Saturday, April 28, 2012

Introducing Anevay Sage Raciak

I'm mainly an outdoor/travel/sports photographer.  Yet I just loved capturing the images of an infant.  In this case, Anevay, about two weeks old as of 16 April 2012.  I shot Katrina and Gregory's wedding a few years ago, so I was honored when they asked me to photograph their newborn daughter.

I avoided flash.  And why not when I had a nice north face picture window at grandma's house.  

Anevay was a pretty good girl through it all.  Well, except the time we put her in the vegetable bin.  That wasn't a favorite of hers.  But I think she has the makings of a great little model.  

One interesting factoid that came out... during her birth, they say the nurses yelled at Katrina "BEAR DOWN!"  So I figure little Anevay is destined to be an Arizona Wildcat!  

To the left, Anevay peeking at me over her daddy's shoulder.  She has more hair than I do!

Katrina and Greg's wedding, 28 March 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Happy Shooting,

Click below for all the photos of the shoot from Flickr....

And a video with music with photos of Anavay!

Clay Blackmore Visits Phoenix Area

Million dollar photographer and photo educator Clay Blackmore visited the Phoenix area on 22 and 23 April 2012.  The Sunday session was a public workshop where he demonstrated his lighting and posing techniques.  Monday's workshop was limited to twenty and this is where we got experience shooting models, both outdoors and in the studio at Tempe Camera.  

Clay is to the left, outside at a bus stop, showing how he would pose this model.  

While we were outside Tempe Camera, I noticed this reflective glass and asked the young man to the right with the camera if he'd pose.  Clay ran up and said, "get his face right up on the glass."  I must admit that worked a lot better than my original pose that had his face further from the glass.  Here, you can see Clay's reflection as he's giving instructions.  Clay teaches the importance of knowing your models name and using it.  Ummm, the model at the top is Tommy, I do remember that!

The young lady pictured below is obviously gorgeous.  This was taken outside while she was covered with a palo verde tree, providing even light over her red skin and hair.  

Later in the day, we worked with models in the Tempe Camera studio.  One of the interesting things Clay did was take a video of the model, then project it over her while we took photos.

Happy Shooting,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cave Creek Rodeo 1 April 2012

These are photos from the 1 April 2012 finals of the Cave Creek Arizona professional rodeo.  Now I’m a veteran of the Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Festival of the Cowboy) pro rodeo in Tucson, but the Cave Creek rodeo is pretty darn good.  One thing I like is the arena is smaller; there just isn’t a bad sight line for fans and photographers!

I got lucky this time around as Traci Casale of the board of directors got my students and me into the arena with media badges and a bit of a discount on tickets.  My perch as next to the announcer, right above the broncos and bulls. 

This was a daytime event.  Although we had more than enough light, the biggest problem a photographer has to deal with is shadows.  I found I had to spend a good amount of time in post processing with Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5 on some of these shots. 

I also experimented on a few photos with HDR toning in Photoshop and Topaz Labs Simplify program.  You might see some here and think, “it looks like a painting.”  That’s the result you can get from these programs. 
I used a Canon 7D with Tamron 70-200mm lens and a Tamron 1.4x (sometimes) extender.  All hand held.  ISO 100 on all shots.  By the way, see why I like rodeo?  Prettiest girls around ride horses it seems.  

Next year, I want to photograph during the night sessions of the rodeo.  Of course, less light and uneven light will prove to be very tricky I’m sure.  I’ll bring my fastest lens and a monopod for more stability.  I’ll no doubt have to shoot in higher ISO, 400 to even 800.

Happy Shooting,

Here’s my entire collection of photos from Flickr!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Turf Paradise Ostrich and Camel Races 31 March 2012

Auto racing has its funny cars.  I guess this is the equivalent on horse tracks:  camel and ostrich racing.  

This is an annual event at Turf Paradise in Phoenix.  

The fans got a chance to see the camels at least up close, or behind a chain link fence.  Watch out that they don't spit on you!  

I took all photos with my Canon 7D and a Tamron 70-200mm lens.  Post editing mostly in Lightroom 4, with the exception of the panorama which I did in Photoshop CS5.

Happy Shooting,

Here are all of my photos of the event from Flickr!

San Francisco Mid-March 2012

Spring break mid-March 2012 and instead of heading to the beach like the younger folks, we headed to San Francisco.  I’ve photographed Korea and Malaysia and New Zealand, among other places, yet have never really photographed closer to home.  By the way, the Grand Canyon is this summer, I promise!

Staying on purpose a few blocks south of Fisherman’s Wharf, I was close to a lot of action and of course... SEAFOOD!  It was easy on foot because everything was close to the hop-on hop-off bus and the cable cars. 

I had my Canon 7D and my Tamron 18-270mm “travel” lens with me on this trip.  This is how I am outfitted when I’m not driving to my destination.  The Tamron is an all purpose lens, not great at anything, but certainly good enough.  What problems I might find after coming home I can normally adjust with Lightroom 4 or Photoshop CS5.

The Red and White Fleet’s Twilight Cruise is two hours long and takes you around the bay, out to Alcatraz, and under the Golden Gate Bridge, then back around to give a night view of San Francisco.  WELL WORTH IT.  They say light snacks, but seriously what they put out to eat on board was a meal.  While there was still sun, even dusk, you could get away with 1600 ISO.  The night shot I was able to capture at 6400 ISO, f/3.5, 1/15 of a second exposure time; not bad thanks to my Canon 7D.  I sat the camera down on the rail while taking the night photos to give a bit of stability.  Tripods are a no no in many venues.  I could have taken a monopod.  Better yet on this boat would have been one of those gorilla pods with arms that could wrap around a rail. 

What do see, what to see.  Fishermans Wharf.  On the list of restaurants was Alioto’s and Scoma’s and ohhh both were as I remember, soooo good.  North Beach and Little Italy... taken by foot, heading south from Fisherman’s Wharf.  The photo above is part of a window display at a restaurant featuring Sicilian food.  I walked in and the aroma was incredible.  This was after I had lunch but I had to have a piece of pizza.

Keep on going south ‘til ya can’t read the signs anymore and welcome to Chinatown!

Golden Gate Park has a Japanese garden.  While enjoying the scenery, I saw a couple having their photos taken to celebrate their engagement. 

Heading back to the hotel after my last dinner at Scoma’s, I took a photo of some boats at anchor and turned it into a painting, courtesy of Photoshop CS5 and Topaz Labs Simplify program. 

Happy Shooting,

Watch the slideshow of all of my photos from Flickr