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Entries in photography (15)


A Reason to Shoot Myself

It isn’t as bad as it sounds… harmless fun (self-portraits that is...). turns 10 on April 7th and they are asking their members to submit a headshot to build a gallery of the people who helped make it what it is today. From the forum thread on the topic:

Faces of iStock
To kick it all off we're creating a massive online gallery and we need your help. We want to see everyone out there involved in the iStock world: all you photographers, designers, illustrators, photo-retouchers, scrapbookers, video editors, musicians, Flash coders, marketing execs, iStock Inspectors, Steel Cagers, Australians, forum hanger-outers - everybody. And yes, you’ll get to see what we all look like as well. 

So, I took the time and did a few self portraits of my own. I have a bunch of self-portrait headshots already, but why not take the opportunity to shoot a new quick one. But I had to do SOMETHING a little unique. I didn’t want to just do a “pretty face” pic. So, I used my motorcycle as a prop, and not just because I enjoy motorcycling, but because motorcycling is what caused me to adopt my online moniker: Motoed (pronounced: moto-Ed).

I narrowed the choice shots down to these few. I have a fav and my wife does as well. I’m curious to get the opinion of my audience as well. Which shots do you prefer? Add comments below, please.








Desertlypse IV - istockphoto Minilypse in Arizona

Just did an iStockphoto Minilypse in Arizona (Desertlypse IV). The trip was awesome. The weather was outstanding. It made it hard coming back to the "coming winter" about to hit this area. Aside from great models and locations a few trip highlights included:

  • Being picked up at the airport by SnapFactory's Mark Wallace and having a burger and a beer. 
  • A near-miss with a javelina
  • A pre-lypse hike in the desert (see pics below)
  • Fellow photographers I haven't seen in one year or two years.
  • Harrassing photographers I just met (you know who you are, lol)
  • Phoney mustaches from grocery store kids toy vending machine
  • Hectic, but fun shooting schedule
  • Ending it all, with a sunset shoot and giving a shot at some HDR technique.

Check out my YouTube channel for some cool behind the scenes from the trip.

Here are a few of the MANY shots that need keywording for submission to my portfolio.

Hike-2513 Hike-2532 Hike-2504 Hike-2482 Hike-2460 Hike-2445 Fortune-3498


Halloween Pumpkin Pics

We carved our pumpkins the other night and set them out for Halloween. We did a pretty good job this year so we needed to capture some pics of them. Instead of getting out a bunch of lights and trying to do a big photo shoot of them... I decided to grab two flashlights and me and my 9 year old started playing around with some light painting techniques.


Model Workshop Sample Photos

Was at a model workshop on Sunday. It was at the Capital and Strand theaters in York, PA and was hosted by EA photography from model mayhem. It was interesting to do a little different style of work then I'm used to. Glamour/Pretty girl photography is harder then it looks.



Radio Poppers JrX Studio Review and Samples [success]

I've debated for a while now on what solution I've wanted to do for "wireless flash triggering". I have always put off the cost of Pocket Wizards because the cost was always too steep and quite frankly, I never took a shot that I COULDN'T take with my sync cord. I seriously debated about the new Pocket Wizards, but my Strobist-style speedlight (that sees little use) is a 550EX and doesn't support E-TTL. To take full advantage of these, I'd need to really upgrade my flash and possible add additional speedlights as well as additional PWs. After my eyes glazed over at the dollar signs, I really took a hard look at the Radio Poppers JrX Studio units.

Why I chose Radio Poppers?
I mostly shoot with Alien Bees, and these little guys pop right into the data jack and provide remote power control. Bonus! Even better, future accessories promise this functionality will work with speedlights too (think manual mode power adjustment though, but I'm OK with that!) Throw in that the price of a set of Radio Poppers JrX Studios are less then cost of a single Pocket Wizard, I was sold.

Performance so far is great. Build quality doesn't feel QUITE as finished as the more expensive PWs, but it also doesn't feel cheap and flimsy either. Other cheaper units I had worked with had lots of misfires, but I have not had a single failed flash fire.

On Location
On a recent shoot (below and above) I gave them a shot out in the wild. A friend is having a retro space themed birthday party (after all, it is close to Halloween) and asked if I could take a picture of them in their costumes for a cake. I'm not sure they were quite aware what they were getting themselves into. I think they were thinking of just a photo with a good camera, all in focus and reasonably lit. In the day I had to think about it, the idea engine kicked in. When they showed up, I loaded them up in my car and took them to a house in our neighborhood under construction and with a large hill still being excavated. After telling them my plan, they got dressed up in costume and we hauled my Alien Bees (appropriately named for a space theme shoot) and battery up the hill. We setup the scene on top and I went down to the bottom of the ledge and directed from below.


The Radio Poppers performed flawlessly and at one point while chimping, I noticed my exposure was too hot. Instinctively, I headed up the hill, and then thought about how to direct the model up on top to adjust the light dial and then I remembered... I had control of my light output on top of my camera now. Very convenient and easy! I was really pleased with how simple it was and wondered how I had dealt with something as trivial as walking over to the light to adjust the output. Then it really hit me, it was always because I shot in a small space and the lights were pretty accessible. However, had I not bought the poppers, I'd never have been able to make this shot, at least not without heavy contingency planning. My sync cable would not have reached the location I was shooting from.

I'm looking forward to trying them with speedlights now and doing portable setups. It's amazing how a little gadget can juice up your creativity! Radio Poppers are “out of this world”.


Strobist Info for the above shots.
Two Alien Bees, one for the "bank" and one for the models. Each had a 7in reflector. (in the diagram below, the bricks are for the "edge" of the bank they were standing on. I was below them and about 20ft away.