Editorial photos with triathlete Thomas Gerlach

Here’s a few outtakes from an swimming/portrait photo shoot I did for a story on Madison Lakes in the June edition of Madison Magazine. You can follow Thomas’ journey as a professional triathlete at: thomasgerlach.com

Triathlete Thomas Gerlach in Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.

Action photo of a triathlete swimming in Lake Monona.

Editorial photo of a triathlete in Lake Monona at sunset.

Portrait of pro triathlete in lake with goggles

Modeling photos with Ashley

Had a great photoshoot with fashion model Ashley Brehmer at my studio in downtown Madison a few weeks ago. Hair and makeup by Kelly Schubel.

Studio headshot of Ashley
Model beauty shot
A sepia toned studio headshot of Ashley
Studio headshot of Ashley
Model headshot in Madison
Model headshot
Toned headshot of Ashley
Toned, edgy headshot of Ashley
Studio photo of model
Ashley with hardwood floors
Editorial portrait of Ashley
Editorial fashion portrait of Ashley

App review: HRV4Training

About a month ago a helpful dude on the slowtwitch forums recommended I try out an iPhone app called HRV4Training. I’d been tracking my resting heart rate for a few years, but I wasn’t really gaining much insight into actual training recovery. Sure, I’d notice days where I was up a dozen bpm from the day before but that could be from a multitude of reasons and wasn’t cause to take an easy day (or off day) of training.

Enter heart rate variability (HRV).

Using the camera on your smartphone HRV4Training measures your heart rate variability data and plots it into an easy to understand metric (Recovery Points). It also pulls your training/workout data from Strava or TrainingPeaks and uses that data for a number of assessments.

The main function/screen of HRV4Training analyzes your daily recovery data and displays the measurement as Recovery Points.

The more data points HRV4Training has from your daily, morning HRV readings and pulled from your online training log (Strava, TrainingPeaks, etc.) the more options it opens up in the app. Awesome.

Training polarization is one of the many metrics to view.

I’m a data geek. I use a heart rate monitor, power meter, cadence, footpod, GPS watch, Strava premium, etc. HRV4Training gives me a ton of useful new metrics to look at. From what I can tell, it really seems to do what it’s supposed to do. On three occasions it’s given me warnings about my training recovery points. One day was after a tough speedwork run and the other two days were when I was sick. It makes absolute sense that those were days to take it easy in training or in my case to fully take the day off training.

Recovery points (with resting heart rate option) baseline (moving average) displayed.

I really can’t say enough about this app. It was $10 when I got it on the iTunes store and I love technology with good value. Marco Altini, PhD. and Alessandra ​Saviotti continue to develop and update the app on a regular basis and I’m very confident the research in the field of HRV will continue to grow and yield results in sport science. The display interface of the app is nice and the online literature accompanying the app is extensive.

A VO2 max estimate gathered from 10 strava runs with heart rate.

I was interested to see my estimated VO2 max number. I’m still two months away from my first race of the year and my workload and fitness reflects that. I read that with a VO2 max of 53 (my current level) one can expect to run a 5k in 19 minutes which is right inline with my PR. I’ll be interested to see how much that number increases as my triathlon seasonal fitness progresses.

Of course, nothing is perfect. If you take several consecutive HRV measurements, chances are you’ll get several different readings (albeit similar). That’s not cause for concern with the app because the human body is so dynamic I’d imagine they are actual readings, just with the heart beating differently minute-to-minute. That said, I hope they continue to develop the best technology to gather HRV whether using the phone camera or an external sensor like a Polar heart rate strap. At the present time, they have me convinced the camera on my smartphone is measuring the data accurately enough.

This is also not the end-all system to determine whether to take a day or more away from training. The app doesn’t measure soreness, injuries, illness, or biochemical markers like testosterone or cortisol levels. However, it does take into account illness, injuries and soreness in the daily questionnaire. I don’t think those answers are weighted into Recovery Points, but the app does give “daily advice” on the home screen with additional warnings regarding those answers you may have given. With use of the app (and some common sense) I think it’s a great system to help prevent overreaching and overtraining.

New product photos

A few days ago I photographed a globe wine/bar stand for a longtime customer of mine at my commercial photo studio. Here’s a sample image from the shoot!

Globe product photo

Recent commercial interior photos

I’ve been working on an ambitious project of architectural photography for a locally-owned restaurant group in the greater Madison area. Food Fight Restaurant Group currently has twenty excellent restaurants and I’m fortunate to be photographing each of them. Here’s a few examples of the interior photos.

Architectural photo of American diner.

Architectural interior photo of retro vintage bar interior.

Architectural photo of a spacious cafe

Interior photo of bright cafe

Architectural photo of signage

Fine art reproduction photography

Last week I had a talented painter named Amy Regutti visit my studio with four of her acrylic paintings. She needed digital images for gallery submissions and to make reproductions as needed and I was happy to help. I really enjoyed photographing the vibrant paintings and look forward to seeing more of her future work!

© Copyright 2017, Amy Regutti.
© Copyright 2017, Amy Regutti.
© Copyright 2017, Amy Regutti.
© Copyright 2017, Amy Regutti.

See see more of Amy’s visual artwork visit her instagram page at: www.instagram.com/amyregutti/.

Review: MilestonePod for runners

Brooks Pureflow 3 running shoes with MilestonePod
My new pair of Brooks Pureflow 3 running shoes with the pod attached to the elastic laces.

I recently heard about a new product called the MilestonePod that clips onto one of your running shoelaces and it begins collecting data as soon as you start running. After a run you wirelessly upload the data to the free app on your Android, iPhone, Kindle Fire, or iPad using Bluetooth 4.0, (BLE).

I’m sort of a data hoarder so when I learned the technology was less than 25 bucks, I ordered one right away from amazon.

The startup page of the app. It’s still very early in the season and I haven’t started any speedwork yet.

I already use a Garmin Forerunner 15 watch and heart rate monitor so I didn’t necessarily need the Pod to tell me time/pace/distance since I get that in realtime from the GPS watch. I was more curious about the foot strike data: cadence, foot strike position, rate of impact, stride length, etc. All really nice metrics to collect with cadence in particular (over different paces/distances throughout the year).

Right out of the box the Pod’s distance data was close to accurate. However, after a six mile run of a known distance I calibrated it in the app. I’ll be curious to see how it does over time with different conditions such as pace, hills and heavy wind.

One of the many data screens to view after a run.

The Pod itself installs quickly and is quite lightweight. While running, I can’t notice it at all on my right shoe and I’m a bit of a weight-weenie when it comes to running footwear. One thing that will be useful to some people is the mileage tracker for shoes. You place the Pod on a new pair of shoes as I did and it keeps track of how many miles are on them. That’s not how I personally determine when to toss my old running shoes, but it’s semi-helpful nevertheless.

Of course you don’t get data from the Pod in realtime but for me it’s still well worth the money to get this kind of running data. This Pod would be awesome for someone that doesn’t have a GPS watch and doesn’t want to spend the money to buy one. Also great for advanced runners that want more metrics than GPS watches provide.

New business cards!

Business cards

Over the years I’ve designed and printed something like ten different business cards for my business. I just got my newest design printed and I’m super happy with them! Minimal, clean, legible and modern. Finally satisfied enough with them to carry them around.

 

Model portfolio photos with Ashley

This week I had a great shoot with Ashley at my photo studio in downtown Madison. We spent a few hours with different lighting setups, backgrounds and looks and are both super happy with the headshots and fashion portfolio photos! Feel free to contact me for my photography rates and availability this spring!

To view more of Ashley’s modeling work visit: ashleyerinbrehmer.com.

Camera Lens Storage

Box of lenses

Recently, I decided to figure out a dustproof method of storing my dSLR camera lenses. At first I thought about some kind of shelves but ended up just going with a very inexpensive Sterilite 15 quart storage box from the hardware store. It latches shut and only cost about four bucks.

I store the lenses base side down and ordered a 40 gram silica gel canister as well. About the size of an Altoids tin, the canister is rechargeable by putting in the over for a few hours (yes hours) at low temperature. The silica gel absorbs moisture in the box and will prevent fungus from damaging my lenses. The canister was only seven dollars but I’ll have to check it every month or so to see if it needs recharging to dry out the gel beads.

Box of SLR lenses
Lens storage box with the aluminum silica gel canister on the right.