February 2008

Tracy Silverman

Tracy Silverman

Time for some more concert shots, what do you think? I’ll try to put up a few different artists over the next few days for some fun, including several from a Jim Brickman concert I shot a couple of years ago.

This particular shot is of Tracy Silverman, an amazing musician that specializes in a 6 string electric violin. In his performances he can play the most exquisite classical piece to a energizing Hendrix. Tracy is amazing to hear perform live, and has a fun personality to boot.

Canon 20D, 70-200L, 1/100 at f/4 and 400 ISO
see it on flickr

Shooting Bricks Through the Window


There is a new building being built right next to where I work.  It is a point of angst in our office because how close the cit allowed them to place this other building directly next to ours.  To give you an idea of how close, this was taken through the window of customer service.

These bricks intrigued me, though getting an interesting angle was difficult considering the limited possibilities I had shooting through a fixed window, which was quite dirty I might add.

I was fascinated watching these guys work (I know, work fascinates me, I can watch it all day).  The experience showed through with their quick precision and ability to create a consistent look with seemingly little thought to the process.

Bricks at the Ready

These bricks intrigued me, though getting an interesting angle was difficult considering the limited possibilities I had shooting through a fixed window, which was quite dirty I might add.

I played around with it in photoshop, though I can’t say I am perfectly happy with the final results.

Canon 40D, 70-200L, 1/500 at f/2.8 and 100 ISO

Moran Eye Center

As mentioned in previous posts, I visited the Moran Eye Center a few days ago as part of a Photowalking Utah event.  The lab was a ton of fun, but the architecture of the atrium was a lot of fun as well.  This is one of the most interesting I felt I captured from the lobby.  I was humbled though by some of the stunning shots that others had taken.  That is something I really enjoy though, seeing what others did in the same situation that I can learn from.

Canon 40D, EF-S 17-55, 1/100 at f/3.5 and 100 ISO
see it also on flickr

Photographers in Sillouette

Taken at the Moran Eye Center and University of Utah. Third floor in case you were wondering 🙂

There was a large atrium that most of us were capturing from various angles. The glass and overall architecture were really quite beautiful Along with trying out various angles of this, I wanted to get a few shots of the photogs in action. This was one that struck me with the strong backlight.

Canon 40D, 24-105L, 1/250 at f/6.3 and 100 ISO
see it also on flickr

Photowalking in the Lab

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go out with the Photowalking Utah group again. I enjoy the opportunity to get out whenever I can to just take photos for the fun of it, and these photowalks are exactly that. I have been to three in a row now, though I doubt I will be able to make all of them I hope to get whenever I can.

This month we visited the Moran Eye Center and the University of Utah. Bryan Jones, one of the founders of the group works in a lab there and was able to arrange access for our group to spend a couple of hours wandering the lab and the building finding interesting things to capture. For the bulk of the time I wandered with my video camera again to create a little video journal of the event; watch for that to be posted here soon. I did put the video camera away for a bit though so I could share in the fun capturing stills.

I was most impressed by the variety of shots I am already seeing from those that have posted to the group, and I am sure there are quite a few more yet to post their photos. One of the most interesting for me was an off camera setup being used to change and shape the direction of the light being used in shots. It’s ideas like this that I gain watching others photo the same objects that I observe, but they try to see them in different ways.

Because the weather has been less than favorable over this winter, the group has evolved the events for creative indoor options. This particular event offered a lot of variety in a small area, which was fun for all. Unfortunately I was so caught up in the lab that I forgot to get to the architecture until the last little bit. That said, I will post some of my others from the day in the next few posts.

Canon 40D, 25-105L, 1/50 at f/8 and 640 ISO
also on flickr or see the entire set

Woodcarving Graffiti

Evan & Samantha

On a trip to Yellowstone last year, I of course took some time to visit the lodge by Old Faithful. While I took plenty of shots of the beautiful wood architecture in this building, I was also entranced by the various carvings into the wood by various visitors in the past.

This graffiti of course defaces a wonderful piece of history, and I oppose anyone doing it. Yet, now that some of it is there, I was interested in taking photos of the more interesting carvings. This lovers etching was one of my favorites.

What compels some of us to such destructive tendencies, especially at a landmark such as this. Now this etching was done some time ago from the appearances of it in person, yet who of us hasn’t at some point used their trusty pocket knife to etch their name or vows of love into a handy piece of wood. Perhaps this is a question more for the guys because I have yet to meet a woman that was so inclined. Admittedly there are a few school desks, picnic tables and trees that have suffered my handiwork.

As an adult I can’t see the logic in the compulsion, but as a kid it was there. Some, though, never grow out of this. There are of course some wonderful graffiti artists out there, and under the right conditions and permissions their work is welcome and amazing to look at. The bulk of graffiti of course is just as the name implies to most of us, a destruction or defacement of something, typically maliciously.

Without weighing in on what is art and what is the earmark of delinquency, I have seen a number of photographers document some wonder graffiti art. In the future would like to keep my eye out and do some of the same documenting. Where I live is not really full of opportunity to find artistic graffiti, but when I do travel I hope to find some I can take and include here.

Canon 20D, 28-135IS, 1/25 at f/4 and 800 ISO

Pointless Photography?

On one of my recent photos (the one of the barrel) I received the comment of “what is the point of photographing this?” My answer was that I not every photo I take is of something necessarily interesting or fascinating. Sometimes I work on technique, or just take whatever strikes me.

Today is one of those cases. My car was in the shop and I was waiting on a ride. Rather than just stand around, I grabbed camera and started snapping photos of whatever struck my interest. This faucet was one of those mundane things that I thought looked interesting with it’s mineral buildup and oxidization against the brick.

My philosophy is that the more you take photos, the better you get. Of course you also have to be willing to toss the less than stellar photos, or be willing to buy a lot of storage. I figure the more practice the better. Practice makes perfect, right? I actually prefer the version I was taught by my high school basketball coach, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” In the end, I feel like when my eyes are open for photo opportunities I am more inclined to “see” those chances to capture something special.

So though some might find a photo of a faucet not really worth sharing – and they might be right – I prefer to share the process I am going through in always seeking to become a better photographer. It may not be fine art, but I do find it interesting and hope you do too.

Canon 40D, EF-S 17-55, 1/50 at f/2.8 and 100 ISO
also on flickr

Stephanie in Blue

Here’s another portrait from the other day that I decided to throw into Photoshop and see what I could do with it. I started first in Lightroom with a “cold” setting which I found brought her eyes and brooch into attention.

I went with a higher key look to go with the cold feel, plus added some contrast and dodging & burning as well.

As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Canon 40D, EF-S 17-55, 1/200 at f/11 and 160 ISO
also on flickr

The Pianist

Jim Brickman

Jim Brickman is performed again in Salt Lake City at Kingsbury Hall.  I thought I would post another of my photos taken a couple of years ago when he last performed here.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the concert this time.  I’ve met Jim on a number of occasions and have enjoyed every visit.  He is a talented performer and smart business man.

Canon 20D, 28-135 IS, 1/50 at f/5.6 and 400 ISO
see it also on flickr

Grave Digger

When I was taking the photos of some co-workers the other day, Brandon spotted a shovel in the corner of the studio.  With the hoodie he had with him that day, we thought it would make for a fun “Prison Break” or “Reaper” look.  I threw this one into Photoshop to have a little fun with the colors and effects.  What do you think?

Canon 40D, 50 1.4, 1/125 at f/9 and 100 ISO
leave a comment on flickr also