Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yosemite - Past and Present. Don't feed the bears!

This Yosemite video from the 40's has been circulating and I wanted to share. It is incredible how similar things are, yet how different. Guests feeding the bears doesn't happen much unless you are not smart and leave your cooler in your car. Every time I visit I think how magical a place Yosemite is... I forget that it has been enjoyed for years.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another great video from Yosemite

This video is from twitter user @cinespeed. Really nice music and images. He shot it with a Red 4K commercial HD camera. Just makes you want to be there! Enjoy. John

Yosemite Mix RED 4K from CineSpeed on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Father's Day and Customer Appreciation Sale on Canvas Images!

I have finished my two big shows for the year and wanted to have a special Customer Appreciation and Father's Day sale to folks like you who have been following my work.

The sale is on the Museum Quality Canvas Gallery Wrap Images and will be in effect through July 1st.
16" x 24" were $275, now $225
20" x 30" were $350, now $295
28" x 42" were $650, now $495
38" x 58" were $1400, now $900

This sale includes my "Nature's Firefall" image as well - The smallest size that the Nature's Firefall is available for is 20" x 30" Just let me know which image and sizes you want and I will get one to you.

Don't forget referrals! If a friend of yours purchases a print, you will get 25% your next purchase.

Thanks for your continued support and look forward to some other exciting announcements coming up.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Camera ideas for Father's Day - Eye Fi Wifi Wireless SD Memory cards

Father's Day is coming up. June 21 if you weren't sure. I just started looking around for ideas and thought I would share one. A friend had recommended these so I thought I would give it a try. The Eye-Fi Explore Wi-Fi Wireless 2 GB SD Flash Memory Card. They also come in 4Gb models - my Dads camera (My old Nikon D50 that I gave him) won't support 4Gb SDHC unfortunately. No problem - with wireless connecting and downloading, 2Gb should be fine.

Some of the interesting features I liked about this model is the Geo Tagging capability and access to hotspots around the country (a 1 year subscription). The model with Geotagging included is the Explore. I believe it uses the wifi hotspots to get an approximate location for you which is good enough for most instances.

I will try it out and let you know! If anyone else has experience or feedback using these, drop me a line and let me know.

Humorous craigslist post... Trade wife for Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 ED IF

I take NO responsibility for this humorous craigslist post (my wife is 5'4") - this was posted today in the camera section on craigslist. What crazy Nikon shooters will do for a good lens! Too funny.

Trade wife for Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 ED IF (atherton)

Date: 2009-06-08, 10:03PM PDT

Thats it! I am offering my wife as an even swap for a like-new Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 ED IF ZR LB PB ES Pro.

She is 5'9", abs of steel, 34 C, brown hair, one green - one blue eye, like David Bowie. She hates shopping and prefers to sit home and cook while you watch the game. If you are not hungry, she'll massage your feet and refill your drink.

Since these lenses are on backorder, I think this is really worth it.

* note: health insurance not included in deal

Please email with no less than 50 high-res photos of your lens. No photochoping! I prefer strange emails from broken english authors, in ALL CAPS. I prefer to ship my wife as far as possible!

Good luck.

Altherton, CA

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Best place to eat on the other side of Yosemite - the Mobil Gas Station (aka the Whoa Nellie Deli)

Last fall, I was taking a photography workshop out in the Mono Lake area with Michael Frye. That was a great workshop but I will save that for another blog post. In Lee Vining there are only a few places to eat - especially in the Fall when places are starting to close.

The few places include the MonoShake, a roadside hamburger and shake stand, Nicelys, a simple but nice restaurant, and the Mobil Gas station... otherwise known as the Whoa Nellie Deli at the Tioga Gas Mart.

Well, the awards and honors go to Whoa Nellie Deli!! It is located right at the corner of Hiway 395 and 120 - the Tioga Pass road to Yosemite. It has picnic tables outside and good parking. The magic happens inside - tucked inside the gift shop is an amazing deli and restaurant! We ate there every lunch and dinner (we eat once at the other establishments).

My favorites included the fish tacos with mango salsa, the Lobster Taquitos!! The rack of lamb was nice as well after a long day of shooting. A couple other nice dishes include the Wild Buffalo Meatloaf and the Rajin’ Cajun Chicken Jambalaya.

Ok, so what is the biggest problem with this place?! -- what to eat NEXT!!! Ok, it isn't cheap either, but if you want cheap go to McDonalds somewhere else (there are lower cost items like burgers, soups and sandwiches). Talk about Gourmet Cuisine out in the middle of Yosemite National Park (ok, just on the north eastern side of the valley) The web site has a listing of some of the other menu items and list of music that is there in the summer.

This is one of those places where I want to be on a Friday afternoon! Enjoy John

View Larger Map

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Panorama dry run of the artfair booth

Just getting things setup as this is my first time doing an outdoor artfair. A photographer friend of mine loaned me his booth/tent setup - I really like it! Lightweight and supercool. It is a trimline in case anyone wants to know. I also borrowed a van to transport stuff. Just been stretching canvas right and left!! Ok, back to it!

This is a panorama stitched in CS4. Handheld, shooting from multiple angles. I had my daughter, Laura, moving around and it didn't have any problems! Fun with Photoshop CS4.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mountain View Art Fair this weekend (June 6th) - AVArtFest 2009

Thanks to everyone who came by for our Silicon Valley Open Studios open house last month! It was a two-day party and we had over 200 people through the house!! For some reason, people waited until we broke out the wine tasting with Shala and Kyle from Coterie Cellars Winery :-) It was quite a weekend. The backlit light box of my "Nature's Firefall" seemed to be the big hit as were the new museum quality gallery-wrap images. Thanks again!

If you weren't able to make it, don't worry, there will be other opportunities to come and check out my latest works.

I will be showing THIS Saturday, June 6th in Mountain View at the AVARTFest 2009. I also won an "Award of Excellence" for my "Nature's Firefall" image. There will be over 100 artists in Pioneer Park just off of downtown Mountain View.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Pioneer Memorial Park, Mountain View

The funny thing is that I lived in Park Place apartments for 10 year which is right across the street. It is a great location to bring the kids out for a walk to see some nice artwork. I will have some of my latest pieces, but not all, since I have to transport my stuff there.

Stop by if you are around!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mac Mini Hard Drive and Memory Upgrade

I just picked up a new 2009 Mac Mini for my wife so she can have a system that can view iPhoto quickly and make movies with the Flip Mini HD. The old Mac G4 MDD Tower was just slowing to a crawl and the 22" Apple Cinema Display works great!

I saw some videos from Other World Computing on upgrading the hard drive and memory and it looked like a nice simple project to tackle. I picked up the base model Apple Mac Mini model from Amazon for $594. Purchase a 500Gb 7200 laptop drive at the local computer supply for $120 and then the Crucial 4Gb RAM kit from Amazon for $64. I also picked up a sata notebook drive enclosure to put the new drive in and cloned the existing drive with carbon copy cloner.

The upgrade was REALLY straight forward like in the video. The one gotcha is to have a jeweler screw driver for one of the screws on the mini mainboard since it is very skinny and you can't get a regular screwdriver in there. OWC will try to sell you a kit - but you really just need two small Philips screwdrivers (one magnetized to get the screws out), a pair of tweezers and a putty knife.

I used the migration assistant utility to move files over. One gotcha with the migration assistant -- do NOT use the exact same user name on your new system! It can't deal with it (and doesn't deal gracefully imho) and won't find your old computer on the net or firewire.

I highly recommend for anyone looking for a great mini to try this upgrade. (I am not liable for any goofs or problems! You are on your own if you break it and void your warranty).