Thursday, February 26, 2009

B-Cleaning - Jesh De Rox

Jesh De Rox gives one of the most original introductions to a portfolio I have seen and I truly enjoy it.

When I reach out to clients, I try to bring the passion that I put into making photos to them. He gives his clients a chance to share in this passion as they answer a few simple questions. "today I feel" "today I am most like" "show me something" and then a gallery is created for me. If you don't think this is a custom gallery, try changing your answers and see what pictures show up.

At the same time some music that is very well chosen plays. Normally I'm strongly opposed to music on photographers websites. I move for the mute button the moment I hear it start, and sometimes when I'm looking at a couple sites using tabs it will get annoying trying to figure out which the music is coming from. On Jesh De Rox's site the music took me to a place in my head where I started to explore and really think about the questions in front of me. When I finally made it to the images and they matched the questions I answered it was an enjoyable experience.

Jesh calls this experiential photography for people in love.

The best way to describe the mix of his work and the post-processing is an antique look. The question that I asked in a previous post is how do the images stand up if you take away the processing.

Many of his images do a great job of showing some style outside of the post-processing, although there are quite a few that I don't think would stand on their own without it. He has a shot or two that use depth, portraits with some interesting poses, shots where he takes the entire landscape into perspective and shots that tell moments without faces.

I would really like to see some full weddings to get a real feel for his work instead of just the highlights. The more that I look at it, his style appears to be pretty normal with some more eclectic images thrown in. The only style that seems to be common to all of the photos is the post-processing.

There are some strong images mixed within mediocre ones, but the site design and post-processing really help take his work to another level.

Another thing I would like to see is the ability to skip this intro. I realize that there is a preferences on the website, but I don't want to turn it completly off. On some days I might want to actually answer the questions and others I may want to skip right to the images.

Put in "5 Star Wedding Photographers"

Friday, February 20, 2009

B-Cleaning - Infrared Camera Modification

No infrared

Modified camera

Many people have asked me how they can capture the image in front of them and make it look exactly as they see it. This seems to be people's goal and the goal of the easy to use digital camera. When you reach a point you want to start going in the other direction. You want your camera to produce something that you don't expect.

Life Pixel's infrared conversion does this by allowing you to capture infrared light with your digital camera. An image that is a sunny afternoon with green trees is suddenly turned into what appears to be a snowy landscape.

There is so much experimenting I would want to do with this. It would be like carrying around a holga, but I wouldn't have to worry about scanning the negatives.

The biggest problem is the price. Maybe I can find a half working digital camera on Ebay and then do the conversion with it. This definitely is on my list of toys to add to my bag.

Going in "Things to Get"

Covering the Races - Daytona's Speed Weeks

For six years I had covered the Daytona 500 and I thought this was
going to be the year I didn't.

Lately I've been focusing on telling the
story of weddings and not NASCAR, but I got a phone call a
couple weeks ago. My roots are still in editorial and I still do quite a few of those assignments when they roll in and I don't have anything else. My old newspaper had credentialed me so I could help them out.

Like every other speed weeks, that I've covered, this one kept things
interesting. For the first time ever I had a chance to cover the pits during the race. I even had a chance to get up close to Keith Urban as he gave the media room a two song concert.

It's nice to mix things up every once in a while, it keeps me fresh.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Headed to Daytona!

When I grew up I knew what the Daytona 500 was, although I didn't know that much about it. Even when I interviewed for the job at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, I didn't put two and two together until Sam Cranston started asking me about race car drivers. Now that I have been here for six years I haven't missed a 500 and I can slide my way through a conversation with the die hard NASCAR fans.

I thought this would be the first year I was going to miss the race, but then I received a phone call the other day. The News-Journal told me I am credentialed and hired to help them with the races.

So it looks like I will be covering the Daytona 500 and the Speed Weed races leading up to. It will be the first time I am doing it as a freelancer. I will be available for contract work, that doesn't involve the actual cars on the track, if you know anyone looking.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Twitter me!

I'm starting to see more people use Twitter. You are only allowed 140 characters, but that keeps the conversations brief. It allows you to put up a favorite website you just saw or maybe tell a little about your day. There are some great thinkers on there that disperse a lot of good advice in those few words. It really gives you a chance to connect with others, similar to a chat room, but it seems to go beyond that. I think some of this may come from the easy ability to use it with your cell phone.

You can follow some of my feed, or click on follow me, on the right side of this blog.

Here are some of the basics.

Use @username when responding to people. mine is @chadpil.

RT which means Retweet when you send something that someone else sends that you are sending again. So if you thought what I just said here was interesting and you wanted to send it to your audience type RT @chadpil Hard to believe networking goes on off of the computer anymore, huh?

D username will send a direct message to someone who is following you. "D ChadPil How is your day"

There are also a couple groups out there. When you want to keep everything on a topic. #wedchat and #apad are a couple groups. THey use # in front of their name.

One way to find people is to read what they are writing and start following people who look interesting You can search for #apad and find everything on that topic. Check out

You don't have to follow everyone back that follows you. I just follow the people who look interesting. I use a program called Tweetdeck (I think it's at and it's great for organizing your different social groups (I have one for triathlons, one for marketing and one for weddings and so on).

And if this wasn't enough for you, check out They have a ton more tips and tricks! You can learn there what STATS, FAV, GET etc does.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

b-Cleaning - Kate Harrison

I love to flip through websites and find the work that inspires me. Since I am shifting my focus to wedding photography I have started to look at a lot of wedding photographers websites, and there are a lot of them! They all start to look the same after a while and I think it's because a lot of them are, but with little quirks different here and there. Some of them try to makeup for what they can't do with a camera by using post-processing. If you take away Photoshop the pictures are just ok.

Kate Harrison's work takes a giant leap outside of the box. She uses selective focus and builds her composition until she has some amazing photos. I can't tell if some images are posed or actual moments, and that tells me that she either works really well with her subjects or she's great at capturing moments. I give photographers high marks if they can accomplish either one of these.

She uses post processing, but you can take it away and her images stand on their own. Actually I might recommend that she does take it away from some of her pictures, because I think it might be hurting them. She has a wonderful vision that goes beyond your straight forward images.

Another thing I've found is that there are great photos in the portfolios, but when you look at the blog it can be a completely different style. Kate's blog is an extension of her amazing website and it shows her attempting new things. I look forward to coming back often and seeing what amazing work she's producing next.

Going in "5 Star Wedding Photographer"
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