Last night’s semifinalist: 6 yard freestyle

finalist.jpgCongrats on your first trip across the pool by yourself! #swimmingwithmike


Congratulations Selfie!

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, the word of the year for 2013 is “selfie.”  And why not? Usage has gone up 17,000% since this time last year. With that, I thought I’d dispense few selfie observations mixed in with a little selfie advice.

1) “The Weiner selfie.”  This brand of selfie does not need to contain a picture of Anthony Weiner in order to fall into this category.  Ladies and gentlemen, please remember that we leave digital footprints with every keystroke we make both in public and in what you think may be private. Even if you don’t put it on the internet. When you press “send” to anyone, you send to the world.


2) “The be aware of the of the wardrobe selfie.” Pictured below, this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s love interest only seems to have one wardrobe. Might want to mix it up a bit. Three times on the same dress in a close date range? You can do better than that.

wardrobe best

3)   “The car selfie.” I don’t know what it is about the car selfie. Could it be that you are just dressed, fresh and ready to go? Does the rear view mirror give you the idea?  Whatever it is, the car selfie seems to be one of the most popular selfies out there. At least I see people wearing their seat belts more often than not.

car selfie 3

car selfie 1

4)    “The Bathroom selfie.”  Think you’re hot?  Think you’re really the shit? Well, you may or may not have great physical attributes, but the bathroom selfie (just the thought of it) doesn’t really help you out. With a bathroom selfie, you really are the shit. Avoid at all costs.


5)    “The leg selfie.” I get it. You’re at the beach and I’m not. Maybe I’m just jaded on this one since I’m in Miami.  I’d be interested in your thoughts on the leg selfie.

leg selfie

leg selfie 2a

6)    The peace sign selfie.” I don’t even know if a peace sign is called a peace sign anymore– I’m so not hip.  Maybe this is some type of code for something else, but I sure see a lot of them. The bottom picture happens to be of my son and he refuses to explain the peace sign thing to me…

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 6.34.25 PM

diego peace

7)    “The I’m not aware of what’s in the background selfie.”  This is a variation of “The Wiener selfie ” but warrants its own little mention here.

be careful before You publish selfie

8)    “Best use of the selfie, selfie.” Many have given the Pope Francis selfie the selfie of the year nod.

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 6.52.38 PM

But to me, the below is the best selfie series I have seen.

best use of the selfie

best use of selfie 2

So congratulations you! It’s the year of the selfie. Please let me know what some of your favorite selfie types are or what I missed here.

Hope everyone has been well.


As a quick postscript, I will add that Twerk was in the running. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Are they dead or alive? Please help!

I found a memory card in South Miami that contains pictures of men and women in our armed forces.  The pictures on the card are dated 2004.

The couple seems to be very much in love and I would like them to have their images. One of the images seems to be a man with a scar from a bullet wound.

Here is the couple as I see it on the card.

Please pass this around. They provide the blanket of freedom we all sleep under. There are many more images on the card. I would like them to have it. Wouldn’t you? How good are you social media folks?


Product review: GoProHD Hero-Stills

The GoPro HD camera is a pain in the butt to program, learn and use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a digital must for South Florida. Yes, this is a full HD still and video camera but for today, let’s talk about stills.

The 5 megapixel GoPro Hero is the coolest thing in cameras since the ill-fated Flip. As a still camera, you can set it at three different resolutions with the widest giving you an unbelievable 170 degree view.

That is if you can set it at all. The GoPro user manual makes the IKEA assembly instructions look like “Green Eggs and Ham.” Really guys, this is a complex electronic device and I get a two sheet fold out??? By comparison, one of my Nikon manuals is 223 pages.  So bring your patience and enlist the help of a tech-savvy 12 year old.  I guarantee once you figure it out, you’ll love what you can do. Shoot single shots, three frame bursts or set it to shoot at 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 second intervals. But just like a point and shoot, it’s anyone’s guess when the shutter will go off so take lots of shots.

Another huge obstacle to the faint of heart is the lack of a viewfinder so you only have a general idea of what you’ve got until you download your shots. I don’t blame them for that one. It is what it is. It’s also the ultimate P.O.V. camera. My dentist really had no idea what I was doing when I shot this last Ash Wednesday…

It comes with a waterproof housing and is tough as nails. But be careful in open water; the HD Hero does not float.

The GoPro comes with a bunch of accessories so you can mount it to a helmet and shoot as you jump out of a plane. Sorry I have no personal sample on that one yet. I’d have to say that this is the best 300 bucks I’ve spent in recent memory.

I like it so much that I’m going to get at least another one which will come in handy for covering multiple angles at the same time. That will be especially useful for rolling film which is another post for another day.


Farts and pink elephants

I’ve never seen a bad picture of my son. And I bet you’ve never seen a bad picture of your son, daughter, niece, nephew or your dog.  But the truth is some pictures are just better than others. Here’s some advice how to take great photos of kids.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear frustrated parents talk about how they can’t get great pictures of their kids.  So I thought I might give a little “how to.” It’s a lotta work, but it’s worth it.

1) Flush your point and shoot down the toilet.

Kids move fast. Point and shoots don’t. Get yourself any DSLR. I’m a Nikon shooter so I’ll recommend the cheapest Nikon kit to start you off: the  D3000 SLR with 18-55mm lens. Really, you would would be better off using an iPhone than a point and shoot as the shutter release is more predictable. Please, I don’t want to get into the Canon/Nikon fight here. Thanks.

You don’t really have to huck your point and shoot, but it’s not the best way to get great shots of kids.  Use it for scenics, vacations, landscapes and drunken parties.

2) Take a lot of pictures.

I learned this one from my pop.  Way back before their was anything digital in photography, he told me he took pictures without any film in the camera, just for practice.  It’s like going jogging with a basketball. You just get better at running and dribbling. If you shoot on a regular basis, you will get better at “anticipating the moment.”

Perhaps you  want to take a look at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson. To quote him, “the decisive moment, it is the the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.” Pretty deep. Let me translate that for you: With practice, you’ll learn to press the button at the right time.

3) Let your camera do some of the work.

Camera’s today aren’t just cameras–they’re little information processors that capture images.  It’s a computer and can “compute” many things like light readings and focusing better and faster than us mere mortals.  PLEASE read your manual. I can’t tell you how many people ask me this or that about their camera before reading the manual. The more complex cameras get, the more important it is to do so. But having a capable camera is no replacement for #4.

4) Learn the basics or your toast.

Photography is photography is photography. It’s actually so simple, I taught myself and you can too. Start with a book by John Hedgecoe like John Hedgecoe’s Photography Basics.

5) There are three people in every picture.

There’s the subject, the viewer and the photographer. Yes, I’ve heard stories of the great kids photographers who are screamers on set, but they are the exception. So I guess you could say here are some pictures of me…

6) Farts and pink elephants.

Some final advice to help you get your shot. Approximately 6 hours before your photo session, stuff yourself with the spiciest chili you can handle.  And bring your most ridiculous thoughts too.  If you young’uns are giving you a hard time, tell them not to think about pink elephants and shoot away.  And if all else fails, let one rip and sit on your motor drive.  You’ll get your shot.

There you have it! Now it’s your turn. Have any questions? Comments? What works for you? Any way I can help, let me know.