Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where was that Windows XP photo taken?

winXPwp

winXPwp

We’ve all seen the above image.  It’s the default desktop wallpaper for Microsoft‘s Windows XP operating system, but where was it taken?  Well, this video explains it all.  And it may surprise you to learn that the image is not Photoshopped at all.

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Famed Sports Photographer Neil Leifer

I saw this via ISO1200 a while back, and forgot to share it here.  If you love sports (and let’s face it, you probably do if you’re on my blog), this is an awesome video to watch:

https://vimeo.com/75057665

“Project 13” – A Friday The 13th Series

When I was growing up in the 80s, a certain series of horror films were coming out that were pretty popular; Friday the 13th.  In fact, the “franchise” also became a TV show, novels, comics, and of course, all sorts of merchandise.  Of course, I wasn’t allowed to watch these movies at such a young age, but somehow managed to see them all during middle school and the beginning of high school.

In the movies, in case you’re unfamiliar (spoiler alerts!), “Jason Voorhees”, was a young boy who drown while at Camp Crystal Lake.  Jason is largely absent from the first movie, in which his mother stalks and kills the camp counselors (to avenge his death) that were going to be reopening Camp Crystal Lake after Jason’s drowning.  She is killed at the end of the first movie and Jason comes back to avenge her death in the next (count them) ELEVEN movies!

Camp Crystal Lake

So a few months ago I had this idea that I should get one of those masks that Jason (irony??) wore in the movies, get the clothes he wore, and do some photos for Halloween.  So I started investigating further (as it has been years upon years since seeing the movies), and rented and watched the first 7 movies in the series.  Well, finding a good replica of the mask wasn’t terribly easy, but I did find one, and thus began the project.  Mask (check), crowbar (check), machete (check), mechanic’s overalls (check), gray pants (check), long-sleeve work shirt (check).  The next step was to scout some creepy places to photograph.

Creepy House | Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

This abandoned house fit the bill.  © http://www.aepoc.com

There are a number of sketchy looking places to shoot not far from where I live, so I walked around and took some photos with my cell phone to start the process.  And then I got to thinking, “Maybe it’s not the world’s best idea to be walking around a small town in a hockey mask, dressed as a very popular serial killer, holding a machete, crowbar, or other killing utensil”.  So I went to the local police station to inform them of the project, and see if I needed to get clearance, permits, etc.  Turns out I needed to address the town board and write up exact dates, times, etc.  So I wrote a letter to the board, and they approved the project.  A local paper even got wind of it and ran a story on it as well, which I will put in a future post.

Below you’ll find the images taken for the project.  Happy Halloween!

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © www.aepoc.com

Friday the 13th Photoshoot © http://www.aepoc.com

A $40 digital camera.

$40 digital camera from AC Gears (image courtesy of Gadgeteer)

$40 digital camera from AC Gears (image courtesy of Gadgeteer)

Courtesy of The Gadgeteer:  http://the-gadgeteer.com/2013/09/09/a-40-digital-camera-from-ac-gears/

Niagara Falls from above, from a DJI Phantom Helicopter

I’ve always wanted to use one of those helicopters/drones that you put a camera on and fly around and see how things look from crazy angles and vantage points.  Well, these guys just did something absurdly cool.  A DJI Phantom Helicopter and a GoPro Hero 3 camera.  Check this out!

Alex Rodriguez, PEDs, and what it means to be a professional athlete.

Alex Rodriguez Suspended 214 games (image courtesy of sethcurrysavesduke.blogspot.com/ )

Alex Rodriguez Suspended 214 games (image courtesy of sethcurrysavesduke.blogspot.com/ )

In case you haven’t heard, Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez was suspended today (along with 12 other Major League Baseball players) for using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs).  Rodriguez received a 214-game suspension (some say 211 games, either way – it starts Thursday) while the other players received 50 games.  Why did Alex get more?  Because Major League Baseball feels that he’s been cheating far longer than everyone else.  Really?  Really.  The 12 other players have apologized, while Rodriguez is appealing his suspension.  Get this – HE’S ALLOWED TO PLAY DURING THE APPEAL.  How is this right!?  In fact, he’s in the lineup tonight in Chicago against the White Sox.

Here’s a little background on Mr Rodriguez… he has signed TWO of the most lucrative contracts the baseball (or any sport) has ever seen:  In 2000 his signature got him $252 million from the Texas Rangers… and in 2007 he signed a 10-year, $275 million contract with the New York Yankees.  This contract with the Yanks ALSO gives him around $30 million in bonuses based on his home run totals.  Oh, and he also gets $2 million and change every year from Nike, Rawlings, and other endorsement deals.  He makes more money than the entire Houston Astros roster.

Ok, enough about how much money the guy makes.  Using performance enhancing drugs is illegal in sports.  Hell, there are some people who think they should be legal in all sports just to make it even, and more exciting.  Major League Baseball thinks they’re doing all the right things in terms of the players who have tried to cheat the game and gotten caught.  Boy are they wrong.

Here’s what I wanted to get to in this article.  Everybody has an opinion on this, so here’s mine.  If you get caught ONCE using illegal substances (PEDs, steroids, whatever you want to call them), you’re done.  Finished.  For the rest of your life, in any aspect, period.  Your records are completely erased.  You can’t be an announcer.  You no longer have anything to do with the sport.  The fans pay your salary, and honestly, I think you should have to GIVE UP THE MONEY YOU MADE WHILE LYING TO THE ENTIRE WORLD so it can be put to good use (why is hunger still an issue anyway?).  Oh and by the way, this goes for any sport, not just baseball.  I don’t care if it’s the MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, Tennis, Table Tennis, NASCAR, F1, Cycling, Boxing, MMA, or Underwater Basketweaving.  How else are these idiots going to get it through their heads?  You get caught using banned substances and your’e out.  ZERO tolerance.  That’s what needs to happen.

As a professional athlete, you need to understand that your actions are followed by a vast group of people.  In A-Rod’s case, MILLIONS of people.  You’re in the spotlight all the time.  Kids look up to you, they want to BE you, companies pay you to make them look better, to make the sport look better, teams pay you to produce, and all of this is based on being a superior athlete, and playing within the rules of your sport.  You’re a role model.  Act like one.

I’d love to hear your opinions on it… so let’s talk.

Stop worrying so much about taking perfect pictures!

In my daily scours across the wonderful and mystical land of “Internet”, I came across another great article on PetaPixel by Alan Steadman; “When Perfect Isn’t Perfect or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blur.”

The basis of the article is that you should cut yourself some slack when it comes to your photos, and not worry so much about nailing focus, composing perfectly.  This is something that hits home with me, because I am incredibly hard on myself with regards to focus.  Being a hockey photographer at heart, I am disappointed every single time I shoot because there will always be a shot where the focus just isn’t good enough to warrant keeping the image.  If it’s a little out of focus, I’ll sometimes let it go and rest assured knowing that I captured the moment, which above all else, is what matters.

Below is an image that I love and hate.  Why do I love it?  Because it captured an incredibly intense moment in the game, when the Jets (white) were making a comeback.  The Jets player is crashing the net with all he’s got, and ended up crashing into the defenseman and the goalie, yet twisting around, attempting to shoot behind his back awkwardly to try to score.  The puck is there, the goalie is there, the offense is there, the defense is there (albeit sandwiched), focus is nailed, there’s ice and snow flying in the air… it’s great!  So why do I hate it?  Because I’m too tight on the action!  So tight, in fact, that I cut off the Jets player’s head (not to mention the defender’s as well).  That doesn’t kill the image for me though, but it was awfully close.

I cut off his head!

I cut off his head!

Below is another shot that I was upset with myself for, but for a different reason.  I missed focus.  It happens sometimes.  You accept it and move on.  Easier said than done though.  I very much dislike when I miss focus at ANY time, especially when the shot SHOULD have been a keeper.  This blurry shot of 2013 Florida Panthers draft pick Michael Downing almost didn’t make my finals, but I decided to let it slide because the rest of the image was very pleasing to me.  This is a 100% (1:1) crop shown below from Lightroom 5.  The entire image is previewed in the upper left of this image (just underneath ‘aepoc’).

Blurry Michael Downing.

Blurry Michael Downing.

Anyhow… Please read the original article here.  It will be worth your time; and it will likely even help your photography.