APA Contest Winner / BlinkBid Giveaway

Wading Giraffes

I was excited to hear that my giraffe image picked up 2nd place in the Fine Art/Personal category of APA’s 2013 photo contest! There were some great winners in the various categories, and you should check them all out here. While I don’t really enter contests, I do enter and support ones from the big names like APA, PDN, etc. I love seeing the amazing work coming out of those contests.

One of the prizes for my category was a copy of the software BlinkBid. If you are not familiar with it, it’s sort of the de facto tool for estimating commercial shoots. I use it for all of my estimates and it has support for almost anything you could imagine needing to include. Need to have a line item for striking a set? Do you shoot film and want to make sure to bill for developing your B&W 8×10? Blinkbid has you covered. The estimates you print out are great too – you can customize them to fit your studio’s look.

Since I already use Blinkbid, I have this extra license sitting around. I asked the Blinkbid crew and they ok’ed me giving it away. So, let’s do it! If you are interested in a chance to win the software (a $229 value), leave a comment below. I’ll randomly pick a winner on Monday, November 18th using some sort of fancy web-based random number generator thingy.

 

Wading Giraffes

I’ve had this image in my head for a while now. I’m not sure where it started, but I remember that I photographed the ocean in Hawaii last year. Once I had the idea, I started collecting giraffe images where I saw them. Some of the giraffes here are from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and some are from the San Diego Zoo (which, to me, feels a lot bigger than Animal Kingdom).

This was a fun personal project I came up with, and I might do more animal shots like this in the future.

Wading Giraffes

 

Blogs In The Sky Keep On Changin’

I decided recently that it was time to shake things up a little bit in blog land. I now have a snazzy new design thanks to the folks at StudioPress. I’ve also added some additional content at the top. There’s a page for Photog.TV, as well as my luminosity mask set. At the bottom, you’ll see some of my recent Instagram images (yes, I know, I need to use it more often).

And since a post can always benefit with a picture, here are a few shots of the boys taken while we were visiting some family in Oklahoma. They look so happy to be standing in a field.

Italy, Part Two: More of Venice

In this second Italy post, I thought I’d share a couple more Venice images. Venice is one of those towns that you can get through in a day and see the major sights. However, if you do a little research there’s enough there to last a few days.

There are a bunch of islands that make up Venice, and we visited a few including Murano (where some of that fabulous glass is made). We also checked out some museums off the beaten path, which were great (not only for their artistic value) but for their ‘away from the tourists’ value.

Italy, Part One: Places

I’m back!

We recently returned from an incredible trip to Italy, and this is the first post (of at least 3) about it. Both my wife and I have relatives there (mine are in Sicily, and hers are in a small town a few hours from Rome). I think we started planning this trip last year, and for the most part everything went very smoothly! Besides our family, my wife’s sister-in-law and her 2 daughters came along. And, before I go any further, a big thanks to my wife and sister-in-law for all of the hard work they did planning! My oldest son turned 6 during the trip which was way cool. My 3 year old was fun too, considering that we had several long days of sightseeing.

We flew into Rome and stayed for a night, and then headed to Sicily, followed by Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Venice, Fabriano, Assisi, Orvieto, and finally Rome again for one night before we flew home. I also drove in Sicily and from Venice through the end of the trip, which was insane! In parts of Italy, things like traffic lights and stop signs are more recommendations than requirements.

I travelled with a very minimal kit – just a camera body, a 580 ex flash, a 50mm lens, and a 16-35mm lens (which I hardly ever used, especially once something startled to rattle on the inside of it). I ended up shooting about 2,000 images, which worked out to about 35 GB (I was shooting plenty of images at 21 MP for a project I want to do later). I probably could have shot more, but it’s the classic tradeoff between shooting and seeing things with the family. I had a couple ‘I am going to shoot for an hour’ opportunities though, so it worked out well. I didn’t have a laptop, so I backed up everything to an Epson portable drive.

Let’s start off with a few Rome shots:

In Sicily, we visited my relatives plus got a chance to drive halfway up Mt. Etna. It’s a cool volcano – still having eruptions every now and then. Here you can see some older lava flows:

After Sicily, we took an overnight ferry to Sorrento. Here’s a shot from the hotel:

You can see Mt. Vesuvius here:

Capri is an incredible island off the coast of Italy. Besides having a lot of cool stores and restaurants on the island itself, you can have a lot of fun around the island, checking out the rock formations, the fabulous colored grottos, and more:

They have a cable car that goes to the very top which is awesome! The view is incredible and peaceful:

Here is the famous Blue Grotto, which is a cave on the outside of the island. To get in, you literally have to lay down in a boat while the boat driver maneuvers into a little hole. Once inside, the water glows blue because light is coming underneath the entrance:

After Capri/Sorrento, we headed up to Venice:

I got lost quite a few times walking around there. Thankfully, a cool navigation app saved me (more on that in a later post).

Leaving Venice, we drove down to the Fabriano region (where my wife’s relatives are). We came across this cool castle museum that had an incredible view out the front door:

Who wouldn’t want to walk out to that everyday?

Our last stop was in Orvieto, which has an absolutely incredible church. It’s also massive. Here’s a shot looking at the entrance:

So there you go – the first post on the big trip. Next up, I’ll show you some of the fun times we had (including an incredible birthday party for Brandon), and later on I’ll post some iPhone pictures.

 

Trip Teaser

We just came back from an incredible vacation! Everything is in a little disarray right now, but I wanted to put up a teaser image to last until I can get a full post together.