Monday, October 31, 2011

Self limitation: gear

This last weekend I went down to Scottsdale with my lovely girlfriend. I chose not to bring my D300s, or any other "serious" camera gear. I could have gotten away with not bringing my computer had I not had some serious photoshopping to do over the weekend.

Anyway. Deprived of my big rig, my cell phone became my primary photographic tool, and I'm glad it did. Using only one app and being limited by my phone's low light performance and pathetic shutter speed, I got some fun creative stuff and spent a lot of time outside my usual "head-space," thinking up ways I could still get the image without thousands of dollars worth of camera and lenses.

Here are some of my favorite cellphone pictures in the last month or so... there are quite a few of them.

The more I think about it, the more I would love to sell all my fancy gear and shoot exclusively with a cell phone... mayhaps the iPhone 4s?

For now I need the fancy gear (at least most of it) to continue doing my job as a sports photographer. After that's over with - we'll see how much of it I retain and how much goes away for good... I expect to do some serious downsizing after the school year is over!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

tvC v4.0

Shame on me, the horrible blogger. It's been a while since I blogged about anything personal...

My life is ridiculous these days. Entirely too much to do and too few waking hours to do it all. I also find that I am generally not willing to sacrifice sleeping time for any reason except perhaps thevisualCollective.

Anyway. Last weekend tvC was in the Grand Canyon by means of the Havasupai reservation. 10 miles of strenuous hiking with a backpack holding everything you need for three days. My pack came out to about 35 pounds.

In total, I shot about 900 frames. Of those, I kept about 90. Of those, I really like the following:
(click to enlarge)

Strangely enough, I didn't really have much of a theme for this trip. I ended up shooting mostly at F/1.8 - so perhaps shallow depth of field counts as my theme. 
The only lens I brought was the 35mm F/1.8, and shooting it wide open all weekend reminded me of how much I enjoy limited DOF. It also forced me into high shutter speeds and 100 ISO for most of the time, which is uncharacteristic of me. I tend to keep my ISO at 800 or above much of the time - so getting out of that headspace was refreshing.

Here's a quick video I did to go along with these last couple images of Taylor:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another 2011 Help-Portrait update!

Hello world!

In case you missed it last week, here's the 2011 Help-Portrait video:

So far I've got the following people signed up to volunteer on December 10th:
Photographers: Dano, Don, Bryan, Hailey, Kyra, Chad, Noelle [room for ONE more]
Runners: Kristen [room for three more]
Greeters: Dahlia [room for two more]
Workflow people: Andrew, Taylor
Print slicer/dicer: [One spot]
Hair/Makeup: Geri [room for three more]

Setup & tear down assistants: [room for four more]

If you're interested in helping out - please drop me an email with your name, phone number, and the role you'd like to play:

I am also actively looking for some person or some organization to sponsor banners and signs for us to hang around campus. We would like to have at least three 6' banners and whole bunch of smaller signs on paper.

If you or anyone you know can help spread the world - December 10th will be that much more awesome!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What I'm packing

Last night I started preparations for thevisualCollective's trip to Havasupai starting *early* Friday morning.

I purchased a serious backpack specifically for this trip. What's more, it is a $200 backpack that I got for $20 on Craigslist. Yes!

Here's what it looks like loaded up:

And here are the contents:

Starting at the bottom left corner and working clockwise:
2x T shirts
4x Socks
Adventure pants (quick-dry, zip-off, cargo pants - double as swimshorts)
black hoodie
serious rain jacket
3x bandana
Serious hiking boots
Adventure hat
bag of miscellaneous medications
3x 1 liter water bottles
First Aid kit. Scissors, Gauze, tape, gloves etc.
SB 600 Speedlight
6x 4gb 300x CompactFlash memory cards
18-55mm kit lens
D300s camera body
35mm f/1.8 lens
PB&J (not pictured)
2x Flashlight
75' of rope
48 AA batteries
Sleeping bag
Adventure knife

There you have it. Additionally, I will be wearing my second pair of adventure pants and a third T shirt, as well as a fifth pair of socks. The bag weighs less than 30 pounds with water-weight, so it shouldn't be too hard on me.

Things you may notice as missing: propane stove and alcohol.
I'd rather carry bread and PB&J than two tanks of fuel (one as a backup) and a stove-thing - no open fires are allowed in the canyon.
Also, the Havasupai tribe prohibits alcohol in the canyon.

Campground info
Village info

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Help-Portrait 2011 Update: new video

Hey everyone! Just a quick update to notify you that Help-Portrait corporate headquarters has recently published the 2011 video.

Take 5 minutes and take a look. Share it. Get involved!

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Backgrounds

Welcome to October! Perhaps my favorite month in the year. Great color, a variety of weather, pumpkin spice latte's - what's not to love?!

Here are the three images I will be using as my personal desktop backgrounds over the course of October. Click to enlarge, and enjoy!