Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lightrail Begins

Today the light rail system began in Phoenix. The rides were free and it being so highly anticipated the trains were packed all day. I wasn't able to get on today because I didn't want to wait in line and I know that I will have the chance to ride it many times over the next few years. The opportunity to document and explore the impact that this new system has on this city particularly the way the everyone will interact with it, the reaction to it and the art work that was create around it. I hope to explore it some of these ideas in the coming months thorough my photography.

Nearby I have posted photos of the train cars as they past the stop on Encanto and Central; along with a photo that I took of the new bridge that crosses the Salt River near Tempe that was built as part of the system.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Pictures

My sister and brother-in-law invited me over to take some holiday photos of my little niece, Erin. She is a great little kid and very photogenic. We had fun running around the different locations near their house where we were able to take shots. We were not the only one out there today as many people were setting up family group photos. It was great to see my sister, brother-in-law and Erin and I got to watch a video of a recital that Erin was in this morning - very cute and very funny.

Not much done to the photo other than a slight warming filter effect in Photoshop to cut the white color cast of the flash. Click on it to see a larger version.

I have been taking pictures of a lot of models during the last year and sometimes I feel a bit self-conscious about it because I really don't think of myself as a fashion or glamour photographer. I do have fun with the models that I work with and consider many of them friends. But one thing that I realize during the past few months is that by working with models I am constantly learning and using new techniques. If you look at this photo and the one in the entry right below you'll see a very similar style and feel. I did use a more powerful light with Christina in the photo below, but the bigger difference is, that last Saturday, I was with Christina for several hours setting up and shooting. Today with my niece I had maybe 20 minutes. It was the time practicing beforehand that helped me feel more confident today and to be able to capture an acceptable image.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rainy Day in Maricopa

Spent part of Sunday down in the town of Maricopa. My friend Jim has a house there and I discovered that there are so many places to shoot. The town reminds me of a past time in Arizona when there was the old, mixed with the new, and things seemed less crowded.

Our friend Christina, had agreed to model for us and did a great job. I'm still trying to learn my relatively new light which is an Elinchrom Ranger. We lucked out when we had some stormy clouds move in which gave us a great backdrop to shoot against. One of the images from Sunday is near by, click on it to see a larger version.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A quick head shot set up

I went to Scott Kelby's Lightroom 2 Live Tour this week in Los Angeles. As always Scott did a great job covering the material and bringing everyone up to date on how to use the software, but it was something he said about a lighting setup towards the end of the seminar that peeked my interest. As an example for an ad for a beauty product he brought up an image of a model that he had shot previously. It was a simple head shot against what I had originally thought was a white seamless paper roll. But instead he had shot the model in front of another light. I have done the same thing in the past, but instead of shooting with the light directly pointing at the back of the model and towards the camera, he pointed the back light upwards at a 45˚ angle. This had the pleasing effect of wrapping the light around the models cheeks, neck and shoulders. I really liked the look and was anxious to try it myself.

As luck would have it my friend Vicki had asked me to create some head shots of a friend of hers who had agreed to model for us both. Melanie was great and was very patience with me even though she had not model much before. I used the technique to create the near by image of her and I was pleased with the results. This setup is another tool in the bag that I can go to for a quick clean head shot of a model.