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9 posts from July 2004

July 31, 2004

King of the Bay 2003

This years King of the Bay kitesurfing/windsurfing contest is just around the corner (August 13-15) so I figured I'd should go through my archives from last year and pull my favorites.

You can find the entire gallery HERE.

July 30, 2004

Still learning the ropes

Learning the ins-and-outs of the magazine publishing world is a challenging, and sometimes frustrating goal to achieve. Some aspects of it like image licensing costs and communication with the editors seems to be shrouded in secrecy. Some people expect you to give away your work, while others try to swindle you by saying they only pay what is on their standard rate sheet (which is usually way below the industry average). Speaking of "Industry Average", where did these numbers come from? Is anyone actually getting paid the prices per image that these industry average price sheets are showing? Maybe only the big magazines like Sports Illustrated, People and Time pay these seemingly high image usage fees. And what about getting in touch with the editors? Are they just so busy that it can take days or weeks, if ever, to get an e-mail response. When you do start hearing from them, many times it means they need the images yesterday. Again, maybe this is just how it works. Maybe there is so much to get done on a day-by-day basis to publish a magazine that everything is done, JIT (just in time). When it's time to fit in the images, they contact the photographers and say we need the images, NOW.

I'm sure I'll figure it out. The more I get my pictures published, the more I learn about the business. The biggest lesson I have learned is to NOT give away your work. At first I was easily swayed by the anxious feeling of wanting to see my work in a magazine and would give images away for free or accept an embarrassingly low payment. Not anymore, that strategy doesn't pay the bills and while there are many amateur photographers that will happily do it for free, I won't. My work speaks for itself and can stand against many successful photographers. I value it, and I expect others who want to use it, to do the same.

In the spirit of getting published, today I put up a new gallery of tear sheets that showcase some of my images that have been published so far this year.

July 28, 2004

The incredible diving dog

My dog Murphy, a 90lb Yellow Labrador, is a FREAK when it comes to water. Having a pool in our backyard allows him to swim for hours a day and provides plenty of exercise. We have been working with Murphy for sometime now teaching him how to go underwater to retrieve his toys and maybe the added possibility of saving someone's life. Up until this past weekend, Murphy has only been able to retrieve toys that were on the steps of the pool. He just wouldn't go underwater if his feet were not on the ground. That all changed this weekend when Murphy finally figured out how to dive underwater. He is now able to dive down about 6 feet under the water and retrieve his toys. Once he figured out how to do it, we could hardly stop him. His dive times and depth are now slowly increasing and we are confident he will be getting to the bottom of the deep end by the end of the summer.

For your viewing pleasure, here is Murphy during his first several attempts.

July 23, 2004

Underwater Fun

A couple days ago I took my camera into the pool inside my new SPL Waterhousing, here are a couple shots that I really liked.

#1 - Self Portrait

#2 - Murphy Portrait

July 21, 2004

Two new Powerkite feature articles

Here's my two latest tear sheets from a couple feature articles coming in the next issue of the popular UK magazine, Powerkite.

July 20, 2004

Nikon Updates D2H Firmware

The long wait is finally over. Today Nikon release the first firmware upgrade to the D2H since it's launch last October. The greatest improvements I see in the firmware is some new AF modes and better auto white balance. Many users in the forums complain about noise in the D2H but after over 40,000 frames with mine, I can tell you that these are people who don't know how to properly expose an image. Underexpose the image and YOU WILL get noise. I'm sure we will see a ton of new messages from people who are pissed off that Nikon didn't address the so-called noise issues. LEARN TO EXPOSE PROPERLY PEOPLE!

UPDATE: Rob Gailbraith has posted a review of the new D2H firmware which he has been running since it was in beta.
Issues addressed with firmware version 2.0

1. Autofocus performance has been improved.
2. Auto white balance performance has been improved.
3. A new option, EPS rate + AF, has been added to CSM MENU a1 AF-C mode priority.
4. Focus area display in Group dynamic-AF mode has been changed.
5. The label for CSM MENU a3 has been changed from Group dynamic AF to Pattern selection in Group Dynamic AF. The options available for this setting have also been changed.
6. A new custom setting has been added to the CSM MENU; a4 Disable Lock-On.
7. Numbering of some custom settings displayed in the CSM MENU has been changed.
8. The labels for some CSM MENU a8 Vertical AF-ON (previously custom setting a7) options have been changed.
9. A File name setting has been added to the SHOOTING MENU.  This setting allows the user to change the first three characters in image file names.
10. The camera now supports CompactFlash? memory cards with a capacity greater than 4GB.
11. Support for Exif version 2.21
12. The ICC profile will not be embedded in JPEG images.
13. Support for Exif version 2.21 means that a portion of file names for images captured with II (AdobeRGB) selected from the SHOOTING MENU1s Color mode setting has been changed.

e.g. Image file names recorded as 3DSC_0001.jpg2 with the old firmware are now recorded as 3_DSC0001.jpg2.
14. Image sensitivity has been added to general Exif tag information.  This makes it possible to verify image sensitivity with software such as PictureProject, Nikon View, Nikon Capture or other such applications from which shooting data can be displayed.

15. A problem which caused the frame rate with continuous shooting to decrease, even when sensitivity was not controlled automatically with ISO auto turned On from CSM MENU b1 ISO auto, has been corrected.

With the new firmware, frame rate with continuous shooting decreases only when sensitivity is controlled automatically.  However, even with a continuous shooting mode of Ch applied, images can be captured at a rate of approximately 7 frames per second.

16. The calculation method for image histogram display has been changed.
17. A portion of the electronic analog exposure display differs when exposure compensation is applied.
18. Some changes have been made to the method in which image display is enlarged with playback zoom.
19. The image playback zoom ratio has been increased. The image display can be enlarged up to 30 X (for large size images) or up to 23 X (for medium size images) with playback zoom. 
20. A limit has been set for the number of times the shutter can be continuously released when no memory card is inserted in the camera.  The limit is the same number as that selected for CSM MENU d2 C-Mode max. shots.

July 17, 2004

Back from The Gorge

I got home from Hood River, Oregon earlier this week after spending four days there shooting some amazing adventure sports. My main reason for the trip was to shoot the kiting events of The Gorge Games, but I did manage to find some time to shoot some downhill skateboarding, mountain biking and kayaking.

Let me say, The Gorge is amazing! It offers some of the best conditions in the country for numerous adventure sports, including year-round snowboarding. Hood River is a Mecca for windsurfers from around the globe and the home of the some of the best kiters in the world. I have never been to a place that offered so much to the outdoor adventure type person. With a small town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone, Hood River is paradise found. I would seriously consider moving to Hood River to pursue a career in Adventure Sports photography.

Speaking of photography, that's what I did for four days straight. 3000 frames later I managed to get some of the best kiting pictures I have ever taken and a handful of killer portfolio quality images from other sports such as mountain biking and kayaking. I even managed to get into the water with my new SPL Waterhousing and get some great fisheye pictures of Gabe Shortman doing this thing above my head. The lighting wasn't that great doing the water session, but overall it was a success.

The moment you have all been waiting for. You can find the complete galleries (and I keep adding more) at my main sports page, SportsShutter.com. Here are a select few.

I highly recommend that you surf on over to my online sports gallery and view these images at a larger size. Please let me know what you think.

July 04, 2004

My camera is coming home

Nearly a month has gone by without me taking a single picture with my beloved Nikon D2H. The camera body, several lenses and my flash were all sent to SPL Waterhousings in San Diego to have a custom waterhousing built. The good news is that I just received word that everything will be shipped back to me on Tuesday with the completed housing. I am so excited to finally get a chance to see the housing and to get out into the water with it. There has been no surf lately but this coming weekend I will be going to Oregon to cover the Gorge Games. I'll be there for the first three days of the events shooting kitesurfing, windsurfing and hopefully some street luge. I have a contact in Hood River that says we should be able to wade out into the water and shoot some close-ups of the kitesurfers. If this is possible, it will be a great opportunity to give the waterhousing a try.

Stay tuned...

July 03, 2004

The Gorge Games

July 10th marks the start of the 2004 Gorge Games. Top athletes from all around the world will converge on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, to compete in sports such as Kayaking, Kiteboarding, Mountain Biking, Skateboarding, Street Luge and Windsurfing. I managed to quickly put together a weekend itinerary that will allow me to spend three full days shooting the Kiting, Windsurfing and Skating events. The actual games go on for eight days, but I'll only be there for the first three days. Let's hope there is wind while I'm there or the events will be pushed to later days. Stay tuned for some killer pictures.