Introducing my new site

Posted in photography on June 3, 2008 by lenscapremoved


It looks great and I’m proud of it. I’ve worked hard on it over the past three weeks.

Well, I’m a little disappointed it’s not as complete as I wanted it to be. I’ve fought with getting my portfolio on here in a fancy flash file for the past four hours or so, and it’s not going to happen before I leave. Hopefully I’ll get something up tomorrow though.

I haven’t had time to run any tests on it, but I do know THIS SITE DOES NOT WORK WELL WITH EXPLORER. Several things probably play into that, but the biggest one is that Internet Explorer blows. So if you’re using it, click here and see what you’re missing. If you’re still using Netscape, don’t even talk to me.

So, yeah, a few problems. But, the most important thing is the blog function works in Explorer. The site looks best in Safari and Firefox because all of the right fonts will work in those browsers. I know, I’m working on all of this. By the end of summer if will be fully functional. I can’t figure out how to make my homepage photo load up in Explorer though.

So please, click here, to go straight to the blog. I leave for Europe in one day, and plan to blog the heck out of this new site. Some keep coming for photos. I’ll be leaving them all over the place.

Thanks for liking Lenscapremoved, but


is the putting the cap on this old blog.


You’ll never know if you don’t look

Posted in photography on June 2, 2008 by lenscapremoved

I told our assigning editor I had to drop off my paper on campus. He asked me to shoot a few morning stand alones for the Web, so I thought this would be a good challenge. Finding new photos on my own turf. I sucked. The above photo is the most shot photo on campus besides ones of just Memorial Hall’s spire.

Campus is full of pockets of light and layering opportunities. I tried to use those to my advantage, but still think all of this stuff is mediocre. The photo I thought was the nicest was the lady sleeping in the sun, but despite my pleas, she didn’t want to be in the paper.

So I’ve wandered for an hour, when I’m on my way to my car to drive over to the basketball courts and a grounds crew member points up. He says, “I got three baby chicken hawks up there that you should see.” I looked up and could see what did not look like babies moving around. Thankfully, I still had the 300 in my car. I got the photo below from going up to the third floor of the Main Building and shooting through the Law Office’s window. I thank them for allowing me to shoot, because I think I interrupted a meeting.

I thought this was just proof that you should listen to those random people who tell you, “Take a picture of this,” and even better, that we all need to keep in mind that you wont know what you can find if you don’t look.

Between the lines:
I’m buying a Mac today. ;)

300 – No, not “Tonight we dine in hell”

Posted in photography on June 1, 2008 by lenscapremoved

I need a 300. No, not 300 Spartans to tear through every morsel who challenges me, because I really didn’t like that movie that much (I bet after you took it out of slow motion the whole thing is only about 15 minutes long). The 300 I am talking about is just as paramount though.

I wanted to use a 300 f 2.8 at this game because I had seen the photos in the paper. Since you basically are confined to a 70-200, unless you’re shooting Bill Frakes tight which is awesome, you’re going to get a nasty background. This is because you can’t hardly get enough zoom to really take advantage of that shallow depth of field. Is this not making sense? Let me show you:

That’s at 200 f2.8. You’re starting to lose the background, but not hardly there. What happens is when you have a longer focal length is your depth of field is more noticeable. I’m not sure who is reading this thing anymore, so if anyone wants me to explain just ask. I think most everyone should know what I’m talking about. But take this image shot with a 300 for example:

Now you see how the background just kind of drops off? That’s because of the 300 f2.8 (the 2.8 is pretty crucial). That’s why I wanted to use one, because you have a nasty background at these games.

But something that I did that helped out even more was shooting from the crows nest. This cleans up your background another 100 percent. Look at the photo above. I actually think the background contributes, because it guides your eye between the ball and the player. You can see his face because I shot it tight with the 300, but this picture could have happened with a 70-200.

If you’re at newspaper that has pool gear, and there just happens to be a 300 f2.8 sitting in the closet, use it for something, even if it’s just a t-ball game. It’ll be fun.

A sad day will come

Posted in photography on May 31, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Yes, it can be true. Lens cap removed will finally have to put the cap back on and be satisfied with what we’ve accomplished together.

What have we accomplished? This time last year Ed, Elliott and I were sitting in Yellow Stone National Park (just saying that gives me a teary-eyed feeling and goose bumps) and I was excited about a cup of coffee. We had been roughing it through the Rocky Mountains, and I remember the exact layout of that room, and remember a great photo Ed took of me and Elliott sitting on the bed together with our Dells. I remember leaving Yellow Stone and reaching Montana and being excited about the Internet. I remember the Cats fans we ran into in that tiny town in the corner of Montana. I remember being attacked by that bear that left a scar on my knee.

I remember Keith arriving at Pomo Street, which was the first time I had seen him without a beard in months. We joked about how the summer was Keith’s last chance to relax, because he was going to be editor-in-chief of the Kernel when we got back. I had so much respect for that position, and for Keith for taking it on. I feel a crushing weight on my chest when I think about how big of an honor it is to follow Keith and be the second photographer to run the Kernel.

And now, one year later, I sit in my air conditioned room finishing off this cup of coffee, just to know there is more in the pot. I showered this morning and yesterday. One year ago, I was taking my first shower in over six days. Ben Folds is playing, “It sucks to grow up…the years go on and we’re still fighting it.” In a way, I agree. This sucks.

Left to right: Keith, Ed, Elliott and myself at Yosemite National Park wishing we were only half as good as Ansel Adams.

I’m in Kentucky. Ed is in Florida. Elliott is in effing Idaho. And Keith will soon enough ship off to Tennessee. All I want is to see Martha, Dave, Greg and Penny. I feel so selfish for saying that, because next Thursday I leave to embark on another journey. I leave for Europe. But as I said in the beginning, this is about the farewell of lenscapremoved, and that makes me sad and forced to think about last summer.

Ed, Elliott & Keith, I wish we could drive through Death Valley right now, just so I could pull out and leave Elliott scampering on the blacktop which had a ground temperature of over 200 degrees.

I thank all of you for keeping up with this site. It’s been great. I’m closing in on 40 thousand views, which I think is incredible. It makes me feel really appreciated. On our fourth day out this site saw 670 hits in one day, a record for this site that has yet to be trumped. Not really even close since I’ve been back from California.

I’ve been able to critique my own work and get feedback from all the great photographers I know. I appreciate the community we have developed. I’ve gotten to see Ed, Elliott, Britney, Emily, Kristin and Sabrina start their own photo blogs, which I think is great.

But yes, once again, it is true. Brad Luttrell has his own site, which I will be officially announcing on here next week. A few reasons for the departure:

  • I had to pay 20 bucks to have this site hold the amount of photos I have. This happened before I ever made it to California, because of the rate we were uploading. Now that the time is nearing again, I am not going to pay 20 bucks for a blog that isn’t customizable.
  • It’s time to be a little more professional. I need a home for my portfolio, and most of all, my own section of the Web. When my space is revoked and this is just text, it wont mean very much for a photographer. I now own two domains and have server space.
  • I’m getting left behind as all photographers at my level are making this move. This blog has been great but I can’t accomplish as much as I can with my own domain.

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I will be doing another travel blog when I go to Europe. But it’s time to move on, and that blog will be on my site that I will announce next week. I hope you’ll visit. If I could see a third of the success I saw on this blog I would be happy.

Thanks for all of the support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

Swinging into Summer

Posted in photography on May 30, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Click the picture view the slideshow.

Up on the dugout

Posted in photography on May 30, 2008 by lenscapremoved

This is your immediate view when you shoot a softball game:

While that doesn’t make a very good picture for the paper, it definitely satisfies my taste for this blog. I dig it. I kept watching for someone to look up enough to ya know, get a face. But I don’t really think you need a face here. The repetition of the heads and hands is plenty. But a face my help.

I wish I had worked the scene above a little more. I took probably seven frames, two to test the exposure for the sunset. As most of you can guess, I had to underexpose the field to get the sky right, so there is some noise going on with the field and players, but I generally like this photo.

This is coach Sabrina McCullough. I’ve shot two of her games now and enjoy watching her team play. I’m actually a pretty big fan of softball now. Shooting it that is. I’m not sure if I could watch it without being on top of the dug out. That’s not because it’s not exciting, I just like my view.

But sometimes you gotta change up the view and head to the backstop. And here is where I whipped out the H-L’s 300 f 2.8 and said, “Man, I gotta get me one of deeeez.” It’s great for sports. I have it until Saturday, when I’m shooting the Kentucky Horsemen, or arena football at Rupp Arena. I’m going to perch in the crow’s nest and try this bad boy out.

Nothing soft about it

Posted in photography on May 29, 2008 by lenscapremoved

If you have time let me know what you think. I’m shooting the state championship tonight. I’ll put those up tomorrow.

I really like this picture because of her smile. It’s not well composed or anything, but I think it’s better to have a good moment than good composition. This is the last play of the game; she knew her team had won right here. Before she even caught it.

Some tips for shooting softball that I have learned:

  • Go ahead and nail down your batting pictures. Those are boring and all going to be the same. After that, start paying attention to the bases and prefocusing. It’s not likely you’ll have time to focus. In fact, go ahead and aim too.
  • Shortstop is the key. Just watch shortstop and you’ll get good game action (hence the photo above).
  • When the bases are loaded, you can go ahead and say forget first base, and probably second. Everyone else on the field is thinking of home plate, which means you should be too.
  • Softball fans are nuts, and it’s awesome pictures (hence photo below).
  • Softball really is a bad name. They should just switch it to fastpitch, because there is nothing soft about these girls (also hence photo above in head first dive).

All photos copyright Lexington Herald-Leader. To purchase prints, visit and click the ad at the top right of the screen.