Thursday, March 17th - Tourney Time

March Madness has officially started, and like many Duke fans… I’m holding out hope for an ending like last season. For memory’s sake, check out the below video – Duke’s victory over Butler back in Indy. How sweet it was.

2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four from Jeff Trost on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 16th - Back to the Bay

I’m heading to San Francisco today, and I’ll be in the bay area for awhile – with stops in Tahoe and Seattle. Looking forward to it – it has been awhile.

Alcatraz Bay

Tuesday, March 15th - Deer Tick + Dawes + Delta Spirit = Middle Brother

Middle Brother @ Metro - 3/12/11

Middle Brother is composed of members from Deer Tick, Dawes and Delta Spirit – combining a super group of awesome sounding rock music. When you mix in opening sets from the full Deer Tick and Dawes bands, with a side of Jonny Corndawg, this Middle Brother tour is an off the charts party. Photos here are from their latest stop at Metro in Chicago.

Middle Brother @ Metro - 3/12/11

Middle Brother @ Metro - 3/12/11

Middle Brother @ Metro - 3/12/11

Middle Brother @ Metro - 3/12/11

Middle Brother @ Metro - 3/12/11

Click here for more photos of Middle Brother.

Monday, March 14th - The Full Moon

I shot this in Costa Rica with my new 70-200mm Canon lens. I had the lens on my old Rebel to get a little extra length with the smaller sensor. Nothing too crazy here, but this is one shot in a series that I put together for a timelapse that I’m working on. Eventually I will get around to finishing the video, but here is one moon shot as it moved across the frame.

Full Moon in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Friday, March 11th - More Photos: Hollywood Holt @ Schubas – 3/6/11

Hollywood Holt @ Schubas - 3/6/11

Hollywood Holt @ Schubas - 3/6/11

Click to see more photos of Hollywood.

Thursday, March 10th - Vote For Your Favorite Panorama: Chicago Skyline

I would love to get some feedback on everyone’s favorite panorama of the Chicago Skyline. I’m posting a couple of new ones and a few old ones and putting them to a vote. I’ve had some people give me feedback already, but I thought it would be fun to try out a poll on the site – which I’ve never done before. Let me know your thoughts.

Which photo do you prefer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Option #1

Panorama of Chicago Skyline

Option #2

Panorama of Chicago Skyline

Option #3

Panorama of Chicago Skyline

Option #4

Panorama of Chicago Skyline

Option #5

Chicago Skyline

Wednesday, March 9th - Homemade DIY Camera Slider – For Cheap

I’ve been looking for ways to stabilize my DSLR for video shots, while also adding some form of movement – panning or zooming. When doing some shopping online, I came across an assortment of sliders for purchase – from the IndiSlider system to much higher-end, higher-priced professional grade models. I definitely understand the reason behind these high prices – the build quality is excellent and the add-on potential for motorized control and other features is limitless. However, for the average Joe, these prices are unnecessary.

This past weekend, I decided to create my own slider using some ideas I had in my head. The end result is a fully functional, DIY camera slider for less than $15. As a starting point, I opted for a compact, 24″ slider, but with the purchase of a longer board and longer PVC pipe, you can easily construct more length. I wanted to be compact and lightweight, but it will be easy to upgrade if I need it.

I’m not going to type up a step-by-step tutorial here, but the tool and supply list is extremely simple and can easily be adapted to fit your tripod and/or camera. I will note that my tripod is a Manfrotto model with a 3/8″ thread – so my supply list reflects that. I hope that the video of the slider and its function – along with the supply list – will be helpful for others to create their own versions. Happy to answer any questions or be helpful where I can, but you will see it really is quite simple. The high price for the sliders you can find online is really not necessary for the beginner.

Enjoy the video below, which shows the slider itself and a few random clips to demonstrate its use.

Build Your Own / DIY Camera Slider from Jeff Trost on Vimeo.


1. Drill

2. Drill Bits – 3/8″ and a 1/8″ (used to pre-drill the holes in the wood for the center 3/8″ tripod connection, the U-bolts on the base and the pipe fasteners for the sliding component – see below)

3. Adjustable wrench (used to tighten all nuts & bolts)


1. 3/4″ x 6″ piece of clear poplar

I purchased a 3′ piece from Home Depot and had them cut a 26″ piece and a 5.5″ piece for the top sliding component. I chose this type of wood because it was lightweight, strong and not as prone to splitting like pine or the cheaper lumber at Home Depot. This was the most expensive piece of the set-up.

Price = $5.00

2. Two pieces of 3/4″ PVC pipe

I purchased a thick gauge of PVC for added strength, but these are extremely lightweight and will also be supported with strength from the wood base. Home Depot has hacksaws around the PVC supplies so you can cut off whatever size you need. I opted for a 24″ section.

Price = $2.00

3. Four 3/4″ U-bolt Pipe Fasteners

These are the bolts on each end of the PVC pipe. They loop over the PVC and fasten to the base / bottom plank of wood.

Price = $3.00

4. Four 1″ Tube Straps / Pipe Clamps

These are used to connect the sliding component to the PVC pipes. The clamps are sold without nuts and bolts, so I added those to my list below. These bolts, through the clamps, connect the 5.5″ piece of wood as the main sliding component.

Price = $1.00

5. Four 1/8″ Bolts & Four 1/8″ Nuts

As mentioned, these are used to fasten the clamps to the 5.5″ piece of wood that serves as the sliding component on top of the PVC.

Price = $1.00

6. Two 3/8″ Bolts of 2.5″ Length

One of these bolts is fastened in the center of the sliding component. This bolt pokes through the 5.5″ piece of wood and allows your tripod head to be screwed onto it. The other bolt goes through the center of the base piece of wood, and with the addition of a 3/8″ female extender, this bolt fastens to the tripod.

Price = $1.00

7. One 3/8″ Female Bolt Extender, Four 3/8″ Washers and Two 3/8″ Nuts

Again, the bolt extender was necessary because my tripod has a small male 3/8″ thread sticking up – to which my tripod head normally fastens. I screwed the extender onto this, and then put one of the bolts through the base piece of wood into the extender. With a washer on the top and the bottom of the wood, it creates a very sturdy connection to my tripod. The other two washers are used on top and bottom of the wood for the slider component and fastened tightly with the other nut and bolt. Hopefully this can be seen in the video.

Price = $2.00

Tuesday, March 8th - Rincon de La Vieja

Here’s a quick video of some of the activities we did in Costa Rica – the standard horseback riding, zip-lining and tubing trips. Facebook is annoying and won’t let you embed HD versions of videos, so if you want to view it in better quality – click here. But let’s be honest, I got these clips from the back of a horse, hanging from a zip-line and floating in a tube on a river during a vacation. Quality is not in abundance, but my little Panasonic TS-2 is indestructible – can’t recommend it enough.

Monday, March 7th - Hollywood Holt @ Schubas – 3/6/11

More photos to come, but here are a few shots from Hollywood Holt’s set last night at Schubas. Hollywood was also one of the many DJs / performers at Saturday night’s 5th and final Claychella event. He spent more time DJing on Saturday, but last night he did his rap thing.

Hollywood Holt @ Schubas - 3/6/11

Hollywood Holt @ Schubas - 3/6/11

Hollywood Holt @ Schubas - 3/6/11

Friday, March 4th - Reggie – The Best Cat

On Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to Reggie – our family cat for the last 17 years. Reggie was the best.

She arrived at our home in Indiana as a package deal – with her brother, Boomer – in 1994. We had just moved to Indiana that spring, and this brother-sister duo became the newest addition to our family. Dad immediately declared Reggie and Boomer would be setting up their beds in the backyard shed. Dad’s a sucker, and within a few months, Reggie and Boomer were sleeping under the same roof as the rest of us.

She traveled with the family for various moves across the midwest and beyond. In fact, she’s probably moved more times than the average person. She has lived in five different states. Not many people can say they once lived in Fargo, ND… but Reggie can.

She has happily accompanied the family in all of our adventures. She welcomed Maddie, our black lab puppy, to the family a few years after our move to Indiana. The two of them began their eternal struggle for the queen of the kingdom at home. She outlived her brother by over 7 years, and I think it took her quite some time to realize that no matter how much she meowed, Boomer wasn’t going to come out and play. My parent’s move down to Florida was the latest and last adventure for Reggie, but we are all happy she got to experience the Florida sun and become an even more well-traveled cat.

If I hadn’t seen her for 3 months or a year, it never mattered. As soon as I’d come home, she would instantly recognize me and begin angling for attention. Her meows won’t greet us anymore, and that welcoming sound will be missed. She was different than most cats in this regard – she seemed to care about and want to be around us as much as we cared about and wanted to be around her.

Reggie - The Best Cat

Reggie - The Best Cat

Reggie - The Best Cat

Reggie - The Best Cat

Reggie - The Best Cat