You can definitely tell when I’m busy and when I’m not based on how often I update this site.  As you can image, from how infrequently I’ve been doing updates, that I’ve become incredibly busy.  I received a promotion, and now I’ve taken on about 10x more responsibility than I had before.  It’s definitely different than what I was used to, but it’s a good different (at least it still is right now).  Instead of just being a worker bee assigned to a project, I now, in so few words, manage all infrastructure aspects of projects that come into the department. 

This has resulted in a lot more work on my plate.  And not just more work, but more work that I’ve never done before (at least not at this scale).  Things like quotes and estimations.  Plus, I’ve been traveling some and trying to get some training done through NetApp.  Oh, did I mention all this responsibility was done by a person that was twice my level before my promotion?  Well, I can’t say that exactly because everything that he did didn’t just jump onto my plate, there’s a project manager that’s actually doing some of the work.  However, regardless, everything needs to cross my plate because of my technical abilities and my knowledge of what my team is doing.

We’re also getting a NetApp FAS3050C cabinet in on Tuesday.  This is why I’ve been doing some training on it, since I’ll be point-man on getting that all setup.  We’ll primarily be using that as an iSCSI target for virtual machine hosts and SQL machines.  I’m personally really stoked about that.  ~30 TB of raw data to play with.  I’m glad that I’ll be doing that though, as it helps to balance out the ever increasing management responsibilities.  Toys are good.

In non-work related news, I’ve been taking another photography class: Portrait & Lighting I.  It was actually one that I wasn’t really going to take, but I’ve definitely learned a lot.  I was skeptical of taking it at first because I had heard that the teacher didn’t go into much of the technical aspects.  However, that’s what I really like.  I enjoy learning all the technical stuff and then be able to play with that knowledge for my own images.  Well, the normal teacher is actually taking a break, so the same guy who taught our Photo II class is teaching this one.  This is probably one of the reasons I decided to take the class, because I like the way he teaches.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of “good shots” from this class as we’re basically just learning how to correctly use lights and many of the pictures are of different types of lighting or of a dummy head.  It’s possible that something from this next shoot will show up on aaron spruit (.com) though.  We’ll just have to see.

In other photography news, I’m looking at getting a new 105mm macro lens and flash.  I’ve also been contemplating getting a light meter, and I’ve actually bid on a few on eBay, but I just don’t think I’d use it all that much.

I think that’s about it, and be sure to check out aaron spruit (.com), since it gets updated every weekday.  Oh, and there should be some pictures taken in the last month showing up now, as I finally got out last weekend to take some pics.  Out of 100ish pictures, I’m probably going to throw up 29 or so.  It was nice last weekend; I just put some newish music on my iPod, threw on the headphones and took the camera out with me.  It was actually quite relaxing, but still amazing how many strange looks people gave me.

New Domain

Well, I’ve got it in my mind that I want to redo my website (again).  It’s been awhile, and well, I just feel like it needs a bit of a refresh.  And hey, it’s been awhile.  So, I’ve been freshening up on some CSS, so that I can do it right.  I’m probably going to keep the graphics down to a minimum, like it currently is, just to keep load times, but at the same point, I really like some of designs at CSS Zen Webgarden. 

Anyways, I also want to break the photos off this site and create a new one.  Something similar to Chromasia, or G8, or Staring at the Sun.  Basically, since I’ve been getting better, I want someplace to showcase the best of the best. 

Really, what it comes down to, is that I need something even more to do, right…

So, I’ve registered aaronspruit.com in addition to rebelpeon.com.  However, now I have the dilemma of which site should go where.  I can come up for pros and cons of both.  What are all your thoughts?  Currently they both point here.

Bolt for Camera

I was wondering if someone could help me out.  I’m looking for a bolt, actually 3, for the Ftn viewfinder of a Nikon F.  The thing is small, really small.  It is a metric bolt, which adds to the fun.  I’ve tried local hardware stores (minus the Home Depot here, because they have an absolute crap selection of metric anything) to no avail.  I’m tempted to run up to Calumet and see if they may know someplace to get bolts for this thing.

Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Gallery Updates

I’ve finally gotten around to actually uploading the last 5 weeks worth of pictures from class.  The pathetic part is that most of them aren’t even that many pictures.  However, I have changed a few things.  Instead of uploading every picture, just as it is out of the camera, I’m instead uploading proof sheets and then any of the pictures I really like after manipulation. 

I figure, since I’m getting a lot better, I don’t really want to throw up every shot anymore.  Plus, manipulating ever shot in photoshop takes awhile, so selecting a few will be a lot better.  The proof sheet will give others what exactly is going on with each of my shoots too.  Plus, if there’s anything you want, that I didn’t throw up in individual form, just drop me a line with the category and picture number, and I can email it to you, fixed or not.


I’d feel guilty not doing anything with all the pictures that I’ve taken and printed these last 7 weeks, so I’ve been trying to get information about framing.  For what I’m wanting to do (a whole wall of framed pictures), custom framing is out of the question, but at the same point, I’d like something that looks half way professional.

So, tonight I’ve been looking at how exactly you go about framing yourself and different frames.  So far, it doesn’t look too bad.  The hardest part is apparently the mat board, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t look that hard.  And I figure it’d be a good skill to have if I keep taking pictures.  It be good for gift giving too!

I’m basically looking for a nice, modern, black frame that’s on the cheap.  I’ve found a few, but it’s so hard to really get an idea of how they look on the web, and I know I most likely won’t get as cheap of a price here in town.  Oh, and then there’s the glass, many of the websites don’t send the glass, for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, there are a few things I’d have to buy, and the above website only really talks about how to create the mat board.  What about mounting and the like?  This may require a trip to the library or an Amazon purchase, but I definitely think this is the way to go, especially with the number of prints I, already, have.

Photography Classes

Well, next week is my last week for Photo I Digital up at the Chicago Photography Center.  However, classes for the next session actually start up next week too (week of June 5th).  That’s right kids, if you want to learn how to take better pictures, or just how to use your SLR camera more effectively, you too can take classes.  Heck, if you’re interested, I can even get you 10% off, just contact me for details. 

The real delimma for me is to take Photo II or not.  I think I’m going to, but the wallet is already feeling the hurt from the first one, plus the camera, plus the supplies.  However, I definitely feel like I’ve improved over the 8 weeks, and I know I’ve learned a lot.  Way more than I would’ve had I just bought a book and tried to do it on my own.

Summer is Here

Summer is most definitely here, and on the correct weekend no less!  As I type this, it is 81 degrees outside with 55% humidity.  Welcome to the midwest.

To kick off summer right, Erin and I went for a bike ride.  It wasn’t that hard to convince her to go, especially since she just got her new bike.  We started out in Lemont at Waterfall Glen, and then headed down to Lockport and did the I & M Canal trail between Lockport and Joliet.  Grand total, probably ~20 miles.  Not bad, especially since we put in ~20 miles earlier in the week.

So, I had never taken the I & M Canal trail that far South out of Lockport, which means I had never seen the old steel mill ruins (steel mill closed in the 1930’s) that are down near Joliet either.  Talk about awesome.  I definitely need to get my camera down there.  Certain parts looked like a bombed out town, and the old locks that are still in the old part of the canal are awesome too.  It’s interesting to see what it used to look like through various photographs, because it sure doesn’t look that way now.

Oh, and for all you Prison Break fans (Aaron), the trail goes right by the old Joliet state prison, which is the one in the show.  Definitely need to get pictures of that too.

Photography Shops

The first day of the photography class the instructor mentioned that the best places to get your camera and supplies (if you already didn’t have one) was at B&H Photo or Adorama, both of which are internet shops located in New York.  At the time, I didn’t much think about it because I had used the same logic when I purchased my camera: cheapest reputible dealer (watch out for NY camera shops, you have to be very careful).

However, the second week, one of the students in the film class mentioned that he had a hard time finding the tryex (know idea on the spelling) film.  Our teacher then stated how there used to be so many Mom & Pop photography stores, but that they’d all disappeared. 

Huh, I wonder why?  Maybe it’s because people are told to not use them by their photography teachers.  I mean, come on, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You either support the local shops or you don’t and they go out of business.  Is basic economics really that complicated?

Oh, by-the-way, the Central Camera store on Wabash in Chicago is only bested in chaos by Portillo’s during lunch or dinner rush.


I’ve finally got a camera. I’ve been wanting to get one for a long time, but I never seemed to have the motivation to spend the money. However, after taking all that time to clean up the scanned in analog photos, I couldn’t take it anymore. Plus, a coworker wanted to take a photography class with me, so it’s a no-brainer.

Anyways, I bought the Nikon d70s kit which comes with the body and a 18-70mm lens. In addition, I purchased a 50mm f/1.8 lens. So far I’m very happy with it, but I may get the 50mm f/1.4 instead later. The 1.8 doesn’t let in a lot of light, and the flash keeps trying to be used even in good lighting areas.

I’ve also got my hands on my Dad’s old Nikon F with FTN viewfinder along with 3 lenses: nikkor 50mm f/1.4, nikkor 135mm f/3.5, and sigma 80-200 f/3.5-4. Unfortunately, all of the lenses are old enough to warrant needing an AI conversion, which they haven’t had, so I can’t use them on my new body. Unfortunately, for my camera, I don’t know if it’s even worth having it done. My Dad said I could throw them up on eBay, but I don’t if I want to do that either. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Well, with all of this going on, there will definitely be an influx of pictures in the gallery. Speaking of which, I need to get a link up on the sidebar for that.

Update 4/18/2006 11:14 PM
Just got out of the photography class.  I definitely think I’ll be paying them for the other 7 weeks.  Also, after talking with a few of the people there, I’ll probably be selling the Nikon F and lenses.  Basically, manually focusing with such a small viewfinder (smaller than 35mm) will be next to impossible.  Be sure to keep an eye out for them on craigslist if you’re interested.

Oh, and there’s a “Pictures” link in the sidebar now, yay!