Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sometimes photography hurts

As I mentioned in my first post, I lead a team of photographers at the Watsonville Airshow. These are mostly amateur or semi-pro photographers, and our main goal is to take photographs of every plane being judged. Artistic is good, getting all of the planes is better.

My job is to herd the photographers, make sure that all of the sections are photographed, and then sort, cull, and make a slide presentation of the winning airplanes for the awards dinner. The judging stops at 2:00 pm, the actual airplanes are decided on by 4:00, and I have to have a slideshow by 6:00. Needless to say, tools are my friend. I use iPhoto and the keywords capability to sort on who took the photographs, what the registration number of the airplane is, and whether the plane won a prize. Keynote puts together the award presentation nicely.

This year, just as I was getting the information on the winning planes, my head was pounding with a headache. I took some ibuprofin, and was drinking a coke to try and kill it. Just at that moment, the two Harrier jets took off to do their demo flight. The loud noise was making my headache worse. I remember thinking that if my head exploded, it wouldn't hurt anymore.

Thankfully the drugs kicked in. Everyone enjoyed the award presentation.

This photo is from my Watsonville 2007 gallery http://www.pbase.com/moffetb/wvi2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Playing with motion

When I was wandering around the Monterey Bay Aquarium looking for things to photograph, I noticed that the fish were constantly swimming (makes sense) while the people would pause and watch the fish. I wondered what this would look like as a minor time-lapse. I set my camera for 30 seconds, time priority, and took this shot. The fish created streaks through the water, while some people paused long enough to almost make out details.
Just one more thing that humans can't do on their own...

You can see more of my aquarium shots at http://www.pbase.com/moffetb/monterey_bay_aquarium

Monday, February 5, 2007

Take the shot

Part of my goals in life (as I enter my second trimester so to speak) is to never tell myself no when it's not my decision. What that means is I will ask permission, ask for help, just ask. I won't let myself say "no" when the decision really belongs to someone else. I have been somewhat successful at this, even though it's been difficult. I have a very strong filter and censor in my head that keeps me from intruding on other people.

Obviously, part of this also includes some level of politness, I'm not going to ask for something that doesn't make sense in a social situation.

Oddly enough, part of this thought process also applies to technology and photography. I was in Mendocino recently. It was very grey out, and I was not having much success with the birds out there. However, there was one bird I noticed in a bramble. With the 100-400 mm lens at 240mm, I decided to shoot the photo, even though the camera was set to 1/30 of a second. I had the image stabilizer on, and I braced as well as I could. I walked away knowing that the image wouldn't be in focus.

I was wrong. So, take that shot, do your best to keep things working in your favor, and remember that luck favors the prepared.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Welcome to my blog. I probably won't post much, occasionally talk about photography issues, tips, tricks.

I currently do local airshow photography for the Watsonville Airshow and Fly-In. I take photographs of the planes that are being judged, so that we can display the winning airplanes. Since there are usually over 200 airplanes being judged, I and several other photographers I manage take from 5 - 7 photographs of each one. in 2006, we took well over 1500 photos, which were sorted, classified, and culled using iPhoto on a Mac.