Some video camera fun

Earlier this summer I got hooked up with a group of guys who also wanted to learn about taking and making videos.  Here is our first, shot with our DLR’s, in Menasha Skate Park.  I think it is decent considering we only spent two hours shooting and two hours editing. (My memory card with my footage went corrupt so unfortunately I can’t say I contributed anything more than inspirational guidance during editing.) We are planning our next video now.  😉


I’m reluctant to write about this as I don’t want any recognition for my efforts at all, and because they surely don’t measure up to effort and expense of others involved, but at the same time this is so cool that I want to help publicize it so it can continue to spread. Where to start…

Yesterday, I was lucky to be able to help with a Help-Portrait event in Appleton. You’ve probably never heard about it before, but you probably will in the upcoming years. Help-Portrait first sought out last year to allow photographers to use their time, gear and expertise to give back to those in need. I heard about it last year after a small group participated in Appleton and was elated when a photographer/videographer friend asked if I wanted to be involved this year.

While greatly interested in photography as you may know, I have to admit I was reluctant to do this at first. I mostly take pictures of things and not people, and don’t yet have the knowledge or experience with editing, and I would be surrounded by about 10 of the top photographers from Oshkosh to Green Bay. But I wanted to help give this neat gift to people who otherwise mostly likely would never get it otherwise.

Being around many egotistical DJ’s and other music artists for 20 years, I didn’t know what to expect from photographers. I was quickly and pleasantly surprised that they were all very friendly and if they had ego’s, they had put them away for the day. Heck, they didn’t even wear shirts with their business name or otherwise promote themselves in any way.

This year, the event was held at the Boy & Girls Club in Appleton. It ran from 12-5 and the Boys & Girls Club lined up individuals and families to have their photos taken. A group of cosmetologists first did the guests hair and makeup in preparation for their photo. The professional photographers then spent 5-10 minutes to pose and photograph of each of the 50 or so individuals or groups.

Other photographers then selected the best capture of each person or group and digitally edited it to make it looked its best, sometimes with an artistic flair. A printer supplied by area business allowed the guests to get a 5×7 before leaving. (Names of all withheld here as to focus on the event and gifts and not the givers.)

While this was going on, another volunteer supplied arts and crafts to help the children decorate the frame they would put their photo in. Another local business also supplied cookies and there was a room to play bingo while guests were waiting.

What did I do? I didn’t take any portraits–I left that up to the pros. I did present the guests with their photos and got to see the smiles they brought. But mostly I supported the event and learned a lot about the process in hopes of being able to help out again next year and perhaps even grow it. The worldwide date for next year is 12-3-2011.

Some photos from the event:

Help-Portrait website

Space shuttle launch viewing tips?

I have always wanted to see a space shuttle launch, and with 132 down and just 2 to go, my chances are running out.

I think Kelli and I are going to shoot for the November 1st launch.  I’m wondering if anyone has any tips or recommendations on how to take this in?

And if you would be interested in joining us, let me know!  While we are down there we may just be combining it with a 3-4 day cruise (they are crazy cheap right now…only $169).

Storm fallout

With Kelli and I both living in the newer part of town, but yet the most flood-prone part of town, I took a ride shortly after midnight to see the extent of the flooding after the third big storm today rolled through.  Every street I went down was flooded over the curb, and some I didn’t go down were well past the curb. but nowhere near the waist deep (on me!) river that went down Kelli’s street years ago.  But the people in this duplex down the street and around the corner from Kelli weren’t so fortunate.  Lucky for Kelli though that it wasn’t one of the three oak trees about this big within distance of her house.

This retention pond just down from Kelli’s house is at least 8 feet deep and the pic shows a little more than half of it.

Music and fireworks

For about the fifth year, I’ll be playing music before the fireworks in Kimberly at Sunset Park at the lower diamond.  Stop by and say hi if you like.

July 5

Music starting at 7

Fireworks starting at dusk.

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