Tuesday, February 28, 2012


A little off topic for photography, but not really....

Education. How it's all messed up and the direction it needs to go to be successful.

Many thanks to my buddy Amanda for sharing this and bringing it to my attention.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Adventuabry: Adventure February


Anyway. I've been on a lot of fun adventures in the last week or so. I was getting super antsy and all cabin-fever-y. I went on a hike on my own and shot a few landscapes and some abstract-y ice formations:

Self Portrait at ~40˚

I also adventured with my buddy Preston on several occasions to a new high-line setup out by Lake Mary. The line was ~80 feet across, and as tall as 80 feet high.

Brandon on the line

Tribal setup!

Garrett killin' it

Kristen warming her toes at 29˚

While the sun set, I had the Einstein up on top of Tower one, something like 1/2 power at the talent on the line. After the sun set all the way and we lit the fires, the flash didn't do anybody any good, so I shut it off and used natural light. ISO 6400, F/3.5, 1/30 sec. 

I also joined thevisualCollective for their second monthly photowalk.


daily affirmations

taylor mahoney some random dude sleeping under a bench...


jared rockin' the adventure pipe

Andy teaching lensbaby

Andy teaching about the lensbaby

That's all for now! Hopefully more adventures to come as tvC prepares for Death Valley!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Adventureland: local

Friday was a big adventure day for me. Originally, I planned to shoot a client in the morning. Client cancelled at 0600 the day of the shoot, but I was already up. Taylor Mahoney had agreed to assist me, so he was awake too. We decided we might as well go out and do some personal shooting. 
We headed out to the fairgrounds and the empty horse tracks instead of driving down to Sedona to meet the client.

My big focus for the morning shoot was composition. The color monochrome is partly influenced by the old-fashioned feel I got from the race tracks, and partly to emphasize lines and tones, rather than color. 
My second local adventure was a hike out past the naval observatory, just for fun and a chance to escape the confines of my domicile. I did that adventure with my P7000, which I dump far less regularly than my big camera. We'll see those pictures sometime next week.
Adventure #3 for the day was out past Lake Mary, to what used to be a railroad bridge.
my buddy Preston and some of his buddies were working a first ascent on an 80 foot highline. We showed up around 9pm and photographed dinner and the early part of the rigging process for the highline.


Mesmerizing fire

Warming up the shoes

Trip - the camp puppy

Mike rigging on tower 1

Mike 80 feet up, jugging up tower 2

I spend a lot of time shooting at ISO 6400 for sports - so I just kept it there. Most of these pictures were in the neighborhood of 1/30 sec, ISO 6400, F/1.8. Lighting is a mix of truck headlights, personal headlamps and firelight. I used noise reduction for the first time in over a year.
Noise isn't so bad when you can overexpose an image by 1/3 or 2/3 stop because it is a lot less apparent in highlights. In anything low key, noise will take over and let you know who is boss. The pitch black of night at 0130, everything is low key and noise is king. Not that I'm complaining - I like a bit of noise/grain in my photos.
My favorite filmstock is 1600 ISO Fuji.

Anyway. A card-dump from the P7000 is imminent, especially after today's photowalk with thevisualCollective.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saab Turbo

This week I tried tracking along with the subject, rather than panning.
Last week I learned an approximate shutter speed to use. The week before that, I learned that tracking with the subject directly behind you sucks.

This week, I took the information I learned and applied it. a shutter speed around 1/40 to 1/60 sec and I made sure to keep my subject in the opposite lane.




Coming up this week: adding flash equipment into the scenario. A single bare flash as fill with the sun as a backlit-key light. Hopefully with a different vehicle, but I'll use the Saab again if I have to.
I also want to get a lower angle on the moving stuff, but to do that i'd have to put my camera on a pole and lower it down against the highway at 65mph. Not a fan. I'll probably do some panning instead.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wandering: Jerome

Yesterday it snowed in Flagstaff.
I wasn't in the mood for snow, so I accepted Kristen's invitation to visit Jerome for the day.

If you don't know anything about Jerome, it's a cute little town nestled on the side of a tall hill (not quite a mountain) that is supposedly haunted by a great variety of ghosts and whatnot.

We spent the afternoon wandering around town taking pictures.

In continuing to evaluate my Nikon P7000, I brought it along to see if I could actually use it to make pictures that I like. I'm currently toying with the idea of bringing it along to thevisualCollective's Havasupai trip, rather than my big nasty D300s.

Here are my results in no particular order.

Random dude smoking in the alley 

Overall, I enjoyed working with this camera. I look like a tourist, which means when I asked to photograph the random dude smoking in the alley, he didn't mind one bit. Just some tourist instead of a threatening professional photographer. The camera is also WAY lighter than the D300s, so I was more free to wander, climb, jump as I saw fit.
To be fair, I spent more time in post production working these images than I do with the big camera. It's a lot harder to figure out what I'm actually getting with the small camera - so I don't immediately know if I "nailed it" or if I'm just close enough to fix it in post... *cringe*
I hope that by using the camera more and more, I'll be able to learn it's quirks better and thus be more effective in using it to translate my vision into reality. I will likely be using it next weekend for thevisuaCollective's monthly Photowalk.

Anyway. That's all for now. Stay tuned this week for more automotive pictures!