Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finding a mermaid

Julia is a young model who responded to a post I placed on a modeling board some months ago. Due to one scheduling conflict after another, we never had gotten it together to do a shoot. The heavens aligned this past week and we finally did a shoot on the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. Julia proved herself to be both fearless and brimming with ideas. Perhaps we'll have a chance to explore those more fully in another session.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guide to lenses for weddings and events!

Here's a video put up by the people at Stillmotion that, within five minutes, provides a lot of good advice for people shooting weddings and events. For those of us shooting weddings and events and wondering which lenses are best for certain situations – well, our planet5D friends StillMotion have just the quick tutorial for you! It's aimed at Canon shooters, but as a Nikon guy I still came away with good insight and considered it blog-post-worthy.

“stillmotion‘s guide to lenses for weddings and events // a cinema caravan tutorial” is shown below. It is packed with good info and insight.

I've been entranced with the video that many photogs are aquiring using DSLRs for video. The lens selection and the sensor size available makes control of DOF look like footage was shot with 35mm. There are plenty of other factors to consider, including the human factors of handling a DSLR and getting it to do the things a videographer needs to do. And then there is audio . . .

Also take note of the steadicams and camera platofrms they use. You may need to give this one some time to load-- it's pretty dense.

stillmotion's guide to lenses for weddings and events // a cinema caravan tutorial from stillmotion on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TCC Portsmouth campus dedication

Covered this event the other day. Feeling pretty good about how it came out . . .

The dedication of this new campus is a very big deal in the life of this local institution and they pulled out all the stops in creating a memorable event. I was priveleged to be part of a team of photographers who documented the event.

From the TCC Website:

"Tidewater Community College dedicated its new state-of-the-art campus in Portsmouth on July 13 with news of record-breaking growth and service to Hampton Roads.

"Amid 'cannon fire' and rousing drum rolls, TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce, Gov. Bob McDonnell and area dignitaries dedicated the Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus to the applause of hundreds of faculty, staff, students and guests. In a style befitting the launch of a ship, the assembled group of government, industry and education officials jointly pulled 20-foot ribbons tied to the tip of a symbolic ship’s bow.

"The new Portsmouth Campus replaces and reinvents TCC’s founding campus, opened in 1968 when the Beazley Foundation donated the former Frederick College – approximately 750 acres of property – and $1 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"TCC’s most technologically advanced campus yet, the $65 million Fred W. Beazley Portsmouth Campus offers critical foundation and benchmark programs in the sciences, nursing, HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning), welding and CADD (computer-aided drafting and design) – which have seen resounding growth at the new campus."

The Communications office stood up a photo essay about this event here:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blackbeard Festival in Hampton

Every so often, you have to do things Just For Fun. Yesterday was one of those days, as the resident womenfolk prevailed upon me to take them to the Blackbeard Festival in Hampton. This festival is a righteous bounty of excess, with people's normal restraint collapsing under the strain of giving voice to their inner pirate. More pirate gear, heaving bodices, and Jack-Sparrow-inspired eye makeup than you could shake a stick at. Add in Several stages worth of music,  the obligatory festival grease pits., and a prevailing sense of relaxation, and you have the picture, so to speak.

So I took my backup-backup camera, a Nikon D40x, a crappy kit lens, and walked around.


These guys were near the entrance. At these festivals there is always plenty of handicrafted work to buy-- or in this case, plunder.

Some of this stuff looked like it was plucked directly from the 17th century.

These pirates took the concept of relaxation to their own level.

Two saucy wenches exploring their own inner pirate.

People just LOVED the idea of having their photos made and were eager to strike a piratical pose.

And then, the ship ran aground on the Isle of Grease. I've been eating poorly and too much for the better part of sixty years, yet I must say that the Blackbeard Festival provides a gracious excess of ways to fry things.

The fried ribbon potato was popular, but the industrious could find fried twinkies, even fried Oreos. Urp.

Pirate merch.

I was convinced I would look damn skippy in this suit, but then figured that by the time Tricia got enough fabric top make it, we could reupholster the couch.

This man look very convincing, although I was convinced he was a misplaced re-enactor from Boonsborough.

Pirates all. And the young women who love them. It's GOOD to be a pirate!

Nothing sadder than reaching the end of one's flagon.

But she managed to retain here sense of joie de vivre for the camera!

I looked in vain for Captain Thighbiter, but caught up with this young couple, the young man of whom had obviously broken into Johnny Depp's prop and makeup trailer. I was really digging the pose-- right up to the digital watch. Ah well-- what's an anachronism among friends?

Old dogs-- and young. Even the pup got into the act.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A fun summer project

This looks interesting and fun, courtesy of Photojojo. Making a self-portrait using a scanner and the contents of your pockets.

In terms of using the scanner, I remember when, in response to an assignment to create scanner art for a class project, my friend Erica Stebbing broke an egg on her scanner and created an image that rocked the class.

I thought that was a pretty imaginative and audacious statement.

Interesting to look at these images and consider what sort of self portrait the contents of our pockets will tell. Mine would be pretty prosaic; wallet, handkerchief, keys, lint. Puts me in mind of something I learned about Andy Warhol during a visit to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh: about once a month, his assistants would come behind him in his office and box up all the stuff he had surrounding him. They'd then seal the box, date it, and put it away. Today, the Museum's curators are opening these "time capsules" to learn more about the artist and his mind.
The Face Your Pockets project

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Portraits of Toni

It has been my pleasure to know Toni Wynn for years. A renaissance woman, she has been variously an arts and museum educator, writer, and nature poet. I'm honored to have one of her books. I've known Toni for many years as we have served together in a local group charged with trying to improve the lot of gifted education students in Norfolk Public Schools, an effort much like trying to defend the Alamo.

As an artist and storyteller, she of course didn't have any recent pix for a (planned) web site. The challenge was to capture the intelligence and ceaseless good humor behind her eyes. It was fun.