Joe Urbz Media & Photography

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!!

Photo Tools

This past month has been filled with learning FCP X and my new Canon 60D camera. I have been really pushing myself with photography and tools, both in terms of software and online sharing sites. I took the new camera to Morrow Bay, Cambria, Pismo Beach, and Strawberry Peak (all in California). Although it was very windy and cold by the ocean, I found some good things to focus on. There are 4 or so pictures I can professionally print for selling. Pretty excited about it.

This week I have focused on working with Google+’s Photography circles, HDR based on Trey Ratcliff’s tutorials, SmugMug, and I received my new biz cards today from Moo and I am very pleased. Next time I will add a logo. I am also expecting a new Canon Pixma 9000 Mark II printer.

I still have to finish my bio on this site, create a personal logo, and watermarks for my prints. Please take a look at some of my online work and leave some (positive) feedback. I would appreciate it very much. Once I finish the rest of my setup, I will offer prints and packages.

Wednesday is a major LAFCPUG meeting in Hollywood of which I will attend. I have gone through Michael Wohl’s training modules, and Color Grading from Color Grading Central. I have found that FCPX is not as intuitive to learn unless you take some training, free or not. Going through the details opens up a boat load of options. I did get stuck finishing a wedding recently. No chapter markers for iDVD or Quicktime forced me back to FCP7. Just to say, this wedding was going to iDVD and Quicktime Pro (compressed) for download. Furthermore, iDVD does NOT like ProRes. It does import, but when you render the final, iDVD will turn everything into an ugly widescreen format. I had nice looking footage in ProRes 422, then had to re-compress to NTSC-DV and it sucked. Furthermore, when you use Quicktime Pro in Lion to export, the chapters disappear. Ergh!! So many bugs between Lion and FCPX. I wonder when Apple will update FCPX. After Lion? Devs are already testing 10.7.2. The videos that Apple put up for their marketing were pretty lame and lacking... Oh well, I digress a bit.

Until next week... have a great week!