January 2008

Ring Flash at Photowalking Utah

Laarni Hernando

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in my second event with the “Photowalking Utah” Flickr group (formerly Photowalking Salt Lake City). This young but burgeoning group is made up of Utah photo hobbyists of all experience levels simply looking to have a good time and an excuse to get out and take some photos. I have enjoyed meeting so many new people and for having an excuse to dedicate some time to my hobby.

This most recent event might have been stretching the definition of a “photowalk” a bit because it was indoors, but noone was complaining. Not only was it much warmer than outdoors, but the event was a huge hit. The event was themed around using studio lights to take portraits, and the turnout was phenomenal. Eight photo setups were collected in a huge room, and everyone was able to wander throughout and try out the different rigs. Even better the owner of each rig helped out and offered explanations and tips to taking better photos. The general willingness to share knowledge was just lain awesome.

I wandered around with a video camera hoping to do a little behind-the-scenes video piece, so I ended up not taking many photos. I did take a few minutes to try out the Alien Bees Ring Flash that was incredible. I now have a new item on my wish list! This flash is literally a large donut looking device that sits on a tripod, through which you stick your camera lens in the middle while taking the photo. The cool effect is a bright center and shadow completely around the subject. I think the effect is very cool. Thanks to Kim for sharing his rig and Laarni for modeling for all us photogs.

Canon 40D, 24-105L, 1/250 at f/11 and 100 ISO
see on flickr

Shh! I’m on the Phone!

My just under 2 year old has claimed my wife’s old phone as hers. It never fails to bring a smile to my face when she parrots what she has seen by putting the phone up to her ear and jabbering away.

Last night she was doing the same as always, but then started walking up to everyone and sushing them because she was on the phone. Can’t help but love it.

Canon 40D, EF-S 17-55mm, 1/50 at f/2.8 and 400 ISO
see on flickr

A Man of Many Faces

Michael Ripoll

In processing my concert photos, I have often tried to stay true to the way the photo was originally shot. My goal is to take the photo with the camera in a state that will require the least amount of post-processing; at least that has been my goal. As I have surfed around recently and seen more concert photos from people where they have chosen to change the photo artistically, I have liked a lot of what I have seen. The original color version of this particular photo came out well, but I liked the feeling of this split toned version using the Adobe Camera RAW feature.

Split toning allows you to change a photos hue and saturation to two shades, one for highlights and one for shadows. In this particular case both the highlights and shadows are in the same hue, but you have the option of using two completely different colors if your creative palette dictates.

The subject of this photo is Michael Ripoll who, though he has his own solo career in the works, played for a short time in Donny Osmond’s band. I have to admit that Michael makes some of the most unusual facial expressions when performing on stage, but he can play a guitar.

Canon 20D, 28-105L, 1/60 at f/4 and 800 ISO
see on flickr

Smooth Sax

Andre Delano

I have posted before about how I enjoy taking concert photos of not just the lead singer or headline artists.  When you are photographing at a concert where the band is secondary, meaning the lead singer is the known talent, the other band members are often lost in the darker recesses of the stage.  If you keep your eyes open though when those band members have solos or get into the spotlight, great photo opportunities can arise.

Andre is fun to watch on stage.  He seems to have a perpetual coquettish smirk and energy on the stage that is contagious; yet, when he has the opportunity to show his chops, the sax solo is mesmerizing.  I have a number of photos of Andre from his playing in recent Donny Osmond concerts that I plant to load into a flickr set.

Andre Delano flickr set

Canon 20D, 24-105L, 1/30 at f/4 and 1600 ISO


McKenna is a beautiful, full of life young girl that is experiencing more than her share of life challenges. She is the granddaughter of someone I do business with who asked me to do some family portraits recently. This shot was taken prior to the “actual” portraits as she was sitting down and getting ready.

The lighting at the only time the whole family could get together was less than perfect with the light in their eyes and some harsh shadows. Isn’t that often the case with family events? Though her eyes are squinting as she deals with the light, I really like this photo of her.

If you would like to read more about this special child, you can see an article about a local effort to provide a Make-A-Wish experience for her.


see on flickr

Death of a Snowman

Death of a Snowman

What better to do when there is fresh snow than run out into it and have some fun? That’s what my kids think of course! You have to have just the right snow of course, and often Utah has the famous “powder” that is great for skiing, but just plain stinks for snowballs and snowmen.

Today was the perfect snow; nice and slushy. Of course half of the fun of making a snowman is the destroying of it in the end, right? You might get a different answer from a little boy versus a little girl of course, but they both are right. Today was my sons snowman, so the little guy didn’t have long in this world.

Canon 40D, EF-S 17-55, 1/250 at f/8 and 400 ISO
see on flickr

A King’s Demise

King's Demise

A couple of days ago my son came across our family’s old chess set in m mother’s basement. I hadn’t thought about this set in some time, and I was happy to see we still had it. The set was purchased my dad while serving in the Navy overseas. This is one of those family keepsakes that you hope never gets lost or destroyed.

The craftmanship of this hand-carved set is amazing; particularly the detail work on the individual pieces. Tonight I decided to set it up on the kitchen table and document each piece. I was using the simple overhead kitchen lighting and hand holding the camera, so my consistency was a little off. I also quickly found that the lighting was insufficient to photo the dark side of the set. The white pieces turned out quite well though I thought.

You can see the complete flickr set here.

Canon 40D, 24-105L, 1/25 at f/4.0 and 640 ISO
see on flickr