Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking out for those moments.

Today I left work for an hour long break. I hoped to create some interesting rainy/cloudy photos. Bringing along Ziploc baggies to protect my SB-800 will be a good idea in the future. Seeing as there were no baggies on me today I didn't use my flash while out and about. I did, however, encounter a rather awesome cloud formation while driving and snapped a few shots while at a stoplight.

This wasn't what I set out to capture. There was more hope in me for an interesting and flash lit foreground, not a car and telephone wires. But alas, I had to be back at work to open the window by 12:30. I drove back to the school feeling sad that I didn't accomplish my goal. Although it did feel nice to have  goal in mind at all. Next time!

Seeing as I was dissatisfied with my efforts today I started to brainstorm a backup photo idea. This is what I came up with.

I'm pretty excited about this new book and I thought it might make a nice photo and a good place to display all of my favorite geekery items. Unfortunately it would appear that my D&D players handbook is at home and not with me at school, so I substituted Paranoia instead. Here's another photo that shows more of my setup. I preferred the tighter crop (above) better though.

My goal for the photos of The Splendid Magic of Penny Arcade book were to create lighting that looked like window lighting. I think they look like bright, sunny environments. I should certainly practice more though!


Monday, February 22, 2010

To be the best there ever was.

I didn't anticipate making a new post every day, but there have been a lot of exciting/interesting photo events in my life in the last three days! This is a good thing, it means I'm excited, engaged and doing/trying new things. The more I blog the more that's happening. With that said...

Today I started my final project for my color photography class. I took along my digital camera to get some double checking done on the lighting. I also wanted some immediate gratification for myself and to show others! Fingers crossed that my rolls turned out well. I bracketed all my shots.

My biggest issue with shooting people against a white backdrop is getting the paper to be completely white, corner to corner. I did better this time than I have in previous attempts, this time including two lights pointed at the backdrop instead of one. It occurred to me after the shoot was over that I could have placed one light behind him on the ground, but instead I pointed two of them at the background from either side of the camera. I suppose this looks like it has a bit of a vignette, but I wanted it to be white corner to corner.

I was trying to get some semi-dramatic lighting while still treating the light softly. It could have been more dramatic but I'm pleased with the coverage on him. I placed one 2x6" softbox to his right, and a 3x3" to his left, concentrated on his face and torso. I'm trying to decide if I feel I should have used a rim light for his hair, but I think he stands out from the background fairly well.

I forgot to take a photo of my lighting setup. I always think about it after the fact! I should put a diagram into my iPod touch. I downloaded this great application, I believe I read about it from the Strobist website, called Strobox. I can create lighting diagrams, great for reference.

I'll close with one last photo just for kicks. I look forward to more exciting incidents to blog about!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Real life application.

I've been reading Joe McNally's book, The Hot Shoe Diaries, and I've been extremely inspired!

Last night I was up learning about EV adjustments in-camera and through the SB-800 unit and how they need subtle tweaks depending on the desired effect for an image. I was getting really pumped learning about new tricks and realizing that I had all the equipment necessary to start practicing the Joe McNally way!

Today I had just such a chance to put my new knowledge into play.

After enjoying a lovely dinner with my friends Xandre and Jacki downtown Olympia, we left the restaurant and I was greeted to an amazing looking downtown setting! The sun was heading down and most of the harsh light was gone, but the street was painted with glowing evening light and it made the texture and color of the buildings really pop. I've finally gotten to a place in my photographic career where I bring my equipment with me in my car in case a photo opportunity presents itself!

I yelled out in joy about the fantastic light and grabbed my gear from my car. It was just the perfect setting. Jacki is beautiful and always camera ready, and Xandre was more than happy to be my assistant and hold the diffuser over the flash for me.

It was a really fantastic moment. I felt like a real photographer, standing downtown with my camera, my model, and my friendly assistant holding a diffuser over my SB-800 on a light stand. I was chasing the light, just like Joe McNally. I knew what I was going for, and the top photo of this post demonstrates exactly what I imagined in my head when I saw the golden light hitting those buildings.

This is a great motivation point for me to always bring my gear! I never know what photo opportunities will present themselves.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

New frontier!

Kind of.

I've blogged before, but never in this setting. It's time for a new blogging adventure, one that pertains to my photography life.

I intend on going places and working hard in the photography world. I want to document that. So here I go.

Today was Chibi Chibi Con at school. My friend Chavid was going with friends and I decided to meet up with him and hang out. I ended up wandering around the booth area of the Con and had a pretty good time. I shot a roll of E6 while leisurely enjoying the sunshine. These are nothing magical, but I wanted to show some of what I saw today.

First off, as can be seen above, someone didn't put too much thought into making an impressive sign. Chavid and I balked and laughed out loud when we saw this and decided it would be an excellent moment for a photo.

This is Chavid. He's dressed as a character from the anime FLCL. I've never seen it, so I didn't understand the costume. Apparently this particular guy has huge eyebrows. This is my friend crying because his huge eyebrows wouldn't stay on. He's fun to have in front of the camera.

I will use these photos as a reference point to get better at scanning and editing slide film. I'm not too impressed with the images I'm posting so far! I certainly had a good time taking them though.

This fellow here was dressed as a character from the anime Cowboy Bebop. He won first place in the costume contest that was held!
I don't know these two individuals, but I'm under the impression that they're dressed as characters from Kingdom Hearts. 

They were very gracious about having their photo taken, and we started up a very brief conversation about using film versus digital. Funny enough they weren't the only ones today to comment on my film camera. It gets more attention than my digital ever does.

This young lady was advertising the sale of small fuzzy creatures that looked an awful lot like spiders made of yarn. 

They were cute enough, but we weren't interested in buying. She was happy to have her photo taken and she struck a cute pose.

I wish I had taken some photos with my digital camera today. It would have been fun to compare my personal captures with both mediums. I am proud of the initiative I took to get these online though. After finishing the roll I went down to work and processed, dried, cut, mounted and then scanned the photos! I didn't scan them at a terribly high resolution because I was in a bit of a hurry. I plan on redoing these.

The plan for my next post is to have photos that don't have such intense contrast!


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