A few weeks back I got a call about a shoot at Radar Lake, one of my favorite places to take pictures. The assignment was to shoot professional skier, Trent Finlayson as he had just rejoined the Radar Skis team. The problem was that I was in Idaho at that time and not scheduled to be back for a few days. After some conversation we realized we would have a two hour window on a Tuesday morning to knock out a few shots as promos before Trent boarded a flight back to his home in Texas. The great thing about shooting someone like Trent is that you're shooting someone in their element - a true professional. I knew that if I put myself in the right position I would get the shots that were needed. All I had to do was point my camera at Trent and I knew he'd provide what was required. I snapped a few shots of him warming up and getting ready, nothing staged, and then we took to the water. Coordinating with your subject beforehand is the only way to go. I told Trent I wanted to shoot two of his ski passes from the shore and then he could take a break while I drove around to the other side of the lake where I would then get inside the water and shoot from inside the buoy. With all the wheels moving in sync that's exactly what happened. We were able to knock out lifestyle shots and two different action perspectives in the matter of two hours. Plus I was able to snap a few shots of Trent, his wife Kara and their baby boy, Jesse. Another nice thing is that within the next few days designers at Radar had put together there promo collage of Trent. Every shoot has it's challenges and I welcome them because it's those challenges that you learn from...but it sure is nice when a shoot goes off without a hitch.
JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN!
About a year back a friend of mine invited me to take a stab at capturing the zombies he employs at his laser tag warehouse, Virtual Sports. Unlike any other laser tag facility, VS has what they call "Apocalypse Zombie Hunt" a few nights a week - and they don't screw around. Whoever is doing the makeup on these people knows their stuff. The zombie's look great and believe me, when you're scrambling through a dark maze with glowing paint, flashing lights, blaring music and sound effects and you come across one of these people, it scares you. A lot.
For me the tough duty was trying to shoot this without additional lighting. My concern was that any type of flash would instantly take away the "scare" factor of the experience. The answer was to pump my ISO up (and thus the "noise" associated with it), as well as shoot with a tripod using longer exposures and asking the actors to hold poses for longer than they might otherwise. Not every attempt succeeded, especially at the outset. As we kept going and setting up new shots though, the process was refined and the results improved. This is one of the things I love about photography - the learning. No matter how often or infrequently I shoot a subject, and no matter how comfortable I am when we start, I always learn a little more. It never fails. By the end of this shoot I had not only learned how I'd shoot this scenario again, but I had new ideas that I can take and apply to a variety of circumstances.
One of the most intriguing subject matters in photography to me is shooting live performances, whether it be an opera, a play or in this case, a band. In this case two bands: Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails at the White River Amphitheater. I blame my brother and our shared fascination with KISS when we were little kids. The cover of KISS Alive! sticks out as my main influence. All that smoke and colored lights drew me in (even though it was a totally posed shot).Read More