Friday, July 28, 2006

Well that's boring

Hey guys, this is the single most boring blog post here (well, maybe it's a close second to Philberta's member profile, but ya know) but anyway. We are not going to meet tomorrow (the 29th) and we are going to take a break for the first two weeks in August since most of you will be out of town anyway. Essentially, you've got the next three Saturdays to catch up on laundry and do all those other things that you're supposed to do when you're not at work. Hope you're all doing well. I'll post some details and happenin's later this week. Just cause we're not taking pictures together doesn't mean we can't hang together! Have a good one, everybody!

Friday, July 21, 2006

You shot the invisible swordsman!

Sooo..... you know that scavenger hunt I mentioned? Well, um, that kinda fell through. =/ There were only a couple people from the other group who could make it, so it has been postponed indefinitely. I'd still love to do it at some point. I'm not really sure where/how/what, but I welcome suggestions if any of you are suddenly overcome with a stroke of brilliance.

We will still get together and shoot tomorrow, just not quite the same way I originally pictured the day happening. Since the weather is looking iffy tomorrow we're gonna hit up the Botanical Gardens at noon. The B.G. are right by the Capitol (House/South side). We'll meet out front, or just inside the door depending on the weather. Instead of spending the first hour listening to me talk about how awesome I am-- I mean, uh, what the aperture preview button does-- we'll go straight into shooting mode. After we've made our way through the botanical maze we'll head up the street to Starbucks (or wherever else strikes your fancy) and we'll review and discuss the pictures we shot. The big idea is to learn how to become a better photo critic.

Also, if any of you are free later in the day there is a cookout that you're all invited to. I sent the evite to our message board. If you plan on going, send the evite to yourself so you can reply accordingly; this will give the host a better idea of how many people to expect.

Next week we may do a sunrise shoot if I'm in town. If I'm not in town, would anybody else like to lead the group for the day??

Thanks again to everybody who came to the Photoshop session on Tuesday. It would be most awesome if you shared what you learned or thought was most helpful since some people weren't able to make it. A discussion on the message board is in order!

Hope you're all doing well! *poof! Stephen vanishes behind a cloud....

Friday, July 14, 2006

I arrange, design, and sell shrubbery

It's time for Photoshop once again! This coming Tuesday we will have another Photoshop session. Our first session was a broad overview of some common ways Photoshop is used to edit photographs. This time we're gonna get a little deeper and go over some specific "how to's" to get you all up and running with the program. We'll also go over Picasa and Flickr and learn about optimizing photos for the web.

We will meet at my apartment at 7:30 PM. You should have received an email from me with directions to my apartment. Feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Also, you are welcome to bring some specific photos if you have questions about how to edit them. If you are bringing some photos, it would be easiest if they were burned on a CD, but we can also get the pictures from a memory card or even scan them if we must but a CD is preferred. Come with lots of questions, and hopefully you'll leave with plenty of answers.

Some of you have expressed interest but haven't been able to make it to many of our Saturday shoots; you are more than welcome to come this Tuesday. Lastly, if anyone wants to bring a snack, that would be pretty kosher (well, the snack doesn't have to be kosher, but --oh well, you get the idea =) Hope to see you all this Tuesday! (Don't forget about tomorrow's shoot at the Zoo!)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

iguanas, llamas, and pandas! Oh my!

Greetings friends! I would apologize for the tardiness in posting this, but there's really not a lot I can do when the power goes out in my building. ...but I'm not bitter. It's not like my work depends on electricity or anything. "What? The power went out? Hmm... I didn't even notice." ....yeah, right. Anyway.

We've got a new exercise this week. Again, they are never required, but I sincerely hope you will consider them. This exercise is really one of those "iron sharpens iron" sort of things. I hope to see lots of that happening this coming week.

This Saturday is quite possibly gonna be more awesome than usual! I'm as good as out of town, so our very own rock star Marie Claire is taking the group by the horns --I'll let you figure out who's responsible for the horns. Here's what the M to the C has to say about the shoot:

We will go on a safari in DC! The National Zoo is our destination for this Saturday.
Bring a picture of your favorite fuzzy friend (animal, pet) & favorite human friend (if you don't have a print, consider copying an image file to your memory card to show it on your camera)

If you have not an animal picture please bring 2 picture of your favorite human. (Stephen offers a quick link to your "favorite human")

Objective: how to take great pictures of moving objects (people and animals!) *I will discuss some of my technique and we will look at each others pictures and critique and become one step closer to National Geographic photography YEAH! There are so many things to see and do we will vote Saturday morning on which sections to scout out: Asian trail. Giant Panda, Small mammals, N. America, Giant Apes, Asian Elephants, African Savanna, Back yard biology, Giant Cats, Ocean living, Reptiles and Amphibians, Invertebrates, Birds and the Amazon (no relation to the online bookstore). OH MY!

There are a number of ways to get to the zoo: Take the Red Line to the Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan stop or the Cleveland Park stop. The Zoo entrance lies halfway between these stops, and both are a short walk from the Zoo.

# If you exit at the Woodley Park–Zoo/Adams Morgan stop, walk north (away from McDonald's and CVS). The Zoo is about three blocks from the stop, on the right (east) side of Connecticut Avenue.

# If you exit at the Cleveland Park stop, take the exit on the east side of the street and walk south, toward the Uptown movie theater and the restaurants that line Connecticut Avenue (away from 7-11 and the Exxon station). The Zoo is on the east side of the street, about three blocks from the stop, after a bridge and just past a large apartment building.

# Tip: It's an uphill walk from Woodley Park to the Zoo, and a level one from Cleveland Park. We suggest you arrive at Cleveland Park and leave from either Metro station.

# Parking at the Zoo costs $4 for the first hour, $12 for two to three hours, and $16 for more than three hours, but is free for FONZ members. Lots fill early in the day during the summer, so plan to arrive by 9:30 (animals are more active early in the day), or take the Metro.

We will meet at the Starbucks @ 11.
Starbucks National Zoo
3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC, 20008

We will have lunch @ 12 and shoot 1:00. You might want to pack a lunch unless you feel like paying 7 dollars for a hot dog. I'm not sure where else there is to eat around there. Feel free to suggest a place if you know the area.

So, Stephen is a bit jealous of you guys this week, but he can't wait to see the photos! He also wonders why he refers to himself in third person. ...some questions never seemed to be answered.

Monday, July 03, 2006

take a seat in a puddle of syrup

Well.... we probably won't be doing another shoot in Clarendon any time soon =) If I'm being honest, pretty much everything about the shoot felt disjointed, but I hope you all don't think I'm a crazy madman. ...maybe crazy, but not a madman =)

Thanks to everyone who signed our petition to ban Kacey from the group. I couldn't help but notice that many of you made comments like, "Who is this Kacey girl?" and "I don't know Kacey, but she sounds like trouble." Indeed it is for reasons like that in addition to leading us astray by suggesting a shoot in Clarendon that we have rallied together for the betterment of the group. As such, I have included an Addendum to the FAQ's (link on right).

This coming Friday (not Saturday) we will attempt our night shoot once again. We will meet at the DC War Memorial at 8:30. Don't forget to bring a tripod if you have one. There will be no shoot on Saturday because of Leadership 101.

Angela is taking the charge in coordinating a Nats game. Check the message bored (intentional play on words??) for detaillies.

To help give you guys a heads up for the next several weeks, we're going to try some things that are a little different from the norm:

Aside from the fact that I'm not a morning person, I'm itching to do another sunrise shoot (read: painfully early. read: 5 AM) or we could go with the other end and do a sunset shoot. The lighting at dusk can make such a profound difference on your pictures.

I want to get into Photoshop and Picasa with you all again, but I'm not yet sure when and where to meet. If you have a suggestion pass it my way. Also, if you all will make note of any specific things you would like to learn to do with Photoshop/Picasa, that will help me better plan what we cover. Some of my photos have a "Photoshop" tag to help give you an idea of some things you can do.

I'm still looking to give you all an opportunity to share anything and everything you know about photography. You by no means have to be a qualified photography instructor (I'm certainly not there myself) but the simple act of sharing your pictures and talking about what you were thinking can do so much to help give us another perspective. Taking that idea a step further, I would love to have you guys plan and/or lead a shoot sometime. So if you've got a crazy idea, or if you're willing to teach us what you know (and every one of you has something we can learn from) then let me know!

Hope you all have a great Fourth! May your hot dogs and burgers be mustardelicious!