Monday, October 31, 2011

It's all about RESPECT

Today I want to talk about respect for those who do difficult shots. We all have our comfort zones, and sometimes we step outside them to shoot subjects and situations we're not used to. Every time I do that, I learn a bit more respect for people who shoot in different venues than I do.

I was going to talk about concert shoots first, but I got sidetracked by thinking about other challenging subjects. The first one that came to mind was sports. I've been following Scott Kelby's NFL and NBA images and I'm awed by the technical excellence in his images (how DOES he get them so sharp!!!) and by the challenge of capturing the moment. I did some hockey last winter, at the Ontario Senior Winter Games: that's a tough gig! Dodging pucks and sticks and trying to get the action at the right instant.

You've seen this before if you've been following my blog for a while.

... and this is called "making lemonade out of lemons".

Then there's portraits. I worked with Ron a couple of weeks ago (look back at my last blog post for an image of Kim and her family), and I've done some 'headshot' portraits, actually while playing around with some ID photos I used to shoot. Here's one

Shot with the Gary Fong diffuser on the SB-600 flash, off-camera.
And a lot of post-processing, mostly in Lightroom.

I don't see a ton of emotion in this shot. However last week, shooting at a concert, I took this image of my cousin Steve just as a test of the lighting levels.

Talk about making lemonade! Yes, there's some special post-processing (Nik Color Efex Pro 3 — Polaroid Transfer preset), but I really think this captures Steve. I admit this is luck, not planning!

Concerts. Well I've done a couple: In July I did one up here. I had a dispute with the band who said, "what do you mean you want us to pay you??", so I guess I own the pictures. This one was over the top but I thought it would make a good poster

Crazy lighting and some creative image toning using Topaz Adjust

OK, now check this out: this is Francis Martin of FOG in concert at Hugh's Room last week

Here's where you need to have the right equipment. This was shot at F=24mm, 1/60 second, f/4, ISO 3200. Yes, I said ISO 3200. Nikons are incredibly good at holding the noise down at high ISO but having a faster lens would have helped! Nik Color Efex Pro 3 vignette blur applied.

How DO they do it? Get quality concert shots in lousy or weird lighting? I have great respect for photographers who can do this. Other than "making lemonade" by doing weird post-processing, I don't know how to get good concert shots.

Anyway, I'll leave you with one more image, then I have to get going! Two more sleeps (one of them a short one because I have to leave at 5 am!) and I'm off for the Gales of November workshop with Rob Stimpson up on the shores of Lake Superior. Back after the weekend and I hope to have some good images to share with you.

FOG, onstage. With their signature hat!

Oh yeah! I forgot. I got a chance to shoot with a phenomenal lens this week and wrote about it on my technical blog. Check out the writeup and the pictures there! TTFN...

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