Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Summer Landscapes

Today's photos are from a trip we took to Tighlman Island last summer (map at the bottom). Some days the sky cooperates nicely! The first image was taken at f2.8 as I was playing with infinity focusing and hyperfocal distance (at 16mm, focusing at 10 feet will yield depth of field from 5ft - infinity). The third image has a .6sec shutter speed to get some flow in the watter, but still sharp enough to show ripples.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Hoops: Congress vs. Professors - Benefit for the Homeless

Between health care partisan politics and march madness, it seems like a great time to talk about a great event coming up this week called "Home Court." It's a basketball game between Members of Congress and the Georgetown Law Faculty. The proceeds benefit the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

This year is the 23rd annual meeting of the Hill's Angels and the Hoya Lawyas, and every year the game continues to be the Legal Clinic's largest source of funds each year. The Game is Wednesday, 24 March at 7:30pm, see the Home Court website for details.

Here are photos from last years game where I had a lot of liberty to roam the court and try a few different things.

For this I was carrying a small portable light stand around to try and put some excitement in it. Turns a simple stretch into something a little more edgy.

Here you can see some of my light set-up for the action...although here I was dragging the shutter a bit to show motion it shows how I clamped a light to one of the half court backboards, David Hobby style. Unfortunately, I was a little timid on my power settings (I didn't want to hang battery backs above heads). Fortunately, I've sold all of my Pocket wizards and am now using radiopopper JRx's so I can change the power setting from my camera! I love these things! Also note: high school gyms are not lit as well as college gyms.

There were two lights on either side of the court (on one half of the court) pointing towards the key of one hoop. I added my own on camera fill, and clearly the ambient was doing most of the work.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elephants on Parade

I photographed the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus pachyderm parade (a.k.a. elephant walk) yesterday. No matter how old you are it's still a wonder seeing those massive animals marching together, especially through the streets of downtown DC.

I think the last photo helps capture the sheer be-wonderment of the little ones.

There's also a slideshow at the end with a few more.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dance Floor Cross Lighting

A recent fun and exciting Bat Mitzvah is lending itself well to discuss several lighting techniques, so I'm going to break it up over a few different Posts.

This dance floor was lit with a combination of 3 lights. Two lights on opposite corners facing eachother (cross lighting). These two lights were remotely controlled in manual using a radiopopper JRx remote. The third light is on camera TTL (dialed back a few stops) and flagged to create all directional light. The on camera light was pointing back and to camera right almost perpendicular to the guest of honor's left shoulder and into the ceiling.

The motion blur was created by freezing my subjects motion with the flash and then dragging the shutter .4 seconds while panning the camera to keep up with the subject. Ideally I would have switched over to rear curtain sync, but I saw the photo and had to take it rather than button mash for 5 seconds. The final photo was taken at ISO 500,0.4secs @ f/4, 16mm.

I'm going to have more on the cross lighting in the future, but here's another fun one from the evening.

ISO 500, 1/60sec @ f/4, 16mm

You can see the cross lighting exemplified by the shadows coming off of the balloons on the ceiling. You can see one of my lights in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Not quite as much fill here because she was higher up and more light was reaching here so I dialed back even further and bounced my flagged light over my left shoulder into the wall/ceiling.

If I would have just used a standard bounce card, or 45 degree with a plastic diffuser, the gentleman in the front would have been lit up like a rocket ship. By flagging my light I keep control over it and make the photo I want to make.

Soon I'll be giving more examples from this event with single lighting, a makeshift studio, and more cross lighting examples....stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Light Than Usual

Typically, I'm shooting with only two or three lights, anything more than that gets complicated and I wind up spending more time worrying about lighting than the photo. But while I was at Shari's studio, I grabbed a few interesting shots of Dwayne (His MM profile - may not be safe for work).

Both of these photos were lit with 5 lights. Two large soft boxes on either side, one boomed and gridded beauty dish coming in from over the camera, and two snooted speedlights riming the back corners.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec @ f/9, 70mm and 32mm respectively

I love his warm expression in the first photo

Monday, March 1, 2010

Exonerated Death Row Inmate

The gentleman pictured, Joseph Green Brown, was released from a death sentence after being exonerated through DNA evidence after serving 13 years on death row. Quite often when I'm photographing events I watch people interact, see photos in my head, and sometimes don't recall hearing anything. But listening to his story, I almost forgot to take the photo.

In this photo Joseph is speaking to law students about his experiences with the judicial system.