Barrier to Entry


Some eye candy before I start my rant… | Order a print of this image.

I have a tough job.

Yeah, yeah.  I know what some of you might be thinking…”hold up, you work at home.  How hard can that be?!!”  Not talking about that part – I actually think that part’s awesome.  I love my job.  The tough part is that I’m in an industry where there is no real barrier to entry.

Every single person who walks into Best Buy (or navigates to B&H Photo or Amazon) right now can walk out with a camera (even a drone these days) and a turnkey system that does what I do (for the most part).  No real barrier to entry.  There’s no test.  No certification.  No actual degree needed.  All of credentials set you apart and certainly improve the chances that you’ll actually make it, but it’s not required to call yourself a photographer or video producer.

Therein lies the issue.  I have to co-exist with everybody these days, because everybody is a photographer.  Everybody is a video editor/producer.  I’m not trying to rain on anybody’s parade.  You can actually become a decent photographer/video producer without a degree, but you have to work really hard at it, maintain it and even then not everybody can do it well.  I’ve got a long way to go and I’d loathe myself if I ever thought I knew it all.  Heck, even the major players (networks and production houses) make continuity mistakes and bad decisions in their productions.

I’ll just continue to try to stand out from the rest and have faith that my potential clients will know the difference and make good choices when it comes to production quality.

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

Mission Accomplished

Well, I did it.  I said I would and I did.  I went into panic mode in the first 200 meters of the swim because I started the race cold and my heart rate skyrocketed.  And you can’t really stop and rest when you’re swimming in open water.  I found my stride at about the 1/4-mile mark and shaved about 20 minutes off my swim time of my first (and only other) Olympic some 20 years ago.  The run was a little slow because I was favoring my leg from the surgery, but all in all I’m pleased with how I did and how far I’ve come since the end of January.



I’m committing to competing in the Challenge Williamsburg this Summer.  I took an entire year off of racing and am itching to get back “in the saddle” so to speak.  I think I might be done (won’t really say “never”) with pure bicycle racing for now, but need/want to stay fit.  I think this is how I’ll do it.  I was looking over the course maps and sure enough, this is where it starts!

Jamestown Beach Park near Williamsburg, VA

Jamestown Beach Park near Williamsburg, VA

Something On Me

Apparently this hat has become my vacation hat.  I only got it for our trip to Africa so my head wouldn’t burn because of my short hair, but I’m loving it now.  I might just make it my “shooting” hat.

Something On Me



That unattractive phase of the winter storm where the roads have started to clear and what’s been laid down underneath is really starting to show.  And it gets in your house.  And in your car.  It’s just blah.





Really putting myself out there.

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.”

– Jimmy Buffet


In My Town

I think I’m going to change it up a bit moving forward with my One-A-Day.  So much about photography is about being in the right place at the right time so I’m going to post photos (hopefully never-before-seen ones) according to a daily prompt (which may also change in the future), but not necessarily taken on that day.

This image is a prime example of right place, right time.  This image was taken just before the downtown walking mall was completely redone as part of a revitalization push.  This view, however, didn’t change much.

The Night Before

ViewBug featured this photo and had me describe my process for their social feeds. See it here.  Order a print of this image.

On My Plate

It’s not couscous. It’s not rice. It’s Quinoa.


Quinoa, a species of goosefoot, is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family.

I’m guessing that most people will notice what’s behind my plate first!


Ever thought about a gift for someone and wondered “What can I get them that they don’t already have?”

I think we’ve all been there at least once.  What DO you get that cyclist/golfer/photographer/musician/hobbyist/amateur/computer geek in your life?  I can speak volumes about all the weird gadgets that exist out there.  I love ’em.

I’ve collected plenty of them over the years.  I have a hot-shoe bubble level, lens filter wrenches, drawers full of all sorts of apple sync/charging cables, firewire and USB cables galore, a full shop of pro cycling tools, cases for this and pouches for that, multiple editing input devices and I even have a larger-than-life mouse from a Christmas party years ago.

Mighty Mouse

The “Mighty mouse”

So if you think there’s nothing left to get that certain someone, think again because companies are always creating stuff that you never knew you needed.


So the new “toy” I just got for Christmas is something I’ve always actually wanted, but never got it for myself.  Rain gear for my camera.  Don’t know why I’ve never invested in it.  I have rain gear for my bags, rain gear for myself, but I’ve never had rain gear for the actual camera.

Cool.  Just cool.

A noise

A lot of everyday objects will elicit a certain sound in your mind just by seeing an image.  I started my day with this sound…

A Sound

I had a couple of teeth pulled today.  It wasn’t so bad.  But there’s nothing quite like the sound (or smell) of this thing grinding away in your mouth and all the other associated sounds that go right along with it.

Thanks to Dr. Amos (Facebook link) for humoring me when I wanted to take pictures afterward.

I suppose dentists’ interpretation of the catch phrase “It’s like pulling teeth” is a little different from mine.

Black & White

Black & WhiteHave you ever tried to drive anywhere without the radio on?  What about all you runners – ever train without the music  Ever seen a TV commercial without a music track?  It gets your attention because something’s just not right about it.  What about movies?  Even most silent films still have a music bed.  What would the world be like without music?  Think about it.  It would be weird.  Could we do it?  Would you want to?  What would the consequences be?

Just food for thought.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

– Plato



Guess I got a little too excited about taking Disney character photos last weekend!

Another follow-up – this time to day 10.  I spend all kinds of time making sure my lenses are protected.  Lens hoods.  Lens caps.  UV filters.  Protective bags and pouches.  And I’ve been successful.  So with all that energy focused on the lenses, I got a little careless with the other end of the camera recently.  The LCD screen on the back of the camera.

Typically the LCD screen is exposed.  Luckily the Canon 60D LCD screen has a protective layer of glass on top.  It saved my LCD screen for sure.  Guess I’ll be investing in one of these for my 7D.


Can you tell I'm a big Apple fan.  Just saying.

Can you tell I’m a big Apple fan? Just saying.

I don’t consider myself a computer geek at all.  In fact, just today I contacted SmugMug to ask how to point this domain to my SmugMug galleries.  I got some kind of gobbledegook back that makes no sense to me.

Instead, I get “geeked-up” about computers because I’m excited about how creative they allow me to be.  Or how efficient.  So when I opened Final Cut Pro X for the first time in quite a while, I got geeked up.  Those of you who couldn’t care less about software editing workflows can just stop reading now.

I’ve been editing with FCP X since it was released.  I was one of the early adopters.  And through all the criticism and complaining from the world at large, I stuck with it.  And I’m glad I did.  They’ve improved big time.  I could go on all day, but I’ll spare you.  This latest update is huge in terms of workflow, organization and efficiency.

They’ve bundled the events and projects into libraries now just like in Aperture.  They’ve bundled them.  Together.  This is huge.

Alright, I’m a geek.

Every Day I…

My home office is taking shape.  Definitely saving money on gas these days.

My home office is taking shape. Definitely saving money on gas these days.

Here’s a follow up to day 2.  I’ve gotten my workspace to a comfortable point.  You know, that place where it’s cleaned off enough that you can start working in it, but you know there’s more to cleaning than shoving stuff to the other side of the room.  For now, the only angle of this room will be this one.  Nobody sees the other side of the room.

So, for now, this is my commute to my new office where every day, I go to work in my PJ’s.  Things could be worse.  Things could be much worse.

A Building


I know Disney pays attention to the details, but how specific do they get?

My wife and kids are very musical and I was at one time long ago. On my trip this weekend, I stayed at the All Star Music resort and saw this on the side of the building. My sister suggested I take it home to see what it would sound like if my family plays it.

It just may a first for my musician wife to play a building.


Wishes at The Magic Kingdom.  It's always a challenge to shoot something from a unique vantage point.

Wishes at The Magic Kingdom. It’s always a challenge to shoot something from a unique vantage point.

Shooting fireworks is fun and I’m always fascinated by how well choreographed they are.  It’s just a huge light painting in the sky.  So cool!

Tonight, I got to watch the Magic Kingdom firework display from a different vantage point.


Early bird gets the worm situation.  This is what Walk Disney World's Magic Kingdom looks like at 4:30 am.

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Kudos to all the runners who completed the Run Disney Half Marathon today.  And good luck to all who will be running the full tomorrow.  I’ve been supporting my sister at Walt Disney World and am extremely tired from my 2:30 am start.  Same time tomorrow so this will be short and sweet.

Getting to my first viewing position this morning was kinda creepy, but neat at the same time.  If you ever get the chance to ride the Disney monorail completely alone – take it.  It’s spooky but calming and peaceful.

Plus you just might get to see one of the theme parks before they open it.



Please tell me if you’ve seen the dark chocolate version of these…

I don’t eat a lot of candy. But I love me some Hershey milk chocolate drops. As I was purchasing these for my camera bag this weekend (gotta keep the essentials in mind ya know) the lady at the checkout counter told me they make them in dark chocolate, too.

Dark chocolate Hershey drops. I’m on a mission to find some now!


My first accessory for every lens - UV filter.

My first accessory for every lens – UV filter.

Folks, if you’re serious about your photography equipment – even if you’re not a photographer by trade, but simply want to protect your gear as best you can – there’s no better investment than the UV filter for your lens.  Any lens.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the Canon 1DX, the Nikon D3X, a mirrorless camrea, a point & shoot or a camcorder – there’s almost always a UV filter that will fit your gear.

You don’t want to learn from experience that a simple lens filter could have saved some fairly expensive equipment.

I remember the one time I dropped my camera gear.  We were on vacation and it was a simple camcorder (huge compared to the ones today) hidden deep in a backpack of other “toursity” things.  I heard it fall off the stroller and crack the pavement.  I thought for sure the camera was done for.  The only thing that broke was the UV filter!  It’s now the very first accessory I purchase whenever I get a new lens.

I cringe when I see a lens without one.  That glass is delicate people.  Take care of it.

You don’t want it looking like this.


I knew going into this that I wouldn’t create a piece of art every day.  But it’s also my goal to improve my photography skills.  I’m pretty happy with this one so I’ve made it available to order.

So I just had one of those “Holy crap!  I’m my father now” moments.  In this age of electronics and instant gratification, it’s not surprising that my son just wants to play video games all day.  So I recommended that he find something else to do – maybe something outside.

But I started the conversation “When I was a kid…”

Am I officially old now?