My pal Dave Wendt from Cincinnati has been busy. His latest projects include a lighted coal mine and trestle bridge, both made from scratch. He recently installed both in the massive layout that occupies his basement and photographed it using all of his considerable photographic skills. Dave will soon undergo back surgery and be laying low for awhile. Here’s his email address if you want to let him know you like his trains: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“I know, I know. The last thing you need to see is another wedding picture. Can’t help it though, so here are a couple of images from our oldest daughter’s recent wedding. Thank goodness Jessica Claire and Ray Prevost came along and did most of the heavy lifting. My baby girl really wanted me to shoot her big day, but I really wanted to drink and dance. A happy compromise was struck and, thanks to the help of these two very talented shooters, I got to work a little while partying a lot. We admire Ray’s tableau style for semi-formal groups and we knew that Jessica would bring her energetic ‘get in there and dig out the moments’ style to the procedings. That’s much the way it went, and I quickly fell into the roll of “Uncle Bob with a camera.” I tend to work from the outside in, and as Jess was generally working very close to the subjects, I probably stayed to the outside more than I usually to. And that was just fine. It gave me time to play with some lighting prototypes I’m developing with Westcott and Quantum.
“I wish every bride was as happy and unflappable, every grooom as charmingly emotional, and each location as breathtakingly photogenic! Best of all, the MOB was charming and beautiful, and I managed to talk her into going home with me!”—Bruce Dorn
I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me. I’ve been awedding/portrait photographer for 7 years and was fastapproaching burnout level this summer. I had one more wedding to do (last night) and I bought a couple of your books this past week as a birthday present to myself. First of all, itwas good to see that as a self-taught photographer I was already doing many of the“right” things. Second, the images and techniques in “The Best of Wedding Photojournalism” inspired me to step outside the proverbial box and do some creative stuff with time exposure, available light and non-traditional angles. The wedding I was dreading yesterday turned out to be very rewarding and fun. It didn’t hurt that I had thebest “mood lighting” nature could provide with misty fog on a beautiful Lake Michigan Beach. Sunny days are SO overrated!Anyway, thanks again and if you’re ever in Northen Lower Michigan, look me up!—Sarah Gribbin
Adobe Lightroom is a free trial beta of the new RAW processor/file management application from Adobe. It looks great. There is no question as to how cool it looks. And you can customize to your heart’s content. But it’s like a great looking car that only comes in automatic. Well, that’s my take initially, anyway. I like how it looks so much that I sometimes forsake my old friend Adobe Camera RAW. ACR is lacking a suave interface, to be sure, but there sure is a lot you can do there, and it makes sense the way it’s layout out. And when you get right down to it, do you need a pretty interface or do you need logical workflow and arrangement of features. An example: in ACR, the color mode/resolution/file size data is right up front when you process an image. It’s the first thing you see. That makes sense to me. If you want to keep it, print it big, save it small… whatever, you’ll know at this stage, or at least it seems to me you would. Now in Lightroom, you have to wait until you export the image to access all this data. Seems like putting your socks on over your shoes. I also like the dual noise reducing filters in ACR as opposed to the all-in-one correction in Lightroom. My feeling is that pros will sacrifice good looks for function every time. Is that what Adobe’s doing with Lightroom?
I’d really like to hear your comments!
Recently David Williams came to Riverside and stayed with us for an evening before his workshop started. As usual, it was great to see David and he
invited Shell to attend the workshop, since there was an opening in the class. David, who is well know for his detail minis, assigned a homework lesson to the class to produce a mini in their own style of something personal. Shell enjoyed the assignment. The results are seen here. This is our house and many of her favorite things, including Willie the obese squirrel, a daily visitor for peanuts, kumquats, and whatever else is available.
Stacy Bratton is one of the finest children’s photographers I’ve ever met. She recently helped me out on a book, Children’s Portrait Handbook, and gave me some fabulous information on sensory integration, a topic she has studied and put into action into her photography. She once told me that when the air conditioner comes on in the studio, adults don’t give it a second thought, but to a toddler, this sound is deafeningly loud and frightening. She is the master of her own environment and her success ratio with small children is phenomenal. Her specialty is so interesting, that she will be a featured WPPI speaker next March in Las Vegas.
She recently sent me a head shot for our advertising efforts for WPPI, and when I saw the file, I knew that if I were a toddler, she would definitely be my photographer. She’s a pro’s pro but a wonderful personality and a bit of a character too.
˙A few weeks ago I talked my daughter, Natalie, and her boyfriend, Josh, into to driving me around Long Beach so that I could take pictures of the undersides of bridges. Always game, she said yes, and off we went on a very hot but clear So. Cal day. I purchased a D200 and two lenses, including the 10.5mm fisheye at WPPI, but I haven’t had much time to shoot.
This day was fun. They took me to every bridge they knew and, although Josh drives with a lead foot, he slowed down a little on and under the bridges. On the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which connects Long Beach and San Pedro, I thought I had to shoot at between 1/2000 and 1/4000 second as the the spans were pretty low and we were flying. Turns out the bridge was higher in the center and I could back off to a more reasonable shutter speed and film speed.
This is the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which is really bright green, but looked better yellow after I played with it in Lightroom. Shooting bridges is a lot like shooting football. You don’t know what you’ll get because things are moving too fast. Fun anyway!
Here is another snap from another bridge (can’t remember the name). The structure was much lower than the Vincent Thomas Bridge and even with the 10.5mm lens, it felt like it was right on top of you.
Here’s a shot of my chauffers. There’s nothing like a convertible on a hot day in Southern California!
Marcus Bell is experienced and prepared. As Bruce Dorn has said on numerous occasions, “Luck favors the prepared.” And so it is Bell’s motto also. He uses three small-sized bags of varying age, including what he calls a “bum bag,” which he wears about his waist most of the day.
1. Spare batteries, breath freshener (“a courtesy,” he says)
2. Air brush and lens cleaning cloth
3. Two Canon EOS 5Ds with two main lenses: 28–70mm f/2.8 and 85mm f/1.2
4. Epson P4000 downloader, carried in pocket.
5. Point-and-shoot 8MP camera for backup (surprisingly, some of the album images get made with this camera)
6. Digital flashmeter
7. 70–200mm f/2.8 lens for ceremony
8. Mag Light (flashlight for looking through the three bags)
9. Stain Stick and spare cloth to get virtually any stain out of the wedding dress. Bell confesses that sometimes he will have the bride sit or lean on something that might cause a stain of the dress; therefore the need for the Stain Stick.
BUM BAG (WORN AROUND WAIST DURING THE ENTIRE DAY)
1. Secondary lenses (35mm f/1.4, 17–35mm f/2.8) he might use during the day
2. Crochet hook that he sometimes uses to help a bride fasten the bride’s dress
3. Arctic Butterfly, a battery-powered sensor brush, that is used to clean the sensor of dust.
4. Small handheld video light, battery powered
5. Extension tube for close-ups
6. More spare batteries
7. 30GB worth of cards, 4GB capacity each
1. EOS 1D Mark II
2. 85mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.4 lenses
3. Tele-extender (he never uses this but keeps it in the backup bag nonetheless).
4. More spare batteries
5. Charger for batteries
6. Timetable sheet for events and instructions how to get there. This is essential and he keeps it in plain sight while preparing his other gear.
OTHER MB NOTES OF INTEREST
If Marcus doesn’t get a chance to scout the location before the wedding, he’ll arrive several hours early and take a few shots of special locations that will serve as a grid for where he may want to make portraits of the bride and groom.
Marcus shoots with two cameras, one with the 85mm f/1.2 or 35mm f/1.4 and the other camera with a 28–70mm f/2.8.
He dresses all in black and uses no lens hoods because he’s trying to keep his presence unobtrusive.
He uses 30GB of CF Cards. All are formatted beforehand so that he never has to format a card at a wedding for fear of wiping out the contents. During the day he’ll download cards to the Epson P4000 hard drive. He keeps exposed cards in his right pants’ pocket.
This is from a new book I’m working on… Best of Wedding Photography, Third Edition.
Due in October is a new book from Amherst Media that features at least 100 RF Cookbooks from the pages of the magazine. Featured are some amazing photographers, including Rainer Schlegelmilch, the foremost Formula 1 photographer in the world and David Wendt, one of the finest automotive photographers I’ve ever seen. Here is Dave’s other project, a model railroad he is building in his home. He estimates he’s “about 10 years from being done.”
This book will be, hopefully, a recurring edition, updated periodically with all new articles. The Cookbook concept, created by writer Jen Bidner, condenses all of the information about the making of a difficult or complex photograph into a single page.
This is my first entry on any blog. I guess I’m a little behind on such things. But I thought it would be a good idea as it would enable me to post tips contained in various books, as well as feature news about some of the contributing photographers or upcoming books. Your comments are invited.
I got a real introduction to the power and sheer fun of blogs from an article Mark Cafiero wrote for this month’s (August) Rangefinder. He has not only enhanced his business but made lots of new friends across the country and people look forward to his posts. Anyway, thanks Mark for the good tips. The article should be online at rangefindermag.com in a few days.
Well, I’m not sure if one signs off a blog or says “See ya real soon,” so I’ll just sort of end now.