Making Time For Yourself

It's really important to make time for yourself to shoot and practice your craft. While heading up to Scottsbluff, NE. for an assignment to shoot some health care images for a client of mine, I decided to stop and shoot for myself. We stopped in a small town in Nebraska while driving to Scottsbluff that had this interesting porch and bench. I thought it would be fun to take 15 minutes out of your drive to make this photograph.

I thought I could use this setting to create a photograph that looked as if it had been photographed late at night. The porch was in full open shade, which allowed me to create the mood of late night. I set my camera white balance to tungsten so that I could get a slight blue bias in the shadow area's of the image that included ambient light. In this case, the ambient light would be serving as my fill light.

I placed a Nikon SB-800 on a Justin Clamp over the subject gelled with 2 full CTO (Color Temperature Orange) gels over the flash head. The reason for using 2 full CTO's is because if I had only used one, the light coming from the strobe would not have the warmth I wanted. One CTO would have rendered the light as appearing neutral or balanced for tungsten. By adding the second or additional CTO, I was able to achieve the warmth of a tungsten light overhead.

The second Nikon SB-800 strobe was placed on a stand and gridded to only illuminate the back of the bench and soda bottle. This strobe was also gelled with 2 full CTO gels for the reason stated above.

Here is the video we shot while making this photo. I have 17 other videos posted at YouTube that you might find interesting as well. My lighting workshop "Small Strobes, Big Results" are filling fast. I have a few more openings for the August 2nd and August 23rd workshop in Denver if your interested in attending.

Helicopter Aerials-Vernal, UT

Last month I was on assignment for an energy client of mine, I was sent to Utah to shoot some helicopter aerials of 2 drilling rigs. These rigs where drilling in the Greater Natural Buttes near Vernal, UT. drilling almost side by side.

My client thought that the close proximity of the two rigs as well as the natural beauty of the setting, would allow for some beauty images. It's unusual to see two larger rigs drilling so close to one another, I had never seen two rig of their size so close together before.

Erik and I drove out to Vernal from Denver, as a flight to Salt Lake and than driving 2 1/2 hours to Vernal would be about the same amount of time either way. Besides, I enjoy driving and the opportunity to shoot along the way is always inviting.

We spent the night in Vernal, awoke the next morning to meet up with our escort to drive out to the rigs. We went out to the rigs to get some ground shots as well as getting a fix location on my Tom Tom navigation devise for the helicopter pilot for the next days aerials. There are lots of rigs drilling in the Natural Buttes area and locating our rigs from the air would have proven difficult without the proper longitude & latitude coordinates.

Prior to arriving in Vernal for this assignment, I made arrangements with a helicopter service out of Park City, UT for our aerial photos. I make it a company policy that helicopter charges are bill directly to the client, these are expense I do not want to carry for my clients. The hourly rate on this helicopter runs about $900.00, not the type of expense I want to carry for 30 days.

On the day of the aerials, I received a phone call from the pilot in Park City, UT stating that he was fogged in and that he would be around 30 minutes late. The weather in Vernal was clear and cool, not a cloud in sight. Erik and I left the hotel, grabbed a couple of large coffees and headed to the FBO at the Vernal airport to wait for the helicopter.

The helicopter arrived about 40 minutes late, we loaded quickly and headed out to the rigs. I provide the pilot with the coordinates obtained the previous day at the rigs and he plugged them into his NAV system. We had about a 20 minute flight to the rigs, driving time the previous day took 2 1/2 hours due to the muddy & winding dirt roads.

As we left the ground and started heading south of Vernal it was clear and beautiful. As we gained altitude we could see low clouds (fog) hugging the ground further south of our location. As we continued flying, I was growing more concerned about the weather ahead. The pilot continually called out the distance to the rig and I keep trying to guesstimate if we where going to fly out of the foggy area below us. The fog was patchy and it was my hope that we would find our rigs in the clear. The photo at the top of the page indicates that we did.

My client also had a processing plant they hoped to get aerials of while out shooting the rigs. This photo will give you a good idea of the type of fog issues we where dealing with while flying out to the rigs.

Here is a short video from our shoot in Vernal. I hope you enjoy it. DT

Koehler Bright Star Shoot

Here is a video from a recent shoot underground in a coal mine. I was shooting for Koehler Bright Star, a manufacturer of miners headlamps. I was commissioned to photograph there product in use for a large trade show display they are putting together. I hope you enjoy it!

Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone

I have to admit, I was a bit taken back when I got the call to shoot a fashion/product assignment. This particular client found me on the web and I guess by looking at my industrial work, they thought I was a perfect fit?

There is a fashion trend in South America right now that involves ribbon bracelets which you tie on your wrist. Your suppose to tie 3 knots while making 3 wishes. When the ribbon ware off or brake off your wrist, your wishes are suppose to come true.

My client needed photos of kids and adults wearing these bracelets which are know as Brazil-ets. My day started with young children ages 2 years of age to 12 years. We than moved up to the high schoolers and than adults.

I really enjoy shooting subject matter that I don't normally shoot, I think it keeps me fresh and challenged. We must of had 20 or so people in the studio at any given time during the shoot. A few of those where there to try to catch a look at half naked women.

Here is a video of the photo shoot.

Proofing with portable DVD

This was the last assignment for 2007. I was asked to photograph 9 executive head shots as well as environment portraits. This short video shows the set-up of the head shots as well as one of the environment portraits we had to do.

I've been using a portable DVD player on location in order to see a larger image than what is provided on the back of the camera. I find it a lot easier for my clients and subjects to review the images than crowding around the back of the camera. Have a look here. DT

Quarry Light Equipment

Here is the second installment of the equipment I'm taking on this current assignment. This small Lightware case holds most of the lighting gear. 4 Nikon SB-800's, PocketWizards,2 Bogen stands and some grip equipment.

I'm currently on location shooting and will continue to post while out. Anyway, here is the video of the light gear taken on this assignment. Feel free to contact me regarding questions. DT