Archive for January, 2008

January 31, 2008

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst…

by Kyle Smith

On Tuesday I photographed Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s visit to San Jacinto College. The first time I was introduced to our Lt. Gov. was back in 1999 when he weasled his way into the race for the Texas Land Commissioner. Of course it’s fairly common knowledge that it takes money, and lots of it, to get into politics, but he took it to the limits. To my best knowledge, this is pretty much how it went down:

“Hey everyone who’s running for Land Commissioner, if I give you tons of money will you step out of the race,” declared Dewhurst. “Sounds great, money will always take precedence over morals, after all I’m a politician,” replied everyone running (Except Jerry Patterson).

“Forget that, I’m in this to represent my state,” said Patterson. “Well, you’re gonna pay for that. I’m gonna run a nasty campaign against you now,” Dewhurst responded. “Fine, but I have morals and even if I lose at least I know I’m not a sell out,” said Patterson. After a nasty campaign and many republican’s having to cross lines they never wanted to, Dewhurst got his way and became the Texas Land Commissioner in 1999.

So that’s pretty much how I’ve viewed him ever since. Until this past Tuesday. Of course, any politician is going to preach to their audience and not rock the boat, so I’ve kept that in mind. But with all that said, I’m very impressed with him. I agree that we need to do away with standardized testing and start implementing end-of-course exams. Imagine teachers being able to teach their curriculum!!! And I agree, we do need to do something about the boarders. I don’t think a wall is the answer because just like Dewhurst said, “If they want to come over, a wall is not going to stop them.” And concerning the boarders, it’s not a hateful act against Mexico, it’s an attempt to hinder everything coming into this country illegally from drugs to people. And like Dewhurst, I’m fine with people being here that are undocumented, but just get a Visa and pay taxes. And if you want to become a citizen, then get in line like everyone else and do it the right way.

Of course there were other issues discussed but the main thing that really stood out to me was that he was for education (of course he was at a college so who knows if it’s 100% accurate). But he was part of the process for the “B” On Time Loan, he was part of the process of getting our health benefits reinstated after Gov. Perry recklessly vetoed them all to smithereens, he’s working towards end-of-course exams as opposed to TAAS or TAKS, and last but not least, he has a concealed hand gun license (haha, that’s really not a selling point but I just thought I’d throw that in there).

So Lt. Gov Dewhurst, I’m glad you spoke at San Jac, you now have an avid supporter…

January 18, 2008

Nikon Creative Lighting System…

by Kyle Smith

We’re in the process of combining all of our program brochures into career cluster brochures to correspond with the AchieveTexas Career Clusters. Part of this process is to obtain images to accompany each brochure. Like any other type of photo shoot, lighting is critical (especially if your shooting indoors with those nasty florescent lights). So what myself and the other writer/photographer (Rob) decided to do was to take full advantage of the Nikon creative lighting system. We have a decent Novatron system but it’s so bulky to take out every time we need some stock photos.
Our set-up consists of a Nikon D80 set to commander mode, a SB-800 set to remote on a tripod, a SB-600 set to remote being held by either myself or Rob (depends on who’s doing the shooting). We will typically use the SB-600 as a hair light and the SB-800 as a fill light. The nice part about the D80 is when you’re in commander mode you can set the on-camera flash to fire but not effect the lighting (it sends out the signal to the remote units and then they fire along with the shutter). We’re still perfecting this method but here’s what we’ve done the past two days for the Physical Therapy Assistant and Respiratory Care programs… (the last image I left the SB-600 w/ softbox in the image)…

January 15, 2008

Adobe Creative Suite 3…

by Kyle Smith

I had the pleasure of attending a one-day seminar for Adobe CS3 today. It had it’s ups and downs, but was still pretty sweet. There were two sessions you could attend, a print or web session. I went to the web session but probably should have gone to some of the print sessions. The Dreamweaver session taught me absolutely nothing, but I must say it was a pretty good one hour intro to the program. Then I attended the Flash session which was pretty good, it was rather basic so I kinda knew most of the stuff being covered but it’s still such a complex program I’ll take all the help I can get.
The third session covered Fireworks. This is the program that essentially replaced Image Ready when Adobe bought Macromedia. They showed us how to create a site starting in Photoshop, then moving it into Fireworks. I guess it’s an alright method for doing a small simple site, but still gives some sloppy code. I think I’ll stick to CSS.
The Photoshop session was probably my favorite. Our “teacher” was also a photographer, and a Nikon user at that, so he showed some pretty nice photography tricks. Really nothing I didn’t already know, just really simple, slick ways to do it. One of the coolest things he showed us was how to take a 4×6 image and blow it up to a 30×45 (well at least that’s as far as I got before I exhausted all the RAM on my MacBook Pro and the hard drive had to kick in) without distorting the image or losing any detail.
All in all, I feel like I know a lot more about the entire sweet and how it all works together, but still have a long way to go before becoming an ACE. It’s back to the grind tomorrow…

January 4, 2008

Dunn Brothers Coffee…

by Kyle Smith

Well, it’s official. My favorite coffee shop just closed. The entire company didn’t but the store near our apartment did. I know what you’re thinking, it’s okay there’s still 5 Starbucks within walking distance. But that would mean you’ve never tasted the coffee goodness of Dunn Bros. So it was a good run while it lasted, I guess I have to travel to Katy or downtown now to get my fix…

January 4, 2008

Chad and Sarah…

by Kyle Smith

In October I did an engagement session just a little outside of College Station, TX. Here’s what I like to call the highlight reel. I made the photo galleries in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Usually when I develop a digital, black and white image I will use Photoshop, but for the sake of time, and this online gallery, I converted them all with Lightroom’s black and white preset. If Chad and Sarah want any of the b&w images I’ll properly convert them with my usual methods. Most of them converted nicely but some are either too dark or lack contrast. Enjoy!

Color Gallery
| Black and White Gallery