Thursday, November 07, 2013

My, how things change in just a short amount of time. Since my last post, life has closed a chapter on one career and opened the door to my being a full-time photographer. As such, has become even more important to me. IF you are a photographer, I invite you to join the Photography Services category -- and add another customer base source for your business. THANKS and God bless!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Still going strong...

I have not updated my photography blog in forever. No need promising I will either -- because I may not. But, it is worth telling you that I am deeper into photography than I was since my teenage years. Currently, I am shooting semi-professionally -- taking select paid assignments, along with a few TF* jobs in my area.

I also joined - to help promote the business side of my photography. Check out my Facebook page, and let me know how I can serve your photography needs.
CharlieJ Photography

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm taking today's post space to remind everyone to photograph their loved ones... and be photographed with them. Don't worry about what you or they look like... just cherish the moments you have together... and photograph them.

The photo at right is my lovely wife, Misty. I captured this moment as we walked along the beach in Cherry Grove at sunset (Summer, 2009). Misty is the best person I have ever known. She is the most giving, loving and forgiving Godly woman anyone could want to meet. She was kind enough to marry me twenty years ago (this coming June)... and stay with me through all the stupid, insensitive things I've done over two decades. She still loves me and I am madly in love with her.

Although neither of us liked this shot when it was taken, I am glad I kept it. And I'm thankful today, more than most, that I have this memory... and such a wonderful woman to share my life with.

Share yours with someone... and snap the shutter to record your memories.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flickr's EXPLORE is a Farce

I've long been a skeptic regarding Flickr's hallowed EXPLORE. Personally, I think it's a royal farce... totally randomly chosen images that many times are poorly composed, lit or otherwise photographed. Yet, so many Flickrites put value into being "Explored". Blogs rave about it. Photogs gush over "Explored" images. Yet, EXPLORE is really a total joke. Take a look at the photo above/left.

This is no reflection on Shooto, the photographer whose photo is shown. His other images are good. But, let's face it. This is a non-descript, nothing special, snapshot of a tennis shoe. It doesn't deserve to be "Explored". There is nothing special about it. The photo has 138 views, 4 comments and for some reason, 8 favorites (lemmings). But, it's not worth being "Explored". It's a snapshot... of a shoe. Shooto doesn't even title the photo anything ethereal or meaningful. It's titled "Nike Dunk Low Pro SB Supreme"... a shoe.

Shooto gets it. But someone at Flickr doesn't... and neither do the thousands of folks who think their photos are special, galactic or famous because they are "Explored".

EXPLORE is a joke Flickr is playing on its members. To be "Explored" is not to be famous or even good at photography. It's just that your number came up in some random algorithm. Wake up folks!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Twenty Things We Want to Photograph

There was an interesting question on DPS forums this morning. Basically, the original poster asked us to choose twenty things we want to photograph. The implication was that was choose twenty things we have never photographed. While I could probably come up with 1,020 specific things I want to photograph, the list was limited to twenty. In no particular order, here is my personal list...

1. Sprawling landscapes in the west (New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, etc)
2. Cityscapes at night, from the air
3. Whales off Baja & California coasts
4. Black Sand Beach on Hawai'i Island
5. Mayan Ruins
6. Old barns in decay
7. The weathered faces of elderly people (B&W)
8. Non-erotic nudes in natural light (sun light thru a window or outdoors)
9. Motocross event from the track
10. The Great Barrier Reef (underwater, of course)
11. Macros, super-macros, extreme macros
12. Portraits of interesting people from anywhere
13. Lightning in the night sky
14. A water spout
15. Dragonflies, birds, insects in flight
16. Surfers on the North Shore of Oahu (Chun's Reef or Sunset Beach) from the water
17. Dolphins/sharks in the ocean
18. War, from the front lines (journalistic style)
19. NFL game, from the sidelines
20. Greece

What would be on YOUR list?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Playing with Picasa

If you know me at all, you know I like most things Google. I have an Android phone, use Google Voice for my "home phone", handle email with Gmail and Google Contacts (instead of Outlook) and live by Google Calendar. I could go on & on, but I don't want to bore you to tears.

But there is one thing Google I have avoided, that is, until a week or so ago. I admit, I am way behind the curve on learning Photoshop. People who know it, love it -- at least most of them do. Yes, it's a phenomenal application. However, I personally think it's convoluted, confusing, contraption that frustrates me every time I try to use it. I tried v5.5 and CS4 -- both made me want to throw the computer against the wall.

So, I went looking for another photo editor (yeah, I know... nothing can replace what Photoshop can do). I downloaded GIMP... and deleted it almost as fast. I played with a friend's Lightroom 3, but never really understood what it was supposed to do -- catalog or edit. I tried a few others, but most were lacking features that I found useful in my outdated copy of Paint Shop Pro 6.

Then, I ran across a rave review of Picasa 3. It sounded good, but would I despise it as much as I have some of the other graphics editors? In short, NO. Picasa is not as full-featured as CS4, but it does what I need it to do -- quickly and without much heartburn. I don't unmask my masks or tone map my colors (whatever all that means), but I do adjust contrast, saturation and even crop or resize from time to time. Guess what? Picasa is great for all those things -- AND cataloging my photos.

Hats off, once again, to the people at Google for opening a new door to my world... and for making software that is easy to use and useful at the same time. While I wade through the video tutorials and mass of websites offering PhotoShop information, I'll work happily along with Picasa 3. If you have been as frustrated with PhotoShop as I have, you might want to give Picasa a try.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Every Day is the Day to Shoot Photos!

Don't ever let anyone tell you there's nothing to shoot photos of. It doesn't matter where you are or what time of year it is, there are always things to capture with the little digital sensor in your camera.
Not too long ago, I was in a funk... yeah, I said a funk. I wanted to shoot pictures, but the weather was dreary. Then, it turned cold. UGH!
After trying to wait the weather out, I felt like I was loosing... so, I decided to just get out and go shoot something anyway... even if the photos turned out to be horrid. I was going to practice composition and look for ways to practice natural lighting. In the midst of a concrete & steel downtown (that is boring and not at all well-lit), I happened upon a little insect -- a cool little grasshopper.
This little fella was hanging onto the glass entrance door of an abandoned downtown store. The reflected light was perfect to capture him and a double reflection on the glass door. WOW! This shot made my day, too.

For those folks who like EXIF data...
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XT 350D
Exposure: 1/100 sec
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 55 mm
ISO Speed: 100

Leave a comment and let me know YOU think!