Monthly Archives: December 2015

Mustang Obsession

I found myself in need of a new mid-life crisis, so a while back I found myself at a Ford dealership trading my 2012 Mustang in on a shiny new Ruby-red GT. I’ve been wanting to take some pictures of it, but the combination of good weather and a clean car has been elusive. I had a few minutes the other day after washing it to stop in an empty parking lot, so I pulled in and snapped a few quick shots. This quickly uncovered another problem, which is that car photography is hard. Reflections, glaring highlights, backgrounds…not to mention it was a crappy time of day, with the sun high in the sky.

There were only a couple shots that weren’t completely useless, but even the best was only marginal. My favorite of the bunch was the one below. I posted it on a couple sites, one a photography site and the other a Mustang enthusiast site, and in both cases I got some nice feedback, which I didn’t expect. A question I was asked was how I managed to avoid harsh highlights and weird reflections, esrecially given the time of day. The answer was that I didn’t. The SOOC shot was pretty messy, and it took a lot of good old-fashioned Photoshop to fix it up. I spent a LOT of time getting it in the state it’s in now. In fact, it turned into a bit of an obsession. I spent probably 15 hours over several days working on it. I thought that it would be fun to show the original shot, along with a number of intermediate iterations I went through before I got to the final version. If you’re interested in seeing the progression, click here. Please note that the shots are large, and they’ll take a while to load. Just click on the small versions to see the full-size ones.

IMG_9071-23

Delivering on a Dream

Over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled “75 Days to Freedom” that more than anything else, was a letter to myself. In it, I talked a bit about the life changes I had undertaken to try to regain my health and the progress I had made in that regard. I also stated that my goal was to get even better, and to ultimately run in a half marathon race. I’m proud to say that in that intervening year I dropped another 50 pounds, ran over 1000 miles, and on October 25th, I fulfilled my promise to myself and ran in a half marathon race. I finished 182nd out of 369 participants, in a time of 2 hours and 16 minutes. It hurt like holy hell, and I nearly collapsed at the end, but I got it done, and at the end I felt like a podium finisher. I also fulfilled another promise, which was to take a photograph of a race as a participant, which I also did. The only downer was that Cami ultimately didn’t run with me, but she was there to cheer me on, as were the rest of my family. It was, needless to say, a great day for me, and in no small part it was due to the tremendous support I got from my family, friends, and co-workers. I can’t thank them enough.

Me, before the wakeup call, at a svelte (NOT!!) 263 pounds…
1-before

Me, a year and 90 pounds later…
2-after

The Start! Taken about 30 seconds before the gun.
3-the_start

Me at Mile 10. Tired, but hanging in there.
4-10miles

Me at the Finish Line. Toast!
5-the_finish

I survived!
6-survived