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Personal | Robert Sojka - Chicago Wedding Photographer

Palos Meltdown 2013 MTB Races

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on July 23, 2013

Last Sunday was the annual Palos Meltdown mountain bike race held at the Palos Forest Preserves. It had everything from kids races, first timers, and all the way up to experts. Jake managed to come in third place in his age class! As for myself—let’s just say I had a lot of fun in the comp class. Here are some highlights.

There are a lot more images from the first timer’s novice class, and comp class start over at Meltdown Gallery
userid: meltdown
password: meltdown











































2011 Door County Vistor Guide Photos

Filed Under (Commercial, Landscape, Personal) by Robert on January 30, 2011

One of my favorite quick vacation getaways is Door County. I’ve been going up there off and on for a few years now and each year I’ve sold a few of my images for their annual visitor guide. Their brochure is packed with a ton of vacation ideas in the area and has some really beautiful photographs by some wonderfully, talented photographers. In case you’re ever planning to go up there be sure to check out the visitor guide

Here’s Cana Island and the Polar Bear plunge!



Fall is here!

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on October 12, 2010






Moving iTunes and iPhone to a New Computer

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on November 27, 2009

I’ve been dreading having to move my entire iTunes library off of my old Windows XP computer and onto my newer PC running Windows Vista and have avoided it for a while now. I sync my iPhone with several computers—contacts and calender with one  and music, videos, podcasts, and applications with an older PC running XP—and it was just time to get the iTunes library moved over to a third, newer PC. But, this seemed like a daunting undertaking and like everyone else I was concerned my iPhone wouldn’t be recognized by iTunes on a new PC, that iTunes would force me to wipe it and add it as a new device.

Because I sync my contacts with yet another computer, the potential for problems seemed huge. If you search the Internet you’ll find dozens of ways to do this. Some ways more complicated than others. There’s no need to have to re-add your devices, merge contacts, etc. as described in many of these procedures if you just follow these steps.

This procedure is simple and the upgrade will be completely seamless. Once you plug in your iPhone or iPod to your new computer iTunes will recognize it and not force you to add it as a new device. All of your music, playlists, ratings, playcounts, apps, etc. will be migrated and appear as they di on your old computer.

These steps are  for moving your iTunes library from you current PC running Windows XP to a new PC on Windows Vista, but I’m sure the same can be done with a Mac just the locations of the iTunes folder will be different.

  1. Make sure you have the latest and the same version of iTunes installed on both PC’s.
  2. Do one last sync of you iPhone on your current PC which will create a recent backup file should you need it.
  3. As long as you let iTunes keep your media folders organized and copy all of your music to the media folders everything will get moved over without a hitch. Edit your preference and make sure that  in the “Advanced” tab both “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” are checked. If not, do it now and save the settings.

  5. Copy your entire iTunes folder from your old computer to some external media. The easiest way to do this is with a portable or desk external hard drive. If your library is not that big and/or you have some large flash cards you can use these as an alternative though you may have to do it in pieces if your cards are not large enough to hold the entire contexts of your iTunes folder. In Windows XP the iTunes folder is located at C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\My Documents\My Music\. This is where you’ll be copying from. Copy this entire folder along with all of its contents to your external media.
  6. Copy the entire iTunes folder from your external media to your new computer.  In Windows Vista the iTunes folder is located at:  C:\Users\USERNAME\Music\. After you had downloaded and installed  iTunes on your new computer, iTunes should have created the default iTunes folder underneath the Music folder. You can delete this entire folder since you will be copying it from your external media, or just copy over it.
  7. Start iTunes on your new PC. You should see all of your music and media just as you did on your old computer. Now edit your preferences and go to the advanced tab just as in step 3. Make sure that  in the “Advanced” tab both “Keep iTunes Media folder organized” and “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” are checked. If not, do it now and save the settings.
  8. Authorize your new computer by going to Store->Authorize Computer.

  10. Connect your iPhone or other device and sync as usual. You should see all of the same sync settings as when you connected to your old computer.

That’s it!



Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on November 19, 2009

Missing summertime already.
































Riviera Maya Mexico

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on July 24, 2009

Hey everyone, I’ve been a bad blogger. I know writing that has become almost cliche with photographers, but we’re all so busy seeing that it’s at the height of the wedding season. Here’s some personal photos from earlier this year at the Riviera Maya. We were fortunate to sneak our trip in to Mexico toward the tail end of all the drug lord wars and before the Swine flu epidemic. It was a blast and some needed getaway time.



I love this photo of Katie.







Worn out!



Declan on the loose!






Best Buy 10% Off Coupon

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on July 3, 2009

 I’m such an electronics junkie every time I find the Best Buy 10% off coupons I get excited. I’m good on camera equipment now, but have had my eye on the Bose speaker dock for the iPhone for a while. This coupon is good until Monday July 6. Enjoy!

Best Buy 10% Coupon

Jake, Katie, and Declan

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on April 4, 2009

Jake, Katie, and Declan from last fall.








Walk Through Paris (more)

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on February 25, 2009

Here are a few more from in and around Paris.








Iphone and Ipod Direct Connection to Car Stereo

Filed Under (Personal) by Robert on February 21, 2009

Ever wish you could have a direct connection from your iphone or ipod to your stock car stereo using the standard 3.5mm jack? Many new cars are now including a 3.5mm input into the stock stereos for all of your mp3 devices, but if your car is a couple or more years older, you’re out of luck…so you thought. I’ve never really been satisfied using any of those FM transmitter devices—the sound quality is just plain bad and you’re always messing with the FM stations just to find one that’s unused. So, eventually I just never bothered with that anymore.

I really love some of the music apps on the iphone like for instance Pandora which lets you build your own radio stations based the music you like, so I looked a little harder and found that there’s an easy way to get a direct connection for almost any car using one of PIE’s (Precision Interface Electronics) Auxiliary Input Converters. Most stock car stereos are designed with some sort of auxiliary input that is used for either an external CD changer or satellite radio. PIEs device splices in between the stereo head unit and the wire harnesses that connect the speakers, power, aux, steering wheel controls etc. The device has RC jack inputs so the only other thing that is needed is a cable with RC jacks on one end and the 3.5mm jack on the other. It sounds complicated, but if you’re a little mechanically inclined or have a friend that is and you can bribe with a couple of bears, it can be done in about an hour. The cost of the converter is around $65.00

Here’s the steps with pictures for the install on a Ford Explorer. Other vehicles will be similar but will probably have some minor variance.

First check PIE’s AUXILIARY INPUT CONVERTER APPLICATION GUIDE to find the correct converter for your car. For the Ford Explorer you still have to pull the stereo out first and look at the pin layout because you will need either the FRDN-AUX or FRD03-AUX depending on whether the pin layout is 20 pin or a 16 and 24 pin connector. You can order one of these from a few different place on-line, but I just went with TSS Radio because they’re local to me in Chicago. So, I just drove there to pick it up, and the guys there are really helpful in making sure I got the correct unit.

The only tools you need are a small screw driver to pry off the front panel surrounding the stereo, and small socket driver to unscrew the 2 bolts holding the stereo.


Here’s what the converter packaging looks like.


The converter I needed was the FRD03-AUX/S. The 16 and 24 pin female connections (red) connect directly to the stereo head unit. There are 2 male connectors in the picture over on the left and in the back, the 24 pin one is connected to the harness that was previously connected to the stereo, and the 16 pin connector is not connected to anything. On the converter itself there are 2 RC jacks on the left where the stereo cable is connected to.


Connect your RC cable with 3.5mm jack on the other end to the converter box.


You’ll have to pry the cover off using a screwdriver or something similar. It’s only held on by 6 clips, you can see the clip holes in this picture. It was easiest to start at the top end. The visual on the clip holes should give a good place on where to pry.


Once the cover is off, it will still be attached by a harness on top left for the system information controls and the top right for the 4×4 controls. You can pull the harness clips out easily by pressing the little tab on the side.


Unscrew the 2 bolts holding the stereo in place then just slide it out. Unplug the FM antenna and the harnesses. The back of the stereo head unit and pin layouts for my Ford Explorer’s stereo look like this.


Connect the converter harnesses to the stereo and the outgoing harnesses. Then connect the RC cable and decide how you want to route this. I just routed mine down toward the floor on the passenger side.



It’s a little hard to see from this pictures but the cable comes in front of the iPhone to the right and then up behind the panel. Enjoy your music! Let me know if you have any questions. It really is pretty easy and well worth the time if you like your music.