Christmas is fast approaching and get it kicked into gear, we took the family to the NewSong Christmas concert. It was great. The concert was in a big church instead of a large sports arena and we had front row seats. It was a late night for the kids, but they didn’t seem to mind.
NewSong brought with them Michael Tate (formerly of the D.C. Talk and now with NewsBoys), Kerrie Roberts (fairly new to the Christian Music scene) and some great violinist (can’t remember his name). I brought with me a BlackBerry Storm to try it out recording some of the concert. The video looks decent for a phone video, but the audio is awful… either I was covering the microphone or it just can’t handle the loud volume.
All the performances were great, the place was packed and Russ Lee (now singing with NewSong) was just awesome as usual.
Here are a few pictures, Click on an image to view it larger and notice that you can click next and previous to see the rest. Here is a link to all the pictures in a slide show at Windows Live. I used LightRoom to clear up the noise caused by shooting in the dark with out a flash and high ISO of 1600.
At the bottom you can watch the videos if you are interested via YouTube.
I was experimenting with a used BlackBerry 9530 phone that I use for Calendar, Camera, Video, MP3 Player and a few games. So I was trying out the video camera with Amber in the back yard the yesterday before dinner. The lighting was good, late afternoon, just before dawn, so there was no harsh lighting or shadowing. The video is a bit jerky at times and I was not able to zoom which I found quite annoying… but then again, if zoom did work, the video would be real shaky given the little phone you have to hold. Being able to upload and share on YouTube was quite easy.
We skipped a year or two, but it was time to attempt another family photo shoot at Myrtle Beach. This time it was over the Halloween weekend so time for the photo shoot was limited to Saturday morning. Unfortunately for the photographer ( ME ) it was a clear, bright sunny morning. The children just wanted to dig and play in the sand, not sit still, pay attention and not squint at the camera.
No matter what direction the subjects were looking… it was too bright, but we did our best. I turned on the built in flash for fill light, attempting to remove dark shadows and contrast. Unfortunately the power of the sun was too much and almost all pictures needed to be “tweaked” in LightRoom to reduce the clipping (when the whites become pure white and the blacks become pure black). To the untrained eye and the polite family members… these pictures may look just fine, but I know how much better they could be. Mental note for next time, pictures just before dusk with a flash and now towel to sit on.
The beach trip it self was a success, stayed at Dunes Village Resort. This place has a small water park with few pools, lazy river, some water slides and more. But as usual, the visit was too short.
Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot.
ell it was 5 years over due, but snow finally arrived in NC on March 1st, 2009. And as with any snow prediction, weather a dusting or several inches, the stores were mobbed with panicked shoppers trying to stock up on milk and bread. Depending on where you are in the Triad, you got 2 to 5 inches of the fluffy white stuff known as snow. How beautiful it was to look out the window that morning and see that beautiful blanket of white.
Oh, and as usual in NC, Schools were closed for not one day, but 2 days and on the 3rd, there was a 2 hour delay. As a former Yankee, this is still frustrating and hard to handle.
Below you can view the pictures one by one or watch the slide show.
Collin and Austin tried basketball recently and they really enjoyed it. The coaches, organization and team make up had room for improvement to say the least, but it was a good learning experience for the boys and they had plenty of fun.
Photographing basketball was quite different from soccer though. Basketball is played indoors with limited light and depending on the age of the children playing the playing rules are different, so often there were bunches of kids together going after the same ball. It was a fun learning process, using different flashes and camera settings.
Below are a few pictures from the 2007-2008 school year.