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Musings

February 18, 2013

Self-portrait Monday

That’s right. Time to start a new trend. Self-portrait Monday or SPM for short. We’ll see how long this actually lasts (me being notorious for not sticking with

What was I saying? Right, so Reese’s Peanut Butter cups are hands-down the best candy ever.Read More

February 9, 2013

Nikon D600 Sensor Dust Spots

Well, I had hoped that I would be one of the lucky ones that didn’t end up with a D600 that has the “dreaded” sensor dust spot issue (I even waited a few months to see if Nikon would address it with another batch of cameras). Alas, I started to notice an accumulation of spots after around 1,200 exposures.

For those unfamiliar with the dust/dirt issue (and if you own a D600 I find it hard to believe you couldn’t be familiar with it), from everything I’ve read it has to do with a gap between the sensor and the shutter curtain that allows dust to gather on the sensor. Oddly enough though, I’ve also read that the issue dissipates after around 3,000 shutter clicks. Strange indeed, but good to know!Read More

February 6, 2013

Art Exhibition at Glassy Alley

Come check out some of my photos at the Glassy Alley Art Studio & Gallery on March 1st. I’ll be showing some canvas and metal prints with a travel and adventure theme (okay, mostly travel with a hint of adventure).

This marks my first (and hopefully not last) time participating in the First Friday Art Trail, so I’m pretty excited. Some might say I’m even going a little overboard with the preparations…Read More

February 5, 2013

The Harbinger movie has a screenwriter… and it’s not me

Shocking, I know. Dark Horizons reported yesterday that the screenwriter of the acclaimed Texas Chainsaw 3D will be penning the script for the upcoming Hollywood adaptation of Valiant Comic‘s Harbinger title. Harbinger was a comic series back in the early ’90s about teens coping with new found abilities. I absolutely loved the original comic (they’ve recently resurrected it, though I have yet to check out this new incarnation), though with shows like Heroes and last year’s movie Chronicle, it seemed like the topic had pretty much been covered. But superhero movies in general are still big money-makers, and Harbinger still has a lot to offer, so I guess it’s not too surprising.Read More

January 31, 2013

Photo exhibit at the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra

If you’re going to be in the area tomorrow evening for the First Friday Art Trail, stop by the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra for the Lubbock Camera Club’s Love exhibit.

Featuring wine, music, and one of my photos! For more info on First Friday Art Trail, venues, and exhibitions, click here.Read More

January 28, 2013

Inside the fuselage of a WWII glider

Here’s a shot from inside the fuselage of the CG-4A glider, the star attraction of the Silent Wings Museum. While it looks large enough, it’s hard to believe that 15 armed soldiers were crammed into such a tight space (not to mention the pilots!). And this was pretty much all the room they had since the entire tail section of the plane was fabricated of structural supports. I added a photo of the inside of the tail below, as well.Read More

January 27, 2013

It is a small world after all

Macro photography has been an area of photography that I’ve always wanted to explore, but never really had the equipment (or patience) for. Luckily, things change. I happened upon a pretty decent little macro setup on eBay, and though it didn’t arrive in perfect condition (pretty much every element was damaged in some way), I’ve got it up and running. I’ll make time to write up a full review once I get everything in tip top shape (and have had time to figure out how to use it all).Read More

January 24, 2013

Flying on silent wings

Have you ever asked yourself, “What did the military use before they had helicopters?” Me neither. After some initial research, I discovered that helicopters haven’t always existed. (I know!) You’re probably now wondering how the pyramids were really built, but rest assured it wasn’t with the aid of helicopters.

All kidding aside, I’ve never really taken the time to wonder about it. So it came as quite a surprise to hear that the military actually used gliders back in WWII as stealth infiltrators, towing them behind regular planes (like the one below) and then cutting them loose behind enemy lines.Read More

January 19, 2013

One way out – Replacing my DX ultra-wide

It was a sad day when I parted with my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, which had become one of my favorite lenses over the last few years. Purchased originally for a European trip, I figured I would have to have a wide angle to capture all the spectacular architecture I’d be seeing. After some research (taking into consideration the fact that I’m relatively cheap when it comes to glass), I opted for the ultra-wide angle Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX Digital Zoom Lens. It’s a become a bit cheaper now since Tokina released an updated version (to be honest, though, I can’t tell what they’ve changed with it to justify the $200 price increase).Read More

January 9, 2013

Twilight Over the Camel’s Back

I had a lot of fun shooting in and around the JW Marriott Camelback Inn while I was in Scottsdale awhile back. I got this shot after a pretty long day of shooting.

The sun had set while I was climbing down Mummy Mountain, so I headed back to the resort for some dinner. I ended up having the steak skewers and guacamole (along with a couple G&Ts) at the hotel bar at the suggestion of the bartender. And kudos to him, because all of it was top notch.Read More

January 1, 2013

Zeikos Battery Grip for Nikon D600 Review

My battery grip just arrived for the new Nikon D600 (my initial review of it can be found here) and I feel like I can breathe again! The added battery power and vertical grip are something I have grown quite accustomed to with the MB-D80 battery grip for the Nikon D90. For my D90s, I opted for the genuine Nikon grip, though there were quite a few available at highly discounted prices on eBay due to the age of that particular model. The same cannot be said just yet for the MB-D14, the Nikon grip for the D600. They are new and they are pricey.Read More

December 23, 2012

The unboxing! Nikon D600 review…

So here it is at last, the unboxing and early review of Nikon’s newest model and most affordable full frame camera, the D600. Serving as a bridge between the pro shooter and “pro-sumer,” the D600 includes many of the features from the more expensive D800 all packed into the body of a D7000.Read More

December 2, 2012

“Shine on, winter sun” receives top honors at BMA Lantern Awards

It was a great night, indeed, as the Business Marketing Association of Houston celebrated their 25th Annual Lantern Awards on Thursday, November 29. Brian C. Parks and Mike Killalea, representing the International Association of Drilling Contractors and Drilling Contractor magazine, picked up a Lantern Award for Best Original Photography on Thursday night, the BMA’s top honor. The IADC was previously honored with a Lantern Award in 2007 for Best Magazine and has also taken home numerous Awards of Excellence for editorial and design in the years between.Read More

November 14, 2012

Camelback at Dusk

First off, let me say that I am not a hiker. That being said, I will occasionally break out the sneakers and walk a trail or two. Luckily, I had some free time during my recent trip to Scottsdale to do just that. Scaling Mummy Mountain gave me a great view of the JW Marriott Camelback Inn and Camelback Mountain.

I hung out for awhile to catch what little I could of the sunset from my vantage point. Having missed quite a spectacular Arizona sunset the night before, I was determined to shoot one before I left. Unfortunately, the sunset this evening held only a fraction of the extravagance from the night before. But we do what we can, so I set up the tripod and started shooting away.Read More

October 30, 2012

Remember the Alamo?

Every time I visit San Antonio and have the opportunity to, I always make a point to visit the Alamo. Aside from the remains of the structure itself, I’ve always been fascinated by the monument across from the it (the Alamo Cenotaph, as it’s known). According to the San Antonio Ghost Tours, it’s one of the only monuments in the nation that features a spirit or ghost (and prominently, at that). The front of the monument features what appears to be a ghostly figure rising from the fire (the “Spirit of Sacrifice”).

On the other side is a sculpture of a woman (who I misinterpreted to be an angel) who is supposed to symbolize the state of Texas.Read More

October 1, 2012

DIY Makeshift Continuous Light Beauty Dish

This past Sunday it was DIY time again! Max McDonald from mondayshift dropped by and we made a Lowes Depot run (for those times when hitting one store just isn’t enough) for supplies and ideas. Ever since creating the DIY ring flash a few weeks ago, Max has been toying with tweaking the production. He’s still letting that idea ferment, though we made some definite progress on the idea over the weekend. I had something a bit simpler in mind, though, a continuous light makeshift beauty dish.Read More

September 26, 2012

Wednesdays, Take It Or Leave It?

Wednesday has always held a special place in my heart as the one day out of the week that I can never decide if I like or hate. Monday is easy. Monday blows. Tuesday is just kinda there (same with Thursday where your energy starts to wane in direct correlation with your growing excitement about the impending weekend). Friday goes without saying.

So Wednesday is where it really comes down to the whole glass-half-full vs glass-half-empty debate. And that really depends a lot on how my week is going, what’s in the cards for the weekend, what I had for breakfast, etc., etc.Read More

September 25, 2012

More Ring Flash Goodness

By popular demand (read: one or two requests), here are a few more shots using our DIY ring flash set up from last weekend. A lot more tweaking remains to be done to the rig itself, as well as to how we’re using it, but it’s a pretty cool toy to play around with.Read More