Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Final call

Summer is ending quickly for most students. Even quicker if you are a student athlete.

I have three weeks until I am officially back with The Towerlight. With that, I am already beginning to shoot a few images for our first issue; mostly sport portraits for the Fall Sports Preview. I would wait a little longer to shoot some of these, but the athletes are active in rigorous two-a-day practices for about two weeks starting in August.

Last year this photo illustration of Andrae Brown ran full cover for the special sports issue. Other than him forgetting shoes, I still love the image today. I'll be shooting the upcoming cover Thursday if everything planned lines up right. I am confident it will top last year.

Anyways, yesterday I shot the above of Towson senior men's soccer keeper, Billy Chiles. I was a bit scared in the morning because it was fairly cloudy and very humid. I expected heavy down pours. Luckily the sun poked through the clouds out during the shoot.

This image was preconceived before getting there. This is what I try and do for most portraits whether I have days or minutes to think of an image. I will always wing a second or third setup during the actual shoot if time allows. But I love preconceiving different image ideas in my head until one clicks. It is always a joy when a sketch turns out as planned and prints.

Most of the time shoots are fairly simple. But it's once I leave the shoot things become complicated. Even if I only get one or two poses I still have different variations of each. Sometimes subtle, sometimes extreme. Then I have to choose only one to run with. For non-photographers, it's tougher than one would think.

I encountered this problem with Billy. Here are my four final edits:

[Billy Chiles ONE]
[Billy Chiles TWO]
[Billy Chiles THREE]
[Billy Chiles FOUR]

Now, most of these are very similar and I'll end up submitting one or two of these images. If sports or cover needs an alternative image than I'll submit a second image not pictured above. But, it's my decision to narrow the images and really pick one, the main eye candy.

If I don't I am risking letting someone without a photographic eye to decide what to use, which is usually disastrous. Caveat: in most cases outside of the Towerlight it is more prone for my favorite image not to run because I often can't fight with a professional picture editor. They do know what is best, in most cases.

Letting someone else narrow my work and choosing an image is like letting me judge figure skating. I know absolutely nothing about figure skating, and I am not going to pretend I do know. That would be totally unfair.

I would love for everyone to know the "right" images to pick all of the time, unfortunately it never works that way. Many people are used to what they think is good or what they've seen in the past. And again, unfortunately they will fight you to the death because nowadays everyone is a photographer.

That's why I make the final call. But for the sake of argument, if you feel inclined, let me know which one you would run with in this instance here or on my Flickr page.

(NOTE: I am no longer putting a borders and copyright reminder stamp on images. I grew tired of doing it. So for all you image thieves the images are still Copyrighted and able to be tracked on my end. If you are still confused, scroll to the bottom of page.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Four ninety-nine

I'll admit that I don't watch nor follow baseball of any form; whether it's the little league world series, college, or the Major Leagues. So when I arrived at Camden Yards this afternoon for the game I had no idea what I was in for other than it was the NY Yankees.

As I sat talking with a couple other photographers during the 42 minute rain delay (I didn't see one sprinkle) I was afraid to ask what the chatter about A-Rod was all about.

Apparently, Alexander Rodriguez, aka A-Rod stands at 499 career home runs as of Friday. If A-Rod hits one more home run before June 29, 2008 (gee, that seems impossible) he will become the youngest player ever to hit his 500th home run, breaking the record Jimmie Foxx set in 1939.

Pretty impressive. However, Jose Canseco may say otherwise in his new book entitled "Vindication".

"I have other stuff on Alex Rodriquez" and "He is not whom he seems to be," Canseco said to Boston Radio. The announcers also asked Canseco directly: "Has A-Rod ever taken steroids?" Canseco said, "Wait and see."

Source of article: HERE

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Air travel

I haven't taken many photos yet, but if you haven't noticed I am on vacation; posting will be slower than normal. I had posted from my phone earlier today, but I finally found a "hot spot" in the condo we are staying in. I don't expect this hot spot to stick around, so I'll probably have to find a Starbucks sooner or later. Also, I know this photo will not really relate. I was going to wait to post this or another photo like it, however I didn't want to post this depressing airport photo.

Anyways, as I sat on my [delayed] flight from Baltimore to Charlotte Monday I began thinking how much I dislike airports. Although most are formed with impeccable architecture and full of all sorts of interesting people, they are full of the rude, unhappy people, too. Now, I could be completely wrong. I love to travel; I think it is exciting. But I guess I never realized it until now since this was my first flight by myself. I've always had the company of at least one other person.

My travels started Monday morning at 6a.m. when my brother dropped me off in front of BWI. I walked in; it was packed. As I checked the flight schedule I could already hear the whining. "Oh, jesus. This is ridiculous," a man said at the US Air check-in. Apparently he wanted to make a scene like a five-year old so that he could catch his flight quicker. I doubt it helped. Sure, he was probably frustrated, but anyone with half a brain and the internet (you guessed it...I have a full brain and the web) could have checked-in beforehand and printed out their boarding pass to bypass that cluster of humans.

So, as I continued my journey toward the security lines with about 45 minutes to spare I was again surrounded by the miserable. Walking past about a hundred people, I tried to smile and make eye contact with everyone I could. It was as if all these people had just found out their entire luggage had been lost and that they had to pay an additional $500 for their flight. When I got to the back of the line an airport employee notified everyone that it was about a 25 minute wait, and to make the line move quicker one must remove their laptops from their cases and have identification and boarding pass in hand. Again, a huge sigh roared from the lines. I don't see the inconvenience; I just wanted the line to move along like everyone else.

At this point, I am almost becoming pissed at the already angry. But I wouldn't conform.

Fast forward, us passengers of US Airways flight 807 are boarded. I accidentally sat in the wrong seat when I sat down. "I know you're not in my seat," a man grumbled at me. "I am sorry, I must have sat in the wrong seat," I said. "Well then move," he said.

Wow, I'll give the man a benefit of doubt that it is early, but I was in the aisle seat and was supposed to be in the middle. Give me a break.

Finally, as we taxied to take off, I looked at my cell phone to check the time. Approximately 45 minutes late from original take off time. People are again complaining. My thought, there is nothing they can do now. Time has already passed. I am sure if we are late enough a complaint or reimbursement can be taken care of, but nothing can be done.

Alas, my flight landed and I got to typing this during my layover in Charlotte. I surprisingly didn't have any angry people on my second flight. I am beginning to think that all of my complaining about complainers only applies to 7a.m. flights.

Time for the beach. I hope this nice long post will hold you over. I'll be back when I get some better images of my vacation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Therapeutic fair

I can remember when I got my first camera. I can remember when I sold my video camera to get more serious into my digital photography. I can remember when I got my first higher end digital. And I remember going out to take pictures of anything and everything in the middle of the night.

Why did I do it? Because I was escaping the reality of life. I was putting the bad thoughts, the sad times, and anything else bothering behind me to do something that made me happy. Taking pictures.

I still find myself doing this.

Sometimes I will remove my eye from the viewfinder, pear over my camera and realize I have no clue what has been going on around me for the past 10 minutes. Much like texting or talking while driving, maybe even changing the radio station, to look up and realize you have no idea how you managed to stay on your side of the road with out causing an accident.

My trip the Mason Dixon Fair wasn't solely therapeutic, I had been wanting to shoot my small town carnival in Jarrettsville, Md. for the past couple years and have missed it, including this year, every time. I was itching to shoot a hard-core redneck carnival.

I must say, I had a blast. I was smiling the entire time, and why wouldn't I? This place was littered with funny animals, tractor pulls, good old country boys and girls, rides, and of course, overpriced carny games.

Shooting was pretty loose tonight, as I was just having a good time. I may try and make it back up there before it ends, make a story out of it. Until then, I'll post a couple of my favorites on my Flickr page as I get through all my images tonight and tomorrow.

PS. I added a mini BIO to my sidebar, check it out. I know, took long enough, right?