Sunday, February 26, 2012

Richard Avedon - Darkness and Light

This is the first in a series of videos (9 in all) that exudes inspiration and is a great look into what drives and directs one photographer.  Check it out!

The Power of Point and Shoot

After visiting the beautiful area of Borovets for our Ski Week I was overwhelmed by a massive wave of regret for not bringing along my camera.  The scenery at the top of Yasterbets is stunning and could never be completely captured in the form of a photograph.  That being said, this past week  has helped me realize the importance of the point and shoot cameras.  The above images were taken with a Canon SD1300.  Although they are nothing to write home about, they do give provide your imagination with a starting point as to how stunning the area of Borovets can be.  I will definitely be taking my camera next time.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Basketball Experiment

With large, white, fluffy fakes falling once again in Sofia, I loaded my camera gear into a car and headed down to take some photos of a basketball tournament.  This was the first time out with the Pocket Wizards and the proved to be very useful.  The tournament itself was a great success.  Sportsmanship and the competitive spirit were in perfect balance this afternoon.


These pictures were taken at ISO 500 with pocket wizards set up at the corners of the court.  After playing with some different lighting arrangements, Andy Lang helped me to realize that setting one of the electronic flashes at mid-court and pointing it back towards the key while leaving the other flash in the opposite corner created a nice cross light that gave beautiful depth to the players.  Both flashes were set to ETTL and a 70-200 4.0L lens was used.  I shot most of the images at f/4.0 and 1/800th of a second.  This managed to underexpose the ambient by about 1.5 stops and freeze a lot of the motion that was happening.  The most frustrating component of this experience was the focusing.  I used AI Servo to track the players as best I could but I found that my Canon 40D wasn't up to the task.  Many of the images focused a few feet behind the subject.  I did my best to correct for this in Lightroom but it is still obvious in some photos.  In any case, enjoy the photos!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Next Step ...

Tomorrow, I will be under the tutelage of one of mentors, Mr. Andy Lang, who has guided me through much of my photography experience here in Bulgaria.  Tomorrow, we are going to shoot our middle school basketball tournament at the school.  The bag is packed and it is sitting by the door.  

My plan is to set up some electronic flashes in the corners of the gym and use an on camera flash for some fill.  This is going to be a first time experience so I'm not expecting much but I will post the best of what I get here on the blog.  Wish me luck and stay tuned for the results!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Protests, Transportation and Higher Education

A four hour Saturday walk about resulted in some interesting images.  I left the house with the intention of getting some images of the local transportation vehicles.  Since my arrival in Sofia, I've been fascinated by the huge metal giants that patrol the streets of Sofia.  The image above was processed using Lightroom by reducing the vibrancy, increasing the saturation and pumping up the clarity a touch.  Although it looks a little too processed for my taste, I ended up enjoying working on it and decided to post it.

Along the way, I managed to bump into a small protest just off of Vasil Nevski.  One protester explained to me that the gathering was organized to show opposition towards the new industrial developments happening in some of the forested areas around Sofia.  It turns out that a well known banker is applying to tear down a large chunk of the forest and replace it with malls, stores and restaurants.  The Sofians you see below were there protesting against the development.

The final stop on my walk through the city brought me to a subway entrance.  I thought it would be a fun exercise capturing some of the people entering and exiting the subway.  This attempt was less productive than I hoped it would be but it was still a fun exercise.  Enjoy the photos and as always, feel free to leave comments below.

Protester at work

A colorful cellist 

University library

Guard station left over from the communist days when people's movement around the city would be recorded
(now vandalized and resting in the shadows of a MacDonald's sign).

A busy subway entrance where vendors of all types sell their wares.
An exiting subway goer.