Saturday, December 24, 2011

S.C.I. Now rockin' the Canon 60D

Since 1984 I have been a Canon user, actually started with a Pentax K1000 in school but my ownership has been loyally Canon. I used and abused the Canon AE-1 Program for close to 20 years.

It got me thru high school. It got me thru college. It got me sporadically thru the Nineties and into the new millennium. I was slow to adopt the digital age and even reluctant at times. I was tempered in film and chemicals. Long story shortened I broke down and in the beginning of 2004 I bought a Canon D300.

 The Rebel was a nice camera to launch myself into the digital age but I soon realized that I would need something more professional. A year later I bought the 20D.

 The 20 D had been a favorite of mine thru out the years. Other models came soon after. The ill fated 30D (a mild evolution of the 20D.), 40D & 50D. Although the technology and styles were becoming superior to my 20D I stuck strong, mostly due to finances which in hind sight was a good thing. 6 years after my purchase of the 20D, while on a shoot, the mirror mechanism failed. After researching the repair cost I came to the conclusion that it was time to put it on the shelf next to my 35MM SLR hall of Fame.

Welcome.... The Canon 60D

I feel a bit premature writing this because I yet have to play with all of the functions yet but I feel safe saying that I will be hard pressed to find any flaws that are worth complaining about on a regular basis.
The camera was  lighter (755g) than the 20D (770g) that I had become accustomed to and I was now looking for SD cards as opposed to CF. Also the battery that the 60D takes is a Lithium-Ion LP-E6 (as opposed to the Lithium-Ion BP-511A) which is not a setback but I now have 3 back up batteries that need to replace.
 The huge display on the rear is IMAX compared to the tiny screen on the 20D (3.0" vs 1.8", around 70% larger) . The ISO has been booted up to 6400, and image resolution...18MPx as opposed to the 8.2 that the 20D had offered.
On top of that I now have the capability to shoot HD video. Now I am not saying that I am the best videographer out there. Not by a long shot. And it seems that as much as I wanted video cameras in the past I never could get out there and purchase one. I was always torn between price and which recording format to chose.  I had seen Digital8, MiniDV, DVD, Hard disk drive direct to disk recording, &  Flash memory . The high degree of the camera I chose becoming obsolete was enough to nix my spending. So I am very excited to try my hand in video.

Yes, coming into the new year with a new rig is going to be exciting. I've been scouring the web for DIY projects and processing techniques. Now the only thing left to do is save up for a new Mac that can handle my recent upgraded equipment, so do your part.... Hire me!!!

Happy New Year from
SkyCrab Images

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tags: The Good, The Bad, All Ugly

     When I was in high school and just starting to decide what I wanted to do with my photography as a career I would look thru magazines for inspiration from different photography careers. Rolling Stone, Playboy, National Geo., Circus, American Photographer, and the like. I'd thumb thru looking at composition, lighting, trying to understand darkroom techniques and figure out how and why an image made it to the pages of whatever publication was in my hand at the time. I always noticed the small print usually in the lower corners of each image by the border that would read  "photo by, Insert Photographer Name". I thought to myself, man, that is where I wanna be. Right there in small print on the corner of my image. That was the top of the hill. The summit of the mountain I was climbing. 
     Cut to twenty some odd years later and the digital age (I wont go into the discussion that we all have about the backside of digital photography and how many people who picked up a camera last week who now attach the title of Photographer to their Vista Print cards) what with Photoshop being the digital darkroom of choice there are so many options to creating an image the one prevalent theme is to slap ones name to every image produced. I will admit that if you go to some of my images online I am guilty of this as well but have not practiced it in some time. Personally, I find it to be one of the worst trends in the art form. I do not understand putting in hours of work to create an image just to muck it up with a bunch of text and a logo. And some of these logos, well lets just say that if I were a psychologist I am sure I could have a paper published on the direct relation to logo size and ego size.

     I know that this is probably not the most popular stance I have taken. I also know that I have friends in the industry who, if they are reading this now, are thinking, "Hey man, you're talking about me!".  Maybe, but  I am not writing this to criticize or down anyone's work or choices. I just think that there should be a better way. Perhaps thru metadata or EXIF .
     Yes we need recognition for our work. Yes we want credit for our work. I would just like to see it take another form so when we show our work we don't find it necessary to soil it with some sort of brand recognition. Ultimately what I want is for someone to see an image unclouded by Myriad Pro font and say, "I know that photographer. That's 'Insert Photographer's Name '." But until that time if you need to find me, I'll be  in the corner. By the border.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Less is more (or how I put all my eggs in one basket)

Ive been trying to update the webpage for a couple of weeks now and every time I do I seem to end up with no update and a fist full of hair. I believe it is because I am looking to others sites and trying to reverse engineer their style. Recently I have come to the conclusion that I am working harder and not smarter. Today I am uploading, (as I type) the revamped SkyCrab Images site. 

The site is now an all inclusive one page link fest to flash galleries for photography, graphic designs, social networking sites and contact information. All things concerning S.C.I is found in one place. no need for complex navigation, Kid. Less is more.


Also, today, we have created a new gallery for Mitch . The new gallery is  CSS based  and allows his paintings to be displayed properly as well as their titles and dimensions. This gallery has not yet been uploaded but should be viewable by the end of the day or early in the A.M.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

SkyCrab Images brings you, Mitch Hollingsworth, Artist

     Being in Key West, what was once a bohemian artist community that is now flooded with cheap lithographs, reprints, and framed crap that isn't fit for a Motel 6 wall, I truly value the artists in town who actually have a unique vision and style. Not all artists and galleries in town are geared for the banal mainstream status quo but there are a lot. One of the artists who rises to the top is, I am proud to say, a very good friend.
     Mitch Hollingsworth has been a resident artist in Key West since the mid nineties when he moved to the island from Illinois. In those years his ventures have been many. From selling the art created in his studio 'Chicken Shack Gallery' in Bahama Village, faux finishing some of the finest homes on Key West, Sunset Key, and Little Palm Island, to his most recent display which can be seen in the Milwaukee Art Museum's "Día de los Muertos" starting Sunday, October 23, 2011.  Mitch's medium is primarily oil on wood.
     Mitch recently returned from a 5 week hiatus in which he took time to see the "Día de los Muertos." display. After talking with other artists he realized he needed some web presence and called upon SkyCrab Images to do the job.  MitchHollingsworth.Com is the result.

     Mitch's website is a simple one. A standard front page with an adjoining flash gallery with 20 or so of his pieces. At this time there is a link for an info/bio/about page which will be up soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

But I don't have Photoshop... Not an excuse anymore.

(Attribute this post to boredom and a necessity to discover things I don't need  .)
     While doing my early morning surfing which usually is a standard E-Mail, Facebook, Huffington Post mish-mosh of diversion while I have my first cup of coffee, I fell into the whirlpool of what I call Web-Nosis. [Web-Nosis] : the act of traveling unconsciously from one page to another via links in what was going to be a fully read article.
     During this particular day I stumbled upon something that I am surprised to find out has been around since 2008.  
Photoshop Express . This is, described in Wikipedia, as a
      'Flash-based image editing web application from Adobe used to directly edit photos on blogs and social networking sites, so that users do not have to download or upload images' .
In short, it is an online working Photoshop program. Granted it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that I am used to but if you're looking to make that point and shoot picture pop, then this is perfect.
When you sign up for a free account you get:
  • 2GB of free storage
  • Online tools to edit, create, and share
  • A personal gallery and profile page
  • Slideshow templates and creations
  • Video storage and streaming
I loaded a picture into the beta myself and can say, if you're looking for something quick, free and PRODUCTIVE then you have Photoshop at your disposal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I always end up back in the kitchen....

I don't know why. Is it because I am Italian? Is it because I was (and am still to some extent) a picky eater? Is it because my first job was bustin' sudz in the kitchen of Gaetano's restaurant back then, a lifetime ago, in Mattapoisett? It is possibly a question for a philosopher, but I seem to always find myself entwined in the Food and Beverage industry no matter what I do in life. Sure, I'd love to bang out my own ideas but I don't pay myself a respectable wage whatsoever. So I take the work that is given to me and rent is ultimately paid.

That being said, things have been up in the last few months. Key West Food To Go, a restaurant food delivery service, has been established and given a presence thanks to yours truly. Their logo and sight design is 100% SCI. The logo was a quick make due to time.

More recently, we have been creating menu, table tent, & coaster designs for Pat Croce's Rum Barrel. Most of the design work has been done using their existing logos and basic design principles.