Monday, June 29, 2009

Fun Fun Fun!

Lots of fun things going on in Matt-land these days.

First, I'm going to really (and I mean really) give Safari 4 a fair chance. I will use Safari exclusively this week, and at the end of the week I'll post everything that I hate (or love) about it.

Second, I LOVE the camera on my Blackberry! Sure, it doesn't do macro (and won't focus on anything closer than about 2 feet), but it gets the job done and lets me have a camera everywhere I go, instead of lugging around the D300.

Third. I am (finally) kicking my own butt into gear and starting to line up paid shoots.

(this is also your final chance to send me an email and get 1 of 5 FREE portrait sessions)

Here are a few of my recent Blackberry shots.

They have all been given the same (minimal) amount of post-processing that I give any image out of my *real* camera.

That's all for now, folks!


There comes a point when advertising IS crossing a line.
Sure, you have ads that flirt with the line. Some dance back and forth over the line. Some ads even say "here is the line, and I'm standing on it!"
But some of the ads (TV and print) that Burger King has been coming out with recently are WAY over the line. Like, they run, naked and screaming and brandishing a flamethrower, over the line.

Granted, (I think) this ad was never meant to run in the U.S.
Still though...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chess in the rain

My chess set was left outside in the rain yesterday, so when the sun returned I took a couple pictures.

Shot w/ a 50mm f/1.8

That's all for now!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Motorcycles: easy

I've done a few shoots with guys and their motorcycles, and they are just so easy to light! One bare flash takes care of the person and the bike, with little or no extra light spillage.

My buddy Tom has a 1979 (I think) Yamaha. Old school bad ass.
We shot these in an underpass on the Boulder Trail system. Couldn't do that with a car! (although it would be great if I could).

I'm not sure which of the above 3 shots I like the best.
I was originally very fond of the middle one (with the PS filter), but now I don't know.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cars: harder than I thought

My little brother had his car painted sometime in the last few months, and I finally got around to lugging out my gear and takin some photos of the awesome paint job (on a not-so-awesome Hyndai accent)

My best shot of the car. I used two floodlights on big (but unstable) stands to light the car.

Here we moved out into the street. Used the same two floodlights for the car, then one SB600 with a warm gel on the proud owner.
And after setting up all that gear, I (of course) had to get myself in front of the camera.

Overall, I found that lighting the car (even such a tiny car) was surprisingly difficult. If I had been smart I would have kept a little daylight around. I may end up doing another shoot with this car once it gets seat covers. In that case, I'll use all natural light and a location with a nice backdrop.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not totally useless...

People have been coming over all week to keep me entertained/amused while I recover from my wisdom teeth removal. Yesterday we sat outside in between movies and enjoyed the nice weather for a bit. Lucy and her dog Riley are both wonderful to photograph and I ended up getting some surprisingly nice photos.

I've become a huge fan of the really narrow crops like this bottom photo of Riley. I'm not happy with the way my D300 totally blew out the colors here, but it looks much worse in B&W and I don't possess the necessary photoshop skills to fix it. The narrow crop though, I have fallen in love with mostly because I am sick of seeing the same ratio in every single photo ever. Doing a square or super-rectangular crop tends to mix things up and keeps me (and hopefully my audience) interested.

In other news, apparently the people with green photos on Twitter are those in support of Iran and the struggle going on there. I could have desaturated my photo and then put a green cast on it, but I chose to screw around with the levels and hue instead. The result is decidedly... odd.

I think it gets the point across though.

I'm still jealous of the iPhone users out there who are upgrading OS and hardware like crazy. But, as long as my BB stays sane and stops self-rebooting without invitation (very annoying), I'm pretty sure I can deal with it :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Everybody has a camera...

Reading the NY Times Photojournalism blog "Lens," I came across an interview with Iranian Photojournalist Newsha Tavakolian, who has been covering Iran since 2001.
[link to the interview and her photos]
One answer particularly intrigued me. She says:

"Also what really surprises me: everybody is taking pictures these days with their cellphones and amateur cameras. This is good because it means that people have grown accustomed to having their pictures taken, which makes my work easier. Cameras play such a normal role in peoples’ lives here now that they are just user products — like a fridge or a stove."

Here, I agree and disagree. Cameras have definitely become a huge part of everyday life and I think people ARE used to having their pictures taken... until the professional body and glass comes out, at which point a lot of people freak out. Much like the constant battle waged by private security officers at certain train stations, if you own "professional" photo gear, you instantly become a threat, where as if you're mucking around with a Point and Shoot, your pictures couldn't possibly be good enough to be a problem.

I think it would be very interesting to cover an event using what is now considered to be archaic technology. Perhaps a P&S or even a camera phone. When the Nikon D1 came out, it had a whopping 2.74 megapixel CCD sensor, and pictures from that camera ran front page on newspapers. I see no reason why any P&S camera can't do the same thing (except for sports and low-light stuff, where you really do need a fast camera).

If I don't do it over the summer, when I get back to school and my beloved Lumberjack Newspaper, I'll cover something with my camera phone and see what happens. I bet I'll get better pictures and people will be way less awkward if I'm shooting with my phone just like everyone else.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Testing mobile upload.

Here's a shot I just did with my blackberry. I'm curious to see how this works

--5x digital zoom on the BB looks like crap, but I don't mind, it gets the idea across :-) --

-- Apparently my phone includes my signature on every email it sends, so I don't want to post to the blog via email. I am going to try to work on a good way to post photos that I take from my phone for the whole world to see. I am currently in a de-bugging process with my new Blackberry Curve, which has a habit of randomly (and without invitation) rebooting itself 3 or 4 times a day. I have deleted the (probable) problem applications (Facebook and TinyTwitter) and will hopefully be able to re-install them without the constant reboot thing.

Continually sitting around the house watching movies, taking pictures with my phone and basically lounging while my mouth heals from having all 4 wisdom teeth removed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Skate park

As promised, here are a couple shots from my recent trip to the skate park.
Nothin real fancy, but it was fun all the same.

I had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday, so I have been lounging around the house catching up on all the movies I have missed in the last year.
Blog Lite is likely to continue until I get up and out again, prolly next week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

From the road

It seems I do my best landscape work when I'm driving at 55+mph

I got this shot from the top of Foothills (top of the hill before hitting Valmont Road) at 55 mph a couple days a go. My D300 was riding shotgun and I saw this, picked it up, snapped it into dumbass focus mode and fired a few shots off.

Also, on the same day after reaching my destination, I found this
waiting for me as I got out of my car. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I put the D300 into VIVID+CONTRAST Picture Control and wow, the colors really pop!

Even though I recently got a phone that can take pictures, I might have to keep my real camera riding shotgun more often.

My next post will probably be shots from my morning shoot today at the Scott Carpenter Skate Park.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Post #200!

I have had this blog for less than 1 year, and I've managed to do 200 posts!

I've been off the shutter and off the computer a surprising amount recently, but I managed to get ahold of an old friend of mine from my early years in highschool. She is a semi-professional model and we had a blast together out in a field near my house.

First, the weather screwed me. It has been cloudy and stormy for the last 10 days, and I was counting on that continuing yesterday. All was well until about 2:00 when the sun appeared (uninvited) and crashed my party. Our shoot was scheduled for 3:00, so we went out anyway and got some decent shots, but not the ones I was hoping to get.

Roni did a fabulous job though. I'm told it was her first time working with a prop and she handled it very well. The broadsword is just over 3.5' long and it weighs a pretty penny.

This is the first of what I hope will be many series with Roni as my subject.

On a totally different note, I had a blast with everyone who showed up yesterday at the Chase Jarvis Social in downtown Boulder. It was great to meet Chase, Scott, and Mikal all of whom were lots of fun to talk to and hang out with for a couple hours at the West End Tavern. I look forward to my trip up to Seattle later this summer to see what its like up on the West Coast. Hopefully I'll get to see their studio and meet the rest of the staff, but I'm not counting on it.

For everyone who follows Chase's blog, I talked with him last night about the lack of his recent commercial work. He said it was due to a bunch of things, but that he has a LOT of great content coming (like guest blogs from the rest of his staff and more behind the scenes videos). I look forward to seeing that. In the meantime, I'll work on generating content here on a more regular basis.

Thank you, to all my readers. I have no reason to do this without you, and your comments are always appreciated!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fun Free Fotos

Yup. Free.

It has been too long since I did some work for free, so I have started a promo where I'll give away up to 5 free portrait sessions and the resulting picures.

Here's the details (straight from my craigslist ad):
I am a professional photographer hoping to help some people out in our current economy.
During the month of June I will choose up to 5 applicants and GIVE AWAY a free professional portrait session to each.
Each of the chosen applicants will receive up to 2 hours of my time on location, and then a full-resolution CD of the top 10 images, absolutely free.

What's the catch, you say?

You need to write me an email, telling me why YOU deserve a free portrait session. Tell me about yourself, what you do for a living, what you wish you were doing for a living, your family, whatever. Convice me to take your picture.

Hit up my website to see my portfolios. This offer is for real, and only lasts for the month of June.

Send me your convincing email at


I am also doing a photoshoot today with an old friend/new model and then meeting up with Chase Jarvis and crew in downtown Boulder.
On top of that, I'm learning how to work my new BlackBerry. I joined the 21st century and got a BB that can take pictures and do all sorts of fun things, so I'll probably load pictures from that, just like Chase Jarvis does (because who doesn't want to be like him?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

bird in black and white

I'm not really sure what I think about this picture....

I like it, but at the same time it is so far from my usual that I don't know if I like it.

I shot this on ISO 400 BW 35mm film, sometime in the last three months. I was cleaning out my HDD today (sadly I can now only fit two months of photos on my Macbook Pro's internal drive!) and found this somewhere in the process. It was marked in Aperture with just one star, but I've moved it up to three stars... and I can't figure out why.

It may well end up my desktop background at some point in the near-ish future.

That's all for now :-)