Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Use of Natural and Continuous Light Sources Back in Prison

Another set from the trip to ESP I spoke of before.  This set features Danielle Guldin who did a great job it putting herself into whatever zone happened to be there.  both of these scenes were taken in the same room which just goes to show what the color and shaping of lights can do.

This first one was all natural light.  Manual exposure; 42mm; ISO 640; f/2.8; 1/250th;
The only trick here is that I had someone hand hold a LumiQuest SoftBox III, not as a softbox, but as a reflector card just bringing the left side of her face out of the darkness.

These next two were done at approx. the same settings. Only here I added a continuous video light light source that was being held off to camera right. Photographing into a mirror is always difficult, but it made it worth having the reflection of the crusty light fixture from the ceiling. Two photos two completely different feels based on the model.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Help the Homeless Walk

Just got back from the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walk. The hardest part after photographing an event is trying to pick out 3 or 4 pictures to share and try tell the story. But luckily as I have some editorial control over this, I can share 6 if I want and share some lighting and composition tidbits.

I couldn't believe how long it took me to find a man-hole cover next to the line!

I decided to try and shoot some stuff not on manual, when you're running with your subjects the lighting is constantly changing. So I shot the photo below in aperture priority and shut-down my aperture ) to f/18 until I could get my shutter speed within my sync speed (not messing with high speed sync today). I dialed in -2 stops of exposure compensation on the camera to get the sunny sky somewhat manageable and held the flash with my left hand on TTL connected with a TTL cord and dialed in +3 flash compensation to try and register something over the sun. I kind of wish there was a +5 on the flash for this shot! But I got pretty close.

I could treat this a little differently as the street performers cheering people on weren't exactly moving. Didn't have quite so much sun to deal with as I positioned myself so the sun was coming in from the right (look at the shadows) so I could also get a little more blue out of the sky. Back to manual exposure, and TTL flash (+something). Flash held down towards the ground and fired up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CUA - Race Judicata

In September, I photographed the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law's "Race Judicata," a 5K benefiting St. Ann's Infant Maternity Home.  It was fun getting to ride in the back of the lead truck, but just a word of advice:  make sure the driver knows to start VERY slowly when someone is sitting in the back of the SUV.  I'm sure this is something the secret service knows when they are flying around town with assault rifles hanging out of the back of black Chevy SUV's, but something random security guy doesn't know.  Needless to say, I was startled, but didn't fall out.    Seemed like a nice course around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Played a little bit with hard light on a stand in the last photo (you can see the shadow of the legs) to try and brighten up what turned into a dismal grey mid-day, and try to get something better than standard posed group shots.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Going to Prison

Back in May I was at Eastern State Penitentiary, where Al Capone was once held, for a shoot. We were able to gain access to a few off-limit areas to get some really interested shots. These two are of Peter in the morning. I'll share a few more on another post.

Both of the images had a gridded speedlight on Peter's face coming from camera left. Gel'd with a full CTO (plus an extra 1/4 I think) and then then programmed for tungsten white balance. The window is acting as a natural rim light.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Student Organization Fair

My task: Capture the rush of student organizations vying for the influx of new blood into their programs.

And this one, was just for me, as I'm a big fan of the grill, especially ones that can feed several hundred people.

Some of the last bit of Color

....not really. As photos last a bit longer than the leaves, we can always remember it. I'll be doing just that over the next several weeks.... as the last of the leaves change and wash away, I'll try to stretch fall out a little longer...don't worry I don't think I have any more leave pictures!

This photo has a small white balance push towards tungsten (not all of the way).  Most SLR's have the ability to finesse white balance manually away from the pre-programmed settings by adjusting degrees of blue/yellow and green/magenta in a grid like pattern.  This one entailed a slight blue/magenta shift to bring out the purple hues in the leaves.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Sesame Street

Unless you live under a rock you've probably noticed that Sesame Street turned 40 this week.  I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and post something of my own.

This is from Child Fest 2009, hosted by The Children's Cancer Foundation.  They brought down the actual Elmo (Kevin Clash) and Rosita (Carmen Osbahr) from New York to do a performance and pose for pictures to raise money for research. Approx. 85 cents of every dollar contributed to the Foundation goes directly to support cancer research and the building of cancer facilities which is virtually unheard of now a days.

The surreal part of the day was that it was hosted at Reservoir High School in Howard County, MD.  Which is essentially the same design as the my old High School, Long Reach, just accross the wa.  Same Set up, same building, different place, and with several thousand children.
Happy Birthday Sesame Street!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Country Road Church

I alway see churches like this in movies, so when Debbie and I were out for a bike ride just south of Charlottesville, I had to spin off the road to grab a few frames while the sky was cooperating giving me those great white on blue streaks.

Because of the great contrast between the statue and the sky I went out of automatic metering to ensure I underexposed below what the camera would think it should be to get good saturation of blues and greens.

Funny.....here's the same view from google

View Larger Map

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Old Skool Pension Bureau

Looking down the street at the National Building Museum  (used to house the Pension Bureau) it's not hard to imagine horses and carriages on the street circa 1890 instead of the newer fad of "auto"-mobiles now present.  to help the imagination, a few simple steps of significant burning around the edges, half-toning, and bringing up the black point.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Small White Balance Shift

The human eye/brain is pretty amazing at fooling you and telling you lights are the same color when they're actually not. The camera goes through a process to try and figure out what the actual color of white is (or should be) and attempts to make white look like white (or grey look like grey). Outside it's actually blue-ish, your house is more orange, and many fluorescents are actually green. 90% of the time I control my white balance manually allowing more control over what colors are subdued or pop. Try going outside while setting your white balance on tungsten and see what happens, I spoke about this once before.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

High Contrast Scenes

As some of you may have noticed, I've been doing a lot of high contrast scenes the last week and it's kind of been on purpose.  Just trying to push in some interesting directions and make the ordinary a little more interesting.  Here's one I saw after getting out of the car on my street.  With the leaves falling and cars going by it makes a really interesting line going down the street.  Combine that with some extremely narrow depth of field and you've got yourself a picture.

I tried using my car for the picture because my hubcap is cracked so I thought it might be more interesting, but the splash of red from the volvo(?) tail-light won me over on this picture instead.  I like the perspective line of the cars, the line of leaves, the narrow depth of field line leading you to the wheel and the red tail-light leading my eyes up.......maybe I'm just looking at pictures too much.