Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making the best in a bad situation

Our good Canadian neighbors North of Washington State sent us an Artic Blast for a few days on Monday night right after the snow we received on Sunday and throughout Monday. Unfortunately, the lights and power went out right before halftime in the Monday Night Football game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos.

No cable, radio, computer, internet or stove. So what do you do in these middle age conditions?  Just set a fire in the living room , grab candles, lanterns and play Monolopy. Lucky for us we still had hot water and a downstairs fireplace that is on a natural gas line, so we could still take hot showers and heat one room of the house, which kept us from turning into human popsicles.

Cooking, not a problem, earlier that afternoon, I cooked a hearty homemade tomato, barley, and chicken soup, with carrots. All I had to do was run down to the basement and pull out the camp stove, hook up a can of gas and warm up the soup and boil water for hot coco on the snow covered deck in 25 degree weather.  It was sort of like camping out, but in the comfort of your home.

Because of vast amount of icy covered trees that were blown down on power lines up and down the Kitsap Peninsula, we had heard that some folks might not get their power on till Friday.  While hoping we weren’t one of them I was planning on cooking the Thanksgiving meal on the camp stove. The turkey could be cooked in the smoker, but I was wondering how to cook a pumpkin pie, Maybe on the grill, with the gas turned low and hope it would be ready by Thanksgiving Day.

During the board game, I ran down stairs, grabbed the camera and took a few pictures of the competition. After the game and while everyone was settling in for the evening, the power company managed to restore power at 7:15, only 11 hours after it went out. We are truly one of the lucky ones. I, for one, am truly happy that I won’t be bundled up, standing in the 25 degree weather and wind to cook the meal. Happy Thanksgiving to all and be thankful for what we have and not for what we wish we had.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seeing human contrast within a picture

I have a fascination with people and being a photojournalist, I love taking pictures of people everywhere I go.  Scott Bourne, a very good friend of mine, once said, “Most people wait until someone gets out of their picture, Jim, waits until someone walks into his."

I’m just that type of guy, who, will always try to capture some sort of human element that will add to my pictures. One of those elements I use is contrast.

To me contrast of subjects within the frame of my viewfinder tells a story.  Not the type of contrast you see in colors, tones, conflicts or shapes, but a contrast in emotions, body languages, relationships and age. This takes seeing, timing, composition, watching and paying, attention , waiting and timing for that decisive moment to happen when to press the shutter button and know when you’ve captured a story-telling

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Canon 500mm f4, What a sweet lens!

Wow, what a difference a lens can make. Normally, when covering the Seahawks games, I use either my 300mm or 400mm f2.8 lenses and follow the action up and down the sidelines. However, this Sunday I was loaned a 500mm f.4 from Glazer Pro Photo. Glazer's, who have been providing pro support for at least six years, brings a battery of loaner equipment to the Seahawks games for us pros to check out and use. They bring a cart full of MK IV's, MK III's, and 300mm, 400mm and 500mm lenses. I normally use the 400mm f2.8 (mine is in the shop), but someone already beat me to the lens so I used the 500mm instead.

Talk about a sweet lens!!!!!!!! With this lens there's no need for chasing the action up and down the sidelines.  My work area was from the corner of the end zones to the 30 yard lines and I was able to get pictures in front of the offense of developing plays, catches, open field running or hang out behind the QB to get pass receptions, interceptions, behind the line sacks or stuffed plays. 

From time to time I've watched the Seahawks team photographers and studied how they cover a game. Now I know the method to their success in capturing great action shots.

Not only was the 500mm much lighter than the 400mm and I wasn't weighted down like a pack mule, but I didn't arrive home with the effects having to run a marathon as well.