Category Archives: Weekly Wednesday

Aloha to all!  Happy Wednesday, Hump Day and Cinco de Mayo…geez it is a busy day here!  Just wanted to stop by for a little welcome back as we have returned from our week long vacation in Kona, Hawaii.  We hope everyone is doing well.  Did we miss anything fun while we were gone?  We want to know.  We had a fabulous trip with our family.  It was great to relax, tan, see some new places, take some photos and drink Mai tai’s.  By the way, if any of you ever make it to Kona Island, you must visit Don The Beachcomber.  All I have to say is “Home of the Original Mai Tai”!  We may have had a few drinks there because they had such a fabulous view!  Who am I kidding?  We went there for a Mai Tai’s, but the view was exceptional.  Both Jeff and I are in the process of editing our photos from the trip.  You may see a few more pop here on the blog or on Facebook, so stay tuned!

Here is a little sneak-peek from our favorite snorkel beach of the trip.  I just love the coconut palms and water!

We hope you all have a great week!  Mahalo, J+D

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Welcome back to, yet another, Weekly Wednesday blog post.  Just looking back, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve thrown one of these out there.  Between being pretty busy, and just forgetting, it occurred to me to update ya’ll on what’s been happening lately!

Is anyone else going to be happy when Lost is over?  I mean, I love Lost, and have since day one.  But, I just want it over and all the questions, answered.  Not that I fully expect them to answer everything, but it’s just starting to frustrate me most weeks!

I wish the weather would make up it’s mind.  Last weekend it was about 84, sunny, and hot.  Today, it’s supposed to be barely 60, and raining.  I guess that’s just spring.

I’ve started up running again.  I had started back in January, did really well for a few weeks, and then got sidetracked.  So far, a week or so in, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.  That being said, I still hate running!  I attempted to get out on my bike last Saturday.  Felt good, until, the hot Santa Ana winds picked up, nearly blowing me off of my bike and into a curb.  If we are friends on Facebook, you might have seen the video I posted.

As most you might know (I think I’ve mentioned it before), I’m part of the OC Daily Photo Blog.  It’s a group of 7 people that each assigned a day, and post up a picture showing  Orange County.  It’s been a fun project, and has forced me to get out from time to time, and shoot for fun, instead of for work.  Some of my shots are better than others, but it’s a fun project nonetheless.  Here are a few I shot a couple weeks ago, on the first day of Spring, while walking around Downtown Santa Ana.  It’s such a cool, and interesting area over there.  I’m definitely going to try and shoot over there more often…

A Fake Polaroid of a small pool hall/bar.  (side note: Polaroid is coming back!  Can not wait!)

One of the newer Loft style buildings they have been building the past few years.  It’s interesting to me how the new and the old co-exist in such a small area.

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Hey everyone!

So,  in just a couple of days from now, Dana and I will be heading off to New Orleans for 6 days of relaxing, eating great food, having a few cocktails, and checking out the sights.  This will be our 4th trip together there, and my 5th trip to New Orleans, overall.  Every time we go, we find something new we had not seen before.

Over the years, I’ve developed a sort of code to live by when traveling.  It started with my sister, years ago.  It was mainly just a couple rules, partly to get you out of the day to day rut most of us are in, and to keep track of how many places you’ve been.  I asked on FaceBook and Twitter for other people’s rules. Some were pretty good.  Here are mine:

1. No Chain Restaurants-I can eat at a McDonalds, or a Denny’s anywhere in the US.  That’s pretty boring.  Get out and try truck stops, diners, hole in the wall joints.  Ask the locals where they eat… and then go there!  That leads into the second rule…

2. Eat and Drink like a local-If I’m in New Orleans, I’m not drinking a Budweiser.  I’m reaching for an Abita Turbo Dog.  Mainly because I can’t get it here, easily, and it’s brewed locally in Lousiana.  When we were in Minneapolis a few weeks ago, I had a Bells beer.  It was pretty good… and local!  If there is a local specialty food on the menu, try it.  If you aren’t sure what to get, trust the waiter!

3. Don’t be that guy at Airport Security– You know who I’m talking about.  The guy that complains the entire way thru the security line.  Listen… we’re all in the same line, and YES, airport security sucks.  You have no choice… deal with it.

4. States count as 1 point, Countries count as 2-I think my sister is beating me overall.  She has a few more countries than I do, but I have about 22 states plus Mexico!

4a. If you don’t leave the airport, that state DOES NOT count.

5. Be a Traveler, not a Tourist– This might be my most important rule.  Do a little research before you go somewhere.  Check out what the locals are into.  Blend in.  Believe me, if you look and act like you belong, you might just to see things the tourists aren’t seeing!  In short, act like you’ve been there!

So there a go… Anyone else have any rules they live by while traveling?  Let us know… maybe we can add them to our list!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (Jeff)(Dana) to see what we are up to, and to see some camera phone pics while on the trip!  See ya in about a week!


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Hey Kids!

We’ve been super busy lately, and have totally forgot to drop some  Weekly Wednesday action for ya!  This week, we decided to wrap up our Minnesota trip with a few pics we shot for fun while walking around downtown Minneapolis, and a few random places along the way.  For those of you who don’t follow us on Twitter, or Facebook, you missed out on seeing all the details as they happened, including a ridiculously long layover in the lovely Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.  There was a pretty gnarly lightning storm around Dallas, and kept us up in the air an extra hour.  Once we landed, we grabbed something to eat, and waited around for our flight to board.  About 30 minutes later we hear over the loudspeaker that they have closed to the airport, and they would let us know when they would reopen.  Great.  Well, the airport opened and closed about 4 more times before we actually boarded the plane.  We should have arrived at the airport here at around 10:30.  Instead, we didn’t land until after 1am, and by the time we got our bags, got our car, and drove home, it was nearly 2am.  Bah!  But we made it home safely, and that’s all that really matters.

We are going to take our chances in a couple weeks as we fly out to New Orleans for some MUCH needed relaxing.  If any of you are in New Orleans, and wanna hook up for a drink, or some pics, hit us up.  We don’t have any definite plans, as usual, and will most likely be spending our time walking around and taking pictures, eating killer food, and enjoying a cocktail, or three!

Here come the pics…

Travel Photography Orange County

I just love this woman’s red hair.  This was my view for a few hours on the flight out!

View of the Stone Arch Bridge, and Minneapolis in the background.

And, last, but not least… a few handheld self portraits.  Clockwise from the top left: Us after the wedding, enjoying a drink, and some Pizza; Having a Dark and Stormy at the Sample Room; On the Stone Arch Bridge, overlooking the Mississippi River; In front of the Mall of America!

Oh, and since I didn’t write in there who took which pics, we’ll open it up to guesses!  The person with the most correct gets 500 points! GO! 🙂


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Hola Amigos!

Dana and I had a nice relaxing weekend.  All we really had planned was a Photo Walk thru Old Town Tustin with 50 of our closest friends!  Every year, Adobe Sponsors these Photo Walks in over 900 cities around the world.  You basically get a group of people together, pick a location, and walk around taking pictures.  After you get back, you can upload them and win prizes and stuff.  We’re still weeding thru the pics, and might post up a few this weekend, or later on next week.  We’ll let you decide who’s pics are better! 🙂

So, last week, I started what I’m hoping might be a semi regular thing here on Wednesdays, and that’s the “Ask a Photographer” topic!  So far, only 3 of you were brave enough to ask us anything… that’s cool.. the questions were pretty good, and hopefully I can answer them for ya!

Question #1 from Matt Donders: If you could shoot at any one focal length or with only ONE lens, which would it be?

Good question.  For me, I don’t really have a favorite per se.  It is usually the best lens for any given situation.  I did just pick up a  20mm f/2.8 which for a walking around lens is just wide enough on the D300 to feel pretty normal to me.  For years, on my old film camera, I used a 35mm f/2 as my standard walk around lens which is slightly wider than the standard 50mm lens.  So for me, a little wider just feels right.

Dana might answer this and say either the 17-55 f/2.8, or the 50mm f/1.8 are her favorite lenses.

Question #2 from Elaina: Why is Nikon better than Canon? At some point, I will have to go out and buy a new camera. What should I get and why?

And the basic answer is… it just is!  Just kidding.  Honestly, both Canon and Nikon make extraordinarily good cameras.  In my opinion, Canon was leading the way, up until Nikon introduced the D3 and the D300.  Nikon finally caught up.  For us, Dana and I have always used Nikons.  I sold my Minolta gear in college, and bought an all manual FM2 that has traveled all over the country with me, and it has never let me down.  When I met Dana, she already had a better Nikon than me, so I scored there! Since we both had lenses, it seemed the obvious choice to stick with Nikon when we made the jump to digital.

As far as what camera you should get.  It gets to be like a Ford vs. Chevy debate amongst car people.  Both are good.  Both will get you great pictures, if you know how to work it, and both cameras have superfans that are usually pretty loyal!  For me, a lot has to do with how the camera feels in my hand, how it’s balanced, and how easily I can navigate around the menus.  The camera should feel like an extension of yourself.  I’ve used Canon, and it just doesn’t feel right to me.  That doesn’t mean it won’t be the same for you! I’m sure Canon people will argue with me on this one!

As far as which camera you should get… even the entry level Nikon or Canon cameras are pretty good, and waaaay better than the best digital cameras from just a few years ago.  For a hobbyist, I would buy somewhere in the mid-range, and spend most of your money on lenses.  You’d be amazed what really good glass on a basic camera can do!

Question #3 from Suz: What is the best (and least expensive) solution to sun spots?

Now, I had to DM Suz on Twitter to clarify what she meant.  And by sun spots, she was talking about flare.  You know… those orbs of light that tend to sneak into the picture, and either make or break your picture.  I personally kinda like a little flare, when it works with the picture, but at the same time, I’ve had tons of pics ruined as well.  I seem to notice it more with wider angle lenses.  The 20mm lens I just picked up is SUPER flarey if you angle it at all towards the sun.  There are a few ways to help counteract flare.

One-Don’t shoot into the sun.  I know sometimes it’s hard not to, especially if you really dig the shot, and there is no way around it.
Two-Use a lens hood.  These are usually lens specific, and correlates the the focal length of the lens.  These usually don’t cost a ton, and work pretty good most of the time to help reduce flare.
Three-Use your hand as a shade.  This may take a little practice.  If you have your shot set up, and notice flare coming into the lens, take your left hand and try to block the light the light from entering the camera.  If the sun is on the left hand side of your frame, move your hand above the lens, and to the left… move it around while looking thru the viewfinder. Make sure you don’t get your hand in the picture (like I did in a shot last week!)  Once you got it blocked, take the picture.  This is what I end up doing most of the time, if I have to block flare on the fly!

Well, I hope that helped you guys out a bit!  Feel free to hit me up here, or on Twitter if you ever have any questions!  I’ll leave you with one pic from the Tustin Photo Walk.  Not the best shot, but a good look at some gnarly flare from my new lens!


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Howdy Amigos!

Did I just say “Howdy”?  Yeah… I guess I did!

So, what’s been going on out there?  It’s been kinda crazy around the Sipper household, as last week I caught some gnarly summer cold, plus my ears sealed up so I couldn’t hear anything out of my right ear for a few days.  If you follow me on Twitter, I’m sure you’ve heard all about this! And now, Dana caught whatever I had, and it’s knocked her out of commission this week!  So, if you are looking for our regularly scheduled Photo Blog entries… you might need to wait until next week! 🙂

That being said, I’ve decided to start something new here on the blog, just to see how it goes.  It may go nowhere… it may turn out to be fun, and hopefully, a little informative.  So here we go…

Ask a Photographer!  Do you have questions about photography? Want to know more about any of the services we offer?  How we do the things we do? Why Nikon is better than Canon? (Just kidding Canon people… sorta! :-))  Pretty much anything!

Go ahead and drop a question for us in the comments section, and we’ll answer them in next week’s Wednesday post.

That’s all I have for now!  See ya next time!


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