Michael.A.LaCombe@gmail.com (313)402-5385

Posts tagged “lens

Michael’s First Trip to Coldstone, Plus Photo Talk




Well hello, people! I know. I know. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve decided to wipe the dust off of my trusty Nikon and get back into this photography game. CALM DOWN! I know you’re excited, but I’m going to ease my way back into this. So don’t expect a barrage of posts … at least not right away.

So, for some strange reason, I realized today that I’ve never taken my son to Coldstone before. For those of you who don’t know, Coldstone is an ice cream shop that is, well, EVERYTHING. Imagine eating the ice cream that you love the most. After eating Coldstone, that ice cream will taste like hobo underwear dipped in a garbage juice au jus. Anyway, I figured today would be a good day to take him. We could eat the ice cream outside, and I could snap some pictures. Image

Everything went very well. He enjoyed the ice cream. “Can we come back here and get the same thing again, Daddy?” BTW, we had the Apple Pie a la Coldstone. My favorite one there. I also took these photos while he was eating.

ImageSo not only is the photo above my favorite of the 3, it’s probably one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken. I love LITERALLY everything about it – the depth of field, his eyes, the ice cream on his mouth … EVERYTHING.

Finally, I’ve decided that going forward, I’m going to dedicate a paragraph or two in each blog post to talk about how I took the photos in the post. Most of what I’m going to say will probably seem like a foreign language to the vast majority of you, but for those of you still learning photography – actually, let me rephrase that – for those of you just starting to learn photography (we’re all always learning), these paragraphs could be helpful.

All of these were very simple shots. There was no work put into them as I was shooting them. These were all shot at f/2.8 on my 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. My camera was in aperture-priority mode, so I set the aperture, and the camera selected the shutter speed based on the available light in order to give me a proper exposure. My ISO was at 200, which is where I keep it unless I have to change it.

One weird thing that I’ve always noticed is that, in-camera, when pictures look like they’re properly exposed, they always look too dark when I view them on my computer. That was the case with these. When I opened them in Photoshop, I changed the exposure on all of them, increasing them about half a stop apiece, basically until they were pleasing to my eye. I sharpened them a bit, whitened his eyes, removed a blemish a two or on his face, smoothed his skin a bit, and that was it for any post production.

So that’s it for now. Feel free to leave a comment here or my Facebook fan page, and I promise I’m going to start updating this more often.



Christmas 2010 and a 2011 Announcement

Christmas 2010 was a special one for me. My son was born in March 2008, shortly after Christmas 2007.  By Christmas 2008, he was too young to appreciate it. By the time Christmas 2009 arrived, he was at a decent age. He had some things he liked, but he was not yet able to express himself well. Additionally, he didn’t have any TRUE passions. He just had things that could hold his attention for a while.

In 2010, as Christmas approached, I began to anticipate it more and more. He gained a deep love for the “Toy Story” movies, which was special to me since I adored them as a child (and I still adore them now). His excitement when I gave him a couple of $8 “Toy Story” figures will forever be etched in memory. He still will not go ANYWHERE without at least a couple of his “Toy Story” figures. He doesn’t even like to leave them in the car while we go in the grocery store. Needless to say, I had big plans for Christmas 2010. My son did not disappointment me.

I don’t have any photos of him opening his Christmas gifts because I elected to record the event instead, but his gasp upon seeing his Buzz Lightyear toy made the wait worth while. Also, right before Christmas, he surprisingly really enjoyed another Pixar movie, “Wall-E.” While it is not my favorite movie by Pixar (the Toy Story movies are), I think it’s probably the BEST film they’ve done to date. I’m surprised that he liked it so much because it’s probably the least kid-friendly of all the Pixar films. There’s not even any dialogue for the first 45 minutes or so. Despite that fact, he asks to watch it DAILY.

I didn’t expect to be able to find any “Wall-E” toys since the movie is a few years old. I went to Target to do the bulk of my Christmas shopping for him, but I couldn’t really find anything that I felt would really wow him. I got him a pair of “Toy Story” shoes, then decided I’d head to Toys R Us to see what they had. I was blown away. They had the absolutely COOLEST “Toy Story” toys I’d ever seen. I wanted one for myself! They had a Buzz Lightyear that has a blinking “laser,” AND the wings pop out! But, I digress. lol (Although my birthday IS 2.5 weeks away. Ahem.) While trying to decide on which Buzz Lightyear I wanted to get him, I spotted several equally cool “Wall-E” toys! I knew my son would void his bowels in happiness to get both a Buzz Lightyear and a Wall-E, so I took the wack ass shoes back to Target and blew all my money on Buzz and Wall-E.

So yeah, it was a good Christmas for me, because it was a great one for him. 🙂

NOW, on to my insignificant announcement for 2011. I have a lot of BIG plans for 2011: Paris, Fashion Week in Sept., and ultimately retiring from Corporate America. In the mean time, I’ve decided to start a little project. First, I’d like to give a bit of background.

I lived in and around Detroit until I was 26 years old. During my adult years here, I did the same old stuff. I ate at the same places. I went to the same clubs every week. I hung out with the same people, instead of expanding my network and meeting new people. I had the freedom to do anything I wanted, and I did the same old shit. Then, I moved to California. While I absolutely loved Los Angeles (except the traffic), the city I lived in was a wasteland. There was nothing to do. Due to my situation, I was unable to meet any new people, and I rarely got out of the house. If I did get out, it was usually just to see a movie. During the 2 years I spent in California, I probably went out to a bar/club a grand total of 3-4 times. All of those times were in Los Angeles. While I did see some great sites, do some great photo shoots, and I truly did love spending time in LA, I look back at my time in California as an overall negative experience. It’s not a knock against California. It’s more of an indictment of my situation while I was there. My hands were tied. Tightly.

Fast forward to my return to Detroit. On the surface, returning to Detroit probably seems like a step backward. Again, you did not live in my shoes. You weren’t in my situation. Returning to Detroit presented a fairly large of pros and very few cons. Having been back for a while, I stand firmly behind the decision to return. While I’m not where I want to be just yet, I’m headed in the right direction, and things are FAR better here than they were in California.

The point? Due to my situation in California, I’ve gained a whole new respect for the culture here in Detroit. I slept on the great variety of things to do in and around the city. We have a great art community, and there are a large number of people working hard to bring Detroit back to respectability. I slept on a lot of cool restaurants, cool bars and lounges, and most importantly, cool people. Through Twitter, I’ve expanded my network and thus expanded my culture. I’ve become a lot more of renaissance man – a man about town, if you will. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the city and the diversity of its events and citizens.

Inspired by my love for the city, I’ve decided to tackle a new (and small) project in 2011. I’d like to photo-document a few of my favorite places. This documentation could (and will) include photos of the buildings/architecture, the employees, the people who frequent the establishment, and/or photos of whatever service they offer (food, drinks, etc.). Through the project, I hope to learn more about some of my favorite business. I’ll learn more about the people who work there, and I’ll learn about the people who go there. I also hope to find NEW places to frequent! So when I post about a place, if the posts inspires any of you to suggest a new place to me, feel free! As an unofficial kick-off to the project, here are the oh-so-tasty crab cakes from Centaur Bar on Park Ave downtown!