Thursday, November 19, 2009

DFL Colts Championship Football Team

On October 25th, 2009, the Dublin Football League, Colts, won the Fifth Grade Championship. It was a convincing win by a very talented and disciplined football team. Here's a sample of the full video that is available to the players and families @ Enjoy the show!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is it??? – Fun photo ideas


JLK_9606   Are there times when you have trouble coming up with creative ideas for your photos?  Are you getting bored with taking the same landscapes or stills?  If so, check out this shot.    What do you think it is?   Perhaps a field of neon dandelions?    Maybe it’s the Northern Lights.   I guess it could just be an accidental shutter release (yeah we’ve all done that).


Now let’s rotate the picture by 90 degrees CW.    Does it look more familiar now?   Well if you guessed that it’s the dashboard on a car, you’re right.   But wait, it’s not in focus so it’s not a very good shot.   Well, that’s the fun.   Try using timed JLK_9606exposures in low light situations and see what you come up with.    This picture was shot with a 10 second shutter speed @ F8.     Slow enough to capture the low light of the dash while not fast enough to freeze the image.  

The following series of shots were taken in a moving vehicle while traveling down a local freeway.   As you view the shots, take note of the different colors and curves as the road twists and turns and the camera vibrates from the bumps on the road.    Fun  stuff?   Give it a try, you just might like your results.   And don’t worry about whether the results are correct because it’s art, and there are no right or wrong shots.  But please don’t try this while driving.    I want you around to read my next post. 

So what do you think is it art, crap or just plain fun?   Often it’s a fine line between the two.   Let me know some of your fun photo ideas that get your creative juices going.

See you next time!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kuamoo + Oldaker Wedding


It’s early in the morning on the 6th of September and the sun is just beginning to peak over the clouds that blanket the Gulf. But over Houston, the skies are clearing in what is shaping up to be the perfect day for a very special event. On this day two young hearts will become one. Two families will be joined by the bond created when their JLK_8386children are joined in matrimony.

The day before the ceremony the celebration had already JLK_8389begun. The dogs were anticipating that something big was about to happen. Andy and his dad, Kevin, spent some quality time sipping some home brew while watching The Buckeyes/Navy football game.

In the mean time Lani’s family was flying in from Ohio to join the festivities. Okay, so they JLK_8365didn’t fly in on F-15s, but these fighters took off from Port Columbus Airport on their way to a fly-by engagement at the Buckeye football game.

Soon after Lani’s family JLK_8390arrived at the apartment, it was off to a Japanese Steak House for a wonderful pre-wedding dinner. The meal was hot, but come wedding day the bride JLK_8567_Lani&Andyand groom were hotter!!!

Today is no doubt a very special day for all, but for daddy, yes that’s me, I played the dual role as father of the bride and photographer. The dual role, although somewhat complicated at times, is gladly accepted since today I give my princess away to Andy’s loving care.

It’s a grand day full of family friends and even a duck or two.

So check out Lani and Andy’s photo album of their special day and give them some love as you view the festivities. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SIMPLE Photography Chapter 2 - Photographic Zen

In our last chapter we discussed the concept of thinking SIMPLE when approaching a photo opportunity. Your homework was to make the acronym SIMPLE part of your photographic mantra each time you take a photograph. Have you done that? Has it helped?

This week let’s take the SIMPLE concept a step further and discuss how two camera setting interrelate and potentially influence your SIMPLE photograph. To me, the interrelation of camera settings is a kind of Photographic Zen.

To begin this discussion let’s set some primary goals and make one key assumption:

Goal #1 – We want our photograph to have optimum uniform clarity

Goal #2 - We want our photograph to have average lighting and color quality (no extremes – high/low key, etc.)

Assumption – Your camera allows you to manually set aperture and shutter speed

Now, assuming that our lens is clean and we are able to get our subject in focus, there are two primary camera features that can help us attain our goals; they are:

Shutter speed – typically measured in some fraction of a second

Aperture (f-stop) – The size of the shutter opening.  The smaller the number the larger the opening.  

So how do these features provide picture clarity?

- Shutter speed can freeze the actions of a moving subject

Dogs on Run 4x6 Low Res

This picture was shot at a shutter speed of 1/500s which freezes the motion of  the running dogs.



Aperture adjusts the depth-of-field or focal length of the camera

BigBear Silo2

This picture was shot at an aperture setting of F9 in order to achieve a greater depth-of-field.   This setting keeps the not only the silo in focus but also the sky  and clouds above it.

Also note that both features also effect the amount of light that hits  camera sensor

So here’s the Zen:

  • As the shutter speed increases, picture motion is stabilized but the light hitting the camera sensor is reduced, darkening the picture
  • As the Aperture setting decreases (lower f-stop #), your picture will become brighter, yet the chance of uniform clarity in your picture decreases.   In other words depth-of-field, or the range in which subjects will be in focus decreases.

01-21-05 045

This picture illustrates a shallow Depth-of-Field.   The primary subject is in focus, but the rest of the picture is blurred.   The shot was taken at 1/500s @ F4.5


Confused?      Here’s a few practical scenarios:

1) You’re shooting an event and your on camera meter says you need more light. Currently your camera is set to 1/500s @ F8. In order to brighten your picture your first thought is to lower your aperture setting, say from F8 to F4. Doing this gives you the light you need but now your picture clarity does not appear uniform.

2) You’re shooting an event and your on camera meter says you need more light. Currently your camera is set to 1/125s @ F11. In order to brighten your picture your first thought is to slow the shutter speed, say from 1/125s to 1/60s. Doing this gives you the light you need but now your picture is showing some motion blur.

3) You’re shooting an event on a brightly lit day. You set your aperture to F4 to allow maximum light so that you can attain a really fast shutter speed, say 1/1000s, because you really want to stop the action. But you are dissatisfied with the picture because the clarity is just not uniform.

These are three common scenarios with three common solutions. Technically the solutions chosen were correct as they did address the challenges of Motion and Lighting. However the resulting photos did not reflect our Intent, nor did it address all of the challenges of the Subject.      Getting the picture – SIMPLE?

So could we have done better?   Could we have addressed Motion and Lighting while also addressing Intent and Subject?    Realistically you will not always be able to satisfy all of the SIMPLE concepts in every picture, however in the scenarios described above here are some options that will improve overall picture clarity:

Scenario #1 - Rather than lowering the aperture setting which in turn reduces the focal range or Depth-of-Field, slow the shutter speed to approx. 1/400th.   At this setting you can still stop most of the action in a sporting event, increase the brightness of your picture, while maintaining a reasonable depth-of-field at F8.  

Scenario #2 - Rather than lowering your shutter speed, which increases the likelihood of motion blur, try lowering your aperture, perhaps F8. By doing this you maintain a reasonable depth-of-field, increase the brightness of your photo and prevent motion blur.  This is ideal where moderate movement (i.e. walking) is a factor.

Scenario #3 –  In bright lighting, rather than reducing the aperture consider reducing the shutter speed.  For instance, a setting of 1/800s @ F8 will maintain picture brightness, provide a reasonable Depth-of-Field, while providing a fast enough shutter speed to handle most any sporting event.


When composing a photograph, remember that there is a yen and yang balance to the Photographic Zen.   Making a camera adjustment with one feature (i.e. shutter speed or aperture) may address an obvious issue but may have an adverse effect on another of the SIMPLE principals.   If you are aware of this prior to setting up your shot, you’ll make more educated decisions that give you a much better chance of getting the shot you Intend.

In my next post I’ll share with you some of the basic rules of thumb that I use in various scenarios.   Until then keep thinking SIMPLE and find your Photographic Zen.   Happy Shooting!


Got questions?  Have a topic that you’d like for me to discuss?  Your Comments are welcome here or on my FaceBook page at: .   Also feel free to start a new or join an existing discussion on the FaceBook discussion board.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Simple Photography - Chapter 1 - Keep it SIMPLE

Today I start a series of posts that I call “Simple Photography”. My goal, over the course of the upcoming chapters, is to provide you with some golden nuggets that will increase your likelihood of capturing the shot you want.

There are so many things to discuss, as art can take on an infinite number of forms, and to simply say, “take your pictures like this” really doesn’t work. Why, because setting, subjects, processing, equipment and purpose can be unique to each picture. Therefore, in this first segment rather than discuss the technical aspects of photography or overwhelm you with a course on optics, I think it’s more important to discuss the basics of a photo opportunity. Yes, that’s right, the photo opportunity, not the photo itself. The reason to focus on the opportunity and not the photo is that like with most processes, shooting a photo is 80% preparation and 20% action.

So let’s begin by planting a seed. I believe that with every photo opportunity there are 6 key factors to consider. They are as follows:

Subject: Is your subject easy to portray or are their challenges? (bodily features, obstruction, noise).
I found this fellow at a sea park in Hawaii. He was was a great subject who didn't mind posing for this shot. The challenge was handling the surrounding glare and finding the right moment where the other sea lions in the pen wouldn't distract from the picture. This photo was shot with an old Sony Mavica, one of the original digital cameras which took pictures at less that 1 megapixal.

Intent: What is the intent or desired message that you want your photo to express? (joy, sadness,
solitude, violence, power, etc.).

Yeah that me throwing a punch at Marty McSorley (rememeber him from the NHL). Here I'm trying to portray that I'm in control and ready to give Marty a knuckle sandwich. Luckily he wasn't buying it!

Motion: Is motion a feature of the photo or is it a hindrance; Is it passive or active?

In this shot expression of motion was important. Use of angles help capture the motion as the subject (our son Caleb) falls off the wake. Arm position and facial expression are also factors that illustrate the stresses that Caleb is under.

Post-Processing: If the photo is not ideal, what can you do in post processing to make it so or if the photo is good, can you make it even better.

Use of cropping cut out the unsightly buildings that were in the foreground. Adding a sepia tone adds to the mystery of the picture.
Lighting: Is the lighting at the desired level and contrast? Does the existing light cause undesirable glare, shadows or subject features (baggy eyes, double chins, discoloration).
Shooting sea life can cause extreme challenges due to subdued lighting and bending. If you are shooting through glass you must also be careful when using a flash as you don't want the reflection of the flash to ruin your shot.

Environment: Is this a controlled shot, a candid or just happenstance? Do you need to think ahead or do you have the luxury of taking your time and concentrating on the fine details of your photo?
Taking shots of our Wheaton Terrier, Teagan is never easy as she is a very active dog. Here as she blasts through the deep snow, I only had seconds to react. Luckily I knew this would be the case before I attempted the shot.

Okay, it’s time for your first pop-quiz. Can you guess what I call this approach to taking pictures? If you guessed SIMPLE, you may not be smarter than a 5th grader, but you are on the road to taking better photos.

So let’s just keep it SIMPLE for this chapter and send you off with a little homework. Until the next chapter, each time you get ready to take a picture, ask yourself if your photo opportunity is SIMPLE.

Next time we’ll discuss how the 6 components of the SIMPLE approach interrelate, then we’ll start putting this approach to the test. Until then, happy shooting!

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's a Whole New Ballgame!

This year the Columbus Clippers moved into their new home at Huntington park. It's a beautiful new stadium with the Columbus skyline in the backdrop. Our family attended last nights game vs the Buffalo Bison. Great game, beautiful night and great company.

Just as the Clippers have found a new venue, it's now time for me to do the same. Starting today you can now find me on FaceBook. There I hope to get closer to all of you.

Now that the summer events are over, it's time to get down to some photography. Regularly I get the question, "how'd you shoot that?". So now it's time to answer your questions. Keep an eye on my blog to get some good (and easy) hints on how to take better pictures. By the way, if you have a photography question that you'd like for me to discuss, shoot me a note. Anything fair game.

See you next time!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dublin Irish Fest 2009

The Dublin Irish Festival is the last BIG party of the summer in Central Ohio, and is one of our favorite events of the year. For me, this years party started with a mission as I was determined to get my kilt. So soon after the gates opened on Friday, my first stop was the Utilikilt booth where I was fitted for the kilt called the Survivor. As fortune would have it, they had my size, so one kilt one belt and one tee shirt later and I was ready to party!

Each year before we head to the Irish Fest, we alway begin with a pre-party at our house. Here my buddy Bil and I show off our kilts as we sip a Guiness or two.
New to our party this year were Christy and Eric (left) and Lysandra and Bill (right). Of course there were plenty of regulars like Myron, Mark, Judy, Dave, Lynn and Evonne.

Missing this year from the party was Wendy and Chris who recently moved to Phoenix. The pre-party was certainly more tame with out Chris, the life of any party, around, but we still had a great time and even toasted Wendy and Chris with a"car bomb" in their honor. Cheers!

It was another year of record attendance at the Irish Fest although early morning rains on Friday made the grounds a bit soggy, however, as always, Dublin did a great job maintaining the festival area so although soggy, the paths were never muddy.

As with most ethnic festivals, the Irish Fest has pleanty of fun things to do and great food to eat. First up we stopped by the Green Field Sports Area where we saw some strength competitions. Men hurling stones like an old time shotputs; pitching hay bales high into the air and many more impressive displays of strength.

Next it was off to the Celtic Dance stage where we watch the Dancers step to the Irish vibe. If the dance wasn't interesting enough, the costumes really caught our eye with bright colors and perfectly made-up hairdoos. I found it facinating to see so many people of all ages totally committed to such a wonderful folk art form. Of course, being the father of multiple sons who have played travel sports and feeling the sting of the costs of their equipment, I couldn't help but feel for the parents of the young girls who where these elaborate costumes. I can only imagine the sacrifice that these parents make to keep their daughters "in style".
While enjoying the dance I noticed this young aspiring dancer intently watching the colorful display. Her piercing eyes focused on every move the dancers made. I wonder how long before she ready to hit the floor? Only time will tell.

We watched the dancers for quite a while, until it was time to move on. Just ahead I was mesmerized by the maticulous craftsmanship of the stone carver. Of course other crafts were well representented too, including woodworking, leathercrafting (I think their's a better name for that), instrument making and glasswork just to name a few.
Sifting through the rows of crafts and food vendors our next destination was clear. It was time to hit one of our favorite venues; not because of the music and certainly not because of any cultural or artistic significance. No the reason we love this venue really has nothing to do with Irish tradition, for us, but more because The Dogs Are So Darn Cute!!! Yes, these dogs are of Irish heritage but to my wife and I that doesn't matter because we are just dog lovers no matter what their heritage. This year there was a nice assortment of dogs. There were the Kerri Blue, Irish Terrier, Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier and Irish Setter. However, the two dogs that we really come here to see are the Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier and the Irish Wolfhound.
Our family is partial to the Soft Coated Wheaton as we are also Wheaton owners. For those of you who are not familiar with Wheatons, they are an extremely smart, yet stubborn dog with a strong natural herding instinct. They are known for their excited circles around the living room, up and down off the furniture, when someone comes to visit. Our Wheaton, Teagan (means beautiful in Irish) will sit nicely to greet our guests, stub a wagging faster and faster; then as if she can no longer hold her pent-up energy she leaps at our guests to give a firm push with her front paws. Then its off to the races around the house. I always describer her as the most well trained dog, when she wants to be.
The Irish Wolfhound we love because of its sheer size. A massive yet elegant animal that is as gentile as can be.
As we leave the dog venue, it's time to listen to some music. Of course the big bands were there like The Produgals, Synthian, Gaelic Storm and more; but over the years we have become unofficial groupies of Ric Smith, formerly with Heartland. This year he has changed bands and now performs with Roger Drawdry and the Firestarters and excellent local band. Ric plays the fiddle, which is the glue to any good Irish folk band. They are currently performing at Byrne's Pub in Grandview. We plan on making an upcoming show soon.
Another must-see group that we added to our list this year is Ladies of Longford. We really enjoyed there energetic style and mix of contemporary american music with an Irish flare. Of particular note, the fiddler can fiddle with the best of them, while mom, on lead guitar can strum a powerful melody. Perhaps my favorite musician was the drummer who has a voice similar to Natalie Maines, lead singer for the Dixie Chicks. This is another group local to Central Ohio and definitely a must see.
The Dublin Irish Festival is a three day event that, for me, is just a nice place to hang out. But by the end of three days of food, music, crafts, fun and of course beer, it was time to close the fest for another year. Although there was no beer involved for this little one, it looks like he partied hard and is now dreaming of next year Fest...

Did you go to the Dublin Irish Festival this year? Got Wheaton? Perhaps you just like Irish music. Tell me your favorite party stories.

See you next time!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recent Events Around Town

Its been very busy around Columbus since my last blog and the great weather has been a perfect complement to the events. First there was the Ohio Wine Festival, held at the North Market in downtown Columbus. This event features about a dozen Ohio wineries. The proprietors of these wineries share the same passion for their craft as those in the more notable wine regions of the U.S. However their disadvantage is typically that they do not grow their own grapes and therefore lack a hands-on component that most wine-masters consider the core of good wine making. Additionally, many west coast wine masters have had wine crafting in their blood for many generations. This is a huge advantage as wine crafting is as much an art form as it is a business. The event started at 6:00p but since the weather was nice and we had nothing else to do, Misty and I headed down to the Short North area a few hours early to eat some lunch, have some Jeni's ice cream, adult ice cream as Misty calls it, and drink some cocktails. In retrospect, the cocktails were probably not a good idea prior to wine tasting, if you know what I mean...

As we sifted our way through the crowd I tasted wine from around 8 wineries (about 4 too many). Some wine was respectable and some could have been used to strip the paint of my deck. Along the way I ran into an old friend and colleage, Robin. He and his wife own the Wyandott Winery, here in Columbus. I found a couple of their wines to be respectable enough to purchase. All in all I headed home with about 5 bottles and a headach. But it was still an enjoyable.

This past weekend was the Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest. This is one of my favorite events; as you know I LUV RIBS and the Jazz goes down pretty easy too.
This event hosts around a dozen competative rib burners and probably an equal number of local and national Jazz bands. Misty, Caleb and I attended the Rib Fest this year. Misty's not a rib eater but Caleb was a big help as the portions are typically quite large. We sampled ribs from Armadillos (my favorite from last year), PigFoot and Big Boned. All were different and all were great. Although we did a good job of stuffing ourselves, Caleb still had enough room for a ear of roasted corn. Hmmm, yummy stuff!
With full bellies and feeling relaxed thanks to some good jazz we headed home for the evening. Of course we had to take one more look at the Columbus skyline. You gotta admit, it was looking pretty good that day.
Do you have a good rib adventure to share? Do you have a love for jazz? What's your favorite wines? I'd like to hear from you.
Today marks the beginning of the Dublin Irish Fest, the last big party of the summer in our neck of the woods. You'll definitely be hearing from me soon.
See you next time!