Today at 4pm CST (16:00 hrs) the whistle was blown and the game started. Houston Dynamo played host to D.C. United for their first home game of the season. The road to this point has been one of wins, ties, and losses all played on the road away from their beloved fans. What was so special about today then…
It was the season opener for the Dynamo’s new very own stadium. A place the Dynamo can call home and make a firm true footprint in the Houston sports community. Winning the MLS Cup in their first two season in Houston and making it to the MLS Cup finals last season shows that the Dynamo have the skill and ability to win. Houston sport fans are some of the loudest, and toughest supporters of their teams. They will truly let the teams know when they are happy and not. Today however, was nothing but excitement.
The first half of the match was dominated by Union controlling the ball and pushing the defensive back four of the Dynamo hard. It wasn’t till the 2nd half tho that the table turned and Dynamo’s own Brad Davis delivered a beautiful ball ending up in the back of the net. This loan goal wound up being the winning goal of the match giving the Dynamo a 1:0 victory over D.C. Union.
The next home game will be this Tuesday, May 15th as the Dynamo host Portland Timbers. Come out and show your support and Dynamo spirit.
For the full collection of images from this exciting match please CLICK HERE
This past Saturday (Irish Day) was the B-geO Magnolia Miles Bike Ride. This ride is one of many around the greater Houston area that are to get riders ready for the upcoming BP MS150 bike ride that goes form Houston, TX to Austin, TX to raise money for MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Below are a few images from the ride that I thought I would share. To see the full collection you can click here. Enjoy
So, wasn’t really sure what to put as the title for this post that might have been catchy and entertaining so we just have this. Today after I got off work I ventured to a spot I found jogging with some blooming bluebonnets (Texas state flower) and took a few snaps. The rains this year in southeast Texas have been good to us in terms of wild flowers. I am hoping that this will be a much better year than last year. Time will tell so until then I will capture what I can. Enjoy.
Have you ever just laid down at night looking up at the sky wondering what it would be like to step foot on the moon? When you first got your camera did you run outside at night and try to capture the moon or stars? I know that I have and still to both quite often actually. Astrophotography is probably one of the most challenging (in my opinion) and yet rewarding styles of photography there is. Don’t get me wrong, wildlife, sports, macro, and all others have their challenges but where I live it’s hard to find a night sky that isn’t polluted with city lights. Luckily when it comes to the moon city lights don’t play as big of a hinderance as they do with starts.
So what do you have to know to take a picture of the moon. If you run out with your camera set to auto, point it at the moon and focus on it then shoot your image will probably be a solid white circle. Why is this? Well what you have to realize is that the moon, altho not giving off light directly, is being light up by the sun. The human eye accounts for this and adjusts and this is why we can see features of the moon from out eyes, so we need to make these same adjustments in the camera. For me, I find that shooting at F/8 gives the best resolution. Also, cool clear night (especially ones after a rain) are great as the atmospheric pollution is lower. ISO will depend on if you have a tripod or are trying to handhold the shot. For the image below I had my ISO set at 1000 this allowed me to get a decently quick shutter speed to help with vibrations on the longer lens even supported on the tripod (wind was the reason for the vibrations). My shutter speed was set to 1/400th of a second. Something to keep in mind is that if you are hand holding the camera ideally you want a shutter speed to be 3times the focal length. So that means shooting a 600mm lens I would want a shutter speed of 1/1800th sec or faster to prevent shaky images. Glass with an image stabilizer helps with this but it’s still good to have as high a shutter speed as you can within reason. So what did my image come out like… well… like this…
Now, go out and give it a try! go shoot the moon and see what kind of results you can get. Don’t worry about the histogram in this since, it will tell you that your image is badly underexposed when in fact it might not be. You can also add gels to the end of your glass or edit it in post to change the color of the moon. Also observe the moon at different hours of the day, look at it when it’s out during daylight, or moon rise, or moon set. Look at it after a rain or during the summer when the atmosphere is full of smoke of other areas burning things. Now go out and see the moon up close.
Brazos Bend State Park also known as the Bend to many local Houston wildlife enthusiasts is a great place for those interested in bird watching within a reasonable distance from our concrete jungle. It is also a great excuse to bust out your long glass and see what is hidden in the trees. Yesterday, I had took the opportunity to relax with my camera down at the bend and was rewarded with some great images. Many local photography clubs frequent the bend during different times of the year depending on the bird activity. Yesterday was probably one of the lowest days of activity I saw around 40 acer lake, but nun the less it was still a good day. Below are just a few of the shots I was able to get including my very first Woodpecker. Enjoy.
For full gallery please visit my collection at my gallery website.
Well… for those of you like me who live in the south I think we can finally say that Winter has poked her head through the clouds and blessed us with beautiful northern air. Here in Southeast Texas we are enjoying beautiful chilly nights with wonderful clear sky’s and chilly weather. There is a plus to all this cold tho, and that is it’s the best time for Macro Photography!
Macro Photography is a style of photography that requires patients and a good eye for little crawly dudes. Macro photography can be done with any lens that has a macro setting but a dedicated macro lens is usually better as if allows a closer focusing range and also most are over 100mm in focal range. Personally I own the Canon EOS 100mm f/2.8L IS USM and find it to be razor sharp and the IS gives me at least 2-3 stops of image stabilization. I would recommend anything in the 100mm+ range for a macro lens as it lets you stay far enough away from the subject but still let you get close in and fill the frame even on a full frame camera. But what does this all have to do with being cold, being a good thing?
Well the reason it’s great to do macro photography when it’s cold is b/c bugs and other little crawly things don’t move very well in the cold. What does this mean for photographers, well… it means that you have a little more time to compose your shot, and also you don’t have to worry as much about the bug fleeing from the image before you can snap the shot.
So, strap on your jacks and gloves, grab your camera, find a lens that will work (any lens will work really), and get out there and find those little creepy crawlers and see how photogenic they are.
Last Sunday, 23 October 2011 the Houston Dynamo hosted the LA Galaxies here at Robertson Stadium. Filled with the fire of wanting to solidify a playoff spot the Dynamo came out on top 3:1 with what was probably one of the best performances this season. With goals from Adam Moffat, Bobby Boswell, and Carlo Costly they Dynamo held off the # 1 MLS team with only conceding one goal to the Galaxies.
With this grand victory the Dynamo will be playing Philadelphia Union this Sunday @ Union and next Thursday, 3 November 2011 here in Houston at Robertson Stadium. Victory here will move the Dynamo one more step closer to the MLS cup a vision long sought after since their last MLS Championship win in 2007.
This past week on Tuesday evening I ventured into town for what I thought was gonna be a same ole same ole type of digital media workshop. To my surprise however, I probably learned more and got new/ better ideas than I ever thought I would. I attended the Get In Motion Tour hosted by Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow here in Houston, TX.
I’ve attended other workshops and also watched many different training videos for the digital arts but have to say this was by far one of the most enjoyable and beneficial events I have been to. Jeff and Ross take the world of Filmography (hollywood style shooting of video) and apply it to the new developing world of HDSLR shooting. They pointed out the difference in camcording (a term they use) and actually shooting video for a client that has meaning and a story behind it. They use real life examples of footage they have produced for clients showing both what was good and where they should have done better. Both gentlemen are very helpful if you have questions and show a passion for this industry and want to pass on their knowledge for others to be successful.
For anyone interested in getting into the world of digital video recording using your DSLR camera I would highly recommend attending their class or purchasing their event DVD (DVD to be released later this year). They were also involved with the shooting of How to Photoshop Everyone and will be releasing later this year the How-To dvd for that production showing their method of shooting and much of the gear they used.
I am not affiliated with them or their sponsors, but I do feel that the way they introduce the information and the style they are shooting is the next level of HDSLR footage that is going to continue to move this industry in to better things.
So this past weekend (Sunday) a friend of mine and her visiting cousin took a trip to Brazos Bend State Park. The park is located off FM 762 about 30 min south of Sugar Land or an hour south of Cypress (where I hold up). So we took off early about 6am as to get there when the park opened at 7am and to try and beat some of the heat (ya didn’t happen there). This park is a great place to visit to take pictures of birds and alligators, however, I strongly believe that the activity this late in the summer is lacking compared to the spring migration time (March/ April). There was still some birds on the water to photograph and I have included a few examples below but overall it was a lacking day.
So, if you wanna photograph birds and are in the Houston area, Brazos Bend State Park is a great place to start. The best times are when the park first opens (or before if you have a pass and on the early guest list) or about an hour or so before sunset. These seem the best times and when birds are most active. If you are into macro and like taking pictures of the little crawlers, there are great fields to wade through. Bugs seem to be best to photograph in the morning or on cool days as they don’t move as quick.
So go check it out and be sure to bring your camera. It’s a great place to go to get out of the city and easily a day or 1/2 day or even less of a trip from Houston.
You can find my full collection of Brazos Bend State Park photos on my site or by clicking HERE. You can also order unmarked prints if interested through my site as well. Enjoy cheers.
This was shared to me by another photographer and thought I would post it here as well. This photographer takes pictures not on a flat 2D piece of paper but on 3 dimensional objects. After applying liquid light he uses a special pinhole camera to expose the surface of the object. This just shows that the world of photography is limitless and that the imagination is a key driving force to the next step. Enjoy.
The Tenba Messenger Large Photo & Laptop Bag is a great medium to large sized messenger style shoulder bag. At first look it doesn’t look like a camera bag which is a MAJOR plus because you are not walking around with a bag that says “look at me I have thousands in expensive camera gear on me”! I will say that when it comes to a camera bag I am very picky on the feel, look, size, and protection it offers. This Tenba Messenger camera bag is just that; large enough for several lenses, a body or two, and needed accessories. It is by far my favorite!
I bought this camera bag in late 2009 and it has been my one and only every day camera bag of choice since. I have never owned a backpack style bag personally because I never enjoyed how bulky they look and are. Also on a trip to Taiwan with a professor the TSA officer asked my professor (who had a lowepro backpack on) what type of camera system he shot. However, as I walked through the detectors they had no clue that the bag entering the x-ray machine was a camera/ laptop bag. At that moment I knew not only did I have a great bag but I had one that does not look like a camera bag.
- Removable photo insert provides padded storage for a SLR body with two or three lenses and a flash.
- Bottom reinforced with rubberized, moisture and abrasion-resistant panel.
- Thickly padded, contoured shoulder strap and hand grip for all-day carrying comfort.
- Dual Duraflex® flap clips provide security, while large Velcro® patches allow for quick ins-and-outs.
- 3M Scotchlite™ reflective trim on front flap for nighttime visibility.
- Optional laser-engravable version can be customized with name, logo or other personal identification.
- Width: 17 inches
- Height: 12 inches
- Depth: 5-8 inches
- Width: 17.5 inches
- Height: 12.5 inches
- Depth: 5.5-8.5 inches
- Weight: 3 lbs
Laptop Compartment Dimensions
- Width: 16.5 inches
- Height: 11.5 inches
- Depth: 1.5-2 inches
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Fits most laptops up to 17-inches
- 638-251 Messenger Removable Photo Insert
First off I must say that this bag is VERY well made and I have been impressed with its ability to stay together under all I have put it through. This included traveling to Asia, around the US, and even being hit by a car on a bicycle (yes I had this bag on me and was hit by a car running a red light and the only damage was a small screen crack on my laptop). As I mentioned earlier I knew I didn’t want a backpack since they are large and bulky and many scream CAMERA. Don’t get me wrong, backpacks are great but for what I was looking for; quick gear access and a bag that looks nothing like a camera bag, this messenger bag works much better. Another major fact to me wanting a shoulder bag is that when I travel, I travel with a hiking backpack which contains all of my change of clothes for the trip and this shoulder bag carrying my gear. That’s it. Both bags are carryon and there’s no need for me to check in any luggage. This helps me save money and headaches by not having to lug suitcases around on subways, buses, trains and planes.
I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling since my big trip to Taiwan but I have taken this bag out on 2 survey boats and it has held up greatly. Both surveys were in the Gulf and lasted for a min of two weeks and this bag allowed me to take everything I needed/ wanted with out fear of damage to my gear. And as states before, no one ever thought I had a camera until they saw me with it on deck. Fully loaded this bag still fit under the seat on the airplane allowing my backpack to fit in the overhead container.
In regards to capacity, this little bag sure can hold a lot of gear. For a typical trip I usually pack the following:
- Canon 5d MKII (No Grip)
- Canon 24-105 f4L (Hood Reversed)
- Canon 70-200 f2.8IIL (Hood Reversed)
- Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 (Hood Detached)
- Canon 15 f2.8 Fisheye
- Canon EF 1.4x teleconverter
- Canon 430 EX II flash
- 6 CF Cards
- 2 Spare Canon LP-6 Batteries
- Benro Tripod (Attached to Bottom via bungees)
If I wanna travel a little lighter for the day I’ll leave the teleconverter and 17-35mm at home or in the hotel. Then I walk around with a smaller rig which can make the long 10-12 mile photowalks a bit more bearable.
This bag has 2 main ways of accessing your gear. You can unbuckle the two buckles as seen and then pull up on the flap that is help in place by Velcro but this is can cumbersome and loud depending on your location. However, there is a second method to accessing your gear. If you look below you can see that above the two zipper pockets there is a long (bag length) zipper sticking out. This zipper actually opens up to the main compartment allowing you access to all your gear quickly and quietly. I find that in an urban environment this works great b/c you can pull your camera out, get the show you want, and then put the camera away quickly and smoothly without drawing attention to yourself. This is much better than a backpack that you would have to take off, put on the ground or bench, unzip (exposing most of its contents), and then putting the camera away. This also allows for quicker lens changing so that you don’t miss that great shot. It is truly awesome! =)
Tenba offers a wide range of colors for this bag that would fit anyone’s pallet. At the time I bought my bag I originally wanted the Green bag but it was sold out everywhere and I was impatient to order it online. So I found a brown one at Camer Co-Op here in Houston and got that one. Not my first color of choice but now its as much apart of me that I can’t imagine having a different colored bag. This bag and I have been through so much! Rain, Snow, Heat, hit by car, and BEER!
I LOVE THIS BAG AND IT IS AMAZING. Not much else is really needed to be explain that this has been by far one of my most favorite camera bags I have ever owned. It’s not too small and it’s not too big. It’s just the right size for the camera setup I use. I honestly don’t think I could step down to a smaller Tenba messenger or up to a bigger bag. It’s just great in every aspect and suites me very well in my shooting and travel style.
If you like to travel light and have easy, quick access to your gear then this bag is definitely a great option for you. You will not regret it.
Where To Buy:
Find the lowest price on this item in the Pixtus Amazon Store located here:
Right now B&H Photo Video is offering $100.00USD off (instant rebate) on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 until August 20th 2011. This is an awesome program for processing and organizing your images.
I moved from using Adobe Bridge as my first step processor in post work until I discovered the new and very much improved Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. From importing to making adjustments to your images, Lightroom has a lot of settings to use to help hasten your workflow.
You can find the discount HERE . Enjoy.
For those that don’t know creativeLIVE hosts workshops via web broadcast from their Seattle stupid on all different types of digital media topics. The workshops are free to view life via their webcast through their website creativeLIVE.com. I personally have found many of their workshops to be very educational and helpful in different aspects of the digital arts. Just earlier this month they had the Director of Photography for the FOX hit House M.D. on to talk about and teach how they have been using the Canon 5D Mark II to shoot the show. For me it opened my eyes and mind to an area I had no knowledge about before and now know many of the basics to produce simple clips. Even if you miss the workshop they allow you to purchase them for a very reasonable price ($50-100 usually). A great price in my opinion for the detail and information you get.
What sparked this post is that upcoming in September (20th – 23rd) Lesa Snider will be doing a 4 day Adobe CS5 workshop. This is a great opportunity for those that don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of this program or those that do and just wanna learn more.
Just so everyone knows I do not represent, work for, speak for, gain benefits from, or am affiliated with in any way, creativeLIVE. I am just passing on a great site that I feel can teach a lot of useful information for a great price (FREE).
As a photographer we always find ourselves behind the viewfinder and never really in front of the lens. One of the hardest things for a photographer (at least in my case) is to take or even accept a picture of ourselves being taken. This leads to some interesting things.
We have loads of photographs of other people from all over the world or where ever we have been. Thousands upon thousands of files that have nothing to due with the person take the photo. There’s why it’s always fun to stand back and take a photo of a photographer working, trying to capture that moment and freeze it in time. When out and about photographers can be seen doing all kinds of crazy things just trying and looking for that perfect spot to capture the beauty of the world around them.
A while ago (couple months) I went out to the Bolivar Flats with another photographer to shoot the birds along the coast line. Little did I know that wail crawling along the ground trying to sneak up on some birds to photographer I was actually the subject of a photograph. I always do enjoy these as you really get a since in what a photographer will really do just to get that one image. I know I have done some crazy things.
Although the job is something different and I am sure has some really slow and boring times (like having to clean filters) it’s the times like this that make it all that much more enjoyable. The gents at LensRentals.com though about playing a game and figured the best game would be Chess. So like all great photographers, the battle between Nikon and Canon took off.
For those wondering, Canon won!
Find the full blog HERE