Category Archives: photowalking

Photowalking at the PASS Summit 2015

PASS Photowalk 2010 Group shot

It is that time of year again for us to get the #sqlfamily together for a week long education and discussion with our great friends!

This post serves as the official announcement of the PASS photowalk.  It will once again take place on Tuesday the week of the summit(10-27-15).

I’ll keep this post short since I have all the details in my event brite.  Feel free to sign up on the event brite and we will get an idea of who is going.

I hope to see you all at the summit!





Pass Summit 2014 Pictures

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


I had a great time at the PASS Summit this year.  I am planning some additional follow up posts but I know that many of you have been waiting patiently to Re-Live the summit through pictures.

As always my pictures are free to share and use.  As long as you give me credit for the photo when you use it in blog/profile/wherever you use it.  I really appreciate when people ask to use a photo mostly because it’s great to know where they are in use but I’m happy to at least get credit for it.

I do this because I love taking pictures and I love to help my #sqlfamily.

Here is where you can find the photographs.

Smugmug (Best place to see the photo’s or choose to download)

Facebook (Best place to share and tag fellow SQL friends in the pictures)

As mentioned above I will be making comments and telling stories in the future with some of these for now I wanted to get them out to all of you. I will showcase one of my favorite shots from the event.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
As I mentioned in my goals I wanted to get “the shot”  well this is one of them.  I’ll explain why in a future blog post.  🙂




PASS Summit 2014 Goals


As I write this I’m packed and ready to fly out for Portland Sunday.  You didn’t read that wrong and I’m not flying into the wrong city.  I tend to fly out on Sundays so I can take some photo adventure before the PASS Summit starts.  This year it’s flying into Portland renting a car and driving up to Seattle.  I did this several years ago and it was great fun.  I will not be taking anything that resembles a straight line to Seattle and I won’t be doing it quickly.  I’ll be catching up with the other Photo Nuts most likely that evening for some good beer and food somewhere in Washington.

I started attending the PASS Summit in Orlando in 2004.  Basically I’ve been to a few and every one that I go to I have some key goals when I attend the Summit.  Many are photo related but some are technical as well and all of them revolve around #sqlfamily.  I wanted to share them with all of you so hopefully some of the people I run into will help me achieve the goals.


  1. Come out of my shell: I’ve said this for years and really I’m probably seen as much more of a social person than most but still to this day I have to push myself to talk to new people.  I strongly urge everyone to meet someone new at any technical conference you attend.  If you don’t that’s a huge loss to what you could have received from the conference.
  2. Meet people that are not working with SQL Server: Now why would I attend a SQL Server conference if I want to talk to people not working with SQL Server? SQL Server is still at the core of our architecture but we also integrate and work with other nosql and opensource projects.  My goal is to learn what others are doing and how they are doing it.  I hope to find others that have found ways to integrate with other technologies not just the MS stack.  If you would like to see what I have done feel free to watch this presentation recorded at BMD/SLC SQL Saturday.
  3. Meet Organizers of events: I put on a lot of events (not just SQL Saturdays). I like to hear about the cool things others are doing so that I can find new and cool things for my events.  I have at least 3 events planned in the next 6 months and would love to find out what others do.
  4. Catch up with #sqlfamily: I have unfortunately been very out of the loop for about the last 6 months. Both because of work but also because of events.  I want to catch up with my good friends and find out what they have been working on and what they have been doing.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

  1. Get “the” shot:  At previous summit’s I would take anywhere from 700-1500 pictures throughout the week.  I’ve learned a lot through the years and know when to hold my shutter button and when to pull the trigger.  I will have 5-6 shots that I want/need at the event and my goal is to achieve those.  If you see me (I’m a large person with a camera on his waist all week) feel free to check in with how I’ve done on the shots and which ones I have planned.
  2. 50mm all day!: I have a fun lightweight 50mm 1.8 lens that would be great for some of the shots I have planned. I’m going to try and choose a day and use that lens all day long.
  3. Night shots: I will have a car on Sunday night so this most likely means a Trip to Kerry park. While I’ve achieved the shot I have wanted from this location we all know things change and getting another copy of the beautiful Seattle skyline is never a bad idea.

I hope that as you go through the summit and you see the big guy with the camera you take a minute to stop and say hi.  Would love to chat with you about photography, Data projects or events you have planned.

Super excited to see all of my #sqlfamily very soon!




Photos of the PASS Summit 2013

This is probably the fastest I have ever had my photo’s edited and available for use.  I am even sick and still got these done quickly.  🙂 I hope that all my friends will spend some time re-living the great times we had at the 2013 PASS Summit. 

As always I love to see my photo’s at use out in the community.  I give my time and expertise as a way of giving back to my community.  The only request I have is a photo credit on the picture if you are to use it in a blog post/Facebook post/or something else.  A simple “Photo Credit: Pat Wright” is sufficient.  If I do find my photo’s in use without the photo credit you may hear from me to please take the picture down.

I’ve decided this year to give you lots of ways of looking at and sharing the photographs.  I’ve outlined all the different places you can go to get the pictures below.

Smugmug is my primary photo storage tool.  It gives great backups and I love the UI experience on smugmug.  If you would like to order a print of one of my pictures as well I strongly suggest Smugmug. I send my own family photo’s up to smugmug for printing because I love the prints that it produces.  I have not marked these up and will not make any profit from the pictures it’s the same cost as any other photo service.

A link to the gallery of all general pics (evening and conference pics)




Photowalk pics



SQL in the City



If you are a photographer and want to know my stats/details here ya go.

I shoot with a Nikon d90, Carry an sb600 always attached.  Most pics were taken with a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 I got from  Other shots were an 85mm 1.4.  I do not have my Sunday grandfather mountain pics up yet but will soon.  Here is my picture count breakdown

2013-10-13 241

2013-10-14 96 ~75 keeps

2013-10-15 252

2013-10-16 134

2013-10-17 122

2013-10-18 20

The general pics total 528 I am publishing 464.  The 241 on Sunday will have a lower rate since I’m pickier about my landscape shots.  I have gotten much better over the years of knowing when to take the picture and when not to.  It took me a total of about 3 hours to edit all the photos in the list.  Lightroom is the way to go if you haven’t tried it.  🙂

Photography at the PASS Summit 2013

I was hoping this post would include links to my photo’s for the summit all edited and ready for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately I have had some serious technical failures. My laptop did not survive it’s flight back from CLT for some reason and appears to be dead. My home computer that I typically edit photo’s on is not booting either and While I think it is memory related not sure yet.

I would have worked on these computer issues on saturday but I was attending Anime Banzai this weekend. Which I have some awesome pictures from as well.

So please stay tuned as I will have my pictures up as soon as possible.


PASS Summit 2013 Photowalk


Photowalking is a simple way of saying get out and take pictures! We require nothing more than a good pair of walking shoes and a camera of some kind.  You can come along even with a cell phone camera to enjoy the sites and socialize with your fellow photo buff.  Any experience level is welcome and encouraged to come along.  One of the joys of Photowalking is seeing how everyone gets a different view of the world around them; don’t be shy to ask someone why they are taking a picture a certain way this is what makes us better as photographers.

This year the official photowalk is planned for Tuesday (10-15-13) morning @ 8:00 a.m.  I know that lots of people have volunteer meetings throughout the day on Tuesday so we are trying to do it early enough that people can get back to the meetings if they need to.

We will start out from the convention center and head towards Marshall Park.  This looks like a great spot for some views of the city and a nice park view.  I’ve created an eventbrite event for this and have included map and all other needed info.  Feel free to go over and register on the Eventbrite site so we know who will be joining us.

Eventbrite event

PASS Summit 2012 Photography tips

Group shot from 2009 summit photowalk

We are just a few short days from the PASS Summit and I know many have already started travelling to the summit.   I wanted to get one last post in so that everyone has all the photo information that you might need in one place for the summit.

Here is a link to the posts related to photowalking on the blog.

Here is the link to the official photowalking event at the summit this year.

I wanted to go over a few more general items for anyone out there planning on taking some pics at the summit.

All photos that get posted to flickr with a tag of sqlpass and summit2012 will show up in the official “stream” of photos.   This means that it might show up on the big screen in the morning keynotes or on the screens around the convention center.  I strongly suggest you use these tags if you are taking photos during the summit.   As with previous years I will be sending all my pics to flickr using an Eye-fi card.   This means whenever I’m in distance of a wifi location it will start transmitting my photos.   I’ll only be sending my small jpeg’s and not the large raw files to keep from bogging down any networks.   This is true for my after hour’s activities as well since I typically bring along a mifi device so if you see late night karaoke pictures it’s most likely what’s going on live at that time.

If you want to talk photowalking while at the summit or if you’re looking for the photowalk information when we are on the walk do a search on twitter for #sqlpassphotowalk  that should give you all the chatter and information about the photowalk.  I’ll do my best to tweet out location and information to those hashtags.

If you have a question related to photography at the summit (settings, where to go, and lighting suggestions) then you can use hathtag  #sqlPhotohelp   I’ll be watching this closely in case anyone has some general questions.   I’m more than happy to sit down with people and help them out with settings or some suggestions on getting great photos at the summit.

Keynote presentation from Previous PASS Summit

Here are some key tips I like to follow while at the summit.

1.  Lighting is horrible in convention centers, so find something good to white balance off in each shot, or bring a WB card for reference.

2.  Flashing the speakers is a no no, I mean with a camera flash of course!    Try to keep the flash off if you want to get a picture of the speakers while they are speaking.   Try using higher iso if there is less light in the room.

3.  If you are using a point and shoot learn how to shut off your flash at different times to save battery.  A point and shoot flash typically can go 15-30 feet at the very farthest. Being in the back of a session room you will most likely just light up the audience in front of you instead of actually illuminating your subject.

4.  Get to know your camera settings!  You will find yourself needing to take quick pictures at times (like when someone decides to jump into a fountain), knowing what your settings and how to use them make it that much easier to get the right shot.

5. Take lots of pictures and practice.  Never be afraid to take the shot just because you think you can’t get the picture you want.   Making mistakes is the way we learn and with the size of memory cards you should never worry about taking a few extra pictures.

Hopefully this information serves you well as you attend the summit.   As with anything at the summit if you have questions or not sure ask someone!   I’m always happy to help and am very hard to miss.  I’m the size of lurch and you’ll always see a camera at my side.  Feel free to seek me out anytime.

Happy Shooting!  See you next week!