Retiring the Text Blog

Hello wonderful friends and followers! You’ve read that title right! I am planning on retiring the text portion of the blog as I am going to be moving to a Video Blog (vlog) format in the near future. I do hope that you stay tuned to this page as it will become exclusively my portfolio and will be getting quite the revamp over the next few days/weeks. I want to sincerely thank each and everyone one of you who’ve taken time out of your day to read my stupid ramblings and hope that you’ll be along to watch my stupid videos too! Love your faces, and as always, Until next time!
-D

**UPDATE** If you are going through the archives, you’ll notice a lot of photos missing! That’s because I was hot linking them to here through my Flickr account which I have recently cleaned out! Be sure to follow me on the various social networks to see all the yummy photo goodness!

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Rockhouding inside the mosquito vortex

Last weekend I took the kiddo out for a hike to get her out of the house as we were both starting to go crazy. For those unaware, my daughter is quite the little rock-hound and has begun amassing quite the little collection of rocks (and seashells) in her room. So anytime I offer to take her outdoors, the first question is always: “Can we look for rocks and shells?” to which the reply is always “Of course!”

Now that we live in Alabama, the shells portion is not likely going to be a thing when we’re out hiking, unlike Utah where you could find all sorts of things up on the mountain trails. Since most of Utah was underwater until somewhat recently (geologically speaking) seashells and neat rocks can be found most anywhere. I’m not entirely sure about the landscape of Alabama just yet, but prior to the hike I found out there are some cool rocks to be found along the rivers/streams here.

So we set out to the Hays Nature Preserve, which provided (or so I was hoping) two main things: First, some hiking trails so I could get some exercise (and burn off some of the energy on the kiddo); and second, a shady place with a bunch of rocks she can pick through.

Luckily, we got both. She managed to find some cool Blue Quartz and some Onyx. I managed to score some pretty sweet photos of the swamps and the “World Championship Tupelo trees”:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35046474254

Aside from those, I snapped some more shots of the swamplands and a pretty neat bridge that connected the trailheads to the biking trails:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35886225825

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Swamp 3

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Minus the hundred(s) of mosquito’s we had to fend off on the couple hours we were out there, even though we were both smothered in OFF! repellent, it was an excellent trip. I’m quite looking forward to hitting up some of the other trails in the area.

This one, as well as the next few posts, is going to be a short one as I’m going to be working on moving these into a more video-blog style format. However, since I’ve never done anything with video, there is a lot of research and learning I am working on currently. So be sure to follow me on FB and Twitter as that will be where the posts are going. I’ll work on getting them uploaded here as well once I figure out that mess too. As always — Thanks for reading!
-D

A short walk through History

Yesterday I opted to take a few hours to myself and wander around town to snap some photos that I’d been meaning too. Primarily, one of a 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass that had been abandoned off of Governor’s Drive:

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What’s great about the Oldsmobile aside from just being an awesome car, was that it reminded me a lot of all the different cars we had when I was growing up. Most of them Oldsmobile’s of some kind or another. For whatever reason, my dad could always find one cheap and manage to get it to run for 250,000 miles with minimal expenses. They’re sturdy cars, and I bet with a little TLC, this one would be no different.

Aside from the sweet ride, there were a few abandoned buildings I have been wanting to explore and so I set out to do that as well. Unfortunately, Huntsville is much better about boarding up old buildings than Ogden was, so getting into them is going to require a more legal method: Calling the company who is selling the building and asking for a tour.

Of the things on the list, one is an old movie theater called 222, another is a miniature golf course, of which I did get one shot from over the fence:

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and of course, an old VFW post. There still seems to be some memorabilia inside the building on that one, but the condition of the lawn and parking lot, as well as the windows and exterior of the building suggest it hasn’t been used in at least 3-5 years.

So tomorrow will be a busy day filled with phone calls and hopefully, I can get in and get some cool shots of stuff to post later.

Aside from the building side of abandonment, over near the movie theater there is the Huntsville Veterans’s Museum which has a long line of old tanks just sitting out in the grass behind it:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35764092096

As I got out of the car to dig in and explore some, a kindly older fellow popped out of one of the tanks and greeted me. At first I was a little confused as the whole thing had a very “Fival: an American tail” feeling to it, but I correctly assumed he was a volunteer with the museum who is cannibalizing the line of tanks to make 1 good working one. I figured as much as Ogden had a group of like minded folks working on the steam engines outside the train station every Saturday. I will say that tanks are much cooler than trains. Here’s a few more shots from tank dump:

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35763923196

After I left there, I cruised around a little more but didn’t find much of interest. I’ll hopefully get to roll out and explore some other parts of town next weekend. That’s it for now. As always, Thanks for reading!
-D

Battling the weather for new hiking trails

Since we’ve moved to Huntsville, the weather here has been anything but predictable. As it turns out, we’re in Northern Alabama’s monsoon season and so the rains will be coming and going throughout the day for a few more weeks. What that means for me, is trying to plan a trip out to photograph stuff is damn near impossible. Just the other day I got everything ready to head out the door and in the time it took me to put on shoes, a thunderstorm had rolled in and dropped about 3 inches of rain on us.

Not to be entirely deterred, I decided to get out and do something regardless of the rain situation. So last week I drove up to Monte Sano state park and drove around a bit looking for a trail to hike on. The first one I stopped at, I got rained out of about 75 feet into the trail as the random sprinkling turned into a torrential downpour much faster than I was expecting. I was about to just pack it in and head home, but as I got back towards the front of the park, the clouds parted and I was given a second chance. It’s a good thing I took it as well! I ended up on a short trail that led me to a tucked away Japanese tea house and garden. The rain did come again while I was exploring, but the little tea house provided plenty of shelter for me to wait it out. Here’s some shots I got of that:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35580033356

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35489160991

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All in all, it’s a wonderful little place and I fully intend to spend much more time there. Next time I’ll probably even take the Yoga mat with me and have a quiet and relaxing afternoon to myself.

On my way out of the trail and back towards the car, I noticed it started raining again, but not on top of me like before. This time it was dry over my head and downpouring about 100 feet into the woods behind me. So I stopped and snapped a few shots of that in a fun little panorama:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/35232743880

The weird haze you see across the middle of the image is actually just the rain as the sun punches through the trees to hit it. It made for this interesting mist look and I’m happy with how it turned out.

If you’re curious what the weather looks like, I made it a point to bring my camera on our last little family outing into downtown so we could show our kiddo the park downtown (and let her feed the Koi fish). Within five minutes of arriving we were met with this:

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It rained so hard that in about five minutes it raised the water level of the pond from about 3 inches under the lip to flowing up over the top. After that nice five minute rain break, the clouds parted and the rest of the day proceeded as if it never happened. If I hadn’t spent the last four years in Utah watching it go from 55 to snowing to 60 to 35 and raining over the course of 4 hours, this might have shocked me. I am getting used to temperamental weather though, and as long as I can find a source of rain ponchos, I won’t let the weather keep me down!

That’s it for this round. On a more administrative note, I updated the portfolio pages (links at the top) and will be fixing the online store to add in newer products and adjust prices. So stay tuned for more stuff and as always, thanks for reading!
-D

It’s Been A Productive While

I just realized I haven’t posted since April which is much longer than I’d prefer, but I’ve been quite busy! With what you ask? Why with Moving!

You see, the wife had gotten a job offer from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and so we packed up all of our art and books, threw everything else in the garbage and drove 1800 miles from Ogden to Huntsville. The drive itself wasn’t much to write about, but we did make a few stops of varying levels of relaxation or stress. One of which was Memphis, TN. I’d had much higher hopes for the city as I’ve heard very good things about the nightlife and downtown. But, having arrived in downtown, on a Friday Night no less, I was saddened to learn not a lot was happening except for a few of the local bars were packed to the brim. We I still 21, that might have had some appeal to me, but given I’m an old fart now, standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of loud and smelly bar people seems like the opposite of a good time.

Instead, I went on the roof of the hotel and took some pictures. Here’s one of the “Famous” Peabody Hotel in downtown:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/34592947744

You may notice for this post the photos look a little different than my pictures usually do and that’s because I edited them on my phone using PS Express instead of Lightroom. It’s not nearly as good, but for the ability to post a quick shot to IG (which you should follow me on @earthquakephotography) which is all I’ve been doing as of late, it works rather well.

After leaving Memphis, we drove a few more hours where we finally hit our new home state of Alabama:

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I’ll be 100% honest here (so if you work for the State of ‘Bama, take note): This sign is awesome. It’s probably one of the coolest “Welcome to X” signs out there. It’s carved marble with great patina, and has tons of most excellent character. However, it’s not nearly as big as you might be thinking, or all that easy to see. In fact, it’s largely covered by some bushes, behind a typical big-ugly-green-road sign that says “Welcome to Alabama” in the typical shitty ‘road sign’ font. Why would you put up a garbage road sign when you have something or quality and substance nearby? Shame on you Alabama. Shame.

For what it’s worth, the sunsets here are just about as good as they were in Utah. Here’s one from my front porch:

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I’m also quite thrilled to see that Huntsville seems to have an art scene, although upon a quick google search, the hip young people art place is out of business (Boo!). Nonetheless, you can find things like this down the alleyways of downtown Huntsville:

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Hopefully before too long I can get out and do some solid exploring in the area. Until then, hang tight peeps! It’s gonna be a clunky shift …

-D

Concert/Photo Shoot: Escher Case

A few weeks back, I was chatting with a buddy of mine at work who told me he’s in a band and asked if I’d be willing to shoot some photos for them. Being that I was looking to build up my portfolio I agreed and asked if he had some of their music I could listen to to get a feel for what the band was going for. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what I got was an incredibly talented group of guys who are super passionate about what they do and it shows through their music. In fact, I recommend you go and give them a listen on bandcamp.

Once I knew what I was working with I planned out a shoot for some band photos in which they wanted some set shots and some behind the scenes stuff of them goofing off in their basement. So I spent the day with them shooting those things and getting to know everyone. I ended up with the following shots for their photo shoot session:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/33534179476

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In regards to the last shot, I’m kind bummed my focus was more on Braun, the lead singer and less on the dog. Not that I don’t like the band members, but having the dogs face be slightly out of focus, screws up the entire shot I was going for. It’s likely one I’ll be trying to redo in the future.

After closing the shoot out, we discussed doing some additional photos down the road as the drummer just had his wisdom teeth pulled, and one of the guitarists was in a cast so their ability to wander about in search of the perfect shot was limited. It came up however that they had a show at a local bar (Funk n’ Dive) on the 18th and if I could snap a few photos of that for them.

Given I’ve been desperately wanting to get into concert photography, I was willing to do any kind of live music shoot and I jumped at the chance. There were indeed some harsh lessons learned however. For one, quality lighting is everything, and in a run of the mill pub, that’s not a thing you get. What that meant for me is I had to be quite a bit more creative in how I edited the shots to make sure everyone didn’t look like either a smurf or a hot red-orange mess (since the lighting consisted of two stagnant gel lights, 1 red and 1 blue). Luckily, I’m brilliant (toot, toot), so I was able to make it work. Here’s what I wheeled from their show Saturday night:

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/33558689215

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/33175629900

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Like I said earlier, the show was phenomenal and I can’t recommend this band enough. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, do me a huge favor and give them a listen at the link at the top, and give them a like on their FB page. It would help them out a lot! You can find that here.

As always, until next time –Thanks for reading!
-D

#Ogdenwide Photowalk for Q1 2017

This weekend presented another fantastic opportunity to hang out with some excellent people and shoot some thing I normally would have never even stopped to look at. One of the great things about the group is that people of all shooting styles and skill levels show up and meander about town like a flock of flamingos (or foreign tourists) snapping pictures of every nook and cranny along the route. What it provides for me is a different perspective on how other view the world, or what they find visually appealing. So even though most of the time a lot of us will shoot the same object (or set of objects) never have I seen two photos look alike. So much so, that by now it’s starting to get kind of weird. You’d think there would at least be one or two overlapping images, but nay! It’s all original and it’s all most excellent.

Instead of boring you with commentary on each of the shots, here’s the pictures I liked and posted up online:

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/32677173044

https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/32677170074

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/earthquakephotography/33137582730/

One thing of note (or maybe two), in the last two photos, I spent roughly about 3-5 minutes waiting with my camera focused and pointed through the tire, for someone, anyone to walk into the frame. I was starting to lose hope of getting a candid shot and almost went to grab someone to stage it which Zach (@zachary.leroy on IG) wandered in. So the lesson here: Patience! You can get the shot you want, if you just wait! Or if you’re super impatient, grab another human being (or whatever) and stage it!. It’s all the same when printed and framed.

The very last shot of the grouping involved another buddy of mine being willing to sit on a very gross and sketchy looking chair thing. Thank goodness for his adventurous spirit. You can follow him on IG as well (@atomritchey)

I hope you enjoyed these all as well, and as always, until next time –Thanks for reading!
-D