Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My website, using Photoshelter's new "Marquee" layout for Beam
My website, using the "Marquee" layout.
What's that? You've noticed something different? Well thank you, I've been working ou...oh, you meant the website. Well that's cool, too. For the past month, I've been testing Photoshelter's new Beam portfolio platform. It's currently in beta, but so far, I really like where things are heading. It reflects a modern, minimalist layout that (ideally, see below) is better suited for our mobile/tablet-filled lives. Because who wants to look at photos from a computer tethered to a room, when you can do it from your couch? Or bathroom? I suppose you could even go outside.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A protester carries an injured child away from Egyptian riot police in
Cairo on Jan. 26, 2013 (Ed Giles/Getty Images)
What causes a nation to be considered a "failed state"? Political instability, human rights violations, lack of free speech, poverty? These are things that most of us in developed nations take for granted, but are a reality for many countries around the world. Foreign Policy magazine ran a photo essay titled "Postcards from Hell," taking a look at the 60 most fragile nations on the Failed States Index. The images help give some meaning to the numbers, although not every photo is one of violence and starvation, as one might expect. Instead, many of them offer a quick glance at a simple reality about daily life, for better or worse.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

UMLY's middle school and high school birding teams. Bet you never
thought birders could look so hardcore.
This past May, I had the privilege of once again participating in the World Series of Birding. If you haven't seen my past musings on the event, it's a 24-hour competition to identify the greatest number of birds, with the entire state of New Jersey as the playing field. I went as a driver/chaperone for a youth team from the Upper Main Line YMCA. It's been a few years since the last time I did this and the idea of being mostly in a car for roughly 24-hours straight gave me some flashbacks. In addition to the day of the event, we spend a few days before getting up at 4:00 in the morning and scouting out northern New Jersey, while getting onto an entirely different sleep schedule. By the time the competition starts, we're waking up at 7 pm and on the road from 10 pm Friday to 11 pm on Saturday.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Saturday was the second annual St. Christopher's Prom and it was again amazing to be able to participate. I got to see a lot of familiar faces from last year, as well as many new ones. The kids are all great and their parents, hospital staff and volunteers are all as equally awesome for giving so much to them. Mike Jerrick from Good Day Philadelphia on Fox 29 was there to MC for a good portion of the event. Be sure to watch at :58 when someone tries to pick a "fight" with him. I'll update this at some point in the future once I get around to editing photos.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Last week, I went to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children for their prom dress and tuxedo fitting. This will be the second year that they've held a prom for their oncology unit. Last year, I had the privilege of shooting both their fitting and the prom itself. I'm excited to be able to help out again this year. All of these children had to deal with so much, it's great they have something to celebrate. At the fitting, I got to see some familiar faces as well as plenty of new ones. I'm looking to share the images from this year's prom in a few weeks.

The prom committee is still raising money to help out with the prom on April 13. If you're interested in donating (every bit helps), you can contact stchristophersprom@gmail.com.

Update 4/12:

In addition to the photos I shot the other week, I also shot some video. Here's a quick look behind the scenes at the fitting and I guess a bit of a preview for tomorrow's prom. Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In February I was contacted by The Refinishing Touch, a company based in Georgia that takes the existing furniture in hotels and universities across the country and updates them. They break down, resurface, repaint and otherwise repurpose old furniture. The result is a much more modern look, for a fraction of the cost and without the waste generated from disposing of old. As owner Mario Insenga put it, you're saving two types of green. Something that's both saving money and environmentally conscious sounds like a pretty good deal.

It's not always clear to people what "refinishing" entails, so TRT asked me to shoot a few before and after shots of the work they do, as well as produce a video. The challenge with the video was to give a sense of how a room is completed. This was accomplished by shooting several rooms in different states and cutting them together. Multiple timelapses were also shot to help condense what takes hours into just a couple minutes.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Here's something everyone (see: non-photographers) should take a look at. Have you ever had your laptop stolen? I haven't and would like to keep it that way if possible. But anytime I take my laptop out and about, I have this fear it might be the last time I see it. To help alleviate some of those fears, I started looking into tracking software in case "the day" does come.

That's where Prey comes in. It's an open source program that gives you a lot of options to help you recover your device if it's stolen. Download and install it to your Mac/PC/Linux/Ubuntu/Android/iOS device and register yourself at the Prey website. After the install, it simply sits in the background until someone is a big enough jerk to steal your stuff. Then from another computer, you can login to your Prey control panel to get to work as Big Brother. You can collect location data, display a warning, play an alarm and even activate your camera to take a snapshot of the culprit.

If you're tech-conscious, a concern you probably have is if your data is being tracked. The company states clearly that they won't use your personal data. Prey is free with a limit of three devices. If you want to add more devices and have access to additional features, pro accounts start at $5. Check out this section on people who have successfully recovered their gear, thanks to Prey.
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