Last month Penelope and I took another excellent trip with the Desert Explorers. During the adventure we explored various parts of Anza Borrego and saw an ample assortment of wildflowers. I've never captured so many different species in one outing. I was very impressed with the range of flora throughout the park. Amazing:
For our semi-annual vacation this year, Penelope and I went to Death Valley, Tahoe and San Francisco. I posted the Death Valley wildflower photos a few weeks ago. Here are some of the landscape shots I captured in Death Valley.
I've been to ever single Coachella Festival. Over the past six years I've been programming for Goldenvoice, at first just the Coachooser, then eventually website updates and now the Coachella iPhone and Android apps. I've also photographed that last six Coachella festivals: Coachella 2010, Coachella 2009, Coachella 2008, Coachella 2007, Coachella 2006 and Coachella 2005.
Last year my photos ended up on Wired, Boingboing and URB. This year I'll be shooting Coachella again, look out for my photos on here, Wired and possibly a few other places around the web. More photos from my coverage last year below and after the jump:
This weekend Penelope and I went trained with our Search and Rescue team out in Anza Borrego. We competed in an orienteering race and did an ELT search. I came in 4th in my division (Orange) out of 10 people. During a slow point in the mission I shot some photos of the amazing views at Buttes Pass in Anza Borrego:
Click here to see the rest of the Buttes Pass Anza Borrego photos.
This weekend my lovely wife Penelope and I hiked up to Mt. Lee in Griffith Park. Mt. Lee is also the peak that the Hollywood Sign sits on. You can't quite get to the sign as it's fenced off and marked "No Trespassing", but you can get above it.
The route we took started at the Camp Hollywoodland parking lot and was about 6.5 miles round trip. The hike took us about two and a half hours with many stops for photos.
The LA sky was amazingly clear and smog-free that day. In the photos below you can clearly see Catalina in the distance:
This Saturday marks the opening of my third solo show. The show is at Indigo Gallery in Pomona. The work consists of an eclectic assortment of photos from my many Downtown LA Walkabouts. There are many other galleries open during the Pomona Art Walk, which brings a large group of people to downtown Pomona. The show runs until December 25th, so you have plenty of time to check it out. This Saturday is the opening reception. Here are the details:
Dave Bullock L.A. Walkabouts
558 W. Second Street
Pomona, CA 91766
- Opening Reception - Saturday, Nov. 13th 6-10pm
- Last Saturday Reception - Saturday, Nov. 27th 6-9pm
- December Reception - Saturday, Dec. 11th 6-10pm
Here are the photos from the show:
This weekend I will be shooting photos at Coachella. I've covered the show the last few years for Wired, and some of my shots have ended up in other places like URB and BoingBoing. This year one of my photos (below) will grace the cover of the Coachella Camping Guide, being put together by URB.
Here are some of my favorite photos from Coachellas past:
Click here to see more of my Coachella Photos...
Lake Tahoe was beautiful and I couldn't help but to pull over and take some photos during our drive around the lake. These were taken on the Nevada side.
Snow covered boulders make for a beach on Lake Tahoe.
After three nights of camping in Death Valley it was time for the second portion of our vacation: Lake Tahoe. Penelope found an amazing bed and breakfast called the Fireside Lodge. We will definitely be returning to stay here in the future.
On our first night we had dinner at a restaurant called Evan's, which is right across the street from the Fireside. Our waiter was really cool and he suggested a good place to go skiing or snow-shoeing that the locals love called Waterhouse peak in Luther Pass.
The next morning we drove up to Luther Pass, parked, put on our snowshoes and started up to the peak. The hike was several miles, but the fun part was the 1700 feet of elevation we gained. It was great, strenuous snowshoeing. It took two hours to reach the peak and an hour to make it down. Fun stuff!
The view from Waterhouse peak is stunning.
After driving through Emigrant Pass, we decided to take a side trip to Tucki Mine. The four-wheel drive road to the mine is about 9 miles long and fairly rough in some places. It was a nice drive on a beautiful canyon road, some of which was covered with snow. Once we reached the mine we ate lunch and checked out the cabin that the National Park Service keeps maintained for emergency use.
The Park Service maintains this cabin at the Tucki Mine in Death Valley
After camping at the Wildrose campsite on Saturday night, Penelope and I hit the road around 8 A.M. We took Emigrant Pass into Death Valley. On our way in we passed a ranger on the snow-covered road. I waved, he nodded and that was that.
Later on we discovered that the road we were on was actually closed, he was headed in to lock the gate on the other side! I'm guessing he saw our vehicle and wasn't worried. The road was beautiful. There was about six inches of snow covering the pavement and the ground was white as far as the eye could see. It was really amazing.
We took a side trip to Skidoo mine. We made it about 5 of the 10 miles when we decided to turn around. We were driving through three foot deep snow drifts on a steep, narrow mountain road with sheer cliffs off to the side. We had chains, but didn't need them as we weren't slipping at all, but I decided it just wasn't worth the risk so we turned around at a great lookout point.
Emigrant Pass is covered with snow after a big snowstorm the night before.
On our way to Death Valley, my lovely wife Penelope and I took a detour to check out the Trona Pinnacles. It was raining pretty heavily and the road was a flooded muddy mess. Our trusty FJ Cruiser handled the gooey clay beautifully.
The Trona Pinnacles jut out of the ground behind a river of muddy water in the foreground.
After many many requests I now have prints available for purchase online. You can buy prints of my work here on my PhotoShelter page. I currently have some of my recent galleries up there. I plan to put nearly all my work up in the near future so keep checking back here for updates.
New LA River Photos
Recently a friend of mine took me on a tour of the Los Angeles River. He is working on one of the bridge widening projects and we drove between several of the projects his company is bidding on. Of course we stopped at each bridge along the way:
Last night I stood on my balcony in Downtown Los Angeles and saw the Station Fire burning in the hills. I jumped in my car and headed towards JPL. This time instead of robots trying to get out of the sand or high-tech radar systems, I would be photographing fire. A giant fire, making its way down towards NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
The Station Fire burns out of control separated by a single ridge above the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
After photographing the fire from below JPL, I decided to head up into the hills to shoot a bit closer to the action.
A firefighter waits for the Station Fire to cross the gully separating it from the home he is protecting.
Our short trip to Austin last weekend happened to coincide with the Republic of Texas Biker Rally. I don't own a motorcycle and am not a biker. This didn't prevent me from enjoying some of the great motorcycles on display in Downtown Austin.
Penelope, her brother and his girlfriend hit some bars during the rally. Of course I had my camera with me.
As I mentioned yesterday, I love junk. Last weekend, my wife and I visited her brother in Austin and on our last day there we took a trip to the Cathedral of Junk.
The Cathedral of Junk is basically a giant sculpture in Vince Hanneman's backyard. It's open to the public on most days and entry is free, although donations are accepted. The cathedral is an amalgamation of thousands of random pieces of junk including electronics, bicycles, toys, lamps, bottles and more. It's actually quite beautiful to look at and fun to climb on.
I shot some HDR photos of it using my trusty Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35 f/2.8 L II lens. As usual I combined the +/- 2 EV bracketed shots with Photomatix. The results are after the jump.
If you have an opinion about me embedding the larger sized photos please let me know by leaving a comment. Enjoy!
I love junk. One of my first jobs was working at the world's most amazing junkyard: The Black Hole.
Over the years I have photographed some really cool junkyards including Norton Sales and APEX Electronics. I am always on the lookout for cool places with giant piles of interesting junk. If you happen to know of any particularly cool junkyards let me know in the comments below.
A few weeks ago when I was shooting my June Gloom series in Vernon, I came across a metal recycling yard. On a whim I walked in with my camera and tripod and asked if I could take some photos. As it turned out they were fine with that. I made my way through the giant piles of aluminum, copper and steel scrap and captured the HDR images you'll find after the jump.
One of my favorite perspectives of Downtown Los Angeles is from atop a little hill between the 101 and the 5. I shot one of my most popular photos from that location. A few weeks ago I captured some more photos from that spot on the hill.
It saddens me to think that the 6th street bridge will be demolished someday in the near future. It has cement rot, due to the materials used in its construction. The new bridge won't be the same, but it will still be fun to document the transition.
The Los Angeles River is not your average waterway. Before it was channelized in the 1940s it frequently changed its path and flooded various parts of the Los Angeles basin during big rains.
Today the LA River hardly looks like a river at all, being completely encased in concrete. It does still attract waterfowl on their migratory paths and water does flow through it throughout the year. That water is about 80% treated sewage when it's not raining. I still find the LA River beautiful with its sloping concrete walls and many bridges and railroad crossings.
A few weeks ago I waded through muck and treated sewage to capture some photos of the endearing Los Angeles River.
South and slightly East of Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon is a fully industrial city with only a few residents (91 in 200 census). These residences are for the employees of the city. The Mayor of Vernon is the grandson of the founder of the city, according to Wikipedia:
The city held no contested elections from 1980 to 2006 ... most of the municipally owned housing is occupied by city employees, and has regularly voted to cancel elections...
Mayor Leonis C. Malburg is a grandson of one of the founders of the city, leading to frequent allegations of political fiefdom or illiberal democracy.
Currently, the District Attorney's office of Los Angeles County is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of public corruption by city officials...
Vernon is packed with warehouses, food processing plants, glass and plastic bottle manufacturing, scrapyards, and it's crisscrossed with railroad tracks. I love shooting Vernon. To me, it's beautiful.
As I mentioned yesterday, I spent Saturday tooling around taking photos of the lovely clouds above the industrial wasteland that is Vernon. At one point I made my way down into the Los Angeles River.
The birds were out enjoying the water and the sunshine. I saw ducks, finches and sandpipers. It's great to see life thriving in a giant concrete spillway filled with muck and a bit of water.
Last weekend I spent the day wandering through my favorite industrial city in greater Los Angeles: Vernon. The sky was perfect for HDR and I captured a wide range of interesting industrial goodness. I have decided to split the photos into a 6 part series.
The first part of this series is also the smallest. The two photos it contains feature two graffiti walls near Vernon. I shot these with my Canon 5D Mark II through a 16-35mm f/2.8 L II lens. Each photo is a combination of 3 bracketed RAW files which were used to create a tonemapped HDR image in Photomatix.
Keep an eye out for the other five parts of the June Gloom Series coming soon.
Due to its massive size and weight when loaded with camera gear, I am no longer using the Tamrac 619 as my daily-carry bag. Last year I wrote about switching to the Tamrac 619. It served me pretty well until one day when it nearly broke my back.
The Tamrac 619 is a huge bag. Like everything from Tamrac it is constructed from tough, high-quality materials, and designed to last a long time. Unfortunately for me, my eyes were bigger than my stomach (shoulder?) on this one. Fully loaded, the 619 weighed in at almost 40 lbs! Way too much to wear on my shoulder every day.
After I nearly threw my back out, I went down to Samy's to peruse their selection of camera bags. I needed shoulder bag that provided quick access to my camera, had room for a couple of lenses and had a padded laptop enclosure to fit my MacBook Pro.
Up until this point I had sworn by Tamrac bags, but they just didn't make one that I felt really good about carrying around every day. After looking around I found the super-tough and non-camera-bag-looking ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50.
ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50
The ThinkTank bags are designed to not look like camera bags. The Urban Disguise 50 looks just like a laptop bag, but has some really nice features. Obviously it has room for cameras, but it also has lots of nice pockets for various gear and accessories, a laptop sleeve, a super-comfy shoulder strap and an integrated rain fly.
The guys are ThinkTank really went all out with their design, including unique features like a hidden pocket, super-tough ballistic nylon and YKK zippers. I love this bag and will likely devote a post to it for a more thorough review at some point.
The Tamrac 619 is a well-constructed bag, but it is simply too massive to carry around every day. I still use it to carry equipment for big shoots, and at some point it will become my RedRock Micro DSLR rig case. If you need a giant bag, this one certainly meets that requirement, just don't try and carry it with you every day.
The massive Tamrac 619 / Super Pro 19 with a 77mm lens cap provided for scale.
NIF is an amazing experiment designed to create fusion using lasers. As you've probably noticed, I love lasers and robots, and NIF employs both to get its job done. The NIF gallery just went up on Wired.com. It uses the new gallery format which allows for bigger pictures and the ability to view the whole thing at once. NIF is probably the coolest thing I have ever photographed.
Click the photo below to see the gallery:
Last year I worked with Brett Gurewitz and Epitaph on a photo project for Bad Religion's newest album: New Maps of Hell. The photos I shot around Los Angeles were used for the Deluxe Edition of the album.
The project was really fun and I really enjoyed working with Brett and the folks over at Epitpah. I just got around to photographing the album artwork and booklet. You can check out the work below:
More photos after the jump...
Last month my lovely wife Penelope I took a vacation in San Francisco. We go up every year to visit family and enjoy good food and culture. This year was no exception.
We drove up to SF the day before Valentine's Day and just two days after Penelope had taken her nursing board exam, the NCLEX. The stressful part of taking the NCLEX, apart from the five hours it can take to complete, is that you don't know if you passed for several days. Our first night we went to bed not fully ready to relax, worrying about the test.
That next morning, Penelope woke me to tell me she passed, we both screamed, tweeted, and jumped up and down on the bed. That was the our best Valentines Day ever. We had a lovely dinner at the tiny, but delicious Canteen. Afterwards we visited a plethora of bars.
During our trip we tried to jog every morning despite the rain, and we did a pretty good job. I think we jogged 6 times during the 10 days we were in SF.
I took a few working breaks to shoot photos for Wired, which due to work and a few other projects I have yet to post. They will be coming very soon, keep an eye out here and on wired.com from galleries from NIF, SLAC and a few other cool places.
The trip was wonderful and as always we can't wait to go back. Here are some of the photos we shot:
A lovely sunset as seen from our hotel room at the Kabuki.
Our kite soars above Penelope's head, despite the lack of a strong breeze.
A bouquet of locally grown flowers from the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Plaza.
More after the jump...
Thanks to the recent rains, Downtown Los Angeles' Not A Cornfield park is in full bloom. It's really quite beautiful down there, if you haven't taken a look you're missing out.
Ok, so it's no longer called Not A Cornfield, and is now the Los Angeles State Historical Park. Either way it is totally covered with wildflowers. As you can see in the photos below:
More after the jump...
Shutterbug is an excellent magazine aimed at photographers in the serious amateur to professional range. Their pages are filled with great reviews, photographer profiles and advanced technique how-to articles. Every month a section of their magazine is devoted to reviews of various photographer's websites.
Last year after updating my website, I submitted it for review. I was excited to find that Joe Farace had chosen my site to be included in the Web Profiles section of the magazine.
After having learned to develop film in his mom's darkroom when he was in grade school, Dave Bullock was bitten by the photography bug. The straightforward site design shows off Bullock's colorful images in an equally straightforward style. Big thumbnails. You click 'em, they get bigger. Big enough to enjoy the depth and nuance of images in his "Projects" collection, and showcased in his "Industrial Landscapes" section that is yet another answer to the bored photographer's oft-voiced cliché that "there's nothing to photograph." His photographs of bridges, rail yards, and urban waterways transcend their subject matter because of the same impeccable craftsmanship that large format landscape photographers lavish on their images. Here Bullock finds "beauty in odd places," revealing unseen aspects of the world that we really live in, not the California Carleton Watkins photographed 100 years ago.
In his "Photojournalism" collection Bullock explores the beauty of science, two words seldom used in the same sentence. His images of NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Network facility combine gritty yet stylish editorial images inside the facility and Star Trek-like images of sweep and majesty outside. Don't miss the studio and environmental photographs of people in the "Movers and Shakers" and "Artists" sections (in the "Portraits" collection) for another, more sensitive side of Bullock's work. His mom is Rhoda Gordon Bullock, an accomplished photographer, proving that sometimes talent is genetic. I urge you to also visit her website (http://rgbullock.com/home) to view her fine art images.
Shutterbug really is a great magazine, and I'm not just saying that because of the great review they gave me. I've been a subscriber since April of 2006 and it is currently the only photography magazine I subscribe to. If you're a photographer you really should subscribe to Shutterbug. It rocks!
I will be showing my Los Angeles HDR photography for the first time in print form during the Downtown Art Walk next week at Niche LA Gallery.
I have had two public showings in the past, but this will be the first show of my Los Angeles HDR work. If you've been following my blog you've likely seen these photos (shown below). To really get the full experience of this work you have to see it large. The amount of detail is really quite stunning.
Depending on how the clouds look in the next few days I may also be showing some brand-new work. No promises on that, but it is a possibility. Either way please come down and check out my work.
Niche.LA is located in the Spring Arts Tower at:
453 S. Spring St. #443
Los Angeles, CA 90013
February 12th & March 12th, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Here are some of the photos I will be showing:
Los Angeles and 6th Street Bridge
Los Angeles River and Downtown
Blue Gravel Factor for Scott Brown
Griffith Park Fire and Downtown Los Angeles from 7th Street Bridge
The show will be held at Russel Brown's gallery/community space: The Exchange (114 W 5th Street). We will have an opening during Art Walk starting around 6pm at which we will be serving wine and snacks.
Along with the framed and unframed prints for sale we will be exhibiting videos and slideshows from our members. The work is really amazing and the slideshows will permit the public to see much more than what had previously been shown.
Please come down and support the show and the Skid Row Photo Club members.Related Press:
- Downtown News: A New Focus on Skid Row
- Wired: Skid Row Photography Club Uses Donated Cameras to Make Street Art
- BoingBoing: Donate Your Used Digital Camera to LA's Skid Row Photo Club
Not every gallery I shoot for Wired.com makes the cut. Last year during my PMA coverage, I took a short detour to Nellis AFB to take photos of their gigantic solar farm. Until now, the photos were never published.
The solar power farm at Nellis is the largest in North America. Thousands of solar panels glisten in the sun, gathering energy to help run the Air Force Base. It is quite a sight to see.
Clearly our country needs more green energy infrastructure. I predict in the next few years we will see hundreds if not thousands of solar farms like this cropping up all over our nation.
I also think that using nanotechnology, researchers will soon make a solar panel that doubles or triples the efficiency of current photovoltaics. Personally I think this will happen at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute, about which I have done several stories for Wired.com.
CnSI has brought together the top scientists and researchers from almost every department at UCLA. They are collaborating on nanotechnology in a brand new, super-high-tech facility. Keep your eye on CnSI for a wide array of nanotech breakthroughs in the next few years.
Back to Nellis, here are a few selections from the Nellis AFB Solar Farm shoot:
Snow-covered mountains in the background are framed by an array of photovoltaic panels in this never-before-published shot from the Nellis AFB Solar Farm.
The brains of the solar tracker control are exposed in this shot from 2008.
The sun peeks through a solar panel at Nellis AFB.
To see the rest of the Nellis AFB Solar Farm photos click here.
Last year I shot 26 galleries for Wired.com. Although we're well into the new year and past the usual top-ten retrospective period, I've put together a collection of my ten favorite shoots from 2008.
I really enjoy shooting for Wired, mostly due to the fact that I'm a huge nerd and love technology and science. I'm looking forward to shooting many more cool locations, labs and lairs this year.
So without further ado, here they are, my top ten favorite Wired.com galleries from 2008:
- #10: New Purification Plant Answers California's Water Crisis - This tour took me through an amazing new waste treatment plant that basically turns sewage to drinking water.
- #9: Homemade Bombs, From Richard Reid's Shoe to Kaczynski's Envelope - I wasn't sure to expect when I attended this Homeland Security trade show, but when I saw the simulated bombs I knew it would be interesting and controversial. When DHS gave me permission to shoot them I was really excited. Don't miss the comments on this gallery. Priceless.
- #8: Journey Into the Science of the Sun - High-vacuum equipment has always interested me. When I saw the giant vacuum chamber used in this experiment I was enthraled.
- #7: Einstein's Legacy: Inside the Quest for Gravity Waves - Another tour that involved giant vacuum chambers. These were chock-full-o-lasers.
- #6: Gallery: Take an X-Ray With Your Office Sticky Tape - When I read the paper about this experiment I loved the whole premise, especially how easy it was to understand by the general public. I really like the glowing tape photo in this gallery.
- #5: Microscope-On-a-Chip Is One Step Closer to the Tricorder - This little chip will someday change the world. Very cool technology.
- #4: How to Make Superstrong, Superflexible Metals - The way the metal looks when it's molten is beautiful. I love these shots.
- #3: Gallery: Inside the Navy's Armed-Robot Labs - This was the only gallery I shot that actually frightened me. Autonomous robots are not awesome when they're armed.
- #2: A Lesson in Internet Anatomy: The World's Densest Meet-Me Room - When I first toured One Wilshire 9 years ago I snuck in a camera and took some photos of the crazy cables in the Meet-Me-Room. This time around I was on assignment and took photos of the crazy cables in the Meet-Me-Room. One Wilshire is awesome.
- #1: Inside NASA's Mars Mission - This is my all time favorite gallery that I've shot for Wired. My editor ranked it as one of the year's best. Here is what he said about it: "Our best science photographer, Dave Bullock, toured the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex shortly before the Phoenix lander touched down on Mars. His photos show the calm before the storm, and his coverage of the landing and the lander's first images was excellent as well."
As I mentioned yesterday, I am going through all my Wired.com assignment archives and uploading my favorite shots, including never-before-published out-takes, in full resolution on flickr and my gallery. Here are a few shots from my tour of Paul Bellan's Plasma Lab at Caltech:
A high-speed camera peers into the vacuum chamber, awaiting plasma to form.
A lens magnifies the view inside the vacuum chamber at the Bellan Plasma lab at Caltech.
Caltech graduate student fires a charge of electricity into the vacuum chamber, creating plasma in the process.
The turnout was amazing. Hundreds of people took time to look at our club member's amazing photos. Everyone was enthralled by the quality of the work and excited to learn about the concept behind the club.
I felt like a carnival barker luring marks to the table, but it was for a cause more noble than a ring-toss. My hard-sell helped to bring people to the table who otherwise would have just passed by. This in turn helped to sell a dozen prints.
The deal we have worked out with the club members is that half of any print sales goes to the club and the other half goes to that member. Yesterday at our meeting I handed out envelopes to all of our members who have given me photos. It was great for them to see a monetary response to their work.
Bert Green kindly sponsored our entry fee for the Bazaar and made sure our paperwork was pushed through. The table was a great idea and I really enjoyed talking to so many people about the project. We also earned enough money to buy another camera!
The next step is to update the website so that each member has their own blog, bio and gallery. Their galleries will also allow people to purchase prints online. I am going to try and have this done by year's end.
I am looking forward to seeing more amazing work from our participants. Our next show coming up will open during the January Downtown Art Walk at Raw Materials. Come down and see the work if you get a chance!
A folding table is covered with prints for sale from members of the Skid Row Photography Club.
Blaze and I were featured on BoingBoing TV today talking about the Skid Row Photo Club:
I just picked up the Canon 5D MK II which I've been drooling over since it was announced a few months ago. I really want to shoot some photos now, but I have to charge the battery first! In the interim, here are some unboxing photos:
I shot this gallery for Wired.com and it just went live on their website. Check it out:
The Skid Row Photography Club's first show, The Beauty of the Street, premiered last Thursday during the Downtown Art Walk. The participants were ecstatic to see their beautiful work on the walls and the hundreds of people who came into the gallery loved what they saw.
The SRPC started as an idea I "borrowed" from the movie Born Into Brothels. I wrote a proposal to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council to buy digital cameras which we then gave to people living in Skid Row. I gave the participants brief lessons in composition and turned them loose. For the last six months we've met every Tuesday at UCEPP in Skid Row.
During that time they shot over 20,000 photos between them. An amazing body of work ranging from flowers to architecture to a man defecating in the middle of the street.
I pared the photos down to 11 selections for the show. Conor Colvin-Hunter designed a flyer, posters, banners and the website for free. My employer AmericasPrinter.com donated the flyer printing. I then printed the 13"x19" photos with my Epson 3800 on Ultra-smooth Fine Art Matte paper and had them framed at the Downtown Framing Outlet. DLANC paid for the framing.
Stella Dottir hosted the show in her gallery at no charge and took no cut of the sales. The SRPC members helped me hang the work a few days before Art Walk at the gallery.
The show was a hit, the turnout was amazing. Click here to watch a video of the opening put together by the SRPC founder Michael Blaze. I estimate we had over 500 people come through the doors during the evening. The response to the work was wonderful and the artists were all so proud of their accomplishments. It was quite moving.
Prints are available in a limited edition run of 5 each for $100 per print unframed and $290 framed. Half the proceeds goes to buy more cameras and the other half goes to the artist. I will update the website with the available photos along with more of the club member's work soon.
I am looking forward to our next show and seeing more amazing work from these talented photographers.
If you are interested in participating in the club we meet every Tuesday at 3pm in the UCEPP room on the corner of 6th and Stanford. If you would like to donate digital cameras please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Skid Row Photography Club stand together in front of their first show at Stella Dottir's gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. From left to right: Lawrence Landry, Lance, Sandra Y. Kornegay, Manuel "OG Man" Compito, Dave Bullock, Michael Blaze, Queen RA, Conor Colvin-Hunter, Don Garza and General Jeff.
Photographer Sandra Y. Kornegay stands proudly in front of her photo (upper left) which she shot on a cell phone.
Skid Row Photography Club member Manuel "OG Man" Compito interviews Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry at the Beauty of the Streets show during last week's Downtown Art Walk.
Police shot a homeless man brandishing a knife around 1:30 p.m. today shutting down several blocks around 6th and Stanford. The ensuing investigation prevented access to the UCEPP building where the Skid Row Photography Club holds its meetings.
According to an eye-witness, the police officers asked the man to put the knife down. When he allegedly lunged at them, they opened fire and shot him. The police then proceeded to handcuff him and called an ambulance.
The eye-witness noted that the ambulance took an unusually long time to arrive, upwards of 20 minutes. Normally emergency services arrive very quickly in Skid Row as their station is just a few blocks away. The suspect was still alive when loaded into the ambulance, but his current condition is unknown.
The Skid Row Photography Club, of which I am a co-founder along with Michael Blaze, meets every Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the UCEPP center. We have a gallery show coming up starting with a soft opening in the beginning of November at Stella Dottir's shop and gallery. The official opening will be during the Downtown Art Walk on the 13th of November.
I am very excited about the opening. The group has produced an amazing body of work. Too much to display in just one show. The website will be up soon so and you'll be able to see this wonderful work for yourself.
The crime scene from an officer involved shooting inconveniently blocks access to the Skid Row Photography Club meeting in this photo from earlier today.
The UCEPP building is inaccessible for the Skid Row Photo Club meeting due to an investigation of an officer involved shooting that happened earlier in the day.
Update: ABC 7 has a story along with video and photos from my eye-witness.
I have an addiction to photo gear. I own a crapload of equipment and I'm always buying new stuff to the delight of my
accountant wife. Along the way I've gone through a number of camera bags, each progressively better than the last.
I started out with a smallish Lowepro bag when I bought my first SLR. It had this incredibly dangerous problem in which the plastic buckle that held strap on would randomly come loose. I remember when I was at Samy's Camera talking to a saleperson and told him about my problem. He said that's why I should use Tamrac, as it's the best bag around. Ever since then I've been a Tamrac guy.
I started out with and older version of the Tamrac 5502, which is a relatively small bag. It worked fine when I had one camera, one lens and one flash. As my photo equipment collection expanded, I quickly outgrew the 5502. I currently use it to hold my Sony PCM-D50 audio recorder, Sennheiser MD46 ENG mic, Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones and various cables.
While I still used this bag for my SLR, I bought a nice selection of medium format Mamiya cameras and lenses from eBay on the cheap. I needed a giant bag to hold all of them. Tamrac used to make a bag specifically for medium format cameras called the Tamrac 622 [photo here]. They no longer make it, but I found one on eBay and purchased it. It's a great (both in size and functionality) bag. I don't shoot medium format as much as I would like, but at least it's well protected in that massive 622.
My next bag was the Tamrac 5608. The 5608 holds two cameras with lenses attached along with several other lenses, flashes, HV batteries, etc. This worked well for me until I picked up the tack-sharp Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS lens. Unfortunately I couldn't leave this lens on the cameras that were in the 5608. At one point I missed an amazing shot of a hawk while I scrambled to change the lens.
The missed shot happened during my vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico with my lovely wife Penelope. Shortly after that we hit a local photo store where I purchased the Tamrac 617, also known as the Super Pro 17. It holds two cameras with lenses attached, including one with the 70-200 on it. It also has room for another lens, a flash, cables and various other accessories. I now use my 5608 to hold my flash gear. The 617 is awesome and is my current camera bag.
The Pro 17 has one problem, it doesn't have room for my laptop. Because of this I have a backpack with my laptop and cables in it and a camera bag. This results in me frequently being without my camera as it's a pain to carry two heavy bags. I recently went to Samy's to check out a bag that I've had my eye on for some time now.
The bag I've been lusting over is the Tamrac 619 also known as the Pro 19. This bag is awesome. It's wider than the Pro 17 so it has room for two or three more lenses. It also has side pockets which will let me stow either my audio equipment or HV battery packs. Finally, and most importantly, it has room for a laptop and cables.
I ordered the Pro 19 tonight from amazon. Once I have it, I will rarely be without my camera gear. Hopefully this will allow me to take more photos for fun, as opposed to just shooting when I'm on assignment. I'm really looking forward to its arrival, Tamrac bags are wonderful and I fully endorse and recommend them.
Awesome, internet-venerable website BoingBoing posted up a link and photo from my Industrial Landscapes series. It doesn't say so anywhere on my site, but limited edition archival prints of most images are available to purchase in both 13"x19" and 17"x22" formats. Email me for price and availability.
I have somewhat of a backlog of galleries for Wired.com right now. Earlier this week one of them posted, as well as a photo of my laptop. In case you were wondering I wrote all the captions and intros for the galleries, but the laptop one wasn't written by me.
This gallery is about a new technology that will allow a microscope to be squeezed onto a microchip.
That's my laptop.
This gallery is about a scientists at Caltech who have shrunken a still down to micro-size.
This morning I took a 20 minute flight on Virgin America out to the Mojave Spaceport to witness (and photograph) the unveiling of WhiteKnightTwo. I had a great time and wrote an article about it for Wired Science that I posted on the tarmac waiting to fly back to LAX. I ran in to Xeni Jardin and met Brian Lam when I was there.
Recently I have been participating in the Skid Row Photography Club (SRPC). When I was part of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) I requested funding for club which Michael Blaze started. DLANC ended up putting in $2,000.
Per the funding proposal I submitted, half of that money was to go towards purchasing cameras. We ended up buying six Fujifilm Finepix Z20FD digital cameras and six 2GB cards.
The 10 megapixel cameras remain property of DLANC, but each were assigned to a member of the SRPC. So far the participants have been very happy with their cameras. I have been ecstatic with the resulting images.
After a few more months of shooting, I will be curating a gallery show with prints from each member. We have another $1,000 in the budget to matte and frame the work. Any income from the sale of the photos will be split between the SRPC and the photographer.
It is inspiring to see the participants enthusiastically embrace photography. Each member of the club has their own style and interests. I am very excited about the upcoming show and this great group of photographers.
The Skid Row Photography Club meets every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. in the UUCEP lounge on the corner of 6th and Stanford in Downtown Los Angeles. Everyone is welcome, no camera required.
Note: The Skid Row Photography Club is seeking funding and donations for more camera and computer equipment. We are also looking for a gallery or other venue to display the work during an upcoming Downtown Art Walk. If you know anyone how would be interested in helping, please let me know.
Members of the Skid Row Photography Club pose for a group shot in the UCEPP lounge in Downtown Los Angeles.
I've been spending my free time over the last few weeks working on my new photography website. My good friend Cedrick Osborn did the graphic design. I did the XHTML/CSS and backend programming.
The site is pretty basic feature-wise, but gets the job done. It has about 200 of what I consider my best photos, some of which have never been published.
Take a few minutes and check out my new site: davebullock.com. Let me know what you think in the comments on this post. If you dig my new site, don't forget to tell your friends and blog/twitter about it!
UCLA scientists are working hard to fight cancer and their latest creations could target tumors directly. I toured the labs making these new nanomachines called nanoimpellers and took photos for Wired. You can check out the photos along with a brief intro I wrote by clicking here or on the photo below:
On Sunday I shot some photos of the grand opening of Mister Cartoon's new shop in my building: The Last Laugh / Upper Playground. I just posted the photos over on blogdowntown:
Click here to see Upper Playground / Last Laugh Opening gallery.
On Sunday I spent the day covering the historic landing of the Phoenix on Mars from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena. It was an exciting assignment for Wired that entailed four separate trips, one to Goldstone in the Mojave and three to JPL. Here is some of my coverage from the landing, click on the screen-grabs to read the articles:
I'm covering the Phoenix landing on Sunday from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Today was my second trip to JPL in as many weeks. I had a chance to interview two of the Mission Managers and I recorded them with my totally awesome Sony PCM-D60 using an excellent Sennheiser MD46 microphone and listening to it all with my Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones.
The first interview is with Joe Guinn, Mission System Manager:
My second interview that I recorded today is with Barry Goldstein, Phoenix Project Manager:
A funny anecdote: After interviewing Goldstein in Mission Control I asked him to move into some better light for a photograph with a good background. When he was walking over there I signaled Reuters photographer, Mario Anzuoni, to follow me so he could get a good photo as well. After I shot my photos Anzuoni took his, which is now up on Reuters. Here are some other great photos of the San Diego fire by Anzuoni.
Last week I took an early morning drive out to the Mojave Desert to visit NASA's Goldstone facility. Goldstone is one of three Earth locations of the Deep Space Network (DSN). The DSN is used to listen to and control spacecraft and has been around since the 50's.
A few days later I headed to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to get some photos of Mission Control and interview a lead technician responsible for the landing [click to listen to the podcast].
I will be covering the landing live on Sunday for Wired.com. My Mars landing coverage can be found here on Wired Science. Click on the image below to see the gallery:
After months of not posting on blogdowntown, I finally put a post together from this month's Art Walk. It's a short photo essay from a few galleries and it's live now. Click here to see my Art Walk post on blogdowntown.
After I was walking back from the protest today, I saw this totally awesome pipe-smoking fellow walking his fat fluffy bunny:
Today's protest was smaller compared to last years May Day protest. I would say roughly 10,000 people gathered beside City Hall at the end of the day. There were three groups, and photographed each of them, the first while it was gathering at Olympic and Broadway, the second from their rally point in MacArthur park to the intersection of 5th and Broadway where I met up with the Legalize LA group, which seemed to be the largest of the three.
Here are some of the photos from today:
Here's a link to some of the shots I took today on Wired.com's Listening Post:
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm covering Coachella for Wired.com. I just posted a selection of the photos I shot yesterday over on Wired.com's Listening Post. I got a lift up in a cherry picker over the main stage and got some photos of the whole grounds at night:
As I mentioned in my Mojave Wildflower post yesterday, I traveled to the revived ghost town of Shoshone for the Desert Explorers Rendezvous. We went on a few off-road trips, exploring mines and ghost towns along the way. It was my second DE Rendezvous, here is my post from the 2007 Rendezvous. Here are a few photos from the trip:
A few weeks ago I took a trip out to the desert with my lovely wife and my father-in-law, Jim Proffitt. The group that brought us together for this excursion to Shoshone is known as the Desert Explorers. They are a group of mostly older folks who have an immense pool of knowledge and love for the desert.
I found and photographed 11 different species of wildflowers. Alan Romspert is a botany professor at UC Fullerton and helped me identify the species I shot during happy hour in Shoshone. Here are a few of the photos I shot:
I have my second gallery show coming up this Thursday at the Spring Arts Collective Gallery during the Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles. If you're in the area please come by and take a look at the four framed pieces I will be showing. The show is a continuation of my "Land of Nuclear Enchantment" series that just wrapped up at Niche Video Art. Here are the specifics:
Thursday April 10th, noon to 9 p.m. (Reception: 7-9 p.m.)
Spring Arts Collective Gallery
Spring Arts Tower on the Mezzanine Level
453 South Spring Street (on the corner of 5th and Spring)
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Please come down and check out the show!
Last month I had my first gallery show at Niche Video Art. This month my show continued at Niche. I took some photos during the show as well as a couple when I was walking over. Here are a few, including my increasingly rare self-portrait shot:
Earlier this morning I went on my tenth Downtown Walkabout. I just got a Polar F11 heart rate monitor, as recommended to me by my sister-in-law, Merrilee. After telling it your stats and doing a resting heart-rate test you then go through a series of gradually more difficult exercises. This allows the system to determine your target heart rate for varying levels of exertion. Then you tell it how much you want to work out each week and it takes you through a series of exercise levels during your workout. At the end it tells you how many calories you burned and how long you worked out. Pretty cool! After an hour and 22 minutes of walking at a very brisk pace I burned 777 calories.
Anyhow, here are a few of the photos I shot on my walk:
A few weeks ago, my lovely wife and I took a trip to the Los Angeles Zoo. We had a good time, but I couldn't help to feel sorry for all the animals on display for our enjoyment. Picturing them in their natural habitat frolicking to and fro instead of locked in a relatively small cage was somewhat depressing. There is no doubt that the animals are cute, but are they happy? Probably not. Either way enjoy the photos:
Last weekend my lovely wife and I went to Kauai for a good friend's wedding. We were only there for 2 nights, which is certainly not enough time to explore the luscious and beautiful island known as the Garden Island. Here are some photos I shot during a walk we took the morning before the wedding:
This morning I went on my 9th walkabout in Downtown LA. I decided to walk up to the Civic Center. I actually shot with a Canon Rebel XTi which I'm reviewing for WIRED News. It's not a bad camera, although it's quite and doesn't feel comfortable in my hands. Keep an eye out for the review coming soon. Here are a few of the photos I shot:
In January, my lovely wife Penelope and I took a vacation to the Bay Area to visit family, eat good food, and of course, shoot photos. My sister-in-law gave us a really awesome tour of the Internet Archive and on the way home we stopped and toured the amazingly beautiful SLAC, both of which turned in to WIRED News galleries. Last night I uploaded my photos from some of the non-tech places we visited. Here are a few for your enjoyment:
This whole waking up early thing is great for my productivity. I've been getting a great deal of work done, and that's before the sun even rises. I've also been getting all my reading in and completing a round of lumosity. I have also exercising every morning, and today I took an hour long walk, covering about 4 miles. I shot some photos along the way:
I love waking up early. This morning I rolled out of bed and started my day at 5:00 a.m. I love watching the sun come up and light up the skyline. I haven't been doing my walkabouts for a few days now, instead opting to do calisthenics in the loft, including jumping jacks, crunches, lunges and running in place.
Today I went for my walkabout despite the heavy coverage of smoke from a fire on 16th and Los Angeles. Today I walked up 5th street, over the Harbor Freeway and back down 6th street. Here are a few of the photos I shot along the way:
Click here to check out the rest of my Downtown LA Walkabout #7 gallery.
Earlier this year my lovely wife and I took a trip to the Bay Area to visit family and check out some cool stuff which I also shot for WIRED. One of the tours that my sister-in-law took us on was to the Internet Archive headquarters as well as a book scanning facility. The gallery went up on WIRED today:
This morning I woke up at 5:30 a.m., although I tried to wake up at 5:00 it didn't quite happen. After rolling out of bed, weighing myself and drinking my morning glass of water I had a light breakfast, read my news feeds and played a round of the reputedly mind-sharpening Lumosity. I don't normally play games, but I enjoy the quick mental challenges that Lumosity offers and I am considering getting a paid account when my trial runs out, although $80 a year seems kind of steep. After I finished all of that I went on my walkabout and shot some photos:
Check out the rest in my Downtown LA Walkabout #6 gallery.
On my quest to lose weight and be healthy I have been going on walks through various Downtown LA districts almost every morning. Today I walked through the Fashion District and shot some photos. Here are a few highlights:
You can check out the rest in my Downtown LA Walkabout #5 gallery.
A couple weeks ago I got an embargoed preview of an upcoming research paper in Nature. I contacted the scientist involved as well as my press contact at CalTech and asked if I could come down and shoot the experiment at the Quantum Optics laboratory. On Monday morning I went and interviewed the lead author of the paper, a student and researcher named Kyung Soo Choi. He explained the experiment to me, as the Nature article is quite dense, and afterward I shot the lab. Here is the resulting gallery on WIRED News:
I can't remember the last time I woke up at 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning when it didn't involve Search and Rescue. I didn't even set an alarm, but when I woke up and rolled over it was just a few minutes after six. I am really enjoying this early rising thing. I used to think I was more productive at night, but now that I'm getting up early I realize that I am actually a more effective worker in the morning.
As I mentioned the other day, I've been following the Zen Habits morning routine, although instead of fixing lunches for the kids, I feed the cats. I have also started getting ready for my day before I go to bed, again per Zen Habit's recommendations. I have really been enjoying the last point, reading myself to bed.
Today after breakfast I went for a brisk 45 minute walk around Downtown Los Angeles. I brought my camera along, and here are a few of the photos I shot:
You can check the rest of my Downtown LA Walkabout #4 photos here.
As you may have noticed, I've been walking around Downtown to get exercise and shooting photos along the way. I'm trying to doing this every day. I think I'm going to do it first thing tomorrow morning after I wake up and have my glass of water (I stopped drinking coffee). I like the Zen Habits morning routing idea, I'm going to give it a shot. Anyhow, here are a few of the photos I shot earlier today:
You can check out the rest of my Downtown LA Walkabout #3 photos here.
Toady I went for my second walkabout in Downtown Los Angeles, in what will be a series of many such walks. I shot a couple of photos of random interesting things that I saw. I really like the photo of the
flying rat pigeon above an alley. These photos were shot with my Canon 5D and a 16-35 f/2.8 L II lens.
I took a tour of One Wilshire a few weeks ago for WIRED News. I've always been fascinated by One Wilshire ever since I found out about its total coolness over a decade ago. About 8 years ago I got a tour and took some photos, which I can't seem to find in my archive. Luckily I got back and and shot some more:
I made my over to AOL's office in Beverly Hills and shot some photos of BarCamp LA 5. I would have liked to stay longer, but I was pretty beat from the search yesterday. I didn't shoot portraits this year, but Dan Tentler stepped up to the plate and handled it. Here are a few of the shots I took:
Now that I'm 30 I've decided it is time to lose some weight. Part of that will involve adjusting my diet to lower my caloric intake. Another part will involve exercise. I am making the exercise part fun by going for an hour walk every day around Downtown and shooting photos along the way. I plan on going a different way each day to avoid monotony, today I walked over to Little Tokyo to drop off a Demand Warrant for DLANC. Here are a few photos I shot along the way:
You can check out the rest of my Downtown Walkabout photos here.
Update I totally forgot to mention that these were shot with my brand new lens, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II. So far I'm really digging it. Also Jim Winstead pointed out the irony of my first choice of photo in a post about losing weight!
Last week at UCLA I was given a really interesting tour of Dr. Omar M. Yaghi's laboratory where he and his students have created some amazing nanotechnology that has nearly unlimited potential. The gallery just went live:
I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed shooting them!
I made this video with roughly 500 shots from my Canon 5D. At some point I need to either buy or build an intervalometer. I have that generic Arduino kit that I need to put together and put to use. Sounds like another project in the making, just what I need.
I don't think I had ever witnessed a complete lunar eclipse before. It was a cool experience. The weather in Downtown LA cleared up perfectly a few hours ago and it stayed clear until a cloud partially obscured the moon just after totality. Very beautiful:
I'm also exporting a video right now form the 579 stills I shot. Stand by for that. =]
Earlier this year I was treated to a wonderful tour of the Stanford Linear Accelerator. As you know, I love shooting photos of geek / nerdy / techy subjects and SLAC did not disappoint. I've been working with my photo editor at WIRED News (http://wired.com) for weeks on this gallery and it just went live:
Update Looks like the gallery has been linked on slashdot.
This summer I took a road trip to my old stomping ground in New Mexico. Along the way I toured some of my favorite places including Los Alamos and shot photos of some beautiful scenery as well as cool nuclear equipment. I have put together a show that includes a juxtaposition between the lovely natural wilderness and the cold technology that has been a key part of the nuclear weapons industry that is peppered throughout said wilderness.
All of the photos were creating using an HDR / Tone-Mapping process and have been printed with my Epson Stylus Pro 3800 on Ultrasmooth Fine Art Matte paper which has an estimated archival life of over 100 years.
The show will be taking place at the Niche Video Art gallery (although there will be no video involved) and the opening is on Thursday during the Downtown Art Walk between noon and 9pm. Please come down and take a look at the prints if you get a chance! Here is the address:
453 S. Spring St. #443 [Google Map]
Los Angeles, CA
I shot this cool plant earlier this week. The gallery just went live over on WIRED News:
Here is a short movie I put together of my HDR photos from this past year:
Note that the images aren't actually in order. If you're interested, the full resolution Quicktime movie can be found here [~100MB].
Update: My friend Steve Kesler asked me how I put this movie together. It was actually pretty straight forward. I just exported the images from my photo management application (LightRoom) and then in Quicktime I selected File > Open Image Sequence. I then selected the first image in that folder. It takes a few minutes to process the images and then I saved and uploaded in to blip.tv.
Two weeks ago I shot the DV Expo in Downtown Los Angeles for WIRED News. The gallery went live on the front door of wired.com today. This is the first time I've had two pieces on the front door of WIRED News at the same time. I'm really really really looking forward to my first magazine assignment, if I ever get one!
Today's digital cameras have a limited dynamic range compared to film. If you shoot a photo of a landscape with a beautiful cloudy sky, your landscape will be properly exposed, but your clouds will be washed out or vice-versa. High-Dynamic Range photography allows you to circumvent your sensor's limitations by taking multiple photos with different exposures and combining them on your computer. All you need is a camera capable of manual exposure settings, a tripod and a computer and you'll be on your way to HDR mastery. Presented by Dave Bullock.
I'll be showing (for the first time) the individual RAW files that I combine to create some of my favorite HDR shots.
Here is a selection of the portraits I shot at BarCampLA4:
You can check out the rest of the photo here in my BarcampLA4 gallery.
Last night I shot some photos for a project that I'm doing for a band. I will give more details and show the finished product when the project is finished. Here is one of the out-takes from last night:
Zoom in for a closer look at the sign and the stars.
A short bit I wrote about a life sized version of Bumblebee in Hollywood just went up on the Wired News Underwire Blog. I'm looking forward to doing more writing and photography for Wired News, and hopefully for the actual magazine as well at some point.
I've been putting my photos on flickr for several years now. I joined flickr well before they were absorbed by yahoo. I have a "Pro" account which means I have actually paid money to flickr/yahoo for their services. Until recently I have been very happy with my experiences with flickr.
Earlier this year one of my photos from Coachella made it onto this official flickr blog post. The photo is no longer on that post, and it's not because I asked them to take it down, but because I asked them to credit me properly. I had previously asked the original blog poster several times to update the credit to say my name (Dave Bullock, not eecue) and to link that credit to my website (eecue.com not flickr.com/photos/eecue). After several attempts at contact, I never heard back from the original poster, mbaratz, so I sent in a message to both flickr help and abuse. Here is the response I got:
FlickrBlog is part of Flickr and this our standard for accreditation.
If you would prefer, we can remove your content from the post in question.
Hmm, interesting, so basically their policy violates my BY-NC-SA Creative Commons license. Instead of bringing that up I politely responded:
Ok, I understand. I'd really rather not have you delete it, wouldn't it be just as easy to credit me as it would be to delete it? How about you change the accreditation and then everyone is happy. You can keep the photo linking to the flickr page.
So I was hoping to get a reasonable and polite response, be it yes or no, but instead Heather responded with this passive aggressive missive:
I've removed your content from the post. I think that this is the easiest way to make everybody happy.
I was flabbergasted, I couldn't believe that they would just delete my photo instead of working with me and changing a single link in a blog post. Flickr is a huge champion of Creative Commons, I find it ludicrous that they would refuse to practice what they preach. Apart from Creative Commons, flickr requires you to link back whenever you post one of your photos on your site, but now they're refusing to link to me? They even insert rel="nofollow" on any links you put in your photo descriptions, but we're forced to link back when we post those same photos?
I am seriously considering removing all my content (5,976 photos which have received 277,092 views) from flickr. I don't really want to do this, but I feel totally insulted by this interaction I had with Heather.
Here is the photo in question:
UPDATE Not specifically related to this post, but I am no longer using flickr to host photos on this site. I will soon be removing all my photos from flickr once I have fully backed up all comments and data from said images.
Los Angeles has been dry and cloudless all summer. I really love the way clouds look in an HDR photo, and as I'm working on the last few shots I need for my first solo show which is coming up either in November or January, I couldn't resist spending a few hours driving around LA and getting some shots. Here are some photos of LA from a few vantage points I found throughout the city, including Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and Baldwin Hills Estates:
You can check out the rest in my Downtown from the Hills gallery.
Today the sky in Los Angeles was filled with the most beautiful clouds that we've had in some time now. I couldn't resist driving around my favorite industrial areas South of Los Angeles and shooting some photos. I even got a chance to try out my new Gobi Stealth roof rack, which has a mesh top and can support 300lbs, making it a perfect photographic platform. Here are the results from my excursion:
All photos were taken with a Canon EOS 5D, through a Canon 24-70 EF f/2.8 L atop my trusty Bogen Manfrotto 3021BN connected to a Arca Swiss B1 Monoball Head triggered using a wired remote. Each photo you see here is a combination of 3 bracketed shots: 0,-,+ 2 EV which were combined with Photomatix. More photos after the jump.
Scott Beale just posted about ZingFu ignoring his CC license and using one of his photos for a promotional card without either asking (which is required for commercial use) or crediting him. This happens to me rather frequently, which is why I've borrowed (with permission) the wording that Scott uses on all his photo on flickr:
This photo is licensed under a Creative Commons license. If you use this photo, please list the photo credit as "Scott Beale (Laughing Squid)" and link credit to laughingsquid.com.
Of course, I've replaced his name and website with mine, but I am guessing from his results, this will still not be enough.
The last two entities to refuse to properly credit my photos, and thus violate my creative commons license, were NPR and the Flickr Blog. I have also recently been contacted by an editor on Wikipedia, who has asked me to change my license to allow for commercial usage, which I will not do by any means. I find it very unfortunate that Wikipedia forbids -NC CC photos, but here is a page in support of their reasoning.
Over the years I've made my way through various Ultra-Compact digital cameras, the latest being the Canon Powershot SD550. I don't especially like the SD500 for a number of reasons which I don't feel like listing here. What I am going to list, is what I do want in an Ultra-Compact Digital Camera:
- Somewhere Between 5 and 10 Megapixels
- RAW Mode
- Full Manual Mode
- Tripod Mount
- Excellent Low-light Performance
- Quick or Instant Startup Time
- ≥ 3" LCD
- ≥ 2x Optical Zoom
- At Least 24-50mm Equivalent Zoom
- Fits Easily in Pocket
- Macro Mode
- Video Mode
- Doesn't Use Obscure Memory Format
- USB 2.0
- Water-Resistent of Water-Proof
- Image Stabilization
- Bluetooth / 802.11x
- Face Recognition
- Standard Sized Batteries
Obviously there is currently no camera that meets my required specs, but I'm hoping there will be some time soon. I was considering the Leica D-Lux 3, but because of its poor low-light performance and protruding lens won't work for me. If my SD550 dies before a camera with my required specs comes along, I'll probably go with the Nikon Coolpix S51, although it doesn't have a RAW nor manual modes.... ok so maybe that won't work. For now I'll just make it a point to lug around my 5D as much as possible.
Btw, this post was inspired by Scott Beale's post about his new Fuji Finepix F50.
UPDATE I have created a handy little size guide so you can get a real life idea of the size of the various Ultra-Compact cameras out there. So far I have only done Canon and Nikon, but I plan on adding other manufacturers. You can download the Ultra-Compact Camera Size Comparison Chart [66k PDF].
UPDATE 2 Hmm, I think this might be the perfect camera for me: Canon SD870 IS.
I'm excited. My first WIRED gallery just went online! So far there are 11 images in the gallery, but soon there should be around 20. Checkout my photos in the WIRED Nextfest Gallery. =]
Update The rest of my images, totaling 22, are now up on the gallery. I ended up writing the captions for the remaining 11 images. Unfortunately, WIRED.com's gallery doesn't allow two bylines for a gallery, but Kristen Philipkoski was nice enough to allow my to have the byline even though she wrote the captions on the original 11 images. Thanks Kristen!
About a month ago I upgraded to the newest version of Adobe's Lightroom. Adobe fixed most of the problems that existed in their first version, most importantly the horrid sluggishness that occurred when browsing through the library. It's not perfect yet, but it is much better. I am looking forward to the next version and the release of a plugin SDK.
I just noticed that NPR is using one of my photos on their website for a story about climate change and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. I have asked them to change the photo credit to Dave Bullock (eecue) and link to my website instead of flickr. We'll see what they say. Either way I'm flattered to see my photo on an NPR story. NPR Rocks.
I took this photo of the fire a couple of hours ago from the top of the 7th Street Bridge in Downtown Los Angeles. It is actually 3 photos 0,+2,-2 EV shot with my Canon EOS 5D through a Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L atop a tripod and combined with Photomatix. You can see another photo on blogging.la.
After an amazing trip with the Desert Explorers, Penelope and I headed home via historic Route 66. Here are a few photos from the trip:
All photos are a combination of 3 bracketed exposures (0,+2,-2 EV) taken with a Canon EOS 5D through a Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 L lens and combined into an HDR image and tonemapped in Photomatix.
I have an undying love for junk. Growing up I spent countless hours digging through my fathers' collection of vacuum tubes and old radios. The junk box, filled with untold thousands of assorted screws, bolts, nails and other detritus, was my playground. When I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and my father started working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he took me to what is arguably the world's greatest salvage yard, The Black Hole. I ended up working at Ed Grothus' amazing junkyard for 3 summers during my years in high school.
Recently I took a tour of APEX Electronics with the Dorkbot Socal group and shot some HDR photos of what I saw. Last week a saw an article in the LA Times about Norton Sales, and decided I had to go and shoot some HDR photos of their collection. I emailed the owner, Carlos, a link to my APEX photos and asked if I could come by and do a shoot. He was in to the idea, so on Sunday I drove up to North Hollywood and shot the following photos:
After a night of throwing up thanks to food poisoning, I see this comment on one of my flickr images:
... it's also on this website: The Consumerist
Note that the Editor of that site has stated:
"Credit is more [trouble] than its worth because then we would have to deal with people bitching all day that we didn't spell their name correctly, or they want their name and not their Flickr ID and so on and so forth... when my time is better spent looking for the next post to write. The next post that will save you time or money, or reveal some corporate skulduggery or whatnot. What is the greater good? To use the best photo possible to illustrate the post and move on!"
For more info, see this help topic
When I first went to the page on Consumerist the photo didn't link to anything at all. It now links to my flickr page, which is better, but not what I want. I have emailed several people over at Consumerist and have yet to hear back from them, hopefully they will just add the photo credit I am asking for: Photo by Dave Bullock.
From what their editor posted on some other flickr photos I am guessing that they are not going to do this. My CC license specifically states that you are free to share and remix my images with the following caveat: "You may not use this work for commercial purposes." The problem here is that Consumerist is most certainly a commercial entity and they have not asked me permission to use the photo, which I would give them for the low low cost of a photo credit and link to my website. You can read more about the situation on this flickr thread, where a flickr staff member has gotten involved.
Update Looks like they have posted a public apology and promised to credit photos properly. Cool deal.
Update 2 My properly formatted photo credit is now up.
The Really Right Stuff B5D-L bracket is my third bracket from RRS. RRS Makes custom brackets for cameras and lenses that fit into Arca-Swiss style clamps. I fell in love with their products when I bought my 20D bracket, due to the amazing quality of workmanship and the fit and finish. I have been very happy with my 5D bracket, except for one thing that I recently noticed. The bracket wasn't touching the the side of the camera and so in portrait shots it could flex or vibrate.
I called RRS today and talked to Joe who was very helpful, he told me I could loosen the screw and push the bracket over a tiny bit in order for it to touch the side. It worked, although it is only barely touching the side of the camera now. The 20D bracket made full contact along the side of the camera body and was much more solid. He noted that although their tolerances where very tight, within 5 thousands of an inch, the outside of a camera body may have larger variances. He said I could send it in and they would look at it, but because they are located in San Luis Obispo, asked if I could drop by some day and take a tour of their shop and have him fit it to my camera, which he said would be fine. He also said that they would be working on a fix for this in the next version. I'll let you know what happens when I go.
There is something magical about abandoned buildings. When I was growing up in the East Bay, my father would often take my brother and I to Point Bonita to explore the old bunkers and gun emplacements. I have very fond memories of climbing through the bars and exploring the spooky cement structures that used to hold artillery and ammunition. I hadn't been to Point Bonita in probably close to 20 years, but somehow I remembered exactly how to get there.
The remainder of the Point Bonita photo set can be found here.
I don't care too much for the tourist trapping Grant Avenue section of Chinatown, but I really dig the open air markets and hanging duck butchers a block over.
The full Chinatown set can be found here.
I was really hoping to get a tour of Fort Point, and I even read on the website that they were closed during the week for the Golden Gate Bridge retrofitting, but it didn't occur to me that they were actually doing the retrofit right now. Oh well, we still enjoyed watching surfers with death wishes riding waves that broke on crazy ugly rock outcroppings.>
Cable Car Museum:
You can check the rest of the set here.
A few days ago I took a walk around my neighborhood and took some HDR photos of various interesting buildings, fountains and sculptures. I especially enjoyed this shot of the camera that is perched atop Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall. I wonder if that was part of the original plan?
Either way I still dig the way that building looks
You can check the rest of the HDR Disney Concert Hall shots that I took here.
You can check out the rest of the short series I shot today here. I am processing the HDR versions and will post them soon.
For the second time in as many months I have sent off my favorite lens (which is possibly going to lose that distinction thanks to my 24-70 f/2.8 L that I just picked up) to the Canon Factory Service Center. My first experience with Canon Factory Service was actually a really good one, as they hastily repaired my shutter mechanism and had the camera back to me within a few weeks.
A few months later I decided to send them my Speedlite 580EX which had a faulty motor in the zoom mechanism which allows the flash to automatically change the size of the flash that is thrown to suit your current lens, zoom level and sensor size. At the same time I sent them my 85 1.2, which was, and still is, having problems focusing.
When I focus on an object that is 10 feet away, I get the focus confirmation light, but then the resulting image is focused a few feet past where it should have been. With nearly any other lens, this would not be a problem at all, but thanks to the razor think depth of field at f/1.2, this problem makes my lens nearly useless at the aperture that it is designed for.
After holding my lens for nearly 2 months, Canon Factor Service returned it to me, with no changes whatsoever, saying that it was restored to factory quality. I am hoping for Canon that the problem was with their tech, and that factory quality does not mean that the focus is off by nearly 20%. I am eagerly awaiting the functional return of one of my favorite lenses.
Last weekend, the wife and I drove up to Angel's Gate and did a portrait session with the beautiful setting sun as our backdrop. I used two strobes, at roughly 45 degrees and 10 feet back from Penelope. The strobes were bounced off of white umbrellas raised up about 8 or 9 feet. The light ratio was 1:4 between key and fill. I triggered the flashes with my trusty set of PocketWizard Plus IIs and metered with my Sekonic L-558R. Shot with a Canon EOS 30D and an EF 85mm f/1.2 L. My wife is a beautiful and patient model.
The key flash was still recycling in the second shot, but I still love it.
After growing up in the Bay Area, I attended High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One day my father, who worked as a programmer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, brought me to, and later got me a job at, a nerd's paradise called The Black Hole. I ended up working there for 3 summers and I think it was probably my favorite job ever, although it only paid $5 an hour. Many of the hours I worked were directly exchanged for random bits of junk, much of which I still have, to my wife's elation, stored away in boxes in our storage closet.
When I saw heathervescent's post about the upcoming Dorkbot Socal trip to APEX Electronics, I knew I had to go. The night before the trip I shot an email out to an especially geeky list that I run and CHS responded that he wanted to come along. We arrived a bit late at Machine Project, and Tom Jennings was mostly finished talking about what to expect. I mentioned my previous employment at The Black Hole and he told me that he make a road trip there every year, saying that it was one of his favorite places in the world.
After a short drive to the highly industrial Sun Valley, we made our way in to the wonderfully techno-detritus rich warehouse known as APEX Electronics. I immediately pulled out my camera, set up my tripod and began photographing the narrow aisles packed high with everything from oscilloscopes to capacitors to vacuum tubes.
APEX reminded me of a 1/10th scale model of The Black Hole, with less nuclear research equipment and more audio recording, broadcast and aviation gear. The organization of APEX is at least an order of magnitude better than The Black Hole, but I guess that having one tenth the amount of junk makes that possible. I should be careful about calling the contents of APEX or TBS junk, as they say, "one man's trash...", and also the collectors of said equipment seem to develop an emotional attachment to their toys.
Most of the aisles held boxes full of components, with a single version taped to the front of the box. Some of the more valuable gear like the microwave wave guides, windows and transmitters were locked up behind glass, which the owner, Don, was nice enough to open for me so I could take a photo. Tom mentioned that one aisle had collapsed in an earthquake almost 2 decades ago, and had yet to be cleaned up.
Outside there were towering piles of scrap aluminum, kegs, airplane wings, cable, and junk. I especially enjoyed the pile of "Safety First" signs that were haphazardly piled together along with what appeared to be a bomb, but was probably an airplane fuel tank.
It is a good thing that I am short on physical space in my loft, otherwise I surely would have purchased more than the $1 clamp that I picked up. If you are building a robot or some other fun project, this would be a great place to pick up those hard to find parts you need. If you are a junk collector, but you don't want to blow all your hard earned money in one place, you should avoid this place at all costs.
Full gallery here.
Last week I got a pre-tour of the new setup at the Griffith Observatory. I took some HDR photos of the awesome new Zeiss Universarium IX among other things. You can check out the full album here. I will be writing several pieces about what I saw in the next few days, keep an eye out for them on MetroBlogging Los Angeles. [Note: I didn't have / use my new lighting setup for these shots.]
Update Here is the article I wrote on b.la.
As I mentioned in the last few posts that I just posted in a spurt of posting activity, that I am building up a portable, battery powered lighting setup. I didn't feel like spending $3,000+ on a "real" head / pack lighting system as of yet, although some day I will end up buying one, most likely the Dyna-lite setup at first, but then eventually a Profoto rig. Portability is probably the biggest factor for me, as I don't have a studio to shoot in, so nearly all my work will be done on location. Many of the locations I plan on shooting will be either outdoors, or in places where lack of line voltage would be a limiting factor.
I already possessed a Quantum Turbo 2x2, which I've been very happy with in combination with my Canon Speedlite 580EX. I didn't want to buy another 580, because I didn't plan on using E-TTL for my portrait lighting, so after some research I decided to pick up the very moderately priced Sunkpak 120J Auto Pro, which is a bare bulb flash, that can be powered directly by an HV power pack, without needing any other batteries, unlike the 580EX.
Unfortunately Adorama sent me the TTL version of the 120J, which didn't come with the sync adapter, so I bought the standard shoe adapter that has the sync connector. This really isn't what I wanted as I will never actually be mounting it on a hot or cold flash shoe. I am trying to work it out with Adorama now, I need the flash for some work I have coming up, and they want me to buy the right one, even though it was their mistake in sending me the wrong one, and then send back the wrong unit when the new one comes. I feel like they should take the hit, send me the new one and I'll send them back the wrong when when I have received the correct model. I will see what happens, but I have a feeling that I am going to have to do it their way, which is too bad.
So as I wrote about earlier, I am using the 2 PocketWizard Plus II transceivers to trigger the flashes, which I am bouncing off or through a couple of convertible Photoflex umbrellas, that are sitting atop one Photoflex stand and one Avenger Stand. The third PW is on atop my camera in the hot shoe and I am using the Sekonic L-558R to meter the scenes. I also just picked up a couple of used C-Stands, and although they're heavy as hell, they're very sturdy and will be great to hold my convertible reflector and down the road flags, scrims, fingers, dots, etc. I also bought another Quantum battery, this one a Turbo Z. I have some sand bags and cases for the stands in the mail. In the future I will be buying some Chimera softboxes
My first results have come out quite well, but I still have a long way to go, and I am planning on taking some lighting classes, and maybe attending a workshop or two.
Now that I'm building up my studio / location lighting kit, I can no longer rely on my trusty Canon 580EX's built in E-TTL system to do the dirty work of exposure calculation for me on the fly. E-TTL is great, don't get me wrong, but it only works when the flash is either on camera, off camera with the off camera flash cord or triggered with Canon's IR remote, which only works if your flash is facing you and you were within a fairly distance from your flash and within a fairly narrow angle. I logically decided that I needed a flash meter.
There are plenty of flash meters out there, from the trusty analog flash meter to high end digital meters with built in radio slave transmitters. I thought of it, like many folks think of tripods, that you can start out with the cheapest you can get, but in the long run you'll most likely end up spending more on upgrades until you get to where you want to be, than if you just shell out the money for the good stuff up front. So I decided on the latter, and shelled out the roughly half grand on the Sekonic L-558R.
The Sekonic L-558R is an easy to use (once you've read the manual) and sturdy flash meter, that also functions as an incident and reflected spot meter. The meter will read your flash in both incident and reflective modes, I think it is pretty cool that you can take a spot meter flash reading, but I'm sure there are other units that can do the same thing. As I mentioned before, the meter has a PocketWizard module that is built into the L-558R which allows you to trigger your flashes directly from the meter without using a sync cord.
One of the features that I find most useful is the ability to meter you key light, and then meter your fill light, and the meter will give you the difference between the two in EVs. This is an easy way to figure out the ration between your key and fill. You can also fire a series of flashes, storing each one in memory, and then get either a cumulative or average reading.
The meter itself is very compact, fits nicely in your hand and feels solid and well built. I would prefer the device didn't require the expensive 3V lithium battery that could be tough to procure in a bind, but I guess they decided they could make it a tiny bit more compact if they used the 3V lithium as opposed to using 2 AAs or AAAs. The only other issue I have with the meter isn't actually related to the meter, but to an older spot meter that I've been borrowing from my mother to use with my Mamiya RB67 setup, which was "modified" by Zone VI to have a nice little movable zone scale on the side, which makes ensuring that my exposure contains the data I want much easier. I know that I can just take an EV reading and put that into either my mental Zone chart, or I can put it on my handy Zone worksheet, but the little paper ring on the manual scale was really nice.
Before I bought the L-558R I found out that Sekonic is coming out with a new meter, specifically tailored to digital cameras, called the L-758DR. The 758DR allows you to load 4 custom profiles into the meter via a USB cable so that the meter will "respond to light exactly like your digital camera or type of film." Another very cool and helpful feature is the ability of the meter to warn you if you are outside the dynamic range of your medium. The 758DR is also extremely sensitive, down to f-2.0! I may or may not upgrade when it comes out. The 558 has all the features I really need and many more.
After researching the ideal flash slave system for months I settled on the PocketWizard system. In reality, there wasn't much of a question in my head as to which system I was going to buy, this may seem a bit silly, but they had me at the ads. Their full page ads run every month in Shutterbug and many other photo mags, and their system is built in to several competing brands of lights including Profoot, Dyna-lite, Speedotron and Norman. There is fairly solid consensus in the professional photo industry that the PW system is the best you can get. The only other serious player for radio slaves is Quantum, but they just aren't as slick.
I just picked up a set of 2 Pocketwizard Plus II transceivers from Adorama and a third unit from Samy's Camera and they are nothing short of wonderful. Not only are they absolutely simple to operate, they just plain work. After about 500 shots fired, I've never had a single misfire. They are light-weight, compact, and as far as I can tell, very sturdy. They have a range of roughly 1500' and they will receive and rebroadcast signals so that range is really only limited by the amount of units you own. I recommend these units without reservation.
I have recently begun putting together my portable studio lighting setup. I need portability and the ability to shoot in the field off the grid. I will expand more about this in a later post, but I am writing this to address the poor quality of Photoflex hardware. I ordered a Photoflex umbrella kit that included a reversible umbrella, stand and shoe mount flash clamp from Adorama. So far the umbrella and the stand have worked out, although were made in China and feel cheap as far as their fit and finish.
After the first kit arrived I made my way over to Samy's Camera on Fairfax and bought another umbrella and clamp, plus a stand, but not a Photoflex, I decided against buying another one of their stands and picked up a high quality Manfrotto Avenger Mini-Max. When I got home I set up everything and took a few shots and everything worked just fine. The next day I set it all back up and lo and behold I noticed that the screw that holds the umbrella into the clamp had stripped and would no longer hold the umbrella. The Photoflex umbrella clamp has metal threads for every screw except the one that hold the umbrella, which feeds directly into threaded plastic. It is not surprising that this stripped. I have vowed to never buy another piece of Photoflex equipment. I really shouldn't have bought any in the first place.
I took the clamp back to Samy's and although I didn't have the box or the receipt, the salesman looked me up in the system and gave me full credit for the item, after chiding me for throwing away my boxes. I normally never throw away boxes for anything that costs over $50, but I guess I should at least hold on to the boxes for the cheap stuff for a week or two. I used my credit towards a nice, high quality Manfrotto clamp, which is made out of aluminum, brass and steel. It looks and feels like a quality piece of equipment, and it is made in Italy.
I've been leading the Downtown Art Ride for almost a year now and in the last 6 months or so I've brought my 20D, and now my 30D, with me on every ride. I have been trying to get a portrait of every artist that I've run in to. On this last ride I think I photographed over 20 artists, you can check out the September Art Ride photos here.
Penelope and I are very lucky to have two wonderful cats to share our loft with. Evita and Isabella were nice enough to pose for me yesterday after I unpacked my new camera, a Canon EOS 30D. Setup used for the following shots:
- Canon EOS 30D
- Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L
- Canon Speedlite 580EX
- Stofen Omnibounce
- Stratos 835 Flash Bracket
- Canon Off Camera Shoe Cable
- Hoodman 2GB CF 150/133X
As I mentioned earlier, my 20D's shutter is kaput after about 50,000 exposures over that last 2 years. Today I made my way down to Samy's Camera on Fairfax and picked up a Canon EOS 30D. One of the cool things about Samy's is that, although their website always has lower prices than they advertise in their store, they will always match their website pricing, plus shipping. The 30D ended up costing me $1216.97 plus tax, which is more than I would have paid if I had ordered it from B&H or Adorama, but I would have had to wait a week before it came, and I need it for a shoot I am doing on Friday. Another cool thing about Samy's, and any retail store front for that matter, is that they are willing to work with you on pricing and I got a good deal on a Stratos flash bracket, a Hoodman 2GB 150x CF card, a Stofen Omni Bounce, and an Off Camera Flash Cable.
One of the first things I noticed about the 30D is that the shutter mechanism, which is rated to 100,000 exposures, is much quieter than the one in my 20D. I am not sure if this is because my 20D's shutter mechanism was on its last legs and was starting to die, but it was at least twice as loud as the one in my 30D. Of course the 30D also has spot metering (finally!!!) as well as nice big 2.5" LCD. I am a little bummed that the body shape changed as my Really Right Stuff L Bracket will no longer fit, but that's ok, I really should have one on both of my rigs. I am already very happy with the test shots I took using the flash bracket, having it off camera really makes a big difference.
Yesterday Penelope and I made a trip down to the San Diego Zoo and about half way through our adventures my camera started taking photos on its own in rapid succession while flashing Error 99 on the LCD. I tried pulling the batteries and letting it sit for a while, but that didn't cut it. I looked through my photo archive and I've taken well over 50,000 photos with it since I bought it in February 2005. Looks like I will be without a digital SLR (still have a film SLR body) for a couple of weeks while I get it repaired.
Update After finding someone who had the exact same problem that I did and emailing said person, I found out that I needed to replace my shutter. Canon will do it for $196 which also includes a complete overhaul and cleaning of the camera. It takes 7-10 business days to complete. I am sending it off today.
My photography has been published before in a local music rag called Jointz Magazine. I was excited to find out that one of my protest photos (shown below) will be published in a report about American population growth and land use trends for a New York based not-for-profit organization called the Regional Plan Association. I will post a copy of the report once it prints.
I really didn't mean to wait this long before posting photos from our honeymoon, but I've been busy. I separated them into the following sections:
My future brother-in-law, Noel Proffitt, took me on a photo safari through LA. We went through Vernon, down Pacific Avenue, to Watts and then finally to the beach at Cabrillo Beach. Here are some of the HDR shots I took:
I can't use these in the Hassle Project as I wasn't hassled whilst taking them!
This weekend I went on one of my weekly urban photo safaris, this time I went through the lovely uninhabited city of Vernon. For those of you who don't know, there are no residences in Vernon at all, just factories, railways and warehouses, which recently has made for some interesting election disputes. I didn't get hasseled anywhere in Vernon by power hungry security guards, but when I first set up the Mamiya to shoot the Amtrak train washing station, I was accosted by a golf cart riding security guard who threatened to take away my equipment because I was trespassing. I understand that if I am trespassing I have to leave, no problem there, although the area wasn't clearly marked as private property, but threatening to take my camera is not cool. It turned out ok because he decided that I wasn't "one of those guys" which I will assume he meant terrorists, but he also added that you could never be too sure. He was nice enough to give me a ride in the golf cart to my car, but I think his motivation there was to get my license plate number. You can check out the rest of my series of HDR shots.
I love flower macro photography. Desert flowers are my favorite, their tiny buds are so beautiful up close. There is something about a plant that only survives for a few weeks out of the year, yet opens its lovely petals to attract pollen transferring insects in order to sustain its life cycle, that is really amazing. Here is the full gallery of my flower macro photos from this weekend.
I just bought a complete Mamiya RB67 setup (in pieces) from ebay for my mom's birthday. She used to have the camera about 10 years ago, but sold it when she went digital. I took some photos to test it out this weekend and I am very happy with the result. This is not the final image, but once I get back the higher resolution scan I will replace it.
When I arrived at this location, I got a call from an old friend, letting me know this is step father had just passed away after a hard fight with cancer. His step father, Scott Brown, was a good friend of mine and I was looking forward to his presence at my wedding, which will now be in spiritual form as opposed to the physical form I was expecting.
After I finished shooting this series, I was approached by a Securitas guardsmen, who informed me that I wasn't allowed to take photos of factoriers, refineries or railroad tracks. He then wrote down my license plate number and asked me for my drivers license which he wrote down the number for. I didn't feel like arguing with him as he was just doing what he was told to do, but it was clearly a violation of my rights. The sky in LA was really beautiful so I wasn't mad and I know that Scott is in a better place now so that took the edge off my sorrow.
April was a good month for our Art Ride, the weather was beautiful and we actually had 3 fixed gear riders on the ride! I tried to take photos of every artist that was showing their work and I think I covered most of them that were present. You can check out the whole group of photos here. Here are some selections:
This morning I was contacted by CNN Internet Reporter, Jacki Schechner. She wanted to know if she could use my photos from the Gran Marcha on The Situation Room. I said go for it and she just let me know that my photos were featured at 5pm EST on the show. I didn't get a chance to see them so if you did and happened to record it somehow, please send me a copy! Here is the transcript from the CNN website:
I didn't realize this until just now, but supposedly I have famous photographers in my lineage, both from my father's side of the family. The two photographers are Edward S. Curtis the famous photographer of native americans and the nature photographer Wynn Bullock. I am trying to track down the full lineage to confirm the connection.
For the last 10 years or so I've been taking digital photos. Before my first digital camera I had a 35mm Konica SLR and I took some pretty cool pictures with it, which someday I will have to scan and add to my online galleries. I have been using my Canon EOS 20D almost daily for the last year and I decided I wanted to get a backup SLR that could take the same lenses that I have. I also decided I wanted to shoot film.
I didn't want to spend very much money because I am saving for a wedding and a honeymoon right now, so I looked on ebay and saw the first ever EOS, the Canon EOS 650 selling for about $15. I bought one (actually I bought 2, but hey they were cheap) and they arrived last week. I ordered a couple batteries and some film: Kodak Ultra Color 100UC, 400UC, Kodak Portrait 160, Kodak T-Max 100, Ilford Delta Pro 100 and Ilford XP-2 Super 400 from Adorama and waited patiently for it to arrive, which it did a couple of days ago.
Today I went to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens to test it out. I took 4 rolls of film (all the C41 stuff) and shot it all, right after I shot the same subject with my 20D. I then took it to Ritz Camera at the Glendale Gallery Mall and had it developed, scanned and put on photocd.
You can see the results here, they are not too bad for my first attempt, but they aren't nearly as good as my digital shots. I am not sure why, but most of them came out overexposed, It may have to do with the camera only supporting TTL instead of the ETTL my MT-24EX can do. It may also have to do with the 650's metering system. Also if you zoom in all the way the photos are somewhat grainy, but to me it doesn't look like film grain and it may be artifacts from the somewhat low resolution scans.
I really love my 85mm 1.2 although it can be slow to focus, but the results the lens gives me are amazing. I just read that Canon is now coming out with an updated lens that focuses much faster. I am not going to go out and sell my lens right now, but I will probably upgrade sooner or later, probably later because I am going to upgrade to a 5D first... oh yeah and there is that wedding and honeymoon to pay for!
This weekend I went out to the desert for my birthday and took some photos of the few flowers that I found in bloom. Compared to last year there were almost no flowers at all, but I am guessing after this rain that we had there will be many more in the next few weeks. Here are several of the shots I took:
The best part about the sparsity of wildflowers was that there were bugs on all the flowers that were alive.
I have a problem. That problem is sensor dust. The Canon EOS 20D is a wonderful camera, but it is also a dust magnet. After owning the camera for about a month I noticed large spots on my images. After cleaning my lens I did some research and found that the sensor attracts dust and the dust shows up on the images when you have the lens stopped down. I found a great way to test this was to take a photo of something bright (the sky) with the lens stopped down all the way, when I did this it was pretty painful to see how much dust was on there. I looked around for a solution and I saw some things that seemed somewhat sketchy to try and also saw the option of taking my camera in to have it serviced which seemed like a waste of money.
I was browsing around on the Adorama website I found some products made by a company called Visible Dust. These brushes, swabs and solutions are made specifically for cleaning CMOS sensors and the company actually started out making products for cleaning lab optics. After reading some 3rd party reviews of their products I ordered the 1.6x brush set and patiently awaited its arrival.
When it came I opened up my 20D, put it on sensor cleaning mode and cleaned the sensor. I turned off the camera, put the lens on and took some pictures stopped down, about 90% of the dust was gone, but there were now a few small streaks where what must have been an oily goo had been smeared by the brushes. So that night I ordered the sensor clean kit, that comes with sterile poly swabs and a non-alcohol cleaning solution. The kit came today and I opened it up and cleaned my sensor. I now have 0 spots on my sensor. Yay!
I am really happy with the results from the new prepared slides I ordered from eBay. I was a little worried about the quality on the cheap Chinese import slides, but they are really well done. Here is the first round of photos I took. Or click below for some flickrs:
For xmas I bought both my fiance and myself a new point and shoot compact camera. I had previously owned a Sony DSC-T1 and I really liked it, but I really love my Canon EOS 20D so I picked up a pair of the SD550s. The camera takes wonderful photos, but when I take pictures of anything close and the flash fires the photo is totally overexposed. This shouldn't be a problem with a $500 digital camera, it certainly wasn't with the DSC-T1. I hope that Canon will come out with a firmware update to regulate the flash properly.
UPDATE Ok so after talking to a salesperson at Samy's Camera where I bought the camera and some experimentation I got the exposure working ok. I turned on Macro mode (even though I'm shooting from a couple feet away) and that helped and then I tried Manual mode with the metering set to center weighted and that fixed the problem. Also using the redeye reduction flash helps too.
So I've been sitting on a crapton of photos from 2005 that I have been uploading over the last few days. Here is a listing of the galleries I have uploaded so far:
Over the past couple of months I have posted only a very small handful of photos on my website. There are a couple of reason for this. First of all I had some disk problems with my server and lost a whole bunch of photos from the site... I didn't really lose the actual photos, I will just have to upload them again. The next problem is that I have had somewhat spotty connectivity at my loft, but this will be remedied on the 16th when Speakeasy installs my 6M/786k DSL, Yay! And finally I have been completely rewriting the code the runs my site, to make it better, faster and easier to use. I am very close to being done with the rewrite and once I am I will start the transition from the current slacker based system to the new dynamony system. Once I upgrade I have something like 10 gigs of photos to sort through and upload.
So far I have taken over 10,000 photos with my Canon EOS 20D. I really love the camera and the photos I have taken with it. Of those 10,000 photos I have thrown about 9,500 or so... having a great camera has inspired me to take many shots but only keep what is good. I think my photography has come a long way, but there is always room to improve!
So I just got back from the desert, and I took about 500 photos. The only problem with my new camera is that it takes photos so quickly. With bracketing it really adds up quick. I got some great photos including 2 separate run ins with desert tortoises. I am sorting through them now.
This is one of the first really nice photographs I have taken with my new Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. I took it in my backyard. The daffodils were provided by the illustrious and beautiful penelope. I am heading out tomorrow morning to the desert and I will be back with many photos of wildflowers!
I took this photo with my new Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. I need to get another flash to get more even lighting but this one still came out pretty good. I am going to the desert this weekend to take some photos of flowers. Last time I was in the desert I photographed over a dozen species of flowers. I wonder how many I will get this time.
I just got back from Samy's Camera in Santa Ana. So far I have had two good experiences with Samy's and their salespeople. When I bought my camera, they sold it to me below the website cost. When I bought my lens and flash today they also gave me a good deal. I picked up the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens and the Canon Speedlite 580EX. I just played around with the lens for a few minutes handheld (I have work to do) and the results are really amazing. The lens is really quite a deal, as I thought it would be after reading nothing but good reviews about it. I will be heading out to the desert again this weekend in search of more wildflowers.
I reorganized the photography archive on my site. You will find it much more intuitive and have an easier time locating galleries.
This weekend was my birthday and a group of my friends and I went camping in the Mojave Desert. The normally brown sandy desert, which receives and average 2" of rainfall a year is green and covered with flowers due to the 6" of rain that has fallen so far this year. I took some really wonderful photos with my new Canon EOS 20D. I can't wait to go back and take even more. I identified almost a dozen different species of wildflowers.
Today I bought myself a big birthday present. I picked up a Canon EOS 20D, with the Canon EF-S 18-75mm USM lens. I also bought the battery grip and a Manfrotto 3021BN with an Arca-Swiss monoball B1 head. Here is one of the first images I shot. I really love this camera and have been planning on buying it for a while. I am really looking forward to taking nature photos this weekend!
I noticed there weren't pertinent groups for the following subjects: Caves and Mines, Drum'n'Bass, Urban Entropy, Search and Rescue and Metaphoto so I created them. Look for tons of photos coming soon. (This weekend I took some really cool pictures at the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens)
This is a test of the new photoblog feature of my website... as you can see it worked!
So I just added a cool feature to my website. If I send a photo email from my cellphone to a certain email address with the correct username and password (just for photo blogging) it will be posted to my photo blog archive and into my main blog. The next message on here will be a test from my phone! The image is actually one my mom took and sent me.
So I am now working on getting all my old digital photos in this gallery. The list of photos I will be importing includes:
- Old eecue.com photos (everything from before i set up gallery)
- Japan Photos
- Drive Slagging Photos
- Junglescene Photos (I will also be updating junglescene.com's photo section to be like the eecue.com section)
- Old junglescene.com photos (before they were linked to calendar items)
- Original junglescene.com photos (from 1999-2000)
I have been so busy programming this newest version of my website / slacker, I have neglected to upload photos from the last 2 months... here they are:
- DJ SUV @ Respect
- Art Show: Peace Warriors
- Blurry Photos
- Barbara Ramone
- Muse #38
- Wreckignition #24 Machines Never Die
- John B @ Respect
- Thunder Canyon Cave Rescue Training (I got stuck for 40 minutes... it was fun)
- Klute @ Respect
- Antidote (Halloween Party)
- Monster Massive
Ok I have imported all my eecue.com photos from before I was using gallery. They have been integrated into the photo albums... note that the dates are totally incorrect on most of them because I never set the time on my old camera... oh well... the japan photos are coming soon! =]