#44 – Someone Working



1/50s / f/2 / ISO100 AP

This is Charles. I’ve seen that some of you have already shot Charles near or around the farmer’s market. I met him yesterday.

I read an article about a local photographer who was shooting street portraits of strangers for a group on Flickr called “100 Strangers.” Intrigued, I contacted the photographer and we met up yesterday. We walked around downtown Sarasota for a couple hours meeting and shooting more strangers. We had lunch and agreed to meet again to shoot more strangers later.

I added Charles’ portrait to my Flickr album and 100 Strangers group. The more I think about it, the more it tugs at  me. Recently, a homeless man was made famous via YouTube for playing piano on the streets of Sarasota. He’s now faced with a choice. Take a full ride scholarship and finish the degree he walked away from years ago when he gave up or lick the gift horse in the mouth and throw it all away again. Then here’s Charles. Where is his second chance freebie? Because of the tight framing of this portrait, it’s impossible to know that although, homeless and unemployed, Charles is working. He’s playing a 12 string guitar on the streets for pocket change. Whether he uses that to buy food, booze or drugs is really none of my business. But, he’s accepting money in exchange for a service he’s providing…

When you really stop to think about the situation, this could be any of us. We are all one choice away from it. I think I joined the 100 Strangers Project to learn how to be human again.

#A4 – Night Shot


I’m Not Ready Yet…

15s / f/3.5 / ISO100 Manual

Fun Field Trip with the club tonight. I wasn’t quite ready to shoot yet but hey, of all the shots I did get tonight, this one was by far the best. This is SOOC with no cropping or editing of any kind. I don’t have a lot to say about this one. I think it speaks for itself. I am much more satisfied with this image on my computer than I was on the little camera screen…

#A2 – Circles


Circles & Balls…Bokeh Balls

1/4000s / f2.5 / ISO100 AP

So, I was wandering around looking for themes as I have about twenty something to make up in the next two weeks or so. I found a row of power meters behind a strip mall and I saw circles. Lots of circles. I shot this from several angles and just couldn’t get it to look the way I saw it in my thick skull. So, I gave up. I decided to find something else. Fast forward to this evening and having forgotten about my earlier misadventure, I went out with a friend to shoot other stuff after dark. I noticed when I got home that I had not learned and marked the infinity focus setting on that fantastic-plastic, nifty-fifty lens yet and all my shots from the evening were wildly out of focus. SO, in dumping my memory card, I found this photo. I don’t know if it was me being half asleep at 1AM or the vodka, but I saw many more circles. Lots and lots of circles. Glass circles. Keyhole circles. And BOKEH CIRCLES…

And I’m seeing what reviewers praised this lens for as well. Canon’s 50mm 1.8 has five diaphragm blades leaving a hexagonal bokeh ball. This Chinese clone has seven, rounding off and circlifying (I made that up) the bokeh. The only real complaint I read about was the focusing motor noise and chromatic aberration. I’m not far enough into this game to care about the noise or even grasp the chromatic aberration concept yet so, I.m done.

#37 Rows and Rows of…


1/1600s / f/1.8 / ISO400 AP

So I got a new lens. I’ve been wanting a 50mm 1.8 for awhile. Like pretty much since I got my camera. The problem is, I haven’t had the $100 bucks to shell out for it. A few months ago, I learned that Yongnuo, the Chinese folks that have been knocking off flash controls, cloned Canon’s 50mm 1.8 lens. I read review after review after review and decided based on several decent reviews and nearly half the cost, I’d give it a shot. My dad and I rebuilt my uncle’s grill over the weekend and of course I had to test this thing. What can I say…I like rusty things.

#2 Below the Knees


Sweet Savanah

1/80s / f1.8 / ISO800 Aperture Priority

This is Savanah, my parent’s Mini Yorkie. She is one of the sweetest little girls you could meet. She loves to be picked up and cuddled as long as you don’t flip her on her back. Her sister Roxanne however, loves to lay toes-up and have her belly rubbed. Savanah was a Facebook Rescue. A family bit off more than they could chew and my parent s swooped in to save this sweet little girl. She spent 4th of July weekend with all of us down at my aunt and uncle’s with the whole family, including her doggie-sister Roxanne, doggie-cousin Luci and second doggie-cousin twice removed Rascal. I have no clue what that means but it sounded cute.

#32 Painting With Light


I love you too…

11s / f10 / ISO400 Manual

A little setup…

We just finished attempting some sparkler photos and got the girls to bed. My little man asks if I’m ready for bed. I said not yet, I think the grown-ups are going to chit chat for a bit…

“Hey dad, can we try something?”

“Sure bud, what do you have in mind?”

“Can you get your camera and tripod and do a long exposure thing? But open the shutter when I say go and close it when I say stop!”

“Ok bud, you got it!”

I had to crop and reverse this in post because when I explained how I did a similar shot a couple months ago, I never explained that in order to get it right in-camera, you had to write backwards. In addition to that, he didn’t want to share his whole plan with me. He had a secret message he wanted me to figure out. As of this posting, he doesn’t know I’ve edited the shot although he knows I figured out the message. I told him I would edit it to look the way I thought he wanted it to look by the time he gets home again. My little man set this up without telling me what his plan was. He didn’t tell me what he was trying to spell out or that he was trying to do it with sparklers earlier in the evening. Because of that, I cut his exposures off and didn’t capture his message. I’m glad I took the time to “re-do” it when he asked. I got your message bud. LOUD and CLEAR. And I love you too…

P.S. I cannot begin to express how happy I am that my 13 year old son is still telling me he loves me. I am a fortunate man.

#8 Differences


Same Difference

1/400s / f1.8 / ISO1600 Aperture Priority

Same blood. Very different personalities. In chronological order of birth from left to right, Kelsey (7), Kaylee (9) and Wyatt (13). This is what makes one a man. This is what makes one ask questions never pondered prior to fatherhood. I’ve learned so much and continue to learn more each and every day. I could not be more proud of these three little beasts. Kelsey is teaching me to find humor in most everything and how to slow down to take in simple things. Kaylee is teaching me how to let go little by little. No, seriously, I now know every word to “Let It Go,” from Frozen. And Wyatt, well, we are teaching each other things. He’s learning the difference between respect and love and how each go hand in hand. And so am I. He’s also learning the exposure triangle and forcing me to stay ahead of him so that I can teach him, although, I firmly believe we will be switching roles before too long. He is rapidly developing a deep rooted interest in this photography thing. I think it offers him a visceral line into reality yet a fantastic escape from it at the same time. THIS, is love defined…