Happy World Photography Day!!

Didn’t know if you knew this, but today is in fact World Photography Day!! Below is one of my favorite photos I’ve taken. It’s a self-portrait and it was a part of series I did entitled “The Personal Ad.” It actually was the first thing Ela, my now fiancee saw of me.

So, I hope you enjoy World Photography Day and keep snapping :)
Personal Ad - Look at this guy!

Zach Arias: Transformation & Interview by Chase Jarvis

A photographer I’ve been really digging lately is Zach Arias. This is because I can tell this guy really speaks from the heart and has a very inspiring story on how he became a professional photographer.

Growing as a person and an artist is something which is very important to me. Just ask my fiance as I watch video after video and read blog after blog like Johnny 5 in “Short Circuit” “Need more input!” Below is a video Zach did for Scott Kelby as a guest blogger. It really touched me because after watching it I felt even more focused on the task at hand of being a better photographer and why I do what I do in life. I hope it does something for you too.

Chase Jarvis had Zach on his live show, it’s long but good if you have the time.

“The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.” – Edward Weston‘s quote Zach Arias uses at his workshops.

Long time no post…but I’m back! Crop vs. Full Frame

Hello everyone! I’m back in a brand new way. In case you haven’t checked out studiofinch.com that’s a good place to see what I’ve been up to lately. I wanted to let you know that I’m changing the direction of this blog from just personal updates to a more photography tip, tricks and cool stuff type of thing-a-ma-jig.

This first thing I’d like to illustrate is the difference between a full frame camera and a crop sensor. Now you can good this kind of thing, but I think that the best way to illustrate my point is to simple show you a photo as an example.

Canon 40D 125th 2.8 1000 ISO (Click to see full sized image)

Canon 5D Mark II 125th 2.8 1000 ISO (Click to see full sized image)


As you can see the “crop sensor” on the 40D crops out part of the picture. Nonetheless, the 5D Mark II is also a much higher quality camera as well, but this helps illustrate the crop vs. full frame point. The 5D also lets in more light and has less “noise” in the picture. Click the pictures and compare.

So I hope this is just the start of more camera blog posts to help you along the way. If you already knew this, don’t worry we will get more complex along the way. Cheers!


Two NEW Goals by Jason Broaddus

I have decided I have two new long term personal goals:

1. Run in a marathon – this is something I’ve always wanted to do and I think I’m going to follow a plan out of the Dean Karnazes book “50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days” among some other books. I know it will take time, I will struggle and in the end it will be worth it. Plus it will help me get into good shape for the wedding!!

2. Learn to speak Polish – this is because my fiancee is Polish and she often speaks Polish to her parents and I’d like to join in the conversation. Also, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn to speak another language. Since Ela speaks Polish I have the perfect person to practice speaking my Polish!
10.4.2010 The day Poland cried (Please read)

I’ll keep you updated! If you have any suggestions to help me in my pursuits please let me know!!!

I also wanted to share this photo I captured at the 2010 Chicago Marathon of Richard Whitehead – wow talk about some inspiration…

Richard Whitehead Chicago Marathon 10-10-10

The Times They are A-Changin’ – (only in a good way)

Had my first day of my internship today and I finally really feel what it might be like to be a social worker and really help people. Something I learned today was I need to develop a proper self-care plan, because being around so many older adults brought back some strong feelings about my Grandpa Bowers and Grandma Piccione and what they went through living in an assisted living/retirement home/nursing home until they passed.

What I enjoyed most was how my manager is truly people focused and puts the clients needs first. She’s been doing it for 20 years and I’m at day number one of my internship. I think I will be able to pair having an MBA and business sense and earning my MSW into something very powerful.

I think it’s the beginning of something substantial for me.

Yay – I got engaged!!

Here’s a picture from the special day when I asked her to marry me, she said yes and made me the happiest man alive. Thankfully Ela had her camera on her from our mini-vacation to Milwaukee to visit some small indie breweries and a coffee roastery :)

I can't stop looking at this picture. Hope you enjoy our joy!

From the calender after we got back -we got engaged on August 17, 2010.

I changed it, obviously ;)

Chatham Neighborhood Chicago Illinois Interview with Rep. Marlow H. Colvin

Recently I did a study on the Chatham neighborhood in Chicago Illinois for a class I am taking at Dominican University earning my MSW. Below is an interview I did with Representative Marlow H. Colvin about the neighborhoods history and what makes them unique.

“The Break Up” – Marketing in Today’s World

I just wanted to pass along this great video I saw recently regarding marketing and the relationship between advertising and consumers. See below.

North Manitou Island Backpacking, Bushwhacking, Tim Allen & Sunburns in the Great State of Michigan

Hike from our cars – the start of a journey…

I now consider myself a backpacker – I love it, I love nature, I love the challenge…it is simply awesome. I recently went on a trip to North Manitou Island and I think I just may be hooked and committed to becoming a backpacking enthusiast as a lifelong hobby. It was a wonderful trip which actually got delayed because we had to take the “big boat” instead of the little one because Lake Michigan had 5-8 feet swells and the small boat wouldn’t be able to dock. One thing I noticed was the size of some people’s backpack – holy cow some of them were monstrous and must have weighed at least 60 pounds. I thought I packed to many t-shirts (I did), but wow my backpack was dwarfed by some of the monsters people packed.

Getting on the boat.

When we got off the boat after a sea sick inducing ride on the boat we had backpacker orientation, which accounted for, in a nutshell, you have to camp 300 feet from any water, 300 feet from other campsites, no campfires, and your latrine needs to be at least 6 inches deep. After that we were on the trail. The first hour or so on the trail was exhausting getting use to wearing a 30 pound pack on my back, but after my muscles were warmed up we all found our rhythm backpacking across the island to the northwest side of the island. What we didn’t realize was that we missed the unkempt trail we needed to take to the dunes where we wanted to camp, so we took a risk and bushwhacked it at about a 50 degree incline 900 feet up. At the end of that day we hiked around 6-7 miles which was definitely a good start.

Bushwhacking at it’s best!

The campsite we found!

The next day we enjoyed our awesome campsite, but yikes getting water going down an uber-steep hill of leg cramping sand which was a good workout to say the least. Also, when we got water we had to go at least knee depth in Lake Michigan and filter our water into the water bottles. I don’t think I have ever valued water so much in my life. It’s amazing how you find out how important something is when you don’t have it by just turning on the tap.

Filtering water in the coldness of Lake Michigan.

Later that day we went on a day hike on the beach and that’s where we all forgot to apply sunscreen early enough. The beaches on North Manitou Island were a thing of beauty. If I didn’t know where I was at I would have thought we were on a tropical island. When I was on the island I thought about those “Pure Michigan” commercials with Tim Allen as the commentator. What was really crazy was when we were waiting for the boat at a coffee shop I thought I recognized someone, but couldn’t place his face and then I realized it was Mr. Michigan Tim Allen. I said “Mr. Allen? Mr. Allen? Tim Allen!?” and he replied “Yes” stunned by my discovery I could only muster the response of “I love your work” and Tim Allen said back “Thanks” and proceeded to get his coffee.

One of Tim Allen commercials for “Pure Michigan.”

Our last day on the island was spent it trying to find a dry way across the middle of the island. We thought we found a nice meadow to go across, but we got a little more then a quarter of a way there and our feet started to get wet and poof we discovered we were in a swamp! In my head I irrationally started to imagine we were endanger of getting eating by an alligator. So we turned around and went back the way we came to try to find some higher and dryer ground to make our way to the main trail.

After some navigating we went to higher ground and crossed and found a dry spot to make our way to the main trail. The only other issue was all three of us on the trip got sunburns in places you don’t normally get them. I got sunburned on the tops of my feet, my girlfriend Ela got sunburned pretty bad on her legs and behind her knees and so did Ryan our friend. So this made the backpacking across the island harder then normal. We did find our way to a nice campsite on the east side of the island and found some time to play the card game Uno in our tent.

Tent party on our last night on the island!!

All in all our backpack trip I think has inspired a lifelong love affair with backpacking and the wilderness for myself. It was so nice to get away from things like cell phones, computers, text message and all the creature comforts one has when they’re not in the wilderness because it helps me appreciate those things when I come back (Although, I did bring my Flip Mino HD and took all of the awesome video you see posted). It was also nice to just live in the present and do things like go for a walk on the beach, eat wild strawberries and see nature in action.

I think we hiked over 20 miles with our time on North Manitou Island. We also went on a winery tour before we left for the island.

Yay for nature!

I can’t wait to go on our next trip whether it is a day trip of a trek across the wilderness. Yay for backpacking!!

New Place, Life and Niche in the World

The illustration is from Hugh MacLeod who's brilliant! - http://gapingvoid.com

Well, well, well here we are everyone. I think I’m starting to really find my niche in the Greater Chicago area, otherwise known for me as Berwyn and Dominican University for me. It’s been a big change of having to worry about things like papers and midterms, it’s like going to work, but you get to pay them. I enjoy it though, it’s nice to feel like you’re really building toward something significant. I think with my business skills, having an MBA and a future MSW I can really do some good. I can speak “business talk” and now I’m learning about social services/social work – could make for a dangerous pairing. In my first class a professor talked about, I’m paraphrasing – everything we do is political as a social worker. My reaction was “that doesn’t make any sense.”

The more I thought about that phrase the more it resonated with me. I had a marketing professor, in my MBA program, tell me “everything is a test in life, how we act, how we respond, it’s all a test.” I tend to agree with him. The more I learned about social work and it’s roots, Professor Oporto is completely right. I did a report on Eunice Kennedy Shriver and she is simply an AMAZING person who took people with intellectual disabilities out of the institutions and let them live life more like people without the disability.

For myself I went down to Springfield for NASW‘s Advocacy Day, it was an experience in itself. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d be lobbying for, but I had a variety of options.

What I really observed was that there were very few normal-every-day-citizens there talking with representative, but rather guys in very expensive suites (who were professional lobbyist) waiting in line to talk to their representative/senator…I was immediately maddened by the process. Thinking to myself “I need to starting getting involved and not passively stand on the sideline letting the guys in suites decide how we live our lives.” I kinda like the term “t-shirt and jeans lobbyist,” but I’ll probably get stuck in a suite myself. I know getting political is easier said then done, but as a social worker (and as a citizen) we have the ability to change the playing ground in which we operate.

I think the first thing for me is to do is educate myself and learn how to play the game of politics. In a previous job/life when I wanted to talk to a representative a good way to get a meeting quickly was to have a business leader in the community recommend me or come along with me to the meeting.

Side note: one lobbyist when he walked in literally said “Boy everyone **cking hates our company, but they sure love our products” I was shocked how he spoke with such frankness- he represented a large chemical company I didn’t find out which one…shocking indeed.

The NASW they may not have the funding large companies have, however there is power in numbers and actually voting. It’s a government of the people, by the people, for the people right Mr. Lincoln? Did you vote in the last election? Did you really educate yourself about the issues? I did my best to, but I’m going to really make an effort to get much more involved on both a micro and macro level. I’m very happy to be on the path of having the ability to help people on both a personal level through counseling and also being an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

I interviewed at an Adult Day Center this week, for an internship this fall, and the director was speaking to me about hard it is to get funding for the elderly. The people at this center were there for a variety of reasons, dementia, strokes, Alzheimer’s and other reasons. I thought to myself  – “they can’t speak for themselves and what is happening to those who aren’t in a facility like this one?” They can’t go and talk to their representative/senator and say they need help because they can’t afford medication or care. The people in the center were the lucky ones; I can’t imagine the situation for those who cannot get help. I think I’m going to make it my mission to try to get them better care.

This life change for me wouldn’t be possible without the help of my family, sister’s fiance and friends, so thanks everyone. I may be an hour and half away, but you’re always in my thoughts and heart.

I’m just about half way through my first semester, but I’m motivated…watch out.

PS. Another person who helped me get into the MSW Program at Dominican University is Ike Pigott, he’s my digital mentor of sorts, read his brilliant and witty blog at http://occamsrazr.com (if you go to Ike’s website please don’t steal his content or at least give him credit ::cough:: lifehacker.com ::couch::).

And I’d like to end this post with a song…been listening to a lot of Wilco lately and I’m in an optimistic mood. Enough said.