All posts by rweitzel

A professional photographer and photography instructor, designer, writer, and proprietor of Rob Weitzel Graphic Productions. Owner of www.thosetwophotographers.com and www.sportsshooter.ca. I have spent the better part of my time since 2008 teaching other how to make and edit good photographs via classroom sessions, field trips, and one-on-one consulting.

Whatever Happened To…?

Perhaps you found the time to read my second-last entry (Who Keeps Cats in Bags Anyway?) at which point, in a rather roundabout way, it was indicated that I had taken on a full-time job. As it turns out, I’m happier in this new role than I could ever have imagined. The people are great and, although it continues to morph into something a little different with each passing day, the job is fairly close to what I had envisioned.

I’ve just now started to take over the social media management role which means, for the time being, all of my focus will be on growing those campaigns. You can help me by following me on Twitter @Kramerltd and liking our Facebook page. Soon I’ll be posting photos from some of the best and most challenging shoots I’ve done in ages as well as starting a new blog.  As Kramer Ltd is rather new to the social media space it would be greatly appreciated if you could help out and show a little love for both myself and a great Saskatchewan operation by  giving a thumbs up and singing to your friends about us . As of September we will have been in business for 70 years and with every day I learn another reason why the company has done so well.

I will do my best to post photographs that will prompt conversations and write content that matters not only to people who move dirt in the heavy construction and mining industries in Saskatchewan but also to people who walk on dirt in Saskatchewan…. that would be all of us by the way. :) Did you know there is something for almost everyone to rent at The Cat Rental Store? (shameless plug)

Soon my first issue of Kramer News will be released. A 32 page magazine that has been around for about 50 years. That’s a little longer than I’ve been around… I mean a lot longer ;) I am looking forward to transitioning it into the digital realm by producing an enhanced clickable online version in the near future.

Once again, thanks for reading. Sorry I’ve not been particularly visible on my own Twitter and Facebook feeds as of late but duty has called and I’m on another new mission.

Enjoy the rest of summer.

 

Fly United and You’ll See Places

After 3 postponements on my way from YQR to Peoria, IL on Monday via O’Hare with United Airlines, my flight back was postponed and then, wait for it… cancelled.

This would be the reason for my visit to Peoria, Ill in the first place.

This would be the reason for my visit to Peoria, Ill in the first place. (iPhone Photo)

After approximately 2.5 hours of standing in a line and at approximately 9:10pm, they, the United Airlines counter attendants, proposed option one, back at the airport at 4:30am for a flight through O’Hare and then home by about 4:00pm, or option two, fly from Peoria to Denver at 8:00am and then home by just before 3:00. Given my first O’Hare experience of three days prior, I chose option two. A little more seat time but a little more sleep time and home a tad earlier. In life, as in used car lots, there are always trade-offs.

The kind, and very well emotionally controlled attendant, Ann was her name, a late fifties pleasant lady of Spanish descent, proceeded to book me a shuttle to a hotel and presented me with two $7 vouchers for a closed restaurant. One for dinner and one for breakfast. I point her out as being “controlled” as she did an amazing job of not blowing a gasket considering the turmoil of all those lined up at her counter acting like someone just told them they’d just missed the slow boat to China.

A shuttle to the hotel and then TGIFridays it was, with a newfound friend from the Dominican Republic. José, a proud owner of a dozen tractor/flatbed units, husband to one fine 450DL driving woman (his words) and father of a two-year old swimming boy and six-year-old daughter who’s often more interested in Barbie Dolls than dad, was a spiritually driven lover of baseball and money.

We spent the time it took to consume a couple of pints and some really good Cajun shrimp and chicken talking of sports, the American Dream, and the two other characters we encountered during our wait in line at the airport. Character One was slated to join us but opted not for the arduous walk across two parking lots to get there. He too was a truck driver and you could tell from listening to his breath as he exited the shuttle and made his way into the hotel that this dude spent way too much time on his buttocks. The other, Character Two if you will, was an obnoxious self-absorbed socially incapable ass whose sole reason for inhaling was so that he could exhale incomprehensible drivel that he believed would somehow be helpful to all those within earshot. Earshot being about three miles. This guy would stroll repeatedly to the front of every cue and start loudly asking question about the state of the mechanical repairs required as if he would then just pull some parts from an orifice and fix the damn thing. The only thing covering said orifices was filthy greasy cut off sweat pants and a carnie tee-shirt. The guy’s hair looked like it was last cleansed was when they were cleaning him up to play a fat double for Jim in Taxi. (If under 45 years of age you may have to look that one up)

Across the tracks from the Caterpillar Visitor Centre. (iPhone Photo)

Across the tracks from the Caterpillar Visitor Centre. (iPhone Photo) I spent most of my week between this location and factory tours being educated on all that is Cat marketing.

The following morning, they, United / Candlewood Suites (A very clean and tidy chain hotel located in northwest Peoria) had me on a shuttle with just barely enough time to get to the airport and check in. On the way to the airport we ended up patiently waiting at another hotel next door for the flight crew, of my flight to Denver while they finished their white toast and coffee.

Eventually, and once again, at the airport in Peoria, the flight crew and those without checked baggage walked merrily on towards security whilst myself and another friendly Cat person, ironically with the last name Kramer but of no relation to the Kramer Ltd. that employs me, waited in line to check in. The check-in counter was having serious computer issues and the counter personnel, both of whom also did an excellent job of staying cool given the situation, were apparently “locked out” of checking me in and processing my bag. All the while I was being told my flight to Denver would be “held for me”, the idea of which made me feel rather special. As it turns out, not so much, I was not, the flight left without me.

Apparently I am now departing to Detroit (Delta), then Minneapolis, then home. Should get there about 7:51. All I can do is continue to smile and roll with it… Or shall I say fly with it. I’ve never seen the Motor City and if it all goes seamlessly (LOL), I will be home comfortably delayed only by 22 hours with a bit of a sore back but a ton of new friends and acquaintances.

Update: As of 5:50pm Friday we were taxiing down the runway in Minneapolis, MN while I was having a much-needed nap when we decided to turn around due to some obscene noise coming from the airplane undercarriage that was not my snoring although the some could describe the sound as similar to me grinding my teeth. We literally snaked around the tarmac for a while listening to this phantom sound come and go and having pilots of other planes peering out their cockpits at our landing gear trying to see any obvious issues. After several minutes of this nonsense and as of 18:30 we are parked in a service bay awaiting some assistance.

Now it is 7:00pm and I am back in the airport sitting on the floor in close proximity to a plug-in so I can charge my phone and Bose headphones. Without them I may well be in a much worse state of mind. We have been informed that there is another plane we can take possession of at approximately 9:00pm.

At about 10:50 Regina time I was back on familiar ground with my weekend cut rather short.

Thanks for reading. Fly safe everyone.

Larger than large. A couple of my classmates admire the stature of a 797 Mining Truck. (iPhone Photo)

Larger than large. A couple of my classmates admire the stature of a 797 Mining Truck. (iPhone Photo)

Who Keeps Cats in Bags Anyway?

Personally, I like cats. I don’t have cats but have in the past had cats. There was only one that was kept in a bag and that bag was on occasion hung on a doorknob. That cat, kitten really, was obsessed with crawling into bags of all sizes and was especially keen on a particular recycled (not plastic) grocery bag. That bag worked well as a soft-sided carrier and if there was something or someone in the house we would rather keep the cat from, that cat-bag would be hung on a doorknob for a while and he would sleep.

This entry has little to do with cats beyond the fact that for a few weeks I have kept a proverbial one in a bag and it seems as though it’s half out. May as well let it all the way out.

I’ve taken a new full-time gig… that’s my term for a job without actually have to say the word job. Okay, I’ve taken a job.  It has little to do with cats other than the brand Cat®. It has a lot to do with Cat® as in Caterpillar as in Kramer Ltd. The Caterpillar dealer for the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The cat is now out of the bag.

Those of you who know me on a more personal level have probably come to recognize that in the last 12 or so years I’ve not had much of a social life. With the gallery in the Cornwall Centre I basically worked six days a week for three years straight with seven days a week and 13 hour days during the Christmas season. The transition into shooting full-time meant that my “work week” involved the business of photography. My evenings and weekends (family time), when non-photographers and the subjects of photographers are available to be photographed, was spent making photographs. What this meant was that time with family and friends was next to non-existent. Teaching photography and that knowledge sharing in the form of field trips etc. was essentially my social life. Sitting in a Directors chair for a cause I was keen on involving myself in was impossible. Please don’t misinterpret this as any dislike for photography or teaching photography… I love it. I’ve just gotten to the point in life where there needs to be a bit more life and a tad less work. They, whomever they are, refer to it as work/life balance. I’m hoping I just found it.

Thinking back on the road up to this point, I believe I was about four when I first decided all the really cool things on this planet were yellow. Big & yellow. By the time I was about seven years old most of my sneak away and play time was spent crawling around on, and in, the cabs of the earth moving equipment parked for the night at nearby construction areas.  I remember very vividly sitting behind the giant steering wheel of a scraper, reefing on that knob which would not move, and pretending to run over my brother (not saying which one) when I was grabbed by the ear and hauled off while being scolded about the potential dangers of being near such equipment. This guy took me home and told my mother to make sure I was never allowed to go anywhere near that stuff again.

My fascination with this equipment has extended through pretty much my whole life albeit from a distance. The tendency I have to rubber-neck when passing through construction zones (the slower the better) has aggravated volumes of tailgaters and I’m not really sure why. Guess I just like big stuff… big earth movers, big cameras, big lenses.

What are the chances I could someday earn a living pointing said big cameras and lenses at big earth movers? Pretty damn good actually…. pretty damn good.

Effective May 26th, 2014 I will be employed as a Communications Coordinator within the marketing department of Kramer Ltd. and tasked with editorializing, in the form of photographs and writings, what they and their customers do. (At this point I would post one of those smiley emoticons but there is not one out there big enough to express my elation at this opportunity.)

Talk about a life changer. Monday – Friday doing something I love to do which is taking photographs and writing. Evenings and weekends doing something else I love to do which will likely come in the form of playing golf and riding motorcycles for a couple of seasons per year, and teaching photography more in the winter.  This new job has freed some weekends during which I will continue to teach Motorcycle Safety courses with the Saskatchewan Safety Council and, of course, I will continue to share photographic knowledge in the form of photo field trips and one-on-one training but only after I have had a few months at the new job to adjust to those demands.

If my new employer does not have a problem with it, I will  blog and post photographs that I capture during the course of the week so as to continue providing some content from which readers can learn and apply new skills.

In the mean time and because I thought it would be good practice for the new gig I parked and photographed my truck the other day. No, it’s not anywhere near the size of Off-Highway Mining Truck but it is  a truck.

Shot with one off-camera flash triggered wirelessly about 40 degrees camera-left and high enough so as not to cast shadows from the rocks on the truck. Manual on my Canon 1D Mark IV, ISO400, 1/250th at F16. .

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What’s Playing While I Write This? Crumblin’ Down by John Cougar Mellancamp from the album The Best That I Could Do.

Thanks for reading and, as always, you are invited and encouraged to “share” with the buttons below.

Stay well friends.

 

Please Spring It On Me

It must have been nearly a month and a half ago that, when walking home from the grocery store on a sunny minus 6 degree day, I first smelled motorcycle exhaust. Knowing full well what a mirage is, what does one call it when they smell something that is not really there? Is that a nasage? The ground was still covered with snow and the streets had not seen the likes of a motorcycle in months but I was somehow still smelling motorcycle exhaust.

How bad did I want this day to come? Obviously pretty bad. I know for a fact she misses me. She sits cold and alone since late last October in a metal box listening intently for my footsteps. Excited, she would become, on those winter days when I would show up to check on her, but dismayed at the sight of three feet of snow blocking her way. I swear that whimpering was heard when the rolling metal door was pulled down and darkness once again settled across her.

The day is here. Yesterday she was again made legal and within hours her battery will be installed. Soon she will feel the mount she has waited for all winter (yeah, okay, that was a little gross, perhaps over the top, but just like my riding style, I’m not turning back).

So “What’s the plan?” you ask. Ride, ride, and ride some more and contribute to this blog things that are of interest to those who, you guessed it, ride. Things I like, things I don’t, rides I enjoy, rides I don’t, services of value and none of those that aren’t, probably won’t spend too much time speaking of things I know nothing about unless of course it pertains to politics as, not even those involved in politics know anything about politics yet we all have opinions. I’ll provide links to some useful websites and those that are best spent looking at when you are at your day job wasting your time.

If you tripped over this entry only because of a search for motorcycle related content, you may be wondering just who is Rob Weitzel? I’m a professional photographer, photography instructor and motorcycle enthusiast from the central prairies in Canada who also enjoys long walks between navigational beacons that to some, appear only as ground-holes containing sticks surrounded by well-groomed sod.

While keeping track of my on-bike exploits, I will attempt to provide a smattering of education and entertainment perhaps on both the subjects of motorcycle riding and, as always, photography. I’m also a Motorcycle Safety Instructor, so with any luck you will pick up on some valuable riding tips.

I continue to modify my V-Strom, a 2008 “Wee”  and when there is a moment to spare I will bring you up to speed on the modifications already completed.

For those of you interested, I have posted a few FREE VStrom wallpapers for your use here. The latest of which titled “V-Storm” consists of an image I captured of my bike with an approaching storm just coming out of a mountain range in northern Colorado. It was created using three layers. The original image with the bike cut-out and then two transparencies of the bike dropped back in place, one of which was made black & white. Hope you like it.

DreThu

www.rwgp.net pretty much explains my business interests which range broadly from helping market small businesses to photography.

Now get your ass out there. Lean into some corners and accelerate on exit. There’s more photography, golf, & motorcycle content coming soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers!

7 Reasons You May Not Want to be a Professional…

7 Reasons You May Not Want to be a Professional Photographer or Golfer

It’s been mentioned before. As a matter of fact it was on Feb. 18th, 2013 that I first commented on one of the deterrents to becoming a professional photographer and implied that at some point there would be a follow-up entry on the subject. The comment, that 3.4 percent of a professional’s time is spent shooting and 96.6 percent of his or her time is spent doing everything else that is involved in running any business may have been too heavily weighted on the “shooting side”.

Way back then, 13ish months ago, and perhaps still holding out hope that the industry would in some way start to recover and that the proverbial cream would rise to the top, I was still optimistic that those I had taught and mentored would have a reasonable shot at earning some cash, maybe even a living as a photographer. Now, even less so.

Today, if asked, by someone I had a strong dislike for and who was graced with the most amazing of skills, if striving to become a “professional” photographer was a a wise decision, I could not bring myself to encourage their pursuit.

To be completely honest, when asked about the feasibility of a career in photography, I would liken an individuals chance of real success in the industry to be akin to making it on the PGA Tour. Very, very, very few make it. Of those with the greatest of work ethic, most will invest a great deal of time and expense only to wallow a while at the club or qualifier level and then sell their clubs in disgust and self-disgrace. Some will win on a rare occasion but will have to keep their day jobs in order to keep up with new advances in technology. Fewer will make it to “the dance” with a chance to play regularly. Most of them will find that they would have been better off financially in keeping their day-jobs and competing on long-weekends than sluffing around at the bottom of the tour eating bad food, drinking worse whiskey and nurturing their bad backs by sleeping in a tent. Getting your card, does not mean keeping it is easy. Only those who “win a major” will be afforded a chance to rest on their reputation a while the work roles in. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are more Tigers and that some may have the skill, and more importantly the drive and business acumen, to reach the top-level and surround themselves with an entourage of supporters to look after the 96.6 percent so that they can focus only on the task at hand, just not very many.

Not unlike the game of golf, most of which is mental, most of the photography game is not physical. It has nothing to do with gear or your ability to use it although having the budget to buy the best helps. These days, almost everyone has the ability to quickly learn the basics. Success in photography often has more to do with creativity and your ability to market yourself and your business than it does your ability to make good photographs. You have to make the best of bad lies, play well under pressure and sink a bunch of putts.

Becoming a professional golfer means giving up golf. In order to succeed in golf, you need to give up playing golf. You won’t play with your buddies, or your family, and you won’t drink while you do it. Similarly, pro photographers make fewer photos than a hobbyist and dedicate significantly less of their time to shooting. They spend way more time selling, editing, managing social media, and accounting. You won’t make photos socially and you won’t drink while you do it. A pro golfer plays less golf but spends a great deal more time on golf-associated details… range practice, short-game practice, putting practice. You want to be good at golf, you work at golf. Those who do nothing but play the game stay average or below. You want to be a pro photographer, you give up on photography and you work at it. Reason number one that you may not want to be a professional photographer… you actually want to enjoy making photographs.

Reason Number Two: You may not want to be a pro photographer or golfer… if you like your family. The sacrifices are very similar. They both work all the time. The “traditional work week” of a golfer is spent working (practicing all day, every day) and then “family time” is spent working (competing Thursday through Sunday with more practicing thrown in for good measure, not to mention the bar time with the boyz, and more time spent on the range practicing and more time in a corner feeling bad for one’s self). For a photographer, the “work week” involves the business of photography. The evenings and weekends (family time), when non-photographers and the subjects of photographers are available to be photographed, is spent making photographs. What this means is that time with family and friends is next to non-existent.

If you enjoy regularily dining with real family and friends on foods of great variety, you don't want to be pro golfer or photographer.

Your time at home will be spent with someone beaking you for your inattentiveness while you contemplate your next photo or tweet.Morning Lecture - 1/400 sec. @ F4.5, ISO 2000 - 150mmMorning Lecture – 1/400 sec. @ F4.5, ISO 2000 – 150mm

That may lead to a… ScrapScrap - 1/800 sec. @ F5, ISO 4000 - 200mm1/800 sec. @ F5, ISO 4000 – 200mm

but with any luck it will end in a forgiving… CuddleCuddle

You won’t enjoy being a photographer or golfer if you don’t like yourself. In both cases you will spend a great deal of time alone. It may or may not be due to your looks.Solitary LivingSolitary Living - 1/2000 sec. @ F4.5, ISO 1000 – 180mm

You may not want to be a photographer or golfer if you can’t handle  being subjected to constant self doubt and re-evaluation.RWGP8683

Reason number five you may not want to be a pro photographer or golfer… There are snakes in the grass and, it’s a real rat-race out there. Whether the rats or the snakes come out on top remains to be seen but either way, in both professional ventures you will have to be extremely competitive and have a bit of killer instinct. Without it, you will likely come and go without being noticed.RWGP8889

You may not want to be a pro photographer or golfer if you, in any way shape or form, lack confidence. Unless you can puff up your chest, spread your wings, and say with conviction that you have what it takes to get the job done, you will fail. You have to be able to take charge of every situation, believe in yourself, and most importantly, finish. Your competition should be afraid of you.RWGP8694

And the 7th and final reason you may not want to turn pro… You are doing it for the money. Surely I need not elaborate on this. The desperation and stress placed on doing anything that you love for money will surely remove your love for it.

If you love photography so much so that the idea of doing so for a living has actually crossed your mind, give long and hard consideration to it and then, keep your day job, for it will pay the bills and provide you with the leisure time one needs to actually go out and make photographs. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do but sometimes it would be nice just to make photos for the sake of making photos, not because I’m invoicing someone to do so. Earning a living from photography, at least for me, has meant less time making photographs.  So if what you really want to do is make photos, just keep doing it. Keep clicking and sharing – good will come of it and you will continue to enjoy it.

Thanks for reading and allowing me to combine three or four passions in one blog. The photos above were all captured during a recent visit to the San Diego Zoo. There are a few more images below the contact form that I just could not find a way to work in.

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes my time on the range and time on my bikes (two things I love dearly), as well as more time earning a living by making photos and teaching others to do so. While at it I will continue to offer a diverse range of services and conjuring content for these pages. If you need me, let me know.

Please “share” with the buttons below as well as comment in the provided fields. I read and appreciate everything and do my best to respond promptly to all feedback made by humans.

Problem with making photos at a zoo is they are often not open during the time of day that offers the best lighting conditions. That combined with the fact that I was at the zoo with two adult women who I believe were there to “put miles on their new walking shoes” meant working rather quickly. I tried to make the best “compositional practice” out of a somewhat hasty visit and had fun doing so. I had no budget and no restraints, only a few moments to try and capture some memories… the reason we take photos in the first place.

Most of the variations in camera settings stemmed from having to adjust for lack of light (higher ISO as there was a lot of working in complete shade) or a desire to include more detail and depth of field (higher apertures) Let me know if there are any that stand out to you.

Why Light?

What difference does light make? Why can’t you just shoot everything in available light? Any of you who have attended one of my in-class workshops have no doubt heard my opinions on the importance of learning to light . You’ve also heard the emphasis placed on the importance of learning exposure and camera control before you move into trying to learn about lighting this way developing an understanding of how to control both.

Lots of people only think of learning about lighting when it comes to portraiture but lighting is important in every genre of photography.

I will get into a great deal more detail at some point on how to light especially portraiture but for now I thought I would share a few photos of the same subject in different colours and different amount and positions of light. Obviously all the same subject but each feels a little different. Each a different mood and a different area of detail. None of which have been particularly cleaned up.

All shot with a 50mm Macro on ISO 100 at 1/250th

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Ambient Light Only – @ F5.6

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F8 with a touch of flash from front lower left.

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F7.1 Light from left side

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Same as above with a little creative white balance.

The to change the mood a bit I intensified the light by moving it slightly closer and changing the position. I was intent on going black & white in post.

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Light was moved to a position a little higher and further to the back.

F9 for a bit more detail and depth of field with almost all light from directly below.

F9 for a bit more detail and depth of field with almost all light from directly below.

The point of all this was only to emphasis to you how with one subject, one lens and pretty much one composition, you can create a variety of images with slight changes in light and colour.

Now let’s go back to colour and change subjects.

F9 @ 1/80th

F9 @ 1/80th

F9 @ 1/160th - Notice the light (from the flash) is the same as above but the ambient light has been reduced by increasing the shutter speed.

F9 @ 1/160th – Notice the light (from the flash) is the same as above but the ambient light has been reduced by increasing the shutter speed.

1/160th @ F29 the the light moved way back right.

1/160th @ F29 the the light moved way back right.

All along I was looking at the bird like portion of the flower and wonder if it was there to attract a certain bird or insect or to deter the same.

All along I was looking at the bird like portion of the flower and wonder if it was there to attract a certain bird or insect or to deter the same.

Go out and play with light. The more you play, the more you learn.

Up next. My trip to the San Diego Zoo in some rather shitty lighting conditions but I had to shoot. If I did not share what I shot people would start thinking I’m a photographer. (a not so inside joke)

Have a great week.

What’s Playing While I Write This? Talkin 2 Myself (feat. Kobe) by Eminem – Recovery

Thanks for reading and, as always, you are invited and encouraged to “share” with the buttons.

Southern California Bearing a Camera and a Little Skin.

“Finally!” Is that your response?  Your response to my getting around to a blog entry that has a little more to do with the technical side of photography and a little less to do with everything else you have found here of late? Well I don’t blame you.

I won’t apologize though. Fact is, running a photography-related business tends to be more about running and less about photography every day and if I did not compliment it with various other revenue generating activities, affording to be a “photographer” would be, shall I say, unaffordable. At some point in the not-to-distant future I am going to go off at the fingers in a bit of a rant on that subject, the glories and the pitfalls of it, but for now, I’ve been to California, and while there, on three occasions, a camera ended up in my hands. Triggers were pulled.

Devona & I flew into San Diego in mid January only to experience some of the best winter weather they have ever had. Most of them, the residence of California, were a tad disturbed by drought and fires in some areas of the state. We, on the other hand, just happy to be able to shed some layers.

So shed we did, in the back yard of a place we now affectionately refer to a Casa Moretti. It’s sweet to have friends who live in houses, the amenities of which, list longer than most five-star hotels. The layers came off, the beverages were poured, the football game being aired on the 64″ outdoor television sitting above a fireplace in close proximity to the pool… what did I tell you?  Nice digs. Looks fairly peaceful.

Casa Moretti

Casa Moretti – This would be a quick scenic with a 70-200mm as I did not want to risk the delivery of a beverage due to my having gone hunting for a lens.

And then the tranquility was gone. Within a few minutes, the kids were in said pool showing off for Aunt Devona & Uncle Rob prompting Uncle Rob to dig out his camera for this… Goggles the Crime Fighter

Goggles the Crime Fighter

Goggles the Crime Fighter – Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – ISO200 – 70-200mm @ 165mm, 1/640th @ F3.2

Goggles the Poser

Goggles the Poser – - Canon EOS-1D Mark IV – ISO200 – 70-200mm @ 130mm, 1/250th @ F4

For the image above I dragged the shutter a tad slower than I normally would for an action shot at an attempt to show a little movement (blur) in the water behind the subject. The shorter focal length and increase in aperture value gave me a bit more depth of field rendering more detail in the background.

A little later in the evening we were introduced to crack… Not that kind of crack, not plumbers crack, but Cardiff Crack. Believe it or not, that is a particular cut of steak. One which rivals any cut of beef I’ve ever had. Trying to describe it without any education in the art of butchering meat would just be to fail so I’ll leave the describing to them: “Cardiff Crack is a delicious USDA Choice tri tip that is trimmed, marinated, and infused with a one-of-a-kind Burgundy Pepper marinade, which through a secret process, permeates the beef and results in tri tip that is incomparably flavorful and tender and highly addictive.” Find out more at cardiffcrack.com

If you are ever anywhere near the Cardiff Seaside Market 2087 San Elijo Ave. Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007, I would highly recommend you grab some, find a grill and some beers, sit back and enjoy. Oh yeah, the beer is for the grilling as good red meat is best served with good red wine.

Now I’m hungry. Thanks for reading. Feedback always welcome. Spam, not so much!

Thanks for reading and, as always, you are invited and encouraged to “share” with the buttons below.

 

It’s All About the Photos and…

It’s All About the Photos and the Artwork: A good online presence starts with great photographs and effective art. A great video can allow you to quickly introduce visitors to your business without their having to search your site for information. Rob Weitzel Graphic Productions can assist you in creating or choosing the right visuals for your website. Check out the links to “My Online Work” and “Photo Portfolio” to see some of my websites, photos, and videos.

Social Media and Content Marketing Strategies: Perhaps you are just now considering a Social Media Campaign (FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn,) or a new Content Marketing effort in the form of a Blog or Podcast. Perhaps you’ve started but lack the time or resources to continually manage it. Social Media and Content Delivery are important tools in developing new relationships and maintaining existing ones. Content Marketing refers to the regular delivery of pertinent information to your customers and prospects through mechanisms such as links within your social media or social networking status updates or through blogs or other online posts. Rob Weitzel Graphic Productions can help develop or continuously manage your social media or content marketing efforts.

Social Media is not just about quantity of followers, it is about quality of followers and your ability to engage with them. Anyone can acquire volumes of irrelevant pulse-free followers who have no real interest in the content being delivered. The true value of social media is found in one’s ability have their family, friends, acquaintances, customers, and potential customers express interest in and share the information being distributed. It’s about interaction. You need your friends to tell their friends.

Available for Consulting or Projects by the day, week, month, or portions thereof. Rob Weitzel Graphic Productions provides a service that helps small and medium-sized businesses update their websites and get started with their social media identity. From determining the right platform for your business and initial profile setups that can include graphic design, photography services or selection of images, to the development of marketing strategies, social media policies, usage guidelines, and content delivery routines for effective campaigns.

Whether your business requires only an initial boost to get you up and running or a few hours per week, or month, of continuous marketing assistance, I can help you.

Other Services Available: Logo Design, Banner Design, Consulting, Creative Copy Writing, Podcast Development, Multi-Media Presentations,SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Website Design & Updates.

For project quotes and estimates fill out the contact form below or touch base via 306.535.5997 - Note that my Consulting Clients pay my Consulting Rates and not my Commercial Photography Rates.

My next blog post will be full of photos and photographic information from my recent visit to the San Diego Zoo. Thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading and, as always, you are invited and encouraged to “share” with the buttons below as well as comment in the provided fields. I read and appreciate everything and do my best to respond promptly to all feedback made by humans.

Some of The Best Photos I’ve…

Some of The Best Photos I’ve Made Were Likely Made Over 30 Years Ago

Years ago, when I first became interested in making photographs, I would actually shoot. Take pictures with only one purpose in mind and that singular purpose was to create images.

Like lots of people, eventually the creation of those photographs lead to encouraging feedback. I believe that positive feedback was what initially prompted me to want to learn more about photography.

That desire to “learn” greatly altered the path my photography was taking. The direction moved away from a desire to make photos towards an emphasis on learning how to make photos. I believe there to be a difference.

All in a sudden, nearly every photo I shot was with the purpose of learning rather than focussing specifically on the subject. I became focussed on the craft more than the art itself if that makes sense.

There is something that happens to shooters who become teachers and I think it happens early on. Interestingly enough, I think it halted my creation of images that matter to me. I got hung up on the cameras, the gear, the technique, and no longer on my desire to create images. From the learning phase I transitioned into a teaching phase wherein every photo was an example from which someone could be taught or learn.

Yes, when hired to do so, I would tell a story with my camera, but I was being paid. I was telling someone else’s story.  If I was hired to photograph something that interested me, better photographs were created.

{And now, we interrupt this programming to bring you a few photos as that is likely why you are here in the first place}

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Perspective is very interesting and at a certain age one comes to realize that you really don’t have any until you have lived for a while.

When I was first fascinated with action photography there was no money for cameras or film, literally. The shit camera my parents had made some of the best memories. The memories and the photographically prompted recollections are what photography is all about, is it not? The capture of a single moment in time in such a way, that when presented, moves us into history.

The camera that I made my first good photos with was some old 35mm manual focus Pentax thing that was lent to me. Believe it was a K1000. I really had no idea how to use it. An explanation of the sunny 16 rule rings a vague bell from way back when, but really I think the lender just set it for me and I shot. I made good photos with it. I made photos of things that interested me.

Now I am starting to look around and wondering once again, “how can I photograph that? What matters to me? What or who is special enough and impactful enough in my life to make me want to photograph it or them?”

In 2004 I started to write a book about the journey I took to really learn photography.

Some of that content will find its way in here because I spent the time writing it and feel there may as well be some use made of it.

It is very interesting to read it now and see how different a path life can take than the one a person thought they were going to take.

Right from the beginning there was a significant amount of content that mentioned my now ex-wife. Now there is a path change.

This is a path change lots of photographers seem to have in common… ex-wives. Nope, not in common that we all had the same wife, but that the craft and the business tends to impact family-life in a not-so positive fashion.

Our careers tend to be a wee bit anti-social. We work when others socialize (lots of evenings and weekends) and, if we are really into making photos, we in a rather sick way, start to resent time spent with others because we are not getting to make photographs.  There were days when we would have company over and I would sit and look at the colour of the sky thinking about the photos I could be making in that light rather than yapping about whatever happened that week in the lives of people with real jobs.

Interesting now how I am starting to see more value in the concept of those “real  jobs” because those people have social lives… and time off. Time doing some things they want to do, time not thinking about work. It’s called a work/life balance.

This shift I am feeling is not one that will take me away from making photographs or teaching others to do so, but I do believe it will have me once again taking photos because I want to and for the reasons non-photographers take photos… because they want to make pictures while bearing witness to things that matter to them.

It’s strange how for the longest time, if attending a family gathering or social function, if I picked up a camera, I quit having fun and went into work mode. Then I would start being this “editorial guy” who took tonnes of pictures, but because I was not getting paid to, never actually did anything with the pics. There is also the expectation that wherever you go, as a photographer, you are going to take photos so one really never gets any time off.

This year, I went to my family Christmas gathering and did not once pick up a camera. I just wanted to have Christmas again and enjoy the company of those important to me. Granted they probably all feel less important because this dude with a giant camera (Uncle Paparazzi) did not hassle them all day. ;)

I think this blog entry is a public admittance that this New Years Eve, for the first time ever, I’m going to make a resolution. A resolution to find a good work/life balance. Not entirely sure what that will look like and I hope it does not look like me begging for change on a street corner someplace, but I know it will involve my working less and socializing more. More friends, more recreation, more fun. Perhaps I will find a regular schedule that will afford me an opportunity to become a board member or volunteer somewhere, both things the sole proprietor of a one person enterprise  can’t do as the schedule always has to be open and flexible to revenue potential.

The one thing I won’t change this year is my desire to help people make better photographs. Outside of making good images for myself, the one thing that has always floated my boat is seeing it click for someone else. When they realize that controlling that camera has become almost second-nature and they now can get to what they really want to get to, and that is capturing images of that which is important to them.

Happy New Year y’all!

Thanks for reading and, as always, you are invited and encouraged to “share” with the buttons below as well as comment in the provided fields. I read and appreciate everything and do my best to respond promptly to all feedback made by humans.

Yes, There Have Been Other Blogs

MapleXmasFirst & Foremost, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from myself and Devona. If you’ve not yet heard, she is buried up to her eyeballs in fish hooks and camouflage at Cabela’s. At some point I’m sure she will pick up a camera again but for now, I’m on a bit of an island. Times, they are a changing.

Please consider this blog entry for its housekeeping value only as there are a few things I need to get straightened out. As of today, I have a lengthy list of subscribers to whom I will continue to send email notifications when I post an entry. That said, given the subscription mechanism in the left column, if you subscribe there, I will remove your name from my list to ensure you don’t receive multiple notifications and hopefully eventually everyone will do this freeing up a much-needed 4 minutes and 49 seconds.

Now for a brief explanation of what’s going on.

MapleBlog

First there was our blog on thosetwophotographers.com, then there was a motorcycle travel blog on sportsshooter.ca. Both of which came into issues with blogging software, databases, and support updates through my hosting provider. Sadly, I quashed the motorcycle blog all together and started posting photo blog entries manually, very manually, to thosetwophotographers.com. This was a serious drain on resources and frustrating.

I really enjoy the act of blogging but to maintain entries for different entities makes very little sense. I’m one guy. Owner of Rob Weitzel Graphic Productions (www.rwgp.net), which owns both sportsshooter.ca (you guessed it, my sports photography related website) and thosetwophotographers.com (a website for all other types of photographic services and education). In an effort to streamline my life a little and reduce the confusion, I am just going to write here. I will write whatever strikes my fancy. It may have to do with one of the two aforementioned sites or it may not. It may be about what has elated me or pissed me off of late. As always, I will make photos and post those photos with some commentary on how they were created as well as the exif data from them so that you can see, from a camera setting standpoint, how they were created… kinda like this:

RWGP7385ISO:200 – Manual - 1/500th @ F3.5 - Off-Camera Flash positioned camera left in small softbox.

As part of my business has always been Graphic Design, Website Services and now encompasses Social Media Consulting I may occasionally venture down that road as well. Some of what exits my digits and graces this space will be educational and hopefully most of it will be entertaining enough for you to hit the subscribe button.

If I can get to the point where I can communicate with all of you in some efficient manner, there may be a point and time at which the podcast comes back as well.

I will apologize up front to those of you who follow me on both of my twitter accounts (@sportsshooter_1 & @TwoPhotogs) because you may well see things more than once. Hell, if you follow me on Twitter, are a friend on Facebook, like both my Those Two Photographers and www.sportsshooter.ca Facebook pages, you may see the same thing six times but you will never have to come to me and say “hey, I missed that blog post”.

Fact is, as of today my @sportsshooter_1 account is nearing 800 followers and @TwoPhotogs is just shy of 500. For the most part they are different users. I appreciate those of you who follow both because often the content is different (a little more personal on the @sportsshooter_1 account) but when it comes to this blog, there is just no feasible way for me to feed those two worlds separate content.

So from this day forward, this will be the blog. The best way to keep it regular is for you, the readers, to encourage me with the blogging laxatives that are questions and comments.

If you wish to contact me feel free to use the contact form below or if you wish to comment on this blog entry, you can do so in the comment field beneath the contact form.

Shortly, I will be writing again with dates for a number of Winter Workshops and Sports Field Trips. At some point in the near future I may write a little about how I got to where I am in my photographic career… a bit of a backstory if you will.

By the way, if you know of someone who could use a little help with their cameras, feel free to forward them this link – I have a few spaces left in my intro workshops in January.

Thanks for taking the time to read and subscribe. Once again, Happy Holidays and a Wonderful, Exciting & Prosperous New Year!