Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rundown...

So it's been a lot longer than my normal hiatus of blogging, and I can't even say that I'm sorry I've been busy. I'm sorry I haven't blogged, but not that I've been busy. Over the last week I've covered more than my fair share of variety.

Shot that for Prudential Corporate to go with their online and print marketing for all of Indianapolis.

That's a White gold pendant that I shot for Midwest Coin and Jewelry in Nora Indiana, to go into full page newspaper ads.

That was shot to go with a Transportation story about becoming a trucker in a Careerbuilder Special section.

That's a new promo shot for Adrianne from Metromix Indianapolis. Some people may remember the last set of promo's here.

This was an article about cleaning Dust out of ductwork to keep your heating and cooling bills down. This was for an article in Green Indy.

Last but not least, that's a photo from the the NRG Third Alarms vs the Rockford Rage. Made a special trip back up to where I grew up to see some friends just to be able to shoot this bout.

So there you have it, kind of a rundown as to some of the things I've been doing over the last week. Not a lot of technical shooting info this week, as much of it is just an update that I am still alive, and cranking. Have a bunch of phone calls I need to return, and if you're one of them I promise that you aren't forgotten. I'll get back to you as I can. Am working on some potential food clients, couple of weddings coming up, have a behind the scenes video for the ninja's over at that I'm putting together, and already have a few of the NRG 2011 Calendar shoots written out. Things are about to get very exciting, very quickly. More soon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On the Hunt...

Every year at the newspaper during the winter we do a weekly special section called Read the Indianapolis Zoo. Primarily in accordance with the Zoo of course because people don't go to the zoo as much during the winter due to the cool weather. I don't even go to the Zoo much when it's nice outside, not except for when my mom comes to town, a date, or for a wedding. The cool part about shooting the 'Read the Zoo' section isn't that the images go on trading cards for families and kids all over Indianapolis, but that I get real one on one time with some of the cooler animals that live there.

(Canon EOS1D MARK II, 1600ISO, Canon EF100mmMacro, 1/250th@F2.8. Canon 580EX Speedlight shot through the left part of the tank through the glass at 1/16th power, fired by pocket wizard)

Yup, I found Nemo. I'd say that was this guys actual name, except I'd be lying. The trainer that is assigned to escort e through the zoo from animal to animal is usually filled with excessive amounts of trivia about the animals. In fact they mentioned that this particular type of clownfish his actually poisonous. I had no idea, and actually can't really verify that fact using online research as apparently there are a bunch of different kinds of clownfish.

(Nikon D2x, 400ISO, Nikon 70-200VR@200mm. 1/80th@F2.8. Single Nikon SB-800 Speedlight set to iTTL to camera left shot through the Lexan safety glass fired by SC-28 Off camera Cable.)

Speaking of Poisonus. This little (or actually very large) dude was shot through about an inch of Lexan shatterproof glass. This is the King Rattler and dang he was a mean looking snake. The year I shot this, I shot it with my own Nikon equipment because the newspaper couldn't spare a 400mm during Football season for me to shoot some of the birds in the Atrium. He was awake, and obviously not happy he was in his 3 foot by 3 foot glass box in the dark. I didn't spend much time on this guy...

(Canon EOS1D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon EF100mmMacro, 1/250th@F5.6. Single Canon 580EX Speedlight shot into a reflector to camera left set to eTTL while attached to a Canon Off camera cable.)

This little treefrog guy was a blast to work with. Lot of fun, great smile and very cooperative. Whether you believe it or not he was shot on a regular potted plant on the back counter in the staging area of the Zoo. The trainer pulled him out of his little environment and either he was too petrified to go anyplace, or he just didn't care. Either way, it all worked out nicely. After about 10 minutes, the trainer put him back where he belonged where he again proceeded to just sit and hang out, and I moved to the next animal on my list. Really I can identify with that frog, although I go new places all the time. Sometimes you just don't want to go and do what you need to do. Last weekend I was out shooting and ended up shooting a male stripper doing his routine. Was a little awkward, but ironically not the worst thing I've ever had to do.

(Canon EOS1D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon EF16-35L@16mm, 1/160th@F5)

These little guys are exactly what you'd think they are. Roosters. If there was anything more special about them, I don't remember but whether you want to believe it or not we do have roosters at the zoo. I found it funny that we had roosters in the zoo, but I can imagine that there are a lot of city kids out there that had never seen a rooster, or would never see a rooster in real life. there are a lot of animals I suppose that you don't see in the city, and really it only makes sense that the zoo give everyone that opportunity. Which would only make sense in the movie "I am Legend" with will Smith except that we at Indystar checked with the Zoo in Manhattan and they don't have any deer there on display which is what Will Smith was hunting in his Shelby Cobra Mustang on the Island known as Manhattan..... More soon.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Night Ride...

In the last blog I said I had some interesting stuff coming down the pipe, and I'm now here to prove that statement to be true. Despite the fact that I'm on vacation right now, as usual someone manages to find something to get me interested in bringing the camera with me. This trip was no different as apparently a good friend of mine bought brand new Ducati.

(Nikon D3s, 3200ISO, Nikon 28-70F2.8@28mm. 1/2500th@F9. 2 Nikon SB900's and a single Nikon SB800 superclamped toa light stand held by Andy, set to fire via SU-800 Commander unit attached to the camera via SC-28 off camera cable. All speedlights were set to fire at +1.7EV and were zoomed to 105mm)

Honestly that shot wasn't what I was intending to start out with, in fact it was a test shot for the action shot lower on this page. Simple lighting scheme, which was all hard light. 3 Nikon Speedlights all super-clamped to a light stand and held by my buddy Andy as illustrated here:

I set up the lights like that because Andy had a very very important job. Well a few important jobs maybe as his first job was to make sure the lights were pointed at Biker Mike, and to yank me out of the way if somehow I got in said way... Luckily, only once did the bike brush through my hair on the way past, which I suppose is par for the course that I play on when it comes to Photography. In case you're wondering, no that shot didn't make the cut. I'm sure Ducati would have loved that itw as almost just a frame of their logo and the riders left hand pumping the clutch, but this one seemed much cooler...

(Nikon D3s, 2500ISO, Nikon 28-70F2.8@28mm. 1/2000th@F9. 2 Nikon SB900's and a single Nikon SB800 superclamped to a light stand held by Andy, set to fire via SU-800 Commander unit attached to the camera via SC-28 off camera cable. All speedlights were set to fire at +1.7EV and were zoomed to 105mm)

That's one of the final shots there. Originally I wanted to have a much nicer bluer sky, with potentially a bit of a sun flair in the frame. This sky is what I got, and honestly I can't say I'm terribly upset about it. I feel as though it gives it a good bit of dramatic effect, especially since the sun was giving the clouds that orange burst while it started to set. Surprisingly we weren't out there for very long, I figured it would take quite a few more attempts at this, and really I'm very intrigued about doing it again having learned a few things on this attempt. Who knows, I may have to pull a Redo on this one. The action shots at least, the few portraits I shot I was relatively pleased with. More Soon.

(Nikon D3s, 200ISO, Nikon 85mmF1.4. 1/1250@F2. Single Nikon SB900 zoomed to 70mm attached to the end of a light stand held above Biker Mike by Andy, set to fire at iTTL +-0EV from a Nikon SU-800 Commander Unit from on camera.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kickin the tires. Lightin the fires...

So it's been longer than my normal pauses between blogs, and I swear it's not because I haven't wanted to. I've had the great fortune of being busy, busier than I can handle almost which any photographer can tell you; is a blessing. The blog isn't the only thing that's suffered in my absence though, the photo of the day that I do on my facebook page has been missing for about 5 days now. Good thing I wasn't going for a record there or anything.

Anyway, just got back from Philly where I was invited to shoot at the East Coast Extraveganza, which is a Roller Derby exhibition tournament to help teams change their standings right before the regional tournament selections are made. It was quite an event, and aside from shooting some random artsy stuff it helped me put some new equipment through the rigors it needed to get broken in.

(Nikon D3s, 2500ISO, Nikon 70-200VR2. 1/250th@F4 SB9000 Speedlight zoomed to 105mm to camera left set to 1/16th power superclamped to the lexan saftey glass around the hockey rink. Same setup on a second SB900 to the right side of the camera, except zoomed to 200mm. Both fired by Pocket Wizard.)

I did shoot more than just the Naptown girls this trip, in fact I shot 6 bouts in total. I'd never shot so many bouts in a row before, but it was easier than I anticipated. It probably helped having a beer after the 4th one straight, but who knows. The girls are always a pleasure to travel with, and I'd never been to such a large derby event before. I mean, in terms of people Naptown puts on a LARGE event, but having 20 teams all in one spot? It was absolutely amazing. Philly is a beautiful city and I wish I would have been able to see more of it. Fortunately for me, there are a lot of beautiful towns and a few projects have popped up recently that allow met to see some more of them very soon.

(Nikon D3s, 800ISO, Nikon 70-200F2.8VR2 with the TC20eIII 2x teleconverter. 1/1000th@F9)

Someone once asked me how I can afford to purchase and own up to date camera gear, and my answer was simply this. I don't keep the old stuff. My D3 was going to net me more money now than tomorrow, or next week, so purchasing the new body is relatively inexpensive. Figure if you only spent a thousand dollars every other year to have the most up to date camera body, would you do it? Yea, my D3 was very sentimental to me as it was a major accomplishment in technology and in my career for being able to own one. The tens of thousands of shots that I put on it helped make my living, further my craft, or were shot for pure enjoyment. But by selling that D3, I made way for a new Nikon D3s at a fraction of the cost of purchasing it outright. My buddy Scott down at Roberts Distributors here in Indianapolis has me always on mind when it comes to deals that come in. I can't say I always take the deals he finds me, but when he finds me a deal I always go in to check it out. I buy almost all of my equipment from Roberts, as does Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and many more. If it's good enough for them, I suppose it'll do for me... In the end, is the D3s everything I had hoped for? Yes, and then some. It's a pretty amazing camera that feels like an old glove as it's identical to the D3 in almost every way except some very important ones. Those ways that it's not identical though? I've got some neat projects coming up for that, so stay tuned.

(Nikon D700 200ISO, Nikon 18-35F3.5-4.5@18mm. 1/400th@F22)

Unfortunately there's not much more than Derby photos that I can post from the last week or two as I don't want to scoop the publications or organizations that I've been shooting for. What the Naptown Roller Girls did was amazing in Philly though, and they deserve every bit of credit anyone wants to send them for their accomplishments. Very soon though I've got a lot of content coming down the pipe that I'm very excited to talk about. Lets just say I'll give you the following keywords to think about. Motorcycles, Beer, Music, Going Green, and Sunsets. Much Much more soon.

(Nikon D3s, 2500ISO, Nikon 70-200VR2. 1/250th@F4 SB9000 Speedlight zoomed to 105mm to camera left set to 1/16th power superclamped to the lexan saftey glass around the hockey rink. Same setup on a second SB900 to the right side of the camera, except zoomed to 200mm. Both fired by Pocket Wizard.)