Nov 072014

Let me start by saying that I am definitely a ‘fair weather’ rider. I don’t like riding when I’m miserable so when the weather drops down into the 40s or below, I don’t break the motorcycle out unless it is an absolute necessity.

Having said that, I love the autumn weather with its beautiful scenery and fresh, brisk air.  I also like the fact that I can be comfortable riding with full leathers so I am somewhat protected from the next accident.

This morning, it was in the low 50s and I needed to go to the bank so I took the bike. Wonderful morning and once again it reminded me of just out beautiful our world is in the early hours.

For those of you who are not out on two wheels, early in the morning, here is my idea of what you miss.



Nov 032014

Here is one I did for my gear-head followers.  Not sure of the year/make but for this type of technique, it’s not really that important.  This would look great hanging in a den or man-cave. (particularly if your own car is used for the image).



Nov 032014

Well, as you can see by the dates, I’ve been away for almost two months. However, I’ve not been idle. I had some health problems and then my wife was given many new responsibilities at work.  She needed some help getting acclimated to the software that she needed to use and I was that help.  Considering that she was computer illiterate when she began three weeks ago, when this additional work was handed her, she has come a long way. So, now that she is up and running with very little help from me, I can get back to my blogs.

We are in the process of redecorating the condo (very slowly, I might add) so I’ve come up with a few idea for a large canvas to hang above the fireplace.  Needless to say, none of my ‘man-cave’ art suited her so I created a few girly-images for her.  Flowers and such.   I was surprised that she actually liked a few of them. Now we just need to decide which to use.

In the process though, I came up with a new process and will be posting as I play with it. Here are the first few for the mantle.  The selected image will be printed at 40″ x 30″ on art canvas using the giclee process.




And one I did for Thanksgiving.


Sep 152014


I recently purchased an ebay studio kit from a company called “LINCO” and thought I would post a hands on review for those who might be considering such a kit. But first, a bit of background. I’ve got over 40 years as a professional photographer. On 9/11/06 I had a massive heart-attack that retired me. After being told by my doctor that I had limited time left, I sold my studio equipment but kept my camera and lenses. Now, 8 years later, feeling that I might have a longer life than expected, I want to get back into studio work shooting pets. I figure that will be a fairly low stress, low exertion field that I can do out of my condo. However, until I see how things are going to progress, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment. For that reason, after looking online at various setups, I chose this LINCO setup.

The product was delivered packaged well and in a timely manner. First impressions were good.  One thing to keep in mind while reading this review is that the whole setup cost only $134.  I did not expect pro quality equipment but was pleasantly surprised at the quality.  My only problem was that one of the bulbs was broken on arrival. I contacted the seller and they responded within minutes.  A side note here: In all my years as a professional, I have never dealt with a company/seller that had better communication procedures than LINCO. They answered my emails within a few hours at most and were most accommodating.  My replacement bulb has been shipped and I expect it in shortly.

In today’s post, I’ll discuss the background stand and accessories. In a later post, I’ll discuss the lights.

The bg stand comes in its own canvas bag. The bag is very sturdy and has a separate section with velcro closures for the four cross bars.  The stands are definitely not designed to stand up to commercial use.  However, for the beginner just starting out, they are sufficient if used carefully.

ID: Linco#4151 77″ x 120″ Background Support System Qty: 1
2 x 8816 Linco ZENITH 77″ Compact Backdrop Stand
*Height Adjustable from 29″ to 77″
*Width adjustable from 5ft to 10ft
*3 Sections Backdrop Stand1 x 4222 Linco 10′ 4-piece/set Senior Crossbar
*4 sections.
*Adjustable width:5ft 7.5ft 10ft.
*Easy to use.

1 x 3178-12 Light Stand Carrying Bag
*Custom designed for background support kit and photography accessories.
*Made of good oxford nylon.
*Maximum load: 25lbs.

The backgrounds supplied are only useful for headshots and/or product use.  At only five foot wide, unless the subject is standing/sitting next to the backdrop the sides are going to show.  Ideally, the subject should be at least 3′ to 5′ from the background to leave room for a bg light and to avoid shadows.  I’m used to working with 10′ wide muslins so these will take some getting used to.  I have a couple of 10′ x 20′ backgrounds available so I’ll see how they work. I’m concerned that the weight will be too much, particularly the heavy black non-reflective background.  I’ll post on that later.

I do need to mention though, that everything was just as described online so this is not something that wasn’t expected.

As for the accessories shown below: useless for anything but the included backdrops. The two holders reach about 1′ max so they are only usable when using two crossbars with the supplied backdrops.  The 5 helpers/clips are two small to be really usable.  I’ll use clamps such as these to clamp the background over the crossbar.

ID: Linco#4216-1 Linco#4216-1 Backdrop Holders Qty: 2
4216-1 Backdrop Holder ?Easy Adjustment To remove wrinkles and unevenness shown on the muslin, hold onto the button as shown and slide the attached clip to the best location. Adjust each muslin holder so that there are fewer wrinkles and unevenness in the muslin. For further and more precise adjustments, you can unclip some muslin holders and slide them to locations where wrinkles and unevenness are present. ?Superior Quality and Light Weight Linco muslin holders are super compact, lightweight and of high quality. They are made of genuine leather and high, durability elastic material with an exclusive Linco engraving. Linco muslin holders are only 1/13th the weight of the, conventional muslin clamps
ID: Linco#4228-1 Backdrop Holders (Backdrop Helper) Qty: 5
*Used on crossbar (Diameter<28mm).
*Help you change backdrops faster.
*Maximum load:5lbs


Aug 112014

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things after my year-long hiatus. Here are some shots taken yesterday morning at one of my regular cruise-in sites. It was a beautiful morning and we had a great turn-out. Enjoy the photos. You can open the first and then advance through them all using the small arrow on the right or left. (hover near the right edge and the arrow will become visible)

Jul 262014

Today, I rode up to Boonsboro Maryland, to the American Legion Post #10 car show. I had not been to this show in previous years so had no idea what to expect. The American Legion hall is at the north west end of town right on Rt. 40. The ride up was perfect once I got on Rt 40, which is two lane with a 35-45 MPH speed limit most of the way.  Lots of curves and switch-backs which made the ride fun and enjoyable. This is a perfect day-ride location for you gear-heads and bikers out there.

Jun 062014

Last weekend, at one of the cruise-ins I attend, I was taking photos of the cars and came upon this old IMG_6612fellow.  At first I wasn’t going to include it but went ahead and shot the photo along with the others.

This week, while looking over the photos and trying to decide which one I wanted to work with, I kept going back to this car. My thinking was this; “Anyone can shoot a photo of a beautiful, fully finished classic, antique or custom car and then use that photograph to create a finished piece of artwork.  MMmm, but I wonder what could be done with this one?”

Continue reading »

Jun 022014

Love the summer and visiting cruise-ins and car shows on weekends. Here is a shot I took of a yellow pickup truck at a local cruise-in.  Masked it out of the background that you see, replaced the background, turned the lights on and darkened the image a bit.  I would love to hear any comments.



May 302014

Saw this on twitter this morning and just had to repost.  What more could you want. A ratrod hauling a ratbike in a rattrailer!


May 052014

One of my favorite pastimes is creating banners for my church. And I’m not speaking of web-banners.  We have two areas in the church where I am allowed to display large banners. One is 4’x8′  and the other is 2’x6′.   I normally start with a photograph I’ve taken or a public domain image off the net and then modify them for my banner.

One of our members worked for a company that was upgrading their printer and got them to donate the old 42″ printer to the church. I create the banners at home and print them at church. My wife, who does the decorating (think pulpit flowers, message boards, etc. ) then hangs them at the appropriate time.  Here are two that I did for the 2’x4′ board.

One for spring…



And one for summer