Joe Urbz Media & Photography

Photo Prints

Rose and I have been working hard on finding a workflow for printing and framing our photos. So we want to sell prints. Wow, what a challenge for sizing, glass, mattes, $$$, cost, and more. It is overwhelming for digital landscape/nature photography; so unlike portraits.Custom mattes cost a fortune!! I think Michaels knows us by our first names now. LOL. We do love coupons.

I spent quite a bit on Red River paper to work with my Canon Pixma 9000 mkII printer. I ordered 13x19 sheets of Gloss, Matte, Metallic, and Ultra Satin. Also got some 8x10 Aurora White (fine art paper) and 4x6 of other papers. We are preparing to offer some framed prints for a silent auction/local fundraiser (good cause). Holidays are also approaching. We hope to experience some sales soon. If interested, let us know!

I also updated my Shutterfly book. This 8x8 book really helps people to get a sense of what I am up to outside of the video world. Rose and I have planned some photo excursions in late November and mid-December. Time to learn more about lens filters for all that white snow. Winking

Click here to view this photo book larger


Golf & Lens

Quite an eventful few days this week so far. Yesterday, I took Allie to an executive golf course with the intention of teaching her a few things on the driving range. However, the course was wide open, so we took on 18 holes. Allie has visited the range once before -- over a year ago. I did not know what to expect. Well, it took a few holes with a positive attitude and she got the hang of her own junior clubs and went to town, averaging about 12 a hole on par 3’s. She loves her pink driver and junior Odyssey putter. She never lost a ball and kept hitting it straight. I ended up being her caddie at times. I found a few things in my own game to bring some minimal confidence back. We finished 18 in less than 2.5 hours. We both had a wonderful time!

Allie Golf 006Allie Golf 010

Now for the other news-- my new Canon lens came in (4fL 70-200 IS). Just testing it in the back yard yielded tack sharp images. I get to put away my Canon 55-250mm IS for now. What a major difference! Now, I am saving for a Black Rapid RS-5 strap and Canon 1.4 converter. *Happy Dance!*
New Lens

Now to capture some Perseids and maybe a visit to Joshua Tree National Park.
PS> Football is back!




Just an update from my last post. I continue to be surprised by the quality of Red River Paper on my printer: Canon 9000 mk II. Today, I received my two prints from Aspen Photo Lab on Fuji Crystal paper, but I probably chose the wrong style of photos to print. Just not quite what I was hoping for in terms of the WOW factor. I ordered a sample kit from Moab paper just to compare. Now to earn a few bucks to order some more paper, which is not cheap! I need about $200 for some good stuff (13 x 19) and (8 x 10). Anyone want to order some prints from me? Happy

As I await the delivery of my new lens, I scrubbed and fixed up my spa over the past three days to watch the Perseids meteor shower this week. Being we live in the mountains, the evenings have been cool this week, so a good 103 degree seat is always good. Maybe my daughter and I hit the golf range tomorrow. I found and cleaned some junior golf equipment from her older brother, so she is stoked.

Now to watch some Burn Notice and Covert Affairs...


Back from AZ

Went to Arizona for a week, from Flagstaff to Sedona to Chandler. The weather was wacky and Death Valley HOT. Last Saturday, we went to Sunset Crater National Park, Wukoki Ruins, Walnut Canyon, and Highway 89A/Sedona. I took a lot of photos to keep practicing with my lenses and my 60D. I posted many of these photos on my MobileMe Gallery and some on my SmugMug. I processed some new HDR’s, panoramas, and other goodies. Do check them out. We were treated to some serious monsoon storms with tons of lightning. So I would say our annual storm chasing family project was a success.

Turning to another photo subject: printing. I recently ordered a sample kit from Red River Paper for my Canon printer. I look forward to messing around with their arctic metallic paper. Also order two prints for myself from Aspen Creek Photo on Fuji Crystal Archive Pearl paper. I was blown away by the samples they sent me. The picture on the paper looks like it has back-lighting built-in. Just gorgeous.

Next week I hope to have my new Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM Lens and B+W filter. This is a long-term investment for me.

The return to the classroom starts in 10 days for me, so I am starting to prepare. I am also continuing my FCX training. Still testing out Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) out as well. Apple needs to send more updates, unless they are awaiting to release iOS5 first.

Update from Sat Night:
I spent the evening printing to the Red River Paper. The Arctic Pearl blew me away. Just WOW! Their paper is way above any expectations I had. My HDR’s look like they have 3D in them. The Satin and Ultra Glossy papers were also fantastic. I need to print to some more matte styles to get a better feel on those. But I am excited. The sample kit was 8.5x11, but I want to see this stuff on 13x19!!

FCP X & D60

Two items of the past few weeks: my new D60 and Final Cut Pro X. After much deliberating and research among a volume of reviews, I went to Best Buy looking for a Canon D60. Not ONE BB in Arizona had one in stock. Then I found only three SoCal stores that each had one. So, we called some stores to hold the box as I ordered it online. So when we drive from AZ to CA to get it, the Riverside store has NO idea where it is. After 90 minutes of searching, they find it. Sheesh! Everyone had the T3i and Nikons in stock. Go figure. So, finally moved up from a XSi to a better camera. I look forward to working with it in Cambria this summer (video and photography). I almost went with a 7D, but the $600 more will get me better glass for now. I’m happy.

Now for the ugliness of Apple’s FCPX forceful introduction and the demise of FCStudio 3. Oh, did Apple screw this one up. More howling from all levels of professionals. There are links all over to cover the details. I did edit a two camera shoot (a high school graduation using Sony A1U’s) the day it came out to force myself to dig deeper. I have also conversed quite a lot on Twiiter (#FCPX), Creative Cow, Apple’s boards, YouTube videos, and I am deep into Michael Wohl’s training. While there are some “cool” things and different perspectives in FCPX, there is an enormous amount of established fundamentals that are missing and changed. I do not have a powerhouse MacPro with 24gigs of RAM now, but I do have a Core i7 MBP and a newer iMac, and FCPX is slow overall. All that background stuff slows down my machines to the point of killing multitasking. FCP7 didn’t kill my macs that way. After 3 projects, multiple trainings, reading manuals, downloading pdf’s, the app is not intuitive. And I know iMovie ’11 quite well. FCPX does not import all elements (such as Maps) from iMovie either. You cannot even “Send to Motion” anymore.

As a high-school teacher using FCP and FCServer since its infancy, I was proud to offer an industry standard to students. I have quite a few alumni “in the business” now -- big name places -- and I now I have to change EVERYthing: workflow, software, curriculum, etc. In education, there is no $$. What’s next? Apple does not really have a solid education plan for FCPX yet. They have posted a beginning, but that will change, and soon. And then the plug-ins... all new costs. Change happens. Yes. But this is ONE company -- who is abandoning the high-end pro market. So, do I train students to be just prosumers? Apple says yes.

FCPX will MAYBE grow into a better tool, but it will NOT prepare students for making a living in the business. I have to look at Adobe again. For years, AVID and Adobe were the arrogant and expensive ones. I have tried both of their packages years ago (from the Cinema and Premiere NonCS-3 days) -- what a mess. No support. Admin accounts and dongles only for AVID. Adobe software gets corrupted constantly and you have to install/de-install/re-install. Multiple labs? Yeah, right. Apple used to offer Academic pricing that was affordable for more apps. Now, its more $$ for less.

I could on and on, but it will prove rather useless. I am sick of being told what I am doing is all of sudden, WRONG, regardless of years of training and usage. What’s the point of certifications? I have so many questions. Some of the Apple pro diehards are demonstrating some patience, and I will keep an eye on everything. I have downloaded Premiere 5.5 and have Avid Composer 5. I will work with all four suites, but this is not a good time. I would prefer to continue to evolve, but as of now, this is just stupid and arrogant by Apple. Is this Apple’s Vista?