This is my 50 thousand word essay about Susan
If the hypothesis of this essay is not clear and has not been proven by the end of the essay… then I give up on photography.
Not one of the tens of millions of people who have watched Lindsey Stirling then go check out her Youtube channel now
To see all in high quality go here
Do you have a favorite? Let Lindsey (and me) know.
Ore even try Pairing a picture with an Album title name.
BTW most all of these pictures were taken near a large fire… so you see many of the effects of the lighting with smoke in the background and during sunset.
So the lease ended on the house I was renting for a couple of years and I had to move on. I looked for a place that would be as awesome… but there wasn’t anything because that house was too awesome. I spent dozens of hours looking and then gave up. I rented a storage unit and a friend offered a room to stay in til I found something. Then I realized I’m gone a lot this summer and so is the other guy who was looking to share the house (Devin Graham) and it’s been kinda nice having limited responsibilities and limited stuff around (for a while)
So the point is … giving me a place to stay is very beneficial…
You get to go on coveted hikes to “The Wave” and you get all sorts of awesome pictures of yourself for your FB and your website… which is pretty good as a famous spokesperson.
Not to mention I’m such good company to have around…
Oh and you get to take me to the airport for my international flights… and then pick me back up again. haha
Anyway Austin… enjoy your pictures!
Oh and you get to hang out my awesome friends
Yep check that FB message and get your instagram on!
This was the first paid photoshoot with the new Nikon D800 and it was a fun one.
I like doing individual portraits though I don’t advertize them half enough… probably because I’m more used to weddings paying the bills and sending me to fun locations.
For those interested in my thoughts about my first paid photoshoot with the D800 go to the end of the blog post
Jennie Litster is an Opera Singer
I met her at a wedding about 1.5yrs ago and we’ve been great friends ever since. The last time she had headshots was about 4yrs ago so she decided it was time to get new ones.
She uses the headshots heavily and says she’ll probably send out several hundred and I’m not sure what amount of time. But every year she travels around auditioning for different parts usually New York and California and sometimes Europe. This year she had a full time job working with the Utah Opera so she was here for a while.
The light in the house was so nice that we just did most of the headshots there… specially helpful because there was no wind… except for when we stood next to the door.
There are a bunch of looks for her to choose from as I know she’ll be very selective about which one she uses. I have about 90 pictures in the full gallery
Doing the pictures of the gowns though more fun was a secondary need for her. But we were able to get three different gowns
I new I’d be getting a very high MegaPixel count and that now my pictures could be blown up to cover the side of a large building.
Sharpness. What I didn’t realize was that because of this (and probably other factors) is that my pictures would be much much sharper.
In fact I’m still blown away at how much sharper my images are and I hope that this was not just the circumstances of this one photoshoot and a few other pictures I’ve taken.
Blown out highlights (bright spots) … well simply put: There are fewer. The camera really does have a much higher range. I guess it makes sense that it was rated the highest camera in this department by DxOMark.
Auto Focus – I still need more interaction specially in adverse situations like backlight or low light. But so far so good. The best compliment I can give is that I have yet to stress or work hard to focus on anything.
Battery Life - So far so good. I think I shot about 1400 pictures on the last battery. But I’ll keep double checking to make sure i was correct. The real test will come when I plug in my GPS and see how fast that depletes the battery. I don’t think I’ll be getting the grip very soon because it’s crazy expensive for a battery grip. But it’ll be wierd to re-adjust to not having one and not being able to use AA batteries to power the camera
File Size – Yep they’re big. 40-50MBs … and this has changed my workflow a bit. Meaning I am now starting to delete pictures from my computer that are blurry and out of focus. In fact I’m starting to chimp straight from the camera as well. The center button zoom is a life saver and I couldn’t live without it. But more than that when you are zoomed in you can scroll around in the picture much faster than any previous camera i’ve had and that does make a difference for me. I used to say storage is so cheap I don’t need to delete… but when your pictures are 3 times the size and you’re bringing home 15GB for a small shoot and 60+GB sometimes for a wedding then you start calculating numbers and realizing you could have about 4-5TBs of pictures a year when you’re used to 1-1.5 … Yeah so I’m changing my mind on the deleting thing. Good thing for me that I’ve already selected tens of thousands of blurry pictures over the years that I could easily, with one click of the button, delete.
ISO – I know people are more interested in High ISO performance but I think I’m most excited about having a lower ISO setting of ISO50 that will be awesome for night shots or even shooting at f/1.4 in the middle of the day. There is indeed noise at higher ISOs and since there are a lot more megapixels you can really zoom in and see it. But when you zoom out and just see the picture online and stuff I don’t think it’s a big issue. What I’m trying to say is that I just assume it’s better than the D700 but will try shooting some more HighISO stuff and get back to you on that.
COLOR – I’m still getting used to turning the pictures I take into the bright colorful images i’m used to. Using the Vivid profile in LR4 is good but not quite as punchy as I’m used to. Also I’ve found myself tweaking the WB in post a bit more than I was ever used to and I’m hoping it was just for this shoot. I think my picture color will be different than in the past… but I’m sure I’ll find a good method and be happy about it. With a short amount of experience one thing I could say is that the colors look more real.
BUTTONS - My muscle memory says that the AF-L button, the Mode button and the Front scroll wheel are all just slightly in the wrong place. It’s been awkward for me to adjust to.
Happy surprise – Changing Image size on the fly. Yep I’ve programmed the Fn button to change between full frame, 1.2x, 1.5x and 5:4 image sizes… it’s been pretty fun actually and only time will tell if I’ll continue to do that when the newness wears off… but something tells me I will if only because it saves so much space on the hard drive. Well to be fair it does help me previsualize the correct cropping when I can’t get any closer to my subject.
ONE TEST - You can’t really take anything I write to seriously because I’ve only shot 1400 pictures with the camera. But in this next week I’ll have done 2 weddings and this time next week I’ll be in Japan to do an engagement shoot and taking lots of travel pictures. So that’s when I’ll get a really good idea.
I thought I’d be happier with a D4 than a D800 but I really am warming up to the idea of a D800 the image quality is spectacular and that’s a pretty big deal. I think I’ll just stay away from a D4 so that I don’t know any better and my wallet is happier that way.
To get a better feel for the images why don’t you go to the gallery on SmugMug where you can view the images pretty large
What do I think is Inspiring and Beautiful… Personal betterment, creative solutions and not limiting yourself.
The ability for people to be willing to explore and push themselves and become better is truly a beautiful thing.
I understand seeking (and continuing) those things in our lives that are comfortable… but often: “The enemy of the best is the good enough “
(Yes, I understand that” the enemy of Good is (can be) The Best”, but that’s a different conversation)
To not be shaken by obstacles but always find the push, determination and creativity to overcome.
This isn’t just about photography. When you approach everything in live with an receptive mind-set it will only find it’s way to your art.
I have a problem with people who have, what I consider, an irrational fear of the cold.
It’s not that I want them to love everything about the cold… but that I believe to avoid great opportunities by simply using a complaint of the weather is irrational to me.
It demonstrates an unwillingness OR inability to find and implement creative solutions.
It’s one of the many things in life we just learn to overcome and when someone refuses to try it baffles me.
It’s as if they believe everything must be comforting and pleasurable and not cause any discomfort for it to be good.
I myself am not going to go out into the cold just because… but I would not let it get in the way or let it deter me from experiencing something great or growing as a person.
I will however find (creative) ways to find solace… such as in this case… jackets, boots etc
Too many people avoid new and wonderful things and that makes me sad. So many people do the same things over and over and don’t reach beyond, in their their photography, their food/music/movie/tv/people likes…. to me it’s all the mind set and it’s all connected.
New things don’t bring immediate joy… because there’s also something to be said about earning the results.
“Try new things” is perhaps an overused statement… let me qualify the statement.
…OF GOOD REPORT
“If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
This is a guiding principle in my life.
I don’t say try new things just because. I believe you try them because you believe they will make you better, they will bring virtue, love, strength and intelligence into your life.
And well I’d say don’t try new things that you believe would not bring lasting benefit to your life.
I don’t say I love all music… I say I’m willing to like any type of music that has a good message and a beautiful sound. I don’t mind if it’s Rap, 80s, country, opera, classical, hip hop, pop, indie, disney, foreign, bollywood, punk… or whatever. And while I can find appreciation in a different style of music it does not mean that it has to become my favorite. Bollywood or russian or opera or rap or inde will never become my favorite styles of music. But I can grow from learning to appreciate them.
Therefore I appreciate someone like Daniela (pictured) who said she wasn’t very into Opera but she went with me anyway and ended up liking it. I’m not a big opera fan but I go to expand my likes and to experience the things that other people love and find “of good report” specially if they are people who’s opinions I respect.
I believe strongly that this influences how I take pictures and makes me better at my art.
I was happily surprised that daniela went waltzing on into the deep cold snow banks in a not warm outfit with little moccasin like shoes. Sure she’s a tough German girl who is accustomed to some cold… but even still she did so without any trepidation… happy for the chance to trust me to get really great pictures.
These pictures are symbolic of that attitude in my opinion. And when we got back to the car I pumped up the heater. But she didn’t let what many others would consider problems get in her way…
Another KEY: we were judicious and smart… no reckless abandon is needed to find joy in being creative and trying new things.
Just because hiking two miles farther in the snow in dress shoes and flip flops would be technically “NEW” doesn’t mean it’s something we should have done.
To me being open to the wonderful things in the world is what other people call “trying new things” It has nothing to do with peer pressure or thrill seeking… to me it means understanding that there are so many things that can make us better and to not limit ourselves.
Kudos to Daniela for this very small symbol of character … you can tell she is a very happy person.
Here’s a couple others that I shared the other day on G+ and facebook
It was short and sweet and yet I got so much done. I was able to take pictures of about 15 groups of people.
From families to couples to individuals.
Groups ranging from 1-7ppl
1. Engaged Couple
2. An Individual
3. A Family
4. A Random Family I don’t know
5. A couple and their cousin
6. Married Couple
8. Random Highschool kids
9. Random College Students
10. Boyfriend Girlfriend
11. Another random family
13. Past Wedding Clients
14. Myself (setup by me and then taken by Jon Barker)
15. A couple
I spent a couple days in the Bay Area this month and so I chatted with Thomas Hawk and we decided on a day we could get together and do a photowalk.
He knows tons of people and so he invited people last moment and quite a few showed up pretty last moment.
We had dinner at an Asian Restaurant and then walked down to the Bay for some sunset/twilight pictures.
FULL GALLERY HERE – If they are OF YOU … you can use them online (FB/Google+/Blogs)
Can’t forget the funky bird that was nice enough to stay still for 13 seconds
Here’s a couple shots of Thomas
Here are some of the other photographers that joined us
Also a random friend we met on our walk back to the car.
I invited a friend I met at a wedding last year who goes to school in the area
I’m also adding a picture from earlier that day when I had lunch at Google
And the picture from when I was entering the city to get to the photowalk (late)
Check out the rest of the photos we’ve got online on the SmugMug Gallery!
During the 10 day bootcamp for photography I took the interns on assignment.
We went to meet with my clients at abravanel hall where we’d be shooting 2 days the next week for headshots for the symphony.
We needed to find a great location for the pictures… and I like showing how to use different locations to their full potential.
So we brought along 2 models and here is one of them.
(Above) The use of the brick wall in the background with special care of how to make sure the railing doesn’t become a distraction. One from down low another having her go a story above us.
(above) This is the backdrop that we went with for the headshots of the symphony members. The gold walls in abravanel hall.
We also did some pictures outside for a bit.
We enlisted the help of Morgan for a location search workshop. Inside and out of Abravanel Hall.
We practiced finding and using a small area for taking pictures. Being able to talk about why some spots were better than others.
(Below) this was also part of a walk through for pictures I would take the next week for the Utah Symphony. We showed them the options they had for locations.
A Fun Experience
I’m happy that we did this.
What did we do? I did a presentation about photography to the hair school one week and came back the next week and did a photoshoot for them.
It just thrills me that everyone was so darn excited for the pictures.
It worked out well doing it as part of my Bootcamp experience because I had 4 photographers able to come along and take pictures.
There were often dozens of girls waiting for their pictures to be taken… I had to work fast and efficiently to get everybody in. It would have been fun to have a little more time to set up really great scenes… but I actually loved the challenge of the way it went down.
Those other photographers will share some of what they did on this day in a few days in a post about what they learned.
If you have a similar situation like this I’d be more than happy to consider how to make it happen… best month for it is July.
I’m inclined because of exposure and it’s really nice when they’re fun cute girls too. Cuz they’re fun to be around and one day they’ll get married and so will their friends. haha
While a lot of what i did was just getting through the mass of models, I did have some moments to pose some more fun stuff.
These are just some of my pictures to see the rest of mine and pictures from the other 4 photographers go here… there are over 1200 pictures.
To see them in chronological order go here
I’m pretty happy with all the headshots I did. The lighting was just perfect for it. It was way overcast (even rainy) and yet it seemed to work really well. I think the key was being in a darker portion of the orchards and then catching what rays were coming down through and lighting the people up. Reflector right below the frame of the pictures.
For them I’m pretty sure it was about doing hair (and makeup) prior to the shoot.
This is what it’s all about. And it wasn’t even my idea… they came up with it! And I went along… I didn’t mind at all. haha
OK so for the end of Bootcamp we had an open invite to photographers and models to come out to the salt flats and do pictures.
Someone had a cool car and so we took some picutres.
I held true to the believe that you don’t need to be right next to the cool things in your picture. So I had her stand apart from the car.
I lit her up with a light and the car as well with another light.
Turns out it’s hard to get a black car lit up nice at night.
These are pictures taken from the event mainly from interns. A couple of them are mine but mainly their just edited by me.
I’ll let the interns talk about what they did in later posts.
See the rest of the pictures here.
These pictures should make you happy just looking at them because Melanie is such a happy person. (A great model indeed!)
These were taken in Logan Utah last friday… she’ll be graduating soon so I rushed them out.
We took some pictures during the middle of the day as you can see in many of the pictures… then I went and did some other stuff and came back and did some twilight pictures as well.
She has so much personality it was lots of fun just to tell her to do faces as fast as she wanted.
I’m still shooting lots with the 85 1.4 since it’s the newest funnest addition to the lineup
The other day I did a post about using a ridiculously large and expensive lens. 600mm f/4
I used two other expensive lenses that day… like this one the 200-400 f/4
It’s also a big lens but not near as large.
It’s actually a lens I’d consider buying if I had the money. The range is perfect.
I have the 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and the next step seems like it’d be the 200-400
I thought it focused fast and had nice sharp images.
I also didn’t have to walk 100ft away to get a person in the picture… but if I wanted I could zoom into 400 and walk a pretty good distance away.
I can also see myself more easily shooting it hand held… though a mono-pod would make it easier to get in focus pictures and not get too tired.
I ended up bumping up the ISO from time to time when I was shooting in darker environments because I was shooting hand held portraits.
Below in order the pictures were taken at 1/250 , 1/160 and 1/80 … not too shabby eh?