With a Little Help from my Friend

Mac Garage Ressurection

So, this past weekend while I was in Maine, where I lived as a child, I went rooting through my grandmother’s storage. What I happened to find was my first computer: a Macintosh Plus, which in 1986 cost a mere $2599 and had 1MB of memory (expandable to 4MB). The Mac Plus was an “affordable” all-in-one personal computer that needed only power, its included keyboard and mouse (a la the iMac). It was a revolution in personal computers. So I decided to get it runnin…

After I found all the parts, untangled the endless phone cord style mouse and keyboard, found an outlet and plugged her in, I flipped the switch. Sure enough the damn thing made its start up sound (not the new chime that everyone has come to know so well, but the crude “beeeeep” of old.

Alas, there was no picture… So I said, “Oh well, she’s been stored for 14 years in an unheated garage. This things a fossil”.

After getting stubborn, I gave her a whack, which seems to fix everything, and boom the screen flickered. Laid her down and but some pressure on it and sure enough, I got the monitor to stay on.

Pops tells me to let her sit for a bit, so after a smoke I come back and try again. This time I set her upright and flipped the switch. BOOM! There it was, the good ole “sad mac face”. So I found my System 6 disk and tried again. After 3 or 4 attempts I finally got the thing to boot to the System 6 desktop.

After all that, one mouse click would cause the old “system bomb”… But hell, I call that a successful resurrection.

Thanks, Steve!

Steve Jobs Tribute: Screenshot

Steve Jobs basically invented the Mac, the OS X operating system, as well as iTunes and the iPod/iPhone/iPad all of which are basically represented in this simple screen shot that I took as a tribute to his influence on my life.

We were on the same team, Steve.

peace out…

Fuji Finepix X100: First Week Review

Dance it Out

Well its been months of waiting, but last week I finally received my Fuji X100.

John Hancock Tower


A fine camera that has a few quirks and glitches (Menu button size, slow auto focus, RAW button programming, film modes switched, startup/write times, battery life, raw flash being stuck in red-eye mode) that you can find well documented across the internet. Hopefully all will be addressed by firmware updates, but for the most part these are vastly overshadowed by the amazing useability of this camera.


After a week plus of shooting I can say this, the only HUGE problem is that it freezes A LOT requiring you to pull the battery. This is a big problem because it causes missed shots or running the battery down by turning off Power Save Mode. My only other issue is that the camera “forgets” certain things (macro mode, focus point size, nd) after power save. Oh, the provided strap SUCKS!


But like I said, the positives far out way the negatives. The build quality is far better than my old D-LUX4, and feels much better than the GF2 (a well-built plastic body). The ISO performance is spectacular. The flash packs the perfect punch. The OVF and EVF are both awesome in their own ways. Video mode is great (could use aperture and manual focus while rolling).

Money Tree

I can’t wait to see what Fuji gives us via firmware (soon please!).


Your Next Show

Fuji Finepix X100: Wow!

So Photokina has come and gone and no Canon 5D Mark III was announced… SO WHAT!? Fuji broke it wide open with this gem! I cannot wait to get my hands on the Finepix X100. This thing is like my old Leica M3 but digital with an APS-C size sensor and a 23mm f2 prime lens… In light of this announcement I am selling my Leica D-LUX 4, which is a fantastic camera but lacks an optical viewfinder. The X100 is supposed to hit the street March 2011 for around $1000 (which is much less than the Leica X1). I’M PSYCHED! Check out full specs at the Fuji Finepix X100 Product Page.

Fall Harvest

Break out the sweaters, it’s that time of year again. Summer’s in the rear-view and winter’s around the bend. But before the changing of the seasonal guard comes nature’s milder side. Like Spring, Fall is a transitional season of fleeting beauty. Like most of New England, the trees are preparing for a long, cold winter. As suddenly as the leaves assume their rusty palettes they fall in a swan song of color until Spring.


Giant Pumpkin

With Fall comes harvest. A years worth of energy stored in one crop. Open the larders and stuff the stores, it’s time to stock up for winter. Harvest brings a plethora of of fine produce to the farmer’s markets and groceries around the northeast. There is no better place to experience this than Beth’s Farm Market in Warren, ME.

McIntosh Apples


Boston’s Newest Photographer

It’s been a long, eventful summer. After the Celtics laid an egg in Game 7, I hopped in my ’94 Nissan pickup and headed north. 1800 miles later and after a brief pit stop on Martha’s Vineyard, I pulled into the dirt driveway of our family’s house on Cross Point Rd. The next 5 weeks would be spent living on my pop’s 27 foot sailboat, working on our property for some cash, and a whole lotta nothin much…


During six months of Federal Unemployment, I realized one thing. Being broke sucks. So I did what any red-blooded 25-year-old would do, got drunk… No seriously, I started thinking of greener grass, the other side, and all that nonsense. I began to think about moving back East, and soon had decided that Boston was the answer. So I popped open the Mactop and got to looking for work in BOS. In a stroke of luck I hit on a listing that seemed perfect, inquired, and had an interview within 24 hours.


After the interview (and another pit stop to the Vineyard) my girl and I packed up the truck and headed back to NOLA. A few days later, all I could do was think about moving. Mentally I was already living in Boston.

Winter Harbor, ME

A week later the phone rang. I got the job! I could hardly believe the words as I told pop and my boys. In two weeks I would be living in Boston working a steady job. I didn’t waste any time. Three days later the truck was packed (for the 3rd time this summer), the tank was full, and I was gone…

Roadtrip TriptychOnce in New England I stopped to see the folks, but within the week I moved into a sublet in Jamaica Plain. I took a few days to learn my route on the Orange line and find the nearest liquor store (“packy” up here). After getting settled (and another trip to the island), I started work at Simply Interactive Inc on Newbury St.

I’ve been here a month now, and I’m loving every minute of it. I miss my southern city and all my friends, but its only bye for now… The girlie is movin up in 2 months!


Whatch out yall, Boston’s got a new photographer!

July 4th Beer Can Chicken

This Fourth of July we made a Beer Can Chicken. I learned this method on the Food Network a few years ago, and it is a fantastic way to cook mouth watering chicken. It is really simple. Just rub chicken with favorite spice rub, plug it up the butt with a 1/2 full beer, and cook on grill with indirect heat for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy!

Reason to Doubt the Boston Celtics

It was 2008 and on paper the Celtics were doomed. It’s 2010 and most had the Celts goin’ fishin already.

In 2008 the Celtics finished the regular season on top of the league with home-court throughout the playoffs. The team consisted of a younger, hungrier Big 3, a very young unreliable Rondo, and some great role players Posey, Brown, Cassell and House. PJ’s heroics helped ice Clevelance, Posey came off the bench to stun Lakers, and Cassell and House both backed up a young Rondo (who only averaged 17 mins/game). What happened when they reached the NBA Finals? Every single sports writer said, “No way, Lakers in 6 or 7”. Well a few days later the Celtics had their 17th NBA title and the “6 Game Sweep” was in the record books.

2009 was many things: a Lakers unchallenged title, a knee that wouldn’t heal, and a coming out party for the Big One. The Celtics gave us 7 games of pure basketball goodness against Chicago and Rondo became a man in what was the single best 7-game series ever. All in all it wasn’t meant to be, without Garnett the defense just wasn’t there. They fought Orlando to Game 7, but were ultimately beaten. Everyone knew it the fans, the players… The fight wasn’t there.

2010 started great, but by Christmas everything looked dim. The Big Three finally began to show their true age. All the key free agents brought in (Sheed, Robinson, Daniels) hadn’t done squat. The only good thing that happened during the regular season was Rondo had finally taken control as the true leader. It seemed that the Celtics couldn’t close out a came no matter, blowing second-half leads almost daily. They weren’t catching Cleveland or Orlando, and they seemed to holding on by a thread. No one thought they were a contender. No one thought they would beat the Lakers in ’08 either.

2010 Playoffs: Celtics play the Heat. Garnett gets the spark under his ass from Richardson and it’s all over… They weathered a few D-Wade runs and closed the series in 5. That is it, NO WAY IN HELL does Boston beat Cleveland. Well, well, well LeBron James and the Seven Dwarfs were exposed. They were not a unit, they had no leader, and coaching was none existent. The Celtics finally showed up, Rondo played lights out all series, Garnett was the foundation in every game, and Ray stepped up and made his shots. They succeeded in making the best player in the league non-existent (if you want to know where Pierce was, LBJ is where). The Big 3 were back, led by Rondo and Sheed seemed to be coming alive. 6th Man award goes to Tony Allen for his heroics while Pierce sat in foul trouble.

Now it’s Orlando, another team with a “best player in the league” (why don’t people just leave that for Kobe!?) in Dwight Howard. Again, everyone takes Orlando (yes!)… The Celtics come in the underdogs, don’t let Howard have a single easy basket by using their fouls intensely, weather a late attack and steal Game 1. GAME ON… The Celtics are going to play team defense, make Dwight Howard play the post 1-0n-1 (which he has never proved he can do skillfully or with authority), and feed on doubt. So keep doubting. There is no Celtics bandwagon.

Updated 5/25/10:

Wow! Rondo made the cover of Sports Illustrated…

Today, after Game 5’s rigged officiating, I am embarrassed to be an NBA fan.

NBA Finals Pregame Update:

OK, 5 day break over! With Orlando, Cleveland, and Miami in our rear-view we have had 5 days rest, a lot of time to break down tape and too much time to lick our chops. I am hungry for some purple ‘n gold blood.

Again the analysts are taking the Lakers (4-6), and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Last night , after watching a replay of ’08 Finals Game 1 (what LA fans know as the Wheelchair Game), I fell asleep. By no surprise, I dreamt about tonight’s Game 1. It was the 4th, there was 1:02 on the clock, 82-90 Celts, and Pierce was going to the line… I’d take that!

I, like most others, think Garnett needs to own Pau to get through this one, but I want to go ahead and say that I don’t see Artest completely shutting down the Truth, Paul will get his at some point. Rondo gonna do his thing, Ray is the wildcard, and Perk WILL keep his cool (too much on the line) but Sheed better drop the Jekyll and Hyde routine, all of which I believe will happen.

LA just isn’t physical enough. I think the key to beating the Celtics is pick ‘n roll offense with a talented point guard to penetrate the D and draw fouls on our bigs. The Triangle is too slow, we can body up and smack their bigs in da lip, clog passing lanes, draw turnovers and spark our transition game… Without a true point guard LA is going to struggle against the Green Devils.

Celtics in 6.

Photography for Free: No Pay Only Shots for Portfolio

“Do you want to work this awesome gig?”

“Hell yes.”

“Great, you’ll be on the list with a press pass.”

“Cool, whats the pay?”

“No pay, just shots for your portfolio…”

Too often this dialogue transpires for the emerging photographer. The responses vary but all photographers feel the same way: USED. Clients in this situation are taking advantage of something new in the freelance photographer’s market: everyone has a camera and to some degree know how to use it.

What clients do not understand is the difference between the amateur and professional. A professional photographer will shoot an event and take, lets say 100 photos, of those 100 maybe 75 will be “keepers”. Had an amateur covered the same event and taken the same 100 photos maybe only 25 will be “keepers”. For my purpose the actual ratio does not matter, it is simply the difference between the two.

A pro photographer is like a lion waiting to pounce on moments and situations using a carefully crafted balance of creativity and skill to capture and create. Unlike the pro, an amateur will approach the same situation optimistically yet without the confidence, knowledge, or experience necessary to get equal results. What ends up happening is moments/photographs are missed (to a variety of reasons) or overall quality suffers. Simply put, a pro MAKES photographs, an amateur TAKES photos.

Because of the advancements of modern cameras, anyone is easily capable of getting good to excellent photos (in ideal situations) without any working knowledge/experience, but in order to do this on-cue repeatedly requires a professional. Sure there are times when there is no budget and a student must be found on craigslist who will work for exposure/experience/something-to-put-in-their-portfolio, but this is an inherent risk to the client. Before looking for a “free photog” you must be absolutely willing to receive sub par results. If you require quality, you must hire (pay) a professional. And please, do not give me the line, “to better your portfolio”, I do that everyday.

*Side Note*

To ALL photographers: You have a skill and should be paid well for it. Wether or not you consider yourself qualified you must understand that the service you are providing is not cheap and anyone cannot do it. Find out what other photographers are charging. If you want to be cheap, be cheap, but don’t sell yourself, and the industry, short by working for nothing. Many potential clients like my work, but can’t afford to hire me. I always try and work with a client and their specific budget, but there must be a point of no return. No one likes to turn down work, but this is how we make our living. Working for free is not better than not working.

City Park New Orleans

Now that summer is finally upon us it’s time to get outside. There are two major parks in New Orleans: Audubon and City Park. For comparison’s sake, City Park is much better. Audubon is a beautiful park in uptown New Orleans with many attractions including a golf course, zoo, track, and riverfront chill spot but offers no way to “get away form it all”.  Since Katrina, City Park has lost its golf course, which is now an excellent off-road bike heaven. But without a zoo, golf course, or Mississippi River view City Park offers enough space (second only to Central Park, NY) to lose yourself for hours. And for all you dog lovers, City Park has a brand new dog park!

Somewhere inside of me there is a little country kid from the coast of Maine. Only in City Park can I feel like I’m not in the city for a while. Amidst its many bike/walking trails, winding bayous, and lush gardens are a million spots where you can hang without running into anyone. For those looking for “things” to do, City Park offers Storyland for the kids, Botanical Gardens, and the New Orleans Museum of Art as well as Pan American Stadium, Tad Gormley Stadium, and a running track. If there is one spot that makes City Park special it’s the Peristyle. Like something out of ancient Greece, this temple-like building is a great place to take a few photographs, feed the ducks, or just watch the clouds go by.

NOFX @ The Aggie Theater in Fort Collins, CO

We should have known what we were in for. Choosing to play the Aggie instead of Denver was warning enough that this show would be special (rowdy). After milling outside through two opening acts (sorry, Tony Sly, go get the rest of NUFAN and we might watch your set), we smashed through the pack to the front. No barricades at this show, and plenty a kids took advantage. Shows like this are not sentimental, but it’s damn cool when Fat Mike tells you, “we haven’t played a show like this since the 90’s”. I mean it, this crowd was pumped up. So much so that at one point the entire band was in the crowd fighting over being spit on. C’mon Mike, you gotta expect that by now… This was an old school show for the ages. They didn’t play a single song from a remotely new album which couldn’t have been more appropriate. It isn’t like these guys could possibly play much longer, so it seems they are making an attempt to get back to basics… I wouldn’t be surprised to see an East Coast tour in the summer. Oi oi oi…

Jazz Fest 2010

Another year of Jazz Fest is upon us. As usual, ticket prices have risen to $60 per day (thanks Quint Davis) and beers are now $5 a pop. Expensive as Jazz Fest is, it’s still worth every penny to see Simon & Garfunkle, My Morning Jacket, and eat Crawfish Monica with a side of Crawfish Bread. 2010 Jazz fest began with rain, but by Saturday the clouds parted and the sun finally poked through during Better Than Ezra.

As happens so often at Jazz Fest many were faced with an awful decision, “Do we see the aging Simon & Garfunkle reunited after so many years, or do we catch My Morning Jacket, a band in their prime?” I opted for the latter and was not disappointed. MMJ played a flawless set complete with popular classics and obscure favorites.

Next week I will be missing my favorite Jazz Fest act of all time, Van Morrison, who will be playing directly before the Neville Brothers close out the fest (expect a quest appearance from Van the Man). Instead I will be in Colorado catching NOFX @ The Aggie in Fort Collins.