Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stage Performance

This series is from a theatrical production from last spring. There was some miscommunication about what time the rehearsal was beginning so I took the opportunity to grab a few frames of the directors.

Many despise the distortion you can get from angling your camera with a wide angle lens, but as may have realized by many of my photos I choose to embrace it, using it to change the focus of an image or exaggerate certain features.......just don't stick any significant others on the edges.

Friday, December 25, 2009

So many people say to buy an apple...

Debbie and I went down to Charlottesville, VA for our Anniversary last month and it was apple picking season. It was great being able to just use my camera without the over lurking fear of giving a client a screwed up product...of course I'm not sure if that's worse then giving my wife a screwed up product. More in another post about the place we stayed, this one is all about the apples.

I knew I wanted to grab a picture of Debbie, and although it wasn't completely planned to do a multi-framed image, I new that her nack for goofy expressions would come in handy. She has since given up on not getting her picture taken and has learned to just live with it as she knows I'm never going to make her look bad (not that I could if I tried).

I had a manfrotto 682B mono-pod with me that afternoon that I got used off of ebay. It's a little large for my taste, but it has little legs that come out the bottom if unscrewed so it can double as portable light stand when needed, although I wouldn't trust my kit on it without me very close. To this I screwed a justin clamp (the if I can only take one thing with me doo-dad) and put a lumiquest SBIII on the flash head and gelled it with a small amount of CTO, you can see this WB effect based on the blue shadow on her shadow side cheek.

I brought the whole thing in real close just out of the frame to the left. The lighting wasn't incredibly consistent with a few hot spots here and there. My excuses include: the wind blowing, the people we were holding up, and a lot of apples to hold, so I had to work quick. But in reality, I probably only notice them in comparison to each other. You can tell the effect of the flash based on the one in the middle which was shot sans flash continuous shooting to ensure I caught the right amount of apples in the air....again...there's only so many times you can get Debbie to pick up that many apples.

A couple ambient only shots:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Health Care Forum - Manual Metering

Everyone's getting into the health care debate. Here I was covering a forum mediated by Wolf Blitzer, Including Sen. John Barrasso, M.D, E.J. Dionne Jr., Judy Feder, Charles Krauthammer, and Rep. Stephen Lynch.

In situations like these, when the light will be constant it's ALWAYS best to shoot in manual exposure (some people disagree on this topic - just my opinion).  Set your manual mode for correct exposure of their faces, then no matter how you're zooming around everything will be fixed (assuming you have a constant aperture lens).  Otherwise the size of the bright faces compared to relatively darker backgrounds will change, fooling your camera into thinking the amount of light has changed and therefore varying your exposure.  Here's a good article on the subject.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Water Dog

Besides being famous for living in the White House, Portuguese Water Dogs are also supposedly good in the water because of their webbed feet and ancient training to assist fisherman. Now we humans know all about this, but try telling that to a young pup who hasn't spent much time in the water.

The shoot was for the owner's boat (always need good pictures when selling a house, car, or boat....well if you ask me you need goo pictures for anything) but I'll put those pictures up in a different post. This one is Nimbus the Portuguese Water Dog living in in Mass.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Marine Parade, 8th and I, Barracks Row

I was hired by a military support organization (Spirit of America) That takes requests from American military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa for goods that will help local people, improving relations and ultimately making our troops safer. Their founder was being honored at the Marine Barracks in Capitol Hill for one of their Friday night summer parades. It was quite difficult to capture the festivities for the guest of honor when given about a two square foot place to stand where there's a flag right in front of you (see pictures 3 and 5) and you can't move...but you do the best you can, as always. Those Marines put on a great show, and if you ever get a chance to get tickets I whole heartedly suggest you take the opportunity.

All of these were taken using ambient light. Even with ambient light being field lights and spotlights I was still pulling 1/60 at f/2.8 and 1000 ISO. If you're shooting Aperture priority (Av) , anytime dealing with a dark backdrop with the subject spot lit, you have to ride your EV (exposure compensation) usually dialing in anywhere from -1/3 to -1 stops to prevent blowing highlights on faces and over saturated red skin tones.

I'll post more from reception earlier in the the evening on a later post.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Pieces Come Together

It's a rare moment when the pieces come together. I photograph a lot of people talking in drab classrooms, and I try very hard to make some of them interesting. This one involved a rare opportunity combining the speaking sitting on the desk, something written on the blackboard, a relevant poster hanging, and students sitting along the aisle to give a line leading to the speaker. I would have liked to have captured the speaker looking up at the students, but he jumped up right after this...

No flash. Shot at ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/200, at 120mm.