June 2008

Doggy Happiness

Doggy Happiness
Doggy Happiness

Our dog was not quite sure why I wanted to get so close with the camera, but he was happy to lounge around and pose.  The only problem was he kept sticking his pay ou to try and beg for some pets…which nearly hit the front of the camera a few times.  How do you explain to a dog, please don’t scratch the expensive lens 🙂

Canon 40D, Sigma 10-22, 1/100 at f/5 and 320 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Time is Fleeting

Time is Fleeting
Time is Fleeting

It’s been a little while since I broke out the macro lens and captured some flower macros. A number of different flowers are in bloom right now in my wife’s flower beds and at the neighbors.

Canon 40D, 100mm macro, 1/40 at f/5 and 400 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Eye from Above

Eye from Above
Eye from Above

When visiting in Belfast last month, I took the oppotunity to ride the wheel they had running next to their city center building.  Night was arriving, so the darkenging sky was beautiful, well worth the 6.5 pounds it cost for the short ride.

This shot was taken through the glass enclosure as I spun around.  As you can likely imagine, I took quite a number of shots during the short 7 minute ride.

Canon 40D, Sigma 10-22, 1/40 at f/8 and 400 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Water Bride

Water BrideWater Bride

Taken during the Photowalking Utah Great Salt Lake event on June 21, 2008.

Canon 40D, 1/640 at f/2.8 and 100 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Photowalking Great Salt Lake

Bridal Bliss
Bridal Bliss

Last night I had the opportunity to join the Photowalking Utah group on another outing, this time to visit the Great Salt Lake.  I missed the event last month when I was on the Osmond tour, so it feels like a very long time since I have been out.  I am glad this was not an event I missed.

The group met at Saltair, on the south side of the lake.  The group was big and so was the fun.  I enjoyed being out with everyone and watching what others were capturing (and how).  Looking at the photos posted already from the event, I get the same feeling always do – that I have a lot to learn from these great people.

GSL Photowalking Utah Pano
GSL Photowalking Utah Pano – full size on flickr

I’ll be posting a bunch of photos from this event over the next few days as I have time to pick and process them.  Oh, and you gotta see this amazing photo from Mike Calanan.

Top photo:  Canon 40D, 1/320 at f/10 and 200 ISO


Here’s a quick list of other blogs that have done some great wrap ups of the event:

I’ll add more as I see them.

Repeatedly Capturing the Same Shot

Celestial Lights

Celestial Lights

I have had the fortunate opportunity to be on a few tours taking photos of the concerts for various projects. These photos have been published in tour books, tour programs, calendars, printed as 8x10s, even put on coffee mugs and other items. I can honestly say this is my favorite type of photography, both for the fun of the environment and the challenge of capturing great photos in difficult lighting situations.

Most of the concerts I have captured, I have had the coveted “all access” pass that has allowed me to shoot through the entire concert. The press and other media typically only get the first three songs and are limited to the pit area in the front of the show. I would love to have media access to more local shows, but I must admit full access for the shows is hard to beat. Along with having more songs and lighting situations, the unique angles from back stage, on stage and even the wide view from various vantage points in the venue.

I often get asked why I keep shooting the same scenes I have already captured in a previous concert.  When I get the chance to shoot the same concert on more than one night, I will review the photos I took from the previous shoot and see what I can get better.  When I reshoot a concert I am typically trying to accomplish one of a few things.

Those Goofy Expressions

Sorry to tell you performers, but when you sing, though it may look great in video, sometimes when stopped in a still frame you can look downright goofy.  Exprssions that coincide with emotional vocals, whether sincere or energetic, can come out looking pretty funny when caught in a moment of time.  I usually try to solve this by shooting in bursts of 3 or more frames; but, even then I may get a great scene with no useable expressions.  Being able to shoot on subsequent night(s) allows me to go for a better expression on a killer scene.

Better Angles

When you get to know certain artists and even their lighting directors, you often can start to predict the best placement for certain shots.  Yet, no matter how familiar you are, you will never be in the right place for a shot every time.  Though most shows have some element of spontenaity each night, the bulk of the show follws a set that is choreographed for order, lighting and even positioning on the stage.  Having seen a show once and captured in the best that I can, the next night I can go predictively to a location that will best capture a certain song, pose or lighting situation knowing that it is coming.

Wide versus Tight

Everyone has their preference when it come to wide angle versus closeup and even extreme closeup.  As a photographer I have my biases of course, and often what I think looks great isn’t necessarily the shot that “sells” for the fans.  I tend to lean towards shots that incorporate the lighting for unique looks, at times minimalizing the artists in the scene.  Most fans of course what to see more detail of their favorite artist, and some want to be so close they can count the pores on his/her face.  In reality, all of these can be great shots, so I try to shoot as much variety as possible to give me the widest variety of options for final publication.

Shoot ’em All, Sort ’em Out Later

So whatever your preference may be, in today’s world of digital photography there is no reason to not shoot as many photos as possible and pick out the best ones later.  Sure, you may have a lot of data to capture and store, but in the end storage space is relatively cheap.  Weigh the cost of storage against the value of getting “the” shot(s) that everyone loves in the end.  What is the cost of having not captured that shot because you were being stingy on your shots taken and time taking them?

Canon 40D, EFS 17-55, 1/60 at f/5.6 and 640 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Pump It Up!

Pumping Up The Band

On the recent concert where I was positioned back stage to capture the big finale with the audience in the background, I happened to be in the right place to catch this shot.  Donny jumped on the piano and charged up the band for the big finish to the song.

This was actually a tough shot to get because he was so strongly back lit and here I was without a flash.  Fortunately a bright scene flashed on the huge LCD screen behind me, illuminating Donny for my shot.

Canon 40D, EFS 17-55, 1/100 at f/2.8 and 400 ISO
see it larger on flickr

Dereliction of Duty

Dereliction of DutyDereliction of Duty

On a brief walk outside of London (I honestly had no idea where I was) I found this quaint little section of a canal with various docked boats.

Though they were not derelicts, they had a nostalgic feel to them which I opted to portray with some post processing treatment.

I found that the little photowalks I was able to take on my trip were some of my most enjoyable “personal” moments.  Though perhaps a little dereliction of my intended duty on the trip, I am glad I was able to get out and explore when I did.

Canon 40D, 24-105L, 1/100 at f/4 and 200 ISO
see it larger on flickr

The “Squirrel Guy” in Kensington Gardens

Hey! Gimme That!

I had a couple of hours before my next responsibility on a day in London, so I wandered out from our hotel which was right next to Kensington Gardens. I enjoyed many different sites, and along my way happened upon this older gentleman feeding the squirrels.

Not only was he feeding them, but he was having conversations with them. Each squirrel had a name and they obviously knew him well. There were 12-15 different squirrels by my count in the few minutes I observed and took a few photos. The man was completely comfortable with being photographed as I was not the only one with camera in hand. I probably took many more than most others though 🙂

Check out the more of the series I uploaded (click a thumbnail to view larger on flickr) to get a feel for the fun I had observing this fellow.

The Squirrel Guy in Kensington Gardens The Squirrel Guy in Kensington Gardens What Do YOU Want?! The Squirrel Guy in Kensington Gardens Sitting on the Feet that Feed You

Canon 40D, 24-105L, various settings (see flickr)

A Final Farewell

A Final Farewell
A Final Farewell

Taken at the last show in London at the O2 Arena.  This is the last performance in the UK of the Osmonds all together.  It was a very emotional moment for the Osmonds and the fans alike.  The original 4 performing Osmond Brothers are being applauded by their younger siblings as this tour was really celebrating their 50 year anniversary of performing.

This is one of those times that I am happy with the shot I got, but also sad that I couldn’t be in two places at once.  I wanted the scene with the enormous crowd being a part of it, which is why I chose to be back stage.  What I didn’t realize is how emotional this was for the Osmonds, and being behind them I missed the opportunity to capture those emotional expressions from the front.  What can you do but be happy with what you were able to capture, right?

See more on this post at Osmondmania.com