Archive for September, 2008

Twin Tech II

My second go with the Twin Tech crew had quite an impressive turn out. The location was at Avenue, just off New York Ave east of the Mt. Vernon Metro station. Three floors and tons of space were quickly occupied by the very large crowd and I suddenly found myself cornered and with little space to shoot!

Luckily I arrived there a half hour early and I was able to grab a bunch of product shots and candids of the first to show, which make up the bulk of the initial pictures. I used my 50mm 1.7 for a while and captured all the widgets that the companies were passing out as promotional items. Cast Iron Systems littered the event with these rockets that were everywhere, and I got this great shot when the gentleman to the right was abruptly struck in the face by one of them!

For a long while I used my beercan and moved along the edges of the crowd and snapped at a fairly high ISO (between 400 and 800). The ceilings were high, so when I finally decided to use my flash I had to hug the walls as much as possible to get it to properly bounce. I did get some great results on the first two floors where the walls were fairly smooth, but the third floor had a matte black finish all around that did nothing but absorb a good bit of what my HVL-F56AM could put out. To compensate, I slowed my shutter speed down to around 1/10 to 1/20 and edged up my aperture. I am really conscious of what f-stop I use since I never know when I’m going to get tapped to do a group shot and there have been times where I’ve struggled to find the right balance in the heat of the moment. I can better predict this if I leave my aperture alone and work more with my shutter speed, ISO, and flash…sounds easy right?

Towards the last hour of the party I pulled out my CZ 16-80mm and went in for the group shots after everyone had a solid two hours of drinking underneath their belts. Once again, this crowd was incredibly easy to work with and everyone was so friendly. Since I had around 300 captures by that point, I wasn’t really pressed for too many group shots and I spent a good deal of time conversing with the guests.

At the end of the night I ended up with another great batch of event pics, got to meet some very interesting people in the process, and was out the door by 9!!!

Arbors

First off, I’d like to apologize for not blogging for over a month! In the same breath, I also want to thank those of you who take the time out to read my rantings since I’ve noticed a significant drop off in the daily traffic to my site.

Next, I’d like to announce that the earlier work I spoke about in the “Build It” blog entry was a smashing success! The advertising team from Bozzuto put together an incredible ad that was published in the 17 September issue of Fashion Washington, which is a new insert being delivered with the Washington Post on select days. The ad was simply amazing, it took up half a page on quality glossy stock and the colors from the images came out incredibly well.

That morning I walked to my usual bus stop off of Columbia andKalorama only to find that I didn’t have any change on me to pick up a paper.I noticed a regular at the same stop had a paper, and like a goon I stood over his shoulder anxiously waiting to see if he stumbled across the ad. After about 20 minutes (I’m not kidding here) he eventually turned to me and said “would you like this paper?” A bit taken aback I said, “of course!” and explained why I was so intent on reading his copy. We got to talking and it turns out he’s a defense contractor too and used to shoot film casually; we’ve been acquaintances ever since.

Right around that same time I got another call fromBozzuto asking if I would like to shoot the Arbors apartment complex in Fair Lakes, VA, which I quickly replied yes! Before we agreed to a price, myPOC cautioned me that this was going to be a more “complex” shoot, and he was dead on. Garden style apartments are laid out just as the name says;detached, scattered, and usually not more than a few stories, which makes it very difficult to find flattering angles. Traditionally, these apartments would be a dream to shoot because they are shorter and don’t induce a lot of visual distortion.But who likes traditional?!?

Over an eight hour period I was able to break out some great shots of the exterior. Since the leaves just started to fall, I had to do some extensive clone stamping to clean up some of the exterior shots; lesson learned – try to shoot in summer! It wasn’t really a big deal and it gave me a chance to flex some newPhotoshop skills. Also, the complex was populated with residents and I had to compensate by excluding their cars and deck furniture in certain shots. Fortunately for me, the interior model was furnished with Ethan Allen furniture which made my job exponentially easier when I transitioned to the interior shots.

I was very pleased with the final product and theBozzuto team came back with a big thumbs up after I submitted to them last week.

Thanks for checking back in with the blog/site and I promise to make this a regular occurrence from now on!