Category Archives: Blog

Unique Way To Backup Your Photos On The Go

As photographers we are always looking to make sure that our most important (or our clients most important) photos are protected.

As I’ve been shooting weddings this summer the photos and video I’m capturing are arguably the most important images I can’t afford to lose. I’ll go into the fine details of my extremely repetitive backup system in a later blog but I wanted to share a unique idea you may already be able to take advantage of with little or no additional cost.

Your iPhone and iPad are maybe your most protected devices. With fingerprint scanners, Face ID scanners, find my iPhone, and iCloud backup your hardware and personal data is extremely secure.

With the latest version of Apple iOS raw files play very well.  Now I know what you’re thinking. “My iPhone tells me I’m constantly ‘out of storage’ and I need to remove things.”

To that I’d say upgrade your iCloud storage. Apple offers you just 5GB for free which modern day (May 2018) is a joke. For just $2.99 a month (about what you paid for your coffee this morning) I upgrade to 200GB and that is more than enough to back up my multiple devices and iPhone photos.  Now I take tens of thousands of photos and videos with my iPhone. Who doesn’t? But with this iCloud storage my 128Gb iPhone 7 has over 77GB of local storage ready to use!  77GB is thousands of RAW files that I can backup to my devices.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering how do I get my photos to my iPhone from my camera.  The best option that I’ve found is the Apple SD to lightning adapter don’t worry it’s only $29.  Do NOT skimp out on this adapter.  Amazon offers dozens of third party ones but I promise you they wont work well.

It’s not the fastest when uploading your photos to your iOS device but it works.  I would say if you’re dumping a 32GB or 64GB SD card full or raw files I would start it in your locked car (out of sight) or anywhere you’re confident the phone wont go for a walk.  I sometimes even throw it in my camera bag that hangs on my shoulder most of the day and let it upload there. (Keep in mind I still have a copy of those images on a 2nd CF card that is still in my camera).

Once these photos are on your iPhone or iPad they’re protected behind all the safeguards I mentioned earlier.  My suggestion once it’s copied to your iOS device is that you do NOT delete them from the card but remove the card and put it in another secure location until the shoot is over.

This solution is a great option for me that I frequently use for portrait sessions, weddings, real estate shoots, and so on.  It is very portable and adds very little gear into my already overpack camera bags.

I hope that you’ll consider using this simple and affordable method to make sure you NEVER have to explain to a client how you lost their images shortly after a shoot.  Please feel free to leave any comments and/or feedback down below.

Layering, Long Exposure, and Night Photography

With the weather finally getting nicer here in the North East I’m taking plenty of opportunities to get out and do some night photography.  Living here in Philadelphia traditional landscape opportunities are limited but cityscapes are in full force.

I’ve been working with some creative long exposures including star trails and the Milky Way.  I think it’s unique to see these types of things in a city atmosphere.

Here is a shot of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, PA from Race Street Pier.

Canon 6D
Canon 16-35 2.8L

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Here are 8 different exposures.  Six of them make up the star trails and the other two represent the HDR of foreground and the bridge.

This photo is down on Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, PA.  The recently opened a roller rink with beer garden, mini golf, Ferris wheel, and more.

Canon 5D MKIII
Canon 24-70 2.8L II

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This image is composed of four exposures.  One main one and the 3 that make up the star trails.

This is not typically my style but as I’m learning new techniques of photography I’m willing to expand what are “typically” considered the ethical boundaries of traditional photography.  What do you think??

 

Is The Winter Drought Over?

Winter can be challenging for photographers in the Northeast.  Especially if it’s not your full time job.  As someone who works a 9-5 it’s very difficult to find inspiration to shoot.  Many photographers also struggle with inspiration when they don’t leave their city/town enough.

The golden hour is frequently spent at the office and you can only go out and shoot so many long exposure night shots.  And even when you do you’re freezing your ass off because it’s 15 degrees.

I shouldn’t complain too much.  Here are some of my favorite shots from this year’s slow season.  Many nights loosing the feeling in my fingers and toes but I’m happy with a few of them.

I know it’s only February but the sun is staying out later it’s warming up randomly thanks to decades of poisoning the ozone layer so it’s time to shoot.  But time is still limited.  I decided that I’ll start carrying my camera with me to work each day.  Working and living in the city constantly provides new opportunities to improve my street photography.

First things first I needed a new bag.  I prefer a messenger style bag to carry to work so I had Manfrotto send me out the Befree Messenger bag that would support both my work laptop/iPad and my camera and a few accessories.

Next I needed to make some efforts to get out of the city more.  Any photographer, hobbyist or professional will tell you, you need to step outside your city/town often.  It’s very easy to lack inspiration from your every day surroundings.  I find that even in a city this happens to me often.

Last weekend I took a trip out to my alma matter Rider University to catch up some old friends and watch a basketball game.  Of course I brought my camera with little or no expectations of obtaining any usable photo but for me it’s getting back in the hobbits of a hobbies photographer.

Next week I’m off to New York City for a week (work related) but I’ll be sure to have my camera with me in hopes of exploring some new opportunities to shoot a new city.  One I’m not particularly familiar with and not particularly fond of.

By the end of next week I really hope to have some photos up here in another blog post to talk about the experience as well as update more frequently on Instagram.

“Happiness Is All Around You. Open Your Eyes And Embrace It. It’s Contagious.”

Damien LeRoy, maybe a name you haven’t heard of.  If you have you’re very lucky.

I’ve never done a profile piece on anyone before but I think this individual is worth talking about.

Damien LeRoy is a professional kiteboarder from Vail, Colorado, currently residing in Jupiter, Florida.

I discovered Damien in early 2013 as he, in partnership with his sponsor GoPro, released a video titled “Damien LeRoy:  The Message”

Three minutes of reflection on how important it is to be happy.  No matter how tough times get there’s always a silver lining.  What I learned is, the hardest part of any tough time is not about getting over what happened but finding out what you learned from it and how you’re going to be better moving forward.

I’ve been following Damien’s videos and social media ever since.  Each post a reflection of how amazing life can be when you surround yourself around the right people and environment.  A daily reminder more people could use.

In the summer of 2016 Damien’s optimism was put to the test when he was power paragliding over the South Florida beaches.  His engine failing and cords tangling he had no choice but to release himself from his harness some 150 feet above the ground.  And like most of his actions sports, it was all caught on tape.

Suffering a broken back, femur, pelvis, 3 ribs, and a punctured lung.  He survived this ridiculous crash.  I remember hearing the news mid July of that year and being devastated.  What was going to happen to someone who’s brought joy and positivity to so many people?

He quickly posted a thankful and hopeful message instagram shortly after saying,

“Dear friends & family,

First, I’d like to thank you all for your support. I have been in awe of all the support, messages, and prayers you’ve sent, and I can’t thank you enough. I would also like to send a huge thank you to Jupiter Police Department, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, and St. Mary’s Hospital. I’ve felt so much love over the past few days that I’ve barely noticed the rod in my leg! I’m still not able to respond to your messages, but I promise I’ll get to them when I can. For now, I just need time and sincerely appreciate your patience.

As to my condition, I’m doing really well all things considered. My most significant injury seems to be my broken femur, which had a very successful surgery. My other injuries, including my punctured lung, fractured spine, broken tailbone, and a few other smaller injuries, will all heal on their own.

I know a lot of people want to know what happened:

I was powered paragliding, which I’ve been doing often for many years. After coming out of a maneuver, my steering lines became twisted, and I could no longer control my glider. Since it looked like I was going into the water, I decided to unfasten myself from the harness. Unfortunately, as soon I was out of the harness, the glider started turning towards the beach. I wasn’t sure if I would even hit the water if I jumped, but I knew there was a chance that my glider could hit someone if I let go. Instead, I opted to hang on until I was past the beach and over the road. Once clear of the road, my options were limited and the longer I waited, the more speed I gained. When I saw an opportunity, right or wrong, I jumped, putting myself in God’s hands. There is no question that angels helped bring me down.
I couldn’t ask to be in better hands than at St. Mary’s Hospital with all my friends and family. The love is absolutely incredible. Again, thank you for all of your support and prayers. I will let you know when I’m ready to talk more. Until then, I just need to rest.

Love you all,
-Damo

Damien was pretty vocal throughout his recovery and proved to us that even in his darkest time he’d come back as rad as ever.  Showing appreciation and making friends all throughout his recovery.

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 2.37.53 PM

After a completely successfully recovery Damien has gotten back into doing what he loves.  He’s competing again and has even taken on motivational speaking.  Not a surprise really.

“The world is a tough place.”  Sure enough there are plenty of things in your personal life that weigh you down at times.  You have to remember to surround yourself around the people, places, and things that make you happiest.  Nothing else really matters.

You can follow Damien LeRoy on his multiple social media platforms below:

Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / Website 

News Flash If You Hated Your Job In 2017, You’ll Still Hate It In 2018.

Jesus Christ people… I can’t open a single social media app without being inundated with people complaining about going back to work…

I get it.  Some of these are probably just to get a laugh people but a lot aren’t.  I’m not completely oblivious to think that everyone loves what they do but you’ve got to find comfort.  If you’re spending 40+ hours a week doing something you hate, fucking do something about it.  Throwing up countless memes isn’t getting your closer to finding comfort in your career.

I like (not love) what I do.  But the most important thing about my job is I find it interesting and it’s provided me with other amazing opportunities to pursue other things I’m passionate about like grad school and photography.

What is important to you?  What’s your dream job?

I ask not because I’ve got book of open opportunities for you to pursue your dream as a career but follow up and ask “When was the last time you did that?”. If you can’t answer in 10 seconds, that’s step one.  GO DO IT! 

The internet provides us all the resources we need to learn how to pursue our passions.  Not enough time?  Stop watching TV.  Budget your time like you budget your paycheck and find the time you need.

One day a week instead of listening to Spotify or the Radio during your commute, listen to a podcast about your passion.  Podcasts are maybe the most under-rated free form of education out there.

Use social media to find local groups of people that have similar interests.  I promise you they’re out there.  When you find your “news feed” stacked with more relevant posts of things your passionate about it makes it way more tolerable than realizing you’re the only one of your friends who’s still single and not a parent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone either.  The multiple genres of photography allow me to do that frequently and it’s made me a much better photographer.

Although I’m not big on calendar dictated resolutions, there’s no better time than the present to make the changes you want in life, not wait for them to possibly come to you.

Be the change.

Life is Short. Live Your Dream and Share Your Passion.

Realizing that I purchased my original domain and webspace one year ago today it felt appropriate to reflect on why.

Social media quickly became a place to share every thought, cup of coffee, and/or photo of your pets/kids.  That is a fine way to get a quick fix of dopamine but that’s really it.  When you reflect on your “On this day” featured on Facebook, does it tell an accurate story about who you were at that time?  Probably not.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for nostalgia.  Over the years I’ve curated videos compiled of the moments that helped make unforgettable years but even that to me wasn’t enough.  Written word seems like the best way to record the specific details.  Each word and phrase carefully premeditated.  (For the most part when I’m not botching spelling and throwing grammatical errors like confetti)

That’s what brought me here.  A place of my own where I can elaborate share thoughts, ideas, passions, phots, videos, and more.  Regardless of how 9 to 5 your life might seem at times you are interesting.  Social media has made it mandatory for us to keep up with “Friends”.  Their news is blasted on what they call “news” and we addictively scroll through for the latest nonsense and memes.  We rarely encounter original content let alone interesting stories about the people we associate with.  Well if you want to hear my nonsense, I might share previews on those very social media platforms but I’ll make you take the extra step.  If you’re truly interested you’ll know where to find me.

In the short year since I purchased the website, even shorter than that since my first post and 13,669 visitors later I’m still kicking.  Over the next week or so I’m going to give the sight a major facelift, improve it’s mobile viewing, and the user interface.

I’m excited to get this baby revamped during the busiest time of my life with my 9-5, photography, grad school, etc.  Wont be easy but I see value in the art of self reflection and what better way than to paint it all over the internet in permanent ink.

I hope that people will read this and start to tell more of their stories.  I know a ton of interesting people, many of which I’ve called out in previous blogs.

If you think this might be something you’d be interested in I’d be happy to help you get it off the ground.  I use WordPress for everything and it’s pretty simple one stop shop.

There are also millions of tutorials online to get a site started.  Here is one I’d check out.

Live Your Dream & Share Your Passion.

Tips for Tony

I met Tony a few month ago playing this upright piano that found it’s way to Head House Square in Philadelphia, PA.  There were about a dozen of people listening to him play and he was kind enough to let me take this photo.

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I’ve gotten to know Tony a little through brief conversations in my neighborhood and he seems determined to get “a steady job and a steady living situation”

I can only image how difficult it must be to be homeless and trying to overcome the obstacles to gain employment and housing.  Since I can’t provide either of those I thought it would be nice for Tony to be reminded that people care.

As a part time Uber-Eats courier I will be donating all of my tips from Today to Christmas to show Tony exactly that.

With each Uber Eats delivery I perform the customer has the option to tip.  For those who do and explicitly give me permission to, will have their named signed on the card for Tony as well.

What I’m doing is a very small gesture.  My vision is that other couriers for Uber Eats, Caviar, Postmates, GrubHub, etc will consider doing the same.  Sure it’s small but as the majority of society ignores the homeless it would be great to show someone that some of us still care.

Outside donations can be made here.

635917043846478874-1118393599_gofundme_logo_4267

UPDATE: November 29, 2017.  I’m completely overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends, family, and other members of my community.  When I started this campaign I never would have imagined that just over two weeks we’d be at $266 raised.  Even the smallest contributions are extremely appreciated. Part of this goal was to encourage other drivers to consider doing the same.  I can only achieve that if you help me spread the word.  So please take the time to share the YouTube video, this webpage, or anything that might help spread the word of paying it forward to those who need it the most.
for updates!

UPDATE: December 9, 2017.  In just a few short weeks we’ve raised $381 that is just incredible.  I’m honored to be a small part of this and more importantly I’m feeling the love and compassion from the people I surround myself with as friends and part of my community.  I’m going to continue raising money until the week of December 18th, 2017. Through the power of social media and this website, I was connected with a great man who sometimes hire Tony to help him with projects in our community.  He has generously offered to make sure that Tony is available one day that week for me to deliver this amazing gift that you’re all apart of.  Thank you so much for your help and I hope that I can continue to earn more tips making this holiday season extra special for someone who needs it.

UPDATE:  December 18, 2017.  Well today we hit a total of $500 raised.  I’m done taking donations at this time so thank you to all the amazing people on this list below.  You’re all incredible and generous.

Today purchased a MasterCard Gift Card, a few WaWa gift cards, and I’m picking a few more up tomorrow from CVS.  I’ve also purchase a Christmas card and I’ll sign all of your names to it.  I also used some of the funds to purchase a cheap wallet for Tony to keep all of his cards together.  I’m hoping to get a photo with him after I deliver it to him this week.  More to come!

UPDATE:  December 21, 2017.  With holiday card and gift cards in hand I made my way to the bus stop as I do most weekdays.  Thanks to the newly renovated Wawa being back open I was back in the routine of running into Tony on a frequent basis.  He was sitting inside warming up to a coffee and let me hang for a few minutes.  I gave him the Christmas card and explained to him all the names signed to the left.  I then proceeded to explain each of the gift cards one at at time and he was blown away.  Thanks to the generosity of all the people you see listed below, Tony is going to have a much more manageable holiday season.  Thank you.  His first reactions after receiving your generous gifts was thankful to be able to purchase his sister a Christmas present (who’s been helping him all she can) and help give back to the church.  All of the people below deserve my thanks for helping a member of my community.  What I hope people take away from this the most is that facilitating something like this is very easy.  It doesn’t take much effort and I believe it’s impact is profound.  As we’re in the prime season of giving I hope that you’ll read this story and consider taking the time to help someone in your community who needs it one day.  If you do, I’ll be the first to help.

IMG_4628

Thanks

Jared Wood

$5.00

Lawrence Bailis

$10.00

James Hendershot

$10.00

Cristy Michaels

$10.00

Janya

$1.00

Frank Pandolfo

$20.00

Emily

$6.00

Lori Kushner-Horan

$40.00

Jennifer

$10.00

Danielle DelVecchio

$23.00

Tim Fitzpatrick

$10.00

Nicole

$2.00

Mary Ziegler

$25.00

Kailee Ring

$25.00

Alyssa Riley

$10.00

Scott R

$10.00

Chris Gregory

$10.00

Dave S

$2.00

Dom Higgins

$5.00

Carly

$4.00

Kevin VanLoan

$50.00

Ronni

$5.00

John Fitzpatrick

$10.00

Savannah

$3.00

Nicolette Datri

$10.00

Adriana

$1.50

Chris Slivka

$10.00

Robert

$2.00

Kevin Fitzpatrick

$20.00

Simran

$5.00

Michael Dougherty

$10.00

Susan Duffy

$10.00

Paula Martino

$15.00

Joseph Arcieri

$10.00

Rosie Martin

$10.00

Jean Abraham

$5.00

John T

$9.00

Olivia Topley

$5.00

Melissa Dodd

$20.00

Bill Russell

$10.00

Anonymous

$10.00

Hoa Nguyen

$5.00

Connor Byrne

$10.00

Shane Gertner

$10.00

Total

$493.50

#HelpPhillyHomeless