Thursday, February 28, 2008

Enchanted Rock

Last weekend I was out at Enchanted Rock. I didn't take as near as many pictures as I had planned, but that is usually how it goes. On top of not getting to photograph as much as I would have liked I blew the toes out of both of my climbing shoes. Hopefully a re-soul will bring them back to good health. Anyway, enjoy the pics.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making a book

A fairly new passion of mine is rock climbing. Anybody who knows me or reads this blog will know that; and it won't take long upon meeting me to know that either. Being a photographer I almost always bring my camera with me to the crag to capture my adventures. Some days I take more photos than others, but I don't think I have taken a trip where I haven't taken at least a couple of photos.

With that said, I think I have decided to make a book. Although I have only been climbing a couple years I think it is something I would really enjoy putting together. The only downside is that I lost a lot of photos in a recent hard drive crash, so I may have to wait another couple years before I actually have enough to put a decent book together. Plus I have some cool trips coming up, such as Joshua Tree and Red Rocks. I am sure to come back from there with some amazing pictures.

Speaking of Red Rocks I will be at the 2008 Red Rocks Rendezvous. I will actually be taking the photography clinic they are offering while I am there. Although I have already learned a lot about anchor set ups for shooting photos I am pretty sure there are techniques I am unaware of and could greatly benefit from. So, I look forward to taking the class, and hopefully coming home with some awesome photos.

The above photos (one of my favorite photos) is Scott Chapman on Alamo Arete (5.11b) at Paradise on the Brazos near Graham, Texas. The crag is now closed though. It's a bummer because it was the best sport climbing crag close to my home, I was able to make it under two hours, now the closest sport crag is over three hours away. From the photo you would never guess the climb was in Texas. The background is actually a creek that feeds into the Brazos River.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I spent about an hour yesterday evening photographing a group fitness class for Denton Parks & Recreation called BODYPUMP. The class looked pretty intense. It was a combination of aerobics and weight lifting. It actually looked like something a rock climber like myself could benefit from.

I like the energy and intensity of this photo. You can tell the participants are really working hard and are focused.

Working in a cluttered gym like this I shot most of the photos with a 50mm 1.8, but since I was bouncing strobes off the ceiling at full power I had to shoot at about f/2.2. But, sense it was a prime lens the depth of field was still nice and shallow.

It has been an interesting challenge shooting these recreational activities inside dark gyms. Next week I will be shooting youth basketball in yet another dark gym. So, shooting climbing shots outdoors next weekend will be a welcomed change from having to light dungeons in order to get usable photos.

Anyway, more to come.

Monday, February 11, 2008

From Elk Slabs to Mount Scott

This past weekend was spent climbing in the Wichita Mountains. Every time I go climb my goal is to build up my stock library of climbing photos, that is of course the secondary goal, the primary goal being to enjoy the outdoors and climb.

This first photo was taken on our second day of climbing with my Canon 1D Mark II. The image makes the route look way more exposed than it actually is. But, sense the 1D is such a large camera and difficult to lug around during climbing trips I decided to take a few images with my G9 and put it to the test.

This image is Carl, my climbing partner for the day, flaking the rope before our first climb. The image was sharp and the colors as you can see are beautiful.

This image could have been better, but my flash went off and lit up the rock one the outside of the box canyon (left of frame). I snapped a few more frames after turning off the flash, but this was the only one I got of Carl looking up the canyon wall.

This image was testing out the macro capability of the camera. The image is tac sharp on the far right side of the frame, but the depth of field was extremely shallow at f/2.8, thus the left side of the frame was not tac sharp, but still a usable image for sure. I love the colors in this image.

I am fairly pleased with the colors the camera produces but the focus on the camera is either off, or I need to figure out how to use the camera correctly. I plan on experimenting more with it before I send it off to Canon, but for an all purpose, carry everywhere with me camera it is not to bad.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rec. League Volleyball

I recently photographed a recreational league volleyball game for Denton Parks & Recreation. The purpose of the photos is to help promote the rec league volleyball games held at two different locations on the same night. The department is trying to build up a collection of stock photos for multiple programs so they can better promote what they have to offer to people in the community. Tomorrow I will be shooting a youth basketball program.

For the photographers wanting to know how:
To shoot this game I had to use strobes. Since I only own two 8oo watt Alien Bee's I decided to cross light the court and bounce the light off the ceiling. By doing this I was able to get fairly even light at 1/250th and 4/4.0 at ISO 400. Initially I tried using my sports reflectors but the light fall was to shallow and was only lighting the far sides of the court, so I opted for my 7" reflectors to toss plenty of light into the ceiling.

The down side of the cross lighting is that I could only shoot in a direction opposite of my lights. So, I was limited to which side I could shoot the net from, but I could shoot both sides at ground level in the middle half of the court easily. It was the most effective way available to shoot the game. I didn't take an ambient light reading, but I am sure it would not have been bright enough to freeze action.

Bellow is a photo of one of my light stands in the corner of the gym. I took the photo from just in front of my other light. So, you get an idea of how my setup was. Both strobes pointed up into the ceiling to the opposing side of the court.

View of one strobe on a light stand pointed into the ceiling across court. The light stands were about 10-12ft high.

This wide angle view gives you a better idea of the light coverage I got by cross lighting. Not bad eh?

As you may have noticed work has been pretty slow lately. I was talking to another photographer friend yesterday who has also had a slow start to the year. Normally he will work on about eight big shoots a month, so far he has only worked two all year. Hopefully this is not a sign of a sliding economy. I have a few weddings booked this spring, but my first one is not until March. So, things will likely stay a bit slow until then.

I am also looking at making some career changes as well. I have also been considering moving to Colorado, or maybe even Utah or Oregon. Hopefully this year will have some exciting changes in store. If anything exciting does happen I will be sure to share it here.