Category: Projects

Halloween 2010 Trick or Treater Photos

November 1st, 2010 Permalink

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 […]

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.

Happy Dallintines Day

February 5th, 2010 Permalink

Story behind this down lower… I started with the following picture: Did some work in Lightroom: Then into Photoshop for the text (hopefully I can do this all in Lightroom 3 when it comes out): Final Product So the computer editing is all well and good, but at this point Dallin just looks like he’s […]

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 :)

Photos in the Wild: Welfare Operations

July 8th, 2009 Permalink

A project that I have worked on for the last year at work has finally launched.  The Welfare Operations Training site. When creating the site I wanted to use the iconic Welfare Square grain silos located next to I-15 in Utah as a recognizable banner on the front page.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any good […]

A project that I have worked on for the last year at work has finally launched.  The Welfare Operations Training site.

When creating the site I wanted to use the iconic Welfare Square grain silos located next to I-15 in Utah as a recognizable banner on the front page.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any good photos of the silos in the library of approved media.  So I decided to go take the picture myself :)

Here it is in place on the front page of the site.

Welfare Square Grain Silos

We also needed a photo of a computer in our “How to Use the Site” section and again, none of the images I had access to would work as I wanted a white computer (not the norm) that wouldn’t stand out so much.  So I went to the home studio on my white seamless paper, and did a little photoshoot with my own computer hardware.

Computer from studio shoot

The LCD is actually a black Dell 2001FP that I did some fairly heavy Photoshopping on to make white/grey.

So while they are my photos, they were taken on the company dime (I signed over full rights to them).  But it’s still cool to have my work out on an official site of the church.

I am grateful I had the skills and equipment to get the photos I wanted.