So the world didn’t end, now what?

December 21st, 2012 came and went and there are no zombies gnawing on my flesh nor have all the continents shifted causing me to flee from disasters in random vehicles; now what? I guess this means I’ll have to get my act together…

I figure before I make my new resolution I’d take a look at where I am now, then where I’m going… (more after the jump)

Photography first:

  • I just did my largest group portrait, at 37 it was an exercise in crowd control and a chance to think on my feet. It was pouring rain/sleeting all day so being outside was out of the question. Luckily they had a huge family room that they let me rearrange. So, I broke out my lights, gave everyone a topic and told them to talk amongst themselves while I set up. Ok, f/5.6 for DoF and 1/250 to hit my x-sync and block out as much ambient as I could since I had a lot of different color lights in the room to contend with. I wanted to do it at ISO 100, but I also didn’t want to blind everyone (and with the kids I wanted a good recycle speed) so I settled on 320. For my key light I put one white shoot through umbrella camera right with 2 Yongnuo 460ii’s at about 1/4 power. Seeing as I forgot my other umbrella, I used my SB700 and pointed it at the ceiling and used a bounce card for my fill. Since there were so many children, I set my frame rate to 4fps and took groups of 3 shot bursts. Even with 9 pictures I still had to Photoshop the kids’ faces. Looking back on it, I should have paid more attention to people’s faces. I lost one child in the back row to someone’s shoulder… We did smaller group shots so it wasn’t a total loss. I should have also remembered that other umbrella due to the amount of light fall off I got across the group. I had to brighten the top left corner of people almost a full stop!

  • I’ve started doing some stuff for my church and I recently took some pictures for the Facebook page.

  • I’ve been learning a lot about lighting in the past few months. I recently started using gels and have been getting better with them. I made two Beauty dishes (version 1 wasn’t really cutting it so I made a new one), bought a backdrop system, two white shoot through umbrellas, a white reflective umbrella, two huge florescent light bulbs, and Lighting in Layers this year (and probably more, I can’t remember…).


  • I finished the new end tables (you can see part of them in this post) and started working on the desk.

So, now what?  This year I’ve got a few goals:


  • I want to do more photography for my church.  This month I should be doing head shots for the staff.  I’d also like to offer family portraits.  In addition, I’d  like to do more general photography for the site and build up a collection of pictures that could be used for years to come.
  • I’d like to do a small wedding or two on my own.  I’ve talked to a few local photographers and hopefully I’ll be able to assist on a few weddings in the upcoming season.
  • Probably the most tangible goal I have for this year is that I’d like to make the move to full frame.  Depending on how much money I can get together I’m looking at either the D800, the D600, (or maybe even a used/refurbished D3s!?).


  • I’m trying to finish the desk by this weekend (the construction should be easy enough, but I won’t get the staining done in time).
  • The big ticket item will be the kitchen island.  This will be my biggest and most expensive woodworking project yet!  I’m planning on doing the top fully end-grain Maple.  It’s probably gonna weigh over 100lbs for just the top!  I’ll probably do a series of posts on the progression of the project (when I get the design finalized I’ll post some renders).

The Blog:

  • I’ve got a few ideas for the blog for the coming year!  I’m gonna do some App reviews, Photoshop tutorials, and I’m thinking of making some changes to the beer post format…

Looks like 2013 should be a good year!

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