From People

Utah Holi Festival 2011

Made another trip to the Holi Festival at the Krisha Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah.

There wasn’t a big organized group of photographers, but there were of course plenty there anyway.

This time I also brought along the family. My five year old was especially excited to go. He had a great time, especially when he realized he could throw the colors at anyone he wanted, and that we encouraged it all the more when the person didn’t have any color on them yet (below left) 😉

Overall there were quite a few more families then last year which was awesome to see. It is a great family event. I’d love to see them do a throw dedicated to families to encourage more to come out, where they wouldn’t get run over by all the college guys as much.

Full Holi Festival gallery here

This year was quite a bit colder then last year. It was overcast the whole time. It had rained and snowed the day and night before, and the normally grassy hill turned into a lot of mud. Which of course people took advantage of and it was soon a mud slide that people would go sliding down.

Sometimes people would get colors put on them, and sometimes they’d do it themselves

A few more faves. The first being my son, which of couse is my most favorite of all 🙂

Pretty sure this is the back of Sulley from Monsters Inc

It was an awesome event, and can’t wait to do it again next year!

Full Holi Festival gallery here

Halloween 2010 Trick or Treater Photos

Last year around Halloween I got this idea of setting up my studio lights and take photos of trick or treaters as they came by. So for the past year I have been getting the parts that I needed to make it happen. Technical details down below for those that care.

All in all, it was a great success, with 294 photos of 81 trick or treaters. It almost didn’t happen due to the rain, as I was shooting in my garage and blowing rain and camera gear don’t mix all that well. But luckily the rain died down around 6:30 and I was able to open shop.

The response from people was great. Some weren’t sure what was going on, some asked how much I was charging (it was free, guess I need a sign). One mom walked away saying “that’s the best idea I have ever heard of.” I’ll take that as a complement.

A few photos from the night are here in the post, but you can see the rest in the full gallery. Is this my best work? Nope. The floor got covered with dirt and grass on occasion, sometimes the garage snuck into a shot here or there (went back and tried to fix some of that), people would blink or be looking at the monitor for some shots.  But you get what you pay for. Normally I would say a photographer should only publish their best shots, but this will be a rare exception. So take all the bumps and bruises in the photos with a grain (or bucket) of salt 🙂

All Ages

Baby, Toddler, Teen, Adult

Technical Details

Here’s a photo of the setup. Click through to see notes on the image.

Trick or Treater photos setup

Key Lights – Two alien bees 800 hanging from superclamps that are clamped onto an open garage door. I wanted the lights up off the ground since I knew I would have lots of kids walking around that wouldn’t be watching for stands.

Background Lights – Two speedlights (430 ex and 580 ex II) pointed at the the white seamless.

Light Triggers – All lights triggered by a Radio Poppers JrX Trigger and JrX Studio Receivers (4) with some RP Cubes on the speedlights.

Whiteness – 9 foot white seamless. Two Thrifty White Tileboards from Home Depot, via the Zack Arias tutorial.

Monitor – Old Dell 19″ LCD setup as a second screen pointed at the trick or treaters so they (and parents) could see the shots. This was naturally a big hit to see things on the fly.

Uploading – I had my camera tethered to a laptop with a 15 foot USB cable to give me a little freedom of movement. The laptop is running Lightroom 3.2 grabbing the pics via the camera tether option.  I had a preset applied on import and then it went into a smart gallery that was setup to upload to my SmugMug account via the new publish service in Lightroom 3. Whenever there was a break in the trick or treaters I would go over and tell it to upload any new photos. I think the longest photos set on my compute without being uploaded was 10-15 minutes.

Cards – I ordered some business cards with a URL to where the photos could be found.

New lens – First time I got to give my new 24-105 L lens a work out. It did awesome… of course 🙂

What would I do different if I did it again

  • I would get cards that don’t have the year on them. The order was for 200 cards that I am guessing I used 50 of. But with the brkr.co/halloween2010 URL on it, they are kind of dated. I would do brkr.co/halloweenpics (or something) then I could carry cards over to the next year. I could just change what the shorturl was pointing to each year.
  • I would love to get a wireless system so get the photos off the camera without the wire tether. But I’m guessing that would get spendy fast.
  • Naturally more lights would be great.
  • I may change over to a halloween/fall scene instead of the plain white background. Will have to ask some parents about what they would prefer.
  • Would like to find a way for the upload to happen automatically.

All in all, I had a great time interacting with everyone. Lots of people had lot of fun getting their shots taken. Parents of course love it, getting some great photos of their kids. I will likely do it again next year. Just need to find the happy place between having fun with my own boys and getting all this setup and taking the pics.

Holi Festival 2010

For the last two years I have wanted to go to the Holi Festival at the Krisha Temple in Spanish Fork. Each year something came up.  This year I wanted to go extra bad after seeing all the pictures from the past years.

A photographer friend, Scott Jarvie, has been shooting the Holi Festival for the last few years.  This year he had the crazy idea (for most mortal men, not for him) to organize a dozen photographers to shoot the festivities.  I quickly volunteered.  In the end we had around 10,000 photos from the 12 photogs.  As of this writing they are still being uploaded (that’s about 100gig worth folks) but they can be seen here.

The baby powder like colored powder is naturally an enemy to expensive camera equipment.  I spent some time the night before to seal up my camera and lens.  The short version is that it was some gallon ziploc bags and some tape.  It worked perfectly.

The day of was very long.  I showed up around 9 and left about 5:30. Which paled compared to Scott and Pete Stott that were there longer then I was. I was sore and tired by the end of the day, but wow it was fun.

Seriously. Fun.

So many amazing photo ops. So many people willing (and excited) to have their pictures taken. It really helped me to step out of my normal comfort zone and get into peoples faces.

I’m really worried about next year though.  I’m not sure if I will want to participate or take photos.  It looked like a lot of fun. 🙂

I know, shut up already and get to the pictures.

Full Holi Festival gallery here.

Special thanks to Scott for being his normal over ambitious self and organizing the outing.  I would have tried to go out anyway, but it was more fun to hang with other photogs and be a part of something bigger.

Even more special thanks to my family who puts up with my regular photo outings. I was out at a conference for a full week just a week and a half ago. Photocamp Utah last Saturday. Now this. Thanks for putting up with me guys!

Rumbo Rumba

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One of my carpool buddies, David Lindes, bumped into this here photo blog I believe as a result of my Happy Dallintines Day post. He has a new band called Rumbo Rumba (on facebook) that plays Latin alternative music. He asked if I would come to one of their practice sessions to get some documentary type shots for their website. I figured I could use the experience so I said yes.

Saturday I went up to their studio to see what I could do. In talking to David before hand he said it was a small room with dim lighting. So just I’m case I brought my studio lights. I was glad I did as they helped immensely.  It was still quite difficult as the band was scattered around the room all facing eachother.  Naturally any place I put the lights would be close to some and far away from others.  This made the lighting quite difficult.  I basically had to adjust the lights depending on who I was shooting.

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More experienced photogs may have been able to do it all with one setting, but I guess I’m not that photog quite yet.  Luckily I had picked up some Radio Popper JrX remote triggers which allowed me to adjust the strobes on the fly.  This made it extremely easy to adjust the power of my two lights as I went around the room and framed different situations.

After the studio we moved out to an auditorium of sorts to do some casual shots on a couch that they had.  They had a great wood floor that added a lot to the shots.

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Finally we went out to beside their building to get some outside shots.  Again, wanting it kind of casual.

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All in all I enjoyed the challenge.  Hopefully the band gets some stuff out of it that they like.  David is a designer himself, so he will be editing the photos with his own chosen style.  I edited these for my own benefit to see what I could do with them.

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Any feedback is welcome as I am always wanting to improve.

View the full set on flickr.

Happy Dallintines Day

Story behind this down lower…

I started with the following picture:

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Did some work in Lightroom:

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Then into Photoshop for the text (hopefully I can do this all in Lightroom 3 when it comes out):

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Final Product

So the computer editing is all well and good, but at this point Dallin just looks like he’s shaking his fist in the air.  The funnest part of this project is when you add the lollipop:

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Full Story

Full disclosure that I blatantly stole this valentines day card idea from Suzanne over at Lookie Loo Photography.  I am a huge fan of her work and if I were to have someone else take pics of my family, she would be one of the two I would go to.

So what is Dallintines day?  Last year when my son Dallin could first really register the word “valentines” he naturally thought it was Dallintines because hey… how many words have an “allin” sound in them? So when I started thinking about recreating this idea in making a card for him to hand out, I thought it would be fun to include that on the card.

Dallin doesn’t normally like to sit/stand still for my parentally enforced photo shoots.  Luckily he was kind of interested in this one after seeing Suzanne’s examples and so cooperated with me. He even did the arm on the hip like Suzanne’s daughter did without my prompting.  Here are a few more of the winning shots from the evening.  We got a few of each of them printed out to mix it up a little.

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Thanks to Suzanne (who hopefully isn’t mad I “borrowed” her idea) for the inspiration. This was the most fun I’ve had taking pics with Dallin in a while.

Gritty Details

I shot this in my basement with my two AlienBees B800 studio lights, two yards of fabric from the fabric store and my normal camera gear.  The fabric is actually clamped on to a boxspring I have standing up against the wall… nothing too fancy.

I got the studio lights after the first studio lighting photowalk back in 2008. So far all I’ve used them for is pics of family (and the occasional macro).  I really need to break out of my comfort zone and use them more often so I can get good enough to charge a few bucks and get the cost back.  But until then, I sure have lots of great pics of my boys and their cousins 🙂

Daniel at Discovery Park

Daniel

Canon 40D, EFS 28-135 IS, 1/30, f/5, 65mm, ISO 800

If I posted all the pictures I take of my kids, the blog would be over run with them.  But for some reason this one just grabbed me when I started editing it.

This was taken in a small cubby hole at the Discovery Park in Pleasant Grove, UT.  It was a bit overcast and this was under the main structure so it was quite dark. The 800 ISO gives the photo a great grain but Daniel’s face still looks like a porcelain doll as my wife says.

Somewhere I learned how to use gradient tool to add the nice dark edges which I really think adds to it, and draws the attention in.

I guess I shouldn’t be so afraid to post the pictures of family that I take.  That is a huge part of my photography right now and those photos are definitely worth being shared as well.

Provo Freedom Festival 2009: Flag Retirement Ceremony

Announcements

Monday night I went to the Provo Freedom Festival flag retirement ceremony.  I have attended this many times over the years, and appreciate the reverence the American flag is given during it.  For any who may not know, burning the flag is the proper way to dispose of a flag when “it is no longer a fitting emblem for display” (US Flag Code Section 176)

Honorably Retired

At first glance a photo like the above may conjure up the opposite feelings then it is intended.  Usually you see the flag being burned in protest of the USA and the images are fairly offensive.  But when you think about it, where would you want this flag that you hold dear to end up? Crumpled up in a pile of smelly garbage?  That thought just doesn’t sit right.  The fiery end to the flag conjures up images of a Viking funeral (and sadly a few scenes from Star Wars) where the fiery end of individuals is seen as showing great respect.

Boy Scout Salute

I love seeing the Boy Scouts assisting in the ceremony.  I was able to assist in one when I was a boy scout and remember it giving me a greater respect and sense of patriotism.

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Each time after placing a flag onto the fire (they had dozens to retire) the scouts that carried it would stand and salute for a few moments.

Full Flag Retirement Ceremony set on Flickr

Photowalking Utah: Studio Lighting 2009

Canon 40D, EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM, 1/160, f/2.8, 115 mm, ISO 200

This month’s photowalk was a repeat from last year where we had multiple studio lighiting setups in the same room to walk around and try out.  I came out of the event last year excited about studio lighting and promptly dropped several hundred dollars into lights, stands, etc.

Since then, I have basically experimented on my sons and the occasional niece and nephew (I need to put some of these up).  I have been learning through trial and error and so was excited for this weeks events.  I say events because Thursday the incredible Rich Legg gave a mini-clinic on “How to Get Great Studio Lighting Results for Under $250” where I learned quite a lot as well.

These two events have revitalized my desire to shoot (much to my sons’ dismay) and to continue to experiment with new ways of shooting with my lights.  It also revitalized my desire to buy more lighting stuff, but I will have to hold off on that 😉

I am grateful to those who organized the events, and to the models for putting up with over 100+ photographers struggling to learn what to do.  Thanks to Rich for the suggestion of interacting with the models more I feel I had a much better rapport with them this year then last.

Full set of photos

Mark and Lydia at the St George Temple

Back in August 2008, Mark and Lydia got married down at the St George temple.  Unfortunately there aren’t many weddings from there posted on the internet to steal ideas from so I had to wing it.

This was my 4th wedding as the official photographer.  I still get super nervous, especially since it is family I am shooting for (Mark is my wife’s brother).  If I mess it up, I will still be seeing them later on.  Luckily things worked out great and there are some fun shots as a result.

New Posters in the House

Canon 40D, EFS 28-135 IS, 1/60, f/3.5, 28 mm, ISO 100

Canon Rebel XT, EFS 28-135 IS, 1/200, f/8, 33 mm, ISO 400

After yet another dry spell I got the urge to post something today for some reason… so here we go.

After 3 years of living in our house it is still devoid of pictures for the most part.  I don’t know why, we just haven’t put pics up.  So a few weeks ago I decided to change that… at least a little bit.

We got the above pictures printed out as 20×30 posters and they now hang in our bedrooms.  Dallin loves trains and so we hung that in his room right above the foot of his bed where he can see it easily as he lies down.  He absolutely loved it the first few nights and would be so excited to go lay down and see it.

The other one is when Daniel was a week old and we layed Dallin and Daniel down for the first time to take some pics together.  It was so fun to watch Dallin interact with him and to be so good and careful around him.

I really enjoy my hobby of photography, but naturally am worried as I see the total amount spent on equipment continue to rise.  But then there are these special moments that you are able to capture and then (finally) hang on your wall to enjoy that help offset those costs.

We also printed this one poster size for our living room.  We love going to see the hot air balloons so it is a great reminder of the fun we had.