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THON 2010

15 Mar

(Canon EOS 40D, 35 mm, 1/40, f/5.6, ISO 400)

Well, THON 2010 came and went.  I took off from work early and drove through 4 rush hours (DC, Baltimore, North Baltimore/PA, and Harrisburg) to get there in time to photograph it.  My main objective this year was to improve upon my time lapse film from last year’s THON 2009.  The plan was to create more of a short film this year composed of numerous time lapse angles of different things.  I purchased a bunch of equipment, including a new rotating tripod head to be used for slowly rotating time lapse shots.  I will go more into detail about the behind-the-scenes of this shoot in a future post. I captured over 13,000 images that I stitched together in the film below.

I have to thank Scott Lukas for being such an incredible help to me all weekend.  I could not have made this film without him.  He helped me position cameras, started cameras for me when I was sleeping, and coordinated his whole stage crew to aid me.  The crew was awesome and they did a great job not only helping me, but working behind the scenes at THON.  At the end of THON, I had two cameras set up in remote, hard to get to, positions.  Of course, things also got crazy for them at the end of THON with everything else that was happening on the floor.  Within 10 minutes, I had to position a camera in the catwalk, start it, move it once everyone sat down, and then rush down to the floor so that I could shoot the end with a handheld camera.  At the same time, another camera that I had positioned 10 feet above the concourse had to be started with a ladder that we had hid on the other side of the arena.  Without a LOT of planning and the crew’s help, shots like that could never have happened.  I had three cameras going at the same time at TOTALLY different locations very far apart from each other in the arena.

Thanks to my friend and film editor, Ian Jefferys, who did a fantastic job editing the film.  Thanks to my friend Jason Davoli for providing me with his music from his new CD for the soundtrack.  You can check out his new CD at You can actually see Jason and Dan (who plays the fiddle in Free) and their band, Lowjack, performing at THON at 1:37 in my film. If you watch closely, you can even see me shooting them up close halfway into the shot.

I also took some stills.  Please go to to see the whole gallery and order prints.

(Canon EOS 40D, 18 mm, , f/2.8, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 40D, 16 mm, 1/50, f/2.8, ISO 200)

(Canon EOS 40D, 135 mm, 1/160, f/2, ISO 400)

I stitched together a few images to create this panoramic image.  Funny enough, I didn’t even remember this, but when I was zooming in on it, Tucker Haas is performing on the stage.  You can see the photo bigger here.

(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 4 17mm images, 1/60, f/4, ISO 640)

(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 29 mm, 1/60, f/4, ISO 640)

I thought it was cool that they created a heart.

(Canon EOS 40D, 44 mm, 1/30, f/4.5, ISO 200)

The final line dance.

(Canon EOS 40D, 44 mm, 1/30, f/4.5, ISO 200)

I was one of the few people to know that there was going to be confetti shooting off during the announcement of the total because the stage crew was helping me with my cameras all weekend. I know they worked hard to create the confetti shooters and were excited about it. I thought it went really well and looked good.

I had to be up in the catwalk above the BJC so that I could move one of my cameras after it captured the sit-down to a different position to capture the final announcement. After everyone sat down, I quickly (but very safely) moved my camera to the other side of the catwalk and rushed all the way down to the floor (which included multiple ladders, a lot of stairs, and several crowds to wade through) to get in position to shoot the announcement with my handheld Canon 1D Mark IV. I didn’t have enough time to get through all the people to the back so that I could get a straight-on shot, so my shot sucks. But I knew I had the backup shot from the top of the catwalk (see first image in this post), so I didn’t feel too bad about it because I knew no one else had that shot.

(Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 31 mm, 1/100, f/2.8, ISO 800)

The mass of people trying to leave the Bryce Jordan Center.

(Canon EOS-1D Mark II, 15 mm, 1/50, f/2.8, ISO 100)


25 Jan

I’ve been back from Kenya for about two weeks and I’ve finished my photos just in time for my trip to Germany this week.
I’ve really been working on my editing technique which you can see in the photos.  We had a lot of fun in Kenya; saw lots of elephants, giraffes, buffalo, baboons, lions, cheetahs, leopards, and more.  I flew into Nairobi and visited four parks while there; Sweetwaters, Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, and Amboseli National Park.

In total, I shot 5,366 photos, 70 videos, totaling 143GB.

All photos are available to see in this gallery.
The photos are geotagged and you can see them on a map by clicking on the “Map This” link above each photo or view all of them here.
New Feature: you can now order prints of the photos right from within the gallery!

I also shot some video directly on my still camera.  The Canon 5D Mark II captures really excellent video and, although none of it is production quality because I didn’t have the right supports and wasn’t there to capture video, it’s very interesting to watch nonetheless.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 135mm, 1/8000, f/2.8, ISO 400)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 135mm, 1/640, f/2, ISO 400)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 560mm, 1/4000, f/4, ISO 200)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, 1/30, f/2.8, ISO 200)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 135mm, 1/5000, f/2, ISO 200)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 560mm, 1/640, f/4.5, ISO 640)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 19mm, 1/200, f/9, ISO 50)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 400mm, 1/250, f/4, ISO 200)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, 1/500, f/4, ISO 200)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 400mm, 1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 1000)

Update: Here are two photos of me in action.


26 Dec

Finally finished my Utah photos from my trip over Thanksgiving. I wanted to finish these in time before I leave for Africa next week.

View the full gallery here.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, f/5.7, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, 20, f/2.8, ISO 6400)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 50mm, 1/1250, f/2.8, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, f/8, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, 1/1000, f/4, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35mm, 1/1600, f/3.2, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, 30, f/2.8, ISO 6400)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16mm, f/5.7, ISO 100)

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35mm, 1/8, f/4.5, ISO 1600)

Final Honors Thesis

10 Dec

I’m graduating in exactly 9 days. I finally finished my Honors Thesis last week, the product of 2 semesters and a summer of research and work. I’ve created a website for it, I encourage you to take a few moments to read it and share it with anyone who might be interested.


How can traditional media change to embrace an evolving readership and provide a news product that readers find useful and media corporations can make profitable? Newspapers are facing tough times because of the internet news revolution – news is available instantly, anywhere, and for free. It’s a no-brainer for consumers to get their news online. It no longer makes sense to wait a whole day to see the news, and even less sense to pay for it.

At the same time as readers going online for their news, they have also become capable of creating their own reporting; and at times doing a better job of it than trained professionals. This revolution has emerged from the ubiquity of camera and smart phones. In essence, every person with a camera phone (which is most everyone) is a reporter. The difference is that these reporters no longer have to be dispatched to the scene when something happens. They are already there and capable of capturing and uploading content before a traditional reporter has time to get there.

Through this thesis, I will explore this question of how traditional media can change to embrace new technologies and the concept of citizen media interactions. Although I will focus on newspapers because they are in the most trouble, these concepts can be applied to all forms of media to increase readership and become a more active member of the local community.

As a result of the research I conduct, I will create a prototype to demonstrate many of these concepts. The prototype is a multi-device platform that focuses on community involvement with news media. There will be a web interface and a fully featured mobile phone interface to allow photo, video, audio, and text contributions, discussions, and collaboration.


European Delivery 08 Video

6 Jun

After over a year (!), the film from the european delivery of my 2008 BMW Montego Blue 135i has been edited and posted online. It’s 23 mins and absolutely hilarious.

Thanks to Ian for finally editing the 7 hours of footage. Great job.

Here is the video, embedded. Click through to watch it in HD as it’s much higher quality and looks a lot better.

I originally wrote about the trip here. There are plenty of great pictures from the trip.

Across Baltimore

31 May

As I previously said, I had the opportunity to once again climb atop a highrise building in downtown Baltimore City. This time, the building was across the harbor, providing a different view than I’ve shot before.

I got up bright and early to head down to the building around 6am. It was the earliest we could get up, but just late enough to miss the sunrise. That’s okay because the building wasn’t pointed in alignment with the sun and downtown Baltimore and the light was beautiful and warm anyway.

To get to the roof, we had to ride the elevator up 20 some floors and then climb a few flights of stairs. Definitely not the hardest roof I’ve had to access. Once up on top, I had to crawl under a fence-type thing to get to the outer edge of the roof. Early morning dew and repeated crawls to get to different sides of the building caused my khaki pants for work to get dirty quickly. Boss was wondering which gutter I had slept in the night before coming into work.

Below is the finished shot that I captured. Thinking about getting this blown up to poster size. Click below to view it in all of it’s 51 megapixel glory.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17mm, 1/500, f/5, ISO 160)

I took a few shots of my dad, hiding the sun with his head and hitting his face with a speedlight from camera left. I stood in and asked him to take the same shot of me. I probably edited it a little too much, but I like it.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17mm, 1/200, f/16, ISO 160)

One of his employees getting ready to drop off the side of the building.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 135mm, 1/125, f/8, ISO 160)

Blue White Remote Cameras

27 Apr

(Canon 5D Mark II & NIKON D300 stitched together) – click on the image to see a higher res version.

As promised, here is a writeup of the remote cameras that I did this weekend for the Blue White game. I went on top of the BJC several times last week to scout locations for cameras. Some of the ideal spots required bigger clamps than I own (which are all superclamps), so I will have to get new ones for the upcoming year. I decided to do two cameras of similar focal lengths pointing in opposite directions. I borrowed my friend’s D300 and used that in conjunction with my Canon 5D Mark II. 10mm on the D300 (the 1.5x sensor crop factor makes it a 15) and the 17mm on the Canon full frame sensor were roughly equivalent.

Each camera was set up using intervalometers to take pictures at 1 minute intervals. The Canon was using a TC-80N3 intervalometer. The Nikon used its own built in intervalometer. It’s a cool feature but tricky to use – they should have made it easier. Pocketwizards wouldn’t work at that distance from inside of Beaver Stadium. I’m thinking of rigging it next time so that one camera is triggered by an intervalometer which in turn triggers the other camera with a Pocketwizard – that would make it so that the images were taken at exactly the same time.

Each camera took a photo every minute and I chose 2 good ones to stitch together. Check out the image above. Make sure to click on it to view it bigger.

I also took all of the photos from the 5D and compiled them into a movie. Here it is below.

As this was just a test, there are some things to be improved upon. I will pre-set the exposure next time. I had the cameras on Aperture Priority thinking it was a good idea because the clouds would mess with the exposure. Bad idea. The exposures were less consistent, causing some flickering in the video, which I did my best to eliminate. Also, this made it a bit trickier to stitch the two camera’s photos together since Canon and Nikon aparently have totally different ideas of what a correct exposure is. Also, I’m going to try to secure the clamps more. It’s incredibly windy on the roof and even the super sturdy magic arms moved a little in the wind, causing some shaking in the video.

Next year, for football season, I’m going to do a lot of these types of shots and going to do some timelapse videos of in and around the stadium for the whole day.

This is from one of the walls around the air handlers on top of the BJC. We had to pull this ladder up the 3 various ladders and hatches up onto the roof.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17mm, 1/1600, f/4, ISO 200)

Here are the two magic arms overlooking the stadium and tailgating grounds. Quite a view from up there.

(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17mm, 1/1000, f/4, ISO 200)

Here are the cameras shot from the ground with my 1D before the game. You can see how they were pointed in different directions to make it possible to stitch the images together for a panoramic.

(Canon 1D Mark II, 300mm, 1/6400, f/4, ISO 400)

THON Timelapse Videos

23 Mar

As promised, I finished the videos for THON 09. Above is the one combining two different angles. One angle is from the catwalks and one is from my a camera attached to the bottom of the BJC scoreboard.

For the wide angle of the video, I used an old Canon S500 point and shoot camera connected to a laptop on the catwalks of the BJC. The camera was controlled by a piece of software called GBTimelapse which told the camera to take a picture every 30 seconds and download it onto the computer’s harddrive.

Since I didn’t have the luxury of space to fit a laptop on the scoreboard, I connected my Canon 1D Mark II camera to the bottom of the scoreboard with a Magic Arm and controlled it with an intervalometer to take a picture each minute (because I was worried that I’d fill up the memory card). You can see the scoreboard going down and up in the video – this is when I set up the camera.

Here are links to the individual cameras videos.
Wide Camera
Overhead Camera

Hit the jump to see photos of the setup.