Thursday, June 15, 2017

Macphun's Luminar: Neptune

Thursday June 15 marks the release date of Luminar: Neptune.  This is Macphun’s updated stand alone program for photographers. Use coupon code JGP3 for savings at Macphun

Full disclosure:  I paid for my own Macphun plugins.  I got turned on to Macphun from before going to the West Coast School of Professional Photography in San Diego, where Macphun is located.  I met these guys.. many of them came from Nik, now owned by Google.  I bought my first set of plugins that I use routinely with Lightroom:  Aurora HDR, Focus CK, FX Photo Studio CK, Intensify CK, Noiseless CK, Snapheal CK, and Tonality CK.  

I can access any of these plugins through Lightroom OR through Luminar as a stand alone.  

Why do I use them?  They work.  And they are fast.  Oh, they give great results.  

Now back to Luminar: Neptune.  If you already have Luminar, this is a free upgrade starting June 15th. 

When you get the new Luminar: Neptune, you will be offered a few choices at start-up.  I picked the full option on the far right side.  

It preloads a sample photo.  This is good to learn about the features of the program.  Go ahead, play around with it.  Your Macphun presets are located at the bottom right of that screen.  

By the way, you can get a few presets at the Macphun site.  
And, you can get to your plugins, the ones I use with Lightroom, at the top bar called, appropriately enough, "plugins."  

Have fun with this.. after all the company name is Macphun!

Jim Patterson

Monday, June 12, 2017

Reilly and Alayna

Recently I went to an overpriced portrait workshop that pretty much told me what I already knew.  

Let’s see… be different.  Check.  Specialize.  OK.  Be fun and friendly to the models.  Of course!  
Reilly in Black and White

Enough about that.  Now on to the lovely models, the stars of this show.  Reilly, a sexy fair skinned blonde.  And, Alayna, more of a girl next door redhead.  Both had different, but fascinating looks.  
Alayna in Black and White

Sometimes I like to try out a black and white look.  I did that with a Macphun Lightroom plugin called Tonality.  
Alayna, looking into the light

The other shots I did of the ladies I used Lightroom with the Perfectly Clear plugin.  

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!
"Film Noir" Reilly

Monday, May 29, 2017

Tom Wagner at the Buffalo Chip on 27 May 2017

From the Cave Creek Balloon Festival, it was a short trek down the street for some country music.  This marks my third visit photographing Tom Wagner.  This time, it was at the Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek, where he has a regular gig.  

He’s a real personable guy and this photographer has to be ready because he often jumps off the stage into the crowd.

He’s a fan favorite there in Cave Creek, so I made sure I had some photographs of the lovers of his brand of country music.  That would include long time fan Dolly Kennedy.

One of the customers at “The Chip” asked me why I photographed him.  Easy.  I want to have photos before he gets the call up to Nashville!

This was a classic low light and horrible light situation.  I did not use flash for a reason: the band will HATE it!  I also on purpose used slower shutter speeds when I wanted to get a sense of motion in Tom.  

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Cave Creek Balloon Festival 27 May 2017

I’ve photographed several Cave Creek Balloon festivals in the past.  This time it was warm!  In years past, it’s been held in the winter and one time it was so cold I had to keep my gloves on while photographing.  

The warm but pleasant weather brought out a huge crowd, probably the biggest ever.  It was held on the Rancho MaƱana golf course, which provided a lot of room for the ten+ balloons, concessions, and people.  

The event started with a fly-by.

Entertainment on the Sanderson Ford country music stage was provided by the Anglim Sisters.  

Yet another low light shooting situation.  I was able to handle it with my Canon 5D Mark IV and some grain control within Adobe Lightroom. 

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Odysea Aquarium Scottsdale

Over the last year or so, I watched the construction of a new aquarium in Scottsdale called Odysea.  The building is next to Butterfly Wonderland, a place I photographed earlier.  

I can't see hitting both of these venues in one day.  There is a lot to see and do, so I'd suggest this is a two day adventure.  Definitely worth it!  

Be prepared to walk!  The aquarium is huge.  For photographers, this is low light.  And weird, unpredictable, colored light.  Take your fastest lens.  I used the 24-105mm Canon lens.  Focus in low light was still a challenge.  I might have considered taking my Canon f/1.8 "nifty fifty" lens.  I wish I had thought about it; I could have put that little beauty in my pocket.  

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tom Wagner at the Buffalo Chip

As a follow-up to meeting Tom at Country Thunder, he made the invitation to come to the Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek, Arizona to photograph him and his band.  

I used my Canon 5D Mark IV and chose the Canon 24-105mm f/4 II lens.  The right way to do a shoot like this is try to visit early and take some test shots, but I thought I was ok with this setup.  The only thing I would have done differently is probably also bring my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens too.  

The indoor lighting was great for dancing and watching a band.  But it was low light for photography.  I found I was shooting wide open f/4 at over 10,000 ISO.  I also had to change my white balance in Lightroom to tungsten, but that probably took a few seconds to do. 

Tom and his band mates were personable and fun, as they were at Country Thunder. That makes photographing them fun.  The Buffalo Chip is a great venue with incredibly friendly people like Dottie, the manager, and the waitresses busy serving up burgers and beer (all was delicious.. the burger seemed to go on forever and I loved it!).

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Country Thunder 8 April 2017

Country Artist Tom Wagner at Country Thunder Arizona, April 2017
Tom Wagner at Country Thunder Arizona
Saturday was my day to photograph as many artists as I could at Country Thunder.  In four hours, I was able to photograph Tom Wagner, Ry Bradley, Dorado, Ryan Hurd, and Austin Burke.  

Tom Wagner connects with fans at Country Thunder
Tom Wagner

I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Tamron 28-300mm lens.  I was a one lens pony this day.  The Tamron lens gives me all the reach, if I need it, and it is light to carry. 
Tom Wagner with an adoring fan
Tom with a Fan
 The first act I photographed might have been the most fun for me.  Tom Wagner, I found out, is a local guy.  And an opening act for Garth Brooks.  He’s animated and obviously has fun with his audience.  And his audience seems to love him.  He also performs regularly at Cave Creeks’ Buffalo Chip, so I will have some follow up shots of him in action.
Ry Bradley

Ry Bradley was the next act.  He has that certain look,doesn’t he?  I was thinking “James Dean” from Rebel Without a Cause, although I bet the young folks won’t know what I’m talking about. 
country band dorado at country thunder arizona

Dorado followed Ry (that link goes to Dorado’s Facebook site).  Now, we often were going from a smaller sound stage to the main stage, with many beer and food stops along the way!  

Ryan Hurd has been a successful songwriter in Nashville and is now trying to cross over as a singer.  From his website, I learned that Hurd has written songs that have been recorded by Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Maren Morris, Tim McGraw, FGL, among many others. In 2015, he celebrated his first No. 1 single as a songwriter with the GRAMMY & CMA-nominated duet “Lonely Tonight,” recorded by Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe.  I also learned he’s from Kalamazoo, just an hour west of where I grew up in Jackson, Michigan.  
Ryan Hurd at Country Thunder Arizona
Ryan Hurd

The final act we photographed was Austin Burke.  According to his webpage, he grew up in the 1990's in Phoenix, Arizona, Austin was a huge country music fan and began singing as soon as he could walk.  At the tender age of of 3 he sang the national anthem for both the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks and at a chance meeting with his hero Garth Brooks at a Padre's spring training game, his destiny was set.
austin burke at country thunder arizona
Austin Burke

Until My Next Adventure,

(Tom Wagner at the Buffalo Chip?) 

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Steve Kerr and Warriors at Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors versus the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Arena
The Golden State Warriors and Coach Steve Kerr visited the Phoenix Suns in an NBA game Wednesday 5 April 2017. 

Steve Kerr is coach of the Golden State WarriorsThis was a special University of Arizona Wildcat Club event because Steve is a big thing in Arizona Wildcat basketball history.  He was the starting point guard for the first UA final four team back in 1987.  Since then, he won five NBA championship rings as a player and one as a coach of the Warriors two years ago. 
allonzo trier plays basketball for the University of Arizona

Following the game, we were escorted to the floor of the arena to hear from Steve and special guest, former University of Arizona basketball star Andre Iguodala, who plays for the Warriors.

Steve Kerr, Coach of the Golden State Warriors and University of Arizona graduateAnd, a face in the crowd was University of Arizona basketball star Allonzo Trier, who was met by shouts of "one more year" (will he or won't he enter the NBA draft?).

Special thanks and a shout out to University of Arizona Athletics and Callista Balko Elmore, Phoebe Chalk Wadsworth, Tom Theodorakis, and Ray Wells and Phoenix Suns Chris Moran (also a University of Arizona graduate).

Callista Balko Elmore with Robert Golden and Colin Jordan

Until My Next Adventure,

(Country Thunder) 

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cave Creek Rodeo 2 April 2017

cowboy grabs cow by the horns
I photographed the Cave Creek Rodeo finals on Sunday 2 April.  This made it seven years in a row I photographed this wonderful PRCA Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event. 
cowboy misses tackling the cow in Cave Creek

The Cervi people provided the four legged stock athletes (animals).   The two legged cowboy and cowgirl athletes were the other half of the event.
cowboy flies off bronco in cave creek

I really respect this sport and the athletes.  It’s dangerous and these folks have to do well in these events to make a living.  If a cowboy or cowgirl gets a penalty or no score, they are out and must go to the next rodeo for another try.
justin "rumpshaker" rumford entertains cave creek rodeo crowd

Country artist super star Garth Brooks put it best in his hit “Rodeo” about how really hard this sport and life are!  Part of the lyrics goes like this,

Well it’s bulls and blood
It’s dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He'll win the next go 'round
barrel racer in cave creek loses five points

Take a good look at how these cowboys and cowgirls “bring it” in the finals.  By the way, rodeo clown Justin “Rumpshaker” Rumford was funny too!

Until My Next Adventure

(Country Thunder) 

See You On Down the Road!

cowboy dejected after low score in cave creek

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!