Sorry – for the numerous people who follow my blog, it’s been a bit longer than planned. But that’s just life getting in the way. If I can someday “think it” to paper, (actually to keyboard), then we’ll get more than one or two blog posts per day. Lookout.
So – when moving around some items in storage in our basement during a recent home repair, I happened upon a box of metal boxes of some of my Dad’s old 35 mm slides. I knew I had them somewhere. They are from 1952-1970ish. I had every intention in the past years to invest in a Nikon CoolScan and go crazy. Somehow, especially now with my photography business going full tilt, I never found an extra $1000+ lying around (who does?). Since the time of lugging those metal boxes of 35mm slides home from my parent’s basement to mine, there have been great advancements, not just in technology, but in the pricing offered to HIRE someone to do the scanning for you. I can’t imagine, with each metal box containing about 500, that if I were doing it myself I would feel compelled to do each and every slide for preservations sake. However, fearing the task of scanning slides = all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – I searched around enough to find that my local Costco had the best price for scanning slides to DVD. In fact their prices, in quantity, beat, for example, my local CVS by about $100. I mentioned this to the manager at the CVS when he offered to answer any questions. When I told him of the price difference, he said ‘well, don’t you have to pay a yearly membership fee to belong there?”
Well – yes, I do. But that membership of $40/year, in my calculations, pays for itself time and time again in deals I find including gas prices, printer ink, etc. So, with provided little slide boxes in hand, I turned in a ton of slides to be scanned, only to be given an unexpected additional $10 off my order. The sheer number of people I can give this to as a gift is worth the nominal price in joy I will get in giving it.
Funny, though, I will be interested when I see my Dad at Christmastime, to ask about some of the photos I’ve previewed before having them scanned. Seems he would have thrived in the digital world. I opted not to pay to have every flower, bush, scene or firework he tried to photograph printed. But I’m all the wiser for knowing where I get my obsession for capturing everything on film. I will say I made any photo containing a person a priority. Then anything establishing a time period, such as a scene of people in public, or a car(s). There were a few pics of old TOYS. They were new then, Christmas gifts. I actually remember some of them, they were my brother’s. I may go back and add those later.
I don’t ever remember my mother holding a camera in her hands until my Dad grew older and stopped taking photos. That was only about 3 or 4 years ago (he’s 86 now). So, it was him who always had the camera around his neck. A question I’ll ask was, ‘wasn’t there a time when you would walk around with a camera in which you were using film for prints, and an additional one for having slides made?’ I can clearly recall the sound, smell and the light in the room when my Dad would set up his slide projector on the metal food tv-tray and line it up with his screen. While we waited, I would play weather girl, taking a retractable pointing stick from his briefcase he had from his drawing board at work. (maybe playing around like that led my to my fun career in broadcasting for many years?).
I don’t recall if the slides we sat around to view were recently developed, or if we looked at slides from many years prior. But it was fun to me regardless. I wonder what others thought. There are always jokes made about home movies and the torture of sitting through someone else’s. But I’m always game. Invite me over.
Several years ago, my cousin made a CD or DVD for everyone (same as I’m doing), and there was no better gift that year. It was so amazing to go through all those photos. I can’t wait to give her this DVD, there are at least 8-10 from her parent’s wedding, both of whom left this earth way too young. The best photo of all was her oldest sister, sitting on the bed with one of those cap/hair dryers on her head, fully inflated. She looked like she was trying to connect with planet Xenon or something. Hilarious, priceless photo.
Currently, I’m frustrating the heck out of my dear husband by filling up hard drives. (I haven’t even been shooting in RAW). I’m doing better at deleting the bad/fuzzy photos. He is a blessing, though, by being the behind the scenes technical guru (I’m one too, but my artsy outweighs my geek, I think? But he’s artsy too. What a great match we are!). He’s set up the online backup of Carbonite to have just one more place to store my precious photos. Next I have to dig out my wedding photo negatives that the studio gave me when they went out of business and have them scanned to a DVD. So much to do, so little storage space. (Not really).
It seems like each family has a designated photographer. Clearly, I’m it for ours. Although my oldest child has asked for their own camera for Christmas. I’m thinking maybe instead, for his birthday? However, if I do more weddings, it would be nice to have him as a 2nd shooter. He truly has an eye for it. Plus, I need to pass the gene down to at least one of my kids, right?
She’s here. The long-awaited computerized assistant, Siri.
I have not had ample time to play with my new phone. My kids and husband have. Heck, my husband didn’t even get home to see it yet and had ordered his through his work. Talk about anticipitory wants…
It’s sleek, it’s lighter than the iPhone 4. I never had an iPhone 4S (Siri), so if she weighed more than the 4, I have no way to compare in my house. It’s a great Apple product all the way around. I opted for a white one instead of a black one this time just to check it out.
It was fun to show up at the retail location of our service provider to do the great ‘pass down’ of phones. They were all in my purse, including my new one in the box, with the exception of my son’s which was smoking in his hands from overuse & texting to his girlfriend and many friends. No, it wasn’t really smoking, but I bet it was about to. So, all I did while waiting for my turn was to pick out an Otterbox for my new phone. I wasn’t going to drop this one and let it get hurt in the first 7 days of my care. No way. I was going all out with the super indestructible case. The best part was, the guy thought he was just going to ring up one iPhone case and be done with us, he said “is that all you need” and my reply was “not exactly,” as I proceeded to unload 4 additional phones from my purse and neatly line them up on the counter. I had made a little cheat sheat for him to he would know who’s number was going to whose phone.
He was a gem and almost flawlessly did what I verbally guided him to do, and the cheat sheets came in handy. Only one technical snafu of a new sim card not working took place, I held my breath as I watched him shuffle them like a pea under a bowl, hoping the corresponding sim card stayed with the correct phone. Even questioning kids did not disrupt my gaze, determined not to add a nanosecond to the process or our visit.
We walked out ready to communicate again, flawlessly, with our Apple products. It’s good we knew how to get home without a map.
“Your order has shipped” Music to my ears. Not yet available on iTunes. Not a need, just a want, of course.
So, I’ve waited longer than most. I had the iPhone 3G. Then the 4. I did not get what was really supposed to be the iPhone 5 and was the 5th generation, but named iPhone 4S. I opted to wait. My dear husband talked me into waiting. And waiting. I’ve been told the jump from just the 4 to the 5 will be huge for me, especially with the new camera that came on the iPhone 4S.
I think one fun option I’ve waited for is the imaginary friend, Siri. I’ll be honest, I’ve been dreaming about her since LONG before Al Gore invented the World Wide Web. As a new Mom who quit her high-profile job at an ad agency some 15 years ago, I suddenly had to keep track of what I needed to get done with a little person who DIDN’T talk, in my arms. One who only initially knew how to eat, sleep and poop. (funny, at 16, those are still some of his favorite pastimes-haha jk) I literally used to joke that I just needed to either put a post-it note on my forehead so I wouldn’t forget things, or just a pre-recorded voice somewhere to remind me. I was thinking of Siri way before Raj had his heart set on her.
I’ve never even heard a friend or stranger use her. Only those commercials on TV. Well, life is about to change for me and if she doesn’t drive me crazy, she might end up driving you crazy and convince you that I’m crazy. I plan to leave her volume set to loud. The most “recent” iPhone we have in our house is the 4. No Siri. So, things have been rather quiet. We are about to go from a family of 5 to 6.
Now, don’t get me wrong, she and I might not get along at all, I mean, if she is SO organized, and makes me look like a slacker and like my brain is turning to mush, then there might be a problem. Oh, and if I see any signs of my husband taking a liking to her more than me, she’s toast. I’m hoping just the combination of she and I will make me into a more-organized, super-wife/Mom that said husband won’t be able to resist! (Don’t worry, he already accepts me lovingly with all my flaws!)
If she looks anything like the lady who portrayed her on the Big Bang Theory, I’m already jealous, although she was a ginger, so we have that in common.
It will probably be a love-hate relationship at first. You know it will take me at least a week to work out all the kinks of the settings that will work best for me. Most of that is alleviated with the beauty of Apple products. Beautiful, easy and simple to use, right out of the box. The kids are thrilled, because this means the great “pass-down” of phones is about to take place. Middle daughter will have a phone that holds a charge for longer than an hour and can actually take a picture before the subject walks away from confusion and boredom. Youngest daughter will have her first iPhone and it won’t be a 1st gen one. She’ll start with a 4. Let the rules and restrictions begin. Oldest child (son) will go from 16 GB of storage to 32 MB. He’ll never match his Mom’s 6,000+ photos, but at least for a time he will have a little more storage space for goofy videos until he saves up the remainder of the money he needs to buy his own iPhone 5.
I haven’t heard any feedback if the larger (or should I say ‘longer’) screen is of any benefit for middle-aged eyesight. I really believe that is what the iPad was for. Especially those said goofy people who take pictures with their iPads (“could you lower your iPad please, there are people behind you trying to see the parade, too!”). My greatest concern with the increased length is that it will not fit in the pocket of my pants or jackets. I’ve recently lost 24 lbs and hope to lose more. Maybe I just keep my old pants so there is more room in the pockets for my new phone?
Are there cases available in stores yet? I hope so. 2+ years ago when I got my iPhone4, there were no cases available yet. I carried mine around in a sock. Seriously. It worked. However, while driving to a GA Tech Swing Dance Club dance, I had it out of the sock, out of my purse and in my lap, and in the middle of a storm, jumped out of my car to grab an umbrella once I reached the dance, and it fell out on the street and cracked the corner edge of the screen. At least the rain had stopped and it didn’t get wet. It was a tiny chip, but it’s still there and it’s worked fine and the case covered it up.
I’m ready to get out a sock if I need to, I’ll read the manual if I absolutely have to and I’ll go through the lengthy process of stopping by our cell-service provider store to get the phones switched around.
I’m trusting I never again will have to show up a week late or a week early to one of the kid’s doctor’s appointments, my list for the store could be read aloud to me at the push of a button (does she do this?), her voice and attitude will be much more pleasant and entertaining than the female voice of the built-in GPS in my 7 year old car, and I won’t forget to pick up one of my kids (or even better, one of my FRIEND’s kids)!
I poo-poo being addicted to a gadget, but it brings me great joy to be anywhere and take a picture and share it with my sister in law on the other side of the world or her with me, instantly see a photo my sister shares with me of the new oven and microwave she got for our Mom and Dad or her grandson’s picture from Kindergarten, get a text from my kids in the middle of the school day to let me know they aced their test, or receive an urgent call from one of my kids at school that they are sick and need to come home (or better yet, forgot something and summon me to bring it to them as fast as I can because all I do with my days is sit and wait for them to ask me to bring what they forgot), not wait until only certain times of day to hear from my husband as he travels the globe, open up my Bible app and with a few taps be in the right book, in the right chapter and on the right verse, expanding the point size of the text so we (husband) can follow along together during church, use a map to find my way either on foot (NYC Circa Nov 2011 on way to Jimmy Fallon show) or in my car. Or, wait, what? There’s something wrong with the maps app? Oh no, I hope they fix that soon. I hope that didn’t confuse Siri. The last thing I need is for her to get mixed up and get us both lost. Sounds like that would put me right back at square one.
How to look more professional? Spelling, grammar, context, redundancy, organization, alignment, design. The list goes on. ‘Oh, but what a pain,’ you say! I just want everyone to see what I just made – or hear right now what I have to say!
There was a day when during job hunting you sent out resumes on paper, not an electronic PDF file. If you went to the trouble to print it, you were having it done on a high quality paper and it looked professional. It could get expensive. The one thing you didn’t want was a typo, or something missing or for your words to not make any sense. Electronic PDF’s can have the same issue, but at least you aren’t going to the same expense of printing it. LinkedIn? You can go in and edit your profile at any time.
I follow many blogs and posts and other photographers/artists on Twitter, etc. One thing I’m noticing lately are little things that are missed and typos galore. I love social media and the power it has to help get things done, (and quickly) advertise a business, coordinate events and connect people. When you are using those mediums for your business, take the time to slow down and do it right. There’s nothing worse than posting something everywhere (multiple places like FB, Twitter, your blog) and you look back and you’ve misspelled something or what you typed has a double meaning if read differently. People start commenting, liking, sharing and then your messy work is out there, over and over again. If you can’t edit it, the only option would be to delete and repost, (losing your list of likes/comments) or just leave it as is to be liked and shared over and over.
For example, in a post of a link to some photos I took, I commented there were hundreds of people at the event. However, the way I worded it, it sounded like I was going to be posting hundreds of photos from the event. Ouch, it was more like 6 photos so that’s a big let down for someone who wanted to be browsing photos for the next 4 hours!
I guess it’s the former journalist and graphic designer in me, but the “posting something” everywhere and once it’s liked and commented on and you can’t edit your typo is the equivalent of a printed piece. The exact reason I love publishing online in electronic format, you can change it. You can’t change it if your post can’t be edited, only deleted.
I know it’s hard to type perfectly on your phones and tablets and laptops, but take the time to proofread and reread. I even have a few colleagues that go to the trouble of apologizing before it even happens – their standard electronic signature on emails, etc., says ‘please excuse any typos, I’m typing on my ipad.” Haha, if it’s that bad, wait and use something else!
So again, take the time to proofread before you hit enter/send/post/tweet. If you are doing it as the voice of your business, you’ll look more professional in the end and show that you care about the quality of your work. Showing that you care about the quality of your own work promoting your business, in turn, relays to existing and potential clients that you will care about the quality of work you do for them.
Jumpin’ off my soapbox now…
New Purchase – Canon 85 mm 1.8. So – although an official business expense, a few Amazon gift cards for my birthday allowed me to get this lens to build my collection. I only own one other “prime” lens so far, the 50mm 1.8 fantastic plastic! It’s great and my wimpy self really loves how small and lightweight it is. Right out of the box I felt the weight of the 85mm. Feels solid, but seems heavy for such a small lens. It will take me a while to get used to what distance I need to be from something to shoot using it. I found myself popping it up to my eye to take a shot and then realizing I needed to back up. I had other lenses with me, but my bag was a distance away, so I was just using it for a while.
I’ve read about several photographers that only like to use primes and keep the 50, 35 and 85 on hand and switch between all 3. I have not moved to a place yet in my photography where I enjoy the process of switching lenses. I guess part of that is the type of shooting I end up doing which requires me to be ready and not be fiddling with lenses or I might miss a shot. (sports, events, bands/solos, etc.) I will say I have shot weddings where I’ll wear 2 cameras with 2 different telephoto lenses.
I used it for 2 different shoots in one day this past weekend. It was great indoors where there was fluorescent lighting nearby. Photos turned out nice and if I was at the right distance away from the subject, I did enjoy the results of the level of bokeh it provided.
I did try it at an outdoor venue at night that was well lit, but poorly planned lighting at a concert venue. Before even taking one picture I was doomed, the lighting made everyone on stage look BLUE, and one musician had a stand light on that shone a bright light right out into the audience basically messing up most of the photos I took. I strategically placed myself to use something else on stage to block it so I could get some decent shots for promotional purposes.
I will have a few more opportunities to use it this coming weekend. Will post again about how it goes and what I learn.
I have a bit of new gear this year for the beach. But will I get to use it and will I want to? I hate changing lenses out on the beach, opening up the camera for exposure to some or any elements at all. Family photos went a little better this year for a few reasons, but not all good ones (we were missing one family and we can’t wait to have them back with us next year! They were in Greece instead. Oh, ok, we get it. Beaches of Greece vs. Beaches of NC. Talk about some stunning photos. But here are my what made it better:
1. Less people – but of course don’t prefer that
2. Now own the Canon 580 EX II, so that made for some interesting shots with faces not dependent on the sun or correct “beach lighting” (whatever that is! just natural light)
3. Better coordinated colors for our outfits. I found a photographers website and got some great ideas of what TO do and what NOT to do in the way of color coordination. A lesson is a little color goes a long way. Stop wearing denim for beach photos, ever. If you are aiming for khaki and white, add a consistent splash of color if you have to have that non-color scheme.
4. What really looks better is just a great dress for the ladies and a great pair of flat front shorts and a linen short or long-sleeved shirt for the guys. Barefoot is best, the bottom of a shoe is always wrong in a picture (so are ugly toes, but I trust everyone’s are cute).
5. There hasn’t been a single year I haven’t felt rushed. No offense to my traveling companions, but I would really like A LOT of time to work on this. All the guys hate it and only do it out of undying devotion to us ladies. Even the sons of the Moms. I always look back through them and wish I had taken more and I’ll feel like I’ve forgotten a certain pose. Ugh.
5. Hair. Don’t pin it back, it looks unnatural because the wind from the beach is going to blow your hair around anyway – and with a pin bending in the wind trying to control your hair, it just looks strange.
So – I completely lucked out this year – maybe I could have been out there every morning, but I was on vacation, but the Sunrise I chose to shoot one morning was nothing less than incredible. The time of year we are in doesn’t have the sun coming up over the ocean, it’s more behind the rows of beachhouses. But the rainbow of colors and details and people nearby made every shot amazing. I will post some pics here and add some to my opening slideshow on my website.
Every year is different, but it was another great year!
After 15+ years in business, it was time for an update! This new site links all facets of what we do in one place for design, photography and video. You can still see cataloged images on http://www.carlahoff.com. I need to update my online design portfolio, and will add that here – look for updates! I will also add links here to my InterFX Twitter, FB and Pinterest accounts.