Jan 25, 2010

Quick Pics - That Moon

We had a very cool moon with a halo tonight... here are a few photos.

The moon itself... I went out with a 40D and 70-200. I was pretty happy with the clarity, particularly for hand-holding...

But the really neat thing was the halo, so I grabbed the 24-70 and the tripod... plus some fun tweaking in Lightroom..

Have a great week everyone..

don j.

Jan 23, 2010

Workin' it...

My favorite aspect of being a newspaper guy (ok, so it has only been three months, so what do I know) is that there is always a new challenge or situation to photograph.

As I've mentioned before, shooting in the TISD Performing Arts Center is usually a good thing. Mr. Davis and his students/staffers are great and always make a nice scene to shoot.

But even with good light, shooting from the same spots at the same stage can get repetitive looking, so the real key to keep life interesting can be to look for angles and wait for moments.

It was Southern Gospel music tonight, and these guys are very expressive. At the end of a song, you get several seconds to catch them in full dramatic pose.

When the second group took the stage, I noticed that there was now a gobo'd flower shape light on each side wall... working that into the picture is a bit difficult because you get a large chunk of really dark space where the audience is seated.

A perk of being with the paper is getting access to areas that regular concertgoers cannot go. From the wings backstage, I could get a smaller slice of audience, use the "flower" as background material and still make an interesting photo. Problem... no faces, but I still like it.

We really want faces for newspaper shots, so when one performer went to the front of the stage, it was just a matter of waiting for him to turn my way. Unfortunate bunch of clutter with the speakers in front of the stage though.

That was fun for a little while, and if you like that style of music, it was quite well done. I did not see many people in the sub-40 age range though.

On the way to the venue, I crossed some railroad tracks and jumped out for a quick photo with the post-rain sunset happening.. it looked much better in person, and I wish I had made time to turn the situation into something more interesting.

And when I left, with the streets still a bit wet and reflective, so I stopped in downtown Terrell to play a bit with some slow shutter shots.

Find a way to be creative this weekend...

Don J.

Jan 18, 2010

Back in action

I have been pretty busy... blah blah blah...

Anyway, anyone interested in Terrell Tigers sports can keep up with the action at the Tigers sports blog, a group effort by the Tribune staff. I will probably post more sports action shots over there than here.

This blog will evolve as I spend more time exploring lighting techniques (time permitting) and photojournalism as I continue to discover what that life entails.

At the moment, we are producing a publication for the Terrell CVB, which will have some architectural type shots. I went out this afternoon (when the sky finally cleared) with the 40D and the Sigma 14mm...

Christina wanted to see the work in progress.. so here you go...

It was a little bit too much direct sun on the old First National Bank Building..

But that same light made nifty reflections off of the American National Bank building..
I thought the new building reflecting the old buildings would be interesting, but there isn't enough definition. I think I would need to get light onto the old buildings somehow. hmmm..

And the old Carnegie library..

Have a great week, everyone

don j.

Jan 4, 2010

2009 in Review...

I'm a little late to wrap up 2009, but that has been typical of this holiday season.

It was a big year for me in a lot of ways, and photography has been a big part of that, so first, to those of you who have shared it with me, thank you!

Early in the year was some sports and portrait work that I was pretty happy with. One of the themes I will explore more in 2010 is portrait lighting, which finally started to click for me.

Shooting sports was a big part of the year, and I have felt better about these images this year as well.

Sometimes, of course it was just dumb luck of being at the right place for once...

... and other times it was all about making the time to be somewhere because just because I could...

... and then there are the combinations of both.

I was blessed to take a big adventurous trip to Peru with my wife. It was a wonderful place visually, and will be memorable for many reasons, but as the first major destination we've visited since I dived into photography it was even more amazing.

And that wrapped up the first 3/4 of the year, along with the first career of my adult life. After twelve years at a tradeshow technology company, I switched to journalism as an entry-level reporter at the Terrell Tribune.

While I am not exactly pulling my weight as a reporter just yet, it has been great fun to stretch my photo skills in all sorts of ways. In a smallish market, newspapers still have an opportunity to be relevant and meaningful to the community, while major news outlets tend to rehash the same major stories all day long.

On the "Community and Schools" reporter beat, it is usually just flat out fun.

Cute kids...

Caring kids...

Seriously.... no bad pictures with subjects this good...

Of course, cheesy group shots... but great kids make it bearable.

Throw in some random product photography...

And back to cool kids...

While that is all wonderful stuff to shoot, there have been some very emotionally difficult stories as well. Terrell lost two fine young men in Afghanistan within a month. Shortly after that, two sisters and a friend, all TISD students, died after being struck by a car.

Photographing at a funeral is not pleasant, but I am very thankful to the families who were so gracious to us in allowing me to be the eyes of the community during their time of grief.

These photos are from the return and funeral of U.S. Army Spc. Joseph Lewis just before Thanksgiving.



Hopefully by the end of the week (or month at this rate) I will have this blog planned out through the end of 2010 with some meaningful content... stay tuned.

My best wishes for a blessed and happy new year, and of course, lots of great photos.

Happy Shooting,

don j