Miss ECSC 2018 Preliminary Round 4

Miss ECSC Preliminary Round 4 took place over Memorial Day weekend at The Shack in Virginia Beach. The top 4 of each round advance to the semi-finals in August at the 56th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship presented by Vans and Fueled by Monster Energy.

Preliminary Round #5 will be tomorrow, June 23rd,  at Blue Pete's Restaurant

Lightroom Series: Organization

I've gotten a lot of questions about different features in Lightroom and how I use Lightroom in my workflow. Im going to be doing a series on Lightroom answering these questions.

The first part of the series is going to be on Organization. Organization is key for every photographer. You need to be able to find your photos in the future. The main way that I organize my photos is by synchronizing all of them into Lightroom. 

Before you synchronize your photos into Lightroom you need to come up with a file naming and folder hierarchy system. For my folders they always start with two digit year, two digit month, and two digit day. So for June 20, 2018 it would start "180620." The second part is what the event was. If it was a sports event Ill put the two teams. Modeling Ill put the name of the client.

For file naming I start the exact same way with year, month day. This is followed by "-N-EP388-." This is a Navy file naming thing so you don't have to put this. The important part is the last part and that is the sequence number. The first photo I take in a day will start with a sequence number of "001" and that will increase for all the photo. So the first photo I take today will be:

The important thing to remember is do not reset the sequence number throughout the day. If you do multiple events, just keep the sequence number increasing. This will keep you from having duplicate file names.

The next part is the Map feature. I geotag all my photos so I can find locations I've shot at previously. When you geotag the photos it will add a marker on the map. Whatever folder you have selected in the library view will populate the markers in the map. You can select multiple folders in the Library view if you want to look at multiple folders on the map.

The third part is face detection. I use face detection to identify the subjects in all the photos. The name that you enter into the face detection box will be added to the keywords field. Going along with face detection is using keywords. Using keywords for your photos makes it very easy to search and find your photos at a later date. 

The search feature in Lightroom is also pretty powerful. At the top of the Library view you have three choices to search. You can search by name, attribute, or metadata. Using the name search you can search the keyword field and all the photos with that keyword will show up. This works for regular keywords you enter as well as any names you enter using face detection.

The attribute search allows you to search the selected folder(s) by star rating or color class. If you want to just see photos with a particular star rating you can select that rating and only those photos will show up.

The last search feature is metadata. The metadata allows you to search through your photos using filters like camera, lens, shutter speed, focal length, aperture, ISO, etc. This is helpful if you're looking for photos taken with a particular set of settings or taken with a particular camera/ lens.

You can check out the video I made below. If you have any comments or suggestions for future videos let me know.

June 12th Photo News: Canon 70-200 updates; Apple Mojave; New Drone Bill; DXO Nik Collection

The new Canon EF 70-200 f2.8L IS III and Canon EF 70-200 f4L IS II are now available for preorder. Starting with the 70-200 f4 II, the majority of the updates involved the image stabilization system. The lens now has five stops of image stabilization (up from four), three modes for IS (up from two), and Canon states the IS system is much quieter now. Canon also decreased the minimum focus distance from 3.9' down to 3.3', gave it new lens coatings, and increased the number of aperture blades to nine (up from eight).


The 70-200 f2.8 III, on the other hand did not receive any major updates. The 70-200 f2.8 III now has an Air Sphere Coating that, according to Canon, will reduce lens flare and ghosting. Canon also, gave it a new paint job making it a whiter shade of white. Canon says the optical elements are unchanged from the previous version of the lens. 

The Canon EF 70-200 f2.8L IS III is available for preorder and expected to be available in August 2018. The Canon EF 70-200 f4L IS II is also available for preorder and has an expected availability of late June 2018.


Apple announced at the 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference that starting in macOS 10.14 Mojave, they will start removing support for 32-bit architecture programs. This could potentially have a great effect on photographers because a lot of photography software is still running in 32-bit architecture. Notably, for the sports photographers and journalists, Photo Mechanic is running a 32-bit architecture. Hopefully, the announcement will give developers the opportunity to make updates to the software to allow them to run in future macOS operating systems.  

If you want to find out what programs on your Mac are running in 32-Bit check out the link.


The Department of Homeland Security is urging the Senate to pass S.2836 which is named "Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018." The bill would be "To assist the Department of Homeland Security in preventing emerging threats from unmanned aircraft and vehicles, and for other purposes." and would allow DHS to detect, identify, monitor, and track the unmanned aircraft system or unmanned aircraft. As well as the authority to disrupt control, seize control, confiscate, or use reasonable force to disable, damage, or destroy unmanned aircraft systems or unmanned aircraft.

In a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, the ACLU wrote: "While the potential security threat posed by drones is real and the need to protect certain facilities is legitimate, strong checks and balances to protect property, privacy, and First Amendment rights are vital,” the ACLU writes. “S.2836 lacks such measures. The bill amounts to an enormous unchecked grant of authority to the government to forcefully remove drones from the sky in nebulous security circumstances"

The full text of S.2836 can be read HERE.

DXO Nik.jpg

Finally, DXO released Nik Collection 2018. The collection is on sale right now for $49.99 and will eventually cost $69. I did a full video on why I purchased the 2018 DXO Nik Collection which you can watch HERE.

Miss ECSC 2018 Preliminary Round 3

Miss ECSC Preliminary Round 3 took place over Memorial Day weekend at Beach House Live in Virginia Beach. The top 4 of each round advance to the semi-finals in August at the 56th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship presented by Vans and Fueled by Monster Energy.

Preliminary round #4 will be today, June 10th, at The Shack in Virginia Beach

Why I Paid for the DXO Nik Collection

The big debate online right now in a lot of forums is about why should I pay for the DXO Nik Collection. The big arguments against paying are 1) I have the free version that works fine 2) DXO didn't change anything.

First off a little history, the Nik Collection has been around for a very long time and originally it sold for $500. In 2012 Google bought the Nik Collection and started charging $150 for the collection.

In March 2016 Google made the decision that they were no longer going to charge for the Nik Collection and in May 2017 Google announced it would no longer be supported or developed. Personally I think Google stopped developing and supporting the Nik Collection well before they announced it in 2017.

In October of 2018 DXO announced they would be purchasing the Nik Collection which brings us to June 6th, 2018. I got an email that the "new" DXO Nik Collection was available for purchase and this is where the "controversy" started.

In 2016, when Google made the Nik Collection free, I downloaded it and started incorporating parts of it into my work flow. I really liked the software and what it could do, but there was a problem. As Adobe continued advancing the development of Photoshop and Lightroom, the Nik Collection became more unstable and unusable and eventually didn't work at all on my computer. This was a major complaint from a lot of photographers.

When the DXO Nik Collection was released, DXO put on their website the four things they had changed.
1) Fully supports the latest versions of Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photoshop Elements
2) Fully supports the latest Mac OS X Operating System
3) Better Stability
4) Auto Update engine now integrated into the software.

Whats New.png

All four of those things were very interesting to me because not only had Adobe made a lot of changes to their software but OS X is on High Sierra and there was a lot of complaints about the free version of the Nik Collection not working on High Sierra.

Now lets jump back to the controversy. The two big points were "Why should I have to pay $50" and "Why should I pay when nothing changed"

Well, you have to remember, the Nik Collection was not always free. It started around $500 and was that way for years until Google dropped the price to $150. The Nik Collection has only been free for around two years and during that time it was not developed or supported.

Software development and support costs a company money and quite frankly a price tag of $50 is pretty good to get software that I liked using that is going to be supported and developed into the future.

The second part of the debate, which is "nothing changed" is both valid and invalid. On the surface it is true, nothing changed. The DXO Nik Collection still contains the same 7 plugins as it did before, has similar controls and similar features. The thing is, the Nik Collection did change, but it changed "under the hood"

Since DXO purchased the Nik Collection they when through the source code and improved the code so it would be stable on every modern version of Photoshop and Lightroom as well as the latest versions of Mac OS X and Windows.

So while the outward appearance might not have changed they spent a lot of time fixing it so it was compatible with modern software and operating systems.

This needed to be done to get a good baseline before updating any of the plugins. By releasing a stable version DXO can get feedback from customers on compatibility issues and get a good solid foundation. Once this happens DXO can easily make changes to the individual plugins or even add plugins to the collection.

The last thing DXO did was integrated an auto update engine. Now if Adobe changes or the operating system changes, DXO can develop and distribute an update to maintain stability for the Nik Collection. Personally this is worth $50 to me.

Now with all that being said DXO still has the free 2012 version available on their website for download. The only caveat is, the 2012 version will not be supported or updated in any way. 


Check out my ramblings in the video below. If you're interested in the 2018 DXO Nik Collection you can check it out here.

If you're looking for the free 2012 Nik Collection (remember its not supported) you can check it out here.

June 5th Photo News: Nikon Trademark; Canon Lens Mount; 500px; Time Drone Cover

Nikon filed a trademark application in the European Union for the term "Noct". The trademark would cover “Cameras; digital cameras; cameras with interchangeable lenses; digital cameras with interchangeable lenses; lenses for cameras; lenses for digital cameras; interchangeable lenses for cameras; mount adapters for lenses; camera mounts; lens mounts; parts and fittings for all the aforesaid goods.”

It appears the trademark would cover an entire camera system including cameras and lenses and could be an indication that Nikon is planning on using the term "Noct" for it's mirrorless camera system that is supposed to launch before spring of 2019. 

In Canon news, Canon filed a patent application for a new lens mount which is similar to the current EF and EF-M lens mount design. The test of the patent application, which was roughly translated by Canon News, states:

Canon newlensmount.jpg
Conventionally, the serial communication (synchronous serial communication) of a clock synchronization system has been adopted as a communication method of a camera and an interchangeable lens. The following technical contents are disclosed in the Patent document 1. First, synchronous serial communication is performed with the first communication speed with which an interchangeable lens old type can also communicate. When the interchangeable lens with which it is equipped is distinguished from a new lens by the communication content, it changes to the synchronous serial communication in a more nearly high-speed second communication speed.

The new design could be an indication of what is going to be included in the new full frame mirrorless camera from Canon. The text of the patent suggests the new lens mount could be a hybrid design and could be able to handle both EOS-M and EF style lenses.

500px will be closing down its marketplace on June 30th 2018 and transition licencing over to Getty Images for worldwide distribution except in China, and to Visual China Group, which will be exclusive to China. For all the information and details on the transition check out 500px's webpage


The latest cover of Time Magazine was created using 958 drones. Time magazine and Intel's Drone Light Show team created the display which recreated the iconic Time logo and red border in the skies of Folsom, California. The entire display was 100m tall and was filmed using a cinema camera mounted on another drone.

The cover of the magazine was actually a screen grab from the video captured by the cinema camera. To check out the behind the scenes video on how the display was created check out Time's behind the scene video here.

Composite Photo Number 2 (Hurdler Panoramic)

Here's part two of my composite photo series. In this video I use Photomerge in Photoshop to create layers with layer masks to put together the composite photo. The awesome thing about using layer masks is you can add and remove parts of a photo just by using the paintbrush and painting them in or out of the photo.

In this photo I went up to the press box so I could shoot looking down onto the track. I panned along with the runner as he went up and over (actually through) the hurdle on the track.

Again, like I said in the last video, detail is key. Take your time when you're putting the layers together and when you're editing the individual layer masks. The more time you take and the more detailed you are, the better the final image will turn out.

Check out the video and final image below:

Kingsmill LPGA Tournament

Went up to Kingsmill Resort for the LPGA Tournament but unfortunately the day that I was supposed to cover the tournament was rained out so I didn't get to photograph any of the actual tournament. Luckily there was some players practicing and I was able to get a few shots of the players on the practice green and at the driving range.

I was planning on making a VLOG about photographing the tournament but didn't get to do that like I was hoping. I got the first part of the VLOG filmed and was on my way to the tournament when I got an email saying it was cancelled. Since I was almost there I continued to head that way to see if I could get a few photos. 

There was a few golfers practicing in the rain, so I got a few photos then headed home and ended up just giving a few tips on covering golf. Check out the video below.

May 29th Photo News: Sigma 105 f1.4 price; Sony 400 f2.8 cover; D5 Firmware update; Sony vs Nikon

Sigma announced the 105 f1.4 DG HSM ART "Bokeh Master" will cost $1600 and will start shipping in late June. The Sigma 105 f1.4 boasts 17 optical elements in 12 groups including 3 FLD, 2 SLD, and 1 aspherical element.

It will have Sigma sport line level dust and splash proof design but I still dont think I would be taking it out in the rain. The 105 f1.4 will be available in Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mount. The Sony E-Mount version does not have a release date at this time.

Sony Artisan Patrick Murphy-Racey gave us a close up look at the new Sony 400 f2.8 G Master Lens. The 400mm lens was recently on display at the Kando 2.0 workshop. Unfortunately, it was in a sealed glass case. 

Murphy-Racey gave an up close look at all the buttons and switches including a small cover on the tripod collar. When he asked about the cover, Sony engineers said "Its a secret." The Sony 400 f2.8 is expected to be released in September 2018 but no price has been announced yet. Check out the video HERE


If you're a Nikon D5 user, Nikon released firmware update 1.30. Nikon added recall shooting which can recall previously saved exposure settings including shutter speed and aperture. Nikon says the feature could be used to switch quickly between scenes that require different exposures.

Im still testing the feature out, but if it works the way Nikon says it should it would be incredibly useful to event and wedding photographers when moving from indoor to outdoor locations and switching between two exposure settings with the push of a button.

The Slanted Lens released a comparison between the Sony a7RIII, Sony a7III, and Nikon D850. According to The Slanted Lens, Canon did not make the cut because they do not have a camera that competes in the price point. In the video they look at auto focus, resolution, ISO, exposure, picture profiles, and slow motion. Check out the video HERE.

According to B&H Photo's website, for a short time the D850 had an expected delivery date of January 1, 2100. B&H Photo said that date was an error and has since updated their website. So, if you're waiting to buy a D850, hopefully you won't be waiting 82 years.


Camera Straps and BlackRapid Turn-In Program

So I happened to be on PetaPixel today and saw an article about a photographer using a Peak Design Capture system and about how it failed and the camera fell not once, but twice in a 30 minute period.

Now, personally I use BlackRapid straps and fortunately I've never had one fail on me before and dropped a camera. However, I have had them come loose and I've almost dropped a camera before but luckily I caught it before anything bad happened.

I dont want this video coming off as me bashing on Peak Design. I've personally never used the product so I dont know how good or bad the system works. I wanted to stress the importance of checking whatever camera strap you use, making sure it's functioning properly, and you know how to correctly use the strap. 

The second part is more of a coincidence and when I pulled up YouTube there was a video from BlackRapid that was posted a few days ago about their camera strap turn-in program. Basically (if you live in the US), you can mail BlackRapid your old strap, fill out a form online, and BlackRapid will give you a 40% off, one time use, code to buy anything from their online store.

Whats even more awesome is that the program is not only good for BlackRapid straps but any sling style strap from any manufacturer.  

Since this was too much of a coincidence for me I figured I should take the time and let everyone know.

You can read the article on PetaPixel here

Check out BlackRapid's Turn-In program here.

Composite Photo Number 1 (Monster FMX Flip)

Going to do a two part composite series. This first video is how to do a "locked off tripod shot." What I mean by that is, setting up the camera on a tripod, capture things traveling through the scene then putting them all together in one image. In this image it happens to be a rider on the Monster Energy FMX team doing a backflip between two ramps.

I go through the steps I used to put this image together and show in Photoshop how its done. One of the things I stress in the video, and that I want to stress here, is when you're doing composites take your time and be as precise as possible. The more precise you are the better the composite image will turn out. 

Check out the video below along with the final image.

Miss ECSC 2018 Preliminary Round 2

Miss ECSC might have kicked off with preliminary round #1 a few months ago but Preliminary round #2 took place just a few weeks ago on May 12th at Bucketheads Bar and Grill in Virginia Beach. The top 4 of each round advance to the semi-finals in August at the 56th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship presented by Vans and Fueled by Monster Energy.

Preliminary round #3 will be tomorrow, May 27th, at Eagles Nest in Virginia Beach.


Im planning on starting to upload more videos to YouTube but I need your help. I've got some ideas for videos that I'm currently working on but I want to get ideas from other people as to what they want to see. I want to make videos that I like but I also want the videos that I make to help other photographers as well.

If you have any suggestions for videos send me a message and let me know. Check out my About Me page for all my contact info or leave a comment on the video below.

USS Monterey Homecoming

After coming home from several deployments on a ship I finally had the opportunity to be on the other side of homecoming. Here are a few photos of the USS Monterey returning from a seven month deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibility. 

Harbor Park Baseball

Couple weekends ago I went down to Harbor Park for a weekend of baseball. One of the cool things was they had a high school game between Tallwood and Oscar Smith. Its really awesome to let high school teams play on a minor league field. Also ended up shooting a Tides game which is always entertaining to shoot.

Flying Pirate Half Marathon and First Flight 5K

Photographed the Flying Pirate Half Marathon and First Flight 5K a few weeks ago and just wanted to post a few of the photos from the races. Enjoy.

Miss ECSC 2018

Miss ECSC 2018 Preliminary Rounds actually started back in February but I failed to post an update on it, so here it is. The next round is actually coming up on May 12th if you want to come out and check it out in person. Check out the event information HERE

With that being said here are the contestants and winners from Round One at Peabody's.

Modeling Update

Just another modeling update from some recent studio work. Still hoping to get outside and do some shoots in the near future.

Modeling Update

Its starting to warm up in Virginia so Im hoping to get out of the studio and start shooting on location but here are a few more from recent shoots I've done in studio. Enjoy.

Modeling Update

Another modeling update from some of the recent studio work I've done. Enjoy.