North Tampa Photo

13 08 2009

I had a rather interesting day today, as I discovered a ‘new’ photo supply store in Tampa.  Okay, so they’ve been around for more than 30 years, but new to me.  Their website isn’t anything exciting, just a few basic pages, but the customer service INSIDE the store couldn’t be beat!  Friendly people that had no problems with me just asking questions.  Very informative people that really know their stuff.  Unlike a certain big box store that’s in Countryside Mall that I go to when I need the occasional lens wiping cloth…..  (Do I really need to say who it is?)

Great selection there, friendly people, and if you don’t see it, they can order it.  And the prices are pretty reasonable.  I’m sure you could find the same products online for cheaper, but you definitely won’t get the service that goes with it!

Go check them out for yourself!   1020 West Busch Blvd. Tampa, FL 33612  813-935-9339

North Tampa Photo

Free Vector Art

3 08 2009

Okay, so I had some fun playing around today.  Here are some star patterns that you can have for free.  I know this sounds stupid, but don’t try to claim them as yours.  Give credit where it’s due…

If you want it, drop me a line.  I’ll be happy to email it to you until I figure out this whole download thing.  The web can be such a tricky thing…

star patterns

Something New

5 01 2009

Well, I’ve entered my first local art show.  The Pinellas Park Art Society is having their 20th Annual Photography contest, and thanks to a friend who told me about it, I’ve entered.   I was surprised at the entry fees – only $8 per piece up to 6 pieces.  Three different categories – Black and White, Color and Digital.

Now before you ask, “Aren’t most photos today Digital?”, let me clarify.  The Digital category is for photos that are more than 25% manipulated, such as HDR and other ‘artistic’ ideas.  Just adjusting the exposure doesn’t count.  I have two entered in that category.

I have to say, I’m a little nervous.  I’ve been in other art shows, but this one’s local, so maybe that’s why I’m nervous.  Here’s a link to the Pinellas Park Art Society web page, so you can see what they do. There isn’t too much to their website yet, but I understand that it’s coming along. Non-profits can have a hard time getting these things up and running.

So go check out their site. The photography show opens on January 12th at the renovated railroad station in Pinellas Park. If you have nothing better to do, or want to get out of the house for a free event, come join us! And be sure to check back here – I’ll be giving updates on the show (specific times, results, etc.).

I have to say, I’m anxious about whether or not I’m getting a prize!

My Banner on Tidbits

20 03 2008

I had someone email me with a question about the picture that’s at the top of my blog. Well, that’s an easy answer, but not the simplest explanation.

The picture is that of a Pantone color fan. You know those fans that painters have that they whip out to show you what different colors will look like on your walls? That’s essentially what the Pantone fan is, only we use it in the printing business. Just like we have standards on the web for displaying web pages (HTML/XML/Java/Flash), in graphics and printing we have Pantone. It’s the most widely used and accepted standards for printing pieces off of presses/copiers/inkjets. It’s really nothing more than a color-code for a specific color, which is nothing more than a very specific combination of the four primary colors. There have been color wheels and fans in use for decades, but the Pantone system is probably the most accurate and accepted standard.

Just a useless tidbit here: If you ever get something printed at a print shop and they ask you if there’s any PMS colors, just so you don’t sound stupid, here’s your answer. If your graphic designer gives you a logo that’s marked PMS 237, that’s a Pantone color. PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. In general, Pantone colors cost a little more, but they are completely worth it if you absolutely have to have the color match, as in your company logo. Good thing to be using the same blue and orange every time you get your letterhead printed.

PMS color can also allow us in the printing business to do what we call a “Spot” color. That’s where a specific PMS color completely covers a part of the paper, and doesn’t have any sort of ‘grain’ to it. If you look at something printed in the newspaper or magazine, it’s usually printed using only the standard four colors (cyan(blue)+magenta(red)+yellow+black=CMYK). If you took a magnifier to it, you’d see little dots that actually make up the colors and patterns. With “spot” colors, you don’t have that. It’s completely solid. Using a spot color with a glossy paper can turn out some truly beautiful pieces.

So, since I’ve been getting so many inquiries about printing and graphics, I’ll add some more entries as some interesting stuff comes up.

And we have liftoff!

11 03 2008

Okay, I admit it. I have always had this facination with the space program. I always wanted to go up in a shuttle. Some of the things I dreamed of doing as a kid, we’re actually achieving right now. The Mars explorer, the Hubble Telescope, and my personal favorite, the Shuttles.

Shuttle Endeavour took off early this morning. And I do mean early. I’m some 300 miles away from Cape Canaveral, and usually I can see the trail of the shuttle as it takes off. I usually like to watch the trail as I see the launch on tv. (I have the NASA satellite feed) And I was planning on getting some really great photos. Until the clouds rolled in. I am completely disappointed. Oh well. Here’s some shots taken from the NASA page. They’re pretty good. Hope you enjoyed them as much as me!

If you want to know more about the shuttle’s mission, go to and check out their site. You can learn about the crew, the mission, and what they will accomplish up there on the International Space Station.


Our Wonderful Crew


On their way…

An Awesome Weekend!

10 03 2008

Okay, let me lead off by saying what a great weekend it was! Something that I’ve needed for some time. Being a single parent, there isn’t a lot of time that I get to myself. And this weekend was no exception. I spent a lot of time doing things that needed to be done, like filing, and tax work, but I got to do something special on Saturday night. A friend of mine bought tickets to see Jersey Boys at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and gave one to me for a holiday present. So, the five of us took off for TPAC (as it’s known around here) Saturday night for an incredible story about the Four Seasons. We’re all fans, so it was a lot of fun. What a story!

Not to mention the lights, the set, the way the actors completely entranced the crowd…. What a show! After the show and the curtain calls, the cast asked everyone to sit back down, and they asked everyone to donate to Broadway Cares, a non-profit started and run by Broadway Actors to benefit many different organizations. They were doing backstage tours, signed playbills, signed posters, and more to raise money. From what I could see, they must have raised a lot. I saw lots of 10’s and 20’s in the buckets they were holding on to. Nice to see that the musical crowd still has a heart, unlike what I see at the sports events. If the Lightning stood up on the ice after the game and asked the same questions, I’m positive that the crowd would walk away laughing…

Tickets for both events, sports and musical, cost about the same, but the attitudes are completely different. Cultural people don’t complain as much as sports people. Of course, performers don’t get annual contracts for $15 million just to play some dumb sport. It takes far more smarts to get up on stage and perform versus playing football. Now the coaches, fine. They deserve more as they have to plan logistics, etc. But I haven’t seen a sports player YET that is worth $15 million.

Get out there and support your local orchestras, playwrights, theatres, and actors. There’s far more entertainment there than at some sports event.