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Category: G’ville

Shots from the 2014 Lakeland Classic are up on the site.

I have a bit of a hot/cold thing going with this little theater. On one hand, the architecture and grounds are spectacular and I keep hoping for the opportunity to do some shots with someone outside. On the other hand, inside the venue it’s cramped and the stage is under-lit.

I shot the show full-manual again, and while the results are not spectacular, they’re as good as I expected to get and again they’re far more consistent than auto-exposure is likely to deliver. I shot at 6400, my camera’s max (though I understand there might exist a hack that allaws a faster ISO), so a little noise can be seen if you look; but the right answer might be to try a faster, fixed-length lens and handle rescaling in post-processing.

As an aside, Lakeland traffic control on a Saturday morning actually made me appreciate Gainesville at rush hour. Whatever the purpose of the DOT is down there, it can’t be getting you from point A to point B safely and efficiently.

2014 Florida State bodybuilding competitor Shots from the 2014 Florida State Championships are up on the site.

I’m quite pleased with the shots overall, as well as how I pushed myself out of my comfort zone– this is the first show I’ve ever shot with fully manual exposure, start to finish. And if the exposures aren’t quite perfect, they’re a lot more consistent than automatic settings can achieve, which helps the post-processing considerably (and it’s still been a fortnight since the show and I’m just finishing).

The venue is a strange setup, where you’re either too low or too far away, but the lighting wasn’t too bad. The show moved at a rather frenetic pace at times, which meant I had to do shots of some entire classes instead of individuals (which I prefer), but with a show this size you have to keep things moving.

Now I’m starting on the Lakeland show shots; I have the next couple of weekends free before the Gainesville, and for that the travel time is negligible (well, usually– the Gators host Alabama that weekend and game time hasn’t been set yet).

2013 Gainesville Classic women's competitor Shots from the 2013 Gainesville Classic are up on the site.

I really love the lighting in this auditorium, despite it being a bit cramped. The secret of course is that the backdrop is not stark ebony, giving me a little room to work with.

The fluorescent colors in the physique guys’ shorts are still causing me grief, as they as reflecting a bunch of light that the camera can see but I can’t, causing massive underexposure; I may have found a workaround for that, in the meantime I converted the “problem children” to black-and-white so there would at least be something to show.

The show was another well-run Tony Curtis production, and as always it was a delight to not have to drive much to get to the show. :)


I’m still not 100% happy with the layout in the popup, but I can tweak that later if I get inspired. Meantime I think I’ve got the Florida contest schedule looking about how I’d like it to look:
  • The general style fits the rest of the site.
  • The number of clicks required to navigate has gone way down.
  • It’s easier to look at.
  • The ability to sort by column is at least as easy to use as running separate database queries.
  • The upcoming contests (now next three) are easier to find in the sidebar.
  • The contests that are already done are greyed out.
  • The page automatically scrolls so that the first upcoming contest is near the top.
  • The popups are attractive, fit in with the site style, and the maps work.

I’ve also made a minor update to the overall site style, which is working in current IE and Firefox, broken in Opera and untested in Chrome. One of these days I need to give the site a good checkup in Chrome…

Anyway. I learned a lot doing this little project, and the usual hat-tips to the creators and maintainers of code libraries everywhere– I could never have things running this quickly if I’d had to code and test it all piece by piece. Enjoy and let me know if you have comments or suggestions.

Sorry for the delay; I spent some time refactoring the maintenance interface to the database.

I cleaned up some of the SQL, scrapped some hard code for jQuery (hey, it’s an OLD interface now!), added some indeces– usual stuff. But it was worth it, I probably saved almost as much time in the entry process as it took to make the changes.

Just as a reminder, these entries are based on notes and are not to be considered ANYTHING like final yet. The only official source of Florida NPC contest information comes from their Web site.

As the NPC and show promoter’s sites get updated I’ll update the schedule, but remember that stuff haapens: venues have date conflicts, sanctions can be denied, and so forth and so on. Always confirm your participation plans with the show promoter.

So anyway, here is the unofficial 2013 NPC schedule. Enjoy.

2012 All-South women's physique competitor Man, am I behind in my posts! I’ll try to make up some time here.

Shots from the 2012 All South, held November 3 in St. Augustine, FL, are up on the site.

Got there later than I should have, so seating options were more limited. I chose a decent seat in the middle so the angle gained me more accurate and consistent color balance but lost me an unblocked view.

I think what I really need is a 30-foot tripod. Or a radioactive spider with a bad temper.

Promoters Gene and Pete put on a great show as usual. This wraps up the 2012 schedule for me. And by the way, the preliminary unofficial run-it-up-the-flagpole uncertified unauthenticated first draft of the 2013 schedule will be going up on the site shortly.


Daytona Classic 2012 women's figure competitor Shots from the 2012 Daytona Classic, held September 22 in (where else) Daytona, FL, are up on the site.

The shots from the 2012 Southeastern have just started going up as well.

Yes, I’m even more behind that usual, if you can imagine such a thing.

I’m starting to get very frustrated by my image presentation software. It seems way bloated for the simple job it needs to do, and ever since I moved the site to a new server to get a static IP, the weenier (that’s a technical term) server has made even a simple upload of images into a major and time-consuming chore.

I’ve been coping by breaking tasks up into small, nested batches so one thing can run in the background while I’m working on something else, but it’s still a pain in the sphincter.

I’m looking at an alternative that seems much faster and lighter but still seems to have all the functionality I need. In my copious free time (hack gag) I have to see if I can port the Eos theme over to it; I really like having the different software packacges presenting a comparitively seamless look-and-feel (says the guy who hasn’t even finished converting his static pages to the Eos theme).

Oh, yeah, the show. Just another smooth Tony Curtis gig– he makes it look so easy, though I understand the evening show had its share of fun due to unavoidable external issues, but even those were handled (good work Arno!)

This photography is not my finest work; in particular I’m disappointed in the bad job I did setting the white balance early on– it’s just so hard to tell when it’s off until you can really see it on a full-sized monitor.

Some of the shots came our wonderfully, but all of the shots could have been better. The Southeastern shots came out much more consistently, and I’ll try to do the same at the Gainesville show this weekend. Enjoy.