40 down.

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Haven’t posted much at all because all my time is consumed with my 100 portraits project, which is going great & I’m loving every minute of it.  Please visit it often and spread the word.

In between official 100 portraits shoots, my beautiful friend julia is my willing muse and test subject for setups for upcoming shoots.  Did this one today, inspired by mr zack arias.  thanks for sharing your knowledge and being an inspiration, zack.


60 more days of the 100 portraits project!


portrait in 60 seconds

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

My previous post was a slideshow from RVAlution for GRID, and one of the shots I was assigned to get was of Mitch, the general manager of the Hat Factory.  I had spent two hours getting all the crowd and dancing photos, so his was the last one before this old guy could head home and get some sleep.  Also, it had to happen quickly, as Mitch was understandably very busy making sure the night went smoothly for the crowd.

I knew I wanted the shot to show the atmosphere, so I had pre-planned to get the shot from the balcony, which was closed that night.  The balcony had small tables lined up around it at a perfect height for Mitch to sit on for placement into the shot. I positioned myself up on a barstool so I could be high enough to shoot down and show both Mitch and the dance floor/stage.

First step: determine the exposure I want for the background:  f3.5 @ 1/25 seems to work well:

next, turn on my sb-900 (on camera), set it to manual mode (1/128 power), and rotate it with the goal of bouncing it off a large window to my right:

first try; aim’s off, not hitting the window at all:

second try; missed the window again

third try; got the aim right, but how about some focus?

fourth try; good, but some moving blue party lights rotated into the shot (which i kinda  liked).  if he’d been looking at camera, this may have been the keeper:

fifth try; got it!

final shot after some Lightroom adjustments:

Total time, about a minute.  It actually took longer to write this post than to do the shot, but I’m very happy with the final results.


September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last night I shot the RVAlution dance party in downtown Richmond’s Hat Factory for GRID magazine.  It was a blast–hoop girls, bombshells, glowsticks, and a late night. I hadn’t stayed up until 1am on a weeknight in ages.  Felt a bit of nostalgia, as I was (suprisingly to some) really into the dance scene in my early twenties.

Most of the shots were with my D700 and my 24-70 2.8, with a couple of fisheye shots from my Pentax k10 thrown in for variety. ISO ranged from 1600-6400 all night.  I avoided flash for all shots except the portrait of Mitch, the Hat Factory’s general manager.  For that, I bounced my SB-900 off a large window to the right.

A fun learning experience, and who knows–maybe I’ll become a Tuesday regular…?

more shots here


September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

A tease from an upcoming blog and gallery post.  I was up way past my bedtime last night, but it was worth it.

Photoshop World

September 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

{Click images for larger versions}

Last week I had the privilege of attending Photoshop World for the 4th time, this time in Vegas. This was by far my favorite, for many reason, another of which I’ll detail in another post in a couple of days.

Photoshop World consists of more than 3 days of classes taught by world-class instructors such as Joe McNallyZack Arias, and Scott Kelby, just to name a few. There’s also an expo floor, where dozens of photography and technology vendors hawk their wares.

This time, Westcott had a booth set up consisting of 4 sets with their constant lights on and models ready to work. Anyone could walk up, joust for position, and fire away.  It was fun–I’d never shot with hot lights, so it took a little dialing in to get the exposure right. To be honest, I don’t love the lights–I’m used to strobes–but I enjoyed trying them out and feel like I got fairly decent results. Westcott invited everyone shooting to submit their shots to their flickr group to vie to be included in their next catalog.  I’ll probably submit at least one.  Any votes?

Above are my 6 favorites.  All were f2.8, varying shutter speeds to lighten or darken the background, ISO 1250.


August 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Had the opportunity this week to meet and photograph Fran for the upcoming issue of Sports Backers Quarterly.  She has the distinct accomplishment of having participated in at least one marathon in every state–amazing!

We met one evening before her run for a quick profile shot.  It was a very flat lighting scenario, as rain was fast approaching, so I set up an SB-900 with a 1/4 cut CTO on a stand camera left, shooting through a Lumiquest Softbox 3.  Used TTL on my D700, with the pop-up flash acting as commander for the SB-900.  The tiny bit of light added by the SB-900 added just enough to give her face a little bit of dimension and punch without drawing attention to itself as an artificial light source.

18 hours later

August 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

18 hours ago my alarm went off so I could go meet a fantastic family at a local track.  They’re training for a half marathon, and are up bright and early a few times a week to run and motivate each other. Took a bunch of portrait and action shots for potential future publication.  A few of my favorites are attached.

Quick hit on the technical details:  for the group shot, I underexposed slightly for the sky, adjusted the white balance to turn the clouds blue, and had a full-cut CTO on my sb-900 firing through a 40″ umbrella camera right.  Had a bare-bulb flash kicking in from the left for a teeny bit of rim light on the girls.

A long day is over, but i’m happy with the way the shots turned out.

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