogging

For folks interested in blogging from their iPhones, I thought this information would be useful.

I know I'll be watching Steve Jobs Keynote tomorrow... It could be what finally gets me to upgrade my phone.

Update: 10/31/2008 - I'm still looking for some blogger software for my iPhone that is useful and practical. I haven't seen any yet that's compelling to use.

Looking for inspiration

Sometimes, it's good to step back and try to get some perspective on things. See what other people are doing and just let new ideas evolve...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

You spin me round

Fasten your seatbelt, it may not be a bumpy ride, but it's sure to be an exciting one down the technology road.

Adobe announced that we should be able to buy Acrobat 9 in about a month. This might not seem like such a big thing to most folks, but given time and wide integration into people's work product and it will be. Not far behind the New Acrobat will be the Adobe CS4 Suite.

And Monday, even if you're not an Apple fan. Steve Job's keynote should give people a glimpse of where we are going with the mobile internet.

I know, you're thinking he's talking about the iPhone, and he is, but it's what the phone can and will do. That's what drives the competition, raises the bar, and moves us all along.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summertime Blues

The landscape is glowin',
gleamin' in the golden light of day
I ain't holdin' nothin' back now,
I ain't standin' in anybody's way

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Born to run

Crowded car shows tend to have at least two things working against the photographer trying to make images. Those two things are lots of people, and bright overhead sunlight.

An overcast day generally solves those problems. So, what do you do when it's not overcast?

What I do, and believe me this often takes patience, is walk around the car until you find a composition that seems compelling and not filled with specular highlights.

This often means photographing the side of the car in open shade, or just coming back to the car you want to shoot a little later, when the sun has changed position in the sky.

As for all of the people who will no doubt not see you and walking through your shots, practice and patience my friend. You will have to get used to that and learn to be aware of the crowd's movements. Remember, people can help or hurt your image, it all depends on what you're after.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Parade Season

Summer is nearly here and with it comes the wild and wacky parade season. Lots of opportunities for colorful and expressive shots of people enjoying themselves.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mixed Emotions

Light and color. The same thing really, and how do you photograph it? and what does it say? Fragments of time dancing through the air...

BTW - the Strobist Videos sold out. Not to worry though, more are on the way.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Well, the weekend is over. It was nice to spend it behind the lens and connecting with making images. Using the macro lens was fun, but I don't think I'll rush out and buy one anytime soon. Being able to rent a macro lens should fill any small scale photography that should come up from time to time.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Working on concepts on a small scale is a challenge, but still a lot of fun. The two main challenges are dealing with a reduced focal plane, and lighting small objects.

This out-of-focus shot was part of that process. Don't worry though, I've got other shots that are in focus .

What started out as an idea of two shinny, reflective dice on a green background quickly evolved into something else.

The green background became money, and the shots we approached from different angles with different portions in and out of focus. Why? Because I started to think about how the State of California is proposing solving its latest budget crisis (interim stop-gap borrowing against the lotto), by asking the citizens to support an increase in personal gambling.

So, enough about that. Let's just say current events are a good resource if you're looking for photography ideas, though I don't like to get too political about my images and try to scale back any ideas to ones that will bridge longer time periods. Hence, an image about vice. Timeless, and a good stock image - IMHO. If I can get the right focus and lighting.