Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Proof Sheet, where each week I'll post some of the more notable photography news in sweet, chewy, bite-sized, easily-digestible morsels. Click the Read More for this week's stories.Read More
So last week I was hired to photograph a Scion FRS that was completely and insanely modified by Megan Racing's Race Division. The day started with some closeup detail images from underneath the car of the various modifications they performed for a presentation that the company would be doing to show off what they did with this thing. In effect, they turned an already sweet looking ride into a growling piece of art that I'd be afraid to let out of it's cage.
But once we finished the close-ups, it was time to get the entire sucker, so they brought it down off the lift and unleashed it into the parking lot. It was like letting a lion out of it's cage. While they wouldn't let me take the POV shots I jokingly (not really) suggested, they did let me position it around the buildings and lot adjacent to the shop, so I got to work. The time of day was still about an hour away from optimal, but I had to work with what we had, so just went for it, gambling on the game of numbers, if I shot enough, I was bound to come away with a few keepers. This was another instance in which my Eye-Fi card came in handy...that sucker has yet to leave slot two!
Anyhow, I definitely came away with what I thought were some solid keepers, but what I didn't expect was that the shot I ended up liking the best was one that, at the time, was a mistake - a painfully obviously underexposed image as I was trying to compensate for a very bright sky, but I went too far on the right side of the dial.
Yet, for some reason, I didn't delete it.
When I got to my laptop, and loaded them into Lightroom and started starring and flagging the obvious ones, my eye kept glancing over, but eventually passing by one particular shot. "But it was almost a completely solid black frame," I kept telling myself. Regardless, every time I scrolled thought the images, I'd instinctively slow down when I got to that image. So finally, after about 20 minutes of this, I said screw it, I'm gonna play with it. If anything, I can get it out of my system.
So I opened the Develop pane in Lightroom, viewed it at 100%, and RIGHT AWAY knew exactly why I kept subconsciously coming back to it - the highlights. The cars contours were just about perfectly highlighted from a backlit sun. So I decided that's exactly what I'd focused on. Ironically enough, I ended up further under exposing an already underexposed image...I figured it was the mysterious highlights that were drawing me to it, so why not magnify the effect of those very highlights.
That's what I did. I brought up the highlights, I emphasized the shadows, and that created an beautiful contrast with the sky and the silhouette of the background and surroundings - skyscraper stacks of discarded wooden shipping palates.
Yes, the car is insane!! Absolutely. And I'm sure Megan Racing was none too happy that my featured image on a car that they spent so much time and money and energy on was an image where, well, you couldn't see the car, but if you're like me, after seeing this image, you just want to see more, whereas if the car was shown clearly right off the bat, you would have already absorbed the payoff!!
The moral of the story? Make more mistakes!
Without any further adieu, here are the finals:
I'll keep this one short and sweet...so all that madness I've been blabbering on about the past few posts about this Far Meadow business? Well, the whole purpose of that trip was to photograph a new A-Frame cabin as well as their 'Glamping' facilities. Well, those pics have finally been published! Below is a gallery of those images.
Enjoy. Book. Go. Trust me.Read More
"Our backyard is the National Forest," she says. Their back-yard…IS THE NATIONAL FOREST!
That part of this whole thing didn't really hit me until I walked across the gate into the meadow and saw the sign that said, "Property Line - Entering National Forest."
Literally…I grabbed an iced tea, walked across a mini field of wildflowers that took all of 16 seconds, and there it is - the property border, and the beginning of...the National Forest.Read More
In a word: frickin' brilliant!
Ok, that was two words. Well, one real word and one, eh…you get the point.
It was a common frustration for DSLR shooters such as myself that the only means of checking for focus and composition is on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, at least until you get home and look at them on your computer and then want to shoot your computer in the face because that critical point was actually in soft focus!
Sure, that's a huge step up from no screens at all and having to wait to get the prints back from a lab hours, or even days, after, but still, this is 2013, and we're demanding madness, so Eye-Fi has delivered, well, madness (optimized for mobile of course).
So I was recently sent to photograph some rental cabins on property in the National Forest bordering Yosemite, and I've been reading and hearing so much about this bugger that I figured it was finally time to make an upgrade to my camera bag that I can afford. Their new Mobi card was right within that budget. 50 smackeroos.
Best thing ever. Well, that and tacos.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the basics of what it is and what it does, the Eye-Fi is an SD memory card for you camera. The magic in it rests in what else it contains - wi-fi, effectively turning it into an adhoc wifi network between your camera and your mobile device, be it a smartphone or a tablet.
Why? Well, when you snap a photo, it automatically send the jpg version to your mobile device. GONE are the days of the 2 inch LCD monitor and RUE THE DAYS of excitedly uploading your recent batch of photos only to realize the BOOM one wasn't in focus. Now, you can immediately, no matter where you are, use your mobile device as the viewer screen for your shot as soon as you take it. Not only that, but if you feel so inclined, you can now immediately Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/smoke signal your DSLR images from your device as if you shot them on your phone...
For my process, I set the Nikon D7000's LCD screen to show just the histogram, and then used my iPhone as the viewer screen to check for critical focus and composition. It took me 5 minutes to set up in a taqueria parking lot, and now it never leaves slot 2 in my camera. While the Mobi is designed for mobile use, if you'd like a version where the RAW images can be sent directly to your computer as well, they have the ProX2 version that covers that base!!
The one thing that took me a minute to figure out was that I shoot in RAW in order to post-process later in Lightroom and/or Photoshop, so wasn't sure how that would work, but a quick Google search gave me the 'duh!' answer to shoot RAW+JPG. Then it beams the jpgs to your device, and you have your RAWs for later. The Nikon D7000 conveniently has two slots, so I set it to shoot RAW to slot 1, and JPG to slot 2, and that was that.
And the slideshow below is a selection of what happened.
For the full blog posts on my escapades in the Sierras (less fan-boy, more gushy), start here with part 1:
Now go and get your Eye-Fi card by clicking here.