First Post With The iPhone

Ok, so here I am writing this post from my new iPhone. Im almost at loss for words.

Normally I blog from the comfortable and familiar keyboard on my laptop. No longer. Okay, I won’t be writing all the time like this, but it will kick some serious butt for updates on the go and more.

I have lusted after the device since it’s release over a year ago, but I am so glad I waited. The 3G, GPS, and software features blow away the first generation iPhone.

As a photographer, I don’t know how I could live without it now that I have one. There will be more to come soon on this awesome device after I spend some quality time with it.

Oh, and Honey… you can blame David Hobby for pushing me over the edge and convincing me to get one!


David Hobby Explains How to Keep a Lighting File

If you have ever read Lighting 101 from The Strobist, you probably remember that he talked about keeping a Lighting File.  In his newest version, DH adds a cool twist thanks to a cool little innovation called the iPhone

If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one.  It is a great tool to have and I feel like it was made for me.  I can do anything I want to do on it and it fits right in my pocket. 

While I was hanging out with DH, he explained how he had just purchased one and that he loved it.  He showed me how he keeps his portfolio on it as well as his own Lighting File for inspiration.  What a killer idea! 

Check out his new article on the Lighting File and if you don’t have an iPhone already and you’re serious about photography and lighting, I’ll warn you now… you’re gonna want one after reading DH’s article.

Photo Update From Mayport, FL

Domino Yes, I know… it’s been awhile.  But I have finally had the chance to do a little updating and get some work done on the blog.  We have been quite busy out at sea and I knew I would have a little down time to get some more info. to you once we got to Mayport, FL. 

Interestingly enough, getting into Mayport would be a little tougher than we thought due to Tropical Storm Fay.  She played havoc on our arrival and we had to stay at sea another three days to allow her to pass. 

Sailing The photo you see above is a shot of the Domino sugar factory that I took while sailing around the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, MD.  The sign is the largest free-standing neon sign in the country.  The ‘dot’ on top of the [i] is over six feet tall!  Speaking of sailing, below is a shot I took of what we went sailing on.  Not bad at all, but pretty small.  It gave me a great perspective of the harbor and I did manage to get some good shots.


Raven Cheerleaders While in Baltimore, there was a great group of folks who put on a Maryland Blue Crab feast on the pier for our crew.  That was quite an incredible experience.  I ate the most delicious crab cakes I had ever had in my life that night!  I was stuffed, but getting to shoot photos of the crew with some of the Ravens cheerleaders made me feel a little better. 

DDG-104 Comm Day USS STERETT DDG-104 was commissioned on August 9, 2008 at the South Locust Point Marine Terminal at 7:30 pm in an amazing ceremony.  This shot I took in the early afternoon to give you an idea of what the setup was like and how our ship looked.  We were all very proud and the more than 5,000 guests in attendance were in awe.  What a great day for the United States Navy, the world’s best!

Inner Harbor Last but not least, we spent quite a bit of time in the Inner Harbor on liberty during our commissioning week.  There were a lot of great restaurants and stores there to eat, drink, and shop in.  The whole crew had a great time as did I.  My camera was with me nearly all the time! 

I hope you enjoyed the shots and I will be bringing you more as we have a couple more liberty ports to hit before returning to our home port of San Diego, CA.  I will update you as often as I can and hopefully bring you some great photo gouge along the way!

Until next time,


Hangin’ With The Strobist: David Hobby

Stephen and STERETT_LowRes Two days out of this past week, I had the distinct pleasure of hangin’ out with The Strobist, David Hobby.  “How did this come about,” you ask?  Pretty simple actually.  My ship is in Baltimore for her Commissioning and he happened to be available. 

Photo above by David Hobby.

So we set out to come up with a really cool photo and thought we had a plan for what would be something really special.  You know that whole “best laid plans” thing?  Yeah, it reared it’s ugly head and our plan was out the window.  (I could tell you why, but then I would have to kill you and nobody wants that.)

Not to be defeated, we decided to see what we could do with what we had available.  So we headed outside determined to overpower the sun with a few of SB-800s.   David had no problem at all doing just that.  He quickly went to work getting the exposure he needed for the background and then built up the light around me, his subject.  We were in a situation where there was no available shade for me to be in and so the only real option was to bring down the background and then bring the light up so that I was correctly exposed. 

To do this, you can use your shutter speed to control the exposure of your background and use your aperture to control the exposure of your subject.  Once your off-camera flash is set up and giving you enough light, then all you have to do is move shutter speed and aperture up and down to get the photo you’re after. 

As far as The Strobist goes, DH was a great guy and photographer to work around and I had my mind in “sponge” mode the entire time, picking up everything he was throwin’ down.  If you ever get the chance to attend one of his lighting seminars, I would HIGHLY encourage it. 

In exchange, I gave him the 50 cent tour of the Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.  From stem to stern, keel to mast, I showed him just about everything I know about this amazing ship that I serve on.  David, if you’re reading this, I hope you had just as much fun as I did. 

There will be more to come on this subject soon and I’ll be sure to keep you posted!  Have a great week!

Friday Morning Updates

I thought I would write a quick post to update you on a few things that are going on here in Baltimore.  I have been busy this week with our Commissioning preps for the ship as well as another project that is currently classified as “Cosmic Top Secret”.  But not to worry, I won’t hold you in suspense for too long. 

  • I was browsing B&H Photo’s website today and noticed that you can now buy a D200 for just under a grand!  That’s a great deal on that camera body if you are in the market for a prosumer DSLR and don’t have the coin to drop on a D300, D700, or a D3.
  • If you haven’t heard about it yet, Scott Kelby is hosting a worldwide Photo Walk on August 23rd to celebrate the release of his newest book, The Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers.  You can find out more information about the photo walk by clicking here.  It’s most likely coming to a city near you, so be sure to check it out!
  • I recently had a photo that was published in a Schmap Guide of the San Diego area.  You can check out the link to the actual Schmap Guide by clicking here.  One of the editors found my photo on my Flickr photostream and sent an e-mail to me asking if I would grant them permission to use the photo.  I granted them permission to use it and they published it in their online guide.  The credited me for the photo and provided a link back to the photo in my Flickr photostream.  Networking and displaying your work in Flickr is a great way to get your name out there and hopefully it will lead to more as time goes on.

That’s it for today.  I hope you guys have a great weekend and I’m very excited to soon share with you one of my most incredible photographic experiences!

Long Awaited Update – And More Photos Too!

We have been busy, busy, busy on the ship and I wanted to take a minute to update you all on what’s been going on.  I have been shooting as much as I can, but I just haven’t had the time to update the blog.  I hate that, but there is no way around it.

I got the chance to try my hand at aerial photography one day out to sea.  We brought a helicopter out for Deck Landing Qualifications and the pilots agreed to take me up with them so I could get some aerial shots of the ship.  During our Bravo Sea Trial, the BIW photographer, Mike Nutter, could not get up to take shots due to weather.  So here’s a few that I got from that day and I hope that you enjoy them!







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I had a blast getting these shots and I hope you enjoy them!  I’m down here in Baltimore, MD for our Commissioning ceremony.  Don’t worry, I will have plenty more pictures to post this week.  I have been super busy shooting and I’ll have a little more time off to make some updates!  Maybe if David Hobby from the Strobist is in town, he can come down the ship, get a tour, and give me some pointers!  Who knows?!  Have a great week!!!!