Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category
Just a quick note from NIPHEC, in Lagos, Nigeria, which is definitely a whirling dervish of a city. There is an amazing energy here in the burgeoning photographic community. Fly home on Friday to an assignment in DC this weekend, and then Denver, and, by the end of next week, I’ll be teaching at the Julia Dean Workshops in LA for the first time. Lagos to DC to Denver to LA–that’ll be a bit of a head spin.
For the technically inclined, Udoka is facing off with a new Lastolite umbrella box, which has a really deep parabola shape. I’ve stuck a ratcheting Tri-flash in it, and then caught a little glimmer of the light for the back of her orange scarf with a gold, reflective version of a Tri-flip, which is just a really handy relfector/diffuser that pretty much goes with us everywhere.
This December, we’ll be hosting a series of workshops and seminars, for the first time ever, in beautiful Guanajuato, Mexico. These workshops, known as PhotoXPerience, have been organized by the very talented Leon-based photographer, Hector Segovia (who shot all of these photos), and are sure to be an amazing time.
We’ve been fortunate to build local partnerships with Nikon Mexico, Manfrotto, and yes, even Corona Extra, amongst others. I’ve done a bunch of assignments in Mexico and Central America, working for Nat Geo, Travel and Leisure, and the Mexican Tourist Board, but I have to admit, I’m kind of tickled by the prospect of at least partial sponsorship from a beer company. That’s a first for the studio!
Here’s the basics of what we’ll be doing:
- December 3: We’ll be putting on a full-day seminar at the Guanajuato State Auditorium, demonstrating everything from making the most of one small flash, through multiple light setups.
- December 5 (limited to 15 participants): In this one-day workshop, we’ll be using the beautiful streets of Guanajuato as our backdrop, have dedicated subjects to photograph, and we’ll be working with you to produce great photos throughout the day.
- December 6-7 (limited to 15 participants): In this two-day workshop, you’ll get to dive in deeper, crafting your own photos each day, work with multiple models, and get plenty of feedback along the way.
The combination of the swirl of life on the streets of this wonderful town, the intensity of the colors, and the light of Mexico (occasionally harsh, occasionally beautiful, but always a challenge to work with) will push us as a group to accelerate skills in terms of shaping, tweaking and bending light to our purposes.
For the full scoop on all that we’ll be doing, take a look at the PhotoXperience website. One cool thing that’s been added to the week, as the workshops are filling up, is a day of Photo Safaris, in these wild ass looking Mercedes things called Unimogs. On Dec. 4th, we’ll go out for for four hours at a clip, departing the center of the city for nearby destinations, which will be ready for us with characters and models. Live shoots and demos ensue. These things look like a blast. Again, hit the link above for full blown info. Hector is amazing at getting right back to you on questions, etc.
Lots of air miles lately. Was out at PhotoShop World in Vegas last week, and had a blast. It’s become a bit of a tradition now that, Dr. Russell Brown, the wonderful genius from the planet Post comes by my lighting class in or as his latest incarnation. This one, as he said, resulted from a too energetic use of the burn tool.
His madcap visage was in stark contrast to another subject, Marshal Joe of Bonnie Springs, who is the strong, but not so silent type. Joe, as opposed to the traditionally laconic Southwestern lawmen, is pretty chatty, and always ready with a zinger. That, I suspect, is because he’s not from Bonnie Springs, Nevada. He’s from Brooklyn, New York.
Dr. Brown was photographed with big flash, a Quadra light source to camera left, running through an Elinchrom indirect 53″ softbox. There’s a green (what else?) gelled SB900 behind his head, and another off the white seamless. For the marshal, there is one SB900 to camera right firing through a Lastolite 3×6 panel which he is standing very close to. The light is maneuvered so it is low and scoops under the brim of his hat. Another SB900, in Group C, is very lightly firing into the back wall. Only shot one frame. That’s all the marshal will give ya:-)
We were out at Bonnie Springs on our regular Photo Safari, organized by the legendary Moose “Dances With Clouds” Peterson. Moose ran this amazing session where he lead the class through exactly what he would do when confronted with the array of clouds, light and mountains out there in the desert. Without looking through a camera, he knew all the settings, the composition and then, each and every move he would make in post to bring the scene to life. I tell ya, the guy’s a walking zone system. One of these days, Nikon’s gonna make him a D6 or a D7 with his own custom menu item, M2, called simply, “Moonrise.”
Then, red eye back to New York. Annie picked me up at JFK, and up we went to Cape Cod for the wedding of our niece Katie. What a great way to end the week! Katie and Michael are an amazing young couple, so filled with happiness and love it just overflowed the whole day.
Now, I was not the shooter of record for the wedding. That job was entrusted to the very capable hands of our own Mike Cali, who assembled a terrific trio of shooters. But, neither could Annie or I sit still during this wonderful day, so I just took one lens and wandered to some offbeat angle and looked a little bit. I managed to get a couple moments, including a relatively astonished flower girl, and the ring bearer, relaxing after performing his rigorous duties.
Congratulations from the bottom of our hearts to Katie and Michael, and their families. It was a beautiful day on the Cape. Now, looking at Luminance 2012 in NYC tomorrow, and then Phoenix for Kelby Training on Thursday. Then, a few days off before the fall really starts.
Used to be summer slowed down a touch. Not so much this turn of a very hot July. The month started with shooting a simple day or so for Geographic, and then spun into a huge, festive wedding weekend. It was a wonderful event, but one with lots of moving parts, so we put together a team of four shooters and went after it to the tune of 330 gigs in a couple days.
Less than 24 hours later, headed to Canada, and Drew and I were on seven flights in eight days, stopping in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Flew a lot of Westjet, and they did a pretty good job. Spent so much time up there over the great white north I figured I’d make a quickie Iphone pic of a familiar view.
Was in Canada for Kelby Media, teaching on the “One Light, Two Light” Tour. (Next stop, Miami, Aug. 20th.) It was fun, and I really have to thank everyone who came along to the various stops and helped out. I simply pick audience members out for subjects, and we work our way through the day, keeping it resolutely simple. We do TTL, manual, one light, two light and three light solutions. It’s a fast paced day.
Had some really fun, adventurous people help me out on stage, for which I am very grateful. They took the plunge and were willing to be photographed in front of three or four hundred strangers, and have the results go immediately to big screens. Talk about a leap of faith. The main point of the pix is to shoot simply, with super basic tools, and not really finish anything, but just keep experimenting. The above grids were just quick selects I made in Aperture and did screen shots of.
I asked at one point for someone small, and a wonderful, expression filled young lady answered the call. She had a terrific range of moods she could project, and we worked our way through a bunch. Her being about the age of my oldest daughter, I asked her to give me a facial expression that might accompany that time honored, exasperated phrase, “Whatever, Dad!”
We had a blast together. And then, there was Nancy, in Montreal. She fairly bounded on stage and before you know it we had quite an array of visuals. A Montreal based wedding shooter, she was just a non-stop live wire everybody in the room enjoyed.
By the time we rattled through some pix, the audience was laughing so hard that I just looked at her and said, okay, give me the expression you might give a guy who sidles up to you in a bar and hands you a cheeseball pickup line like, “Would the keys to my Porsche fit in your handbag?”
Okay, then! The audience, Nancy, Drew, and I just lost it. Below is a crowd scene, with the big guy from Adorama, Jeff Snyder, tucked in the corner.
Arrived back home just in time for a Welcome to Newburgh party at David Burnett’s new digs. Hard to believe I’ve known David, who is one of the quintessentially important photojournalists of our time, since the 70′s. It’s great to have him and Iris in the neighborhood.
Also, over the last couple weeks, FakeChuckWestfall suggested I had been separated at birth from a sock puppet. I’m okay about that. I’d always wondered where that puppet had gone off to.
It has also been eventful over at Strobist.com, where hell froze over. For the first time in forever, the Strobist site picked up and ran a tip from none other than Gary Fong. It’s a good tip, and the Fongster did well in offering it, and DH responded in kind by noting its usefulness. It’s called “The Red Hallway Trick.” Kudos to both gentlemen.
About that time, Gary also sent out a missive to his fans, soliciting their participation in an opinion poll about the cover of his newest book. He promises to abide by the results of the poll, and run whichever cover folks deem the best.
Here’s the link to vote. I think it’s still active. Weigh your thoughts carefully. These are the kind of decisions, quite frankly, that keep me up at night.
Just arrived a couple days ago in Hong Kong to lots of clouds. Teaching at a wonderful event called Creative Asia, with some excellent instructors. My daughter Claire is with me, and we’ll go on together to Kuala Lumpur, along with Louis Pang and Zack Arias.
Working my way through the fatigue. Had some great dim sum the other night, and grabbed a bunch of that amazing Asian medicine that I have always found to cure all manner of ills, aches and pains.
Come May, we are taking a huge leap through the looking glass and going to the magical land of Oz and New Zealand. Many thanks to the great folks at Mentem and Nikon Australia who have been laboring tirelessly to pull this together. Only been down under once before, to shoot the 2000 Olympiad for Time magazine, and it was wonderful, but the whole country was seized by Olympic fever. Visiting now, to multiple cities, during “normal” times, will be vastly different but equally wonderful, I suspect. And, of course, this time, we’ll be teaching and demonstrating all manner of lighting techniques and approaches, doing workshops and seminars. Drew’s coming along from our studio, and we’ll be lugging lots of gear to work and demonstrate with. All told, looking to be an amazing month.
The Olympiad was terrific. Didn’t hear a bad word for the entire games, except from my editors. It was an Olympics of great grandeur and scale….
Of surprising and beautiful runners…
And equally surprising victors…
And elated medal winners.
So, now we go back to this amazing continent. I personally can’t wait. Oz has magic, right? It’s so often the reply you get when you ask someone, “Where in the world would you most like to go?” And New Zealand! Holy smoke, never been, always wanted to go. I’m hoping to meet Gandalf.
We’ll be doing stops in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Auckland. In between, doing some shooting for the Tourism Australia and, very importantly, auctioning prints and attending a ball to raise money for the non-profit Miracle Babies Foundation.
Can’t wait for May. Hit this link for all tour info, location and dates! More tk…