Thursday, November 27, 2008

Food + Porsche

After an extremely satisfying thanksgiving lunch, my uncle let my little brother, who just got his driving license, drive his Porsche 944.
I've driven it before. Driving it is an amazing experience, but photographing it was nice too.

The original wasn't great. The garage has seriously mixed lighting. Tungsten bulbs and daylight do not mix well and the car was pushed back far enough to prevent the garage from closing.
But, cutting out the background and doing some hue control did fairly well. Of course the gradient ended up blending in surprisingly well with the original concrete floor.

More importantly, tomorrow is Black Friday! Dun dun dun!
I will likely spend most of the morning shopping, which should be interesting.

More later!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More BMX

This is the second good BMX shot I got.

Once again, it took a fair amount of photoshop to get it where I like it.

I don't really have much in the way of current projects. I'm concentrating on school and finishing up the semester while experiencing some serious photographer's block; I am simply not inspired! Thus, photography is taking a serious backseat.

More later, I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An oldie, but a goodie.

I re-discovered this shot this week while looking for a subject for an image analysis paper.
Ken Rockwell has been ranting and raving recently about shooting 35mm film. I say, if I always got photos like this, I'd shoot lots more film. Expensive as it is, I like it. Not to mention I just cannot seem to get this kind of image when converting an digital color to black and white.

Next post will likely be another BMX shot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Picture of the day

Some more experimenting with a softbox and photoshop resulted in this photo:

I like it. Boosted saturation in her eyes and re-dyed her hair... some curves, contrast, and brightness adjustments.... Fun stuff.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Foto des Tages

Today's picture of the day comes from a series I did yesterday, playing around with some of the BMX guys who were outside my dorm.

I have several others from this series that will likely go up as the days go on.

Captured in color, then fairly extensively photoshopped to get it where it actually looked good.

More later!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day

First, thank you to all the men and women to have and continue to fight and die for this country, it would not be what it is without you.

Second, a poster-ish-thing.

I like it, though my employer is not real big on it.
(bico jewelry is 20% off between now and Christmas, buy from or through me.)

That's all for now


This image is from 2007, but last night we got our first snow of the season in Flagstaff.

Watching all the people from CA and southern AZ try and drive in the snow was hilarious. I actually sat in my windowsill overlooking an intersection and watched people experience the snow.

I did get a BICO shoot done, and I will load it whenever I post next.

Finally, I am learning something in my Communication class. We are currently going over visual stuff and a huge amount of it applies to photography. TIGHT!

That's all for now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Blog Lite, Continued

Here we are, I have made it all the way to Wednesday without even touching this blog.
Oops. :-)
I spent most of Monday working on school stuff, yesterday was mostly election stuff. I haven't picked up my camera and actually shot anything, though the pile of stuff that needs to be shot is ever-growing. So far I have not been treating my BICO shoot as a paid shoot, which has been a big mistake on my part. If I am not making money off it, I have a tendency to put it on the back burners... indefinitely. But I am being paid to shoot for BICO, so I have to get my butt in gear. My goal is to get a shoot done by tonight. Hopefully I can post tomorrow, though it will be later in the day.
My self-portrait series is pretty much finished, though I am not nearly as happy with the third image as I am the first two:

All were shot using Photobooth and my mac's iSight camera. Then pulled into Photoshop, added grain, the background and in 2 cases, some color.
I am not sure if I like them, but they are certainly different, and experimenting is fun :-)

That's all for now!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Worse than a wedding

I woke up at 6, ate breakfast, checked my gear for the gazillionth time and headed out the door.
My back weighed in the vicinity of 40 pounds. I carried a hardcase with an extension cord, powerstrip, misc stuff and a bunch of FOOD.
I biked to the Walkup Skydome on campus. The sun was just rising.

I arrive at 6:40am, say Hi to my boss for the day (Joe Jolesch, a really cool guy), grab my "action pack" and head off to set up my stuff. Once my gear is ready I help Joe and Everett and a guy whose name I never got set up the bleachers for the formal shots. We then spend 10 minutes troubleshooting the strobes.

7:45 rolls around. I am still the only action photographer in the stadium, though there were three of us signed up for the event. Uh oh.
I grab the D300 with freshly charged Energizer 2700mAh batteries, my 80-200mm 1:2.8 and my super-ghetto strap and head to the 30 yard line, praying somebody would show up to cover the other half of the field. I had no such luck.

The minimum number of shots per band was 150. I shot anywhere from 175-240 frames per band. There were 39 bands that performed over the course of the ten hours that I had my camera in-hand. I shot just over 7,000 frames, burning a CD every 4 bands. (to fit 4 bands on a CD, I used Small and Basic JPG file sizing. Jolesch's target file size is "500-900kb" and I fit in wonderfully at about 650kb per shot.)

I had a headache by band number 12. I drank more water, ate some of my food and retained that headache until lunch after band number 18. I ate lunch and sat in the sun outside the stadium for an hour before heading back inside for round 2. None of the bands in round 2 were very good. Round 1 saw songs such as "hey Jude" and "Seasons of Love." Not round 2. I didn't hear a single sing I recognized, but I was so delirious by band 30 that it hardly mattered. I still got the shots, but man I was feeling "the burn."

I finished up the last 9 bands, burned my CDs, burned the other photog's stuff to CDs, got all my gear together and was rewarded by a bike ride up the hill with my 50-some-odd pounds of gear. Ugh. I Entered the stadium at 6:40am and left at 8:45pm. I went through 2 fully charged sets of batteries and then had to jack a set of alkaline to finish off the day. I would have used the internal battery but the framerate slows enough for me to notice, and shooting that much action I needed all the frames I could get. (I shot at ISO 2000, 1/160-1/250 sec [depending on the uniform color] at F2.8 all day.)

Even the weddings I have shot were only 8 or 9 hours in total. 14 hours is freaking nuts!
To be fair, Joe and his assistants had showed up at the stadium at 5:45am and were there when I left, taking down their bleachers. They are paid full time. At the end of it all, I made about $31.24 an hour and my check will be in the mail in 2-3 weeks.

I would post a picture for you, but I was not allowed to keep my copies. Once the pictures went on a CD I was told to delete them, as I have no rights to any of the images I made yesterday.

Today... I will be relaxing and eating and not even thinking about using my camera.
I did update the firmware, because on of the enhancements is single-area focus improvements. I was having some issues yesterday when the camera simply refused to focus correctly, so if the update works I will be much happier :-)

That's all for now!