Notebook
October 19th, 2014 by grant

A couple of people have asked me about this so I thought I would do a quick posting. I love using strobes when shooting portraits and since alot of those are environmental shoots I have to be mobile. Therefore my traveling light rig is as follows: Shurline 4-9ft paint pole. Kacey paint pole adapter, Wescott Rapidbox and of course a Canon 600EX-RT.

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Now I can mount any light modifier on top this pole that can extend to 9 ft. Most recently I experimented with a snoot. The results were hit & miss but I did like the effect.

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October 13th, 2014 by grant

I’ve tried to shoot them a couple of times as they took off from the Oakland airport during their practice runs. Sunday after we got home from the wedding we made the last minute decision to ferry into the City to photograph the Blue Angels. Like an idiot I thought I would be the only one with this bright idea. The lines were so long and there was a serious delay in the ferry schedule. Just as we were pulling out of Oakland the show started. The outside seats were packed and with the roar of the Blue Angels, everyone rushed to the rails of the ferry and I was left behind a bunch of tall people using their ding dang camera phones!

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I didn’t get very good photos but it was an experience. We were not allowed to stay on the ferry to do a round trip so after exiting and walking to the end of what appeared to be a 300-person line we decided to walk from Pier 41 to Pier 1 and bus it back home. What I thought would be a couple hour trip turned into a 6 hour journey.

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October 10th, 2014 by grant

I haven’t shot a portrait in awhile so what better time than now! Luckily our neighbor Jennifer was willing and I asked her bring Dodger. I couldn’t have chosen a worse day. The wind prevented me from using any light modifiers on my speedlites. I was just about to send her a text message to cancel when she showed up. Ok we’re shooting bare flash and we’ll get some harsh shadows, no problem.

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Dodger was uninterested in the portrait process and it was difficult to get his attention. With most dogs I have an immediate bond. He couldn’t care less about me which was a blow to my dog ego.

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October 9th, 2014 by grant

I spotted this burd as I dropped Sandy off at the ferry terminal. I raced back home and grabbed my camera & much to my surprise it hadn’t moved an inch. I waited for the sun to come up and shot him.

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He has this middle-aged balding man hairdo kinda thing going on.

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September 21st, 2014 by grant

I had to spend some time training at the home office 30 minutes south of Miami. Luckily I was in the same class as my co-worker buddy Jhonathan.

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Training was quite demanding so we didn’t go out much other than to eat dinner in the local area. Friday night Jhonathan did give me some exposure to Ecuadorian food. The last time I saw him we could not find an single place in the bay area that served Ecuadorian food.

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Later we explored the Miami Beach scene. To my surprise it was pretty quiet. Other than the ringtail lemmer.

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Over the weekend we did drive down to Key West which is the southern most location in the US, unfortunately I was unimpressed.

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Wanting to take advantage of the local food scene we did our best to hit as many of the ethnic restaurants. This included Jamaican (good goat), Peruvian Polpus (octopus), Filipino, Colombian Patacones, Argentinian, Italian & Japanese.

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The final day a fellow employee flying back to Australia handed me a bottle of scotch. Which we shared that evening in the breakfast room of our Holiday Inn. I ended up passing it along to an engineer who would be there another 3 weeks.

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I came back home 6 lbs heavier. Other than the vast eating, the hot & humid weather prevented me from my daily walks after dinner.

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September 21st, 2014 by grant

I was reviewing some photos for a posting when I came across these unpublished works from a cloudy day in August.

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September 11th, 2014 by grant

As a civilian, I’ve always felt there isn’t much I could do to honor the 1st responders who rushed into the tragic situation of 9/11. Sandy gave me the idea to photograph our local fire department. It was my most ambitious project to date. I contacted the local fire department and made arrangements for a photo shoot last Saturday. Unfortunately there was a paramedic call just as we got there so that left only 3 firemen.

May I present to you Captain Matt Nielsen, Jeff & Stephen of Alameda Fire Station 4.

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It was challenging to light up a fire engine, it took 5 speedlites, which I’ve never done. Of course that ate up quite a bit of time.

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September 2nd, 2014 by grant

We haven’t been down to see my Ma in awhile and Jon was playing in Irvine. So what better time to drive down. We arrived late Saturday with just enough time for a quick change before heading to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Jon was nice enough to get us VIP parking which made the walk from the parking lot so easy. I’ve never been to a classical music concert that had used so many video cameras during the performance.

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The finale was the 1812 overture complete with cannons. This was quickly followed by a fireworks display.

Sunday we met for brunch at Brodard Chateau in Garden Grove. Irma was nice enough to join us and we left with a macaron surprise. Thanks Irma!

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With little rest we jetted over to Ma’s place to get ready for dinner. I shot some portraits but because of the heat, everyone came out shiny.

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We said goodbye on Monday morning and straight north to have brunch with Tawny & Drew. We got to check out their new place but I forgot to take a single photo. With food never far from our minds we went to Lamill Coffee.

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With all this incredible eating we finished our long weekend trip with dinner at In N Out Burger.

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August 28th, 2014 by grant

This year in celebration of our 14th year together we went to Gaspar for dinner. The food was amazing.

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July 26th, 2014 by grant

Up until recently I just had my camera handy near the back door in case Humphrey came along to feed. In an effort to elevate my photography, I started to light my Humphrey shots. Well of course when I set up my scene he never comes or decides to go elsewhere in the yard.

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Well after days of waiting & pacing I think I finally have the shot. I’m having this printed & mounted.

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July 18th, 2014 by grant

Ok the long awaited day has come Blondie has 9 new ducklings. Let’s see how long they last.

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Uh they lasted 2 days.

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July 5th, 2014 by grant

The female ducks are eating furiously, which only means they will be giving us little duckies soon. This brings me joy, but what pi$$es me off is when their food is being stolen by evil renegade squirrels.

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June 16th, 2014 by grant

Someone likes it over here. Guess we have better sashimi, less traffic, better schools & lower taxes than that other lagoon.

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June 14th, 2014 by grant

Last night I heard there was going to be a fireworks display after the game. It took almost an hour for the action to start. My little G1X2 did alright. Unfortunately they all pretty much look  the same. So I’ll just post this.

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June 14th, 2014 by grant

Apparently this side of the lagoon has the best fishing spot. The Great Blue Heron has been back everyday now. So the story unfolds as a rambunctious cormorant tries to push his way onto the spot. What follows is a very tense slow motion dance of body language, defiance and threats. To escalate things the cormorant shows ultimate disrespect to the GBH. This in turn is the crossing the line and the cormorant is cast off the best fishing spot. Sorry for the disgusting photos but I couldn’t stop laughing as this was happening.

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