Month: August 2006

Things I Love: Rhythmic Coincidences


This might seem odd, but I love it when you are driving down the street listening to music and something outside moves along at the exact same beat. For example, a jogger on the sidewalk is taking steps at the exact same beat as your music. Or, like today, I was listening to “On The Road Again” while I was driving down 95 here in Las Vegas. If you’ve taken that road just East of the Sphagetti Bowl, you know that there is quite a bit of bounce on that road. My truck was bouncing up and down at the exact same beat as the song. I think that is cool.

There was a car commercial a while back that had everything lining up with the music as they drove. I loved it. I call these Rythmic Coincidences. Here’s hoping you get to have some soon.

World Trade Center Movie


Candace and I went to see World Trade Center last night. I had some reservations at first, but I saw that Oliver Stone was directing and he usually does a good job. The movie was exceptional.

They decided to do the movie from the officers point of view. That was a really good idea because it made the movie seem so much more real.

My biggest fear was that it would play too much on the dramatic side of Hollywood. It wasn’t like that at all. There were a few chances for the show to get over-dramatic, but it never happened. They never had a Tommy Lee Jones-esque speech with dramatic phrases and catchy words. It all seemed very real. They really did an incredible job.

The whole movie was sort of a mind game for me. I wond if it will be that way for you. It is so routine to watch movies at the cinema and it’s natural to tell yourself that it’s just a Hollywood movie. The deaths and explosions and drama is fake. But, it’s a contast battle to remind you that this was all real. They even decided to use some of the news footage of the people looking on and that was emotional. It reminded my how awe struck the world was.

I left New York about 24 hours before the terrorist attacks. The morning before we left my buddies and I took a tour bus that drove right between the twin towers. I remember the tour guide saying, “A few months ago the police had to deal with a guy that was climing up the towers. He was quite a way up there and had no ropes so they were afraid that he was going to jump when he got high enough. It’s a constant struggle to keep things like that from happening.”

If only he knew what was going to happen the next day. Watching it in the film 5 years later, it just doesn’t seem real.

How To Be A Good Social Photographer


When I was in college, I always tried to get a lot of fun photos of all the activities and parties. In my attempts to have good photo documentation of my college years, I learned a few things to help others who like to be the social photographer in their group of friends or at their family gatherings

  1. Always have your camera. Not only does this insure that you get the good photos, but it always lets your friends and family get used to the idea of you having your camera. If the camera is always present, it will be less of a surprise when you do pull it out and people will be able to relax.
  2. Find a way to distribute the pictures. If you can establish a pattern of distributing the pictures, people will be eager for your photography because they know they will be getting a copy of their own. I use Flickr.com. I’m sure to upload the full size of the image and make it available to download. This is important because people can grab the full file and be able to print a clear picture.
  3. You should take the pictures because you enjoy it. Trying to make a buck off your friends or family is not a good idea. Have the pictures online and free for anyone to grab. If you want to make money eventually, just perfect your skills with these social settings and as people see your expertise, you may be asked to do wedding photography, engagement photos, or family portraits. That is where you can earn some money for your hard work.
  4. Learn how to use the different feature of your camera. It is important to know how to take photos at different levels of light and in different situations. Learn about ISO levels, white balance, and shutter speeds. If you ruin a nice social setting with a big bright flash, you may not get to have the natural feeling in the room.
  5. Buy a large memory card and an extra battery. Sometimes parties and trips can go late and last long. You want to be able to continue snapping photos without any worry of running out of room or battery. These items aren’t that expensive and they allow you to try all kinds of things.
  6. Do not post embarrassing or ugly photos of people. This one may be the most important of all. As a social photographer, you can build a really good track record by making people look great in your photos. One bad photo to embarrass some one can ruin it. It will make people more hesitant to pose for you in the future. Go thru your pictures and be sure that you won’t embarrass anyone by posting them online. (Note: If the person was making an ugly face for the camera on purpose, that is ok.)
  7. Get to know as many people in the setting as you can. Do this without the camera in front of your face. A good relationship with everyone in the room can go a long way.
  8. Take plenty photos of everyone, not just your favorite niece or your closest friends. You can build good friendships with people as you photograph them and make them look good. You never know who is important to whom in a social gathering. Let everyone enjoy the memories by seeing themselves and their friends.

I am really glad that I took a lot of photos in college. I have a ton of good photos of all the fun things that we did. I still get emails from people asking me to send them a photo from these times. This acts as a great way to keep in touch with old friends. When they want photos, they’ll come find you and this gives you a chance to catch up.

Computers and Bible Language


Yesterday I was helping a customer with a computer problem that he was having. I asked him what he was experiencing that made him think there was a problem. He reported, ” It’s hard to tell. When I start internet, I don’t see the CNN. I think something is wrong with the hard drive or with the internet. Can you download to my computer to fix it?”

I smiled at that description, but was very careful not to laugh. There were so many misused terms there. After working with people and computers long enough, you get used to folks just throwing out tech terms where they think they fit. Eventually, I figured out what was really wrong and we fixed the problem.

Fast forward to last night. I was reading thru Revelations in the New Testament. This has always been one of my favorite books in the Bible because it encourages you to think and it is all so applicable to us today. In chapter 9, John talks of “the wars and plagues poured out during the seventh seal and before the Lord comes.” He sees them in vision. I was intrigued at the way that described the airplanes and the tanks that he saw in battle. Parts of the description seemed almost mythical.

But, like my customer earlier that day, John was describing what he saw and he only had his own words to use. It doesn’t make it any less true and certainly doesn’t make it less important. The prophets in the Bible and The Book Of Mormon saw so much of our day and described it the best that they could. It’s our job now to place ourselves in their shoes and understand what they may have been seeing. The more you read the scriptures, the more you are familiar with their terms and their world. This will help you better understand what they saw and how you can prepare yourself for it.