Monday, September 29, 2008

Hot Pursuit

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing a shoot with a police officer. The shoot didn't go as well as planned unfortunately. We got a late start and I had some equipment problems. Actually I can't blame it on equipment. It was more a brain malfunction. I forgot that for the camera to be able to snap quick photos in remote mode it needed to be pre-focused and not on "auto-focus" mode. It took me 10 minutes to figure that out so that was more time lost.
The next problem I ran into was that the lights on a police car are much brighter than those of an ambulance. This produced a lot of lens flare and every spec of dust on my lens became a big blob of light. So after fixing that we made one last pass and I got a few usable images before moving on to the next setup.

Here is a Horizontal crop of one of the better ones:

To get this shot the camera was mounted to the rear window on the left side of my vehicle. The shutter was fired via pocket wizard, which was set to relay mode and fired a strobe in the police vehicle as well.

Here is another shot we did. The setup was basically the same except the camera was on the hoot of the police car and not on my vehicle.

Special thanks to Jake and to the Allen P.D. for letting us do this shoot!
I'll post some behind-the-scenes photos of this shoot in a little while.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wheels in Motion

Just wanted to post a quick shot from yesterday and let you know that I made a small update to the website. The update won't matter unless you are a client though.
(you really should be - you know you want to be)
I added access to my new ftp so that clients can download their images directly from the internet anywhere in the world they have access to a computer. I'm actually quite surprised at how much bandwidth and storage space I got with my domain. I don't think I'll be maxing that out anytime soon, although it would be awesome if I did!

Here's the image I thought I'd share:

Camera was stuck on the side of the vehicle and shot with a Neutral Density filter.
Exposure was at 1/4 sec at F/22, ISO 100.

More to come - as usual!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Traveling Circus

What a day today turned out to be. It started at 6:30am and is still going strong.
I participated in 4 photoshoots today. 2 of which I assisted, and 2 of which I was shooting.
I visited 7 cities total today.

I started out at the "L" position, then drove to the "I" position. Then to "C", to "I" again, then on to "E" and "F", then back to "I". Then over to "H" and back to "I". Got back on the road up to "J", then "K" and finally back to the starting point of "L". All told that is over 220 miles driven today!!!

Needless to say I'm pretty beat down after all the shooting, planning, traveling, and all the in between stuff. It was a good day though, as it reminded me of how lucky I am to be doing what I love and to be able to have the freedom to move around so much during the day. I definitely would prefer a day like to day to a 10 hour day at a desk in some office building.

I tried new things today, which included gaffer taping a flash and pocket wizard to a ceiling and riding in the back seat of a cop car (there is absolutely NO space back there, no wonder people always look so miserable when they are back there!).
I am shooting some more tomorrow but for personal projects only so there isn't much pressure. The last shoot of today was for personal stuff but we only had about a 30 minute window to shoot in and my equipment was not functioning properly for some reason.

Anyway, I'll quit boring you with text and jump to an image or two :-)

Auto Pilot & Aircraft Condition Monitoring System

I've also been having some fun playing around in HDR a bit... I thought this was a prime candidate to try that out with:

These were from a ribbon cutting ceremony I had the privilege of shooting in Grand Prairie.

I am usually not one for kids - I mean I am pretty afraid of them in general. I'm sure that will change but for now I don't know what to do to make them stop crying so I live in fear of that moment when they start. But today I saw some of the most adorable babies I have seen in a long time and I actually enjoyed the experience.

Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 | 1/80s | F/1.4 | ISO 100

This girl's eyes just grabbed me as I was working the room and I had to go back and get my 50mm f/1.4 to shoot some more "up close" portraits.
She, along with most of the other people in the room, was an Nicu baby - which means she spent some time in intensive care after being born either prematurely or with complications. Those eyes are so huge and untainted! There is just something amazing about a baby's eyes.

I think that's it for now. I'm pretty tired from the day but I did want to share some images with you!

More to come!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Late Night Photo Sessions

What do you do if you are a photographer and you can't sleep?
Why you go out and take photos - that's what!!

I drove down to the Trinity River at about 2:30am and set up shop down there for a little while.
I would have stayed longer but I heard voices in the dark park behind me and since the neighborhood down there is not the greatest I didn't want to push my luck too much.

I shot off about 20 frames or so and this is the one I like the most:

This shot was done with the help of my Pocket Wizards. Just like I would do to fire the camera remotely, I set up the pocket wizard on the hot shoe and hooked up the cable to the shutter release plug on my camera. I then stood back and fired the camera by pushing the test button on a 2nd Pocket Wizard. It could have been done without having to use 2, but I would prefer to not run the risk of moving the camera by pulling on the cable by accident.

This particular shot was a 4 minute bulb exposure at F/10 and ISO 100. I edited it a bit in Camera Raw. (changed the white balance, darkened up some of the overexposed buildings, and straightened it)

Coming later this week is a shot that I'm looking forward to. My friend and I are going to shoot an Allen Police officer in his police cruiser. We are doing it at night, with some cool equipment.
The first shot we are going for is of one with the officer in the vehicle, lit from inside, shot from the hood of the car. We'll have the car in motion so the lights will be blurring by as he drives. We'll also have him put on his red/blue lights for effect. It will be very similar to one we did not too long ago of an ambulance:

The second shot I'm hoping to do is one of the police cruiser in pursuit of yours truly. For this I'll probably mount the camera on the side of the car, looking back. Then I'll drive around with the cruiser following me with the lights on. Should be pretty fun.

Check back on Friday or Saturday to see the images!
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Shot

This week I Assisted at a hospital and rehab center in Azel, Texas.
The shot I am going to show you today was of a Dr. giving a steroid shot to a patient in the Endoscopy center of the hospital.

We got to the location about 20 minutes before the dr. so we could scout. After looking through several rooms we were pointed towards one of the main "procedure" rooms. In this room was a lot of equipment and electronic equipment that would be used to perform various fases of whatever needed to be done to the patient.

The patient for this set up was to be the nurse who worked in that particular part of the hospital.
She put on a gown and rolled up the back of her scrubs so her back was exposed and we wheeled her into the room. Next we moved all of the equipment and electronics into place, following the direction of the dr. who would normally perform the procedures.

All pretty simple up until now. Now for the lighting. The goal was to create a dramatic portrait of this dr. giving the shot so we lit it from one side only, and left the other side completely dark.
The next issue we faced was a bare wall behind the dr. A light with a snoot and a grid set up right alongside the wall gave it a streaking effect and gave something interesting to look at instead of just a semi-black wall.

We tried a few shots like this and decided to make one last adjustment. We added a 3rd light with a snoot and blue gel, aimed at the instrument that was directly in the foreground.
For some reason blue always makes things look more scientific or medical. I've never understood why really but it is almost a given that if you are doing a medical shot you will use a blue gel...

Here is the resulting shot with all the lights in place:

Here are some shots of the lighting setup we used:

In this image you can see the light used to streak on the wall and the light used to hit the right side of the instrumentation in the foreground.

In this image you can see the main light, hitting the dr. from the left side and leaving the right side dark.

By leaving the right side of the image dark it created a very dramatic scene. However at the same time, the streaking light in the background and the blue light - both coming from the right side of the photo help to create balance in the image.

Hope you enjoyed the little "show and tell" session for today.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Hello everyone.

I trust you are all having a great week so far now that Monday is over.
It is pouring rain here in the big D and that makes me want to stay in bed and watch a movie. But I won't since that would be a big waste of a day. Instead I have made some minor updates to the Radiant Squares website. I've been toying with some ideas for new galleries or new layouts but nothing too major yet has happened. Of course I will keep everyone up to date as things do change. I'm just one of those people who can't leave well-enough alone and I always feel like there is something I need to be changing or upgrading.

I would like to throw an invitation out there to any other photographers reading this.
Some local photographers and I are organizing a little meetup (probably towards the beginning of November) and would love to have people join us. You can check out the discussion for it on Flickr. Should be a fun time!

Well I'm off once again. I have some images that I haven't edited so I am going to go do that. Maybe I'll post a tutorial later on. Hope you all have a great day. Stay dry!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Breaking the Ice

Welcome to the new blog for Radiant Squares Photography.
I hope you will enjoy an occasional visit to my blog to find out news and get a glimpse into the life of a photographer. I will try to make this as informative as possible. If you have any feedback for me, or suggestions on what you'd like to see on here please feel free to comment or email me.

For now I will start off the blog with an image that I shot a few weeks ago of Destini.
Destini was recently voted Miss Irving 2008 and is pretty excited about that. This shot was from our first time working together.

For this setup we used 3 lights. One light was in a soft box just above and to the left of the camera. The other two were pointed at the background - which in this case was a 9' black seamless taped to the wall.

I processed the image in Camera Raw, and then in Photoshop.

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