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Sunday
Jan082012

Big Changes

 First off, I apologize for taking so long to write a new post. It's been a long few months, during which we moved to Central California and I have a lot of family and friends to thank for helping us every step of the way. We couldn't have done it without all of you and you all still continue to be a lifeline for us, thank you.

 

I spent a lot of the summer behind the camera so when it came time to move I had to box it up for a while. I was going through withdrawals, until we took Mason to the aquarium in Monterey for Christmas and New Year. I took the opportunity to go for a late night walk down to the bay with my camera. The weather was perfect, slight fog to really make the distant light glow and it was cool and crisp. I took this shot at the fisherman's wharf and luckily the water was calm enough that the boats barely moved during the long exposures. I took five shots with exposure times from 8 seconds to 1/2 a second, which I planned on later processing as an HDR photo. The picture below is the result of the HDR processing in Photomatix (http://www.hdrsoft.com/). I like to take the minimalist approach to HDR and make it look as close to how I remember seeing it as possible.

 

Here's the final photo, without the images attached.

 Thanks for visiting Dangersoup and I hope to have more posted soon.

 

-Justin

Saturday
Aug202011

Global Photowalk Contest 8/19/11

Another weekend and another photo contest! This time the theme was "Dramatic Light", and Joseph Linaschke gave us 48 hours instead of 3. As soon as I heard what the theme was two things popped into my head; Sparks Lake at sunset or sunrise or the Turkish Bath at McMenamins in downtown Bend. After seeing the weather forcast of completely clear skies I opted for the bath.

The lighting consists completely of old incandescent bulbs, and then the lights under the water. After seeing how dark it was in the room I opted to go the HDR route. I wanted to have some more depth so I shot it at f4 and used one of the concrete lions as a foreground reference. The exposure time ranged from 30 seconds to 2 seconds for the five images that I used.

This image shows the finished photo along with the 5 images that were used to create it.

 

The finished photo.

I used Photomatix Pro to merge the photos together into one HDR image then I did some adjustments in Camera RAW to get it to look exactly the way I liked it. For more information on HDR images visit Trey Ratcliff's blog at stuckincustoms.com.

Sunday
Aug072011

Dissecting the Shot

Since I've gotten quite a few people wanting to know how I took the shot for the Global Photowalk Contest, I thought I would show everyone my original plans for the shoot and how the shot came about. Just like most projects, the shot that I entered in the contest was not the original shot that I had planned on taking. 

Since I had no prior knowledge of the theme for the contest, I had already planned on driving to Smith Rock State Park since I can get just about any kind of shot there. Once the theme "The Road" was announced, it greatly changed my plans. After taking a couple of pictures of the road, I realized I really wanted to implement an element of motion into the photo. A few years ago I took a photo at night from the back seat of a car looking through the front windshield and it turned out nice. My original plan was to try this shot, except during daylight. I didn't really like how it turned out.

 

After I took a few shots from inside the car, that's when I realized that the best shot would have to be from the outside, afterall nobody wants to spend an hour getting rid of the bugs on the windshield in Photoshop. Since I was just about the only person around on the rural highway, I thought, "Why not?". After all I had just listened to an interview with Chase Jarvis where he took an unreleased Nikon camera that they had sent to him for evaluation and strapped it to a helicopter, with great results. Fortune favors the bold, right? So I took my tripod, flipped it upside down and hung the camera outside the window while I was driving. I had the straps for my neck strap attached which I then used to make sure that I wasn't hanging the camera too low to the ground, I could feel them drag the asphalt before I would grind the top of my camera off. After that it was a matter of finding the rest of the elements which took about 10 minutes of driving around. I had it narrowed down to about a half mile stretch of road and I knew which way I wanted to be travelling. After a few practice shots I got the timing and exposure down fairly well and after reviewing a few shots I realized that I wanted at least a portion of the car in the shot, even though it did need to be washed. I had seen a few shots in Audi advertisements where they used similar shots and so I thought I might as well try it out.

 

After about 10 shots, the image below is what I ended up with. I found out quickly that going about 35-40 miles per hour in second gear offered the smoothest shot and allowed me just enought time to hit the shutter button, lower the camera and get to speed. If I was a little too slow then the picture was taken when I was shifting and the camera moved slightly because of the change in speed (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that my car is a manual).

 

I continued to take a few shots on the way back to town but none of them had all the elements that I liked in the one above. 

 

Thanks everyone for the comments and compliments, I greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Tuesday
Jul262011

Everclear Concert Photo Shoot

 Last Friday night Everclear played at the Century Center in Bend and thanks to the good people at GoodLife Brewing, I managed to get amazing access the the facility. I camped out on the roof from about 5:30 until 10:00 that night which gave me a great view of the beautiful Central Oregon sunset and the entire stage area. I admit it was hard to be just 10-20 feet away from all the food and drinks that everyone had below me, but I wouldn't have given up my spot for anything. The crowd was great, the weather was fantastic and the band put on a really good show. Hopefuly their first trip to Bend helps convince them they need to do it again, maybe next time when there's snow on the ground.

 

The view of GoodLife Brewing Company and you can barely make out the smokestacks of the Old Mill in the background.

 

Art Alexakis, lead singer of Everclear.

 

This is about a 1 second exposure of the crowd. It's easy to see who's having the most fun.

 

 

 

Saturday
Jul232011

Everclear Concert Preview Photo

I had the opportunity to photograph the Everclear concert last night, from the roof. The concert was fantastic and it was a unique vantage point for a photo shoot. I'll have all the photos complete soon but until then, the photo below is a preview of what is to come.  Thanks to everyone who came out to make it a great show.