Archive for December, 2010

A “Must-Read” Book for Janis Joplin Fans

by on Dec.29, 2010, under News, Recommendations

Big Brother and the Holding Co. 1965-2005

Living with the myth of Janis Joplin

For those of you who are fans of Janis Joplin and / or Big Brother and the Holding Company, Michael Spörke has written a book you simply must read:

Living with the myth of Janis Joplin.  The History of Big Brother and the Holding Co. 1965-2005

You can get all the info by clicking on the link above at Amazon.com.

Being fortunate to live just outside of San Francisco from 1965 through 1967, I had the excellent good fortune to see Big Brother and the Holding Company many times, get to know Janis fairly well and spend some time with various members of the band during these amazing years.  Jim Gurley, Big Brother’s lead guitarist was one of my two guitar heros during the formative years of the San Francisco Sound.  The other was John Cipollina, a good friend until his untimely death in 1989.

The books synopsis from Amazon.com:

“To many people, Big Brother and the Holding Company has always meant Janis Joplin. Big Brother, who gave Janis a platform for success by giving her the freedom and the energy to develop her musical style, were considered amateurish and unprofessional by many reviewers. Simply put, Janis Joplin’s fame and glory overshadowed the band. This book tells the band’s story, how difficult it was to find an identity separate from Joplin’s towering talent. Big Brother and the Holding Company were and are far more than a Janis Joplin backup band. Big Brother were the pioneers of the San Francisco sound and are among the outstanding representatives of psychedelic music. This book describes the life story of each of the members of Big Brother: where they came from, what their roots were, how they see their time with Janis Joplin, and what they experienced afterwards. It has been written with the close participation of the musicians themselves.”

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New Photo of Mattito’s Posted

by on Dec.14, 2010, under Frisco, News, Recent Projects

Mattito's Restaurant during the Christmas Holidays 2010

Mattitos's 2010

Ever since it opened, I’ve wanted to photograph Mattito’s Cantina in Frisco.  The exterior is brightly painted in fluorescent colors and the marquee is done in vivid neon.   I have seen several published images of this edifice over the years and every one has left me entirely underwhelmed.  Seeing it at night, the colors are most impressive.  You would think a photo of it would virtually jump off the computer screen. Or off the page.

But no.

Not until today (actually last weekend…) after I braved 45 degree weather with a 20 mph wind chill to photograph this year’s installment of Jeff Trykoski’s holiday light show spanning all the Frisco Square / Simpson Plaza buildings.  Since I was schlepping a 15 pound camera rig through the frigid arctic blast anyway, I figured I might as well get this little project off of my bucket list.

And so, I moseyed on up to Mattito’s and settled into place with an ultra wide-angle lens on a very short tripod, calculated my settings and tripped the shutter.  And waited about half a minute for the results.  Perfect.  And vivid.  Just what I wanted.  Just to be sure, (not my first rodeo) I decided to take a couple more.  I fired the shutter… and the door opens to the restaurant (not what I want) and stays that way.  As (I’m not exaggerating) around 20 people exit the premises while a member of their party holds the door.  It was like the clown car at the circus — except a LOT slower.  I know everything seems like it’s going in slow motion when your freezing in a gale, but this was silly.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen people move this slow.  Two or three minutes later, the crowd has cleared in time for the third shot.  And I’m done now.

I am very happy with the results of all the shots, but I felt the framing on the third was just a bit more to my liking.

And here is is in all it’s glory, soon to grace the pages of my fully-redesigned Nocturnal Visions website.

Click on the photo to see the enlargement

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Why I Am Never Without A Camera

by on Dec.11, 2010, under gallery updates, News, Projects

I’ve gotten a lot of questions — and grief (from my wife) about the fact that I always have a camera with me.  Lots of people ask why I schlepp this heavy rig with me wherever I go.  The simple answer is: “I’m making up for lost time.”  A lot of lost time during the couple of decades where I did not document the world as I see it.  That bizarre span of time where I “hung up my cameras” in search of a more stable income for myself and my family.

During that time I founded and ran a few different companies and established myself in the community.  I created a stable income stream… and forgot my first love.  Photography.  The single creative outlet that really makes me want to get up the morning…  Or scurry about in the wee hours before dawn… in search of those elusive images that only I “see”.

When I had that epiphany in 2006.  That crashing awakening that caused me to pick up where I left off, I vowed never to miss another opportunity again to capture one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments occurring near me, due to the lack of a camera.

I have been a photojournalist on-and-off over many decades and having a camera handy just might get you published.  Having a quality camera might get you a Pulitzer Prize.

So here, in this post, I will start uploading some of those once-in-a-lifetime images I captured due to being in the right place at the right time.  … with a camera.


Caulking windows from a very precarious position

Window Caulking

Gas Well at Sunrise

Gas Well at Sunrise

Sunrise Landscapers

Mowing at Sunrise

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Selling Your Home? Photos Matter!

by on Dec.10, 2010, under gallery updates, News, Recommendations

Not all Real Estate Photography is the same

Night Shot

Update Notice: I just added several new examples to this page from a recent shoot of a gorgeous new Darling Home in Frisco.  In these examples, the comparison is between my usual high-resolution professional photos and very time-consuming High-Def versions of the same location.  The difference is quite dramatic, so you may want to consider this approach for the next home you list.

My Real Estate comparison page vanished into the ether when I rebuilt the website last year and since I’ve recently been shooting a lot of residential Real Estate photography, I thought this was an opportune time to rebuild that page and upload it.

So here it is.

On this page you can see for yourself the difference in professional photography compared to the “average” shots found in most MLS listings.

Real Estate photography is something many people take for granted as being unimportant when selling their home. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many buyers, their first impression of your home will be the photos they see in your MLS listing. Most of these photos are taken by your agent, who is probably not a professional photographer. What’s the difference? Browse the images on my Residential Real Estate Photography page for examples. When you mouse over each image you will see the “average” compared to  what you can have when I shoot your home.

There is an enormous difference, for instance between photographing rooms with  a strobe to fill in the shadows and provide enough light to get a good exposure, compared to HDR photography which uses 5 or more images of the same scene stitched together to provide amazing detail in the highlights as well as the shadows – PLUS more vivid colors and overall detail of every aspect.  Combine this with an ultra wide-angle lens and you have a much more impressive view of the entire room vs. a partial room view like you get with the average lens.

Read This Article from the Wall Street Journal where research shows that homes over $300,000 definitely benefit from high quality Professional photography in their listings.

Some homes look great from the outside during the day.  Others, not so exciting, but at night with the landscape lighting turned on, they take on a much more dramatic quality.  This requires specialized equipment and a master’s touch to capture the magic of time-exposure architectural photography – something I have been perfecting for over 30 years.

Contact me for pricing. I can photograph your home day or night and produce vastly superior results compared to what you have seen in the past. If you watch the Today Show’s Barbara Corcoran and her Real Estate segments, pay attention to the photos of the featured homes. This is all Professional Photography. it makes an amazing difference.

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Newman Village Project

by on Dec.09, 2010, under Frisco, gallery updates, News, Projects, Recent Projects


Newman Village

Newman Village Sculpture

Residential Real Estate Photography

is one of my favorite themes. I enjoy locating  dramatic examples of architecture and finding the most profound way to convey the characteristics of the structure to my viewers. My wife is a retired Realtor (Ex-Ebby agent) and has been trying to get me to investigate Newman Village for some time. I finally listened… and this page is the project as it evolves.

As time goes on, more will be added.

Some of these images will be “dynamic” – in that you can see the Before and After results of my technique. What’s the difference? Quite a bit in most cases. When you mouse over each image you will see the “original” compared to the final result after I have processed the image to my standards.  The result is high-definition imagery with enhanced texture, detail and colors not found in conventional photography.

Click the following link to see the Newman Village Gallery page.

If you’ve never been to Newman Village, and enjoy upscale living, you should come on out to Frisco and take a look. The overall design, attention to detail and variety of architecture are unique in North Texas.

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