Cerebral Gibberish

What's on my mind, might just blow yours.

Archive for the 'Photography' Category

My First Gallery Showing

Posted by heymoe on 7th September 2008

My Photo for the 50 Photographers, 50 Images Show

This is my photo which is on display at Crocker’s Mark Gallery as part of the “50 Photographers, 50 Images” show which runs from September 5th – 30th. I missed opening night since I was in Lafayette LA. for work. I really wished I could have been there (sigh..).

Any ways, this is my first photo to be on display in a gallery and even though it was not picked for any awards by the judges, I’m really excited about it. Who knows, maybe I’ll get “discovered” and it will jump start a new career for me. So if you’re downtown, check it out. Heck, I still need to go see it myself so lets carpool. 🙂

The photo was taken inside the “Levity III” Luminaria by Architects of Air that was setup at the Art on the Edge event downtown Raleigh last month. I highly recommend going inside any of their Luminarias if you get a chance.

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Tick-Tock: Clockwork Ball

Posted by heymoe on 29th July 2008

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This past Saturday attended The Clockwork Ball held at Southern Rail. The Clockwork Ball is a bi-monthly Steampunk gathering held in Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC. area.

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I was not aware of the event until the night before so I pieced together an outfit from what I had available to try and blend in the best I could. Basically I wore black pants, my motorcycle boots, a old stylish looking white shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a oldish looking tie. I thought I had a vest but could not find it. The next gathering is going to be at HELL in Chapel Hill, NC on 9/27/2008. I should have plenty of time to get something better put together for that one.

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Any ways, the ball started at 10pm and went until 2am inside the bar at Southern Rail. It was funny to see the reactions of people who were regulars to the bar coming in and seeing all these people dressed up in victorian / old-fashion clothing. I chatted with some people I knew from Animazement as well as from Flickr and made some new friends as well.

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There were two other photographers there and I teamed up with one of them to setup a multi-strobe lighting setup by combining our gear. We setup the lights next to a rail road track switch and had several people come out and model for us in their costumes. I did learn that I really need more practice at positioning the lights and adjusting their power output and camera settings to get a good exposure. One of the big issues I had with the pictures I took were the hard shadows that the flashes produced on the wall behind the models. I think I know how to fix them but will need to try and reproduce the setup and see if it works.

The ball officially ended at 2am but a bunch of people headed over to the 24/7 Harris Teeter, which from what I was told was the only place in the area that was still open, to grab some food to snack on while chit-chatting out side. I headed home at around 3am and passed out in the bed by 4:30am. Over all a very good night.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Posted in Events, Photography, Travel | 2 Comments »

Happy Soggy 4th of July

Posted by heymoe on 5th July 2008

Fireworks

Well so far the only fireworks I’ve seen this 4th of July weekend are from Mother Nature. I headed down to the Raleigh fairgrounds in hopes of setting up the camera and make attempts at capturing the fireworks action but that pretty much failed more or less from the beginning.

I knew going down to the fairgrounds was going to be a mess with traffic and cars everywhere so figured I would take the motorcycle out so I can easily find a parking space up close. I check the weather about an hour before heading out and everything looked good then but I should have checked it before I left. A little over halfway to the fairgrounds it started to sprinkle and I could see lighting in the distance. When I was almost to the fairgrounds, maybe two exits away, I hit traffic and the rain was really coming down. At this point I figured the fireworks were canceled so I worked my way out of the traffic and stopped by a bar for a drink near the apartment I used to live in during college. I figured I would hold up in the bar until the rain stopped.

As luck would have it, shortly after getting my drink I got a call from the security company for my work informing me that the alarm was triggered. We being the good employee I am I figured I should head to the office, which was on the way home any ways, and make sure everything was OK. So I finished my drink which by that time the rain looked like it died down to a sprinkle again and head out. Once on the road again Mother Nature figured I was not wet enough and sent a tropical down pour my way. Of course when the down pour hit everyone on the road turned stupid and started to flash their emergency lights but instead of moving into the right lanes so other people who know how to drive in the rain could get by, they just formed a line across all lanes pacing each other blocking in everyone behind them. GRRrrrr.. I hate stupid drivers.

By time I got to the office I was soaked to the bone. My shoes were full of water and my leather motorcycle jacket must have weighted another 10 pounds. Luckily my camera and lens were still nice and dry in my backpack.

After spending about 30 minutes at the office verifying everything was secure (It looked like it was a false alarm), I got on the motorcycle and headed home. At this points I was looking forward to getting out of my wet cloths and relax to a movie or something. Well that plan pretty much we out the door as I turned into my neighborhood. The storm that I’ve been fighting my way through pretty much since I left the house knocked out power to my whole neighborhood. So after everything I’ve gone though just to see some fireworks, my 4th of July ended in the dark.

Any ways, the fairgrounds fireworks were rescheduled to the 5th and this time I’m just staying home. As of right now it looks like it was a good decision since it has been raining pretty much all evening. Actually, checking the local news site it looks like the fireworks at the fairground did go off tonight but they started an hour early so I would have missed them any ways. Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll get to try and photography fireworks. Yeah!

Posted in Events, Photography, Transportation, Work | No Comments »

DIY: Spiderlite

Posted by heymoe on 15th June 2008

Last Updated: 6/26/2008 (See the Updates section towards the bottom)


I recently started to experiment with off camera lighting and in order to try and save money I thought I would try and build my own version of a Spiderlite TD5 which are made by Westcott for $364.00. The speaker at a recent seminar I attended seemed to think highly of the these fixtures, granted I’m pretty sure this was due to Westcott sponsoring the event. None the less, they seemed to be flexible from a lighting point of view and the design seemed to be pretty basic.

The goal of my design was to build a Spiderlite all from off-the-shelf parts while needing only basic tools (IE: screw drivers, needle nose pliers, etc..) to assemble it and to provide light controls similar to the Westcott Spiderlite TD5.

After exploring my local home improvement stores for about an hour I was able to find all the parts to build my Spiderlite and this is what it looks likes.

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The total cost before taxes and not including the bulbs was $56. Throw in 5x 27w daylight (5500K) compact fluorescent bulbs (which I don’t think are bright enough) and the total comes to $91 before taxes which is a savings of ~$368 over the Westcott Spiderlite TD5 + Westcott TD5 bulbs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Photography, Projects | 25 Comments »

Animazement 2008 – Update

Posted by heymoe on 29th May 2008

Animazement 2008

I think I have finally fully recovered from this past weekend and what a weekend it was. Animazement pulled in a new attendance record of 5,374 this year which I believe is a 19% increase from the previous year. I would like to congradulate all the staff and guests that made this year such a success.

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The weather this year was just about as perfect as one could hope for. With the exception of some early morning rain on one day, it was sunny and cool which allowed for the attendees mingle outside in the lawn and take part in large games of duck-duck-goose and red-rover. I think this year was the first time in the eight years that Animazement has been held at the Sheraton Imperial that the lawn was utilized to such an extent. Previous year it was either to hot and muggy or wet / rainy to stay outside. Reading the forums, it sounds like a lot of the attendees really enjoyed using the lawn this year and are hoping for something similar next year.

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Speaking of next year, Animazement will be moving to the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) due to outgrowing the available space at the Sheraton Imperial. The RCC is several times larger then the Sheraton Imperial so it should take Animazement awhile to grow out of it. None the less, next year is going to be a very interesting and exciting time.

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This year one of my jobs was being one of the convention’s photographers which was really great. I did not have my camera last year and it really sucked not being able to photograph all the cosplayers in their elaborate costumes. I did a lot of indoor flash photography, which I think I still need more practice at. I got to experiment with using the manual settings of the camera for long exposure during the dances including the use of rear curtain flash sync to stop the motion of the dancers before the long exposure ended. I was also a video camera operator during some of the panels which was something new for me to do as well.

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I missed watching the Cosplay contest this year since I was taking photos of the groups before then went on stage so that the judges could use them to help them decided on the winners. It did sound like there were some really good ones this year so I hope to be able to see them at some point. Animazement also appeared in the local Herald-Sun newspaper on Monday. You can also read the article online (Registration required to read the whole thing: See my previous post about Mailinator).

Even though I only got around 3 hours of sleep each night, seeing how much fun all the attendees were having and even having some of them come up to members of the staff and thanking them for all their hard work to make it such an enjoyable event seem to make it all worth while. I look forward to helping out next year. See you all there!

Links to more photos in my gallery:
General (PicLens PicLens Button)
Cosplay Contest (PicLens PicLens Button)
Craftsmanship Contest (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Artsplosure 2008

Posted by heymoe on 21st May 2008

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Last Saturday I made a trip downtown for Artsplosure 2008 which is an annual arts festival that features a wide variety of arts, crafts, music, food and activities for grownups and kids alike. The weather on Saturday was absolutely brilliant with clear skies and temperatures that did not make me wish I wore shorts.

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This year marked the festival’s 29th year and to me the festival was very organized and planned out. There were two stages for the live music so while one band was playing on one stage the other was being prepared for the next band so that there was very little dead air between the bands. The different arts and crafts were more or less grouped together so if you wanted to see stuff related to pottery, you did not have to wonder around the whole venue.

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There were a lot of activities for the kids to take part in including face / hair painting, bubbles, butterflies, large chessboard, etc. There was a large caterpillar structure that the kids could crawl under and every so often when there were enough kids inside the caterpillar they would all lift it up and move it around the park with their legs representing the many legs of a caterpillar. It was very creative and neat to watch.

The typical fair style food vendors were there to feed and hydrate the masses. I could not pass up buying some honey coated cinnamon almonds and walnuts. Those things are just ohhhhh so good. As a bonus I also got a “free” bottle of water with the nuts which was nice.

Over all I had a really great time and will plan on going again next year.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Falls Lake

Posted by heymoe on 26th April 2008

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While heading to Home Depot to pick up some yard supplies, I decided to make a detour to Falls Lake (one many to come I think) and continue my exploration of local parks. When I left the house the sun was out with some clouds but nothing that looked like rain. While heading down Highway 50 the skies opened up with a really good down pour maybe about 2 miles from Falls Lake. I kept on going despite the rain figuring it would end as quickly as it started and I was right.

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Falls Lake is pretty big so this little detour is only a taste of what future visits will hold. Since this was my first visit to Falls Lake, I took the first turn off I came upon on Highway 50 which turned out to the the Highway 50 Boat Launch area. I was not really interested in the boats so luckily there was a picnic area and a trail down to the water with bridge over a spillway. The water level was high enough that you could not tell there was a spillway there which I think is a good sign from the drought point-of-view. I was the first one down to the bridge since the rain just stopped but it did not take long for others to show up with fishing polls in hand. I did not see anyone catch anything while I was there though. On the other side of the bridge was a man-made land bridge that went all the way across to the other side of the lake.

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I didn’t see a lot of wildlife while I was there but did come across two geese so I practiced using my zoom lens on them. My photos of the geese are nothing to write home about but it was still fun “stalking” them to get into position for the shots. I did not adventure to far off the main path this time around and I was very careful where I was stepping especially on the loose rocks. I did not want to have another unexpected run in with a snake like I did at Pullen Park.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Bain Water Works

Posted by heymoe on 13th April 2008

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Yesterday I joined up with about 40 other photographers at the old Bain Water Treatment Plant near downtown Raleigh to explore and take photos of the architecture among other things. I don’t know what it is but there is something about exploring old abandoned buildings. Maybe it’s neat to see how time puts a toll on things when there is no one around to maintain them. Maybe it’s the mystery that around the next turn when going down a dark corridor. Or maybe it’s just the models who are there posing for the cameras 😛 hehe. Whatever it is, it’s just a lot of fun.

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I spent just about 5 hours at the location exploring the different levels and rooms and there was still a lot left to see. The Bain Water Treatment Plant went online in mid-1940 to meet the demand for city water. The architecture of the building falls into the Art Deco style which included a two-story lobby with a circling mezzanine on the upper level and stairways rising to both sides and ornamental details applied throughout. The facility eventually closed down in the 1987 and used as storage during most of the 1990s. In 1999 the facility was sold to Capital Area Preservation, Inc. and Historic Preservation Advisors, LLC who are planning on renovating the building to house shops, restaurants and / or office space.

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While there I got to try out some of my new toys that I got in the last few weeks for my camera. First up was the Nikon MB-D80 which acts as both a multi-power battery pack for my Nikon D80 as well as a portrait grip which includes access to a secondary shutter release, both command dials and focus/exposure lock button. Next up is the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 APO Macro DG HSM lens which allows me to get some really close close-ups and seems to work great for taking portraits. My last new toy is the Nikon SB-800 flash. I really enjoyed using the flash and learning how bouncing and defusing the light effects the photos. I also got to test out the wireless mode of the flush which not only allows me to light up an area from a different direction but also gives me a second light source when used in conjunction with the camera’s built in flash. Really cool stuff.

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Oh yeah, did I say models? I sure did. For the most part the photos I take are typically landscapes, flowers, nature stuff, etc.. but that all changed yesterday. There were 4 female and 2 male models were there and everyone was allowed to take photos of them as long as you where courteous and gave the photographer who was working with the model priority. The type of modeling going on ranged from high-fashion to goth / punk and all of them were really nice despite being surround by multiple photographers. It was really cool and I think I got a lot of great shots for my first try at taking photos of people / models. I want to thank all of the models that were there and if any of you happen to see this and would like a copy of any of the photos I have for your portfolio, just drop me an email. Thanks again!

Well there you have, that is how I spent my Saturday.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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NOTE: Photos of the models are in separate sub-folders of the main “Bain Water Works” folder so click on the “More Photos Here” link above to see the sub-folders for each model.

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WRAL Azalea Gardens

Posted by heymoe on 13th April 2008

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A guy I meet at a Flickr meetup told me about the WRAL Azalea Gardens so I make a quick trip to check it out since the Azaleas where in bloom. The garden is small when compared to Duke Gardens but none the less a worth while place to visit when the azaleas are in bloom. While walking down the garden’s maze like paths, you are surround by a wide array or colors from all the different azalea plants. It’s very impressive. Next to the azalea garden is a somewhat large grassy area which is nicely landscaped and bordered by other colorful flora. I don’t know if you’re allowed to but it would make a nice place to have a small picnic with someone special I think.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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Duke Gardens

Posted by heymoe on 23rd March 2008

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Today was such a nice day I decided to get out of the house and visit Duke Gardens for the first time. I guess this could also count as yet another local park I’ve explored as well. Any ways, after taking a wrong turn due to me not writing the direction down correctly, I arrived just to realize that a) A lot of people are spending their Easter afternoon here or b) A lot of people are just spending their afternoon here. There were two parking lots and both were full of course but after making a circuit or two around the lots, I was able to get a parking spot. Parking was listed as costing $2.00/hour with a max of $8.00 but they only charged me $2.00 for two hours which was just the amount of cash I had on me and they don’t take credit cards for parking. There is no charge for visiting the gardens which was nice.

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The gardens are divided into four sections: The Doris Duke Center, The Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, The Terraces and The Blomquest Garden of Native Plants. The Doris Duke Center acts as the welcome center and gift shop as well as a library and classroom space. The Culberson Asiatic Arboretum garden features ~550 species of flora from eastern Asia. The Terraces’ main attraction is, well, the terraces which were full of color from the wide range of flowers and the New Jersey limestone. Last but not least The Blomqueist Garden of Native Plants which features, can you guess, ~900 species and varieties of regional native plants.

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You could see the signs of the drought pretty much everywhere in the gardens especially the south lawn in the Terraces garden which was fenced off and looked really dry but I guess that might just be how that type of grass looks in early spring. A lot of plants and trees were still leafless but I figure in a few more weeks the gardens will really be hopping. Two hours was not enough time for me to explore all 5 miles of paths and trails so I will definitely have to go back. Hopefully next time there will be fewer people wondering around and I’ll have a zoom / macro lens to get up close to the flowers.

More Photos Here (PicLens PicLens Button)

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