Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's a Mystery to Me

Sometimes when modern technology doesn’t work, you just have to revert back to just putting the camera on manual, raise the ISO and bracket your exposures and hope for the best. While recently working on a feature metal sculpture artists Dan Klennert at his Elbe, Washington outdoor studio I couldn’t get my 580 EX flashes to fire.

Earlier in the week I was there to photograph the wonderland of rust-colored scrap metal sculptures that included dinosaurs, birds, fish, horses, insects, people on Harley motorcycles and a huge iron wheel.

Since he was welding at the time I returned a few days later to capture shots of him welding and planned to set up the flashes to lighten the sculptures a bit using Strobists/Joe McNally type lighting techniques, but for some reason they wouldn't fire by Radio Triggers. Since he using an arc welder/cutter and using a high amount of electrical current to work, it must have caused a lot of EM noise, which easily overpowered the signals. Then again maybe it was the fact that I was enclosed in a steel frame structure with an aluminum walls and roof and was filled with medal scrapes of all sizes and shapes. That could have quite possibility nulled out both the radio/IR signals too. Who the hell knows, the signals just didn’t fire the flashes while he worked.

So, I used the “Hail Mary” method, camera on manual and bracket
the exposures.  Also every time I got too close with the 16-35mm flying sparks created from the welding landed on me.  I should have gone to the car and grabbed a safety hat and glasses, but at this point and time I only worried about capturing a picture.  A few times when sparks landed in my hair and smelling burning hair I stopped shooting to slap the top of my head, but I continued shooting.  The slow shutter speed method worked, as I was able to make photos of him using a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second at f.5.6.

After I returned home and set the strobes up in my office they worked fine. As Fleetwood Mac once named an album, “It’s a Mystery to Me!”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We are OPG

 It’s now official... meet the crew of Olympic Photo Group. (L to R) Jesse Beals, Greg Wellbrock, Jim Bryant and Brad Camp. We are OPG, and bring more than 70 years of combined experience, collective skills, knowledge and take a photojournalism approach to photographing sports, corporate, studio, senior and family portraits,  commercial photography, weddings and events. We consists of a Pulitzer prize nominated photographer, the 2009 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Photographer of the Year,  and North Kitsap's Best of Photographer for 2008 & 2009 and a Martha Stewart Bride Choice winner.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

King for a Day

Here's some images I captured of the Sounders vs. CD Marathon (Honduras) while working for CONCACAF’s Champions League Soccer Match as one of their contract photographers. It's my second game shooting for the CONCACAF folks in New York with another one coming up next week. Since I'm one of two of their official photographers we get to wear a blue penny, while all the other shooters have to sport a pink ones. While they are limited to shooting from the back of the goal areas, we get to roam the sidelines. It's good to be king for the day once in awhile.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting for that "Magic" light

While departing the Mt. Rainier area after completing one assignment and heading to shoot a football game in Tacoma I happened upon a view of the mountain wrapped in lenticular clouds. 

Most of a photographer’s time is spend waiting for that perfect light, or as we call it, the “magic light”, but once in awhile we are afforded a rare opportunity to capture not only the sunset’s golden glow, but, what we call “Alpenglow” a pinkish, rosy color that bathes the mountain in supernatural splendor. Knowing that this event only lasts for a few seconds and having nothing else to do for four hours until the football game started, I set up one camera on a tripod and enjoyed the scenery while taking pictures every few minutes or so.

What added to the pictures is that for the past two days, a lenticular cloud has hovered over the state's tallest peak. Seen maybe a dozen times a year, it still looks cool every time it's showcased.  The clouds are formed when warm, moist air runs into the surface of Mt. Rainier. The mountain forces the air upward, which cools and condenses turning, it into a circular looking hat cloud that sits a top the mountain’s peak. As the air sinks back on the other side, it dries out and the cloud dissipates. That's why it just hangs over the summit area.

Local area residents say that the cap clouds, are a sign that rainy weather is on the way and the clouds are the mountain's version of an umbrella, a prediction for oncoming rainy weather.

Anyways, back to the magic light.  As soon as I saw the clouds rapped around the mountain I knew I would be offered one magic opportunity to capture the mountain in some pretty dramatic colored photographs.  Using two cameras, one set up on a tripod with a 300mm and anther equipped with a 70-200mm zoom, both lenses would emphasize the glowing sunset effects on the mountains topography.

The Alpenglow, as captured illuminating the mountain, only lasted but a few seconds and was the highlight of this dramatic sunset, which was the cause of me being late and just making it to the football before halftime ended. But what the hell, I only needed four pictures for that assignment, and just how many times is a photographer afforded an opportunity to capture the Alpenglow?