I'll miss you, Dad.
Friday, December 12, 2008
This, friends and neighbors, is why spearing is a 5-minute major penalty in the game of hockey!! :-)
Was in the box as usual last Friday night. Check comes over the boards and into the box with me, and I look down to see the blade of a hockey stick jamming me in the side. I had a split-second to think 'Oh man, that's going to bruise' and then the guys were pulling themselves back out of the box and were on their way.
This photo was taken three days later.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
It's a strange thing, how fluid time can be. Strange how it can slip through your fingers without your even really realizing it. Strange that your kids grow up so fast. Strange that your parents get old. Strange watching parents and friends die.
It's been a very weird few weeks, which at least partially explains my absenses from the blogging world. My father has been very ill for several months, and everyone in my family is coming to grips with the fact that his journey is nearly at an end. (Strange also that no matter how close someone is to death, we still grasp at euphemisms and metaphors for the actual final act to avoid actually talking about or saying the word 'death'.) We've all come to make our peace with the situation in different ways. My mom wants to see him no longer suffering through the constant surgeries, the growing weakness and mental instabilities. I want to remember him the way he was, independent and strong and seemingly all-knowing. My four-year-old daughter, Molly, wants to know that he'll be in heaven taking care of the baby we lost last year.
And just as we were preparing ourselves for this loss, and taking solace and comfort in our friends, we lost one of those friends. Mike Schupay, the president of the Indiana Ice and a good friend, passed away quite unexpectedly the day after Thanksgiving from a heart attack. He had handed Molly a hockey puck at the game on her birthday not even a week before.
So as you can certainly imagine, lately it's been a struggle just to get out of bed in the mornings and get moving for work. By the time I make it home it's even more of a struggle to take care of the usual household chores, much less anything extracurricular like blogging or getting the Christmas cards ready to send. I hope to improve on my productivity a bit in coming weeks…get caught up over the holiday break.
We'll see. In the meantime, keep my Dad in your thoughts, if you would. I'm going to miss him terribly.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I'm still doing photography as much as I can, which isn't nearly as much as I'd like lately. Hockey games and the odd family portrait here and there are about it. I'm still loving being back in IT full time though, so it's just a trade off. I just wish there were about 37 hours in the day.
Anyway, as usual I hope to post more, if not commentary then at least photos piped through from Flickr. :-)
Peace out for now, all you good people!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Now if you check out our availability calendar, you'll see an embedded Google calendar that will automatically update as we book dates or dates become unavailable because of hockey playoffs or something similar.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Of course, we're never going to abandon the classic great hockey photos. I was amazed to grab this shot so quickly into the start of the season. This was taken probably ten minutes or so after the game started. Took both of us a bit to get the timing back and shake off the rust, and we still shot heavy as hell (over 500 images at a preseason game?!?!), but by halfway through the first we were nailing almost all our usual great shots.
Kelly and I _LOVE_ black and white photography. I recently had to go back through several weddings to choose favorite photos for a slideshow, and nearly all of the photos I chose were black and white. We're shooting a different format at the hockey games this season, so look to see more black and white stuff and different crops posted here and available in the galleries for purchase.
Great thing about shooting at the Ice Skadium is the different views we can get as compared to at Pepsi. One of our main goals with the team photography this season is to try different things to bring an artistic view of what the boys go through throughout the season.
That's right, it's hockey season again!!!!!!
These first few shots are from the Ice's home preseason games at the Ice Skadium in Carmel. Saturday night kicks off the regular season with games at Pepsi Coliseum at the Fairgrounds.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Then Saturday--wedding day--dawned. Sunny and clear. Josh and Natalie got their wish, and we got some fantastic photos...
Monday, May 12, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thank you so much for the tremendous outpouring of support we've received from our friends and fans. It's been truly amazing to see how everyone is so willing to step up and help out. It really does restore my faith in humanity!! :-)
Monday, April 21, 2008
Our family has had a rough time of it over the past month or so. My (John's) dad has been hospitalized for colon problems (pre-cancerous polyps) and has had to have two surgeries and several procedures to clear up polyps, remove infection, etc. He's slowly getting better, but at 83 it's a matter of three steps forward and two steps back.
Then, this past weekend, Kelly developed some problems and had to have emergency, life-saving surgery. She's going to be okay, but it was kind of a near thing for awhile. She'll be in the hospital for a week or so; the doctors are top-notch and she's expected to make a full recovery.
In the meantime, I'm spending a lot of time at the hospital and away from work, so please bear with us for a couple weeks if phones or emails go unanswered or photo orders are a couple days behind.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
One of the most fun (and high-energy) family photo sessions we've done. We don't do a lot of on-location shoots, so it was great to get out and stretch our creativity. We had a blast with Jason and his family, and got some awesome photos.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
We've known Jen & Joachim for several years from soccer, and it's such a thrill to see their family growing! I knew I was getting some good shots, but I was still left speechless when I saw these finished...
Monday, March 03, 2008
Photo industry braces for another revolution
Think of it as digital photography 2.0.
In the last decade, photography has been transformed by one revolution, the near-total replacement of analog film cameras by digital image sensors. Now researchers and companies are starting to stretch their wings by taking advantage of what a computer can do with sensor data either within the camera or on a full-fledged PC.
Some elements of this new era, which researchers often call computational photography, are refinements of existing technology. For example, some cameras can wait to take the photo only when subjects are smiling and not blinking, in effect placing the shutter release button in the hands of the subjects rather than the photographer.
But more dramatic changes could shift the definition of a camera more dramatically. One major area of research, for example, uses computational processing to create a 3D representation of a scene rather than just the two dimensions of traditional photography.
"There's a shift in thinking going on," said Kevin Connor, who manages professional digital imaging products for Adobe Systems. "People are starting to see the broader possibilities and where we can push things...People are realizing that maybe we shouldn't just be trying to make the best traditional photography experience."
What changes will the new era bring? It's hard to say for sure, but if history is anything to judge by, it'll be a rough but fun ride. On the unpleasant side, I expect market disruption, accelerated product obsolescence, and customer confusion. But I also anticipate genuinely exciting technology that could open up new creative and practical possibilities.
Digital photography 1.0 already has meant hard times for the photography industry. The film business expired almost completely overnight; Polaroid closing its film plants this year is only the most recent example, and Konica Minolta, a venerable camera maker, sold its camera assets to electronics giant and image sensor manufacturer Sony. People can share photos online rather than mailing prints. And camera makers no longer have years to recoup research and design investments in a particular model: although SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras hold their value reasonably well, compact cameras have a shelf life not much longer than a banana.
Depending on your definitions, you can argue the computational photography revolution already has begun.
For example, editing software can correct camera lens flaws such as barrel and pincushion distortion, which makes parallel lines bow outward and inward, respectively, or chromatic aberration, which causes colored fringes along high-contrast edges. But that's generally a largely manual process.
At the 6sight conference in Monterey, Calif., last year Adobe's Connor showed computational photography techniques that lets a photo's depth of field be expanded or changed, or the photographer's vantage point be shifted. You can see Connor give a demo of that in the video at right.
More sophisticated possibilities are emerging. Hasselblad's high-end cameras come with software that can perform what it calls Digital Auto Correction, which fixes chromatic aberration and various other problems based specifically on the setting of the lens when the photo was taken.
Because it's a tough computational problem, though, and there's only so much horsepower in the camera, Hasselblad relies on post-processing in software to perform some of the fixes. In essence, the computer has become an extension of the act of pushing the shutter-release button.
Another early area for computational photography involves using a computer to combine multiple photos into one composite shot of the same scene.
Two well-established examples are panoramas and high-dynamic range (HDR) photography. With panoramas, computers can stitch multiple photos together to create a much larger view of a scene than a camera could take on its own. Taken to its extreme, work such as Carnegie Mellon's GigaPan project can produce images gigantic enough to get lost in, at least figuratively.
HDR is more complicated. With it, photographers take multiple pictures of the same scene at different exposure levels then use particular software to produce a composite image that doesn't suffer the common problems of blown-out bright areas and murky shadows. With HDR, photographers can create an image that shows both a cathedral's brilliant stained-glass window and its subdued stonework.
HDR is a painstaking process today. But that might not always be the case. Panasonic is working on an image sensor that takes three separate images of the same scene for better dynamic range. And it's certainly possible that a camera itself could take several images, align them, and create its own HDR image.
A more radical example is merging multiple images to take the best of each. For example, the high-end version of Adobe's Photoshop CS3 can convert multiple pictures of a tourist attraction, each picture cluttered by visitors, into a single scene with the ephemeral humans gone. In one sense, it's fiction, because the moment never happened, but seen another way, it's capturing some of the essence of a scene.
Another way multiple images can be combined is by using MotionDSP, whose software can be used to help intelligence agencies and movie-phone videographers get more out of their imagery. The technology relies on the fact that multiple frames of a video captured the same subject matter, and processing that can produce an image of higher fidelity than what any individual frame possesses.
MotionDSP CEO Sean Varah said it could be possible for a camera to take a burst of five or six images, then computationally combine them into a single, higher-resolution shot. "I think camera guys would love to have that in the camera because they're always trying to sell you a better camera or keep the price point up," Varah said.
Software that can sharpen edges in digital photos has been around for years, but more sophisticated processing is possible, too. MIT researcher Rob Fergus has been working on software to deblur photos marred by camera shake, analyze photos to infer exactly how your camera jiggled when you took it, then back out those changes.
It's the 3D realm where some of the more dramatic changes appear. Stereo photography, otherwise known as stereoscopy, has been around since the Victorian age, but that technique relied on taking two images of a scene and letting the human brain reconstruct a 3D image.
Research under way now could let the camera, or a computer afterward, understand the third dimension. That could be useful as a way to help the camera figure how best to focus and expose the a shot. More dramatically, it could lead to three-dimensional hologram shots, assuming somebody crafts economical way to view such data.
One 3D idea comes from Stanford University, where Keith Fife and colleagues have created a camera image sensor that can gauge depth. That sensor works by using hundreds of tiny lenses over the sensor pixels; by comparing the subimages from each subarray of pixels, a computer can judge how far away various features are.
A related technology, from start-up Refocus Imaging, produces data files that can be processed to focus the camera after the photo has been taken. It also can be used to deliberately bring a background into focus or to blur it so it's not distracting.
Essentially, Refocus Imaging substitutes a computer for camera optics. "Computational optics is the next frontier...We can process in software to do what the hardware usually has to do," said Chief Executive Ren Ng.
Making that change could mean the centuries-old, highly refined, sedate optics field could be replaced by breakneck computer industry rates of change.
"You get the ability to scale performance much faster--a curve that looks like Moore's Law," the famous and largely accurate observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that computer chips get double the number of transistors every two years.
The Refocus Imaging technology is based on a concept called the light field, a much richer description of light entering a camera. Capturing the light field requires very different processes from conventional cameras, but Adobe thinks it will be built in.
"If light field photography becomes much more prevalent, which we believe will happen over time, we think will be much more convent to have it built into your camera," Connor said in a recent speech at the 6sight conference on digital imaging. "We're trying to be a catalyst to get this to happen."
Adobe also is working in the new domain. It's been showing a prototype camera with a "plenoptic" lens--one made of many smaller lenses. A computer processing the subimages, each with a slightly different perspective, can reconstruct 3D attributes.
Adobe, seeing things in perspective to its image-editing business, envisions a tool that could let you edit only areas of a photo that were close to the photographer. For those who have struggled for hours with detailed masking operations to separate foreground from background, that sort of idea probably sounds like a potential godsend.
But such technology currently exceeds the power of ordinary computers, Connor said in an interview: "It's definitely more computationally intense than the stuff we're typically doing in Photoshop."
But as so many industries have discovered, it's generally a bad idea to bet against Moore's Law.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Oh I so want one of these!!!!!
Sunex to show off Superfisheye lenses
LAS VEGAS--A California company called Sunex wants to make it even easier to photograph your toes inadvertently.
The Superfisheye lens costs $799 for Nikon and Canon SLRs with smaller sensors. It's got a constant f/5.6 aperture. The price includes software to "dewarp" the peculiar fisheye perspective into the rectilinear view humans are more comfortable with..
Sunex builds lenses for applications such as security and automotive cameras, but now it's trying to appeal to amateur and professional photographers, too, the company said.