Friday, June 28, 2013

Vacation Time! Returning To The Outer Banks.

Oh, yes....a much needed family vacation and some time away from the daily grind.   I can do some personal projects.  Let us spark our creative juices!

Heading back to the Outer Banks, this time instead of Nags Head, we will be in Kill Devil Hills, NC for a week.

This time, the gear will be the Fuji X-E1 and the Nikon D50.

Stay tuned after next week for a new post on some fresh images!!  Let's see what years of growth and  experience can do to our vision of the Outer Banks.   We can't wait to share with you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Covering The Reynoldsburg Civil War Re-Enactment - 2013 Edition

I cover the Reynoldsburg Civil War Encampment every year.  It is an event that never disappoints with its colorful characters, knowledgeable and friendly re-enactors, and the skillfully crafted battle sequences.

Sometimes I shoot for just me, but most of the time I am hired for event coverage.

Ever since watching the Jay Maisel videos on, I've tried to take a different attitude toward these kinds of events.  It is far too easy to get into a place where images from year to year look all too much like the ones from the year before.   In that sense, I think about something that Jay talked about, which is "Going out empty".   This means that sometimes you  have to go out with no pre-conceived notion of what you want.  You very well could miss some great images because you set yourself up to be looking for images that fit a mindset.  You very well could be missing a great opportunity.

I also went out with a few other Maisel gems in my head:

  • No chimping - I check one or two images in tricky lighting situations to make sure that I did not botch a shot completely.  Other than that - stop looking at the LCD!!
  • Find something that you've not seen before and get that shot.
  • Get images of things that interest you.
  • When you find that great image, you know that the center or the subject is there.  The thing that can kill your shot is not paying attention to the edges.
  • Get the framing of the shot the way you want it in camera if at all possible.  Crop only when you meet a focal length limitation, not because you were too lazy to frame it correctly to start with!

  • Nikon D700 with Nikon 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5(SB-600 attached, but only on when I really needed a bit of fill light)
  • Nikon D300(MB-D10 battery grip) with Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • BlackRapid DoubleStrap(DR-1)
  • RainSleeve
  • Powerade Zero/Water
  • Cabelas Boonie Hat/Sunscreen

Post Processing:

  • Lightroom 4.4 - basic adjustments to color, contrast, vibrance, sharpness and clarity.
  • onOne Software Perfect B&W
I've taken now to shooting with a "flatter" tone curve.  I toyed in the past with tweaking the in camera JPG engines to add more contrast, boost the colors - even shoot straight to B&W.  I will still do this on those occassions I need to shoot directly for print....but I find it better to have a more versatile dynamic range then use the Camera RAW or editing tools in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the final product the way I want it.

Also, shot the whole event in JPG.