Jan 31, 2011

Quick Pics- baby on the way


Finally settled down to take some pictures of the lovely wife and Joshua, due April 9... Life is good.


Light is an Elinchrom Bxri 500 in a 3x4 softbox.
1DmkIV, ef 85mm f1.8

Jan 27, 2011

Quick Pic - Waiting for Summer

I was out at Sky Ranch in Van, Texas this morning getting some shots of local fifth-graders learning science in the woods. With the beautiful weather it was hard to leave. The wife and I did not do any camping in 2010. Definitely should make that happen in 2011, baby and all.
Waiting for Summer-1285

Jan 18, 2011

Quick Pics - All in a day's work

Working for the Tribune over the last year has been great for many reasons, but sheer variety of work has been great as a person with a short attention span.

The last 25 hours has been a pretty good example of that...

Yesterday's fun included a bunch of Girl Scouts visiting the office for a cookie tasting feature...

In the evening, there was a program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King at the school. Lots of good photo ops at that, but my favorite all involved the praise dancers. They are so expressive, it was hard to pick which one to look at through the camera.

On the way out the door, one of the TISD police officers told me about a call regarding a 'bad accident' on one of the highways out of town. Someone's horses had escaped to the roadway and it really made a mess of a full size Chevy truck. I think this gentleman is probably counting his blessings that he was not severely injured.

This morning, I took some photos of a wallet that my dad made so that we can use the texture and stitching as part of a business directory cover...

For the afternoon, a quick corporate portrait for a local executive...

Still to come, a school board meeting. That is always exciting.

If you have any desire to get better at a wide variety of photography very quickly, go work for small newspaper.

Don J.

Jan 11, 2011

Quick Pic - Sand ceremony

Nikki and Mark's wedding was the first time I had seen a 'sand ceremony,' which was a neat twist on a unity candle etc. Since both have children, it was a cool way to include them in the ceremony as well.
Nikki and Mark - Sand-9836

The table was set back in a corner (not much room in the chapel) so they granted me permission to place a remote camera back there. It worked out pretty well. Luckily there was a light on the wall directly to camera left, but it was still pretty dark as you can see by the noise in the image.

Quick Pic - Basketball with Strobes

Finally dragged out the big lights for some basketball this evening. I still need to work on placement and whatnot, but it definitely makes for more interesting photos. Not every game, but there will be more of this.
Basketball Terrell Poteet-5073

There are downsides too, but I will do a better blog on the experience soon.

Don J.

Jan 8, 2011

Quick pic - The problem with mirrors

Mirror shots are a must for the 'getting ready' pictures at a wedding, but getting a good one depends on all kinds of variables..

I liked the light and expression on the father of the bride as he prepped for the ceremony...
Mirrors - Nikki and Mark-9268

Of course when I finally got a perfect gesture, my bald head and camera are in the mirror too!
Mirrors - Nikki and Mark-9270

Don J.

Quick Pic - Wedding Sparklers

If you are going to have a night-time wedding, definitely go out with sparklers.
Nikki and Mark-4725

Tonight was the first time I've seen a couple do that, and it was very cool. I was not all that pleased with the shots for the night until then, but when I got to the end of the row and the Father of the Bride was still waving his sparkler around, I knew I could go home on a high note.
Father of the Groom

Have a great weekend everybody,

Don J.

Jan 6, 2011

Victorian House in Kaufman

Had a rehearsal this evening for a wedding tomorrow night at the Victorian House in Kaufman, which was a lot of fun. Like any venue, this space offers its own unique challenges. Nice wooden ceilings eat up light and a large set of windows can be problematic with both reflections and light from outside.

The inside lighting is almost entirely from wall fixtures and isn't very bright, but as a whole it is useable, even light.

Just after sunset, with incandescent white balance for the indoor lights, it is a really nice effect because the windows are a cool blue.

As you can see, the reflections are just there. Careful shooting should take care of some of that but there is not very much room to move around, especially when you add people. Seating capacity is supposed to be 250, but it feels smaller (cozy if you prefer) with only a center aisle.

After the sunlight goes away entirely, the picture changes quite a bit, with some sort of street light just behind the center window.

Here is the view from the front looking back. Note that the entry lighting is compact fluorescent bulbs so it will take correction or custom white balance for that area.

In case you are wondering, from the right angle those windows make big, beautiful softbox light during the daytime.
Of course from where you would have to be during a wedding, they make a big wall of light directly behind your subjects.

I did wander around a little bit outside before the light went away entirely, and I think this place would be great for a dusk outdoor wedding if the weather was nice.

And looking up makes a fun artsy shot... (still on incandescent white balance gives the crazy blue sky).

The people who run the place were very helpful and accommodating. The reception hall also has a very nice look. I look forward to seeing what images come out of the ceremony tomorrow night.

Don J.

Jan 3, 2011


I hope everyone has started off the new year well. Here is a quick pic from one of our holiday festivities ... we played farkle while celebrating dad-in-law's birthday.

I'm not one for new year resolutions, but if you are, I hope some of them are photography related. Take more photos, organize the ones you have or learn more about your camera... it's all good.

Happy 2011!

Don J.