Breakfast Waffles

Lately, I’ve been fortunate to stay home and am able to prepare my children breakfast. Usually it’s a batch of waffles or pancakes but lately, I’m into the eggs and no carb kick. Here’s a shot of my little one Arden enjoying her waffles which were cut up into tiny tiny pieces.

I might have mentioned before but I love carrying my camera or having it readily available to capture these moments. I did have my iPhone X in my back pocket at this moment but the Sony A7RII was also nearby and I was able to grab it within seconds and take this snap.


Walking Around UTC

So, I didn’t have the time to try “hard” enough and find “Symmetry” for the Dogwood 2019 52 Week 5 Challenge and I know that we are probably in Week 7 or 8, but hey, here are a few pictures that I captured on my Sony A7RII + Sony Zeiss 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T FE ZA. Have a great week! Oh, and I think I finally narrowed it down to the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens as my next lens which would enable me to do more video and landscape shots. Thoughts? I wanted the Batis 24 or even the new Sony Wide GM but, we’ll see. There’s only a “few” more lens that I really want apart from the Leica route.

The water fountain / reflection balls outside of Nordstrom. See if you can find the entire family.  

The water fountain / reflection balls outside of Nordstrom. See if you can find the entire family.  

Inside of Warby Parker while my wife and I juggle our third child while trying on and fitting new frames. You need a distraction and they rarely get this treat. 

Inside of Warby Parker while my wife and I juggle our third child while trying on and fitting new frames. You need a distraction and they rarely get this treat. 

Dogwood 52 2019 Week 2

Here is my 2nd entry for the Dogwood 52 2019 Week 2. I have to admit that while I’m off at home, I’m consummed with taking care of the children along with house chores that the few times I am able to go out and shoot, it’s not with that much thought. Granted, this was a great morning that consisted of having breakfast with my dad at the new breakfast spot in Del Mar called Ranch 45 (website/Yelp). 


📷: Week 2: Composition: Rule of Thirds Motion // You already know what the rule of thirds is, now is the time to use it. Use Rule of Thirds to show motion in your picture.

While sitting outside enjoying the chorizo breakfast bowl with my father, I knew that the road nearby would instantly give me the chance to accomplish the motion in thirds. I imported this photo onto my iPad Pro and then edited in Snapseed. I’m not too happy with it, but being Sunday at 23:50, it’ll have to do. I hope to revisit this sometime but onto Week 3! 


Here’s a picture of my father enjoying the journey in finding the best Steak and Eggs in San Diego along with my Joby Gorillapod that I’ve been bringing along with me on this 52 week challenge. After thinking about it a little bit more as well as watching many youtube videos and querying some amazing talented photographers on twitter, I think that I’m going with the Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Wide-angle Zoom Lens (SEL1635GM).

iPhone X Camera Scores

With a Photo score of 101, the Apple iPhone X achieves the best results so far for still images, edging out the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the previous joint leaders in the Photo ranking, by one point. Compared to its cousin iPhone 8 Plus, the X improves noticeably on Zoom performance, but also does better in terms of Exposure, Color, Texture, Noise and Artifacts. Other key strengths in still image mode include very good exposures and HDR images, accurate color rendering, good detail with low noise, as well as a natural-looking bokeh effect in Portrait mode.

So it's the best for stills at a 101 rating but conclusively, DxOMark rates it 1 point lower overall than Google's Pixel 2 / 2XL due to it's Video Performace. Once again, it's all subjective. As always, the best camera is the one you have on your person.

Austin Mann and Apple’s new iPhone 8 Plus

After shooting 100 portraits or so, I can easily say Studio Light is my favorite of the effects. It emulates a gold bounce card as if it is just outside of the frame, bouncing nice warm light into the face and eyes of the subject. It does a nice job of making the face subtly pop from the rest of the background without doing anything too dramatic.

If there is one feature that I am excited about on the new iPhones, it’s Portrait Lighting’s new Studio Lighting. Every year Apple really does come up with features that do make you want to upgrade.

If you’re a photographer of any kind, they say the best camera is the one in your pocket. There is no excuse for anything less than the iPhone 8 Plus (at least until the new iPhone X comes out in a month and a half.)

iPhone 7 Plus' Camera Kills the Competition

Today the iPhone 7 Plus became way better at capturing the most important thing in our lives: the people we love. If you haven't already, be sure to download iOS 10.1 (Settings > General > Software Update) and give it a shot. You'll be capturing stunning portraits in no time.

Impressive and indeed, game-changing.

A Quick 'Photography Basics 'Run Down

For everyone that is either receiving or giving a camera for the Christmas / Holiday season, check out Tek Syndicate's great video that covers the main three topics: ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed.

You also can't go wrong with Olympus' new OM-D E-M10 Mark II paired with my favorite Panasonic Leica SUMMILUX 25mm f/1.4. Check them both out!

Austin Mann Reviews the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) for video is hands down the most significant improvement in the iPhone 6s Plus camera upgrade. The 6 Plus has OIS for stills (mainly helpful with low-light photos), but it wasn’t active when shooting a video or time-lapse. Now, with the 6s Plus only (not the 6s), we have active stabilization of all video and time-lapse content and the improvement is dramatic.

The time-lapse piece at the top utilized the Optical Image Stabilization significantly. The ability to create stable time-lapses anywhere, anytime, opens up so many doors. I can't wait to see what everyone creates with this.

If you had any doubts about going with the iPhone 6s Plus, they should all be absolved with Austin Mann's thorough review.

"Everything Has Changed"

Apple really pulled out all the stops with this update. For one, the megapixel and processor boost then the 3D touch. Count me in. If you don't believe me, take a look at the photos from the iPhone 6s! Also, yes, if you want Optical Stabilzation, you'll have to opt in for the 6s Plus. Now if I could decide which case to get.

note: I'm still using an iPhone 5 at the moment so an upgrade was due a year ago

Steve Huff is "Wowed" by Leica's New Q!

While only having this camera for a whopping three days, I managed to take it with me EVERYWHERE I went over those three days as I wanted to get as much use with it as possible so I could write this review after having 72 hours with the Q, and wow, for the 1st time in years I am truly “wowed” by a Leica camera that is not an M version! This is good, for all of us and for Leica.

Steve Huff does another great mini review on Leica's latest all-in-one offering. Priced at $4,250, it's around $1,000 than Sony's full frame fixed lens mini, but it's German and yes, I want it!

Love Instagram? Frame it with Layout

Finally a true app from Instagram themselves to out do any other grid / layout app on the iOS App Store. And don't worry Android, you'll get yours too sometime soon.

When you open Layout, we automatically show you previews of custom layouts as you choose photos from your camera roll. To make it easier to find the photos you want, we’ve also added a Faces option that shows you all the photos in your camera roll that feature people.

New grid / layout features.   Layout

New grid / layout features.  Layout

Typed: Airbus A320!

Add another aircraft to the list of ratings! Last Friday night, my sim partner Joe and I went into our Maneuvers Validation and killed it! It couldn't have gone any smoother. And just yesterday morning, we finished our Line Orientation Evaluation and passed! As I was making the final landing of the two leg trip, I started getting goosebumps of excitement and then when we set the parking brake and the instructor said we successfully completed our LOE, the relief could have been felt from miles away.

We prepared well throughout the last two weeks. I mean, it was around 4 weeks total after the initial indoc and such. Chair flying each event, going over callouts and non-normal procedures and studying our approaches over and over until we got bored. In the end, I couldn’t have asked for a better sim partner or instructors. Needless to say, I came out of the sim typed in the Airbus A320 Family.

In all honesty, I’ve been lucky throughout my aviation career. At CAPT, I got to meet three guys who would be my best man and groomsman and end up at ASA. At ASA / ExpressJet, I got hired with over a dozen friends and became friends with many more. Our new hire class was pretty awesome. When I transitioned aircraft to the CRJ 700/900, I had another guy from my new hire class during the same period and when I upgraded to Captain years later, I was partnered up with one of my best friends from CAPT.

Now at JetBlue, I was fortunate again to have a Captain going through requalification which allowed me to sit in my First Officer seat the entire time enabling me to really learn my flows and callouts. When you are in a paired setup, I feel like it’s the most productive as long as you keep working through the periods where the captain is getting instruction. When you’re paired with another new hire first officer, you get that seat half of the four hour allotment but then you are able to observe and watch the other guy. It just depends on how you learn I guess. Thanks again Joe for everything! Even though it was albeit on the small size, nine total, everyone in my new hire class has been awesome.

Now with a mandatory four days off, I’ll be released to Initial Operating Experience at JFK! I’ve included a few various pictures throughout the 6 weeks here at jetBlue University. Yea, that’s outgoing CEO Dave Barger, my favorite instructor Bob Stafford and the obligatory PBE picture. There’s also a picture of our raft, the no motion flight training device and of course the simulator.

The last picture in the gallery below is of one of the newest Airbus' in the JetBlue Mint fleet courtesy of Planespotters' Juan Carlos Aponte! The Transcon A321 Mint aircraft holds 159 passengers total with 16 in Mint class and 143 Core Expereince seats while the A321 Core Aircraft holds 190 passengers. Then there's the main A320 that holds 150 seats soon to hold more. Take a peep! It's sweet!

For details on all the aircraft, check out Our Planes!