Saturday, December 26, 2009

Animoto & Smugmug & Me

I was reading a Blog today about Animoto and how they've created a partnership with SmugMug (the site I use for hosting my pictures) and thought, hey that sounds Awesome!

So I decided just to play around and create a short (ie free) video of the images I have in my Wedding Porfolio Gallery. Their integration is so easy with SmugMug, I went to my gallery, clicked Buy, then Create a Video with Animoto. It automatically selected the images from that gallery, I shuffled the order of the photos, picked the Music, then clicked Compile.

The process took no more than 5-7 minutes, and most of that was Animoto doing their magic behind the scenes. So without further ado, my first (hopefully of many more to come) Animoto & Photography by Aaron P. Brown joint ventures :)

By the way their pricing is awesome, it's free for a 30 second video, $3 for a full length (non-commercial video) or $30 for unlimited videos for a year :)

Catcha soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kids and Parents

Here's some of my parents with the kids, more to come...

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Changes to Website

Hey all,

A new year is coming, I'm on vacation, and with all this free time I decided to make some fun changes to my Photography website. The first change you might notice is my Photography by Aaron P Brown logo is no longer centered, it's aligned left, and the toolbars instead of being centered and below the logo are now on the same level and aligned right. This will change to depending on the browser window size, the reason I did that was to make more screen room available for this next change...

The biggest and most noticeable change was done to the slideshow on my homepage. I found out some SmugMug users had improved the code on the slideshow to also make it "stretchy" so on real high resolutions you'll see more detail on my pictures, which is especially awesome for the panoramas I have in the slideshow. So no matter what resolution you're running the javascript will resize the slideshow to be optimal for your browser, pretty awesome eh?

I also randomized the order of the images in the slideshow. I edited my blog to match the new arrangement as well. At the bottom of my homepage and blog are now clickable links to email me, instead of the 1988 method of having to either copy and paste it, remove the spaces and change [at] to @, etc. Plus on my webpage it's spam bot proof, mouse over the code to see, on the blog I couldn't figure out to get that javascript to work, so it's just an old fashioned a href="mailto:"...

While messing with all the code, I noticed some of the pictures in my slideshow were just web uploads 800x533, etc. So I'm in the process of uploading full versions to replace the web ones.

Last but not least I uploaded the "Keepers" batch from my December 2004 McKinney, TX Tiger Shoot. A few of these were already in my portfolio, but while looking for the originals to replace the web versions I had uploaded, I noticed some awesome shots that weren't on my site, so I did a quick run through, proccessed the keepers and uploaded to a new gallery: Tigers @ McKinney, TX - December 2004

And now it's 5:43am Mountain time so I'm probably going to pass out here in the next couple of minutes :)

Thanks for reading/swinging on by, and catcha later,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Arili - Dec 10th

Arili hamming it up for my camera :)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New Hawaii Shots, Round Top Drive, Diamond Head (Taken Dec 2nd)

Hey all, I'm still alive and still taking pictures! In fact I have some really good ones from today. Been working on them since I got back from shooting in fact. I stayed downtown too long and was stuck in traffic for an hour plus, but these shots were definitely worth the hassle.

As some of you may know I just got a new lens (EF 17-40L f/4) off of craigslist for a steal and a half, and today was the first day I really put it to use. I've had this lens before, Rocky Mountain National Park - October 2004 so I know it's an awesome lens to have, and I'd already tested the lens out indoors and was very impressed with the quality inside at ISO 1600 wide open (ie f/4), so I couldn't wait to get some real shots out of it. Anyway I'm sure you're thinking Aaron quit blabbing and show me the money, err pictures :)

Take a look!

I think the clouds really make this picture, they're the only reason I posted this one image in addition to the 2 panos I did from Round Top Drive.

View of Diamond Head Crater, downtown Honolulu and Manoa Valley (in the foreground) taken from Round Top Drive in Puu Ualakea State Wayside located in the Round Top Forest Reserve.


This is the second panoramic shot I took from this location. This one I used just a UV filter instead of a polarizing filter. It's another hand-held (no tripod) panoramic and I'm very impressed with the results. Yeah I can nitpick and say the horizon bows instead of being a straight line, but this is light years better than my attempts and hand holding panos in RMNP circa 2003-2004 :)

Panoramic shot of Diamond Head Crater, downtown Honolulu and Manoa Valley (in the foreground) taken from Round Top Drive in Puu Ualakea State Wayside located in the Round Top Forest Reserve.

19 shot hand-held (no tripod) panoramic composition stitched in Adobe PS CS4.

40D EF 17-40 f/4L USM
Shot @ 40mm ISO 100 f/8 1/400s

RAW conversion done in PS CS4

This PS file is 113MB and a resolution of 13081 x 3739 or 54.5" x 15.6" at 240dpi or a 139.9 megapixel image!


This is the third panoramic I took from Round Top Drive, and I call this version "Wider with Less Sky" :) Still a UV filter, and still hand held. I really like this one, extremely happy with the results. And the best part, aka the little easter egg, click on the picture, and the very right hand side you can see an airplane. I purposely waited for one to be in the last frame of the pano, and thankfully it didn't get cropped out when this pano was assembled. I don't know if I had better luck in this one, or since the horizon is higher, but there's almost no bow in the horizon at all.

Panoramic shot of Diamond Head Crater, downtown Honolulu and Manoa Valley (in the foreground) taken from Round Top Drive in Puu Ualakea State Wayside located in the Round Top Forest Reserve.

20 shot hand-held (no tripod) panoramic composition stitched in Adobe PS CS4.

40D EF 17-40 f/4L USM
Shot @ 40mm ISO 100 f/8 1/400s

RAW conversion done in PS CS4

This PS file is 126MB and a resolution of 13529 x 3766 or 56.4" x 15.7" at 240dpi or a 145.8 megapixel image!


This is my favorite image I took of the day (Dec 2nd), it's the Diamond Head Light House from the summit of Diamond Head. I took a bunch of shots of that little lighthouse mostly just point and click, but this is the one where I composed the shot, waited for the waves to be just right, etc. :D I'm really glad it turned out as well as I envisioned it. Not to flatter myself but it reminds me of a post card, or a pictures from a lighthouse calendar.


I took more pictures from the Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay, but I'm still working on those. Stay Tuned!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Rant on Elizabeth Lambert and her apology

Yahoo Sports Blog: Vilified New Mexico soccer player breaks her silence By Chris Chase

First off, I stand by this even today. She's only sorry because she got caught and became vilified by the media.

A poster on this article commented about how video compilations seem exaggerate the actions of the one in question. He claimed how a video compilation of Dennis Rodman's cheap shots throughout his career would leave us all wondering why he wasn't suspended indefinitely from the NBA. Fair enough, however keep in mind all of Elizabeth Lambert's cheap shots came in ONE GAME, not an entire season, or even a multi-year career.

Seeing her cheap shots, especially the hair pulling, remind me too much of Todd Bertuzzi's cheap shot on Steve Moore. For those who don't know the history of the Bertuzzi incident, on February 16th, 2004, Steve Moore checked and injured Canucks captain and NHL leading scorer at the time Marcus Naslund. The check was questionable and as a result Naslund missed three games with a concussion and a bone chip in his elbow. Moore was not penalized, fined, or suspended because of this hit. Canucks players and coaches were appalled, players vowed to get even, one went as far as putting a bounty on Moore's head.

So the next time the Canucks and Avs played, the NHL execs kept a close eye on the game, no major incidents occurred and ironically the game ended in a tie. March 8th, 2004, another rematch. First period, Moore fights Matt Cooke of the Canucks. Both serve a five minute fighting penalty. The Avs went on to build a large lead. Late in the third period, Todd Bertuzzi is sent onto the ice with the intent of picking a fight with Moore. Bertuzzi fails to get Moore to bite on the bait, and continues to skate behind Moore for a long period of time when Bertuzzi finally grabs Moore's jersey, punches him in the head from behind, drives his head into the ice, and continues to punch him after Moore was down. Moore suffered three fractured vertebrate in his neck, cuts and a concussion. Moore laid unconscious and motionless on the ice for about 10 minutes until he was wheeled off in a stretcher.
Bertuzzi was immediately suspended for the remainder of the season, the playoffs, and was barred from any international play during the lockout of the 2004-2005 season. He was reinstated for the 2005-2006 season.

If Lambert played hockey, regardless of if she was penalized after the first punch, an enforcer would have checked her the next time she was on the ice, probably resulting in a fight. If Lambert continued to throw cheap shots, then things would have probably escalated to a bench clearing brawl.

Hockey and Soccer are two totally different animals, I understand that. Moore's hit on Naslund was questionable, I'll concede that. And he probably should have been penalized/fined/suspended by the NHL as weird as it sounds for his own protection. I think some repercussions from the NHL would have calmed the storm in Vancouver a little. I don't know if it could have prevented it all, but hind sight is 20/20. Regardless Moore skated freely, and I'm sure he was told by his teammates for the remaining games against the Canucks to keep his head on a swivel.

Granted a soccer pitch is many times larger than a hockey rink, but at some point someone had to bring Lambert's actions to the attention of the officiating crew. Had they decided to intervene, ie give warnings, a yellow card, then a red card, the score would have been settled, Lambert would have been ejected, and the media would probably have not even blinked twice at this. But to watch Lambert get away with cheap shot after cheap shot, and only get a yellow card for an obviously injury seeking trip/leg-lock was appalling.

Yes I like the way hockey protects its stars, if you get a cheap hit on someone you will pay your dues, but NHL players walk on very thin ice (pun intended) on getting retribution and becoming the next Bertuzzi vs Moore incident.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Go KSU - from Hawaii

Who would have thought there were KSU fans, let alone KSU alumni in Hawaii! Anyway here's some pictures from our football watch parties (for those who haven't already seen these on Facebook)...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Happy Birthday from The Army!

So I got my first birthday card, from my Batallion Commander and
Battalion Command Sergeant Major, aka the big dogs. Their present to
me: my birthday off which gave me a 3 day weekend :D

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baseball - Hawaii Pacific University vs Dixie State 04/09/09 - Game 2

Hey all,

Here's game two from yesterday's double header. I think most of the rust (or nerves) wore off by the second game. I seemed to get more keepers :)

#1 - Pitcher

#2 - Breaking up the double play

#3 - More breaking up of the double play

#4 - A different view (from the Press Box)

#5 - Foul Ball

#6 - Classic batter after hit pose :)

#7 - Pick off at 2nd

#8 - You're OUT!

#9 - Like his pose

#10 - BOB

Click here to view all my favorites from HPU Baseball

Also take a look at my post for Game 1, if you haven't already. Thanks!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Baseball - Hawaii Pacific University vs Dixie State 04/09/09

Hey all,

Here's some images I took from HPU's first game (of the doubleheader) on Thursday against Dixie State...








#8 - some jube after hitting a solo HR to give HPU the lead (and eventually be the game winning run)

Click here to view the gallery and see larger sizes of the images

Thanks for looking,

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Koko Crater - Part 2

Yes I'm still alive, busy week at work and all studying for the board, anyway here's some more from Koko Crater...

Views from the top

I didn't lug my tripod all the way up here for nothing, here's two "summit" pictures of me. It was really windy hence the "not really smiling-ness"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Panorama: Diamond Head Crater and Honolulu

Here's a pano I took on Tuesday of Honolulu and Diamond Head Crater from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (also known as the Punchbowl National Cemetery) named for the crater the cemetery was built in - Punchbowl Crater.

Click the picture or here to see a larger version

Yes I know I promised more pictures and to finish blogging about the hike, I will, just wanted to post the pano.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hiking to the summit of Koko Crater - Part 1

So today (Tuesday March 24th) being the last day of my three day weekend, and me amounting to being a total lazy bum on my first two days off (besides shipping a package, and getting my haircut on Monday) I decided I must find something to do that is: 1) fun, 2) active, 3) something I can take pictures of.

So I pull out my handy dandy notebook, err Hawaii Military Guide book that I got back at replacement, and started flipping through the Top 25 places to see on Oahu.

#1 Aloha Tower - ehh, going to a building didn't meet being "active"
#2 Kakaako Waterfront Park - same as above
#3 Waikiki, The Miracle Mile - ditto
#4 Diamond Head Crater - active yes, but already did it...
$5 Koko Crater - "... a prominent 1,205-foot-high... 1,106 wooden steps..."

Sounds like I have a winner. Turns out I'd driven past it on my last "weekend" off and I remember making a mental note to climb it. Perfect, so I leave Schofield about 11:00am or so, drive past Honolulu, grab some lunch, and go to the scenic overlook where I knew I could get a good shot of my objective.

After getting the mandatory scene setting picture, I head to Base Camp, err the parking lot where I'll start this hike. Got all my camera gear out, and thought hey, what a perfect time to try out my new camera backpack, see how it holds up during hiking. That way I wont get to the summit and think, dang I should have brought my tripod, other lens, etc. So I load it all up, grab the camera so I can take pictures along the way up, load the camelback and started my ascent.

I get to the start of the trail and snap these quick picture off...

Damn that looks pretty steep, I could use a good challenge. People said Diamond Head was a tough hike, and I summited while taking pictures, with a tripod on my back in 18 minutes. My guidebook said this trail is "medium" danger and "intermediate" skill according to expert hikers. I'm in good shape, no problem... right?

Here's some shots from my many break on the way up. Maybe that backpack with 40lbs of gear wasn't such a good idea, add on the camelback full of 100oz of water. Where's my Sherpa and my O2 when I need it?

This hike is no joke, and that could be the 40lb backpack on my back talking, but there were many times I was very winded, never light-headed, but definitely out of breath more times than I cared for.

So I start to catch my breath quicker, get a little pace going, when I notice I'm not doing to bad. I look up to see this...

After it got steeper, I come across this section where the railroad tie steps are spanning a 15-20 foot drop. I'm already winded pretty hardcore, now I have to balance my way across a bridge while being top heavy? Eff that, I'm crab walking across the bridge. Believe me, my dignity was already gone after all the breaks I'd taken, rather be smart and not dehydrated and not having an injury than try to look macho.

You can see the spanning section

A view looking down once past the dangerous 'bridge' section

After the bridge things started getting really steep, but atleast I could see the end in sight. Plus I noticed the railroad ties were marked every hundred, so you had an idea of how many you had left, a curse and a blessing lol.

It's gets steeper, and a lot steeper real quick, great...

A look down

800+ feet up

Each step brings me a little bit closer, until the end of the stairs is finally within reach.

I felt like Gold Five and Red Leader in Star Wars - A New Hope, because I kept telling myself over and over "Almost there..." Like who was I trying to convince, one I wasn't saying anything out loud, nor was anyone around me in case I why *shrug*

That first section up looks almost flat from way up here, gotta love perspective

I can almost touch the top

Now I can, thank goodness the pain ends soon, and yes it was pretty painful at this point. Next time, no backpack and no tripod.

Maybe I could summit in some time more respectable that over an hour.

Plus to rub it in, there's people running, yes running up and down this trail *scoff* Good for them they're in awesome shape, but the evil side of me really wanted to see someone biff (going up, I wouldn't wish anyone biffing on the way down, that would get messy). I'm vindictive, but not a sociopath ;)

A look down from the top of the stairs

Still a little bit to climb to summit, but thank goodness no more stairs

And this ends part #1 of however many parts it takes, because it's 11:35pm and I have to be up at 4:30-4:45am.

1060 railroad ties I'm assuming, or steps, I dunno, whatever 1060 represents it's a lot, and I definitely felt it, and probably will for the next couple of days.

Final altitude for Part 1: 1138 feet (bonus points for those who can recite a Star Wars quote with 1138 in it).

Gross look at all the sweat, on my arm. Imagine how my back felt with that ginormous backpack. Granted the backpack was great, holding it in my arm felt 2-3x times heavier than wearing it. And did I say I'm in love with my new lens? It's the same one I shot the Waikiki beach shots with, it's awesome, and this is coming from someone who's very critical on camera equipment.

Well I hope you enjoyed this first part and I should be able to finish and add more pictures probably on Wednesday. Thanks for reading!