Friday, November 23, 2007

Yannis Kontos

Over on the European Canon Pro site there is an article about some of the lenses various photojournalists use. One of the photographers is a young Greek photographer. He has a wonderfully designed website but it's the images that I really enjoyed. There are other photographers that are mentioned, some I had heard of and others I hadn't, but the images from Yannis Kontos were a joy to go through. His images, from all over the world, at times intense are also compelling and thoughtful in their approach. Check him out if you have some time.

This is another image from the Palm Springs Photo Festival. Taken digitally I really had a hard time with the highlights. With my Canon I just always seem to have problems and I think it's my technique. I've tried different approaches but these strong backlit scenes seem to give the most trouble. If you have any thoughts, tips or suggestions I'd love the hear them.

I've also been comparing the different RAW converters I have access to these days. I like Aperture but it's slow on my system. Some of the conversions are really spot on and I like the way it organizes my images. Lightroom has some advantages in the processing department but I hate the UI and the organization doesn't seem to meld very well with the way I work. I also like Canon's DPP and will use it from time to time. It has problems with skin tones though turning them an awful red and produces banding in the transitions from light to dark. I added some memory to my system to see if that will help and as a result will most likely stick with Aperture for the quick edit and the organizational capabilities. For those images that need critical work I'll try different ways of converting them until I get what I want. I may even combine images at times in an effort to take advantage of the strengths of the conversions from the various programs.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

A quick one from the San Juan Capistrano Mission. Shot digitally and cropped square. I'm trying to get over my inability to crop an image but I don't know if it's working.

To everyone in the US I hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. For those of you not in the US I'll have more next week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Palm Springs FD Training

Most of this year I've spent shooting film but I have broken out the digital from time to time. The problem has been I just didn't want to go through the process of processing the images in either Lightroom or Aperture. Work has been hectic and a royal pain in the butt lately and I needed some dead time tonight and got bored with the football game. So I fired up the computer and started going through old images I haven't done anything with. I started playing with Lightroom and some of the processing capabilities of the porgram and then went into Photoshop to see what I could do.

This is an image I made while at the Palm Springs Photo Festival earlier this year. It was hotter than hades and this guy was training; something new guys do everyday they are on duty for an entire year. He had just finished hauling a 50 foot hose several times to get water on a specific area designated by his trainer. The turn out gear weighs something like 80 pounds, and I don't know how much the hose weighs, but he was physically drained afterwards and this is where I caught him. He told me he had already drank about 3 gallons of water that morning.

I still have a ton of film to scan, but with Thanksgiving coming up and guests coming over, I don't want to set up the scanning station. It will most likely be a marathon scanning effort concluded towards the end of the year as my travel dies down. I've got one more trip to the UK planned for the year and then I'm done until the second week of January.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sun Drenched Weeds

Messing around a few months ago I went to the track with Jordan to watch her practice jumping hurdles. I took the camera, but since she was adamantly against me focusing on her I walked around the track. These really aren't my forte but the light as amazing and I thought I'd experiment a bit.

Taken with the 24mm f1.4L and Canon 1D Mk11 and processed in Lightroom 1.3.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Luis Sinco & James Blake Miller

Anyone that has read through this blog knows I love photojournalism. And being the son of a veteran, and a vet myself, I have an affinity for the men and women of the armed forces. Couple that with the fact that this story is about a kid from Kentucky and I'm hooked. It's the story of how one photograph brought two people together and how the making of the image impacted their lives. I don't know Luis Sinco personally but I think he did the right thing by helping James Blake Miller and in doing so may help a lot of other veterans in the process. This is story about much more than the two men represented.

The Marlboro Marine

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Favorite Image of Lily

I need a TiVO box for my brain. Last night I had a couple trains of thought going that I simply cannot recreate today.

The information, while half awake, seemed to be coming from apparently disjointed fragments collectively joined together to form the thoughts. In other words, it was coming from all sorts of places in my consciousness, or should I say semi-consciouness, coalescing in a coherent thought process culminating in an actual point. It was almost like a conversation addressing something that I know was bothering me.

I can remember some of the conversation. But the jest of the thoughts escape me, and when I try to get them down on paper I find the thoughts just spiral down without structure. And the point I wanted to make no longer seems to matter. Maybe it never did.

On to photography. This is my favorite image of Lily and it will most likely become one of my all time favorite images that I have produced. It just works for me and I can't really tell you why. There are times when I don't even try to figure it out and this image is one of those. I accept it for what it is to me and that's an image that I really like and have printed several times. I'll frame this one large for the house.

On another note, I finally saw a copy of the LFI I had been hoping to see. The image is small; I mean really small and to say I've been published seems to be a stretch. It's a little embarrassing to tell the truth. However, something good did come out of it. The image will be framed and on display at the “Leica Day” Camera West in Mission Viejo hosts on Saturday. This is the first time I've had an image put on public display and that is exciting.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I'm back in the US after a week long trip to the UK. Once again I took a camera and once again work prevented me from getting it out of the bag.

So, here is another image from the family project. (I don't know why I keep referring to it as a project. It really wasn't.)

This is Aidan and he bears a striking resemblance, at least to my eye, of images of my brother at the same age. He was eating and I interrupted the snack of chips and cheese to make this image. I really should keep better notes when I do stuff like this because now I can't remember if he was happy to pose or annoyed that I stopped him in mid bite. What is particularly funny to me is the thought of these images being seen later in life and the kids, all of them, wondering what I was doing and why I was taking pictures at that particular time. I have another one of LIly with chocolate all over her face. I'll post it tomorrow.

I've got a lot of stuff to catch up on and the scanning station while be broken out this week. I'm also looking forward to buying the latest issue of LFI because I think I will have an image in it. I just hope it's big enough in the publication to say I've been published.