Monday, December 21, 2009

band action

I thought i would post one more photo from the band shoot the other night.
The colors were horrible as they had red gels on their stage lights, thus the conversion to black and white.
You would have to know the singer to know that this is a classic pose for him.

Friday, December 18, 2009

band photo

I got a last minute call tonight to shoot a band, the downtown blues band, before they went on stage at a local bar. I had 15 minutes with them from the time that they all arrived until they went on stage. I first of all had to find a background setting in the bar that worked for me. This is always the hardest challenge for me, where to shoot. I had the dj frig with the lights in the background until they looked good. Initially they were red which i liked, until the band members stood in and it spilled on their faces. Blue looked better on them and we went with that.
I set up two sb flashes bounced into umbrellas, one to the right of them and one to the left and a little behind. I set another sb flash on the floor behind them for a bit of rim but I think it died shortly into the shoot. Its an old, really old sb25 and is really slow to charge. Not sure if the batteries in that one were fresh either but no worries, I didn't really need it.
I used a 24mm lens (as i had no room and was actually standing through a doorway to another room), iso 400, f5.6, and 1/6 sec, handheld of course (ha). There was really no light on them so a slow shutter speed would not blur the people at all. I could live with a bit of blur in the background and was not worried about that.
In the end the only thing i wish was that they were more animated. They are a really fun group and i felt that may not have shown in this series of photos. I still like the shots though.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

frozen portrait

It hit -25 C today so of course it was the perfect time to do an outside portrait of a friends sons. I had the bright idea of heading downtown to a really cool alley i walk by all the time to go to lunch. I started on the other side of the alley and set up one sb24 flash bounced into an umbrella. It was so cold that by the time i had the light balanced with the ambient, about 2 minutes, the batteries mush have chilled and it was slow to recycle.
I only took a few shots on that side of the alley and then moved to the other side, that you see here. I turned the lights off and went with ambient. It was giving me a bit of cross light and i liked it so i stuck with that for the rest of the shoot. I couldent feel my fingers so i just got them to move around a bit and i held down the shutter button. If i was that cold i would well imagine that they were twice as bad since their mom was holding their winter coats.
I used a 24mm lens, iso 400, f2.8, and 1/60 sec shutter.
I opened the image in lightroom and did most all corrections. Here are the settings i used in lightroom:
exposure -40, recovery 4, fill light 22, blacks 6, clarity +100, vibrance +32, saturation -10. The rest were pretty well at default.
I then opened it in photoshop and sharpened, and did a curve. Shucks, i forgot to do a vignette, just a subtle one would have been nice. I laid down one of the grunge borders i talked about yesterday and transformed it to fit.
I wish it was not so cold and i could have taken more time on this one. I would have worked more on the pose i think.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

just foolin around

I was testing a lastolite 1 stop trigrip diffuser the other day and thought i would play with the images a bit today.
A lastolite trigrip diffuser is just something you can shoot your off camera flashes through to soften the light. If you follow strobist or joe mcnally then you have heard of it a long time ago.
I did a test with direct flash and compared it to shooting thru the diffuser and it really did soften the light. I have some more experimenting to do, like comparing it to a shoot thru umbrella among other things.
I brought the photo into lightroom and hit the cold tone preset and then played with the exposure and other sliders to get it looking how i wanted it. I opened in photoshop and did a curve to up the contrast and then applied a grunge border. It is just one i downloaded from NAPP i think and it just sits as a layer on top of the image. I had to transform scale the image to make it fit in the border and then flattened. There was more to the image than what is here but i wanted a bit of a tight crop.
Actually here is the link to the grunge borders

Monday, December 14, 2009

another pano

I shot this pano a while ago and placed it online for when i needed a filler.
I cant remember how many frames i took here, probably 7 - 9, but i do remember i shot them fast while the players were set and not moving around. I sent them to panorama through lightroom and then did a curve on the finished, flattened file to taste.
They call this gym "the pit" by the way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

not famous

Its not me their reaching for but for money. Our downtown has an annual dollar drop and people come out of the woodwork to try and catch a few. Its actually a really good, fun event and my kids even participated in it for the first time. I was there shooting anyway so why not. My son caught $30 and my daughter and her friend managed to snag $35. Then we had to go shopping of course.
I managed to negotiate my way up on a balcony of a museum that the event was held in front of which gave me a perfect vantage point for the event. I shot alot of frames and caught some great expressions.
Nothing done in photoshop except resizing the photo. Everything done in lightroom.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

rink pano

I did a pano of a hockey game i was at last weekend which was made up of 9 vertical shots taken with a wide angle lens (a 17 i think). I actually did one pano with the images exposure set for the ceiling and the crowd and one pano with the settings right for the ice. I put one on top of the other in photoshop and created a mask to have the darker ice show through the image with the lighter crowd and ceiling.
I had to do a bit of retouching because the two panos were not exactly the same. I guess it can be a bit random when they are generated. It all worked out pretty well in the end and was just a bit more work than i had counted on.
I sent the images to be made panos straight from lightroom. Just go to PHOTO - EDIT IN - MERGE TO PANORAMA or something like that.
When shooting i did it as fast as i could before someone moved too much. I also waited for a faceoff for this reason as well.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

event photography

I was shooting an event, outside, today and saw this wee one enjoying a cookie. I got fairly close, after asking her parents if they minded me taking her photo as it may get published, and took about 10 shots with my 80 - 200 lens set to 200. After about 10 she had had enough of me and climbed up in her fathers arms.
It was a very overcast day which make the light incredible for shooting outside without adding any flash.
I did all camera raw adjustments in lightroom and then opened the image in photoshop. I didn't do much other than a curve for color and contrast, a heavy vignette (i created a mask after to remove the darkening from her face), sharpen, and lastly i dodged her eyes with the dodge tool set to highlights at 15%. I burnt down the cookie a bit too with the burn tool set to midtones.
I have been shooting lots these days and am going to try once again to post an image a day for this month. My goal over the christmas break is to get a cool shot of my son for his newly decorated room and to get better at hdr.
Even though i have been busy i am itching to get out and do some shooting.