Friday, October 31, 2008

Harpers Ferry Photo Walk

The Harpers Ferry photowalk being held by Photowalkpro will start at 1:00 pm at the historic train station in Harpers Ferry.

What the Duck

Happy Halloween !

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Last Soccer Match of the Season

Its been a great season for the Riverside Twisters, my step-son Matthew played on the Twisters - B team. I couldn't be more proud of him, I know he doesn't see it but his game has come a long way under the watchful eye of Coach Mark. Thanks for all your help this year Mark. These are tree of my favorite outtakes form the gallery of images. The morning started off cold and grey and though the sun came out the cold never went away.

I swear at time that these kids are defying gravity out there, take a look at this riverside player, he shields the ball from going out of bounds, and believe it or not he never falls. I'm not sure how but he didn't fall.

This last image is headed to the best of 2008 Gallery, each year after the season closes I look at all the images and take my favorites and place in a special gallery on This one or a variation of it will be making the gallery and not because it has Matthew in it but because of the fact I caught him in mid-air, totally concentrated on hitting the ball. The best part is the look on Mark's face from behind, that ever patient and proud look of a coach watching a player do well.

If you want to see more jump over to

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shopping for a logo

OK of the things I have been working on the last few weeks is branding. The branding I am referring to is branding the UKV Photos site and business. Today I was online and played around with some logo ideas. I'd like to put them up and get some feed back on them from everyone. These are just ideas at this point and nothing I am committing to, so let me have it with your feedback.

Number 1:

website design

Number 2:

I have another idea I'm still playing with but want to know what folks think of this thought process.
logo design

Photopreneur - by Laurie: A Blueprint to Sell Photos successfully

If you want to turn your photography hobby into cash, you’ll need a plan. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated but it should help you to build a revenue system out of your photos and even a small business out of what you love doing in your spare time.

Here’s our blueprint for successful photo sales.

1. Choose Your Sales OutletYou might think that the first step in selling photos is always to take great photos. But it isn’t.

The first step is to know who you’re selling your photos to.

There are all sorts of ways you can sell your images.

You can offer them on microstock sites like iStock or Fotolia. You can put them on your own niched stock sites as Mick Maziarz does with his images at and You can upload them to Flickr and make it clear that you offer licenses for sale. You can print them on products such as t-shirts and mugs, and you can offer them to magazines that take freelance submissions to name just a few.

Each of those outlets uses images in a different way and each needs different kinds of images to buy or offer to customers. Before you start shooting then, you should know which outlet you plan to use so that you can shoot to meet its needs.

2. Shoot Good, Commercial ImagesOne of the biggest mistakes that photography-lovers make when they hope to sell their images is believing that good photos sell.

In general, all photos that sell are good. But that doesn’t mean that all good photos sell. It might take skill and talent to create a good photograph but there are still more good photographs around than commercial spaces to put them in.

Being a high quality image then is the minimum a photograph needs. It also has to perform a function. That function might be something as simple as decorating a wall and as complex as illustrating a story in a magazine.

Stock photographers regularly take the time to check what the market is doing, which keywords are selling and what sort of pictures people are buying. They then go out and shoot photos that are both professional quality and sellable too.

If you’re going to sell your photos, you’ll have to create commercial images as well as good ones.

3. Put your Photo on the MarketOnce you’ve spotted a market for a photo and produced a
professional-quality image that could fit it, you’ll then have to make it available. If you’re shooting for a microstock site or making it available on Flickr, that could be as simple as hitting the Upload button. If you’re selling to magazines, you might have to make a cold call or write a query letter that pushes the editor’s buttons.

Offering your photo should be the easiest part of the whole process. It’s getting accepted that’s difficult.

If you like the stem click this link and go to their site to finish the article.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Valley Rockets 'B' Team - Championship game

Last weekend at the UKVMFL playoffs the Valley Rockets 'B' Team and the Twin Cities Miner's 'B' Team faced off. It was a rough game both teams played a great game however the Miners were able to score one touch down and a two point conversion and keep the Rockets from the end zone.

If you would like to see more images from their game click here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chapionship - 'C' Team - UKVMFL ---VALLEY ROCKETS WIN!

The Valley Rockets squared off against the Cabin Creek Cubs on October 18, 2008. Both teams came to the field with only one loss each. The game was a tough game for both sides but the score was a little lopsided. Valley's defensive line held the Cubs away from the end zone, while the Rockets Offensive ground their way to a 20 to 0 win over the Cubs.
If you want to see more image captured during the game click here and jump over to

Thursday, October 23, 2008

image from

As you can see from the edits on their logo, Jeff, has moved the photowalk for Harpers Ferry back to November 2. His biggest reason, the weather forecast. Now that it has been moved I am going to have to invistigate my schedule and see if I can make it.

Busy times

What a week...I really can't believe it is Thursday already. Things at work have been busy, lots and lots of number crunching. On the photo side of things I have been busy in the evenings processing images from this weekend. Needless to say I just realized that I have not posted anything from this weekends haul of images. is where you can find more from the soccer match. The Twisters have one more set of matches this season, we will be at Elk River this weekend and then the sports train comes to a rest...well at least until basketball starts. Both of them want to play I want a break.

Now on the football side the sports house, the Valley Rockets went to the Championship this past weekend. I won't tell you how each team fared until I get all their pictures done but I will let you know that the Valley Rockets Flag Team brought home the big trophy from their game. Here is one of their images. to see the rest. Congratulations go out to the Boys of the team and the Cheerleaders for a great season. You've made Valley proud.

Look for 'C' team photos on UKV by tomorrow morning and with any luck the 'B' team should be up by Saturday morning.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TED - Talks Adam Grosser: A new vision for refrigeration

TED always has some way of inspiring me.

Harpers Ferry Photowalk

Image from prohotowalk Blog

Saturday, the 25th of October at 1:00 PM
Where: The walk will start from the parking lot of the train station

Jeff over at Photowalkpro will be holding a photo walk in Harper's Ferry this weekend. I have a commitment to photograph the last soccer match for the fall season otherwise I would take the drive up and over to take part. I've never met Jeff in person but have admired his work on for some time. I am sure with the fall colors and the route he has planed out that any one taking part will get some great images.

Lumiquest FXtra LQ-121

For those of you who use small flashes and gels to warm or cool your light Lumiquest has released a nice little product. Using feedback that was gathered through the Strobist groups they have developed a compact gel holder that makes it easy to change gels and still allows you to use other light modifiers. The thing will fit most flash units. Dave Hobby reviewed it on Strobist the other day and I was looking at it today on

Monday, October 20, 2008

Photopreneur - by Alex: Marketing Your Photography At

That is a good place to buy stuff isn’t news. It’s also a good place to sell stuff, if you’re the author of a book or a manufacturer of anything from abacuses to zest. But what you can’t find on Amazon is a tab that says “photographic services.”

That doesn’t mean you can’t market your photographic services on Amazon though.

Used smartly, Amazon’s reviews can be very effective places to put your skills in front of buyers.

The reviews have to be honest and good. They have to be professional and make you look like a professional. You have to know what you’re talking about and, most importantly, you have to mention your own experiences. That doesn’t just prove that what you’re writing is worth reading, it also creates the sort of curiosity that drives readers to your profile.

That profile page is where you can do your marketing, subtly of course. It should say exactly who you are, what you do and how you can be contacted. You can even include your URL in your name to make sure that people know where to go next when they want to buy your pictures or hire you for an assignment.

And you can upload an entire photo gallery to show off your work. (But don’t forget to make sure you keep the resolution and the sizing low to scare off picture thieves.)

If you like the stem click this link and go to their site to finish the article.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rapid R Strap

Being a gear head is not a new concept to me. I've been evaluating computers and technical gear far longer than I have been camera gear. The other day though I ran across a piece on the Rapid R-strap. This great strap will make using a second camera or walking around with your camera a breeze. For me when I am on a sporting field or out on a location I tend to drape my camera over my right shoulder and then pull it off to shoot. I wrap the strap around my wrist to make sure if I drop it it won't fall. I've also been known to use a hand strap, but the R-strap may be the right tool for me.

This simple little strap goes over your torso like a shoulder bag strap would or a bandoleer. The camera is attached by a clip hooked to your tripod mount screw on the base of the camera or lens. You adjust the strap so that when not shooting the camera lays on your hip. Then all you have to do shoot is grab the camera and pull it up. Think of it like a low slung holster for your six shooter. Yeah I know the historian in me is coming out, this star makes it possible to grab the camera and have it in to position for shooting in seconds and with the added advantage of not having the albatross around your neck.

Check out the for me...I think I see something I want for Christmas.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Photopreneur - by Laurie:

t’s a price even lawyers balk at charging (although that hasn’t stopped them entirely.) But no photographer could possibly hope to charge $1,000 for an hour’s work, could they?
Wrong. It seems some photographers are making $1,000 an hour, and they’re doing it all day long, netting $8,000 from a single day’s work.

No, they aren’t hiding in Beverly Hill bushes with giant lenses.

And they aren’t flying over rainforests in rented helicopters.
They’re going no further than their local schools where they spend the day creating student portraits.

According to Chris Wunder of PortraitEFX, a photography franchise, schools — both elementary and senior — are among the most lucrative markets for independent photographers.

An average size elementary school generates over $20,000 in sales over the course of a year for the photographer that takes advantage of all the opportunities there: portraits in fall and spring, events and yearbooks… [S]ome of the wealthiest photographers in America are school photographers!

In theory, the figures back up Chris’s high-earning claims. An experienced photographer with an assistant can take a portrait in 30-40 seconds, he says, although some schools require more than one team to work at the same time. Chris himself budgets 90 students per camera per hour.

If you like the stem click this link and go to their site to finish the article.

Valley Rockets win Round 1

The Valley Rockets 'C' team worked their way to victory on Sunday, they move to the final rounds of play offs and square off against the Cabin Creek Cubs to decided who will take first place. It should be a good game, Valley and Cabin Creek played twice during the regular season. The first game saw Cabin Creek walk away the winner while the second game saw Valley win. The second game was a tough defeat for the Cubs as it was their homecoming game.

Next weekend these two teams will face off with hopes of bringing home the champion trophy. Best of luck to both teams.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Round 1 Play offs

The Valley Rockets had a great day, winning round one of the UKVFL playoffs today. They will be playing again next Sunday. Valley 'B' team played later in the day, unfortunately I was not able to hang around for the game. 'C' team will be playing tomorrow.

Good news/Bad news

Good news - I made a sale, someone ordered pics from the site.

Bad news - The sale came from a gallery I thought was set as non printable or not for sale.

I was alerted to a sale from one of my galleries earlier in the week, I did not think much of it other than I was glad to see someone liked some of the images I made. When I jumped over to the review I realized that they were from a gallery I had thought was marked as non-printable. Apparently during the last renovation I remarked all my galleries to printable. That was not intended and I have made a through check of all my galleries now to reset them to non-printable where they are supposed to be non-printable.

I hope no one was offend by the listing of images for sale that were not intended to be for sale. If you were my apologies.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Riverside Twisters B vs West Side Blue Pythons

Sorry for the delay folks...had a business trip and was not able to process the images as I normally do. I really need to invest in a laptop. I have one for the office but not the photography business. At any rate the Twisters B squad faced off with the West Side Blue Pythons this past weekend. I always enjoy this team, mostly because a friend of mine has a son on that team. John's boy Patrick plays. I've know John most of my professional life and though we no longer work together I still count him as a friend. Both teams played a great game. The photographer however did a lousy job. As i explained with the Twisters A post I was trying a new idea and it did not work out like I wanted it to. Oh well...we have to experiment if we want to grow in our photography. The technique produced what I expected in results just did not work the way i was wanting it to. That doesn't make sense when I type it.

Let me try again. The camera did what I expected, the images did what I expected, however the creative image I was going for was not the final result. I think that hits it.

I'll have the Sunday football up by tomorrow morning. I didn't experiment there just shot from my vantage point. I look forward to working on those images.

James Nachtwey

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On the road

Hey folks I hope to get the football pictures up by Thursday. I am out of town on tonight, which means I will not be able to post images this evening as is my typical work flow. Rest assured that the Valley Rockets Flag and C football games will be in place by this weekend. (Not that you are really worried, right!)

Twistesrs A vs Elk River Tornadoes

This past weekend the River Side Twisters A team took on the Elk River Tornadoes. As always it was a good match up. Matthew and I was a tad late, someone (me) did not want to get up. Of course Matthew was not concerned as it was not his match, he plays for the Twisters B team.

I started shooting and as I did I decided I want to try a little experiment. I switched the camera metering method to spot. For the no photo readers that means that the camera would meter the light on a single spot, in the middle of my focus not on the whole image. What I was hoping to get from this was a better play of shadows on the images. I normally only use this kind of metering for objects that are slow or standing still, not something as fast moving as soccer.

The other thing that I did on this outing was to not use my monopod. That's right for the photographers who are reading I hand held my sigma 50-500 lens. To keep things sharp and eliminate shake I kept the shutter speed high but I was happy with the results. I tried to keep my shutter speed equal to the lens or higher. A 500mm lens so I try and keep the shutter to 1/500 or faster. Now I did go slower than that but when I did I made sure that the lens zoom was equal or grater than the shutter speed. In other words if I was shooting at say 215mm I made sure that I was at 1/250 or better.

The first image I have laced here is one of my successes with spot metering, I adjusted my settings based off of the light on his face. I tried it in color but the drama really poped when I used a high contrast black and white conversion. I was happy with the results, let me know what you think. Good or bad.
This image was a typical snap, I just liked the expression on his face.

This guy has his focus on, the image was another spot meter, this time it was his face which was in shadows. When I placed a sepia over a low contrast black and white I came out with this image. Two things stick out in this image to me, one is the players concentration on the ball and the other is the player on the bench, watching the game. He looks like he is amazed at the skill of the player handling the ball.

As I said I was trying something new and over all I am happy with the results, the only down side is that it makes a lot more work in post production. Since each image has a larger difference in light metering the range of light is different in each shot, meaning I had to group like shots in Lightroom and then adjust them that way, when I use Evaluative metering I tend to have a more even spread of light adjustments to work with.

TED - George Dyson: The birth of the computer

Ted clip for your enjoyment and edification:

Monday, October 6, 2008

2008 Charleston Doo Wop and Rod Run

For the car nuts out there, you know who you are the guys and girls who get excited at the sound of a powerful engine or an awesome paint job, the 2008 Charleston Doo Wop and Rod Run was held this weekend. This year Matthew and Alexis went with me as I explored the show. I didn't take as many photos this year, mainly because I was to busy gawking at the cars. The kids took a bunch and I will be placing them into their galleries online soon.

I did however take about 60 images that I liked and you can find those here:

Then of course I have to share some of my favorites. This being one of them. Hood ornaments, particularly old one fascinate me for some reason. Last year at the show I spotted one, and shot it with sky in the background. Later I played with it in photoshop, and replaced the sky with black, creating a great image. This year I did not spot a single hood ornament, in fact I was not even looking. That was until Lex pointed out this blue winged angle, just as we were about to leave. I shot off several frames of it and later that evening I played around and came up with this as one of several takes on the ornament.

The processing is simple, I replaced the blue sky with black and then went in and brightened the wings a little to make them pop. Nothing fancy but it does make a great presentation I think.

This shot was one of those rare finds, the owner of the car had hung a coonskin cap on the mirror of his car. Lex and Matthew were attracted to the cap. Me I saw the while thing as a reminder of an era gone by. I framed up a half car shot with the cap and the engine. The only detraction was the inspection sticker. Which in hind site can be taken out in photoshop. The only processing I did to this images was to age the image digitally to make it look like an older image. I think when I get time I will remove the inspection sticker and see what it looks like.

I've been a fan of Chip Foose for while now, and I love the Over Haulin' show, though i rarely watch it these days. I spotted this set of rims on one car and worked on taking some shots. If I was doing it in studio or on a location shoot I would have worked to make sure that the reflections was free of other cars. I took a few others but had a hard time making sure I was not in the reflection. I also noticed it had a blue cast from the light, I started to B&W the whole thing but decided I liked that cast and left it alone.

I was a fun outing and Lex and Matthew both had a good time. I look forward to next year. I am also considering trying to find some folks who wants images of their car made, I find I enjoy this kind of photography and would like to do more of it.

Photopreneur - by Dean: Get Your Photos Hung in Homes and Hotels

It seems that getting your art hung on the walls of exclusive homes might well be easier than many photographers think. And not just houses. the same is true of the walls of large hotels, including the Sheraton, Hyatt and Four Seasons.

Farmboy Fine Arts, a Vancouver-based art and design firm whose clients include major hotel chains as well as casinos, healthcare and retail environments, is looking for submissions from photographers — and you don’t have to be a professional to send in your images.

Todd Towers, President and Creative Director, told us:
Photographers that are interested in submitting work can email with their contact information, a selection of 10-20 low resolution jpegs for review or a link to their website/online portfolio.

The images are entered into a database which clients — 90 percent of whom come from outside Canada — can search for photos to decorate their homes and businesses. Farmboy Fine Arts prints and designs the images in a range of different formats, from Backlit Acrylic Digital Art to Digitally Printed to Wallpaper, Aluminum and as Architectural Elements. The company will then pay a royalty and a commission to the photographer for each image they sell.

It’s hard to say exactly what this will be since the royalty depends on the number of pieces and material printed on, and the commission depends on the size of the project. The commission paid out is a percentage of our gross profit.

If you like the stem click this link and go to their site to finish the article.

Friday, October 3, 2008

[B]School is open

For thoes of you who do not know the [b] School is open and under way. I'm enrolled and ramping up my involvement. Still looking for someone to second shoot for in the area. If you want a hand give me a shout.

What on tap for the weekend?

This weekend had a lot of things on tap for me. For starters Saturday morning Matthew has a soccer match, so look for more action shots. I think I will try using the "Da Grip" again. After the soccer match I think the two of us, Matthew and I that is, are going to slip downtown to the Do Whop and Rod Run.

For those non-Charleston, non-West Virginia residents the Do Wop and Rod Run is a huge car show and Do Wop event in town. We will have cruise, blocks and blocks of rebuild, custom and tricked out rides and burn-outs. Along with music and all kinds of other fun. The weather should be great, the temperature took a drop this week and it is cool in the day and the evenings. It also appears that the SPED Channel will be doing some filming during the even this year.

On Sunday we have the last regularly scheduled football game of the season. The teams have made play-offs though so we have at least one more game, maybe more depending on how they do. One note on football, Matthew announced at the dinner table last night that he was not going to play next year. Of course he said that last year too, so we will see.

No mater what you do this weekend take the time and make a few pictures. I know Matthew and I will be!

Don't Vote

Jessica Clair had this on her blog today...i watched struck a chord. Watch it!

Did you watch it? I hope so...did you registers? I hope so. See you at the polls.

James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Big Picture- Sapphire Mining

Some of you might be aware that I am the son of a miner, though my father never mined anything as beautiful as the sapphires being mined in Madagascar. The Big Picture released a series of images today on the topic of sapphire mining and as I looked I was struck at how reminiscent they are of images from the great American gold rush. As a student of history I remember reading those pages and then later digging further into the reality of gold rush mining. It was a tough job to prospect one of those claims and it looks like some things have not change in hundreds of years.

What the Duck

I normally would not post two What the Ducks in a row but the last two days have made me chuckle.