How I Took my Solar Eclipse Photos

As pretty much everyone in the world is no doubt aware by now, there was a total solar eclipse over the continental US on August 21st, 2017. I endeavored to not only see the eclipse from the path of totality, but also to take pictures. Naturally, since I was involved, it was never that simple.

The pic you see was taken by me on August 21st, 2017 in the parking lot of the Greenville Marriott in South Carolina. This article will show you more pics and explain what I went through to get them because that photo did not happen by chance. I spent weeks preparing. Here’s how. (more…)

Batch Photo Resize with Mac OSX Automator

MacAutomationGuy
I have a constant need to resize photos, often hundreds or even thousands at a time. Additionally, I require that when resizing, I keep the original file separate from the smaller, resized file. There are many ways to resize files on the Mac, but with the advent of file versioning, most of them convert the existing file which I didn’t want.

My requirements were simple: Resize a directory or selection of photos, all to the same size (1600 pixels on the longest side), placing the resized photos into a subdirectory called, “Web” while leaving the originals untouched. I wanted this specific set of steps because I had previously been using a wonderful Windows program called Thumbnailer that let me do just that. Thumbnailer was the only program that I still needed Windows for, and I desperately wanted to stop using Windows, so I came up with this Automator script which is much simpler to use. Here’s how you can make one just like it. (more…)

Panasonic Lumix GF1 Review

I have a lot of cameras ranging from subcompact point-and-shoot cameras to my main camera: a huge Canon 1Ds Mark II. This full-frame professional monster is a fabulous camera that has served me well for over 100,000 images since 2005. Coupled with Canon’s L-series lenses, it has all but ruined me when trying any other camera. I have many smaller cameras, most of which I’ve purchased in an attempt to come close to the quality of my big rig in a smaller package. My current travel camera of choice is the Panasonic Lumix LX1, but since it’s showing its age, I decided to hunt for a new one and settled on the Panasonic Lumix GF1. I took the GF1 with me on vacation as my only camera for a week in order to put it through its paces. (more…)

How To Photograph Your Big Black Dog

I get asked over and over again, “How do you take those pictures of your dogs? Anytime I take a picture of my Newfie (Or other black dog), all I get is a big black smudge!” Here are some tricks I recommend to people to help take better pictures of their pets. Some you’ll find easy to replicate, while others might take some practice and/or equipment. Either way I bet that if you follow my advice, you’ll take better pictures of any pet, but most especially of big black dogs

Gear

First lets talk about gear. Do you know what the first question anyone asks me when they like one of my photos is? ” Almost every time I get asked, “What kind of camera did you use?”

Now can you guess what the first question asked of me is when the picture sucks? It’s usually, “Who took that picture?” (more…)

What You Should Capture, and Why

GAD's Dad & GAD
GAD's Dad & GAD in 1970

I have a family page that is private and only shared with family and friends. It contains images dating back to 1964. This site has taken me many hours of design, coding and other miscellaneous work over the years. I first made the site in 1999 so that my mother could see photos of my kids as they grew without having to wait for me to mail them. This was a great idea because I never mailed photos. The site has grown to a 40,000 image archive of my life, and the lives of my family. It is now a cherished heirloom.

The images contained in the site from the 60’s and 70’s are, for the most part, scanned from 30-40 year old slides. Many have deteriorated over time. I have endeavored to “fix” them as much as possible, but for many the damage of years of storage is too great to overcome. It gives me great solace to think that they will now be archived as digital replicas, thus progressing my father’s early photographic visions into the age of computers. He would have been absolutely thrilled at the idea. (more…)

GAD’s Digital Photo Management Scheme

1dsmarkii_586x225
Canon 1Ds Mark 2

I take the archiving of my digital photos seriously. My photos are the archived memories of my family. I have developed over the years, a means whereby I sort, store, and archive them. I’ve been asked repeatedly how I do this, so I thought I would write it up once and for all.

I use a Canon 1Ds Mark II camera which is 16.7 Megapixels. I also shoot exclusively in Raw with the DSLR, which yields files that range in size between 13 and 22 megabytes each. Each of thes .CR2 raw files must be “developed” using special software. The resulting .jpg images create an additional file of about  two to four megabytes. Then I may crop or alter the file, making a new copy of the full-sized .jpg. Then there are the web-sized versions and the thumbnails which are only 100k or so. After all my editing, each single image capture from my camera might consume a total of 25 megabytes of disk space with all copies considered – more if there are many versions. (more…)