Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Audio Recording

Back when I was around 16 years old, my dad signed me up for audio recording lessons at "Hedden West Recording Studios" in Schaumburg, IL.  Gary Hedden, the owner was offering a class on the basics of 16 track, multi-track recording and I was the youngest student he had.

I had an interest in audio recording and was lucky enough to have a dad who allowed me to learn how to do it properly.

I learned on equipment similar to these shown on this post, but these images were borrowed from the internet.  Back then, the Ampex MM1100, a 2" analog tape recorder was one of the industry standards.  This was matched to Hedden West's Sphere Eclipse console.  To have access to gear like this to learn on was  a real treat.

Today, this gear is way outdated.  We've moved from analog to digital now and the equipment has downsized dramatically.  Over the years, I owned a lot of open reel recorders and mixers.  I had 8 track gear as it was the most I could afford.  Still, these recorders were in the thousands of dollars as was the recording console.  Easily, I've spent a lot of money on audio gear.

Today, I'm recording in digital as most other musicians are.  Check out this Tascam DP-24 recording workstation.  It is 24 tracks with many virtual tracks for each of the 24 tracks too.  A recorder with this kind of capability in such a small package was unthinkable back then.  We've come a long way.

This Tascam 24 track recorder and mixer combo was on sale for only $399.  Just before the turn of the millennium,  I purchased a Roland VS-880EX eight track workstation for $2000.  The CD burner was around $500.  I thought that was a great price for a digital 8 track!  Look what can be purchased today for a fraction of that price!

Do a "search" on this blog (upper left corner) with the word, Recording, and you'll see and read about some of my other audio gear over the years.

Monday, October 21, 2013

More Butterflies

The final 2013 Summer Field Trip for Balanced Exposure was yesterday at The Milwaukee Public Museum.  One of the highlights of the museum is the Butterfly exhibit.  Here are two of butterflies we got to photograph yesterday.  Always fun to photograph these little guys!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Kenosha Harbor - Oct 10, 2013 - 7 AM

I went fishing at Kenosha Harbor today at 7 AM on a whim and on the second cast, I caught this 27", 10 lb King Salmon (Chinook)!  At least 35 other fishermen were out there but it seem nobody caught any fish except for me.

It was classic to hear the guy next to me exclaim, "Oh, man!"  Seems he had been there a while trying and I just walked up and caught a fish on the second cast!  Ha!  That's happened to me in the past... seeing the guys next to me catch something while I got nothing.

This female had a lot of eggs (Roe).  I took out the skein, cured the eggs with a Borax mix and froze them.  Now I'm ready for the rest of the season to cast and also to float a bobber and suspend some eggs!  (See the comments section about the Salmon Roe.)

The image of me was taken with a cell phone camera...

Friday, October 04, 2013

2012 Gibson Les Paul Standard

2012 Gibson Les Paul Standard
Light Burst Finish
AAA Premium Flamed Maple Top
Chambered - Weight Relieved Mahogany Body (8.5 lbs)
Burstbucker Pro Pickups
Asymmetrical 60's Neck
Locking Grover Tuner
Plek Setup

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More Arlington Park Images - 9/22/13

Another Balanced Exposure Field Trip to Arlington Park on 9/22/13

On the first race, horse number 3 came in without a jockey!  It "placed" and came in second!

A "pan" shot to show motion.  I was tracking horse 4, but since horse five is running at a different rate of speed, it looks like it's blurred in comparison.  Most likely, it's trying to catch up to horse 4!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Arlington Park - 8/31/13

I went back to Arlington Park today with several of my students on the first Balanced Exposure field trip to the park.  We worked on "panning" so that we could blur the background to convey motion.  Just as we finished our allotted time, it started to rain.  But at least we did finish the class in time!

The bottom photo shows an image taken at 1/1000 second shutter speed.  Everything "freezes" at this fast of a shutter speed!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Arlington Park - 8/25/13

A couple of images from today's photo shoot.  One of my students who is familiar with Arlington Park showed me around the park.  I took my mobility scooter too.  I left it by itself for 10 minutes at a time when I was shooting.  To get to the fenced area, the scooter can't make it down the stairs.  But nobody seemed to mind me leaving it parked near the seating area while the race was running.  Seems everyone leaves their seats to move closer to the fence when the race runs.  Then they either return to their seats or they go inside to place bets.

I panned the shot of the horses and jockeys.  The first image was shot with shutter speed priority at 1/30 second, f22, ISO 160.  The second was 1/125 second, f7.1 ISO 100.  Nikon D4, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR.  The third shot is an HDR image.

I'll be offering field trips to Arlington Park next year.  Now that I know a little more how things work there, I can offer this as another option for students to go to learn to shoot.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Night Photography Class on 8-13-13

Balanced Exposure students working hard getting their night photos at the Night Photography class last night.  Several tried HDR on the night photos, so I did one as well!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bell 47-G2 Helicopter

When I worked at the San Diego District Attorney's Office, I had the opportunity to fly in a couple of helicopters that were owned by the San Diego Sheriff's Office.  Part of my job was photographing crime scenes and getting these photos ready for court presentation.  At times, the attorneys would ask for an aerial view of the scene and we'd go up in the helicopters to do it.

The Bell helicopters were my favorite because we flew with the doors off the helicopter and then leaned out of the helicopter to take the photo!  The Bell had a huge front glass area as you can see from the photo above so you had a tremendous view when you flew.

This one is a old 1956 model year but wow... it's in great shape!  This past week, I had the opportunity to visit the EAA AirVenture Museum up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  With all the airplanes shown in the museum, I'd say the hightlight for me was this Bell helicopter!  It just brought back memories of flying in it!

The photos taken for court was done with a Mamiya 645 medium format camera.  Those large negatives make a big difference when showing aerial photos!

By the way, the 1966 Batman movie had a Bell helicopter that was made into the "Batcopter"!  Check out the photos of it on this website!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Butterflies At The Milwaukee Public Museum - 6-30-13

A couple of butterfly photos from the most recent Balanced Exposure field trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


When I was a kid, I always liked remote control toys.  The problem was that back then, nothing was wireless.

I remember a remote control car meant having a car with a wire attached to a remote control.  You'd have to follow the car around because you only had the length of the wire to travel.

Today, getting a wireless remote controlled car is pretty cheap.  I bought this one for around $25.  I plan to use it during my photography classes so that students can practice photographing subjects that move.

I would have liked to get a wireless remote helicopter instead, but considering how poorly I control the car, I can just imagine the helicopter crashing into someone's head!  No thanks!

I also bought a Nerf gun so we can practice how quickly we can release the shutter on a camera.  The Nerf gun is a lot of fun to shoot.  The little green discs fly from one end of the room to the other!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Brookfield Zoo Field Trip - 5-19-13

Great time at Brookfield Zoo on the first field trip there this year! I had a great time with the students despite the hot weather! Here are a few images from the trip:

Friday, May 10, 2013

White Bass Fishing - Fremont, Wisconsin - May 2013

Back from a 3 day trip to the Wolf River at Fremont, Wisconsin... my two friends and I caught a total of 132 White Bass! My personal total was 41.

While this is a lot of fish, there were people out there catching a lot more than us! We heard reports of groups coming back with over 200 fish in one day. That's incredible!

There is no limit on white bass during the white bass run on the Wolf River.

I'll post another photo so you can see what the fish looked like in our cabin freezer.

Last year, we tried fishing on the Wolf River but were one week too early. We only caught 17 fish. This year... 132. Big difference! The photo below only shows 53 of the fish caught.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Chicago Botanic Garden

This year, I'll be taking students to the Chicago Botanic Garden on several field trips.  While known for it's many flowers, it offers more than just that.  Just check out the views at this place!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Butterfly at Milwaukee Public Museum

A butterfly at the Milwaukee Public Museum's Puelicher Butterfly Wing...

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

New Location for Balanced Exposure

My company, Balanced Exposure, moved last Friday,  March 29 and had its first class yesterday, April 2.  The Photo Essentials class seemed to like the new place, but since they never saw the old place, it's hard to say if students really liked it or not.

Tonight's class is a DSLR Advanced class with continuing students who had all attended the old location.  We'll see if they like it or not.

The new location has more space for the students, and also more space for the studio.  While I originally had thought of putting two studios next to each other, after re-evaluating the space, I felt it was best to leave it as a single studio so that there was more room on the sides for the lights to move around.  Overall, it was a better decision.

I hope the students like the new place!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Field Museum

I took my scooter to the Field Museum and to the Shedd Aquarium.  Both museums were free!  The Shedd Aquarium had a "free day" for all attendees but I got into the Field Museum free because I am a member of the Milwaukee Public Museum!

Here are a couple of images from the Field Museum.  I thought the dinosaur exhibits were the most interesting.  The images were taken with a Lumix DMC-LX5 camera.