Category Archives Photography

I wanted to run this week’s episode of D-Town TV (The weekly show for all DSLR users—it’s not just a Nikon only show anymore), here because I wanted to add something that I would have liked to have been included in the show, and also because it’s so timely with the Indy shoot that I wound up doing earlier this week.

In the first part of the show, I talk about a Panning technique to show motion in sports photography, and I got a lot of really positive feedback about the piece, but I wish I had gotten some examples to the video crew before the show aired (totally my fault, by the way), so I’m going to show them here instead:

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Above: Here’s a throw-away shot from last year. With a fast shutter speed, the car is sharp, but it’s also frozen, so it kind of looks like the car is parked on the track rather than speeding through it at over 100 mph. This was taken with a shutter speed of a 1/6400 of a second.

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Above: Look at the movement and sense of speed that’s created by using a slower shutter speed (1/320 of a second in this case, or less—down to 1/100 of a second) and panning using the technique I outlined in the episode above. You see wheel spin, and motion blur in the background (not added in Photoshop), and yet the car (well, most of it) is sharp (again, another throw-away shot). However, the whole image tells you the car is moving fast.

Anyway, watch the video above and this will all make a lot more sense.

NOTE: Also in this episode, we have another of Larry Becker’s “Cheap Shots,” some tips from Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon, a set of beginner tips from Matt, and some other stuff, so if you’ve got a minute, check it out.

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If you’re in the Chicagoland area, I’m bringing my “Photoshop CS4 for Digital Photographers Tour” to town, next Friday (April 9th) and I hope you can join us.

There are nearly 500 photographers already signed-up for the one-day workshop, but I’m saving a seat for you, so I hope you’ll come and join me for a fun day of learning. Here’s the link with all the details.

If you read the blog, and you’re going, make sure you stop me and say hi (I always get a kick out of meeting people who read the blog). Hope to see you in person there!

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The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Indy Car race got rained out on Sunday (the shot above is from the 10 minutes I got to shoot the Indy Lights race in the rain on Sunday). There was just too much water on the track, and so after spending all of Sunday waiting in the Media Center for the rain to break, they rescheduled the main Indy race to run at 10:00 am on Monday (yesterday). NOTE: Click on the images for a larger view.

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I was there shooting the race on assignment for Southcreek Global Media, so even though the race got rescheduled, I really needed to be there, though a lot of photographers (and unfortunately fans) weren’t able to be there on Monday. The upside was—there was a lot of room to shoot, so there was no jockeying for position—you could pretty much shoot where you wanted to. The downside was—the stands weren’t packed, so I just pretty much avoided having them visible in the background.

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Here are some of the shots from the day (the thumbs up in the shot above is because he just took second place).

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TECH SPECS: I shot with just one camera all day; a Nikon D3, with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, with a 1.4 tele-extender to get me a little closer to the action. I had my 200-400mm in the car, but since I had to cover so much track, I decided to go with a lightweight set-up instead. I took my Boda Lens bag, and in it I had two other lenses; my 14-24mm f/2.8 and a Fisheye, and I switched lenses at almost every turn (they cut some rectangular holes in the chain link fence so the photographers have a clear unobstructed view to the track, so once I shot with the long lens, I switched and shot with the other two for a lap or two each).

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I used two different sets of settings. I was really trying to make sure that most of the shots had some movement in the tires and wheels (as seen above), so the cars look like they’re moving and don’t look like they’re just parked on the track, so most of the time I shot in Shutter Priority mode at 1/125 of a second or 1/60 of a second, and I panned with the cars as they went by.

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When you do this technique, you wind up with a lot of blurry photos as you’re panning (because of the slow shutter speed), but then all of sudden you have one that’s really sharp, but with a blurry background and wheels spinning and that’s the goal (so you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince).

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If the cars were coming directly at me (like the one you see here), I switched to Aperture Priority mode, and shot wide open at f/4 (you lose a stop because of the 1/4 tele-extender, so your f/2.8 becomes an f/4 lens). If the car turns a little, you see the wheels are frozen (because now you’re shooting at a shutter speed of more than 1/2,500 of a second in daylight which freezes the motion), but if you look at a lot of pro IndyCar shots, you’ll see a lot of frozen wheels, so I didn’t lose much sleep over it. For post production, mostly just selectively adding contrast and sharpening, but two images got slight vignettes added.

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The race was just over 2 hours, and I covered the course from one end to the other, and then I went directly to the trophy presentation, and then uploaded 21 images to Southcreek Global, after adding the appropriate metadata and naming conventions.

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The weather turned out to be great, with blue skies above, and the temperature was a perfect 68 degrees with a slight breeze. It was a prefect day for a re-race. :)

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By now you guys already know we have a “How to Shoot Live Concerts” in-depth pre-conference workshop next Tuesday in Orlando at Photoshop World (Sponsored by Nikon Professional Services), but I just learned yesterday that NPS is giving away a new Nikon D300s DSLR, along with their new 35mm f/1.8 lens to the student who takes the best shot during the “Live Concert Shoot” portion of the workshop.

The judging will take place during the opening keynote on Wednesday morning (the finalist’s photos will be displayed for the crowd to choose the winner by applause), and somebody in that workshop is going to walk away with some very cool new gear!

NPS will also have some loaner bodies and lenses (read as: really nice glass) on hand for the workshop participants to try out some new gear that’s perfectly suited to shooting concerts and indoor events.Here’s all the details on the workshop, and best of luck!

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The third installment of my popular “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” series for Kelby Training Online went live this week at Kelby Training Online, and if you can check it out right here.

As always in this series, I do everything from scratch, starting with an empty studio, and taking you through all the steps, from setting up the backgrounds and lighting, then going into the live shoot itself, and then finally through the full editing and retouching process to create our final image.

Hope you guys enjoy the final installment of this three-part series (though I will be adding a new series of segments this spring).

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My good friend, and D-Town TV co-host Matt Kloskowski has been working on a portfolio site for his photography, and when he came in and showed it to me last week, I was just like, “Dude—that’s the portfolio site everybody wants!”

He had been keeping his eye out for a while for an easily up-datable, flexible, inexpensive solution, but this is actually more than that , and I think he just totally nailed it!. I think it really compliments his photography, and at the same time, it makes you want to look around and see what else is there (and there’s lot of stuff there). Take a moment and check out Matt’s fantastic photography, and his very cool new site.

NOTE: Matt is in Dubai right now, teaching at the Gulf Photo conference, but I’m doing to send him a text to let me know that I ran this post, and hopefully if he gets a chance he can answer some of your questions about his site.

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