I FORGOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY



I had a whole thing to rant about something, it had to do with politics or something like that. I don't know at this point. My mind is out of it and I'm just tired of dealing with people that are not dependable and never do what they say they are going to do. I guess when you get pissed at something, at least for me, it's hard to focus on other things. So forget it, here's a random photo and go watch idol if you're not already.

A DAY OFF...

Ah, took a day...or at least part of a day to go to the park and have a little fun with my friend and her boys. They got kites last summer that they had never opened, so we took them out on this nice teacher work day they had off of school and tried to get them in the air. Unfortunately it was just a little to calm out, we got them really flying a couple of times, but several others times just couldn't get them to catch air. I guess we will try it again on a day with some more wind. But it was nice to just get out and have some fun and not worry about anything else for a few hours.





Should be a busy week, have a couple of shoots to do and a couple to finish up and upload. All in all though, I can't wait to put this week behind me and really dig into things as I move forward.

One weird thing though is my myspace account. I tried to send some pictures to my friend in a message and myspace said it would not deliver the mail, it was spam. So I redid it in a different way and sent it again, then my account was blocked and I had to reset it. And I still couldn't send the photos. So that was annoying, still working with them to see what their parameters are for spam and what I did wrong so that I will be able to send photos to people when they want them. Hopefully that will get sorted out before next time I need to encode a photo into a message.

ENGAGEMENT PHOTOSHOOT



Had an engagement shoot yesterday, still processing those pictures of course. Today we went to the VOW wedding show at the Virginia Beach convention center. I've been pushing more into weddings last year, and I think I'm going to keep driving that way. I didn't sign up for it this year, I wanted to go and see things as a customer and just mingle with some of the vendors. I think there are more photographer booths there than anything else though, some good, some not so good. Nice to see what sort of presentation I would like to set up to bring in there next year though and what I'll be up against. So busy weekend and a busy week coming up. Not much else happened other than Obama crushing Hillary in SC which was cool.

I BOUGHT: www.jeremyshanephotography.com TODAY

Well, it's been a long couple of days, but looks like I'll get to relax tomorrow maybe. Who knows, I'm sure I'll manage to find some trouble to get into.

My friend Angela had her first class at the YMCA in great bridge this week. She is teaching a bellydance exercise class and apparently she had a great turnout. They are talking about going to two days a week already. I saw her plan for the class and it looked good and I know she knows here stuff, so I'm not surprised it was well received, but I was a little shocked that it had such a big turnout on the first day. Sounds like a good start. And we all need a good start!

On a side note, I bought my domain today. I've had my website hosted through .mac for a bit now. http://web.mac.com/jeremyshane. But I know everyone is used to the generic old www.whatever.com so I bought: jeremyshanephotography.com today. It is kinda nice to have your own domain all wrapped up.

SCENERY



There is nothing wrong with stopping to enjoy the scenery. But if you stop too long or move to slow, life passes you by sometimes.

SIGMA LENS 18-200 REVIEW



Sigma Lens 18-200mm F3.5-6.3
Minimum Aperture: F22
Lens size: 62mm
Optical Stabilization

Most important question to me when I read reviews is: Is it worth the money? Sure, you can compare this to every lens out there the same way consumer reports compares a mercedes to a hyundai; but you have to take money into consideration. This lens is definitely worth it's price tag.

Now to get to all those other comparisons. I bought this because canon didn't have anything with this large of a zoom range on it and I wanted something very versatile when I only go out with one camera and one lens. And even after purchasing several other lenses, this is still the one I go out with in that situation.

It also has an extremely good focus on short distances, so I get some use out of it "macro" wise. There is a shot in my portfolio of a dragon-fly and I think I was about four inches from it with the lens zoom all the way out to the 200 mark to get that shot.

The one shortcoming it has in my opinion is that it doesn't find focus very well at all in low lighting. I have had it go back and forth right past the point of focus trying to lock onto something, even if it wasn't something moving. And unfortunately I shoot a lot of things in low light that are moving, so it always gave me trouble there. (I have a canon lens I use for that type of shot now). It also has not wanted to focus at all a couple times, but I just flicked the AF/MF switch a couple times and it started working. Could have been a dirty connection I suppose.

The other thing about it, which you can see by the F-stop range up there is that is is not a very fast lens when zoomed out. This has been only slightly problematic for me a few times. Mainly if I set my camera up manually and zoom back and forth a lot, I'll end up with underexposed pictures when I'm really zoomed in (or the reverse depending on how I set it up). So I'll shoot less on manual when I shoot like that.

The optical stabilization seems to work well. I've never specifically tested it. But it does seem to make a difference when zoomed in. The lens itself is a bit noisy when working, especially the stabilzer.

Last thing to mention about it, which I really like is the lock for the zoom. There is a little switch on the lens that lets you lock it so when you are pulling it out of your bag or just letting it hang, the lens won't start to open up and lengthen. The lens itself is pretty tight and you might not have much problem with that anyways, I just wish this was on all my lenses.

Main thing is though, is that it is totally worth the money. Anyone with a canon SLR that wants to pick up a decent lense, please avoid the overly cheap basic (and no stabilzation) canon zooms you see and just pick up one of these. If canon had one like this, even more expensive, I would pick it up because of how useful it is. But for what it is, it's a great buy and one of the best single lenses I have.

Update: Canon has now come out with their own version of an 18-200 lens and if I was buying initially...I'd probably go with the canon version. Their glass quality and overall make usually seems to be better. I also prefer their image stabilization. But the difference isn't enough to justify me buying it after I own this lens. Now if it were a "L" lens...

SEXYBOOKS



I have had some questions about what exactly "sexybooks" or the coffee table books are that was recommended for boudoir photoshoots. I always thought trying to come up with a way to present boudoir photos to whoever it is for (unless your a model shooting a portfolio) was the hard part. Do you give them some loose pictures? Put the lose pictures in a wal-mart photo album? Make an enlargement to hang up...somewhere? And one of my customers actually came to me with this idea and it was a perfect fit. All the pictures are bound like a hardcover book in this nice little private package for your loved one.




OLD JOB vs. NEW JOB






I really love photography. I am definitely glad that I am doing this full time now. But there is a big difference between what I'm doing now and what I used to do with Sears. For several years, I worked my way up into management with them and was last working as an assistant store manager. And of course, I figure if I can run a 13 million dollar a year department for another company and do it successfully, then I should be able to run my own company. And for the most part there are enough similarities that I am comfortable and I have had enough business classes to handle the other things that aren't quite the same.

What is really different though is the not getting up and going to work everyday where I am going to see a hundred different coworkers and hundred of people coming and going throughout the day. I don't even see quite as many people in a week than I would see in a day there. And I'm not social butterfly, but I was used to it and do like talking to (nice) people. I don't mind not seeing the nasty people of course. Even when I shoot weddings it is still usually on a small scale compared to what I'm used to. I see all these photographer stories about how hard weddings are and how much some don't like them. But maybe because I have been in charge of various departments during things like: The Day after Thanksgiving sales, inventories, remodels and such, I am very used to the pressure. Plus I have shot plenty of weddings, so I usually know what to expect and I actually love shooting events. But I digress... I guess I just realized the other day how lonely this type of work can be. Sure I see my friends and I see clients, but I guess I just have to adjust to the smaller scale of people passing through my life.

PHOTOMANIPULATION



Don't have much to say today. I have been sort of busy, but sort of not. Hard to explain and not that interesting. Just wanted to post up a picture of a type of work I really enjoy doing. Most photographers that can retouch their photos can also probably do the same things I can do. But just like anything else concerning photography or art, you go with a photographer often because of their artistic vision as much as you do because of their technical skills.

I like running my images through photoshop to clean them up and give them a certain polish for normal pictures, but I also like creating artwork in photoshop. I have seen a lot of great work like this, even more detailed. But much like my photography, I seem to have a certain liking for absence of space or simplicity. This piece I just wanted to look like a partial painting on a canvas, showing just her face and left at that. It turned out pretty much how I wanted it to. Simple though.

RANDOMNESS + PICTURES





Well, it hasn't been as interesting a couple days as you might think. Just normal old work stuff, fishing another site I was working on and made some more changes to my non-myspace site. Don't know what was wrong with me the other day, but I felt like I was getting sick or something. I was very very weak and had a bad headache, but slept it off.

It was a beautiful day today, wish I could have made a little more out of it. But didn't have time to really get out and enjoy it for a very long time.

Watched Obama come in second in NH to Hillary. That kinda sucked. I like Obama. I know they want to make him seem inexperienced, but the only thing he seems to be lacking is a bunch of washington corruption. And it's not like a lot of experience has helped too many other presidents. He wants to do what is right and is smart enough to do it, that's pretty important I think. But anyways, he doesn't need me to speak for him, he is an excellent speech maker. His speech last night was one of the best political speeches I've seen in a long time. I hope he continues to gather momentum. We need something different than more of the same, plus Hillary, aside from being more of the same, the Clintons are also way to entrenched with Chinese business and with the way China is getting away with murder now, it would only get worse then. Still not sure what is going on with the republican side. Don't really know who looks good or who will do well yet.

My friend Angela got her gig at the Y confirmed, so that is good news. I think she will have fun teaching, I can tell how much she enjoys it. Plus the kids love the Y, so if they don't have school, they will be able to go with her.

BOUDOIR PHOTOSHOOT




Some pictures from another boudoir photoshoot with a new friend: summer. Not much else to say other than the shoot was a lot of fun and the first of several we want to do.

ANGELA AND HER WORK



My friend I spoke of yesterday that I said I'd talk of later is my best friend Angela. First I have to say, she is one of the sweetest persons I know and I love her to death. Since the first time we met, we had an instant connection and it has always served us well. But when you are close to someone like that, you can feel when something pains them. She has been working on starting her own business teaching dance and music. Something she has tons of experience at and has danced with a bellydance troupe here in Virginia for several years now. Helping their troupe leader, Janeeda, teach throughout that time because of her dance and teaching experience. She was also their lead dancer because, well... she is good at what she does.

Anyways, she has been wanting to do something to make more of a career for herself instead of just having jobs and like anyone, she wants to do what she is passionate about. And what she feels she is good at. I agreed that she should go for it. Just like anything else, if you don't try you have zero chance of success. And really, I don't think she needed any encouragement. You can tell this is her passion.

I do know she wanted to keep a relationship with Janeeda, but was worried about her reaction. Janeeda has a real, take no crap attitude plus I think the ladies in the troupe look at each other in a sisterly way, so she was worried about hurting her. I was hoping her business side would overtake any hurt she might have felt though. She could look at Angela as competition and certainly from time to time, situations would come up that would bring that to the forefront. But this area still is not overcrowded with good bellydance teachers or performers and I think there is enough business to go around. But I also think performance wise, it would benefit them both to keep working together. Janeeda would retain her best dancer and an excellent teacher and Angela would get exposure working with her at restaurants and events.

So anyways, she talked to Janeeda today and everything seemed to go well. Angela is wanting to focus on teaching music first and have a bellydance exercise class at the YMCA. And it looks like they are going to keep working together. So yay. I like it when all my friends stay friends.

As far as me personally, it has been a haphazard day. I've accomplished bits and pieces of some things, but have finished nothing I started on yet. So I guess I'll get back to whatever it is I'm doing.

And since I put up a picture of her at the beginning and because she works as a second shooter with me on a lot of events, I wanted to put up some pictures she has taken from her last vacation (with just a little point and shoot camera mind you):





RANDOMNESS



Between yesterday and today I managed to finish my friends website: Amaris' MySpace and completed a good portion of the wedding booklet I'm working on and finished processing and uploading another shoot and prepping an album and met with a client and ran some errands and...I can't even remember everything at this point. I still have one other website to start on and a poster design to finish for another client.

One of my friends is going through a change in her life concerning her career; well, really two of my friends are. I saw them today (that picture up there is of one of them and her daughter chloe) and had lunch with them. I'll post more about all that on another day though. But it was nice to get to visit with them and play with the kids.

I need to take a nap. I also need to clean and make time to work on my book. I had it plotted out to chapter 8 the other day. Which is a lot further than I've ever gotten on it before. And I need to call three different clients. And...I'm sure I need to do a lot of other things. But right now, I just need a nap. And I'm going to take one.


SUNSET FAIL



First off, from the picture above. It sucks not getting a sunset on the ocean here on the east coast. But anyways... I was out and about today running errands. It was freezing, mostly because of the wind.

Aside from normal life stuff, I was checking out various framing shops, I think I'm going to start working on doing some custom framing to go along with my photography. It would be a nice offer if I can afford to do it and have the time to do it with some package offers. I also want to matte and frame some prints to sell when I have features as well. And had to go to city hall for some business stuff.

I also finally got around to finishing my personal myspace that I have been trying to work on for a few weeks now. I just was getting frustrated working on it between things, so I just decided yesterday to hammer it out real quick. Now I can get back to working on the other sites I'm supposed to. I need to finish my friend Amy's myspace design and then on another's site who contacted me on myspace. I also have to finish up a few posters and I have three photoshoots to schedule and a wedding meeting to get some things together for. I have also had a lot of offers from friends and family about areas to take my business into because I've always talked about not wanting to be just a wedding photographer or portrait photographer. Sometimes all the ideas and directions to take can be overwhelming. They are all great ideas and would definitely like to expand, but I'll have to take it slow.

Hmmm, seems like I was a lot busier than that today, but when I wrote it all out, didn't take very long. I want to play some Call of Cuty: Modern Warfare. First Person shooters are about the only video games I play unless the boys make me play something with them. I beat it on christmas when I got it, but haven't had much time to go back and play on harder levels and have some more fun. I need some fun. Maybe I'll stay up past my bedtime.

2008

Well, it's a new year now and I hope everyone had a safe one.
I don't have much to say, I'm a little out of it, not hung over or anything, just tired. Didn't get in til late and ended up waking up at like 7:30, something I have a bad habit of doing no matter when I go to sleep it seems.

Last night was fun, good performances, but a weird kind of crowd at Voila's this time. Not the regulars there, but still a fun crowd. Although some random lady took her heels off and handed them to me to hold while she went to dance, which was kind of strange. But I think she was a bit tipsy by that time.

Well, that's all I have to say for now, can't think about too much or my head might start hurting.