Sunday, December 9, 2012

Website

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I have gotten the website up and running.  It has been a goal to have it up before the end of the year.    I had a whole month to spare!

http://mikemimages.com/

Photobombed!!!

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I was covering an event for South Coast Subaru, and I got photobombed by this guy



Bucky Lasek lol.


The link to the rest of the event and pictures: South Coast Subaru meet

Shoot with Storme

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I had my buddy Tom come over to the house to shoot a model.    I shot a few while he went on a coffee run, and here are the results.  
The whole set (click here)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanks for the views!!!

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Today the blog hit 2,000 views.  The click that put it over was from Denmark.  

I am working on getting more content going for the page, to keep it interesting.   In the mean time,  the website up and running www.mikemimages.com

Thanks
Mike

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shot for fun

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It had been a while since I shot in the studio, so I decided to put together a shoot.  There was no real purpose other than an exercise so I was free to do what ever I wanted.  I decided to use a friend Jen as a model and told her to bring some fun out fits.  I wanted to do a head shot and got that.



Then we moved on to other outfits.   They can be seen here.  NWS
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemimages/sets/72157631432006798/with/7947530556/

I was not really concerned with the floor or other stuff, I wanted to try out my new strip softboxes.   This was fun and I will have to do it again.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Off Topic poll

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Which is worse to have stuck in your head;  Culture club's karma chemilion or Rock lobster by B52s?

2 I Love it, wont mind:   Franco, Mike S

4 Rock Lobster: Alice, Steph,  Roge, Jean Carlo, Kenric

7 Karma Chemilion:  Aaron, Ed M(got it stuck in his head), Jerry, Adam, Kara, Carlo, Ed C

4 No clue about either song: Janell, Brian, Jeff, Seri  (too young and have not lived here that long are the excuses)

1 Both: LIC motorsports

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gear stuff

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If you ever wondered what kind of gear I have, here goes the list.  Just a quick disclaimer, I do not believe one camera brand is superior to another, I am not going to go around waving a fan boy flag.

1 Canon 7D
1 Canon 5D Mark II
1 17-55mm f2.8
1 24-70mm f2.8
1 70-200mm f2.8 MK II
5 Filters (1 UV filter that is useless, 1 Circular Polarizer CPL 3 Neutral Density ND)
3 Elinchrom BXRi 500
1 Elinchrom Dlite 4
4 Tripod style stands
4 C stands
1 Tripod and head
2 Pelican cases (one for camera gear one for lighting gear)
1 580ex II
1 Yungnuo 560
8 Different shapes and sizes of softboxes
2 Umbrellas
7 Reflectors for strobes
1 20 foot car rig with 4 F1000 suction cups
1 Battery set up to shoot on location
6  Sand bags
6 Gel holders
10 CTO gels
8 A clamps
1 Camera back pack
2 Camera bags

Then there are odds and ends that really dont need to be listed like lens cloth and extra lens caps.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Subaru Summer Solstice S3

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See what I mean
I was at Subaru Summer Solstice aka S3 covering the event.  It was a beautiful place, but was about 20-30 minutes off the free way.   It is always weird going to an event that is one make.   It is easy to get bored, its the same type of cars over and over again.   The way I make it interesting is to find the unusual, something like this.


SVX
There was a pretty big crowd there enjoying a day in the great So Cal weather on a Sunday.   I found some great places to shoot in the future maybe.   I found one famous person, he races for Subaru now but in a previous life he was the guy I use to use in Tony Hawk games.



Bucky Lasik

Here is the set of pictures.  I shot a few of my friends to break up just shooting cars.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemimages/sets/72157630308608116/

Monday, June 18, 2012

I edited my first video

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Here is the link
http://youtu.be/6vYqg9cB5CE

Here are the final images
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemimages/sets/72157627296233523/

I hope you like them and sorry about the shaky cameraman, it was his first video. I got motion sickness while editing this video if that makes you feel any better.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How I back up my pictures

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I get asked how do I back up my pictures quite a bit.   It is pretty simple.

When I upload them to the computer,  I do not erase the images off the memory card.  They are not backed up yet, so I do not want to delete them off the card just yet.   I usually edit the pictures and upload them, I am pretty much done with them before I delete them off the memory card.  After this I get out my removable hard drive and back up the edited version and the unedited version.   Every moth I take the removable hard drive to work where I have another one.  I bring the old one home and start to back up on that one.   I have two just in case something bad happens where the computer and hard drive that are at one location, they could be in a fire or something else, I would have another copy of the pictures.   I rotate them in case something does happen I only lose a month of pictures.

There you have it, pretty simple.   One copy on the memory card for a little while, a second on the computer, a third uploaded to the internet, a fourth on a removable hard drive and a fifth on a removable hard drive.  Five different spots, but only four in the end.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to shoot a car in a Studio

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How to shoot a car in a Studio

If you are reading this the night before  you are going into a HUGE expensive studio to shoot a car, good luck, I was there too.   I did not sleep well the night before, had an upset stomach, and generally stressed out.

(I am 6 foot 3 inches for reference)

The first thing I can tell you is RELAX.   The studio does most of the heavy lifting.  You want to light up the studio not the car.   This will make it easier in post because you will not have to take out hot spots.

Blurred to protect identities
They are going to have some tools to help you out.   I shot in a studio with a turn table that would help place the car in a spot that I wanted.   This made life easy, no one (me) was pushing the car around all day.   Some studios have huge flats.   All you are doing here is going to bounce the light off the flat and onto the car.  In this picture I have two strobes pointed up at the large flat.  There are two that are pointed towards the back and then there is two final ones lighting the model.

If you are really on a high budget you can bring in light boxes.   This is ultimate cheater set up.  You do not need to have lights, they are provided in the box.   They come in different sizes, and the power level can be adjusted.  Here are what they look like covered.

The green dot is an exit sign.
The ladder on the left is over 7 feet tall 


This studio is here in California, www.southbaystudios.com .   They are an excellent studio and I recommend them.   So there you have it a quick tutorial on how to shoot in a studio.   In the end I think the work is totally worth it. 



Thanks for reading and if you have questions, please ask,
Mike


My weekend car for the weekend

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My weekend car for the weekend, Abunai car.




The story of how I came to possess the car is a good one for me.  I was doing a shoot for a customer and he came up with a proposition.   I was offered either payment in cash or the GTR for a weekend.    It was a pretty easy choice and I made it on the spot,  the GTR for a weekend.    By chance the weekend happened to be a three day weekend.  Here is my experience with the car.  

The key goes in your pocket and you do not put it into a normal ignition, the first clue that this really is a special car, that is if you did not know all the stats, price or the fact this is a hand made car.  It is egg shaped and does not have any teeth on it like a normal key.  The key fob had the normal lock unlock trunk and panic buttons.  

I developed a routine for starting the car up.  I would get in and press the start button.    It is like starting up a computer.   When you press the start button the steering wheel unlocked, the indicator lights around the start button would go from off to acc (accessories) to on, firing the engine to life.   I would unfold the mirrors (a manual switch), I folded them in to keep them from getting dinged (I would have to sell my daily beater just to replace a mirror on this thing).  Next I would release the parking brake and put it into gear.   The whole sequence I did made it feel like I was about to fire up a fighter jet and i was in the cockpit.  The whole start up sequence takes less than 10 seconds.

This brings me to my next point.   There are a million buttons.  The steering wheel has cruise control that was made up of two buttons on the right and flipper switch for setting the speed, accelerating or decelerating.  On the left side of the wheel it has Radio controls, volume, source, and seek.   Also on the left side are the phone controls, pick up and end.   On the dash there are radio buttons and knobs, AC buttons and knobs, GPS buttons, Traction control settings, suspension settings, R mode switch, and a large touch screen LCD.  Next to the cluster there is a knob to jog through the displays on the LCD.  The display can show AC settings, radio, GPS maps, or a group of gauges on the screen like boost, oil temp, water temp, trans pressure and temp, AWD/RWD torque split, lateral Gs,  acceleration Gs, braking Gs, speed, mileage (the best it displayed for me was 15.9 MPG and probably went to negative 5 when I was at full throttle), transmission gear info, and it goes on and on.   Then there is an LCD on the cluster, it can display gas mileage, mileage to empty, driving time, speed, and more.   The reason why I think it has speed in two places is because the needle is rather useless.   It goes up to 220MPH (I did not test if it actually goes that high and my driving record thanks me) the speed limit on the freeway is barely 30% of the sweep and worse when driving on the streets, it barely moved.  If you really want to get the most out of it and set up EVERYTHING in the car you can read the dictionary thick manual.  

The car is not really a four seater.   The rear seats are just for show / insurance purposes.   I am a big guy and would have moved the seat back more but I was already up against the back seats.  It was comfortable enough to be a daily driver but I for sure would not have this as a daily driver.   It would be a waste in LA traffic.  The shifts were nice and you could not tell that you were shifting once past the first to second shift.  When on it the shifts were crisp and clean with no hesitation.   The downshifts are automatically rev matched.  The one quirk with the shifting was when you hit the paddle up or down from automatic mode it would switch it to manual mode, it would not actually change the gear.   To get it back to auto mode, you just push the selector from auto to manual, the selector was spring loaded so it would always be in auto mode but you could be in auto or manual, it is basically just a switch.  



I took the car to my friends shop in San Diego to see his two Skylines.   I sat in traffic for over two hours, making the trip in just over three.  The GTR did not complain or get hot, it dove just like a normal car.    When I got there I did not feel beat up, part in fact the rest of the weekend I had the suspension in comfort mode.  I took the tour of the shop and was Impressed with what he had.  I had to impress him some how to get invited back so I offered a ride in the GTR.   We did a quick run up to 65 MPH on the freeway and when we got back to the shop he declared it was the abunai (dangerous) car.  I totally agree with this feeling.   It can get you in trouble quickly.  

Conclusion:
Would I get one?  If I wanted to have a stupid fast car yes.  If I wanted to be looked at and seen as a baller no.   The only people who seem to recognize its a GTR and not a Z are car guys.