Happy Helloween ’13

On October 31, 2013 by vard

Just a quick post to say thanks and kudos to Brian and his crew down at the Berwick Jaycee’s for putting together a great Haunted House this year.  Brian has been talking up his creation since this time last year, and man did he deliver.  I was really blown away at the detail and amount of work he and his misfits put into this effort…it really shows a passion for making what you have work, and work well.  If you didn’t get a chance to see it this year, it’ll be back and bigger in the fall of ’14.  Thanks again Brian…this is exactly the kind of cool stuff this town needs.  My hat is off…

Rock on!

Hitting the Lehigh

On July 22, 2013 by vard

Spent Saturday night and all day Sunday in Jim Thorpe, PA for SteveO’s bachelor party.  Getting this crew together was both challenging and ill recommended, but we did it anyway.  Props to Mike D for getting the gear around to make this happen…and extra props to Lynda, Bob & crew for making sure we survived.  Our mother’s thank you.  And congrats to SteveO and Monica for finally sealing it up official like this coming weekend.  Looking forward to the party!

Rock on!

Briggs Farm Blues Festival (Briggsfest ’13) – Day 1

On July 13, 2013 by vard

So far Briggsfest ’13 has been exactly what we’ve come to expect – tons of music, food and fun…and rain.  Happens almost every year.  And like every year, the crowd rolls with it and keep the party going.  It’s why we always come back for more.  Here’s a quick few from Day 1 before today we get going again.  If you’re coming out today, we’ll see you here.

Rock on and thanks for reading.

Shooting For The Stars

On June 5, 2013 by vard

Two or Three times each year we try to make it up to Maine to visit family and get away from the crazy of life.  And while ‘getting away from it all’ is the goal, the gear and passion for shooting are never left behind.  On a warm evening during last Augusts trip I tried my hand at some long exposure night shots across the lake.  On a clear night at the end of the dock at our cabin you can easily see the Milky Way galaxy in all its badass glory.  It’s truly awe inspiring…literally awesome!

A large print of this shot hangs in my home office and has been my computer background since then.  For someone that really enjoys shooting people, spending an evening shooting the sky is hella relaxing and welcome!


This stuff just blows my mind.  Some times I wish I would have been born a thousand years from now in the hopes that we’d have an easy way to visit deep space…

Last year NASA started a program to inform nerds like myself about when the International Space Station would be visible in the night sky to anyone interested in looking up.  Here’s a link to the signup page if you’re feeling nerdy too.  To me, it’s a super cool way to enjoy the amazing things I don’t have the time or knowledge to do myself (like get a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics).  Watching the ISS sail quietly past on a starry night is about a perfect way to spend 6 spare minutes.  Knowing that there’s people living on it, maybe taking a picture back down at the Earth at the same time I’m pointing my lens up…all that is just too cool!

In the long list of personal shoot projects shooting the ISS as often as possible is a new and exciting one.  Two nights ago I finally got the gear around and my lazy ass up to go do it.  And with a 6 minute pass I was able to get two different shots off in one sitting.  On the technical side, there’s plenty I’ll do differently next time.  Most importantly, make sure I have a fresh battery in my remote trigger! Doh! Bonehead move.  I had to handhold the shutter release for each exposure…doable, but not fun or preferable.  More so, having the remote to use would have ensured a more steady 2+ minute shot.  Lesson (hopefully) learned.

The heavy line in each image here is the ISS.  This first shot is pointed southwest.  Of the other two lines in the image, the lower one is a plane…not sure on the upper one.  Here’s the camera settings for anyone interested: 11mm, 400ISO, 2 minutes, f/9.


I think I like this second shot a little more.  I like using the horizon for a visual reference, particularly when there’s some additional light (artificial or natural, I’m not picky) to play with.  Unfortunately I opened the shutter a tad late.  In this shot the ISS is flying away from the camera towards the horizon.  I’ll try not to make that mistake in future attempts.  Regardless, I still dig the shot.  Here’s the nerdy details: 11mm, 400ISO, 3 minutes 10 seconds, f/9.


Thank you NASA (and other international space agencies) and the ISS astronauts for making these shots possible and keeping my sense of wonder and amazement grounded firmly in the stars.

Rock(et) on!

Thanks for reading and feel free to share this if you dig it!

Casa de Lola & The House of Cool

On April 10, 2013 by vard

A couple of months ago I was approached about doing some work for a lifestyle blog run by Nathalie Barros.  I had previously done some work for Nathalie’s boyfriend’s band and she thought I might be a good fit for the style she was trying to bring out in her posts.  Her blog centers around her daily adventures, from shopping with friends in NYC to travel & cooking and trying to come to terms with her miniature Weimaraner Lola on who gets to sit on the couch.  And she makes the whole thing cooler posting her blog in both English and Portugese (she’s from Brazil)!

For me, working with Nathalie and Lola gives me a chance to shoot in a completely different way.  More freedom and less structure…I can pretty much do anything I’d like; which plays right back into ‘all the other shooting’.  If I do something interesting or technically challenging when I’m working with Nat, it’s easily reusable in the regular Studio D shooting.  And, more than anything else, it’s just fun!

Check out Nat’s blog here, or her fan page here and say hi…and thanks for reading.

Rock on!


Shoot Your Kids!

On March 27, 2013 by vard

In between all the editing and shooting and mistakes and learning you gotta take time to check in with the family.  I had the gear at home the other night and the ladies insisted on a quick shoot.  Not a problem.  Always gives me a chance to play around with lighting and recalibrate my patience capacitor.  I grabbed the lights and they disappeared upstairs for a few to put together their looks.  And I have to give it to them…it was about 30 degrees and windy outside and they pushed through without complaint (the dream!).  When it was finally too dark to shoot in the backyard we came inside and finished up.

No matter how different our likes and dislikes grow over time, I look forward to always behing able to share things like this with the girls.  Rock on ladies!