Monsoon Season 2010

Finally, 2010’s monsoon season is upon us here in the Arizona desert.  Saw an INCREDIBLE storm driving home two nights ago, but by the time I was home and could run up to the roof with the camera (yes, I go up on the roof of my house during lightning storms)… the storm had moved off to the East, and I got only a handful of very disappointing shots.  Tonight, a very fast-moving storm came through — this time actually moving West.  I missed the chance to pick up any shots with the Superstitions in the foreground, but did pick up a few shots as the storm skated by to the North, heading West.

See my flickr set “Lightning” for more photos throughout the season.

(select for larger version)

Free Wedding Photography… For a Price?

There is a great family of classified ads which have made their way around the ‘Net (as well as print media), and they spring up from time-to-time most commonly on sites like craigslist.  The posts in question are parodies (at least one certainly hopes they are)…  They go on and on about how much work they’ll do for cheap, or even free, while at the same time conveying an underlying, almost subliminal, message — This might actually be a very bad idea.

They are in response, to some degree, to the seemingly increasing number of ads placed by “budding” or “new” professional photographers who are looking to start a portfolio (or some similar story), and are willing to do the jobs of other, more expensive, pro photographers — for free.  Likewise, there are even the occasional posts by money-saving brides or wedding planners, scouting out for these “portfolio-builders,” and outright asking for free services at weddings or other events.

The following post is an example of the former, in the guise of a reply to the latter — recently found in Phoenix Arizona’s “Event Gigs” craigslist section.

Here is the current link to the CL post.

It will undoubtedly be removed or age out eventually, so to preserve this gem, here is a snapshot in all it’s sarcastic glory:

phoenix craigslist > east valley > gigs > event gigs

Wedding Photographer (Anywhere gas money takes me)

Date: 2010-06-22, 2:27PM MST
Reply to: [email protected]

Hi! I’m posting this primarily in reply to Mary, from Chandler, who asked to find someone to shoot her wedding for free. Sounds GREAT! Mary didn’t leave an email address or way to contact her, so I’m posting my reply here. If anyone else out there needs your photography done for REALLY CHEAP or even FREE — I hope you’ll drop me an email!!!

Hi there! My name is Larry and I just got a brand new camera last Christmas but haven’t even taken it out of the box. I really want to get into the wedding photography business because I see so many people here are getting married and it looks like easy money. I can’t guarantee that even one photo will turn out looking good but I sure will try. Some pictures will be used for my portfolio and my future website. I start booking appointments this week! I am now booking for Summer and Fall of 2010.

I specialize in all types of Lifestyle Photography including:

Weddings – You’ll have to pay $15 for gas money outside of Scottsdale, though.
Event / Live Performance

My style is classy, elegant and artistic — with a bit of an edge, but it’s a soft edge, so it’s really more like it’s not an edge at all. But it’s a style. I think. Anyway, my photos look really cool and I would be honored to be part of your special occasion or photography needs considering I have absolutely no professional experience whatsoever. I would love to capture those beautiful moments for you and your family.

I have so much passion for being a wedding photographer! All my friends and family tell me I take great pictures at all our outings and picnics, and portraits of our dogs. I used to photograph the cat a lot too, but it died, so now I have more time to photograph weddings with my new camera! I’m putting together a web site of all the flower pictures and sunsets I’ve taken so you can see how good I am. I even have a few pics of my pet dog which turned out really great!

I don’t have a business license, liability insurance, flashes, extra batteries, or even more than a kit lens that came in the box. So, if something goes wrong, you’re out of luck. But what could possibly go wrong? To keep things cheap for you, I won’t even back up any of your images. Less cost for me means less cost for you — Just passing the savings on! Oh, and I expect to be paid in cash or personal check because I don’t plan on claiming this income on my taxes. It’s not really income if I don’t have a business, right? I never liked paying taxes on anything anyway!

I know many fun and beautiful locations. I really care about making brides and models look beautiful! I add glow and selective color to all of my images, giving them the best look possible. No need to hassle with complicated stuff in Lightroom, Photoshop or anything like that. I just use this free thingy I got from Google! I thought they just did that search-thingy, but they make great photo-editing software, too — it makes my stuff look REALLY professional. And fresh. I like to call it “ProFRESHional!”

Bridals and Engagements are only $10. Please trust me to do your wedding. I’ll do it cheap, even FREE, just to build up my portfolio. I will only charge you $250 for your entire wedding day. Or do it for free if you want — whatever is easier for you. This is such a great deal! My camera cost me $700 brand new. All sessions include a Hi Resolution CD with FULL copyright surrender included, which means you get to print your pictures at Wal-Mart! Here’s the BEST Part! I offer 100% guarantee on ALL my sessions! Don’t pay a cent until you are 100% happy with your pictures!

I own a camera therefore I can take photos like the pros, who charge a LOT more. Most brides spend $2,500 on professional wedding photography. Since I have no experience I’ll only be charging $250 (90% off regular wedding photography prices) to shoot full day wedding coverage. Or, if you ask nicely, I’ll even do it for FREE! Just give me a couple bucks for gas and maybe lunch or something.

Think about it: Pros charge a LOT of money because they have a LOT of expenses. I don’t!

Pros have all these things like:
– a business license
– service contracts
– multiple cameras
– thousands of dollars in lenses and flashes
– hard drives to back up the images
– insurance
– experience
– training
– people skills
– color calibrated monitors
– professional print labs
– professional albums

I have NONE of that stuff so we’ll keep it cheap, just for you!

Some people say “You get what you pay for,” but I say, no way! “The best things in life are FREE,” right?!

E-mail me if you want to set an appointment or if you have any questions, I will gladly respond. I’m here for all your profess–no, I mean ProFRESHional needs! : )

Location: Anywhere gas money takes me
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: FREE, just like all the best things in life

Have you come across one of these ads yourself (real or parody)?  Post a comment with a link!  These are such great fun to share…

Lightroom 3 / LR3 Officially Released

Lightroom 3 has been officially released.lightroom-logo-300x300

Download site
LR3 feature list
Free trial download link (standard 30 days)
LR3 Help and Support

Some users on twitter have complained about seeing old resources a the pages above — Adobe reused the same links for LR2 and LR3 — you may need flush your browser cache or force-reload the pages if you’ve visited them recently.

Upgrade cost from LR1 or LR2 is $99.

Boycott Diamondbacks – Protest at Chase Field

Photos from protest — On May 20, 2010, demonstrators gathered at Chase Field (Bank One Ballpark) to protest the Arizona Diamondbacks’ open support of SB1070.  The protest included a choreographed dance, call-and-respond chants and a picket line.

This is one of series of demonstrations protesters have held at Diamondback games over the past month.

Photos available in flickr set “Boycott Diamondbacks – May 20, 2010,” with larger versions available for viewing below.

Boycott Diamondbacks
(select image for gallery view)

Cinco de Mayo March to Arizona State Capitol

Cinco de Mayo protest/march to the Arizona State Capitol building.

On May 5, protesters marched across downtown Phoenix to the State Capitol Building, then held a candle-light vigil.

Related article from

Photos available in flickr set “Cinco de Mayo 2010,” with larger versions available for viewing below.

Cinco de Mayo 2010(select image for gallery view)