I often get photographers emailing me and asking about my light kit. I’m guessing they are in the same boat I was prior to owning it…Wanting to shoot with a kit but not wanting to take out a personal loan to get it….yet afraid that it will be a pile because of it’s price point. The last email I received was from a shooter who wanted to know about the flash duration and watt seconds..and I didn’t have an answer. Not only did I not have an answer..I had NO idea why it mattered…I even started to question if it was a question I should be able to answer. Which led me to the question at the start of this post.
So while I may not be able to engage a deep convo with you on the tech specs of some of my gear, I’m confident I can show you how to use it.
I’m guessing every photographer has a group of his or her favorite shots…I’ve got mine, not in a list on paper, but in my head I know which are my favs. I recently had someone who shoots with the Canon Digital Rebel tell me that he cant wait to upgrade to something “better” This got me thinking about my days with Canon’s first Digital Rebel. My kit was simple a camera body and a Tamron 18-200 all purpose lens. My method? Program mode..another word for full auto but you could change the settings should you want to…This all has me wondering if shooting with an entry level camera on full auto takes anything away from one of my favorite shots? Did I do less as a photographer? Is there less quality?
The shot above was from my trip to Ethiopia in 2005… and no the man wasn’t posing for me. He was simply watching a group of Americans and trying to figure us out. He didn’t know I grabbed this shot of him…and yeah it’s way up on my list of favorite shots. And yeah I shot it with that entry level camera and lens in full auto.Details
Nice interview with @GarthMilan …
I don’t convert a lot of images to black and white. No reason behind it…maybe I’ll do some more down the road. I thought this one worked out in it’s B/W versionDetails
The image below is pretty high up on my personal favorite list. Yeah I keep a list..it’s in my head but it’s there. If you missed out on the post containing all of the details on the shot, you can check it out here.
I’m guessing the challenge with anyone who does something creative is that there are expectations that you are always creating. Whether you are a writer, painter, musician, tagger or photographer…people assume you are in some stage of the creative process. So where does that leave us when we aren’t? Sometimes when I get asked there is a bit of a guilty feeling that I should be creating..or that I at least have something in the planning stages that I will execute over the next few days. The reality with me is that days and even weeks go by where I’m not creating anything. Some of that pressure to create can also come from social media..did I blog this week..should I be more active on Twitter? If you read info from the “experts” the answer is YES.
I don’t think its always a matter of “writers block”…there are creative ideas floating in my head…it may just be a temporary shift in the desire to execute them.
I think Im going to continue to ignore the experts for a bit and not create anything. Which of course you reply “you just blogged..doesnt that count?” I guess it does.
It’s exciting when someone wants to use your work in a book…exciting…but a painfully long process. Hats off to all who have the skill and patience to do what it takes to put one together. Author David Prakel chose to feature one of my second curtain sync shots from the BMX track in his new book Basics Photography 02: Lighting 2nd Edition. I’d say a wise choice! Am I biased? Sure..but the shot does a nice job of capturing 2nd curtain.Details
These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.Details
I’ve been down this road before and yeah I blogged about it. It’s pretty easy to borrow/steal an image online. Right click and save it as yours…and maybe no one will ever know. I got lucky recently when I googled “mountain bike poster” and noticed one of my images. Wasnt a big deal as it was from my Flickr feed. Then I noticed a similar image and another. Yeah they used my image to make some posters. They even used it on some Tshirts and they could of at least sent me one.
So the lesson learned here is..if you are gonna poach one of mine at least rename it so I dont find it in an image search.Details
There was a day years ago when I pedaled my bike past an old water tower..paused for second and knew I needed to make a photo shoot happen there. As the years have gone by I’m sure my friends have blocked out the drone of my voice mumbling about the water tower. I’m sure I mentioned it every time we rode past it over the years. They knew it had been all talk and nothing had been put into action….until…it all came together in 2013.
One of the main reasons it hadn’t happened before was access to the location. It was too many miles behind a locked gate and getting gear back there wasn’t a realistic option. That all changed last year when my friend Travis spoke of another water tower. I’m 99% sure he was letting me know so that we could get this shot done and he wouldn’t have to hear about the tower anymore. Regardless of his motives, he had found a gem of a spot to shoot. It seemed we had the first step taken care of…an accessible location.
With the easy part completed, next came the real work as the location wasn’t exactly shoot ready. We needed to dig…Asking people to dig is about as fun as asking people to help you move. You ask….wait for that pause..then comes the point in time when even your most non creative friends come up with masterful excuses. Unlike helping me move, helping me dig might make you “famous”….assuming you are a rider who can also be a part of the final shot. Also assuming “famous” is getting a few looks on the internet.
The riders in these shots, Travis and Nick are also the two people who put a number of man hours into it with shovels, picks, and rakes. Again I’m guessing here…they were more than willing to dig to help stop that madness that was the water tower conversation. And while I typically show up to a location where the riders have spent hours and hours prepping a spot, only to show up with my fancy camera and shoot…say thanks…and vanish. This time I got dirty for a couple days of digging too. Of course now I think I have some sort of trail digging cred…I know better. I heard the whispers of “wow..he is finally out helping dig”
I was hoping for a sunny day where we could get a sunset shot, but we ended up with clouds. Beyond the clouds, it all went as planned. Two riders willing to guinea pig this new jump, my friend Chris willing to hold a strobe for an hour or so..not complaining as I continually asked..err..demanded he move the light every minute or so..
I’m happy with our results and it could not have happened with out a great group of guys helping me complete my concept. Now I just gotta make them famous..
And a few behind the scenes shots…taken by Nick, Travis and ChrisDetails