Mini, family reunion vacation starts today! How about some interiors photos to tide you over.

Today marks our sixth or seventh annual trip with my brother-in-law Michael and his partner Jason to visit Jason’s parents in Carbondale, IL. We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve gone.

It’s our fourth trip with our dog Talulah, who loves the trip, but isn’t all that fond of the drive. She gets a little bored.

We all pack into our car and drive down. Jason’s parents have a lovely large home with a pool and nice views. It’s a chance for Michael and Jason to get away from their record store, Gramaphone, that they own and operate together.

And it gives Tina and I a chance to to spend more time with the people we love.

I’ll likely blog from the road, but I wanted to share these interiors from last week’s shoot.











The spit take


I took this portrait last weekend of my friend James, who is developing a character for some short films and photography that he wants to do of a retired, washed-up cop.

I was screwing with the treatment of the image yesterday, and couldn’t help but stop at this point and say, “Done.”



Anniversary numero six


Yesterday was our sixth wedding anniversary, with an accumulated fourteen years of togetherness.

I made dinner reservations at a restaurant called The Bristol. We had a gift certificate for the restaurant, and I know that sounds cheap. But we have a tradition of celebrating landmarks with GCs.

When we got engaged, I had a GC for Morton’s Steakhouse. Tina knew nothing of the ring, and I used it as a justification to eat out at a nice place. Because otherwise, I cook EVERY night and to eat out means I’ve got a special reason.

I made our reservation for 6:30, because the only other option was 8:30, and these two old people can’t make it to 8:30 very well.

I was disappointed more people weren’t in the restaurant when we arrived. It was us and a Asian couple in the entire upstairs.

There were many things we wanted to try, especially a large ravioli with an egg and ricotta cheese inside. I took some pictures of our food with our little Leica C, which I’m going to sell soon, I think. I like the camera okay, but there are other cameras in its price range that tout much better image quality.

Namely, the Sony RX100 III. Or the Ricoh GR.

All in all, the food was okay. I’m not sure we should have celebrated our anniversary there, so maybe we have to have another anniversary dinner. :)

I’ll post the somewhat shabby pictures of some of our food below.






Day 2 with the Sigma Dp2 Quattro Test Shoot … a bit of Low Light Performance #sigmaquattro


The Thursday of the Sigma Dp2 Quattro Test Drive went okay. If you’re not familiar with this, go here to read more about the program.

I’m still a little miffed that working with raw images isn’t a bit more friendly. I’d love to really get down and dirty with the raw data.

Don’t get me wrong, you can open them in Sigma’s proprietary software, but it’s painfully slow, and this is on my current iMac setup. We also work with large files often, so I’m pointing the finger at Sigma saying, “You should have made working with raw data a bit better before releasing this camera.”

Why would I want to work with a jpg of this size? The images look nice for the most part, but I’m not wow’d and want a chance with them in my regular workflow.

If I can get someone to meet me at the studio today, I might do a couple shots with it in studio lighting.

Many of the shots below were taken with my friends at our local watering hole, just a short two minute walk from my condo in Chicago.

For the most part, these shots are straight out of camera except for a couple that I took using different color settings in the camera. If I didn’t like the color, I just swiped down the saturation setting. The long exposure is one taken by turning on the timer and leaving it on a window sill. 

The focus is pretty good and the anti-shake function seems to work pretty well. The Sigma folks warn you that the sweet ISO window is 100 to 500, and they are not kidding.

If you test-drove the camera, what were your thoughts? If you have any feedback, please leave comments below.













My Sigma DP Quattro arrived yesterday … first impressions #sigmaquattro

I finally received a borrowed Sigma DP Quattro yesterday for a hands-on review.

My first impression was a good one. I liked the ergonomics and the weight. It turned on quickly. And after figuring out the focus feature and how to take it off manual, I did some aperture priority shots.

I noticed it was already set to shoot raw + JPG, and after I saw it in the menu, turned that off to just shoot raw.

My first shots were outside of my dog Talulah. When I got back, I threw the card in my iMac and wanted to open the raws.

They wouldn’t open in Photoshop, so I googled it. I finally opened the envelope that came with the camera and it explained where to find the software to open raw images.

Long story short, the software was way too slow to use effectively. I’m used to large files. We shoot medium format, and I’m no stranger to large files.

So at the moment, I want to send the camera back. I don’t want to work with JPGs. I want to get down and dirty with RAW images.

My favorite moment so far has been photographing the camera itself.

I’ll hold on to it, though, and see if I can land a better impression.