Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eid ul-Fitr-I'm still learning this whole video thing.

Yesterday morning I shot the Eid ul-Fitr service at the Lodi Mosque. Basically, it's a holiday celebrated the day after Ramadan ends. Several hundred people were there, crammed into the masque and overflowing outside. It's all about building relations and creating a stronger brotherhood between people and they truly demonstrate that. 

Many, many people came up to me, shook my hand, and said things like, "Good morning, brother," "Welcome, brother," asked how I was, and spoke to me in a language I don't understand with a big smile on their faces. On my way out after speaking to the Imam and president of the mosque, a man met me at the door, shook my hand and asked, "Do you know what we do on this holiday?" Obviously not knowing I said I didn't know to which he replied, "We hug." And the promptly hugged me and patted my on the back.

They were friendlier and more welcoming than many of the other churches I have worked in.

 While I was there I took the opportunity to shoot some video along with photos to practice my skills and hopefully improve. I wouldn't call what I have "skills" yet, but I am improving I think.

A couple things I did learn-I really need a steadicam and I an external mic. The built-in mic picked up way too much ambient noise while I was recording the prayer for audio.

 So here's the video. I pieced it together using Adobe Premiere Pro, which I'm starting to understand a lot better. I did have to put in a couple crappy video clips because I needed them for filler. It's not easy getting interesting clips of people sitting. Let me know what you guys think. 

And here are some of the photos.

(Nikon D3s ISO 100, f/1.6 @ 1/8000th)

(Nikon D3s ISO 100, f/1.6 @ 1/8000th) 

 (Nikon D3s ISO 100, f/1.6 @ 1/8000th) 

  (Nikon D3s ISO 100, f/1.8 @ 1/8000th)

 (Nikon D300s ISO 200, f/3.5 @ 1/3200th)

 (Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/4.5 @ 1/6400th)

 (Nikon D3s ISO 100, f/1.6 @ 1/8000th) 

 (Nikon D3s ISO 100, f/1.4 @ 1/8000th) 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Making the Old New Again

Whenever I go out shooting i always save every photo, even the bad ones(unless it is absolutely, without question, 100% unusable).

The reason I do this is because when I'm bored I go through old collections of unedited photos.

I go out and shoot a project and when I come home I always get straight to editing. I find all the best photos and I'll go through 3 or 4 edited versions of each before I have the "final" version. I upload them to flickr, post them on a photo message board, and then I blog about them. All of that done within a matter of hours, at most a day or two.

But when I go back through the photos on those boring nights and weekends, months after the photos were take, sometimes years, I always come across a new photo to edit. Time away from the photos can give you a fresh eye. You'll see something you didn't see before. Or you may re-edit a photo because you've learned a new technique, you've fine-tuned your existing editing skills, or you have a better program to use.

That's what I did last night. Over the last month or so I've been using Adobe Lightroom 3 to do most of my editing and I now prefer it over photoshop. Last night I was bored and revisited the pepper harvest from last year. I've looked through these photos many, many times and I still managed to find photos I could edit for the first time or improve in some way.

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/1250)

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/1600)

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/1600)

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/1000)

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/1250)

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/1600)

(Nikon D300 ISO 200, f/5.6 @ 1/4000)

When I originally edited the pepper harvest I did everything in black and white. That's just what I prefer for this kind of work. But for these I decided to keep the color to really show off the great tones in the sky, peppers, and plants.

I might even prefer these over the originals.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday Night Lights, Sept. 3, 2010

Another Friday, another game of pigskin. Not a terribly exciting or action-packed game, but at least I don't dread football season like I use to.

Friday's game was held at Sheldon HS in Elk Grove, a newish stadium, but surprisingly darker than the stadium I shot in the week before. I had to push my ISO up to 8000at a point. I didn't help that the midfield bank of lights were off during half the time I shot. Still looks great though. That vertical shot down there is cropped way down from the original image and it's still usable. And thanks to Clifford Oto, photographer at the Stockton Record, I know what my camera is capable of. He also shoots with a D3s and he shot at ISO 12,800 during the Galt/Manteca game last Friday and even those look great.

Hopefully in just a couple weeks I'll have a 300mm lens in my hands.

(Nikon D3s ISO 4000, f/3.2 @ 1/800)

(Nikon D3s ISO 8000, f/3.5 @ 1/1000)

(Nikon D3s ISO 6400, f/3.2 @ 1/800)

(Nikon D3s ISO 8000, f/3.5 @ 1/1000)

(Nikon D3s ISO 4000, f/3.5 @ 1/1000)