Milunich Photography: Blog https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Milunich Photography milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:08:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:08:00 GMT https://www.milunichphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u384152393-o314492234-50.jpg Milunich Photography: Blog https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog 80 120 The Hope Gallery https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2016/10/hope The Story Behind Hope

I wanted to take a minute and explain not only the story behind my Hope gallery but also the reasoning.  The story begins well before my camera was stolen when I was a wide-eyed, newly married teacher. 

The story truly begins in 2010 when I landed my first full time teaching job. It was with the therapeutic boarding school for at risk youth. I was excited and nervous at the same time. It was a hot and humid July day when I showed up in my suit and tie to start shaping impressionable lives. I soon realized that they would also shape my life. I was very over dressed as the week I began working there was their summer break. Kids were playing guitars, throwing Frisbees and there was a pretty intense volleyball game going on. That first day was pretty good, even being over dressed and sweating profusely because of the heat, nerves and those wool suit pants. I had never worked directly with that population before. I quite frankly never knew anyone with any addictions. During my time there I began to truly see the devastating effects of addiction on these kids, their families and even the staff. I taught English, ran the tutoring center and taught photography. It was teaching photography that I really started to understand these “troubled” kids. Watching them learn the basics and then see the products through their eyes was one of the joys of my time there. I was sad when I left after a year, and I left because I was burnt out. I left because I wanted to do more than I could.

In the subsequent years I have kept in touch with some of the students I had as well as my co-workers from that time. One of the things I have learned is that addiction is vicious disease. It can wreak havoc on anyone, it cares not of gender, race, religion or income. I have lost former students to overdoses and suicides. I have former students in jail and still in its sinister grip.

Fast forward to my camera being stolen. A side effect, as you can call it, of rampant addiction in a community is property crime. This is because this disease is all consuming, their only concern is getting money for their next high. I had moved into a new neighborhood and was lulled into a false sense of security and after getting home late one night I left my camera locked in my car. In the morning to my shock the camera, lens, flash were gone and my wife’s car had been gone through as well.

I was originally enraged by this, how dare someone steal from me. I was also mad at myself for leaving my prized possession in my car. After I took care of the paper and called the insurance company I began to realize that was not simply my problem. It wasn’t even county or statewide. Addiction is a national issue. I began to think of way to help.

I could have easily raised money to buy myself new camera gear, that would have been logical and no one would have blamed me. The thought crossed my mind, but I had insurance and I knew even though it wouldn’t cover it all I’d be okay and back to shooting. I decided to find a way to help fight the addiction epidemic. I friend put in contact with a fantastic organization called Truth Pharm. They are a local non-profit that’s goal is to fight addiction and raise awareness to the problem.

With their blessing I began to Hope Gallery on my website. It started as a collection of images from the last week I had my camera. I have since expanded it to pictures I have taken with my new camera. All the proceeds from the gallery will be donated directly to Truth Pharm. I will keep adding images and promoting this gallery to do what I can to help their cause.

I did not create this gallery to promote myself, I did it for all those who have lost their battle with addiction. I did it for the families that have lost someone. I did it for my students who are no longer around, whose lives were cut short and for those who are still fighting. I did this to try and give a future to those who may feel hopelessly tied down by their addiction.

I did it to promote Hope.

 

 

 

For more information on Truth Pharm and how you can help please see their Facebook Page and Website:

https://www.facebook.com/TruthPharm/?fref=ts

http://truthpharm.org/

Full Gallery

www.milunichphotography.com/hope

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) binghamton broome county hope truth pharm https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2016/10/hope Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:42:18 GMT
Lent photo a day Challenge Week 1 https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2015/2/lentweek1 The great people over at Rethink Church (http://www.rethinkchurch.org/ )Have created a photo a day challenge for Lent. Since I have been a creative rut I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to make some creative images. I also have a Lytro ( https://www.lytro.com/ ) lightfield camera. this camera works as creating  infinitely re-focusable images that are called Living Pictures. these images let the viewer interact with them and see the story unfold.  

Here is a full link to all my  Lytro albums (https://pictures.lytro.com/MilunichPhotography)

As far as lent  goes here are the first week from Feb 18th to 24th

Day 1 Announce

There are many ways to announce your message

Day 2 Look

Sometimes we need to look beyond to see a deeper meaning

Day 3 Alone

Stand embrace what makes you unique, even if you stand alone

Day 4 Joy

Focus on what brings you joy

Day 5 Celebrate

Celebrate the little moments of happiness each day

Day 6 Covenant

Of the many covenants out there you much choose which ones you value

Day 7 Path

What ever path you choose, go with confidence

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) #rethinkchurch challenge church lent living lytro milunich photo photography picture rethink https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2015/2/lentweek1 Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:30:00 GMT
My 3 year old Photographer https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/12/my-3-year-old-photographer My son has been notorious for stealing my cameras, this has been a problem since he could walk. My mother found a Fisher Price kid proof cameras and got it for him. We waited until he was three to give it to him. He took it on vacation with us and generally ran around taking pictures with it. Well come mid summer the batteries had died and until today he showed no interest in it until he got it back out. I put new batteries in it and backed up the images. It was awesome to see our vacation to Mystic Connecticut through his eyes. 

 

Our adventures along the river in New London Connecticut

Driving Back

Overlooking the Mystic River

His Fovorite thing, Trucks

Our Hotel

 

Walking Around Mystic 

The Aquarium

Going to see the Avery Point Lighthouse

His Shoe (one of the most common subjects for him)

 

Watching my son with his camera it taught me a valuable lesson. No matter how much we get wrapped up in the technical aspects of shooting sometimes we need to just shoot what we see. Sure paid work is great but we need to remember what drew us to photography in the first places and just enjoy it. If we lose our personal passion for photography it will show up in our professional work. Am I saying go take pictures of your shoe? Nope, but just go out and take pictures. 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) camera fisher kid milunich photography price https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/12/my-3-year-old-photographer Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:19:07 GMT
The Final Chapter https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/5/the-final-chapter The Final Chapter



Last year I wrote a post about the painting over of the signatures in two cabin at Sky Lake. North 2 and North 3 (Found here)

Although I had stayed in them a couple times and come to grips with the material legacy being gone, part of my held out hope for my favorite cabin South 2.

 


Now South 2 has had a bad rap over the years. It was known as the bat cave when I was a camper. Some people may find it malodorous. To me personally it was the complete embodiment of my time spent at Sky Lake. I have shared weeks there with some of the most amazing people I have had the joy of crossing paths with in my life. I may have even shared a kiss with the woman who became my wife on the porch of the cabin. (shhhh don’t tell I think its against the rules.)  

 

 

I had found out that painting of the cabin would be a Saturday where I was already booked. I made hasty plans and went up the friday evening to document the walls. Now seeing the signatures and pictures on the walls on the cabin I admit was really awesome. I was transported to those days  of music, laughing and the occasional (frequent)  fart joke. The truth is though that I remember those experiences even without the physical reminders. Sky Lake is more than signatures on a wall or the buildings. The memories we create with the people we meet last a life time. My wife laughs  when we visit because I have a story about everywhere on the property. The hill where the counselor had to get stitches while using a slip and slide.The place where the whole camp spontaneously started singing Build Me Up Buttercup. The memories are everywhere, you simply have to think back into your mind and retrieve them.

 


We cannot get hung up on the physical and material reminders because just like us Sky Lake is ever evolving, every new person leaves their mark on it. We all shape it while we are there and sometimes even after. This summer marks the 10th year since I was a camper, its sad because camp looks a bit different than when I went there. The grounds look a bit different, but listening to the current campers and staff (some were campers when I  counseled.) laugh and tell stories I know that although the physical structure may change, the effect it has on the people blessed enough to experience it stays the same.

 


In ending this final chapter I have to say watch out Sky Lake, my son Gavin will be coming in about 6 years, you have been warned….

 

Full Gallery here

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) lake milunich photography sky sky lake https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/5/the-final-chapter Sun, 04 May 2014 00:27:51 GMT
Photographic Bucket List https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/4/photographic-bucket-list I was watching the movie The Bucket List the other day and it made me realize I have a photographic bucket list. Now I'm not suffering from any terminal diseases right now, for the most part I'm healthy (if you don't count my love for a good scotch and steaks) But there are certain things I would love to photograph at some point. I know may people have them. So I am going to list them, mostly to inspire myself to push my photographic career more, but as well to maybe inspire someone else to push themselves.

This is not a complete list and I'm sure it will change but here it goes:

1. Get published in a national magazine: (I'm looking at you Popular Photography Magazine) I've always wanted to be published and have been in a few local items. I would just love to see my image in national print. I'd frame that bad boy next to my kid's pictures.

2. Photograph a same-sex wedding: I have a strong belief that love is love no matter what. I would love to have the honor of photographing one of these occasions. I have photographed traditional weddings and I truly love showing the love that two people have for them, because love ignores the boundaries of gender. Everyone has a right to be happy.

3. Photograph a band at a major arena: I would love to be the concert photog at a major arena, heck even my local arena, but to convey the energy and electricity of a performance in a photograph would be amazing.

4. Photograph a national sporting event: Now I have shot 6 hour race, Zippo 200 and Cheez-it 355 at Watkins Glen. If you count racing as a sport (I do but I'm including it) then I have, but I would love to shoot a football, soccer, lacrosse or other major sporting event.

5. Photograph these three cars in a photo shoot, not Just a hey look there it goes on the street shots. A C7 Corvette (revolutionary and badass cars) Any Lamborghini (I'll include the Audi R8 same basic car) Morgan Three Wheeler ( They are just awesome) The ability to drive any of these would be greatly appreciated as well

6. Complete my post-apocalyptic photo series I have had brewing for years. Its great,trust me, just haven't put it together.

7. Have a drink with a photographer I admire. There are a couple but being able to sit and have a drink with one of them would be amazing, not even to talk shop but just to chat.

8. The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. No description needed.

9. (I'll end on nine, ten seems a but much) Photograph my kids as they grow up and teach them to appreciate art and be good citizens in the world.

This is my photographic bucket list. If I get to all of it great. But putting it in words and out there makes me work that much harder to achieve them. My advice write down your goals and dreams no matter how large. Put them out there and push yourself to conquer them.

Chase the light

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) milunich photographic bucket list photography https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/4/photographic-bucket-list Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:59:31 GMT
Depths of Winter https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/2/winter Winter:

 

Now that we are officially in the depths of winter (the snow is up to my knees at our house), I decided to write about my favorite things about shooting in winter. Yes, I know its cold but you can still get great images with just warm clothes and some determination.

First thing is waterfalls. This may seem counter productive since it is cold out and there is not much water flowing. This isn't completely true, in mild winters you can get a nice combination of ice and water to make the waterfalls stand out differently than any other season. And if it's frozen, experiment with color and light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second is barns. I like the contrast between a red barn and the white snow. Often catching these at the right light is crucial, I prefer sunrises since that is usually when I’m on the road and I can capture them. The warm light, fresh snow and red barn can make for some nice rural scenes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next is landscapes in general. These get transformed by the snow which makes a bleak scene seem beautiful. Scout some locations. Trees and rolling hills are two of my favorites. And remember light, you want morning or evening light to soften the white of the snow and avoid blowing it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, if its too cold outside, setup inside. Experiment with product photography or something else creative. I have found smoke (if you can ventilate the area) and food coloring into water to be fun. I also used this time to get pictures of my vintage cameras. Choose items that are unique and place them in varied settings to get a new perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter which way you go, don't let winter stop you from getting out there, making beautiful images and being creative.

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) creative milunich photography snow winter https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/2/winter Fri, 21 Feb 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Its All About The Fans https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/2/allaboutfans  

Racing.

Growing up in Upstate NY I always knew about Watkins Glen International. I knew it was a road course and I knew NASCAR raced there. Other than those two facts I knew nothing else of the track. I grew up a car guy. We were constantly going to car shows and cruise-in nights and other such automobile related events. The one thing we never did was attended an actual race. We would watch NASCAR on television but we never went to a race. I had actually visited Watkins Glen State Park with the waterfalls more than the track itself.

Fast forward to my late twenties. A friend of mine asked me to come and shoot two races as a Social Media photographer. Basically I was to go and get images of the cars and the fans and shoot directly from my camera to my phone and push it out on the track’s twitter feed. I thought this sounded like fun, and to familiarize myself with the track I went with my father to the Thunderoad opening day and we took his Corvette My beautiful picture around the track. (I recommend doing that it is an awesome experience driving a track.)

 

After that I was thinking to other major concerts and events I had been to as a spectator. It was a lot of looking from afar and not truly being a part of the action. So I showed up for my first day as the Social Media photographer and I was blown away by the way the track gears its events for the fans. The first race I shot was the Sahlen’s 6 hr Endurance Race. This event in my opinion is the one to go to if you want to get close to the action and see some great racing action. There were constantly cars going around the track, fans could walk the paddock, watch the teams work and actually talk with team members. I had never seen this level of openness before. From speaking with the fans they loved this event for that reason.

 

As a car guy I was a bit awestruck my first day shooting- Porsches, Corvettes, Ferraris and Daytona Prototypes- I could walk right up to and look at. The sound of these collaborative engines running and being tuned was like the car gods symphony. It was a true gear head's dream. If you truly want to experience racing I would recommend this event, it will give you access as well as racing action all weekend long.

Now I know most people will say “Why would I go to the track I can see more on TV?” Yes, you may see more from your couch but there are more important senses you will miss out on. There the sound of the motors. It is something that the greatest surround sound could not replicate. The ground shakes and you cannot help but smile. The smell of race gas and tires is permeating through the paddock and food being grilled fills the campground. There the people you meet. I met diehard fans who come every year to people who it was their first race, and they all had one thing in common, they would be back next year.

 

To wrap this up, even if I wasn't shooting for the track again, I would be back. Watkins Glen International is a track who lives their slogan of Fans Are First or as I wrote many a time #fansr1st.

 

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) cars events fans fans are first photography racing spectators watkins glen international https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2014/2/allaboutfans Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:00:00 GMT
My First Sucessful Photography Hack https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/9/my-first-sucessful-photography-hack Now I consider myself pretty handy. I like to think that I can do a lot of DIY projects and they turn out great. Of course this is only my opinion, if you ask my lovely wife she will tell you my DIY projects are about on par with a coin flip for rate of success. I have a mud room renovation that turned out great and yet my office is still lacking a ceiling. (she doesn’t buy the grunge exposed beam theory I’m currently pushing.)

    I took this same idea to photography. My first “studio” set up consisted of metal work lights and home made diffusers using fabric and pvc. Needless to say it was hot and I think only 1 diffuser did not melt. It was also a costly project and by the time it was finished i could have bought a nice entry level set of lights, I did that eventually but i never seemed to learn. I tried creating a hot shoe flash diffuser using a tennis ball tube and frosting spray, still trying that one…(As my wife was reading this she told that project is canceled sorry)

   

Now on to the happy subject my success story. I have always found infrared photography fascinating. It has kept my attention and i have always wanted to do it. I first got started by using a filter on my trusty Canon Rebel. This gave me good effects but my exposures were often 8-10 minutes and well it was time consuming. About a month ago I found this article while in the midst of editing some photos.

(http://www.instructables.com/id/infrared-digital-camera---the-real-way/step6/take-out-the-IR-filter/)

 

So I thought it sounded great and i knew just the camera to use. I have a Fuji FinePix s3100. I loved this camera and all it’s 4 megapixel glory. The best part was it had a filter adapter that took 55mm filters. The draw back was finding it as I have moved back from college and 3 more times after that since I stopped using it. Well last weekend my wife instructed me that I should probably clean out the garage. While in the bowel of the junk in there I found it.

On to the project, quite simple but i did not document the whole process, instructables did a great just and frankly i was just so excited to try it I was like a kid with a new toy.

    The old Girl With filter adapter installed

 

 

             Took the camera apart, this particular model is layered so I went down until I found the IR filter and removed it, buttoned it back up and tested and it worked great. To block the light I simply ordered a IR filter off Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TY574S/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) Thank God I’m a prime member I hate waiting. Got the filter in and screwed it on and went to town.

 

Cameras IR filter after removal

 

 

IR Filter

 

Complete!

  

 

           From my usage of it the focusing is the only problem but that can be fixed by using a very contrasting part of the frame to focus on, like the sun or a tree trunk. I have had some success and I can’t wait to try it with different IR filters on it.


Results



In Camera

 

After Conversion and some tweaking

 





Enjoy!

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) DIY infrared photography infrared photography https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/9/my-first-sucessful-photography-hack Sat, 21 Sep 2013 12:00:00 GMT
End of an Era (error) https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/5/end-of-an-era-error    

  I had the intention of writing this to criticize a decision I did not originally agree with. This decision was made by the summer camp who I owe everything in my life to. They decided to paint over the signing and artwork left by previous campers in the cabins. Some of these date back to the 1960’s.


     Let me start at the beginning. I started going to the camp following third grade. It was rocky at first but as I got older I learned to love the place. I eventually volunteered there as a Special Needs Assistant (SNAP)  in high school which led me to my current occupation of Special Education teacher. I have a group of friends made during the many years attending music camp. Friends that I know if I called up would come help me if I needed it. So to me the walls of the cabins represented the memories of these weeks and summers of my past. With that I was appalled at the idea. I wanted my young son to see in the record of those walls the fun that his dad had once had there as well as those before him. I was hoping for a place that would have as a profound effect on him as it did me.

 


     I set out on the day they were to begin painting to document these signatures and this artwork, to try to save it. I packed my son who is going to be two soon and we headed up. I met with a good friend who works there and he told me I had about an hour before the painting began.With my son in his carrier on my back I walked into the first cabin, North 2. This cabin I had stayed in twice as a camper in 1999 and 2001 and I had been a SNAP there many times. the memories came rushing like waves on the beach  as I walked in. There were late night whisper chats, as well as getting yelled at more than a couple times for talking after lights out. There were memories of pranks, farting contests (we were teenage boys) and one particular time where a friend of mine fixed the toilet. I remember singing to the girls in the other side of the cabin. Evenings sitting down by the lake just before bedtime. There were many an hour sitting on the front porch while the special needs campers slept. I particularly remembered the one time my toes got painted by my fellow SNAPs. This one was particularly funny because it was one toe a day so they were mismatched and the following week i was going on a beach vacation with my family, that made for an interesting week. I a wandered the cabin I found my name, as well as many friends’ names as well. My son who was chowing on a scone from the dining hall was just looking around, every now and then telling me he saw a tree outside the window. I photographed both sides of the cabin and moved on to North 3. I only stayed there once and, like before, I was hit by the memories the way the wind comes up and catches you off guard. As I found my name and got the pictures I wanted I packed up and head up to the dining hall and wait for the painting to begin. I felt I wanted to witness the deleting of my history, of the history of the camp itself. When I go to the top I flipped through some old pictures of the camp I was using for another project and set out to work on that one. It was when I got to the main lawn and looked over the lake that it hit me, it may be the end of an era, but it was my thinking that made me think this was an error. I was looking at this the wrong way.

 

     I had put so much emphasis on the idea of meticulously documenting my time there that I forgot my memories did not live in those walls but within me. I had more good times outside of them than in them. I was so focused on the physical representation of them I forgot that they were truly within me. I also realized that my son would go there and make his own memories. He would not have those memories because he would write them on the walls but because they would be written into his life story, just like me. He would benefit the same way I did from his experiences there. I also understood because the camp IS an ever evolving entity. Many of the buildings from the original camp are gone, but their message lives on. I am going to have to embrace the new in order to help the camp continue on with its message.


     It was after this that I went back to the cabins to watch the youth group painting the walls. I could see that these kids were the current group of campers and they too, just like myself, were making their memories, even while painting of the material representation of the past ones.

 


     As I write this now in my office with my beautiful wife and son asleep upstairs it has been nine years since I was a camper there, I look back and realize the camp was more than the buildings for.  It was the people. They were the ones who made it. They are the ones I will never forget. I hope that with these changes, although they may be hard for me, will bring new people to that magnificent place. With this I have to say I agree with the camps message:


    “What Happens Here, Shapes Tomorrow”

 

Full Gallery here: http://www.milunichphotography.com/p447064597

With one final word to those of you who have crossed my path because of this wonderful place. First, thank you. Second I hope that you too can look back and remember that it was the people that made the place great, take those memories and cherish them and pass them on to the next generation. Always remember that in life it is the people who make the experiences and leave the lasting mark on you.

God Bless

Greg

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) sky lake https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/5/end-of-an-era-error Sun, 05 May 2013 16:54:14 GMT
Time Lapse https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/4/time-lapse I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a time lapse video at Sky Lake Camp and Retreat Center in Windsor NY. this place was instrumental to me growing up and I always try and give back when I can. Even with it being the 3rd of April it was a cold night. It was the only clear night I could get while I was on break. (being a teacher does has perks) 

So I packed my gear, for this shoot I packed a nice long extension cord, my A/C adapter for my Canon Rebel T2i and my Sigma 10-20mm lens. I also packed my tripod but more on that later in this post.  After packing the car with gear during the day I had dinner with my wife and son. After dinner it was the usual routine of bath time for Gavin and then a bedtime story and bed. He went to bed and I grabbed my keys, gave my wife a kiss and headed up to Sky Lake

As I drove towards the camp the sky was slowly getting darker and when I arrived it turned to the mark blue hour just before total dark. It was cold and the lake was still frozen over. I grabbed my gear and make my way cautiously down to the boat dock. The was a tiny bit of ice and snow which made the trek a but more challenging that I had anticipated. I plugged in the extension cord on the upper level and tossed it down to the lower level just above the water. I plugged the camera in and got the settings dialed it. Now for the tripod... This tripod is a small lightweight tripod I bought for shooting waterfalls and to carry on my bag. I did not intended for it to be used for long exposures or in windy conditions. Seeing as the last time I used it was at the beach it took a bit to get it set up. (I will be obtaining a new tripod sometime, hopefully, if my wife allows me...) 

Anyways I dial in the camera settings. ISO 1600, f/6.3 and 30sec exposure. Figured this would work and it did

So the next step was to hook up the shutter release and let it run. I shot 270+ frames. A little over 2 hours of sky. I also got to chat with my good friend who is the program manager while I was shooting. 

When I returned home I had the fun of processing the images. After an overnight RAW conversions.(should have shot jpeg but forgot) I put them into a stack to create a startrails image which cam out awesome as you can see: The final step was the video. I uploaded the images in sequence into photoshop CS6 and used a 12 frames per second rate. The video is awesome and I cannot wait to shoot more of these.

I think everyone should try these. Time lapses can let you see things in a different way and also help you rethink the idea of time. 

 

Sky Lake Info

http://skylakecenter.org/

-Greg

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) greg milunich long exposure milunich night sky lake star trails time time lapse https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/4/time-lapse Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:08:42 GMT
Mr. Potato Head https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/4/mr-potato-head Being a teacher I get to enjoy some time off. Mostly I spend it chasing my son around the house. Every now and then I get to take pictures. This morning I decided to take the Mr. Potato Head my son got from his grandpa for Easter and recreate an iconic saying.

The set up was simple. White shelves, a piece of mat board and  a battery operated off camera flash.

I sen proceed to make the different poses need for Hear No Evil, See NO Evil, Speak No Evil. Once that was done I uploaded them into photoshop and made one images by combining the three.

After that I added words and a border. It was a quick fun project that can help someone get out of a photographic funk. 

 

Final product

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) Head MR Photography Potato milunich https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2013/4/mr-potato-head Tue, 02 Apr 2013 13:57:46 GMT
All Aboard! https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2012/9/all-aboard  

All Aboard!

On Sept 1, I got the amazing experience to ride the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. This all began at the beginning of the summer when my brother asked me if I wanted to go because he got a deal on tickets and his wife gets motion sick so she could not go. So the planning went into motion. I found a baby sitter and started packing my gear. I had never shot a train rid before and I can only remember vividly 1 other train ride I had taken before. Needless to say I was super excited. The trip was going to give us a 4 hr lay-over in Old Forge NY so I had to pack light. I pack up my Rebel T2i sigma 18-50, Sigma 10-20 and a Sigma flash (I like sigma okay) Put them in my camera bag and stuffed that in a hiking bag with a swim suit, towel and my GoPro camera, I thought if I can mount it pointing out the window that would be cool.

Well the day arrive and I arose at 5:20 to shower and get dressed. At 5:45 I woke my sleeping toddler, something I never recommended, and carted him off to my mother-in-laws for the day. The day was going smoothly and for once I was actually on time. I arrive at the meeting point at the Mall in Syracuse. (I call it that because I have no idea of its actually named its changed and I cannot keep track) I was meeting my brother there because I was coming from Binghamton and my brother was coming from Rochester. The train was leaving from Utica so it made sense for use to meet and ride together that one leg. Well I get a message and my brother is running late, great I was hoping it would not be a waste of a sitter, even family isn't cheap for babysitting. Well long story short he picks me up and we make it to Utica at 9 am and the train leaves at 9:15. We get our tickets and meet up with two of my brothers friends who are Railroad enthusiast and we go to board the train. We sit down and I lament the fact I cannot open the windows to mount my GoPro camera to make a time lapse of the journey. My brothers good friend says “grab the GoPro and follow me” I do as asked and we exit the train car and go all the way up to the front engine. The conductor and engineer say hi and our friend asks if I can mount the camera in the cab with them. With a smile they say yes and I set it up. At this point I am as happy as a kid in a candy store. We take our seats and the train starts off. We chat and talk about trains and joke, usual banter for a group of guys. We then decided to get up and check out the open baggage car and look out through the doors. I snap some shots and it was fun. At this point we decide to hit the cafe car for coffee and a donut. We sit down in a table car which is right behind a really nice private car. We chat eat and banter some more. After a couple minutes a friend of one of our group asks if we want a tour of the private car. Why not sounds awesome. He takes us in and we get to see the restored wood and the sleeping cabins. It was beautiful. Then he shows us the “porch” and area with a railing on the end of the car open to the air. We walk out and it is right behind the second engine. It was exhilarating. We got wind and diesel smoke coming at us, it was loud and it was awesome. We are cruising through the mountains taking in the sights all around us until we arrive at the station. As we are departing the woman riding in the private car invites us to ride back with her since the people who rode up would not be riding back. We obviously accept.

At the station we depart and check out some of the other trains and cars they have as well as a classic car show in the parking lot. It was so interesting to see these pieces of American history around us (Well the some of the engines and cars may have been Canadian at one time but we won't hold it against them) Now came to the how to spend the lay over. I will cruise over that since this is about the train. Different friends of my brothers were at a cottage nearby and picked us up, we had lunch had some beers and went out on the boat, good way to spend an afternoon.

Back at the station I take some more pictures as our engine arrives and hooks up. We board and make our way to the private car. We sit down on the “porch” again this time there is bother behind us but rails and scenery. It was amazing. There is one crazy thing about riding there, the clouds look like they are chasing you and when you stop it feels like the rails keep moving. We had unrestricted views of the mountain scenery all around us. They even brought us beverages while sitting out there. I can now add and cross something off my bucket list, drink a beer while riding on the back of a train through the Adirondack mountains. I snap some more pictures and chat with our host and the crew. We decided to sit in the sitting room inside the car for the last half of the journey and it was very relaxing. We said farewell to our hosts in Remsen and continue on.

Upon arriving in Utica we bid farewell to the rest of the crew and climb into our car and head back to Syracuse. After a quick, late fast food dinner My brother and I depart and I head home. I make it home a little before 11pm and fall fast asleep.

This experience is one that I will never forget. The volunteers who work that line are absolutely the friendliest, knowledgeable and passionate people I have met. Photographically it gave me something new to try and it was awesome. I know I will continue to ride that train and as my son gets older it will be something we both do. I hope as you read this you think about taking a ride. My experience is not typical but being able to ride the rails and relive history is something everyone should experience.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad information

http://adirondackrr.com/

Pictures:

On the way up

At the Station

On the way back

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) adirondack milunich railroad scenic https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2012/9/all-aboard Sun, 02 Sep 2012 15:58:57 GMT
Chimney Bluffs https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2012/4/chimney-bluffs So I have been wanting to go to Chimney Bluffs State Park for a while. this may be because I have yet to go to the ocean with my trusty Canon. I finally got the chance this pas April and it was a good time. 

I decided to go in the afternoon on April 12. I wanted to try and get the sunset over the lake and the bluffs. I packed up my son Gavin because my wife was working and headed to my parents because they so graciously offered to watch him in the short time between my wife getting out of work and me heading up there. I know some out there might say "why not take him with you?" I was going to but I had never been there and well was not sure how infant friendly the trip would be. As he gets older I plan on taking him to lots of fun places and teaching him to shoot as well. Now back to the story at hand.

I hit the road with my Rebel T2i and my full assortment of lenses and P series filters. It wasn't a bad trip but I still do not like how the highway is set up in Syracuse. Made it to the bluff trail parking lot. First I set out along the water, it was not a sandy beach but rather rocky with an interesting assortment of rock colors. Walked along and shot a bit. It was nice wind was blowing the small waves were crashing. 

Next I decided to head up the bluff trail. I had seen on the map there were stairs going to the train, so i thought cool this should be too bad, wrong. It was 7 steps and then a very steep trek to the top. Once at the top I sat down and took in the view high above the lake. It was very peaceful. Walked along the edge just taking everything in. Nice and peaceful.

After traversing down the trail i decided to check out Sodus Point and the two light houses. The modern one was nice out on the peer and so I decided to try and shoot using my infrared filter. This isn't usually a problem but I do have to turn off the autofocus once I screw the filter on because it looks nearly black. Shot an 8 minute exposure and decided to check out the old light house. Drove over and shot that very neat place with good views. 

As it was getting late I headed back to the bluffs. I started shooting the sunset and waves and it was nice...

...until I realized my autofocus was still off, lot a couple pictures, but managed to get some keepers. 

The drive home is another story I do not want to get into right now.

 

All in all it was a good trip I recommend anyone who may find themselves in the area to check it out.

Oh yeah here are the pictures

From the beach From the top

Sunset time

 

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) Bluffs Chimney Lake State ontario park https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2012/4/chimney-bluffs Fri, 20 Apr 2012 01:24:57 GMT
First Post https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2012/3/first-post Well this is my first official blog post. I am excited to add this feature to my site and hope others may enjoy what I post.

 

      Today I want to talk about one of my favorite things. Stopping and taking pictures while driving. This is something I find enjoyable because I have an hour commute to my "real" job. I have been commuting this long for almost 2 years now, although two different jobs. I find that along the way you get to see the same scenery change with not only the seasons but also the time. As daylight savings is upon us and the spring forward is coming the ride into work has changed as well. 

      

     I am usually on the road from between 6:15-7:30 am, depends on how my morning goes and if Gavin needs to go to Grandmas for the day. This puts me passing through some rural areas and recently the light is becoming fantastic. Because my afternoon departures are not always as timely I am on the road in the afternoon between 3:00-5:00pm depending on meetings and traffic. This gives me an interesting perspective on the same landscape I drove through earlier. 

 

     On this particular morning there had been a bit of ice and snow mix still lingering from the overnight. Without a lot of snow this winter it was a treat. I had left early and dropped my son off and had some time to kill.  I was headed in and there is a spot with a swamp on the left as I head north, I believe it is a relic from the canal era. and behind it was a farm. The sun was above the horizon but was still casting that lovely soft yellowish orange glow over the swamp and the exposed water reflected the barn nicely. Being still not quiet awake I passed it. I decided to turn around because I was going to be really early. I went back and I took out my Rebel T2i with my Sigma 10-20mm and I walked to find a good angle and snapped some shots. I bracketed all of the -1 0 +1 so I could make an HDR because I have been playing around with them. Got my pictures and continued to work. 

 

Here are some of the shots I got. The full set can be seen here http://www.milunichphotography.com/landscape

 

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milunichphotography@gmail.com (Milunich Photography) Milunich photography binghamton norwich ny route 12 https://www.milunichphotography.com/blog/2012/3/first-post Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:55:54 GMT