Sand Soccer Team Pictures

Shooting soccer is a lot of fun since it’s a fast paced game and often times, a lot of action. With kids, the action slows down a bit but they are no less serious about their games and just as enjoyable to shoot. There is a different subgroup called “sand soccer” where the teams play on the beach. It’s very intense play on a smaller pitch than normal soccer.

Sand Soccer collage 1

A few things I’ve learned in shooting on the sand, is that you need to get a few neutral density filters if you want to run a reasonably shallow depth of field. If you have one, a circular polarizer filter is even better to be able to knock back some of the glare. Shooting at ISO 200, F 6.3 will be pushing the shutter speed upwards of 1/4000 on a cloudy day. Also remember to add minus one ( -1) compensation to your exposure to help make up for the extreme reflection coming off the sand which acts just like snow and will throw off your metering. I don’t really like shooting with spot metering for this type of image. The spot is promised to be on the wrong spot half the time. I use center-weighted which gives me some forgiveness if I am not aimed exactly where I need to be. The camera is set to continuously focus and also to shoot release+focus. In this mode, the camera won’t wait for the first time to sharp focus but will get it for the second. This keeps me from missing key shots while the camera tries to decide who and what is in focus.

Both of these sets of images were taken with a Nikon D700 and using a 70-200mm F2.8 lens. I’ve tested in both manual and aperture priority modes and honestly, AP mode works just fine and can help with the fine tuning if the lighting is changing a lot like with cloud cover. I try to keep the shutter speeds about 1/1200 to /2000. The slightly lower speed still gives a sharp image but will let the feet/ball blur slightly. It is a balancing act to be sure.

Sand Soccer 2

Post processing will vary quite a bit depending on the lighting but on a cloudy day before prepared to add some black and a touch of red plus crank the daylight balance up a notch. All of this does assume you are shooting in RAW which is highly recommended in order to take advantage of recovering bright highlights even when the exposure is set correctly.

DO NOT shoot this type of game without a sealed camera. The sand will get into the normal consumer camera and destroy it. Do NOT even think about changing lenses out on the beach. You can bag the camera using a zip lock baggie and some rubber bands but the best tip would be to rent the gear and then return it when you are done.

Posted in Articles, editing, event photography, musings, photography, sports, Travel Tagged , , , , |

Make Believe Awards

I wish I was there. How many times have I heard this about the Oscar awards in Hollywood. The Oscar award ceremony is always a popular around the house here. My wife loves to take advantage of the show as her excuse to “dress up” and have some fun with like minded movie folks. What has evolved over the years is that she takes on a costume of something related to the Oscars.  This year she rented a runway dress suitable for the awards and I did fast session against a grey background with the intent of putting her “into the Oscars” or at least in a movie style bake believe setting.

Why grey?  Because while white can look like rim lighting when you composite in your image, I would be working with mixed lighting images and I find that against the lighter dresses, grey works really well to help cut it out. The brightness of a light dress makes it  hard to get a clean edge against the white. And black is too noticeable when you don’t get a nice tight edge.

This image is one of the series I took of Jeanne in the runway dress. I used a single 42 inch octo with a 1600 watt alien bee. I had a V card reflector on the left side.

Jeanne on grey background for oscars

For one background, I used a image I found on Google of the past Oscar awards and chopped a section out of it. I had to do a touch of clean up to remove some feet and so on but I think overall it worked pretty good.
Jason-Sudeikis-stepped-back-take-snap-his-pregnant-fiancée

I then removed Jeanne from the grey background and added to her to my new background at the Oscars. I added a shadow to help add some depth.
Jeanne on Oscar red carpet

I also used a set up image of the Kodak theater and did some cropping and enlarging to get the sizing close.
Jeanne at Kodak theater
None of this compositing was difficult but the tricks like shooting on grey made it a lot easier than it could have gone. Another trick is that I use an average blue layer to blend in the different tones of the two images. That really smooths out the color blending, brightness and such. I also used a slightly different pose with the purse because that better fit the overall “theme” of my base images. If you can get 90% of the image to look right, the brain will fill in the rest without too much difficulty.

Posted in composites, editing, event photography, photography, technique Tagged , , |

Gorgeous Utah

For the last year my wife has been after me to take the family on something more like a family vacation instead of the “stay-cations” we have done since the girls were very small. So we tried a short trip up to Monterey Bay to see how we would all do in a small van for three days and to my surprise we survived. We even managed to have some fun and hit a few missions for Sara’s homework assignment.

That small success lead to our major trip this past year to the Zion Mountain Ranch in Utah. For those that do know about Zion, you are missing one of the true wonders of the west. It has spectacular scenery and you can easily fill dozens of flashcards with pictures. ZMR is at the border of Zion and is a working buffalo ranch.

Utah sky using HDR and iPhone

The accommodations are really small lodges with privacy and amazing views. Ours was a family sized lodge and had two levels with a bedroom plus bath upstairs with our own cast-iron room heater. The downstairs had the kitchen living room, bathroom and another bedroom.

Zion Moonrise

When we looked outside on the first morning, we had a herd of deer wandering through the front yard  and at night, the skies were so clear I felt I could reach and touch the stars. The kids had a ball running around and stalking the deer. Then they discovered the buffalo. The ranch feeds them and so they would come up to the fence. Let me tell you, you don’t understand how massive one buffalo is until you are next to it.

Reflections of Buffalo

We all went a trail ride on horseback which was a tremendous amount of fun. This was not a “pony ride” but a full featured trail ride along the rim of a canyon and through the scrub brush.

While I did bring along my D700 camera and good glass, I also brought along my Mamiya 1000S medium format film camera. But I took the majority of the photos with my iPhone. I wanted to have a vacation and not be dragging along 20 lbs of gear everywhere I went. The iPhone works surprisingly well for a travel camera and did exactly what I wanted it to do. It caught family moments with the least amount of fuss and bother. And yes, even “Flat Stanley” got into the act :)

Family at Bryce Canyon High Point

 

So one thing I learned was to let the wife do some driving while I happily shot pictures through and out the window of the van while we drove around.  My window tint as it turns out is a really good neutral density filter on the economy size. I shot this image coming back from Bryce Canyon with snow blowing into the windshield. I had a lot of fun with impromptu shots like this of the scenery and the family. Now that we are home, the girls are still talking about trip and they want to go back. So I think I should put another mini vacation together to hit Canyonlands and Arches National Park :)

Snow fall on the road

 

One of the best things about letting someone else drive is I could work on a slide show on my iPad while zooming across the desert in the passenger seat. I created this slide show using my iPad Air and a cool app called Photo Slideshow Director Pro. If you ever get a chance to visit the state of Utah, you really want to make time to see Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. The Bryce Canyon Lodge is a great place to grab lunch and soak up the atmosphere of Bryce.

Posted in Articles, iPhone, musings, photography, Travel Tagged , , |

Size Does Matter with Art

Animated Size of prints over fireplace

 

Years ago, people used to hang very large pieces of art on their walls as symbols of wealth and status.  In much of Europe, the art served to show off family, show status and to cover a portion of the ugly stone walls that made up their homes. Even in other countries that didn’t have stone castles as homes, large pieces of art were considered to be sign of status and prestige.

Over the decades, we have moved away from hanging large pieces of art in our homes. We have lost the perspective of what “large” really means up on the wall. When we order pictures, the “large” print in the typical package is an 8×10. This is what most people call “large” in today’s age of digital screens . Where my clients run into trouble is that they have trouble visualizing how big or just how small a piece of art will look against their wall or next to their furniture. When you are used to calling an 8×10 large, it is very difficult to comprehend how big a 16×20 or a 30×40 is when compared to an empty wall.

I will grant you that often times there are constraints to what size you can put up but even then, there are options available by using collections of smaller images to wrap around something or to make the art look bigger.

A benefit I have over many photographers is that I have digital tools where I can go onsite to my clients home or place of business and by using my iPad, take a picture of where they want the image then drop their pictures into the scene in real time on the iPad. The client can see right away how sizing looks and even how the print might look against the wall. This is a real benefit when there is some questions about how well the print would look in the actual environment it will be displayed in

To help my clients with deciding just how large of a print they should be looking at for their wall, I have created images with different sized art all hanging together to show the differences. This helps my clients visualize what the sizes really mean when compared to a normal wall or next to furniture.

Printed Image Size Comparison

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Posted in Art, Articles, musings, portraits

You Need Wall Art

Bride in red bedroom
Often times when I’m showing images to clients, I find myself having to educate my client that there is whole brave new world out here for printed images. The old days of getting a couple of 8x10s and calling it an order are over. Modern technology and printing methods let us do things with our images that even five years ago we could not imagine.

This is a basic canvas portrait hanging in a bedroom
Bride Portrait in bedroom

Along with the standard printed image on a flat piece of photo paper, we have aluminum plate, metallic paper, wood, cloth, canvas, clothing, wall clings and more. In fact, there are so many choices it can be overwhelming to my clients. I choose just to show a few items to pick from but one thing that I love do is show off HOW the print can look in their home, business or office. I have a couple of ways I can do this. I use my iPad and a custom app that lets me take a photograph of the exact space then drop in the images or images in a template form that overlays on the real image. Pretty cool huh? I also have some images that I put together that show off size comparisons of the normal 8×10 to other size prints over a piece of furniture. This can really help my clients visualize the look they want on the wall. I also have prints of clusters of prints or “collections” where you can mix up many pictures or take one picture and “cut it apart” in a very artistic manner for wall art.

This is my Foot Prints collection showing off how several images can be clustered together.
Footprints Wall Art Collection

This type of wall art is heirloom quality and not printed at a big box store like Walmart. From the archival pigment inks to the high quality wood used in the stretcher frames of the canvas prints, everything speaks of quality. These prints are the types of gifts that you give when you want to give the best to someone. After all, you do not give a Casio watch to someone for a heirloom, you give the Rolex and for good reason. It will last a life time for the recipient of your gift. Or your life time if you wish to gift yourself. Everyone deserves quality in their life and since your pictures are for preserving a memory, shouldn’t you have the best?

Posted in Art, musings, photography, prints Tagged , , , |

My review of the iPhone 6

  • iphone 6

    We now have the iPhone 6 and 6Plus to choose from along with the iPhone 5S. I must say I was reluctant to get an iPhone 6 since I find the camera sticking out the back of the phone to be crappy engineering or as Steve Jobs would say “Absolute SHIT!!”. Even after using it, I will still call it a crap design. That lens takes a lot of punishment unless you spend money to put the phone into a case of some kind.

    iPhone 6 back view

    For those of us with “older eyes” the bigger screen is a real treat. I shot with the 6 along with my Samsung S5 and the two were very comparable in overall size and general feel. The iPhone has a nicer feel and heft to it while the S5 feels a bit more “plastic”. I found the colors on the iPhone screen more true to what I uploaded to the computer.

    I actually did a color test of the screen using a Munsell color checker and photoshop. The iPhone screen is a true sRGB and comes very close out of the box to being on the money based on the Munsell color chart

    The feel of the screen is very good and I love that the rounded edges are back in fashion with Apple. I was never a fan of the harsh square angles of the 4, 4x and 5s. I was worried that I would have issues trying to use the phone one-handed but that has been an unfounded fear. The iPhone 6 is just narrow enough where I can use my thumb like I did on the 5S.

    I’m not a fan of the new side lock button, I find it awkward to use and still prefer it being on the top. And I stand by what I say from the beginning when they moved the earphone jack to the bottom of the phone. STUPID IDEA Apple..  when I pull the phone out of my pocket with the ear buds plugged in, I have to flip the damn phone over to use it. Stupid idea..I don’t care if it saved you a mm of room.

    My battery life has been very good, a bit better than my 5S actually. For the most part, iOS 8 has been pretty reliable on my 6. The email client has frozen a few times but over the past few months and few patches, it has not happened.

    I’ve dragged the iPhone 6 around to Disneyland a few times and all over town on various trips. It’s been pretty reliable on the ATT network. I had a Sprint iPhone 6 which lasted four weeks with me. The coverage of sprint was so bad that I gave the phone back. Often times I would have LTE coverage on my ATT phone and + or 1 bar of 3G on the sprint phone. And the phone itself was unreliable on wifi. I don’t know if that was sprint or not, but the ATT phone has not had the issues with 801.x authentication on my corporate wifi that the Sprint version did. Both are on the same iOS and the same patch level so draw your own conclusions.

    My Amazon basics lighting cable still work fine with the new 6 and are half the price of the Apple cable. Not to mention three times as long if I wanted and I did. It’s nice to have a very long cable at times.

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  • Along with the iPhone 6, I use a selection of apps over and over again.Here is a partial list of my “go to” apps I use with iOS8 and my iPhone 6.

    • Instagram
    • Manual
    • Mextures
    • Snapseed
    • Squaresize
    • Manual Cam
    • Image Blender

    Each of these apps have their place and each need to be learned to get the most out of them. You cannot just load up the app expect to get awesome pictures, you need to practice with them to learn how they work, what they do best and what they cannot do.

    I’ve been having fun playing with Moju which is a cool app that gives almost a 3D effect to images. You take a dozen or so and then as you tilt the phone, the images are automatically blended side to side to give that animated 3D lo

Posted in musings Tagged , , , , , |

Super Amazing Smartphone Tricks

Trick 1

Reflections

Reflectors are just a way to toss a bit more light onto your subject. In spite of the marketing hype in the photography world, there is nothing magical about a reflector. It can be anything that reflects light ranging from a simple piece of white paper or tin foil to a concrete wall. There is something to be said about the use of white vs. color and white vs. something highly reflective like tin foil. The reflected light will carry with the color cast of what you use so with yellow or gold, you can “warm” up a subject by way of a yellow light. Tin foil adds a sparkle and edge to the light which some folks like and some do not.

reflector in use

Trick 2

Light up small objects

Something that a smartphone like the iPhone excels at is shooting small items for sale on sites like eBay. The trick for this type of photography is using a lightbox that will evenly illuminate the item from all sides. You can buy a light tent or do a DIY version using a cardboard box with panels cut out and covered with a diffusion material like tracing paper. You cut out the panels and then position some lights at each panel. I use three 85 watt CFLs that are daylight balanced. I had them for another project and reused them for this project. You can use the cheap worklights but they put out a lot of heat. The CFLs are much cooler and can be color corrected by gelling or in post processing.

Trick 3

Diffuse Your Light

Diffusion is the opposite of reflecting in a sense. You are not adding light but evening it out by subtracting the brightest parts. You can accomplish this several ways ranging from making your own diffuser from a cheap canvas frame with the canvas cutout and replaced by something along the lines of Roscos Opal diffuser material, a piece of thin white ripstop nylon, tracing paper, cheap shower curtain or any other semi opaque material. In my case, I made a diffusor (or Scrim) from the canvas frame so I could clamp it in my C Stands. But you do not have to have that stiff of a frame. You can use a cheap white “shoot-through” umbrella which will cost about 10 dollars from various online stores.

Diffuser made from canvas and wooden stretcher art frame
DIY DiffuserHow does a diffuser work

How does a diffuser work

The left side doesn’t have the diffuser overhead and right side is using DIY diffuser overhead

diffuser in action

Trick 4

Increase Your Density

When you take pictures in bright daylight, the typical smartphone will lower the ISO and crank up the shutter speed to get a good exposure since the aperture is locked to something like 2.2 or 2.4. On the surface this sounds fine and in most cases this perfectly fine until you want to make a better picture than a snapshot. When you take a picture of something with motion, you need to show that motion and a fast shutter speed is not the way to do it. So how can we reduce the shutter speed when we really cannot control it from our smartphone? We fake the camera into thinking it’s darker than what it is by way of neutral density filters. We are playing off the camera’s programming that it will reduce shutter speed before it raises ISO speed. Sometimes it’s easier to show someone something. So here is a shot taken high high noon at Disneyland. Normally the water would have been stopped like it was frozen. But when I tape a ND filter of two stops over the camera lens of my iPhone, the phone thinks it’s darker than what it is and lets the shutter slow down. This bit of slowing is enough to let the water blur but still keep the submarine motionless. The moving water adds visual tension to the image which the brain likes to see. It shows motion which it expects to see.

IMG_8230

Trick 5

Light Up the World

You can spend a whole lot of money on lighting or you can be cheap. The good news is smartphones do not require expensive lighting. You can do amazing work with a 60 dollar video light. Since there is not any real way to connect and synchronize strobes to the smartphone, continuous lighting is really your best way to illuminate your subject. A common use is to supplement other lighting but you can also use it by itself.

Trick 6

Be crafty with your smartphone

When you go to anywhere that you will be shooting through glass like an aquarium, make yourself a foam gasket to seal the smartphone against the glass. Why? because the gasket will prevent reflections and absorb vibrations while giving you a way to steady the camera. The black foamie material is available for virtually any craft shop for a few dollars for enough to make several gaskets. When you get up close and personal to the glass, you can easily get shots like this taken at the Montery Bay Aquarium using my iPhone 4S.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
sea anemone

Trick 7

Use latex gloves

This trick is a bit of an odd duck. When you are carrying around your fancy glass encased iPhone or other smooth smartphone and it is a bit damp, the phone gets slippery. This is generally a bad thing but putting on a uber cheap throw away latex glove can give you much needed “stickiness” to keep a good grip on the smartphone. I’ve used this trick with my iPhone while at the best or out whale watching. Even when it’s really hot and my hands are constantly sweaty. Yes, I could use a case but I am always adding some type of filter over my lens or using a third party lens so cases become a real pain point and as a result, my iPhone tends to be naked most of the time.

Trick 8

Making a Case for a Case

This is not cheap trick but it is a very worthwhile accessory to invest in. There are a few different underwater cases for the iPhone and some for various droids but I will be talking about the iPhone since that is what I own. I would highly recommend that you get a GOOD case which means spending a fair bit of money. The Watershot underwater case I have cost close to 90 dollars but offers quite a few features for the money. You get a shock mount for the iPhone, waterproof to 140 feet, a safety clasp to prevent it from opening underwater, seals for the lens and a custom app to let you shoot and preview the images underwater. It’s not perfect but man is it fun to have in the pool or on casual diving. It is also the case to have in any adverse enviroment like high dust desert or in muddy situations ( think monster truck mud races). This is also a cool case for water soak amusement park rides. Some of the cases have threads so you can add filters or even a different lens.

Under the Sea with an iPhone

Trick 9

Join the Group

One problem we all face is that we want to take a selfie or we want a group shot and we have to either be out of the picture since we are taking it or we have to hand our phone to some stranger and hope they dont run off with it. With the iPhone and Android phones, there a a few different ways to trigger the shutter remotely. With the iPhone, you can use the much maligned earbuds to trigger the shutter by way of the volume controls. You can also use a bluetooth remote trigger or even a bluetooth remote keyboard (the volume controls). Some of the better units support many popular third party camera apps. The cheaper ones are bit more challenging to use

Posted in Articles, DIY, equipment, iPhone, photography, technique Tagged , , , , , |

Christmas Photography Tips

Its soon time to end shooting the Christmas lights for the season. So get out for the next week and grab a few shots of your favorite lights to enjoy over the next year. Do not settle for the average under blacked out pictures or the really over -exposed shots where the Christmas lights are burned out blobs. With a few simple tricks, you can nail some pretty good images. Now, with as much of a fan I am about shooting with my iPhone, this is one time I would recommend a DSLR or micro-four-thirds for the best results. You can beat the smartphone into submission but you really need to be able to adjust all aspects plus be able to use a real flash with some gels. I use Rosco for my gels and you can use other brands but that is who I stick with.

Here are a few tips and tricks for getting the “Oh WOW” shots during the holidays:

  1.  So unless you have a full frame (FX) rig, embrace the grain and shoot at a high ISO. These images were shot at ISO 2000 or higher and I used Noiseware afterwards in post to clean them up.
  2. Read the manual and learn how to shoot on a custom white balance. My D300 shoots nicely at 3000K and while this worked for the normal light bulbs, the LEDs were all over the map as are some of the small lights. So be prepared in post to work it out.
  3. Gel your flash. I cannot stress this enough. You need to color balance the “daylight” flash to something closer to the Christmas lights or you WILL get that vampire look. I used a 1/4 cut CTO (color Temperature Orange) but I should have used 1/2 cut CTO. The 1/4 cut and 1/2 cut refers to the density of the color on the gel sheet. 1/4 is lighter than 1/2.
  4. Shoot with a stablized lens or use a Pentex with a stablized body :) I shoot Nikon so it’s VR lenses for my. The new Olympus for example, has 5 axis stabilization. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with it at night by hand.
  5. You want to drag the shutter a bit when using the flash to get the pretty background lighting.
  6. Dont forget to shoot wide and get some details. Some folks really put in the effort on their lights and it shows in the details.
  7. Be ready for the unexpected shot. I had “Santa” come cruising by on his motorcycle as part of the visiting crowd.
  8. Shooting manual is where it’s at to get the best shots. Very little about shooting Christmas lights at night is considered a “normal” photography so most camera automatic settings are wrong. For much of the time I will shooting at ISO 2000, 1/40 second and 5.6 aperture. The flash power would vary from 1/128 to 1/32. This strikes a nice balance between depth of field, shallow depth of field, higher shutter speed to combat shake and noise at the higher ISOs. Newer camera or FX cameras can shoot from ISO 6400 to 50,000 without much noise now.
  9. Get pictures of the faces. The expressions on the kids faces are priceless and are the money shots from something like this.
  10. I dont have to contend with snow but snow works like a giant reflector. You will need to really pay attention to your settings when popping off the flash to avoid blowing out the image.

I have some shots here from around my own neighborhood. Enjoy the holiday and Merry Christmas from us to you.

Lights, Lights and more Lights

We dont need no stink'n snow

Adoration

Window Lights

Impromtu Carolers

Blue Lights

Posted in musings Tagged , , , , , |

Shooting Soccer Games

Summer Soccer Shooting

Most folks that I shoot with know that I will use my iPhone for any number of photography tasks. Even at a wedding because the iPhone excels at macro shots like shooting the wedding rings very close to show off the details. But, there are times that you really need to use the proper camera and lens to get the best picture. Much like a carpenter who has five different hammers, a good photographer will have a few different cameras and knows when it is time to switch it up and change the camera to get the best picture they can. And it IS all about the picture, not what hardware you shot it with.

 Goalie Megan Blocking Ball

This summer, I’ve been shooting soccer games on the weekends. I have to say I really enjoy watching the kids mix it up and a few times, some of the more adventurous will try moves they saw used in the World Cup games. Shooting soccer games, even in daylight has some interesting challenges to work around. You have a very fast paced game, you normally have harsh light which is also directional and you need to be able to stand at one end and still get the shot at the other end of the pitch (field).

To be successful at this type of shooting, you need to balance several competing settings. You need to shoot with a long lens and and after shooting with a micro four thirds and my DSLR, I would only recommend the DSLR in combination with 70-200 mm lens at the minimum. And not any DSLR will do, you need to have a fast focusing system that can track and focus continuously.  My system is a Nikon D700 using a Nikon 70-200 F2.8 lens. Yes, it is heavy but it has the reach along with just enough zoom to track 90% of the action.  The Nikon also has a decent high speed frame rate which can be as high as 8 frames per second with the right grip and battery pack. And yes, you will need this burst mode to really catch the fast action on the field. Also, you will need high capacity cards since burst shooting chews through megabytes of card space in a  hurry. I typically shoot through one 16 Mb CF card per game which is roughly 500 images.

Olivia Chasing the Ball

The lighting will be your curse because most of the time, these games are outside in harsh directional light of morning or afternoon sun. You will need to move to one side or the other to get the best light so the kid’s faces are not in heavy shadow. This means you will be moving around a fair amount so forget the big camera bag. I never change lenses or use a flash during these games so I have a “man-purse” which is a shoulder slung belly pack which has spare memory cards, spare batteries, lens cloth and some gaffers tape. I also keep my light meter in it. And yes, I use a light meter to get my first settings of the day. I shoot the games on full manual mode. Why? Why not use aperture priority (Av)? Because with consistent exposure, my post processing is much faster. If I find that for 20 mins, the lighting was one way, I can set all the images during that window to the same adjustment. My ISO is locked down to 400 and my shutter is locked to anywhere from 1/1000 to 1/4000 of second. As much as I like a bit of blur to show motion, I want the kid’s faces sharp so its a delicate balance. I normally just live with the lack of blur in exchange for a crisp image that will print well for the parents.

I also use a lens hood but not that hard plastic disaster that Nikon gives me. I have a nice rubber Mamiya lens hood that originally was for a medium format lens. It’s black and folds back on itself if I need it out-of-the-way. More importantly is that when something hits it, the rubber bends and absorbs the impact. Think about a spectator on the line not paying attention to where my lens is as they get overly excited. I’ve saved many a head with this rubber lens hood.

When you shot, always try to think ahead of where the action is going. Constantly be aware of where the ball is, where it’s going and who might be kicking it. Use your fastest burst mode and learn to shoot with a gentle touch on the trigger. If you see the player getting close to the goal, start burst shooting to have a chance getting  the actual goal shot. This is ALWAYS a hero shot as the player pushes the ball past the goalkeeper. Conversely, a save of the attempted goal is also a hero shot that is often times overlooked by the photographer.

Attempted Goal

At the end of the day, you will need to sort through hundreds of images but there will be some real gems along with the out of focus shots, just missed shots and accidental shots. There will always be one or two shots that sum up the game’s action for the day. I make up faux magazine covers to showcase a player who has an exceptional image.

Magazine Cover Soccer Olivia

I also give parents a custom app on their mobil devices with images of their child when they purchase a package from me. These images will be downloaded to the mobile device and can easily be shared with various social media sites right from the phone or tablet. For a live demo of the custom app, click here.

Smartphone Album

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Recovering iOS iPhoto Albums and Journals from iOS 8 Upgrades

So Apple says they will not support iPhoto anymore under Yosemite or iOS 8. Now, for the desktop world, people are scrambling to export out images, edits, books and other projects. But on the iPhone, Apple was strangely quiet about this. Oh, they gave you a way to “migrate” your edited images from iPhoto to the camera roll but you lost ALL of your book projects, Web Journals and meta data.  While iPhoto was a average editor, the DAM (digital asset management) side was excellent and I used it to manage over 5,000 images on my iPhone.

But getting back to the task at hand which is getting back my book projects that Apple so kindly refused to manage a export function for. They could have easily exported it out to the desktop iPhoto for now but no, Apple being Apple said we are done.. period.  That didn’t settle well with me and I set out to find a way to recover them. The first road block I hit was under iOS 8 it appears that Apple has changed the back up strategy of iTunes backing up iOS. You used to have versions and versions of your backups. This was pretty stupid since it chewed through a lot of disk space but it was nice to be able to back up a few months or even longer. Now, with IOS 8, I see ONE back up even though I had done it several times manually. Thank you God (Apple) for Time Machine. I was able to recover my iOS 7 backup from TM and copy it to the folder and rename it.

~/Library/Application Support/Mobilesync/Backup

You do need to identify which file is the one you want. If you have a single device, you can easily go by date. In my case, I have several devices attached to iTunes so go to iTunes/preferences and the select devices. Find the backup you want and then right click and choose “show in finder“. Just like magic you will be taken to the backup you need.

Make a note of this file or better yet, copy it out to a folder so you can easily find it.

I ended up using a couple of applications what was critical to recovery of my iPhoto files from my iPhone. The first one is called “iPhone Backup Extractor” and while it will cost you some money, it’s worth it for several reasons beyond this exercise. The biggest reason to use this application is that it can looks ANYWHERE for a backup file. Most will only use iCloud or the default locations of iTunes without any other choices. I had moved my user account/files off my SSD to cheaper storage so I needed an app that would let me tell it where to go to get the backup.

In this screen shot, I have selected my backup and files I want recovered. You need to use “expert mode” to be able to select the application data files.
iPhone Backup Extractor Expert Mode

Now you can select the iPhoto app data files.
iPhone Backup Extractor Selecting iPhoto files

Now iPhone Backup Extractor is extracting my files.
iPhone Backup Extractor

Now the hard part it done. I have all my data files but iPhoto uses a database and so the book files are pretty useless right now. The web journal is all HTML and easily reused now however you want.
iOS iPhoto data files

But I need to get these files onto my iOS 7 iPhone or iPad. And this is key, you have to have a second iPhone or iPad that still has iOS 7 on it. In my case, I had both and I did restore the files to both just to see if I could.

I used a second application called “iExplorer” which lets you treat the iPhone as a data drive. In this image, I have my 2nd iPhone plugged in and loaded into iExplorer. I need to click on the ALL button to see the apps.
iExplorer Start

This is what you get when you select All. I need to click on apps and find my iPhoto and then copy over the directories with the red arrows

iExplorer Apps

Files in iPhoto to Copy

The copy works just like any other copy. Go to the restored copies on your computer then drag the directories one at a time over to the root of the iPhoto app. It will ask if you want to overwrite the folder and say yes. It will take a few minutes to finish the copy. Once done, open up iPhoto and it will start rebuilding the database.

Now I have my files back

Restored iPhoto files

Posted in Articles, iPhone, musings Tagged , , , |