Dragoncon 2018 (Part 1 of 2)

Dragoncon. A 4 day pop-culture convention where 80+ thousand people cram themselves into a 5-block radius in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

This was my first time going and it was a euphoric, amazing experience. As a friend said, “It’s like being with 80,000 of your friends”, and he was right.

TV, Movies, costuming, molding, Space, gaming, paranormal, law, Sci-Fi, Anime, robotics, writing and a slew of other interests were represented through panels, discussions, photo shoots and more.

Hundreds of actors, actresses, artists and professionals from many walks of life were also present to teach, discuss, answer questions or gush over.

A big aspect of Dragoncon was the Cosplay. So many people dressing up in their favorite costumes that represented their favorite shows, comics and more. I especially loved the fun character mash-ups, creative and original outfits.

It was honestly the best time I can remember having.

Anyway, I tried taking a ton of photos and wanted to share a bunch here.




























A new round


It’s been several months since I’ve done photography work. Things have been incredibly busy for me and I’ve simply made time to work on other endeavors. I do not want to give-up on my photography — it’s too therapeutic and fun for me.

But my return was met with upset. I had collected a vast amount of photos over the last year and through some irresponsible handling of the files, lost 620 RAW images. I do still have the .JPEG versions, but these really are not suitable to edit in any fashion and many photos I took were with photo editing in mind — so they simply do not look all that great as-is.

Still, I think I will at least share these as I start taking new photos.

This tree was taken at a local Golf Course that my Cousin took me too. I really wanted a natural landscape, but the angle I fell in love with came with the buildings in the back-ground. Had this been a RAW file, I think I could’ve edited this to look 200% better than it is right now, but I still like some of the composition and lighting.

Take A Step Back

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Where I’ve been

I’m very sorry I haven’t posted my “1 photo a day” routine. I haven’t had access to all of my equipment and can’t currently afford to keep my Adobe Cloud subscription going.

Take A Step Back

I took this at a very good friend’s house in Pennsylvania. Each year these plants pop up, even with their yard maintainance. They must be very hearty plants.

I had taken a series of photos like this in different locations that, to me, inspire urban decay or a sense of nature taking back the planet. It’s also reminiscent of post-apocalyptic stories like The Last of Us or Revolution.

Halloween Approaches

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Halloween is fast approaching.

I haven’t made any photo trips in a little while, but I remembered this gem from last year.

This is Brooke. She does some costuming and is a blast to take photos of.

I wish I would’ve gotten more pictures of her, but the ones I do have came out great!

More Photos coming very soon.

First: Thank you very much for visiting my site, liking my photos and sharing them. Sharing my stuff is a huge way to support my work.

I just need to wait a little while to get my editors back. In the meantime, I’m still taking photos. Fall is a great time of the year for photographers.

If you’d like to consider supporting me, you can through my Patreon page. Patreon is a place where people can support artists and creators they love, so they can keep making the things you love.

My Patreon.

Buying my prints from my SmugMug, and supporting me on my Patreon goes a long way to helping me create more.

Thank you very much!

Pink Blossoms

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I currently can’t afford my Lightroom subscription, but I did find what may turn out to be a suitable alternative open-source program called LightZone.

It will take a few photos, I think, until I can start really judging how I feel about its capabilities and output.

For instance: this flower photo I edited in LightZone. I’m not sure if it was my ISO or if LightZone was really rough on the image, but there’s a fair amount of grain in this photo. I still think it’s a great photo, but I’m not sure if that’s the program or how much of it might be the program.

Need funds to renew Lightroom subscription to edit photos.

I’m very sorry to report I won’t have any new photos to show for a short time. I’m too short on funds to keep my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription going at the moment.

Being somewhat “like” a person with ADD and OCD, this upsets me a little. It takes constant, non-stop work and keeping up daily and very consistently to even slowly get people seeing stuff, let alone building-up a sizable following. As an example:

I was getting 1K views per day on my SmugMug. When I returned from a 10-day vacation I am now lucky to get close to 500 per day, but mostly get 100 or less per day, and that’s even returning to my constant daily posting of photos. That 10-days away didn’t just hurt for 10 days. It potentially permanently set me back from many months of work.

Such is life in this business and the Internet – and everyone is subject to this; not just me.

However – you have to always be postive, look on the bright-side and utilize what you have to the best of your abilities.

If you like You can always help me out by buying a print or three from my SmugMug as well, but I should be able to afford to re-sub soonish.

I will try to still post some daily informative pieces along with perhaps some of my older photos, until I can afford to re-subscribe and regain access to my editing software.

Thank you always for reading my posts, and liking and sharing my photos!!!

A Friend’s Touch

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Siberian Husky and Wolf hybrid

This was an amazing encounter. I was with my Cousin in the recreation area at Wingfoot Lake park in Ohio. We were just walking across an open green and saw this man holding the end of two giant, very thick ropes attached to two very big dogs.

After chatting for quite awhile, we found out the dogs were sisters and I was a bit amazed at how they played and romped, but always in a manner that seemed gentle, not really hyper-active or any sudden, jerky movements.

As an interesting tid-bit, the man told us that he had to start changing locks on the kennels as the one dog learned when she was young how to unlock her own cage AND then go unlock her sister’s cage, by watching the man put them in each night.

Why I chose SmugMug (for now)

Why I’m currently preferring to sell my photos through SmugMug.

The short: laziness

The long The juice is worth the squeeze and I can still specialize for unique sales with local businesses.

I really have a desire to help local, privately owned business and partner or work with them if I can, but it’s simply a lot less work and money for me right now to use SmugMug.

Consider this: I paid roughly $5.00US for a 12×14 glossy print at a local business and then matting was an even $20.00 from a different place – for same day matting. The first location would do matting at roughly the same price or cheaper, but they didn’t do it in-house and it’d be a 7 day turn-around.

So I paid $25.00US for a matted 12×14 plus the gas to drive downtown to the first location and over a quater mile to the second location, to drop off, then back again the next day for pickup.

This also doesn’t include any acrylic, plexi or glass cover.

I just don’t feel this is worthwhile, especially if I’m trying to maximize sales.

Now; I think this is still a terrific option for specialized framing jobs. There’s a local business that has a wonderfully varied supply of unique frames that I could offer my prints in.

For what I’ll call “Bulk” orders, SmugMug handles printing, matting, framing – with a large variety of basic frames and frame/matting colors and shipping.

Prices

An 11×14 print, framed and matted on SmugMug of one of my photos is $102.08

  • 11×14 print = $27.88
  • Matting        = $ 6.70
  • Framing       = $67.50

I might be able to create a cheaper pipeline – one that became even more cost-effective if I had predictably regular sales.

But for right now, I’m really not going to save all that much on my overhead for the profit I’d get and it would be a lot of time and work to do all that running around.

I know this part of the the plight of local businesses and I feel for it, but I wouldn’t shirk it. I’d still love working locally on top of this and in-between. And… if my sales quotas increased I could move more toward local as well, both helping myself and local people.

Right now, I could get a little more profit for a lot more work and the juice is just not worth the squeeze – at least not right now with my sales being so low.

Bee Mine

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

About all-in-focus insect photography

There’s a multi-photograph technique that you can use to edit stunning macro photographs.

Essentially the method is using multiple photographs, each at different focus points and layering them to achieve one photo where the subject is completely in focus.

It can be tough to get so close to a Grasshopper, Bee or tiny row of flowers and get much in focus. The closer I get the shorter the focal range I have. I can sometimes get a head in stunning detail, but the back or wings if even slightly farther away from the lens will be blurry.

I haven’t learned the exact process yet, but if you take a series of photos to capture the head in focus in one, the abdomen in another and the wings in yet another(just as an example), you can then combine them on your computer and mix them so only the in-focus parts come through – thus achieving an entire picture that is all in focus.

Until then, I very much love trying to capture tiny life like Mr. Bee here.