Blog

Speaking in Driggs

I’m excited to be speaking in Driggs, Idaho on August 9, 2017, at the senior center. I’ll talk about how to view, photograph, and enjoy the total eclipse on August 21, 2017.

You want to make sure to attend this talk if you’re in the area. How will you safely view the eclipse? What’s the best way to avoid damaging your camera or your eyes? I’ll tell you how!

This will be an exciting and entertaining talk. As a motivational speaker, I’ll add energy and excitement to the presentation. No boring stuff here!

Musical Inspiration

What inspired you today? What made you get up and do your best with what you have, not wishing for things you don’t?

Wishing isn’t doing. Doing is doing.

Hanz Zimmer

Be inspired by Hans Zimmer, one of the greatest composers of our time. In two notes, he created the sound for the Batman trilogy. Just two notes! It’s all about how they’re presented and they’re emphasized. That means everything.

Through this promo for his music master film class, I was inspired. Even though I have no musical skill, he made me feel like I could create something. I’m not going to delude myself by buying an instrument and trying to make something, though!

 

I love his quote:

“The interesting ideas come from some kid in a garage in the Bronx.”

Hans Zimmer’s promo video

Watch his Youtube trailer and be inspired.

“If you have a story, you can do whatever you want to do.”

What’s your story? What’s your skill? I’ll bet you have something lurking inside that’s just waiting to burst forth and shine. What’s stopping you from sharing it?

What do I do?

Instead of trying to compose music, I perform the music in my heart. I have a conversation with audiences, sharing my experience of risking everything to pursue a dream.

They see a guy who doesn’t look like someone who could drag a refrigerator across a continent. experience how a software engineer became the second only American to successfully ski to the South Pole against all odds. That’s what I do.

People learn my improbable story in Antarctic Tears. They see a guy who doesn’t look like someone who could drag a refrigerator across a continent standing in front of them. Audiences experience how a software engineer became the second only American to successfully ski to the South Pole against all odds. That’s what I do.

What Will You Do?

You were put on the Earth to do something, to share and use something special inside of you. Do you use it? Are you afraid of it? That’s okay, so many of us are afraid to fail. But really, what’s the worst that happens? You learn something that doesn’t work. That’s okay. Failure is a necessary path to success. Failure and failing doesn’t mean you’re a

That’s okay. Failure is a necessary path to success. Failure and failing doesn’t mean you are a failure. It only means you gained more knowledge than you have before. And the next time you’ll be better for it.

Radio Interview KID-AM

Thank you to Neal Larson of KID-AM and FM out of Idaho Falls for the radio interview earlier this week. We talked about the Idaho Total Eclipse Guide. This book is the only guide dedicated to Idaho for the total eclipse on August 21, 2017.

Neal has hosted KID’s morning show for some time. He brings information, education, and entertainment to eastern Idaho. The morning show has the latest news and updates from around Idaho and across the country.

Listen to the radio interview in this Youtube video. You will learn more about the eclipse over Idaho, like how to be safe, where to go, and other viewing and photography tips.

The radio station plays on AM-590, FM-92.1, and FM-106.3.

http://590kid.com/

Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide

wyoming total eclipse guideSastrugi Press is super excited for our new book to come out this month: Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide, the Commemorative Official Keepsake Guidebook. It’s loaded with eclipse photography specifics, safety info, and locations to shoot from.
If you want to photograph the eclipse over Wyoming, this book has specific locations to shoot from. It has specific locations to be in on August 21, 2017.

This book is a keepsake. Get a copy for each of your family members.

Each can write down their emotions and remember this unique and once-in-a-lifetime event in Wyoming. The back of the book has prompts for notes. Write down your personal experience with the total solar eclipse, the first in the US since 1979.


Get your Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide Today


Select Buying Options



Keepsake Notes Section

Here are the note sections you can write down in your Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide:
  • Who was I with?
  • What did I see?
  • What did I feel?
  • What did the people with me think?
  • Where did I stay?
Years later you can read about your family memories with this book. For some, this may be the one and only total eclipse they will ever see.

Eclipse Photography

Photographing an eclipse is actually pretty dangerous. The author partly fried the inside of his D300s during the 2012 partial eclipse. Oops! His Nikon still works but it was a good lesson. It was like photographing a military laser beam.
The book also explains how to photograph the total eclipse. The difference between shooting a partial and a total eclipse is massive. Your exposure goes from, well, the sun, all the way to starlight in a few seconds. Can you shoot 11 bracketed shots in 2 minutes under pressure? That’s what it takes to capture that corona and the stars.

Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide Photography Locations

sun over grand tetonWhere are some good locations to photograph the eclipse from? The book has loads of locations, how to get there, and where to stand to take the shot you want.
Some locations are well known, others are secret and quite unexpected. There is only one place in the entire region that you can get the total eclipse anywhere close to the Grand Teton. And it’s not where you might think.

Photography Filters for a Total Eclipse

eclipse imageWhat density filter will you use for the partial eclipse? You’re looking at the sun. Not just any filter will do the job.
If you think you’ll use your iPhone or Android to photograph the eclipse, you’ll end up with a sun image that’s 40 pixels wide. The book has a simulation of different focal lengths for full-frame and crop sensors.

Where will the sun be?

The book explains exactly where the sun will be. Whether you’re in Jackson, Casper, Douglas, Riverton, or Grand Teton National Park, you need to know where to view the eclipse from. For this particular total eclipse, basic viewing is easy! But getting a good photograph is a big challenge. The Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide gives you that information and more.

Get the Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide

Purchase your signed Wyoming Total Eclipse Guide here. Add some eclipse glasses to the package. Be ready for the biggest event to come to Jackson and Grand Teton ever!

Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide

Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide
I’m super excited for my new book to come out this month: Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide, the Commemorative Official Guidebook. It’s loaded with eclipse photography specifics, safety info, and locations to shoot from. If you want to photograph the eclipse over the Grand Teton, this book has specific locations to shoot from. It has specific locations to be in on August 21, 2017.
Photographing an eclipse is actually pretty dangerous. I partly fried the inside of my D300s during the 2012 partial eclipse. Oops! My Nikon still works but it was a good lesson. It was like looking into a laser beam.
It also explains how to photograph the total eclipse. The difference between shooting a partial and a total eclipse is massive. Your exposure goes from, well, the sun, all the way to starlight in a few seconds. Can you shoot 11 bracketed shots in 2 minutes under pressure? That’s what it takes to capture that corona and the stars.

Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide Photography Locations

sun over grand tetonWhere are some good locations to photograph the eclipse from? The book has loads of locations, how to get there, and where to stand to take the shot you want.
Some locations are well known, others are secret and quite unexpected. There is only one place in the entire region that you can get the total eclipse anywhere close to the Grand Teton. And it’s not where you might think.

Photography Filters for a Total Eclipse

eclipse imageWhat density filter will you use for the partial eclipse? You’re looking at the sun. Not just any filter will do the job.
If you think you’ll use your iPhone or Android to photograph the eclipse, you’ll end up with a sun image that’s 40 pixels wide. The book has a simulation of different focal lengths for full-frame and crop sensors.

Where will the sun be?

The book explains exactly where the sun will be. Whether you’re in Teton Valley, Grand Teton National Park, or Jackson Hole, you need to know where to view the eclipse from. For this particular total eclipse, basic viewing is easy! But getting a good photograph is a big challenge. The Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide gives you that information and more.

Get the Jackson Hole Total Eclipse Guide


Select Buying Options



Aaron on KHOL

Radio interviewAaron on KHOL

Both myself and Thomas Macker from the Art Association were featured this morning on Jackson Hole KHOL 89.1 radio. Brielle hosted both of us to talk about the 4th Teton Photography Symposium.

For the spring Teton Photography Group program, we’re covering photographic composition. It’s the most important aspect of photography, well ahead of exposure and basic camera management. If you don’t know where and how to point your camera, all of the exposure controls in the world won’t help you.

We’re bringing in several professional photographers and artists for this one. Attendees will enjoy speeches from:

Teton Photography Group Symposium Presenters

  • Heather Erson
  • David Agnello
  • Ed Lavino
  • Chase Dekker
  • Roger Hayden
  • Thomas Macker
  • Richard Tambor

Each of these speakers brings their own photographic and artistic genre to life. Each is special in their own way, sharing their knowledge with the audience. They’re all worth listening to, as how they view the world will help you better view yours.

The symposium is on Mar 14, 2015, from 830am to 315pm at the Black Box Theater in the Center for the Arts.

Come, enjoy, learn and ask questions. I know I will!

Aaron Radio Interview

Listen to the radio interview here:

 

Thanks to Kelly for recording this for me in her Toyota FJ (hence the tin can sound).

 

Time lapse footage Old Bills

Old Bills vantage point
Old Bills vantage point

Old Bill’s Fun Run Timelapse

Some of my Old Bill’s Fun Run time lapse footage was used in the 2014 1% For the Tetons Video Blitz Film Festival. Check out the film here:

Any part with the race, banner or runners were my shots. There were taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon D300s, and a Sony RX-100 to create the footage for part of this film.

Time Lapse Shooting Tips

Nikon 85mm f/1.4 aperture
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 aperture

I used Nikon  lenses with aperture rings to take all of the shot sequences to avoid flicker. When building up a time lapse video, flicker is the bane of time lapse shooters. It’s caused by subtle variations in the aperture setting when the camera takes pictures. You’ll never notice these in normal shooting but if you lay the shots down in a video sequence, the effect is distracting and ruins the video.

There are software tools to “de-flicker” or deflicker the video sequence. That’s all fine but it’s another step. All of Nikon’s new lenses are G series without aperture rings. I rarely use them but for time lapse. But when you need it, there’s nothing better. The only way to directly avoid this problem is to leave the G lens wide open or stop it all the way down. Both of these options aren’t as ideal.

Canon lenses and cameras used for time lapse shooting suffer from the same problem. If you are lucky enough to own a lens with an aperture ring and are thinking about selling it, consider that if you’re ever going to shoot time lapse, you’re selling off a superior tool.

Getting away from iPhoto

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 5.00.49 PMIf you own a Mac and have ever downloaded pictures to your computer, you’ve been prompted to add images to iPhoto. This is a very handy program for you to organize, edit, and share your photographs.

The program is built in, it’s free, and it’s quite powerful for the cost. Many people use the software and been quite happy with it.

However, if you photograph a great deal, are serious about your shooting, and really need to upgrade your images, the only major software on the market now is Lightroom. It has far more capability than iPhoto, being able to manage images with  keywords, collections, heavy editing, and seamless integration with Photoshop.

iPhoto to Lightroom

What happens when you have overwhelmed the abilities of iPhoto and you want to expand your repertoire, go pro, or whatever else you might like to do with your images? How do you get these images out of iPhoto and into Lightroom easily? Unfortunately there’s no easy answer. There are software packages out there to do the conversion but there’s nothing that’s truly dominating the market.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 5.10.40 PMYou are most likely going to need to convert manually. Before you break out in a cold sweat, don’t worry, it’s not a terribly complex deal, just a bit laborious. However, once you make the switch to using Finder to organize your photos on the Mac then use Lightroom to edit the ones you want to work on, you’ll be set.

Mac, iPhoto and Lightroom tutoring

I spent the afternoon with a private lesson student working on exactly this process. There were over a hundred events in iPhoto to convert. At first it seemed overwhelming, but once I shared the tricks and procedure of how to make the conversion and organize the files, the student saw it really wasn’t a complex process. Just a bit laborious. Once the folders are set up in Finder and the files are exported as originals out of iPhoto, it will be much easier to manage, view, and share these images.

If you’d like help with this process, contact me and I can arrange a lesson show you how to make the daunting task manageable.

Recording Voice Overs

AT2035 in case
AT2035 in case

Recording voice overs isn’t as simple as it seems. I’ve been working on getting the audio set for Antarctic Tears: The Movie, and it’s been a long haul getting audio correct. As all still cameras now have video capability, learning better audio to present your video and still work is worthwhile. The Nikon D800 records amazing film, as well as the Canon 5Diii. Photographer  journalists are now virtually expected to produce good video as well as compelling stills.

Apple would have you believe you can just hook your ear buds into the computer, click the Record Voice Over in Final Cut Pro X and everything will be good. Only if you want room noise, the dog next door barking, and lots of static hiss to ruin your otherwise good film.

How about the built in microphone on your Macbook Retina? Only if you want to record fan noise, your keyboard strokes and who knows what else.

No, you have to go to some effort to get good audio and a great deal of effort to get excellent audio. People spend a lot of money on it! How do you make a basic voice over that sounds decent?

  • Buy a great mic
  • Buy an awesome audio recorder
  • Build a sound booth [you’re an audio engineer, right?]

10k later, you’ll be set for your first audio book. Maybe.

OR

Don’t believe it? Here are 2 audio samples of what you’ll get if you chose

A bad recording location: Wood floors, cathedral ceiling, lots of windows. This was recorded directly into a Zoom H4n into the stereo mics

You can hear the room echo. It’s terrible and makes the voice over difficult to hear.

Now, listen to this audio recorded on a Audio Technica AT2035 connected to the Zoom H4n in mono mode (mono input mode makes it possible to use a single microphone and record on both stereo tracks).

You can hear the voice, it’s clear and there’s no high or low frequency echo. Would this be better if it were recorded on a Schoeps CMC641G microphone? Sure! But you’ll be set back $2000 or more just for the microphone.