Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Canon and Microsoft, have teamed up with Outdoor Photographer, and have put together a contest, and it's based on the Top 100 Icon Locations in The World (Think of it as "100 amazing Places to Shoot landscape photography"). If you're an outdoor photographer, you're going to just love it! Check it out.
Photography is about being in the right place at the right time and having the right settings to capture the right image. That might seem on the surface that it is just happenstance that makes a good picture. While that may occur, and has occurred before, it is really a lot of work to make good pictures on a regular basis. It takes a great deal of planning to make a great image. Let us take a closer look at my list of rights from above.
Right Place – Finding the right place to take a picture requires a good deal of research and exploration. I mostly shoot sports and events, in order for me to find the best place to shoot the action I have to know my sport. That's right, even though I never played any sports I have to understand how they are played so I can get close enough to the good action to get good shots while staying out of the way of the officials and the teams. If I am shooting portraits I have to do some exploration, find a place that looks good, I have to give thought to the background as well as the foreground. This all translates into a lot of work and time spent analyzing the areas around me.
Right Time – In sport and action photography you have to know the game in order to time the shot, the better you understand the player's individual playing styles the more like you are to capture a great image. This translates to spending time at the practice field with the team. If you notice over on UKVphotos.com I have more than few galleries labeled practice. You have another issue with both action and portrait types of photography, light. You have to understand the limitations of your gear and as such you have to understand light and how to work with it not against it.
Right Settings – This one seems a no brainer for a pro or a serious amateur but in reality it take the whole brain, you have to look at the scene you are attempting to capture and adjust as you need to. Sure you can go over to the green rectangle (Full Auto) but where is the artistry in that. Adjusting your settings to make use of the light and deciding to blur or not to blur the action. To make the waterfall stop in time or catch the football just as the quarter back passes. You as the photographer have to make that decision. Personally a little blur in the right cases is a good thing, a lot can be even better, all depending on what you are trying to capture. Remember you are capturing images that will make your viewers react in some way.
Right Image – If you do not get the first three 'rights' this one won't happen. No matter how hard you work to capture that perfect image, the one that you feel is the essence of the model or subject; it is still your concept of what you shot. It is still your opinion. You may love it but the client may take one look and pass it by. Don't let that discourage you keep at it, keep perfecting your methods behind the lens and they will pay off.
Getting that perfect shot is hard sometimes. Play to your strengths and you will do well. Last year not long after I opened up UKVphotos.com I was asked by an old friend to shoot the christening of her daughter. I was honored. I showed up at the church that morning, a location I was already familiar with, and when the ceremony started I did what I always did. I followed the action I once shot a whole group of photos for a client and on a whim I threw my 70-300mm telephoto zoom on the camera and shot an extreme close-up. What I was after was trying to capture the drops of water as they fell from the minister's hand onto the little girls face. I was used to shooting action and freezing it, that is what I do a lot of in sports photography. So I found the right angle, framed it in and waited for my chance. I was happy when I shot the frames and afterwards I was even more thrilled. The part that really made me smile was when the family ordered they loved it. In fact it was the most popular image from the whole set.
Good planning will make for a far more profitable photo shoot than happenstance. Enjoy your weekend folks!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
How to take Strobist style photos | Talking Tech 2 from Jefferson Graham on Vimeo.
Strobist on USA TODAY's Talking Tech | Jefferson Graham interviews David Hobby from Jefferson Graham on Vimeo.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, now disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate. He argues passionately that we should be concerned not only for preserving the biosphere, but also the "ethnosphere" -- "the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination."
Monday, April 21, 2008
While on an outing with her daughter Julie needed/wanted to diffuse the flash so as not to blow out the highlights. Since she had either left her diffuser at the studio or did not own one she improvised. She used a piece of toilet paper to cover her flash and soften the light. No I did not mistype it she used toilet paper to diffuse her flash. How ingenious!
Great idea Julie...you should really tell the folks on Strobist about that one.
Here are the links to the posts where Julie talks about her TP diffuser.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
The West Side Red Pythons call Cato Park in Charleston, WV their home field. Its a great facility and has some nice backdrops to shoot against. All four sides of the field had trees or wooded hills leaving only the fans as a distraction behind the players. I was pleasantly surprised to run into an old friend at the game. His little boy played on the Pythons and we had not seen each other since our work careers took very different paths.
I captured a number of great shots and as always a selection of them is below:
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
ISO 1600 - f6.3 - 108mm - 1/500 Aperture Priority
The image above is just one of the captures I made last night at A's makeup soccer game. It was a late evening shoot on a scattered cloudy day. When I saw the shot and clicked the shutter it was more on instinct than thought, guess I should listen to my instinct a bit more often. I love the feeling the shot gives me, of the leading lines take you down to the ball that is being stolen away from the other player.
On the technical side of the house it was shot at a high ISO. I've shot quite a-bit at this ISO, mainly because I do not have a fast enough lens. This shot was taken hand held with a Sigma 70-300 APO DG Macro lens. I love the lens and prefer it for the U5-U6 soccer matches. The problem with higher ISO's is the noise they produce, while it can be acceptable sometimes a close crop turns out nasty if you are shooting at a high ISO. 1600 though allowed me to freeze the action at a shutter speed of 1/500 and an aperture of 6.3.
My tactic for this type of shot is simple, get down on the level of the players, shoot the action and anticipate the event. I will normally shoot in a burst mode and take two or three shots total. Of course at the age of the players in this shot I have to be on my knees in order to get a good level shot. Shoot with a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. Make sure you adjust the aperture to suit your shot. When I am shooting individual players I try to shoot the aperture low for a narrow depth of field. For teams charging down the field at me I open up into the mid range or higher. In the back of my mind a chant is playing..."...shoot close...crop closer...shoot close...crop closer..."
When I get home and sit down at the computer I take a look at what I have. If I did my job right I should have a list of hopefuls to look at. From this group of shots I will get rid of all the ones I do not like then I will begin making any adjustments. Adjustments can be anything from color or white balance changes to cropping the image to a different aspect ratio. When this is done I am ready to post the resutls over on ukvphots.com.
Monday, April 14, 2008
It's easy, it's easy, it's really easy - adding a nice soft directional light to the scene or the subject. In many of my daily image posts, I'm often asked how I am getting the light on the subject. Well, this lighting tutorial solves the riddle once and for all.
In this tutorial I discuss my easy to use umbrella shoot through flash technique. I'll show the exact flash/umbrella set up and why this gives me the best results. I'll also show what the assistant needs to see from his position and what the camera sees. Enjoy!
If you like the info you can find more tips like this over on Davids blog: Digital Pro Talk
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Here is what Jim says:
Let’s take the DIY lighting videos a step farther than in part 1: it’s time for a bigger setup and what I like to call “the mother of all stick-in-a-can videos”. You’ll know why once you watch it. I’ve realized there’s more to these pieces than setting a wooden stick in concrete and attaching diffusion material to a wooden frame, so in a few days I’ll post either a video or text on how to best make them and where to get the right materials.
I love what he has done and hope to set up a studio using his ideas in the near future.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Photosynth is a software technology from Microsoft Live Labs and the University of Washington that analyzes digital photographs to build a three-dimensional point cloud of a photographed object. Pattern recognition components compare portions of images to create points, which are then compared to convert the image into a model. Currently, users can view models built by Microsoft or the BBC, but not create their own models.
The program works by analysing multiple photographs taken of the same area. Each photograph is processed by noting specific features, like the corner of a window frame or a door handle. Photos that share features are then linked together in a web. When the same feature is found in multiple images, its 3D position can be calculated. Photosynth's 3D model is a cloud of points showing where these features are in space. This model enables the program to show a particular area from various angles, based on the different angles found in the photos. While the process works when only two photographs are used, it is better with more.
Here is a TED talk video from one of the guys working on this project, during the video he demos the software.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
If you are in need of some high end data recovery machines or services check out Jim Raubach over at www.forensic-computers.com. If you do let him know I sent you.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
It was a wet field, in fact I was surprised we played. My surprise was in part due to the fact that we were using a local middle school field to play on. Play we did though. I tried to get a few shots of the kids when the hit the mud holes. I have tons of shots over in the gallery on ukvphotos.com. I hope you enjoy these and check out the rest.
With out any more blab blab blab here is a selection of shots from the Riverside Flash (purple) and the South Hills Sharks (maroon).
Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Dave is using a simple and light setup here, though you cna see a larger studio strobe in the background of the first video. If you want to look into getting your own lighting kit and you are like me and on a budget check out the link below.
Another option to using the Gadget Infinity remotes is the Pocket Wizards or the Radio Poppers. I have blogged on radio Poppers int he past. Here is a qucik video on Pocket Wizards.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
If you follow the title link you will see the article i read over on Strobist where they explain how to pull of a similar look and feel with hand strobes.