Jun 30, 2012

How to shoot better fireworks photos redux

July 4 2010-3

It is that time of year again to repost about shooting fireworks.  If you still haven't invested in a tripod or  other camera-steadying device, fireworks shows make a great justification to go get one.

Fireworks Tips #1

Fireworks Tips #2

Finally.. for something like the photo above, intentionally focus your camera somewhere close to you.  You should be in manual focus mode anyway if you have a DSLR, so play around with that and zoom in close.

I will be shooting the July 4 event in Terrell for the Tribune... hope to see you there.

Jun 25, 2012

Yes, I'm leaving, and no, I'm not going anywhere.

As much fun as I have been having at the Tribune for nearly three years, it is now time to leave the security of the regular paycheck and make these cameras pay for themselves.

When I started working at the newspaper, I hoped that I would be able to spend time shooting portraits, weddings and freelance editorial assignments, but that time never materialized. With the addition of Joshua to our family last year, time became even more of a valuable resource, so now it is time to shake things up a bit.

Beginning August 1, I will be simply a freelance photographer, writer, creative person and (yikes) teacher. For the people who I have turned away over the years, I hope that you will think of me and give me another opportunity when the need for photos arises.

I have also had the chance to meet a great group of fellow photographers in the area. Please know that I am available to assist and provide additional coverage for your shoots and add value to what you offer clients.

I have a number of ideas for photo events, collaborations with other photographers and artists, and e-book ideas, as well as mini-workshops that I hope to work on, so the future looks very exciting (if scary) for the Johnson household.

Over the next few weeks, you will see a few changes around here.
This blog will sprout advertising and will become a more 'newsy' blog about what is happening in photography and visually in our area.

I have created a new Facebook page for the photo biz, which will be populated with sample galleries and such. Come give it a LIKE and be an early adopter!

A new blog (to be named later) will become home to updates on current work and things related to my own photo career.

And finally... I will still be around shooting assignments for Michael at the Tribune and whoever else will hire me. We have some great projects going on that I have enjoyed immensely and am glad to be a part of.

I owe a great deal of appreciation to Michael G. and all of my coworkers who have put up with me on a daily basis. It has been a great experience and has certainly made me a better photographer.

Join me on the ride, and please let me know how I can be helpful in creating images that will tell your story for generations to come.

Jun 16, 2012

Gladiators, kids and dogs ... a sunny Saturday morning

When you combine a bunch of crazy folks, mud, obstacles and beer, photo opportunities are bound to be plentiful. The Gladiator Rock'n Run had a stop in Terrell, so I went out early this morning to get some photos for the Tribune.
Gladiator Slideshow-4046

It is important to note that shooting one of these things takes a bit of preparation. It is hot, dirty, and you will hike quite a bit to get to the obstacles. I did not stay for long, but I was glad to have my hiking boots, long pants, bug repellant and water. As with any other event, catching expressions and emotion is the key to good photos... luckily the obstacles bring out great faces from the contestants.
Gladiator Slideshow-4224

The costumes worn by contestants can be humorous as well and are certainly worth a snapshot.
Gladiator Slideshow-4326 Gladiator Slideshow-4540

Some obstacles offer more scenic photo possibilities... Gladiator Slideshow-4370

And at some you can get in for a good close-up... FBC Gladiators-4428

Having a camera around can elicit some strange behavior among friendly contestants...
Gladiator Slideshow-4400

Still friends after 6 kilometers of insanity... Gladiator Slideshow-4578

The light was pretty harsh, but if you wait long enough, someone will be in the right spot for a shot.. Gladiator Slideshow-4473

After the first few waves of gladiator runners, I headed to a different running event - a summer youth track meet. These kids are always great to shoot. Youth Track June 16-4658

Youth Track June 16-4717

Then it was one more stop to see how things were going at a special 'Dog Days' event with the Terrell Pet Adoption Center. Some dogs visited for shots and recreation...
Dog 2-4746

Others were hoping to go home with a new family... Dog-4728

Ah, that was fun. Did you take any photos this morning? Why not!? Have a great Fathers Day everyone. Don J.

Jun 15, 2012

Hiding in the shadows

Sometimes when making adjustments in Lightroom or photoshop, I see something that reminds me how amazing digital imaging technology is.

Such was the case when I bumped up the exposure on the image from the previous post, Olympic hopeful Spencer Nix.

Take a look at a tighter crop of the original file, then the amount of detail that was behind those dark shades.  A combination of exposure adjustment and fill light, along with noise reduction in Lightroom brought out the eyes behind the sunglasses.
In the dark-3779

In the dark-3779-2

Jun 6, 2012

Quick Pic - athlete

We had a visit from an Olympic hopeful today.. look for an story in an upcoming edition of the Tribune. I have some black paper up, so it was nice that he brought a white shirt.


 Lighting was a quick setup of three lights. 2x2 softbox as a key above and slightly camera left, and two lights with grids slightly behind on each side. Don J.