Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Butterfly from the Milwaukee Public Museum

The latest butterfly from my class' trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum on7-27-14.

The image was taken with a Nikon Df full-frame camera on Aperture Priority with a Sigma 24-105mm f4 DG lens.  Settings were 1/30 sec, f4.5, ISO 500.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bad Weather

While I don't normally like pushing HDR to the extreme, I thought this image looked pretty interesting doing it.

After our field trip class to the Milwaukee Public Museum, I stopped by Racine Harbor to try a little fishing. I casted perhaps 8 times and then heard the thunder to my left. I took a look and noticed this view. It would have been nice to look left first before taking my gear out! I packed up my stuff and got back in the car before it started to rain.

Friday, July 18, 2014

George Foreman Grills

I love my George Foreman grills!  I have three "Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machines"!

Several years ago, I purchased the middle-sized grill in the upper left of the photos via a Groupon Goods deal but recently got two others from my mom.  She had been using the small one in the upper right, but after moving to California, she left her grill at her home in Florida.  My sister and I recently went to Florida to clean up the Florida home and found her grill, along with the largest one that was never used.

My sister purchased the large grill for her many years ago, but she never used it.  It was still in the original box.  Since she probably will not use it going forward, we shipped both grills to Illinois for me to use.

I recently went on a low calorie, low carb diet and am grilling all of my food on the small grill.  I love these grills because it is so fast to cook on!  I just put my food on the grill, close the lid and in about 5 to 8 minutes, the food is done!  No flipping is needed since the top and bottom both cook the food at the same time.  Clean up is a snap too.  I just wet a sponge, suspend the grill over the edge of the sink in the countertop and wipe.  In just about 30 seconds, the grill is clean and I'm ready to eat!

So far, I've lost 12 lbs in about a week and a half.  My goal is to lose 50 lbs by the end of 2014.  We'll see if I can do it, but 12 years ago when I did a low calorie, low carb diet, I lost 30 lbs in 3 months.  Being older now, it may be harder to do, but I'm giving it the ol' college try!  Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Jake Arrieta - The Pickoff

Jake Arrieta goes for the pickoff...

Another Cubs vs Braves Image

Had to share another image...  While we were really close to the field in the Dugout section just two rows from the field, it just meant we just got to see the players backs!  Be sure to click on the image for a closer view.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chicago Cubs vs Atlanta Braves - July 11, 2014

Cubs beat the Atlanta Braves in the 9th inning... 5 to 4!

Here is a series of images of Cubs opening pitcher, Jake Arrieta.  The images were taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII lens using a Nikon TC-17 E II teleconverter.

I was sitting in the Dugout Box section of Wrigley Field... Gate F, Aisle DBX19, Row B... the closest I've ever sat at a Major League game!  Just one row back from the edge of the field behind home plate!  I'm shooting through the net behind home plate, but you can't even see it in the images at this focal length.  With the teleconverter on the lens, the effective focal length of the lens became 340mm.

The camera was set to Aperture Priority mode.  Settings were ISO 200, 1/640 second, f4.8.  Images were shot at 5 frames per second.

(The third image in this series appears to have a different color saturation, but the original image before upload did not have this issue.  It seems that the upload to the blog changed the tonality.  Not sure how or why this happened.)

Here's where I was sitting... 2nd row behind home plate!

Followup To A Past Post on Undercover Boss - Season Two Episode 7 - Chicago Cubs & Rocco Caputo

Back in 2007, I photographed Rocco Caputo as he was selling beer at Wrigley Field.  I did not know him, nor would I know that later in 2010, he would be part of the television show, "Undercover Boss". Today, I was lucky enough to go back to Wrigley field to watch the Chicago Cubs defeat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 and to run into Rocco once again!

My wife, daughter, my friend Andy and I were seated in the Dugout section of the park just one row back from the field.  This was the closest I had ever been at a game!  Thanks to my wife's employer for providing us great seats!

As he normally does, Rocco was out selling beer. I had never spoken to him before, but I immediately recognized him.  In addition, someone in the row behind us recognized him as well as being one of the guys featured on Undercover Boss!  I chimed in and told Rocco that I had photographed him years before he was on the show and that I recognized him immediately when I saw him on the show!  He sold a beer to Andy and off he went.

Later in the game, I told Andy that I had to get another shot of Rocco to update my blog, so Andy ordered another beer from him so that I could get my shot.  Andy wanted me to tell you all that it cost him $8 for me to get that shot!

It was great to finally talk to Rocco.  I gave him my business card, but doubt he will be able to find my blog as it is not on the Balanced Exposure website.  I may post a quick update in the About Us section with my blog address... hoping that Rocco sees it.

Rocco, if you see this post, please send me an email at to let me know you saw it!

For your convenience, I've republished the blog post below from Nov 7, 2010.

If you subscribe to NetFlix, search for Undercover Boss.  You'll find the Cubs episode there.


(From November 7, 2010)

Like many other Cub fans and television viewers, I tuned in to watch Sunday night's episode of Undercover Boss on CBS.  Episode 7 of Season Two featured Todd Ricketts, one of the owners of the Chicago Cubs as he went undercover to see how employees of the Cubs organization did their everyday job.

One of the featured employees teaching Ricketts how to do his job was a food vendor named Rocco Caputo.  The second I saw him on the TV screen, I knew immediately that I had taken his photograph back in July 2007.  I was attending a Cubs vs. Astro game at Wrigley Field and as I normally do, I was taking photos of everything that happened at the game and that included food vendors!  I don't know what triggered me to remember his face, but I immediately knew that my photograph was of Rocco.  I did not post his photo on my blog at the time, but I still remembered his face.  You can see that post by clicking here.

Rocco was assigned to teach Todd Ricketts the ropes of how to sell hot dogs.  Despite his best efforts, Ricketts failed at selling hot dogs and actually threw away four of them just so he could go back and claim he sold all his hot dogs.  But Rocco found four hot dogs that were thrown into a trash bin and confronted Ricketts about them.  Ricketts denied it was his hot dogs, but you could tell Rocco did not believe him.  Since he could not prove it belonged to Ricketts, he had to take him at his word.

Later, after Ricketts identified himself to Rocco as one of the owners of the team, he awarded Rocco the first "Wrigley Field - Employee of the Year Award" for his dedicated work.  Now his name will forever be in the hallowed halls of Wrigley Field.  I remember watching Rocco working in 2007 and at that time he was selling beer.  I recall thinking to myself that selling beer had to be one of the hardest jobs for a food vendor because beer is pretty heavy to have to carry all day long.  Maybe that's why I remembered Rocco's face after all these years!

Congratulations to Rocco for his award for 2010.  I wonder if anyone will remember him when they ask him for food at Wrigley Field in 2011 after having watched this episode.  I hope they do.  I know I remembered him and that's even before this show aired.

Be sure to click on the image for a closer look.


Here's where I was sitting for the July 11th game... second row behind home plate!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Moon Shot

Tonight, I held a great "Exposure" class at my school, Balanced Exposure.  One of the students mentioned that we had a great moon tonight, so I told everyone to go out and take a photo of the moon based on what we learned tonight.

Here's my version of the moon shot.  Nikon D700 / Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VRII