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Posts Tagged ‘photowalk’

Wow. I’m really behind.

I’m two photowalks behind – I have one of them shot and unedited, and one is not even shot yet.

I did a photoshoot for a client last weekend that I still have to edit. I also did a marathon shoot with Tineke from Northern Persona Photography last Sunday. We did 14 photoshoots in one day. 12 of them were 1/2 hour shoots and 2 were hour long ones. Lots of great people, lots of great kids!

I had a great time, and got a bit of a sunburn. It was kind of nice for me that the light wasn’t perfect – it was super sunny and nice! Not only did I get to hang out on a gorgeous day pursuing my passion, I got paid for it! Yep – I’m subcontracting my services as a photographers assistant to Tineke this year. I’m gaining some valuable insight on shooting people, and lots of other great little tips and tricks to pick up.

As for the light being not perfect – because it wasn’t I had to work a lot harder than I might have otherwise have had to – but the bonus is that we got to do some cool stuff. I’ll be investing in some different shaped and sized reflectors after that marathon shoot – the one I packed around for Tineke was awesome. I used it to shade her when she was shooting into the sun – acting as a gigantic mobile smart lens hood. (well, sort of smart).

I used it to reflect cool coloured light onto our subjects – usually lighting up a face to remove contrasting shadows. This is done with the silver side of the reflector.

I used it to bounce cool coloured light up onto people’s hair from behind when shooting into a building, creating a rimlight or hairlight and creating separation and definition of the subject from the dark shadowy background.

I used it to climb up high, balance on a fence or to contort myself into other interesting positions to put the reflector between the sun and the subject, creating shade.

It was a good time. However, it made me late for my 52 week project. Ah well, some things can’t be helped.

I’ve also been putting a fair amount of time into my new website for my business – you can find it at jclossphoto.com – it also has a blog and it WordPress powered, Photocrati themed, hosted by Defiance Art & Designs.

Oh yeah – to top it all off I contracted a sinus infection midweek last. So I’ve been battling that as well – it’s not been an easy bit of time lately, but it has been rewarding.

I’ll get my next photoshoot done asap, and get my previous one edited. I’ll also share a couple of the images from the real-estate shoot when I’m done editing them – possibly showing what makes them different from quick point & shoot pictures taken by an average real estate agent.

Until then….

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Yesterday inspired me. My mind has been roiling today because I love one of my shots from yesterday so much. I cannot wait to see what the other members of the class came away with, as for me, it was a landmark day.

Our minishoot during class was to imply motion with a slow shutter speed. Tineke gave us an extra challenge – shoot a promo shot for her to choose from with her still and people around her moving. We all got to be the photographer and direct our own shoot, and she was the model. Everyone else subbed as extras for the shoot during each persons turn.

I had three distinct things I wanted to do.

1) Tineke lying on the ground with people moving around her. I did this with feet and her against a brick background.

2) Tineke in a street/plaza leaning on something with people moving past. (for the record, this one failed on every shot due to camera shake.)

3) Tineke on a street, against a wall, high fashion style. People walking past. (My keeper is from here.)

Additionally I did a shot of her on some stairs with people walking below. It’s not my favourite but it’s technically ok, so I’ve kept it. I just don’t know what to do with it or how to crop it due to my poor framing.

I had fun – here are my shots for week 10 – let me know what you think.

Tineke Street Photog
This is my absolute favourite. High contrast and a little bit of post processing and tone mapping to enhance contrast and colour.

Tineke Stairs
Stairs. Kind of blah. My fault for framing poorly. It’s still a worthwhile photo, just not tops.

Tineke Laying 2
A vibrance/saturation enhanced version of Tineke on the ground shooting up. I like it, but I don’t love it.

Tineke Laying 1
Almost the same as before, not as saturated. I need to play with PP and cropping on these to see if I can make something better.

In case you missed it – I had FUN doing these. They left me so darn INSPIRED that my head has not stopped buzzing all day. I’m happy with week 10. Very happy. And I hope you enjoyed.

PS – get out and shoot. “Just do it”, as Nike says. Sometimes you have a day like I did, and you feel so much more awesome for doing it.

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I’d planned today to get some shots of the festivities for the 2010 Winter Olympics Torch Relay happening today in Quesnel, BC.  However, a phone call to my wife at home put a damper on that – she was having a rough day with the kids and her playdate for the day had canceled.

I decided to scrap the idea and do my photowalk this weekend – after all  I have my first “Image Expressions” photography class this weekend, which I was already planning to integrate into my 52 weeks project.  No worries, right?

However, on my way home I got stuck in one of the rolling roadblocks for the Olympic Torch Relay and decided that the fates had intervened.  I hustled across a bridge to where I was told the relay-ists were going to exchange torches and set myself up with my longer 150mm lens.  It turned out my vantage point was perfect, as I was given slightly incorrect directions – but it was close enough.  I got a couple good photos of the support vehicles and a couple decent shots of one of the runners.  The changeover point was a little past where I was standing, but I was able to reach out with my lens and get some decent shots.

I’ll try and get them edited tonight and put up ASAP – I’ll have to see how they turned out, I’ve only looked at them via the on camera preview.

–Addendum–

The torch relay route went past my work.  My boss suggested that if we wanted to watch we could go outside, and maybe take some pictures.  I went out and looked around (being an old pro now, I knew there would be a handoff point somewhere) and found where the next relay-ist would be.

I went up to her and asked if I could take her photograph.  She seemed genuinely flattered and said “Yes, but I’m crying”.  I took some portraits of her holding her torch – the men behind her had a Canadian flag, I’m going to have to see if I got any with a good flag in the background.

An Olympics official rode up on a bicycle and used his special key to unlock her torch and turn it on, I got a great shot of that.

Then I looked back at where the previous torch-bearer was coming from.  I got some shots of him approaching, and got ready to capture them trading flames – got a couple good shots there.

Then, I got pictures of the official turning off the previous bearers torch.  I asked him after he was done if I could shoot him too  and he said yes, his pictures weren’t as good as I was a bit too close with my 40-150mm and didn’t have time to walk myself back to frame him as I’d have liked.

I have lots of Olympic Torch photos now, so I’ll try and edit them and get them up quickly.

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For photowalk 4 of 52 we decided to take the kids to a park.  We live in central BC, Canada so this time of year is pretty chilly. (It’s actually been unseasonably warm these last two weeks and just got down closer to average temperature just before we went on this outing.)  The temperature was about -11C, which works out to 12F.

We bundled the kids up in their outdoor clothes, brought along the new puppy and went to play on the equipment.  The photos below are the first 4 keepers, I have about 4 more to do editing on.  They will go on my flickr, and may make up a second post on here.

The reason I decided to shoot the kids for this one is that I have the most trouble with kid photography. I love the idea, and want to do it, but the images never work out in real life the way they do in my mind. This day was a success for me, and I’m very happy with the pictures I have of my kids from it.

Again I’ve been using a new post processing workflow.  First I edit in lightroom for exposure etc.  Then I open the image in a .TIFF in photoshop and play around with that, mostly still using the actions from mcpactions.com  Touch of Light/Dark and the free Gallery Frames are my go-to for this – I may have to invest in a couple of her actions in the near future.

This first one of Dylan is my favourite of the day so far. This was a challenging post production shot because of the high contrast of sunny spots on her face etc. I used lots of touch of light to lighten the shadowed parts of her face and coat, and lots of touch of dark to darken the sunny spots and background to bring everything just a little closer together contrast wise.
Walk4of52 - DylanPeek

My second favourite of the day is Ivy climbing down the cable net. This one got a strong vignette when I was done, as well as lots of touch of light on her coat to really make it pop. The rest of the image got treated to touch of dark – mostly to highten the contrast of the pink jacket against the background.
Walk4of52 - IvyClimb

This one of Dylan I cleaned up her face lots – to my eye it looks pretty good, but to someone more discerning perhaps my stamp skills are not as good. It’s something I’m working on. Otherwise, a little lightening, but most of the PP was just to clean her face up.
Walk4of52 - DylanSwing

And last but not least is Ivy on the slide. It’s my least favourite of the completed shots, but I was most excited while taking it. I’m not sure why, it just didn’t turn out in my mind the way I’d have liked it to. It’s still good enough to share however.
Walk4of52 - IvySlide

And there we go – the first batch from photowalk 4. This is the first photowalk that I’ve had so many keeper images from – and it’s one of the most challenging things for me to shoot – kids. They just move so fast!

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My computer is broken. I’m using my wife’s, but that means no more lightroom for me until I get my computer fixed.

In related news the courier today left us a tag to pick up my parcels instead of the parcels – my wife was home, but they obviously thought knocking or ringing the bell was too difficult.

The parcels contained me new motherboard, ram and processor for my computer upgrade. Combine that with the new 60gb SSD (solid state drive, hard drive made of flash memory) and my new-ish 1TB drive and a copy of windows 7 and I’ll be up and running with a far better computer. Some time next week.

This doesn’t stop the 52 week photowalk project though, it just delays the posting of the pictures. As soon as I have my computer again my lightroom will have to get fired up right away so I can catch up.

Now it’s time to think about what I’m going to do for a walk this weekend. Something with the kids, and it’s supposed to be warm. Hmmm…ideas!

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