Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - The Year in Review

Let's take a look at 2012 before heading into the New Year.

Except for some lost sleep due to a blocked sinus, I'm thankful for good health for me and my family.

Nothing about the political scene this past year has changed my mind about politics and politicians. Enough said.

If I hear one more person mention the "separation of church & state" I'm going to puke, mainly because I think it's a misunderstood term. In its original context, it was meant as a protection of our religious freedom from government intrusion. This country was founded on Christian principles, which isn't a bad thing. But we sure have strayed far from that foundation.

Quick. . .which team won the Super Bowl this year? Well, it wasn't the Rams, so I guess it really doesn't matter to me. ;-)  And, even though I'm not a hockey fan, it was great to see the L.A. Kings finally win the Stanley Cup. I know what it feels like to support a team as a die-hard fan.

The pros show up and do their best to satisfy their clients. We use our skills, experience, creativity and vision to attract new business. Not everyone is the same, and we don't have to approve of one another's work. The photographer with the highest rates does not produce the best images, and the popular photographer is not the voice of the industry. As for another crop of amateurs, you really need to practice photography. You don't just show up with your gear because you attended a workshop and expect to deliver acceptable results. Photoshop, filters and over-used actions are not the answers to poor skills. Please develop your own style instead of trying to copy the latest trends.
I liked that the major manufacturers put out some very interesting high-end compact cameras. Nikon, Canon & Fuji released compacts with the potential to replace professional DSLRs for some applications. I would love to see further refinements in this category because I would consider making the switch from heavy bodies and lenses to a couple of compact cameras. Improve autofocus, speed up the shot-to-shot processing (especially for RAW files), provide a legitimate optical viewfinder, add some weather-proofing and make it a professional compact.

I'm certainly not a fashionista. My wardrobe consists mostly of jeans and black shirts. But I am aware of what's being worn and how it's advertised. Why, oh why, does the fashion industry continue to use skinny models who don't represent the vast majority of women in this country? Real women have curves and they don't look like young boys. Enough already! What we wear should be dictated by our own tastes, not by what a handful of designers tell us is "in" this season. One more thing. . .if you're a guy who wears pants below your butt, you're an idiot.

There were some really great movies in theaters this year. But will I go into a theater to watch them? No. I've had it with rude, disrespectful people sitting near me at movies or concerts. Talking, texting, cursing and other obnoxious behavior DURING the show ought to be enough to get them removed from their seats. For some unknown reason, it's tolerated. I'll wait for the DVD release and watch in the quiet comfort of my home. No distractions.

End Times
Another prediction bites the dust. The world did not end on 12/21/12, but the Mayan calendar created enough stress in some people that they began quitting jobs and planning to take cover in bomb shelters. If you are concerned about the doom & gloom predictions of false prophets, I hope this might set your mind at ease: The Bible, with a track record of 100% prophetic accuracy so far, is very clear about end-of-the-world forecasts. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Best Wishes for a Healthy & Happy New Year!

p.s. I love the freedom of carrying an iPhone instead of a DSLR for everyday snapshots & clips of daily life. There's something cool in its simplicity, and it allows me to quickly grab shots without having to think about setting up properly and possibly missing the fleeting beauty of moments like this one of a rainbow above Mammoth Lakes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stocking Stuffer

One of the holiday parties I photographed last week had a little stocking stuffer waiting for guests upon their arrival. A bright yellow Lamborghini Diablo. . .keychain!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Camera Strap

BlackRapid Classic RS-4

I've been using the BlackRapid Classic RS-4 strap to carry my camera & lens for about 3 years now. It has helped tremendously in reducing neck and back fatigue by distributing the weight of the gear more evenly across my shoulder & chest. The camera easily slides up into shooting position, and stays out of the way at your hip when not being used. It has also saved my wrist because when not using a traditional strap, I would carry the camera/lens on a hand strap, which really does a job on your hand, wrist and forearm. I highly recommend the BlackRapid line of camera straps.