Apr 29, 2010

Location Portraits

One thing that has been a lot of fun since joining the newspaper biz is meeting good people for photo shoots.

Today was one of those opportunities, getting a shot of Award Music's David Washburn for our yearly 'Progress' insert.

David runs the family business with help from his wife, and they go to great lengths to keep the business alive while supporting music education. David is an accomplished clarinetist, plays other instruments and is committed to sharing the benefits of music with others. If you are in the East Texas area... check them out in Terrell.

As for the photos.. this is straight out of the Strobist playbook with a single Canon 580exII flash on a stand firing into a 42" umbrella.

I had hoped that the small LED stage light setup would add something to the background... may be more distracting than helpful in retrospect..

With the umbrella to the side and the lights turned off, it gets a bit moody.. I like this one though.

Have a great weekend everyone,

Don J.

Apr 27, 2010

Uh Oh...

I'm working through some photos from a shoot with a coworkers grandbabies... so far this is my favorite

Don J.

Apr 26, 2010

Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival

I spent one semester at TCU back in 1995, and have really liked Fort Worth since. The town just has a great feel and has done wonderful things with their downtown area, arts district and parks.

Every few years the lovely wife and I make it out to the FW Main Street Arts Festival, and this year was great as always. Weather was particularly helpful, and the crowd was large. But they were all happy and pleasant. That doesn't happen everywhere.

OK, so... photos...

There was art of all varieties...

but it is the people watching and performances that make it fun for me.

Gee... that bagpipe music sounds like the theme from Star Wars. It is!

People that can draw always impress me... especially when you want something in minutes on a street corner with people looking on...

It was very crowded, and I only had the 5D/24-70 combo, so I gave up on shooting over the crowd. Odd angles became the way to go, which made for unique shots like this Chinese Acrobat performer.

There were bands... some better than others.

My favorite was this little jazzy trio with a bass, banjo and soprano sax. Bonus... swing dancers (good ones) grooving doing their thing on the sidewalk.

You probably need to be quite a character to play these tunes, and these guys looked the part.

Dinner was at Mi Cocina... very tasty. While we waited for a table I saw a narrow beam of light coming in. The lovely wife snapped a pic for my new facebook photo... fun times.

Happy photogging,

Don J.

Apr 25, 2010

Weekend backyard fun

Although there were storms around on Friday night, the weekend was beautiful in our neck of the woods. The lovely wife is the green-thumb of the household, so she was having fun in the back yard. I took pictures.

It just happened that as the sun went behind the trees, the light got really good. If you don't know already, the hour around sunset is called the 'Golden Hour' or the 'Magic Hour' for a reason.

These shots were all taken with the Canon 5D and a 50mm f1.4.

Watering the plants... looks better with nice light...

Wash out the background with the bright sky? No problemo.

And when she starts to get a bit tired of the paparazzi treatment...

I took the opportunity to play with the Kenko extension tubes that were a birthday present last year. These all use the 20mm 'mid-size' tube, still with the 50mm.

Details, details




Using extension tubes is a great way to get some macro shots without breaking the bank for macro lenses. As with anything else, the light really makes it, so even these shots were helped by the nice evening light.

Have a great week everyone... make the time to play with your toys!

Don J.

Apr 20, 2010

More ranch rodeo

Here are a few more photos I liked from the Heritage Jubilee ranch rodeo on Friday night...

Cowboys and beer... seems to be a match

Cool cowboy and his big white horse... wish I would have had this moment from about two feet to the right to get rid of the awning intersecting with his head. Oh well...


A little protective padding for the calves...


Lighting in Wade Arena is pretty dim... this is ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/250 and it was still way underexposed. Noise? Oh yes.

Cows don't have red-eye. They have white-eye.
This was eager to join the fun.

And once she had been milked, she gave chase to one of the cowboys just to keep things interesting...

Evening light. What more can you ask for? Makes mediocre photographers look like they know what they are doing.... see?


Don J.

Apr 19, 2010

Iron Tiger Night preview shots

Terrell High School is holding its first 'Iron Tiger Night,' which will be a competitive spectator environment for the weightlifting and off-season sporting kids. With live music, drill team performance, tug of war competitions and the like, it should be a lot of fun.

For our Thursday sports section, I set up for some fun feature shots of a couple of the participants. The idea was to leave some room for reversed text around the subjects.

Light test... and I like the shot too

I needed to do more to kill the light on my black cloth background, but time ran out..

So in Lightroom and Photoshop, I blacked it out...

A little closer...

I think this is my favorite... might need to bring some detail back to that arm though...

Have a great week, everybody..

Don J

Apr 16, 2010

Ranch Rodeo quick pic

I had the fun of covering a ranch rodeo tonight. Light inside the arena was horrible by the time the event started, but beforehand, the fading sun was awesome.

Throw in a cute kid cowboy and the photo makes itself.

In other news, if you aren't paying attention and stand too close to bored horse, he may take a nibble on your camera, camera strap or shirt. These guys get ornery.

Don J.

Apr 15, 2010

Terrell Heritage Jubilee Carnival

I stopped by the Terrell Heritage Jubilee carnival family night on the way home and had some fun shooting. Next time I will wait until after dark, when the flashy lights get really fun...

The kids were definitely having fun...


And the parents too...


Still a little too bright for slow shutter fun shots...


The fun goes all weekend... and it is even more fun with a camera. See you there.

Don J.

Apr 12, 2010

Quick Pics - Shabby Chic Ministries

More on this shoot later, but for now... with evening light, a bow and arrows, hair help from Desiree, lighting help from my awesome wife and the wonderful and beautiful ladies of Shabby Chic Ministries, even I can't screw it up too badly.

We started at the Latino Cultural Center with some head shots and such for their website redesign...

Did I mention the bow?



We hit a DART station for a while... most of the time waiting on a train, but it was fun

Asthe sun went away, it was time to play with flashes a bit..

Have a great week, everyone,

Don J.

Apr 11, 2010

Take me out to the....

For the second year, I was able to join the Kaufman High School Jazz band for their appearance at a Frisco Roughriders minor league baseball game... fun times for sure.

Finding a good shooting position as a spectator is not so bad at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco... it is a really fun place to shoot.

I spent most of the game on the first base side, with a nice, low view of home plate...

Of course, timing is still everything. Everything happens a good bit quicker than high school. I would love to have about 1/20 of a second back on this one... when the ball was actually breaking the bat.

The access to walk around the field is great, so shooting over the outfield fences is fun. Kinda lonely out there.



Unfortunately the longest lens I took was the 70-200mm. From the outfield, it made home plate very small. I had to crop a lot and quality is not so good.

The game started at 4 p.m., so part of the band was in bright sun.

By the end of the game, it was nice soft shade... fun light.

Have a great week everyone,

Don J.