Some random thoughts…

Alright, alright…it’s time to pack!

Hey all,

Alright, here’s what gear is going to Alaska with me to photograph Grizzlies:

Canon 40d camera body (x2)

Canon 1D Mark II camera body

Canon 500mm f4 lens with Aquatech rain cover, Wimberly head and Gitzo tripod

Canon 100-400 IS

Canon 70-200mm F2.8

Canon 24-70mm F2.8

Canon 16-35mm F2.8

Canon 50mm Macro

1.4x Extender

580 EX II Strobe

Light Meter

Macbook Pro with portable back-up drives

And, of course, a full compliment of batteries, chargers, filters, ball heads, CF cards, mounting brackets and a whole bunch of other miscellaneous accessories (some useful, some not so much)

Let’s see, did I miss anything?  Oh yeah…underwear.

July 27, 2008 Posted by | Photography, visual arts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gearing up…

Hello all…

I’ve been planning my upcoming Alaska trip for over a year now and it’s finally becoming a reality.  Some fellow photographers and I will be flying to a lodge in Katmai in two weeks.  Have you ever seen the classic images of a Grizzly Bear standing on the edge of a waterfall catching a leaping Salmon in it’s mouth?  Well, that image was likely taken at a place called Brooks Falls along the Brooks River.  That’s where we’re going!  They  are in the midst of the “Salmon run” up there, the annual migration  of Salmon returning to their place of birth in order to spawn.   They swim upstream and up waterfalls and the Grizzlies, looking to bulk up for their winter hibernation, actively hunt these fish as they battle their way upstream.

I’ll be there in the middle of all the action hoping to get that classic shot for myself!  Although the nice folks at Brooks Lodge couldn’t guarantee that the bears will be fluffy and hungry, nor would the salmon be jumping, I still have high hopes.  I, along with my colleagues, will be bringing  cases of camera gear with us, no doubt making the airline droids who thought up the “extra $$ for extra baggage” policy very happy.  I now have the task of selecting which pieces of equipment (lenses, camera bodies, etc.) I’ll be taking along for the ride.  Along with looking through equipment I already have is the requisite running around and buying up every thinkable accessory I may, or may not, need.  There are no roads up there, we’ll be taking a float plane directly to the lodge.  We’re actually going to ship a few cases of camera equipment ahead via UPS to save on airline surcharges.  I hope to come back with a slew of wonderful shots to show you all via the website.  Wish me luck!

An update on the “Fireground Action Photography” podcast…

I’ve finally recorded Episode ’00’ which will serve as the introductory episode.  After I complete a few full episodes I’ll go ahead and officially launch the podcast on the web.  More on that later…right now I have to go find some more camera batteries and bug spray…

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Photography, Podcasting, visual arts | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ahhh…my new old iPhone…

I downloaded Version 2.0 for my iPhone early this morning but didn’t expect that my phone would be dead for the next three and a half hours!  After checking with a few chatrooms, the popular opinion was that Apple’s servers were jammed with people downloading the new software update.  That made sense to me and I felt better, still periodically glancing at my “iBrick” to check for any signs of life.  Then, after what seemed like an eternity, it came alive and spent the next several minutes reloading all of my preferences, music, contacts, etc. which had been backed up prior to the update (thank GOD!).

I must say, the new iStore is something else.  I’ve already downloaded several completely useless applications (free, of course) as well as what will no doubt prove to be some very useful ones.  The first thing I downloaded was something I saw Leo Laporte try out during his 24-your live coverage of the global 3G iPhone release.   Being a true geek, I downloaded “Phone Saber”.  Got it yet?  I’ll wait….ok.  Time’s up.  It turns your iPhone into a light saber a la “Star Wars”.  Very goofy but extremely clever – turn it on and little light saber appears on the screen of your iPhone.  Choose from any of five colors for the “blade” and it comes to life.  Complete with realistic (as realistic as light sabers go anyway) sound effects, this free program uses the accelerometer built into the iPhone to detect movement and changes the sound effects  accordingly.   Like anyone who took the time to download this app, I too stood with my Phone Saber simulating a battle with Darth Vader himself, enjoying the little simulator.  Alright, I sat at my desk and flicked it around a bit.  It was still kinda fun.

Feeling myself getting a little dumber, I extinguished my saber and downloaded several other free apps such as a Yellow Pages, weather, Ebay, Twitter, etc. which I look forward to using.  There are hundreds of apps already available in the iStore, most of which are only around ten dollars if not completely free.

I think the best part of this software update for is I finally look forward to using my iPhone again.  The novelty had worn off from when I first bought it last year and now I have new hope that it will only get better with the availability of third party apps.  I agree with Leo Laporte’s assessment that if you’ve already got an older iPhone, there aren’t many reasons to go out and buy a new 3g phone.  Sure there are some nice features I wouldn’t mind using but I think I’ll give my old clunker another shot.  After all, I paid $400 for it only a year ago!

July 12, 2008 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

Welcome to the CDDM weblog!

I want to welcome everyone to the newly created weblog for Craig Durling Distinctive Media (CDDM).  My website address is  Please visit frequently as new photos and other content are added often.  I will also be producing an internet radio show (podcast) in the near future.  Although we will focus on photography, there will be an emphasis on Fire and Emergency Services Photography.  Along with regular guests, I will be discussing all aspects of Fire and Emergency Services Photography including technique, scene safety and getting your Emergency Services photographs published.  We will also focus on the “art” of Emergency Services Photography.  I hope to hear from you and please check out the website for updates.  Thanks!


July 7, 2008 Posted by | Photography, visual arts | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment