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Musings

December 31, 2013

A look back at 2013

So now is the time to reflect back (or at least that’s what Facebook is telling me). Rather than offer up a complete retrospective on all the events and work from the last year, I thought I’d simply offer up a few choice bits instead. Included here are a few of my favorite shots from the year, some random snapshots, behind-the-scenes pics, and more. More happened this year than I can sum up in a single post, so I figured it’d be easier to let the photos speak for themselves and for the year.Read More

December 4, 2013

To have and to behold

For our first year anniversary, my wife took me out for a picnic and to take photos at the Spirit Ranch here in Lubbock. Though it’s located mere minutes outside of town, the entire area is lined with enormous trees and really feels much more secluded and serene than you would think possible.Read More

November 27, 2013

Brought forth by the thaw

Somewhere between falling asleep and waking up, idea nuggets were dropped into my brain. There are a lot of things going on in and around my life right now, most notably a baby on the way, and a couple friends and family members battling various health problems. These events have seeped into my brain, into my being, and are feeding the ever-growing pressure on myself to create more than just photographs with my photography. Digital art is my medium, my outlet, and I want it–need it–to say something that I can’t begin to express with words (be they spoken or typed).Read More

October 9, 2013

Photography as art

Lately, I’ve been pondering my photography and what I want out of photography as art. This is prompted mostly by the ever-expanding Lightroom catalog (it’s just eating away all of my hard drive space). I find myself wasting precious time constantly going back through them, pruning out photos I don’t think are worthy of editing.  The more I run into this issue, the more I realize I’m keeping all these photos and I don’t really know why. They’re not particularly outstanding. They have some merit, obviously, or I wouldn’t be keeping them, but they’re not great. So obviously that begs the question (many questions, really): why do I have all these pictures? Why am I keeping them? And why am I taking them in the first place?Read More

September 13, 2013

Calvin & Hobbes Nursery Painting

First thing’s first: I know you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, yeah, another Calvin & Hobbes nursery painting,” but I really wanted to try my hand at it. It took four days of blood, sweat, and paint, but my contribution to the nursery is done. Being my favorite comic of all time, it was an easy decision to put Calvin & Hobbes all over the wall. But concessions had to be made, seeing as the gender was yet to be determined.

The compromise? Hobbes, but no Calvin.

Now, first thing’s first: I am no painter. Or at least, I didn’t expect to be. I’ve never painted anything like this before (i.e., anything on a wall that wasn’t a solid color), so I was a little intimidated. I was limited to about a third of the wall, which turned out to be a good thing (it probably would’ve taken me three times as long to do a whole wall). I chose the panel with Hobbes sleeping on a tree branch, as it afforded us the most flexibility with out furniture placement.

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August 8, 2013

Lord Bodner’s Octopus Triptych

UPDATE: I’ve had a few requests for the vector file I used to create my print, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. So unlike me… Anyway, I’ve taken a few minutes to recreate the file and have it linked below in a few different formats. The AI file is layered and contains the original drawing on a hidden layer, my traced results, and the eyes in case you want to do a different trace in Illustrator. You’ll notice that the original drawing by Bodner (presumably) does not have the eyes featured on a lot of the printed pieces for sale out on the web. It’s also actually a scuttlefish, so it has two little horn things above its eyes that I removed. Also supplied EPS and PDF files for download. I’d love to see what other people do with these! Enjoy!

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August 6, 2013

New SmugMug site unveiled!

Hooray, SmugMug finally updated their website with some spectacular new layouts on the front end and much more easily navigable back end.

I joined SmugMug a little over a year ago (right before they upped their annual fees!) in order to set up an online store for my prints. For someone like me (i.e., a lazy person who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of taking and filling orders), it was a godsend. SmugMug displays your photos, takes your orders, prints your pieces, and ships it all in the end. Perfect! Sure, they end up taking a pretty hefty percentage, but for now I feel like it’s worth it.Read More

July 3, 2013

Tribute to Richard Matheson

I became aware of Richard Matheson’s work as a child, mainly through my dad’s love of The Incredible Shrinking Man and the Twilight Zone. It wasn’t until much later, probably high school, that I actually read any of his books. I started off easy with a few of his more popular works (specifically the ones I that already had big screen adaptations) What Dreams May Come, A Stir of EchoesSomewhere in Time/Bid Time Return, and I Am Legend (which, despite trying and failing three times, Hollywood just can’t get right).Read More

June 3, 2013

Queen Mary panoramic gets Explored on Flickr

The Queen Mary panoramic gets Explored on Flickr!!! Woohoo! (if you have no idea what that means, read on…)

I learned a lot yesterday. If you think that the Explore page is just a completely random assortment of photos posted throughout the day on Flickr, you are just as uninformed as yesterday me.Read More

May 3, 2013

When you and I were young

First of all, happy early birthday, Red. Sorry I can’t be there (*sad face*).

That being said, I’ve got a special present for you! It started a few months ago when I got the itch to play some guitar (which, though a rare occurrence, is still something I can’t ignore). I started off re-learning songs I used to know long ago, but somewhere along the way I thought it’d be a cool idea to record a song with your name in the title. This turned out to be a loftier mission than expected (seems there aren’t many to choose from aside from Rod Stewart’s song and a few others).Read More

April 26, 2013

Clamshell portrait

I recently read in a magazine about a lighting setup called the “clamshell” where the subject is lit from the front by two softboxes (one larger one up high and a smaller one set lower to half power) and a reflector right above the subject.

Seemed simple enough. I didn’t have any softboxes, but eh, I improvised. Lending out some of my lightstands and gear to a friend for a shoot, I was pretty limited, but still had one lightstand with an umbrella, a Lumiquest 80/20, small tri-grip reflector, and two speedlights. Yeah, that should work…Read More

April 17, 2013

Lightroom tethering for the D600! (finally… and sorta)

Okay, so there’s still no native tethering in Lightroom for the Nikon D600 as of version 4.4, but I’m frankly sick of waiting. I’m guessing they either forgot or just don’t care (with a beta release of LR5 just hitting the interweb, it’s easy to understand the lack of focus).

After doing some angry googling, I stumbled across this thread in the Adobe Community forums and found a great suggestion by Butch_M (who also suggests we will never see native tethering in LR4 since it’s allegedly a standard feature in LR5). Thanks mate!Read More

April 6, 2013

Focus stacking tutorial

I recently picked up a true 1:1 macro lens, the Lester A. Dine 105mm 2.8, and have been experimenting with it endlessly. One thing I discovered about macro photography is that the depth of field is exceptionally shallow, even at the largest (smallest) aperture. This is exacerbated if you’re using extension tubes to get larger than 1:1 reproduction.Read More

April 2, 2013

This is the world that I know

This is how I view the world. Not to say that every sunset is an explosion of red and gold, but that there is beauty all around us that we take for granted way too often. We find ourselves mired in the petty minutiae of our daily lives. Deadlines, office politics, relationship woes, familial disputes. All of it gnaws away at our personal sense of innocence and wonder and leaves behind something lessened and jaded. Or at least that’s the way I feel from time to time.Read More

March 30, 2013

Good morning Columbus

Yeah, I guess that’s technically where I was. Last weekend was camping with the boys out near Fayettville and Columbus, TX. A friend of a friend of a brother’s fiance’s uncle’s brother’s family owns some land out there, so we packed up (or other people did) and we headed out for a raucous weekend full of shooting, grilling, bonding, and (unfortunately) getting Loko’d.Read More

March 21, 2013

Butterflies Alive!

I recently had the pleasure of checking out the Butterflies Alive! exhibit at the Lubbock Science Spectrum and, while I can’t say I was blown away with the presentation, it was certainly a lot of fun.Read More

March 8, 2013

Behind the scenes – Mirror in the bathroom

I was very surprised at the amount of attention and praise my last work, the mirror in the bathroom, received. For something so strange and experimental, I was flabbergasted by how many people seemed to like it.

That being said, a few people were wanting to know how I put it all together. While I’m wishing that I had taken more photos of the setup itself, this will have to do!Read More

March 7, 2013

The mirror in the bathroom

Welcome to my nightmare. The mirror in the bathroom. But is it only that?

You might find yourself asking, do your nightmares always involve you wearing your wife’s pajamas? Typically no. But I have had recurring nightmares about strange clones and odd happenings since I was a child (which, I’m glad to say, happen with much less frequency now that I’m older). I would often dream that there were weird, invasion-of-the-bodysnatcher duplicates of my family following me around the house with lights for eyes (probably lifted from the “deadlights” description in Stephen King’s It). They were mainly chase dreams, never really reaching any kind of culmination (and thank god for that!), but they stuck with me.Read More

March 5, 2013

Science Spectrum Butterflies Alive Exhibit

Two of my photos have been selected for use in the Lubbock Science Spectrum’s new exhibit, Butterflies Alive!

Being from Houston, you start to take things like butterflies for granted. There’s really never a shortage of them throughout the year if you know where to look (and if you’re just lazy, there’s always the Cockrell Butterfly Center or Moody Gardens in Galveston). But up here in Lubbock where things of a brightly colored nature are very much seasonal occurrences, seeing a gaggle of butterflies (is that right? A gaggle?) is hard to come by.Read More