Friday, July 31, 2009

Random Bird

I really don't photograph birds, but this one was bathing. Amused me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photographs of Photographers

UGA Graduate Margaret Strickland on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 in Athens, GA. Strickland sold four photographs to the Smithsonian Institute's American Art Museum and should be displayed in an exhibit in 2011.

I always worry about photographing other photographers because I know how i want to look and i know worry about other people trying to capture me in a flattering way. My biggest concern was trying to find a decent background thanks to all the construction on that side of campus as well as the 330PM shoot.

So i took my best page from Joe McNally, tossed up one speedlight with a CTO Gel, 1/2 power, 250th f/13. Good light, framed by the wilting cone flowers. 5 minute portrait. And it works.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Allison Weiss

This is musician Allison Weiss in her studio in Athens, Ga.

I've been working on trying to do different things with my lights, be it trying a softbox rather than a grid or a gel or something creative whatsoever. I tried a new Lumidyne Softbox III and went with a CTO gel (I have been reading too much Joe McNally of late) and went with a barebulb (grid) on the light on the rear.

For a musician, she was very cool to work with. She even photographed me and a reporter and posted it on facebook.... which was funny as the reporter did not want to be photographed at all.

I shot this too tight because i really like the guitar shadows on the wall. Beyond that, i really tried to put some through into my shots and the portraiture.

Then i went quirky fisheye and my only problem with it is two things. One - shoulda moved the lightstand and two - flash was about 1/3rd to 1/2 stop hot.

Then we went outside and worked on the street. I should have cranked the shutter speed way up and kill the ambient as its too light for my taste. (Then again, i was also getting heckled by some of the ladies who work at a local "showbar" whom we're having a smoke.)

All in all, its a different direction for my work as I'm trying new things.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Barn Fire

An Athens Clarke firefighter is silhouetted by the flames from a barn in the 700 block of Double Bridges Road that caught fire on Sunday, July 5, 2009 in Athens, Ga. No one was hurt while the barn, several vehicles and an adjacent apartment were completely destroyed.

The last thing after spending 11 straight hours inside a car driving from Maryland was to grab my camera and go to a fire. But after hearing 3 or 4 engine companies go screaming down U.S. 78, it was time to figure out what was going on.

Thankfully i saw a passing command car and just followed them all the way to the scene which was a metal barn out by the Oglethorpe County line which was fully involved when everyone got there.

Of small irony, my first ever spot news I shot at the ripe old age of 12 was a barn on fire while on a boy scout trip. (On Tri-X and developed it myself)

So on this fire, i finally got my cliche' silhouetted firefighter against flames. Been looking for that shot but ACCFD does such a good job, i rarely get the opportunity. I made my photos, called the news desk and went home and collapsed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July Fourth Fireworks

Fireworks over Solomon's Island on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland on Saturday, July 4, 2009.

I drove 20 hours over 2 days for that picture. We were 1/2way to the car by the time the finale kicked off. Shoulda repositioned myself to get all the boats on the water and silhouette them instead. I think i took maybe 16 frames total.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweet. Don't Die.

Oconee County Firefighter John Vangotum sprays down hot spots as firefighters battle one of several small forest fires along the railroad tracks near the Victoria Station subdivision on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 in Watkinsville, Ga.

I texted a friend while i was at the scene of a wildfire along the railroad tracks in Watkinsville, Ga., and thats what they said. "Sweet. Don't Die." Probably the best advice you can give anyone covering a wildfire. Well really the best advice you can give someone.

When i critique student work and i see brush fire coverage, i always have to remind them to have the right gear. You shouldn't be that photographer who is at the scene
of a wildfire and have great access and try to get shots with a 20mm lens of the crews working without the right Nomex gear. Yesterday i broke that rule, straddling the line of good judgment and complete dumbass.

I went as far as i could without endangering myself and as far as i could without getting in the way of the Oconee County Fire Dept. Turns out a passing train from the Hartwell Railroad (The Athens Line LLC based on a 2005 article) managed to spark the fires as somehow brakes from the train will send sparks into the dry brush. Remember back to third-grade science class: heat (sparks) + fuel (dry brush) + oxygen = FIRE. I got dirty and found myself wondering if my shoes would melt as well as getting a face full of steam as i was following the fire crews. When i got nervous for my safety and everything kinda hit me, I left. There will be more wildfires. I got my pictures and i bailed.

I missed a few photos of people using garden hoses to wet down their back yards. OCFD saved a few structures before i started wandering around and getting up and into the face of the fire.