Monday, May 31, 2010

Old School Challenge: results!

Scott Kelby of NAPP challenged the photo world to shoot 24 or 36 frames old-school style; no chimping on the LCD.

I accepted *part* of his challenge - I shot my 24 frames just like I would have if I was shooting film. Manual focus, manual exposure, no chimping. I did not, however, have a print made from Mpix - they're not cheap and I have better uses for my limited funds. Don't get me wrong, I've had orders for clients done by Mpix and they rock.

Anyway, here are my picks.



Front yard


Overall I very much enjoyed the challenge! 

With any luck I'll have a self-portrait up sometime this week. Not sure when - I have to wait for my muse to strike. Sometime before Sunday though.

Unless something terribly interesting comes along, I probably will not be posting regularly during the week. I hope you had a great Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Old School Challenge

Scott Kelby put up a challenge today - shoot 24 or 36 frames without looking at your LCD. I'm gonna do it.

LINK to his original post!

His challenge also includes the opportunity to donate $$$ to an orphanage in Kenya.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I was out shooting yesterday evening for a project that will remain un-named for now. This project required several things to come together *just* right, so I was focused rather intently on the factors that were going to change and make this picture super awesome.

As such, it took me a solid 10 minutes to realize I was surrounded by other potential pictures, each of them as good or better than the one that was in my head at the time.

While I waited for the sun to set, I shot the following:

Then as the light approached I got the pictures I wanted (sort of). I then ran from the approaching rain.

The moral of the story: look around and keep your mind open to the world around you. You are almost always surrounded by photos just waiting to be taken!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Car ride back to Boulder

During my long road trips I keep my D300 + 18-55mm kit lens at hand.

Got some decent shots, considering I was rocking 75+ mph on the highway...

Both look a little HDR-ish, but they aren't. They each have just a few adjustments in post processing.

Whenever I establish a driving buddy, as in the case of this Ford Fusion, I make sure to photograph them. I enjoyed about an hour with an older Porsche 911 as well, unfortunatelyAlbuquerque from the highway doesn't exactly make for an inspiring background and I couldn't get a decent angle on the Porsche.

I finished off my first day of a real job today - 8 hours of paperwork, orientation and stuffing envelopes (I am the intern, after all).

More pictures to come *sometime* in the next few days... I just don't know when.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I spent yesterday hiking to and around downtown Flagstaff. I brought my camera along and took pictures of anything and everything that caught my fancy - a few of them are good enough to show off here. I shot with my 28mm f/2.8 all day, most of the time wide open with high shutter speeds. 

I spent today cleaning and packing; tomorrow I'll be driving back to Boulder, CO to start a summer internship and to (hopefully) get back into my groove shooting families, portraits, and a gorgeous car once in a while... We'll likely experience some continuing Blog Lite around here whilst I get settled in Boulder. Have a great couple days!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Inspired: Thanks to Luna Luciani Photography

I spent some time wandering through Flickr yesterday afternoon, and I came upon a collection of Photography by Sara Strimpel, one of my little brother's friends and a talented photographer.
She has a bunch of very diverse work and I spent probably an hour going through her 440 pictures.

This photo really inspired me to get off my ass, grab my camera and go shoot.

© Luna Luciani Photography 

It seems that everyone is always looking for a new interesting way to show the world... but so few people do it upside down! I grabbed my camera, turned it upside down and practically ran out the door to try my hand at seeing the world upside down.

 Unsurprisingly, most of what I shot was crap. Seeing the world in a new way is really tough and I just couldn't get ahold of any compositions that looked better upside down than they did right side up.

It was a great exercise though; anything that forces me to change my perspective can help me grow as a photographer and, I think, as a person in general.

After I got back from this shoot, I did the whiskey shoot in the following post, which turned out much better in my opinion.

Friday, May 14, 2010

TGIF: first round is on me

Had a bit of fun yesterday afternoon in my pseudo-studio:

Jim Beam. I used two glasses so I could pour from one glass to the other fairly quickly. This allowed me to get a variety of activities from the liquid without wasting a bunch. If Beam Global Spirits & Wine were to ask me to do this shoot for them, I'd shoot at a lower ISO (100 instead of 800) and I'd pour from the bottle... that I assume they would provide.

Lit with my ever-trusty pizza softbox. 1/250 sec at f/5.6 or so.

I've got another post coming tomorrow, inspired by a high school photographer who will go un-named for now...

Please, enjoy your Friday responsibly ;-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blog Lite: continued

Sorry for the total lack of posts recently. I'm working on getting my DAM stuff organized from the last year. That means a lot of tedious work and even more time spent watching the computer copy files from one drive to another.

The other day I purchased a waterproof, fireproof, lockable safe for my external hard drives, so I'm busy filling it with backups of my personal photos as well as the 135gb I shot for NAU Athletics over the last 8 months. This ensures my copies will be safe while I'm away in Colorado and it saves me from hauling a dozen hard drives all over the place. I got mine at Wal Mart for a bit over $50. A small price to pay to protect a year's worth of work.

Hopefully I'll dredge out my camera in the next couple days to take some pictures... the last couple weeks have proven to be a nice break from the shutter though. I originally intended to do a bunch of shooting while at my buddy's cabin out near Showlow, AZ, but the wind and dust combination was too much for me to handle, though I do need to get my gear cleaned over the summer. All of it. That will not be cheap...

I'm off to run *more* errands and hopefully to get in a bike ride. Have a great Thursday!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Portfolios updated

I spent some time yesterday updating my portfolios and my rates at

As I learn more and more about photography I am able to deliver more and more. My photographs are of a much higher caliber now than when I started business in 2006 (imagine that) and I will continue to learn and to grow as an artist - which means my rates will continue to rise.

I will be back in Colorado starting May 22nd - If you're in the Boulder area and are looking to get some portraits done, please send me an email or leave a comment below so we can schedule your session and get you some great photographs!

I'm going to be away from real internet for the next few days - time to relax and enjoy life without the burdens (or conveniences) of modern technology.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jeeping in Sedona - videos

I did not shoot or edit these vids - they are straight out of a friend's camera phone. Check out THIS post for the story and stills.

Jeeping in Sedona

Whew. Finals are over and for better or worse, I'm done with my fourth semester at NAU.

Last weekend I took a break from studying and went down to Sedona with a few of my buddies to do some 4 wheeling. We took Schneebly road down and then hit up the features on Broken Arrow for a few hours.

the view on the way down Schneebly

I shot this trip pretty much my usual style with one major difference - I used a polarizer on my 18-55mm kit lens. It created a great vignette effect on all my photos because I stacked it right on top o the UV filter. My buddies laughed at me for using my cheap-o $100 lens and a filter that cost $50, but I'm happy with what I got:

borrowed the 12-24mm for this shot

The originals for all these photos were fairly unremarkable. Contrast was surprisingly low and these images took a fair amount of work in Aperture. I ended up working on just one image for 20 minutes or so, then I saved my sliders as a preset and applied it to the rest of the images. Most of them look like crap in color - the contrast and saturation are pretty far out of whack. Here's an example - Color and BW of the same image:

One reason I really like the following image is because I got some solid motion-blur on the front tire. I think the background is a bit distracting so it didn't make the final cut. Before the clouds showed up I was at 1/200 sec. When allofasudden it got much darker, I dropped my shutter to 1/60 right as Case started slipping his tires all over the rock. 

I'll update this post with VIDEOS in a bit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May background

Whew. Another month is upon is and I was a bit more prepared for May than I was for April.

The May background is here for your enjoyment

and I updated with photos, links and whatnot for 2010 - March and April.

I had an absolute blast 4-wheeling in Sedona with a few buddies yesterday. When I need a break from studying I'll load those photos, a few of which I am quite proud of.

Until then, I'm buried in textbooks (electronic textbooks, of course) and stacks of old HW and exams... See you on the other side!