Friday, May 30, 2008

South Lido Beach

Our last day at the beach. Today we headed over to South Lido Beach & Siesta Key Beach for some swimming. The sand and water here looks like the caribbean, the sand is pure white and the water a beautiful blue/green.

Looks like these guy's are fishing for Bone Fish or Tarpon? We swam out and walked out almost out to the boat, there was a big sandbar about knee deep out there. We found a lot of nice shells out there.

I've really enjoyed this vacation and I look forward to visiting Sarasota, FL again soon. I'll be shooting next week in Wyoming near Rawlins for ONEOK.

I was contacted by a representative of the company who is a regular reader of this blog. I think it's wonderful when I have an opportunity to shoot for readers and just knowing that my efforts with this also brings in clients. Thanks Rick.

ONEOK is a Fortune 500 company, founded in 1906 as an intrastate natural gas pipeline company. ONEOK is involved in oil and gas production, natural gas processing, gathering, storage and transmission in the mid-continent areas of the United States. I'll try to shoot some video while on assignment and report back about the assignment.

I'll also be returning to Scottsbluff, NE for more Healthcare images for Regional West Medical Center the following week. I'll be posting more of those images as well.

Thanks for putting up with the vacation photos during this past week, I'll get back into the business stuff soon. Take care. DT

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Proof Positive

The sun has set on Lido Beach. Another beautiful day here in Sarasota, FL.

Don't know this guy, just another dude enjoying a walk on the beach.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yoder's Forever

The best damn peanut butter cream pie in the world! I always look forward to going to Yoder's when visiting Sarasota, FL, just look at these pie's. They serve other fine food but it's the pie that keeps me coming back.

Earlier in the day we went to Myakka State Park, it's Florida's oldest and largest state park. The park is about a 1/2 hour just east of Sarasota. At the park, they have a canopy walkway and tower on a nature trail. You climb a short 35' tower, cross a suspension bridge and than up the taller tower to a height of 74'. From the tall tower you have a wonderful view of the park and a close view of all the vegetation.
Here are some of the photos I took today in the park. We'll be fishing later tonight. DT

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Sunset on Lido Beach tonight. I just love walking the beach looking for sand dollars and other beautiful shells. My feet are sore and I'm pooped. Here are a few more pic's shot with my G9.

More tomorrow for sure!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gone Fishing

We're in Sarasota, FL. It's great being on vacation! We bought some fishing poles at Kmart, rather than renting for the week, much cheaper in the long run.

Debbie was the big winner, she caught 5 of the eight, I got 2 and Chris 1. What a great day. Here's Chris on the bridge fishing, the new Ringling bridge in the background.

Below is the new Ringling bridge below. This bridge replaces an older draw bridge that was in place for years.

We also managed to provide a fish for a local bird waiting for a kind soul, I'm such a sucker. I'm having fun!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Ratz Pak

Warning! This post has nothing to do about photography and everything about small pocket pets.

Do you have or do you know someone with a pet rat or some other pocket pet? My son Chris has two of them, Sky & KoKo.

My wife Debbie has come up with a wonderful product for owners of pet rats or other pocket pets such as hamsters, mice, guinea pigs and gerbils. Her product is called "The Ratz Pak"

These are clever carriers that are slung over your shoulder for hands-free carrying, they come in all sorts of colors and patterns. If you or someone you know has a pocket pet, have a look at the Ratz Pak.

Florida Bound

Today I'll be leaving for Florida for a short vacation with my family.  We'll be on the gulf coast in the city of Sarasota.  I always enjoy visiting Sarasota, they have wonderful beaches for shell collecting and some pretty good fishing as well.

I'm taking my trusty Canon G9 with me, no sense taking all the other gear while on vacation. I'll try to post while away, show you some of the sites and share what ever comes to mind. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Day in Scottsbluff

You should see this schedule, my client has compiled a list of shots that's just unbelievable. They have something to be shot every 10 minutes or so, that would also include brake down and set up time... Anyway, we do what we can to accommodate the client realizing that not all the photos on the list are going to get done. We have another trip planned up here in June to shoot another list of photo want that will be equally impressive I'm sure.

Here is a shot we did at the end of the day today. Shot this using High Speed Sync on my Nikon D300 and one SB-800 with Omni Dome attached.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our First Day

Very Busy! 646 Images shot today. This is one of them, shot in the supply room for the hospital. I lit this shot using 2 SB-800's, one mounted on a Justin Clamp, bounced off the shelves in front of the subject and the second strobe on the floor behind the subject lighting the background.

It's late, more tomorrow. DT

Monday, May 19, 2008

On The Road

I find myself in Scottsbluffs, NE tonight. I'm here shooting an assignment for a regional hospital and former client. It has been 3 years since shooting for the hospital, it's nice to shoot for them again.

The photo above was shot today just northwest of Kimball, NE. There is a small wind farm with about 8 of these wind turbines. I shot this with my converted D70 to IR camera. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

I'll be here for the next 3 nights shooting for my client. I'll try to share some shots if I can. DT

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Favorites Link

I've just put a new link at my web site for my favorites. It's been quite sometime since I've updated my site, it's nice to have something new. My wife Debbie does all my web stuff and I often feel that she is busy enough dealing with here own clients.

I recently bought a new laptop (a mac of course), it came installed with iweb. What a wonderful program, I'm able to do my own updates with just a little help from Deb. I can do the majority of the work and the little stuff Deb can help me with.

iweb allows me to mimic the design of my original site so the new page of favorites matches. It took just a little time to get the hang of it. Here is a screen shot of the new page. Have a look at the new images posted and come back often to see what's new.

Monday, May 12, 2008

High Speed Sync-CLS

Ian was over today, it's wonderful to have him around to help with lighting tests. I'm pretty tired of shooting myself all the time. We shot this in my backyard using the following equipment. Octagonal soft box, (also known as an Octa Box), 3 Nikon SB-800 speedlights attached to the Octa with Justin Clamps, D300 and a 24mm - 85mm lens.

The SB's where set to remote and all where placed on the same channel and group. I shot the above photo of Ian at 1/8000 second @ f/2.8. 24mm length on the zoom. When using High Speed Sync, the flash strength really diminishes quickly as you increase your shutter speed above the normal sync speed of 1/320 sec.

At 1/8000 sec. the Octa box needed to be about 2 1/2 - 3 feet from Ian's face. As I slowed the shutter to 1/5000 sec. I needed to reduce the power on the strobes. I should mention that I was firing the strobes via in camera CLS command on the D300.

I just love the quality of light when pumped through some diffusion. I lose about a stop of light when doing so. You can see some sunlight on Ian's shoulder on the right.

It would be great if Nikon produced a larger more powerful strobe that still uses the Creative Lighting System with high speed sync. I'm sure if they did, it would cost a bundle.

If been asked to provide a photo how I fastened the strobes to the Octa box. Here is a photo of the 3 Justin clamps in place.

Here is a sample photo using my new Beauty Dish. Nice quality light but very weak when trying to use high speed sync, just not enough power.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Today would have been my fathers 90th birthday. We loss him due to illness this past July. The first is always the hardest. Love ya Dad.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Buddy, have you got a strobe?

I've always enjoyed a good cigar. You know, I was never able to get this one lit. You see, I was using a small strobe hidden in my hand to simulate the lighting of this cigar.

I bought a small strobe from a garage sale about 15 years ago for about 5 bucks and hacked it. I removed the small flash tube from the casing of the strobe and extended it with about 20 inches of wire, sort of a strobe on a rope.

By placing this small flash tube in my hand and hiding the wire, I am able to produce images like the one here.

This really is a cheap strobe, ever heard of a focal M200? You see these types of strobes at garage sales and second hand stores everywhere. For a few buck, it's worth hacking your own and exploring way of using it. Lighting a cigar seemed a logical use, I'm sure you can find others as well.

Attached to the bottom of the flash is a photo slave I had laying around the studio. We used another strobe in the room to fire this one.

You can see here how small the flash tube is, I still needed to knock back the out put using tissue paper over the flash tube.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

WORKSHOP - Small Strobes, Big Results

I have some very exciting news to share with the readers of my blog. I have been asked by Reid Callanan, Director of the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops to teach a location lighting class this coming winter.

I'm really excited to have this opportunity to share my 25 years of location light experience with the students who sign up for my class. My workshop is titled Small Strobes, Big Results and is scheduled for March 29th - April 4, 2009.

The workshop will be an intense week of hands on shooting, lectures and demonstrations by yours truly! There are wonderful locations to shoot in and around Santa Fe, we'll be going on location to practice our lighting skills.

If you haven't been to a Santa Fe Workshop before, it will be one of the most memorable experiences ever. I attended my first workshop at Santa Fe back in 1993 and most recently this past winter. I'm still talking about that first workshop experience today. Honestly, you spend a week doing what you love and you do so with others that enjoy the same. I have met some very wonderful friends at the workshops and I know you will to.

If you are a fan of Strobist, I know you'll have a wonderful time in my workshop. We'll be discussing lighting of all aspects, using our speedlights and other battery strobes. If you feel comfortable using your camera and less so your flash, and would like to master portable lights, this workshop is for you.

Participants of this workshop will learn to how to effectively control the light quality, direction, and shape from their small strobes. You’ll learn how to use soft boxes, grids, snoots, reflectors, colored gels and bounce techniques. You’ll learn how to select which techniques are best suited to a particular subject and scene. I'll also be discussing grip equipment for proper rigging, packing and preparing for location assignments.

Our mornings will be devoted to lectures, demonstrations and critiques; the remainder of the day will be spent practicing lighting techniques on campus and on location in and around Santa Fe. By weeks end, participants will have gain confidence in their lighting skills and a strong foundation for developing their own lighting techniques and style.

I hope your interested in coming to my workshop and I look forward to meeting all those who attend. Am not certain when registration begins for this workshop, you might want to contact The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops for more information about that.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Worthy Cause For Sure

My wife Debbie, is a graphic designer and web site developer. She has just recently finished a web site for The Edwards Foundation For Rescued Animals located in Colorado. The foundation is run by a retired couple who takes in animals like horses, goats, llamas and even Zebus!

There animals come from various sources: families that can't keep their pets, the forestry service, and the Denver Zoo. These folks finance the care for all these animals out of their own pockets and rely on donations to help keep the animals happy and healthy. All donated money goes strictly to the care and feeding of the animals.

I've personally been out to Linda & Johns spread, they are doing a wonderful job caring for these animals. You can read all about The Edwards Foundation For Rescued Animals by following the link provided. As I mentioned above, Linda & John are retired and are absorbing the cost to care for these animals themselves. Take a look at what it cost on a monthly bases to care for these wonderful animals. There is a safe Paypal button to donate, if you can spare a few bucks that would be wonderful.

I've never used this blog to solicit funds before, I admire the devotion and hard work that Linda & John are doing and I know that they could use a little help. Thanks. DT

Monday, May 05, 2008

Image of the Day - 5/5/08

Cinco de Mayo! Sitting here this morning with Fawkes, my African Grey parrot on my shoulder blogging. What a great bird!

Anyway, shot this in Puerto Vallarta a year ago last Christmas while on vacation with a good friend. I was using my old Olympus snap and shoot.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Helicopter Aerials-Vernal, UT

Last month I was on assignment for an energy client of mine, I was sent to Utah to shoot some helicopter aerials of 2 drilling rigs. These rigs where drilling in the Greater Natural Buttes near Vernal, UT. drilling almost side by side.

My client thought that the close proximity of the two rigs as well as the natural beauty of the setting, would allow for some beauty images. It's unusual to see two larger rigs drilling so close to one another, I had never seen two rig of their size so close together before.

Erik and I drove out to Vernal from Denver, as a flight to Salt Lake and than driving 2 1/2 hours to Vernal would be about the same amount of time either way. Besides, I enjoy driving and the opportunity to shoot along the way is always inviting.

We spent the night in Vernal, awoke the next morning to meet up with our escort to drive out to the rigs. We went out to the rigs to get some ground shots as well as getting a fix location on my Tom Tom navigation devise for the helicopter pilot for the next days aerials. There are lots of rigs drilling in the Natural Buttes area and locating our rigs from the air would have proven difficult without the proper longitude & latitude coordinates.

Prior to arriving in Vernal for this assignment, I made arrangements with a helicopter service out of Park City, UT for our aerial photos. I make it a company policy that helicopter charges are bill directly to the client, these are expense I do not want to carry for my clients. The hourly rate on this helicopter runs about $900.00, not the type of expense I want to carry for 30 days.

On the day of the aerials, I received a phone call from the pilot in Park City, UT stating that he was fogged in and that he would be around 30 minutes late. The weather in Vernal was clear and cool, not a cloud in sight. Erik and I left the hotel, grabbed a couple of large coffees and headed to the FBO at the Vernal airport to wait for the helicopter.

The helicopter arrived about 40 minutes late, we loaded quickly and headed out to the rigs. I provide the pilot with the coordinates obtained the previous day at the rigs and he plugged them into his NAV system. We had about a 20 minute flight to the rigs, driving time the previous day took 2 1/2 hours due to the muddy & winding dirt roads.

As we left the ground and started heading south of Vernal it was clear and beautiful. As we gained altitude we could see low clouds (fog) hugging the ground further south of our location. As we continued flying, I was growing more concerned about the weather ahead. The pilot continually called out the distance to the rig and I keep trying to guesstimate if we where going to fly out of the foggy area below us. The fog was patchy and it was my hope that we would find our rigs in the clear. The photo at the top of the page indicates that we did.

My client also had a processing plant they hoped to get aerials of while out shooting the rigs. This photo will give you a good idea of the type of fog issues we where dealing with while flying out to the rigs.

Here is a short video from our shoot in Vernal. I hope you enjoy it. DT

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Snowing Today

Sitting in my office today watching it snow. Yesterday it was 80 degrees out, what gives. Here's a shot of the back yard just a few minutes ago.