Sep 30, 2009

Quick Pics - Bonfire!

Bonfires don't quite carry the emotional significance that they did back in my high school days, but I made a quick trip to the Kaufman HS homecoming tradition to have some fun with the camera.

I was a late arrival, and the sun was setting behind the stage area... not great. Over on the side, another trailer had a line of cheerleaders. The sun made for an interesting near-silhouette. Your camera will automatically do this most of the time when shooting into the sun as it tries to compensate for the brightness with extra shutter speed.

The pep rally stage had a rather cluttery background (nice logo placement by our friends at Paul Murrey Ford though) so I gave up on that pretty quickly.

Up close is better, but still not great. Here the Lionettes officers show off their dance moves.

I thought it would be cool to shoot from behind the stage to show the crowd while the dancers danced. On second thought, there are probably a bunch of photos from their perspective that make it look like I'm shooting the dancers' backsides.

Having given up on the stage, I went out to visit the Lion Band... Go Band. Shiny reflective stuff, cool evening sky.. it's all good!




And now... time to have a bonfire. The only reason to take photos at a bonfire is a silhouette shot of people in front of the fire, right? Again, the camera will usually do this on its own as it tries to compensate for the brightness of the fire. To make sure, either manually set your camera for the fire, or just use exposure compensation and intentionally underexpose by -1 or -2.

This is -1, aperture priority on f2.8 for out of focus fire...

I tried the 14mm for a wide view from behind the fire to show the crowd and sky, but the people were so far away that they don't really register in the photo. The sky might be OK with some processing work, but nothing too exciting. By this time, the fire was going very well, and the heat was getting up there. My vote... move homecoming later to ensure a cooler night to enjoy the heat by!

Some more shots... Go Lions! Should be a great night for football on Friday.




Happy Shooting Everyone

Don J.

Sep 29, 2009

Quick Pic - Guinea Pig in Peru

Much more to come from the Peru Trip, but this one caught my eye as I did a quick edit. Lets just say that these little guys have short lives in Peru. And they are quite tasty.


Happy Shooting

don j.

Sep 28, 2009

Home Sweet Home


It is great to be home... but now there is work to do! The lovely wife and I had a great whirlwind tour of Peru over the last twelve days. Seven memory cards, 1987 photos and a lot of dust in the cameras is what I have to show for it. Lots of blogging to do on that.

Of course, while I was away, the lawn did not mow itself, so off I go.

Happy Shooting,

don j.

Sep 15, 2009

Volleyball... with the Lensbaby


I did not shoot any volleyball last year, so as with baseball and basketball, my timing is way off and the results so far have been less than what I'd like.

One thing I have been wanting to try is using the new lensbaby with every possible shooting situation... and my first volleyball game of the year was just such an opportunity.

And it is difficult!

Being manual focus along with selective focus, it is pointless to try to follow the action. Instead, you have to pick a spot and wait for the action to come to you.

I think I also need to adjust the diopter correction on the 5D, as what I though was in focus clearly was not. Clearly not in focus... hmmm... it is getting late!


Still work to do on that front ( composition, focusing and exposure)... more to come.

Here are some more volleyball shots.. I hope to get more chances to improve as the season rolls on.

Probably my best shot of the night for timing and composition... of course, the focus was way soft. At least some creative adjustments in Lightroom make it interesting to look at.

Focusing on one player can help, but timing is still difficult. You can anticipate some things by watching where serves are going, etc.

With arms constantly in the air, shooting through the net is a good bet to actually see players' faces. Of course, you have to contend with the camera focusing on the net sometimes. Also, backgrounds are rarely good from floor level.



Shooting from the floor at the side of the court, through the net is a focus problem again, but looks promising. It is a bit of a low percentage shot with the arms though... this one is about as good as I got from there.. . . focus?

Shots of the serve are easy enough... now how to make them interesting? Not sure yet.

That is a good shot for the lensbaby.. routine action at the same place makes it easier to get something resembling in-focus.

Last thing.. I did like the results looking directly down the net... when the focus was on..
Here it worked as a shot of the ref. Unintentional, but it works.



No Posts for the next two weeks.. and lots of exciting changes in the EastTexasPhoto/DonCJohnson Photography Universe are coming in October.. and it is all good!

Go out and take some pictures!

Happy Shooting

Don J.

Sep 7, 2009

Be thankful for the Light

I had the pleasure of photographing a wedding on Saturday with a wonderful couple and a beautiful ceremony.

At first I was a bit worried because of the wall of windows around the church where the ceremony would take place.

And if I ever I complain about lots of windows, you have my permission to slap me.

Sure, there are difficulties, especially in trying to use lights for group shots.... the reflections also include people and objects.

So a lot of group shots that have some crazy umbrella reflections... no fun.

But.. when it is right, you have both a beautiful backdrop...

...and some amazing soft light on the participants from all of those windows.

Hit it just right and you get some really interesting light for unique shots.

Here are some more shots from the day...




How cool is a bride willing to play on the swings? VERY cool.



It was a great day, Thanks Kristy and Joe!

Have a great week, and happy shooting everyone

don j.

Sep 4, 2009

Some More from Reunion

Reunion Aug 26-104

Here are a few quick pics from the Reunion area as of August 26...

Lots of progress in the base of the structure, and without glass the roof structure looks pretty sad.
Reunion Aug 26-100

Looks more like a quarry than an arena...
Reunion Aug 26-102

Downtown with some crazy clouds...
Reunion Aug 26-103

Reunion Aug 26-106

Then some fun with the flowers in Lightroom
Reunion Aug 26-112

Reunion Aug 26-109

Reunion Aug 26-111

Have a great Labor Day Weekend, and make lots of pictures!

Don J.