Yes, I Said iPhone

Recently I spent two weeks traveling the West Coast visiting many national and state parks, monuments and recreational areas. Those of you who follow me on Facebook saw my daily updates accompanied by a photograph.

Along with my conventional Nikon gear I took a seemingly unconventional photographic tool: my iPhone.

Every photograph I posted during the trip was shot and processed with my iPhone.

I was on the receiving end of many odd looks from fellow tourists as I continually pulled my iPhone from my pocket as my Nikon sat on a tripod nearby.

While my intention was to edit my takes daily, the sheer volume of material I shot coupled with the travel prevented nightly editing. The simplistic approach to photography the iPhone and its various applications made updating possible in seconds.

As I have experimented with various apps over the past few months I have settled on two apps: Pano and Pixlr-O-Matic. Pano allows an iPhone shooter to effortlessly shoot and stitch together multiple frames to make a panoramic photograph. Pixlr-O-Matic offers several filters, vignettes and frame edges. I often use both apps in my iPhone images.

Use of the iPhone camera has crept into the professional mainstream of late. New York based photographer Nick Laham shot portraits of Yankees players with an iPhone and Instagram on the team’s photo day this past spring. San Francisco based photographer Brad Mangin has used the same combination during Spring Training in Arizona earlier this year.

Will the iPhone replace DSLR’s with higher resolution, frame rates and professional lenses? Not for some applications. But millions of people now have a capable camera in their pocket for those “Kodak Moments” they would have otherwise missed with the old technology. The rest of us have a new toy in our tool box of creativity.

Who’s to say the next Henri Cartier-Bresson, who nearly exclusively used cameras with a simple fixed 50mm lens his entire career, won’t be using an iPhone?

My edited Pacific Coast Trip ’12 Photo Gallery at

Chloe’s Bat Mitzvah

It was a pleasure to photograph Chloe’s big day at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest and her party at LaPiaggia on South Beach. We will have more photos on our new website soon!

New Photography Book Pays Tribute to The Orange Bowl

Friend and “former comrade,” photojournalist Scott B. Smith, has amassed an astounding collection of photographs that record the vitality and history of this storied stadium in his new book, The Orange Bowl: A Photographic Journey & Architectural Survey (published by AuthorHouse).

“The Orange Bowl. To a kid growing up in Miami, getting a ticket to a game there was awesome. Sneak in? Never. (It was quite easy…)” Smith writes. “I recall like it was last week, walking up those oh-so-steep ramps and still see the light blue air against the night sky. The field of dark green grass. The enormity of the place. Blue air, you ask? Remember – everyone smoked in the ’50s. It was a night game. Hey, I was nine.”

The Orange Bowl Stadium was put to rest in the spring of 2008, but not before Smith captured the Miami landmark from every possible angle, taking time to find every architectural detail from the seats, the ground and even in aerial shots. In The Orange Bowl: A Photographic Journey & Architectural Survey, Smith records his own experience at The Orange Bowl, over the course of his early life and through his career.

As a child, Smith enjoyed football games with his parents and godparents, tailgating and being a “water boy” and ball boy for the University of Miami Hurricanes. In later years he returned as a sports photographer to shoot for CaneSport and Huskers Illustrated, but in 2008 he revisited The Orange Bowl for the last time, before its demolition, as an architectural photographer who could appreciate the classic, functional design of a stadium of a bygone era. “The book is not about football so much, but a visual memory for the scores of fans who may not have realized the last game attended would be their final time in the stadium,” Smith writes.

In a stunning collection of images from a true fan, The Orange Bowl: A Photographic Journey & Architectural Survey offers a piece of history and a glimpse into fond memories of the stadium that readers of all ages can appreciate and remember for many years to come.

Scott & I worked for a local well known sports photographer in the early 90’s, thus the “comrade” statement. I can vouch for his fearless approach to aerial photography.

Order the book here and view some of Scott’s Orange Bowl photos here.

Our Own "Rudy"

Yesterday Dave Hyde’s column in the Sun-Sentinel told the story of Chris Hayes, a walk-on for the University of Miami Football team who had his “Rudy” moment during a game against Wake Forest last season.

Chris’ moment came the day after his father’s funeral, who had committed suicide earlier in the week.

Ever wonder why you see those “U Family” slogans around? This is one reason why.

Have you ever wondered why I have a suicide prevention ad on my blog? Suicide touches many more families than you can imagine, mine included.

You can read the article here.

The New Frugality, Indeed

This Time Magazine cover from last April is ironic in more ways than one.

The stock photo of a jar of coins was licensed from iStockphoto to illustrate the headline, “The New Frugality.” Apparently, Time’s interpretation of “New Frugality” started with the budget for the cover art.

Normally, a stock photo used on a cover of a magazine with Time’s large circulation would garner about $3000.

Robert Lam, the contributor to iStockphoto who shot the image, received $30.

That’s THIRTY dollars. 1% of the normal rate. And he’s happy about it. So happy, in fact, he wants to buy a back issue and have it framed.

So in the end, he lost money. Great business model, schmuck.

By the way, he wasn’t even given a cutline. iStockphoto received it.

Oooh, the irony!

RIP – Spring Training in South Florida

Yesterday the Baltimore Orioles reached agreement with Sarasota city and county commissioners on a 30-year deal to move the club’s spring training games to Ed Smith Stadium.

The announcement means the likely end to 47 year old Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, which hosted the New York Yankees from 1962-95, and the Orioles from 1996-2009.

The Orioles and the city had reached an agreement to refurbish the aging ballpark back in 2007, but the FAA, who owns the land on which both the park and neighboring Lockhart Stadium sit, demanded an increase in annual payment to the agency to nearly $1.3 million.

The news means that Florida Atlantic University will not be under as much pressure to build their proposed on campus football stadium. The football team has played their home games at Lockhart Stadium since 2003. Lockhart was to be razed to make room for the proposed refurbished Orioles complex.

In the 1980’s, the Orioles called Bobby Maduro Stadium in Miami home. The Yankees were at Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, the Braves and Expos at West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium and the Rangers were at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium. The Cleveland Indians were to occupy a stadium in Homestead until Hurricane Andrew nearly destroyed it in 1992.

They are all gone now.

The closest spring training home to South Floridians is now in Jupiter, where the Marlins and Cardinals train and play at Roger Dean Stadium.

The Sun-Sentinel has a photo gallery of the stadium throughout the years here.

UPDATE: I’m getting challenged by some of you about Jupiter not being part of South Florida. Technically, Jupiter is GEOGRAPHICALLY part of South Florida as it lies just a couple of miles inside the Palm Beach County line, and Palm Brach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are considered South Florida but it’s not CULTURALLY part of it.

Old School – Slides

Recently I was discussing the evolution of photography with a student, mentioning I used to shoot slide film. The student said, “slides? What are those?”

Photography has evolved tremendously in the past 15 years. Everything from capturing images, processing, editing and publishing has changed. In this occasional series, I’ll revisit photographic topics that have vanished in the digital age.

Reversal film is a type of photographic film that produces a positive image on a transparent base. A slide is an individual transparency (one frame or exposure) mounted in a cardboard or plastic housing which can be used in a slide projector. Slides were also the preferred format for many publishers, due to its high reproduction quality.

During a typical NFL game I would shoot 40-50 rolls of film, then have it processed at a professional lab upon my return to South Florida. The next day would typically be spent retrieving the slides from the lab and then editing them on a light table or light box like the one shown below. The “selects” would be identified, sleeved and FedEx-ed to the NFL office in Los Angeles.

Do you think the advent of digital technology has lightened the workload? Think again. Every frame I shoot still gets edited and scrutinized, now its on a computer screen instead of a light table.

I actually miss using slide film. Looking at slides from an NFL game on a light table was like opening a pack of baseball cards as a kid. It was the highlight of my week during the fall.

Shoot the Moon

Tonight, Jan. 10th, the biggest full Moon of 2009 is outside and in full view here is South Florida.

Perigee full moons come along once or twice a year. Tonight’s perigee moon is about 16 hours from the month’s full moon. On January 30, 2010, the perigee and full moons will be just 2 hours apart.

The moon’s orbit is an ellipse, so when it is at its closest approach to earth, or perigee, the moon comes much closer to the Earth than at its apogee, or greatest distance, so it appears about 14% wider and 30% brighter than normal.

Lets Play Shoot Two!

In the spirit of Cubs great Ernie Banks, on New Year’s Day I worked two bowl games, starting my day at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, and finishing at the FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami.

The drive between the two venues was 213 miles and it took 2 hours and 57 minutes with a little help with my lead foot and light holiday traffic on Florida’s Turnpike.

Combined I shot 3500 frames for the entire day.

TOP PHOTO: Knowshon Moreno of the Georgia Bulldogs is tackled by Kendall Davis-Clark of the Michigan State Spartans at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Georgia defeated “Moo U” 24-12.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Tyrod Taylor of the Virginia Tech Hokies beats the Cincinnati Bearcats defense to the endzone during their 20-7 victory at the FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Kodak’s Digital Moment

In this hilarious, three minute, 37 second promotional video, Kodak pokes fun at itself as they try to convince us that their products have moved into the 21st Century. With a Howard Beale wanna-be at the podium, the man rants about how Kodak really “shoveled on the schmaltz pretty thick” on their ads back in the Instamatic era, and how they are “going to turn the schmaltz back up to eleven,” a reference from the film “Spinal Tap” in which the fictional guitarist Nigel Tufnel claims his amplifiers are better because “they go to eleven.”

After all that ranting about how people want “digital things,” fast forward to this week, and Kodak announces a new version of an old film, the Ektar 100. What’s next, an updated flashcube?