Wednesday, March 31, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

Ok so I was in a bad mood earlier today 'cause things haven't been going my way today much less the whole week. To top it off, I've still getting over this silly cold I picked up on Monday.

While I was in the front yard, I stopped to notice that the flowers in the front garden are in bloom. So I literally stopped to smell (and take photos) of the roses.

And, now, you know the rest of the story.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Rant

I cannot abide rude and inconsiderate people. Recently I posted my backup Nikon SB600 flash on Craigslist. I received at least 7 replies but I choose the one that was the closest in location. When I talked to the gentleman on the phone, we briefly discussed the transaction. Typically he did ask if I would lower the price by about $35 but I rebutted that at my price he was already saving about $40 of retail or online price (not including sales tax and shipping which could raise it another $20). All that being said, he agreed to meet me today at a local Starbucks at 11am. Before we concluded our phone conversation, I asked him (as I do in all my craigslist transactions) to please call me if he needs to cancel or change the meeting time.

Well I just came back from sitting at the Starbucks for 20 minutes. I called twice but no answer. So this person did not even have the decency to call ahead nor answer my phone calls. That is the epitome of a rude and inconsiderate person. The only excuse I can think of that I would accept is if his wife was having a baby or he was having a medical emergency. Other than that, he's just another rude person.

'nuff said.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

JP's Thoughts & Wishlist

As I've mentioned in the last several months, a number of my favorite Fantasy and Sci-Fi authors have passed away in the last 3-5 years. With their passing goes any likelihood of publications of my favorite characters, novels, fictionious realms (except in rare instances like JRR Tolkien who left a wealth of literary material for his son to post-publish).

The reason I'm bringing up the topic again is that while perusing Lawrence Watt-Evan's Ethshar FAQ site, I found a list of stories from his Ethshar world that he would be willing to write, if, and I quote, "I do have several more novels planned, if I ever find another publisher who's willing to pay enough to make it worth writing them."

◦The Spriggan Mirror: Gresh, the magicians' supplier mentioned but not seen in Ithanalin's Restoration, is hired by Tobas and Karanissa from With A Single Spell to find the cause of an ongoing nuisance
◦The Vondish Ambassador: The Emperor Sterren opens diplomatic ties with the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars.
◦The Final Calling: The end of warlockry as we knew it.
◦At the Sign of the Crimson Wolf: Valder the Innkeeper is snowbound in Sardiron with an assortment of troublemakers.
◦The Wizard's Garden: The buyer of a dead wizard's mansion discovers that old magic can cause trouble.
◦Azraya of Ethshar: Remember her from With A Single Spell and Taking Flight? No? Well, I do, and here's her life story.
◦A Stranger in the Forest: Not long after the Great War, in an area once controlled by the Northern Empire, a kid befriends a mysterious stranger.
◦A Feather from Her Wing: A young girl in the Small Kingdoms idolizes Irith the Flyer (last seen in Taking Flight).
◦The Rune of the Implacable Stalker: An innocent is accidentally targeted by a vengeance spell.
◦A Slave of Wizardry: A wizard buys a slave to test his spells on.
◦The Sorcerer's Widow: A pair of con men try to swindle a woman out of her husband's legacy.
◦Dumery of the Dragon: A sequel to The Blood of a Dragon -- Dumery and Aldagon encounter complications in trying to carry out their business plan.

Assuming I win the lottery in the near future (ore more likely if one of my business ideas becomes successful), I would be absolutely willing to spend the $30,000.00 per story to Mr. Evans in order to have them all published. I would do this not for my own selfish reasons but to also make the stories available to all those fans of Lawrence Watt-Evans!

So, yea, that's would I would love to do if I had the extra money right now. 8)

P.S. If you don't believe me, I challenge you to read any of his Ethshar novel which would change your mind after the last page!


Friday, March 26, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

Since I needed some new food photos for my meeting today, I pulled at my custom light box and a plate full of cookies.

Not bad for a 5 min job, eh?


Thursday, March 25, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

Here's some photos I touched up in Lightroom 3 beta and Photoshop CS3 from a model shoot I did on Wednesday.

I'm using a new style of editing that emphasizes the washed out, magazine look. Let me know what you think. The headshot and portraits are left with the subject's natural skin color, thus I have not added the new look.

Thanks to Michelle for being such a great model yesterday!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

Last night I attended HealthNow's DVD launch party as one of the photographers. I had a chance to take some photos of the yummy gourmet pastries and food setup for all the attendees.

The cholocate eclairs were so delicious! Yum. I think these photos captured how good they looked. Trust me, they tasted even better than the photos. LOL.

If your in the mood for gluten-free gourmet, check out this website, Gluten Free Gourmet.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How To: DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio

I found another custom, do-it-yourself design for a macro box that I like, "How To: DIY $10 Macro Photo Studio" from the strobist website.

I think this one is more flexible and costs less than the one I made last week! So Wed or Thurs I'm going to attempt to make it.

Photos to follow, of course.


Monday, March 22, 2010

California Education in Ruins!

carolynecorelis posted some great photos about a March 4th protests against California's education cut backs that are affecting college students. I also left a comment on my view on the issue on her blog.


JPP Daily Photos

My youngest niece made a new friend this weekend. Isn't he the friendliest dog you've ever seen???


Saturday, March 20, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

Image# 1
Image# 2
Image# 3
Image# 4
Image# 5

Here are some more photos taken with my custom light box. The first three set of photos of the donkey were all taken using an SB800 in Nikon CLS wireless mode. The first two were set on the left side of the box with the aperture set to f2.8 and f5.6 respectively. The last photo was taken from above at f5.6.

The next photo is a can of Mountain Dew with the same settings as the last Donkey shot but with the image cropped.

The last one of the two fruits was with the same settings.

Noticed on all of the photos, the fallout from the shadows is minimal. One of the best advantages of using a light box is the light is diffused usually wrapping around the object. Thus making the subject or object more agreeable to look at.


Friday, March 19, 2010

How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY

Remember last week when I posted that article on "How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY"?

Well after a trip to Michael's art store where I purchased $18 worth of materials, I spent about 4 hours today making my own light box!

Fortunately I already had a lamp with "Daylight” Bulbs. Taking out my trusty Nikon D200, I took the following quick shots of some items in my room.

I should be using my new light box with some gourmet food next week. I will post those photos when their available.


Photoshop Tips

I found this great article on "How to use Layer Masks and Adjustment Layers in Photoshop". I've been using layer masks and adjustments for the past year. And, without a doubt, its changed my view of post processing in photoshop. If you've been using photoshop awhile or even just a beginnner, I highly recommend you watch this video.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photography Trip

With the weather so nice here in the bay area (SF, Northern California!), I'm in the mood to do a roadtrip. If I could figure out how to do it on a shoestring budget, I would love to start from So Cal and work my way up the coast to Nor Cal. Just taking pictures of what I see. Or maybe I'll just drive up to Pacifica this weekend....


website update

Just updated my website with a new look and some new photos. Changed the color scheme and the design. I thought it needed something new!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

Awww the weather is nice today. Spring is in the air. This picture reminds of the last time I went to yosemite in 2007. I had a great time with my buddy, Jeff, at one of Yosemite's rivers.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Photography Wish List

Here's my wishlist for equipment I need for my photography stuff:

1. New Body like Nikon D300 or D700. Ideally the D700 so I can get back to full frame photos! Also the newer high end D-SLRs have higher ISO with low noise which is ideal for in door low light shooting.
2. Nikkor 50mm and 85mm fast lenses. Preferably around F/1.4. I had to sell my Nikon 85mm F1.8 last year which was a bummer. 8(
3. Scrim for my outdoor lighting situations.
4. Quantam flash, again for outdoor lighting situations.
5. Alienbee studio lights with portable PSU. With softboxes and umbrellas!
6. Pair of Pocket Wizards for the studio lights, of course!
7. Fisheye lens for more creative photos.

Now if I can line up 10 paid photo sessions for the next couple months, I could get a few of these items on my list. =)


Monday, March 15, 2010

Photo Tips

Jen from is giving away a free photoshop action as well as having a sale on her actions. Check out the promotion here.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Youtube Video

Maybe its 'cause I'm a guy. Or maybe 'cause I like the Aussie accent but check out this video...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Photo Webinar

I signed up today for Kerry Allen's PSH Ditto Cam - Urban Grunge webinar on March 16th. This webinar will be showing some of the latest techniques for taking urban grunge look for senior photos. Can't wait til the webinar starts!

Oh and found about the Picture Social website, supposedly "The Network for Photographers." It actually looks a like like Facebook but with a photographer theme. lol

Check out both sites if your interested.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Photo Tips

How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY by Darren Rowse

Read more:

I'm off to the store to try to make one of these inexpenive light boxes!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Photo Tips

Great article from North American Photo for WB.

White Balance What is it? How does it work? Why should I care!
By Clark Whitney, CTO, North American Photo

Its always better to nail your white balance (correct colors) on the spot versus correcting them post-processing in photoshop or lightroom. The latter is time consuming when you have to process hundreds or thousands of photos! Believe me, I know.


Monday, March 8, 2010

New Blog Site

So I've designed a new blog site that will concentrate on my photography, social media and viral marketing interests.

The regular John Paul's Blog will be still updated but cater more to my personal interests.

Here's the link the new blog site.



Sigh. I've already signed up for some recent David Cuerdon webinars. Plus I just bought some Red boots wedding album photoshop templates last week.

Now I see David Saffir has a cool webinar on social marketing which many of you know is my latest passion! Well hopefully this webinar will run again in the near future when I my budget is in the green. For those of you interested, here's the info on the webinar:

Mastering Social Networking and Social Media – David Saffir instructor $109 for both evenings (Part 1 of a 2 part workshop) Wednesday, March 10th – 6:30pm to 9:30pm SCV Center for Photography.

I highly encourage you to check it out and sign up for the webinar!


JPP Daily Photos

Check out these waves photos link.

Some of the most beautiful waves photos I've ever seen!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Social Marketing Tips

Another great article on Social Marketing from David Saffir, 35 Great Social Media Infographics.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Photo Tips

Got this link from my Kerry Allen newsletter. Just a short video following a wedding photographer who is taking shots of the Groom and some groomsmen.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

JPP Daily Photos

So I finished the 4th part of Graphic Authority 101 - ADVANCED - David Cuerdon’s Favorite Photoshop Tips! Since I have some of the tips fresh in my memory, I decided to edit some past photos using these tips (using layer adjustments).

There are just some quick edits. I'll do more in depth using the wedding photos from the last 3 weddings I've done in the past year. Plus maybe some senior and model photos.