Friday, December 31, 2010

my favorite Christmas present

Sarah got me this new Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 AF-S ED G lens for Christmas! I am not sure how she got a $1700 lens for $12.50 but she sure is good in knowing what I want.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas with friends

Christmas is traditionally meant to be spent with family. But when your family is too far away, we’ve learned to appreciate even more our “family” out in Wisconsin. We’ve now spent 5 Christmas’s in Wisconsin and we’ve been learning to create our own traditions: opening presents Christmas Eve, having friends over for dinner, calling our family in California early Christmas morning, playing random games that Sarah always loses to, eating clam chowder, and enjoying the break from work. Each year we’ve come away very thankful for both the family we have out in California but also the friends we have here. Thank you to everyone that helped make this Christmas special.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

We are having a white Christmas here in the Midwest, but that is not a surprise, the surprise is that it is fresh snow. This entire morning and all through Christmas it is supposed to by a light dusting to keep it all fresh. Which is a good thing, for our week old snow was getting a little dirty.

Merry Christmas to all, and if you are not in snow country, may this be your white Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

first snow - sorta

The snow fell for the first time a couple weekends ago, but I was unable to get out and photograph it (other than for 2 minutes) because I was shooting a wedding. Today was the first time I was able. Snow is hard to photograph because the white on dark is beyond the dynamic range of a digital image, but really it is the cold that gets me. Layering sure makes it hard to walk around let alone carry your camera gear. Usually by the end of the season I am only taking the least possible gear out with me, but I had not learned that lesson yet this year. I took what I would have taken for spring shooting, or a summer photo hike, or for fall leaves. Needless to say after almost dropping a lens, fiddling to much with my camera bag, and getting frustrated, I resorted to just my 50mm lens; the smallest and lightest lens I had with me. That is when I started having fun again. Why am I so naïve to think that more is better?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

chicago in the wet

I drove Sarah down to Chicago this last weekend for a work conference, for those that know about our recent crazy storm that is blasting the Midwest right now, it was probably not smart. But how could I pass up a day in Chicago walking around an outdoor international market and hanging out with Sarah? It was not as bad as back home in Madison but it was still cold, wet and snowy…just enough to make it an adventure.

Driving home was a bit tense. At one point I was stopped for over 30 minutes in one spot watching the snow drifts grow between other cars and me. Later when we all started moving again, we saw several cars being dragged out of the ditches, some with missing front ends. But it was beautiful; I wanted to stop every 10 minutes as I saw beautiful scenes opening up as I drove through freshly fallen snow country. (Don’t tell Sarah but these were taken out the car window as I drove.) The last shot was out my window at home, it  was all I ventured to take as the wind chill dropped temperatures into the -10F range.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

alissa and jordon

I should have learned from their portrait session that with Alissa and Jordon, all I had to do was to wait and a great moment was about to happen, all I had to do was be ready for that moment. It was a lot of fun watching these two, and a lot of fun getting them to do silly things. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your day.

Note: the top image here is not mine, it's by Steve Salt; my second shooter for this weeding. I love having a second; it allows me to be in two places at once. Couples that opt to pay more, end up getting much better images all around.  While I was in getting the girls looking pretty he was out watching the cute kids. Great find Steve.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This year’s thanksgiving trip back to California seemed a bit more jam-packed than last year. We somehow fit in 2 church services, shopping, visiting with both sets of parents, a lunch with friends, a funeral, meeting up with my brother, coffee with InterVarsity staff, thanksgiving dinner and setting up the Christmas decorations. And probably more that I am forgetting, like making sure to make repeat visits to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for Sarah’s favorite Pomegranate Blueberry Tea Latte’s.

Photographically, I found myself not always looking for photo opportunities; this was a little disconcerting at first when I realized that I had not taken as many photos as I normally would have, until I realized I was actually having fun with people. This is often hard for me to do (not the having fun part but the not taking photos part.) In the end I am only a little disappointed that I don’t have any photos of the hours with my parents, but I do remember having a lot of fun. I guess I still need to learn that I do not have to document every aspect of every event I am part of.