Archive for August, 2009

Hard Times Cafe

Last week I headed into DC to clean out the rest of my apartment and fulfill a long time promise to my Step-Dad to take some formal shots of him and his restaurant in Rockville. The exterior picture above is a five shot HDR. I had to use five shots since the building faces south and I didn’t want to risk losing any highlight detail in the dramatic sky or shadow detail hiding inthe overhang.

My favorite interior shot out of the lot. I really like the symmetry in the floor, bar, stools, booths, pictures, and lights that was never really apparent to me before I came back to the restaurant with my camera.

Here’s a shot of my old man…looks pretty good for 59, huh? I wanted to hit the background with a blast of bright orange light from another strobe to add some more separation, but for some blasted reason the little bugger decided to die on me while I was there only to come back on when I came home!

Finally, a couple of macro grabs on the way out the door. I usually do this for property shoots so I figured it wouldn’t hurt, and maybe they could use them for marketing campaigns later down the line.

You can view the rest of the gallery here.

And just a quick update on me and Amy; we’re moved in and finally through unpacking boxes and assembling furniture…or at least I hope so! Amy started classes yesterday and I’m just now getting into a steady routine with waking up, working out, emails, reading, editing, blogging, etc. I also have a lot of back shop projects that I want to get to in the next couple of weeks that will help us lay a better foundation for this business and project the future, all while I edit a few paid shoots and some volunteer work.

One last note; I just applied to join an organization called Operation: Love Reunited, which pairs up local photographers with military families who are about to send a loved one overseas. I almost jumped out of my seat when I got a phone call from a friend telling me about this organization since it’s an idea I’ve been kicking around in my own head for some time now. My application went out early this week and I’ll hopefully hear back from them sometime soon!

Parisa and Omid

Just before moving out of DC I was able to hook up with Parisa and Omid for an engagement shoot in Georgetown down at the Waterfront. This venue had a very special meaning for the lovely couple since it’s where they had their first date. Parisa and Omid were an absolute dream to work with, and these two could not stop laughing and smiling together which made my job that much easier. They were a ton of fun to be around, and it couldn’t be any more transparent that these two are madly in love with each other.

I kept my gear setup real simple that day since I knew we would be moving around a bunch. These two shots I grabbed with my 70-200mm F2.8 which did an awesome job of compressing the Key bridge into the frame.

The day was filled with tons of overcast clouds which made for a beautiful, soft, diffuse backdrop.

Some shots of the couple playing around.

I did manage to slow them down for a brief moment to take this shot right next to the Swedish Embassy.

This was one of the few moments I was able to separate these two!

Of course I had to break out the off camera flash at the end of the day, and how could I resist with those big puffy clouds in the background? Unfortunately, my sync cable decided to stop working just as I was getting set up, but the on-camera flash commander did a good job of talking to the strobe that I had set up on the dock with a full CTO gel to get that warm sunset light. The wind was kicking around and I knew that we didn’t have much time on the dock together, so I had to go bare bulb with this shot. Not my first choice since the lighting is a little too harsh on Parisa for my tastes, but there weren’t many other options seeing that the dock workers chased us away from the boat house with a quickness!

A special thanks to Parisa and Omid for such a great day and photo session. These two were awesome and I can’t wait to shoot their wedding in October!

Rodney Meyer

The last week has been BUSY to say the least, BUT Amy and I are finally moved into our new place in Charlottesville, VA and really love our new digs! Amy found an apartment right at the buzzer just south of town that has plenty of room for the two of us. We’re surrounded by a ton of great amenities, including my personal favorite…Walnut Creek Park, that just so happens to host one of the best mountain bike courses in the area and it’s just eight miles down the road from me!

As you may or may not remember I am now full time with photography, which hasn’t meant much lately other than a corporate shoot, unpacking boxes, and rearranging our apartment, but I did find time over the last couple day to brainstorm how I want to revamp the blog to include these new photo frames. The blog has also been updated with some slight aesthetic changes with a BIG thanks going out to Greg Lavallee for all his help in recoding some of the dated HTML.

On to the images! During my August UTA weekend with the Reserves I was an ‘in demand kind of guy’…to say the least. I shot two promotion ceremonies, two retirement ceremonies, and set up a photo booth for the Family Fun day. Needless to say, I was swamped with work, but luckily we just added another troop to our shop who is very eager to shoot as well, so I was able to break away for a bit on Sunday to cover the retirement ceremony for MSgt Rodney Meyer.

I only met Rodney a month before during the July UTA weekend when he came by my office asking if I wouldn’t mind helping him out with a parting present that he was putting together for the squadron. Not being one to turn anyone away I agreed, and we soon got to know each other. The next UTA weekend he again stopped by my office to ask if I wouldn’t mind covering his retirement ceremony. A guy only retires once from the military (well, most of the time) and Rodney seemed like a genuinely good guy, so how could I turn him down??? Little did I know that this man was literally an institutionand will not soon be forgotten at the 459th.

Rodney served proudly for 28 years with the 459th alone which is just incredible to me! He’s unquestionably been an integral part of every aircraft to come across the ramp and finished out his career proudly as a boom operator. You may be asking yourself, “how does this goon (me) who’s only been part of that wing for six months know anything?” Well, I know all this because there wasn’t a dry eye in the packed auditorium.

After shooting two promotion ceremonies the day before in the same auditorium with an on camera flash, I decided to only shoot Rodney’s retirement with my 50mm F1.4 since the ceilings are incredibly low for such a large room and I wanted a more intimate feel to these images. The bokeh on this lens is awesome and it was a stellar performer all day with a few exceptions of back focusing.

Whenever the military gets together we of course have to have a bottle of hooch on hand. This was presented to Rodney as a gift for all the years he has selflesslyput in as the First Shirt at the Operations Squadron.

Taking a stab at Rodney for still being a C-141 load master at heart, the Operations Group Commander Col Muncy presented him with the “best picture” he could find of his old bird.

Rodney’s wife was a lot of fun too, in the above image she is surprised that she was recognized for all her years of support to the Air Force. Pictured Right, Rodney just could not get enough of that C-141 photo!

The MC for the event wrote a tune set to Fire and Rain to send Rodney off.

I wish I had more time to get to know Rodney, but one of the big downsides of the military is constantly saying goodbye to great people. However, if it weren’t for the military I’m sure that I never would have crossed paths with Rodney to begin with.