Saturday, April 26, 2014

Photographers shooting Photographers

What a great idea for an event. Justine Johnson, a wedding photographer from Portland, Maine, organized events on FaceBook for several "Head Shot Days". Ten photographers met up in Augusta, Maine on Tuesday, 22 April. The idea was for everyone to shoot everyone. And, we tried, we really tried. I will admit I did not even realize I had missed individually shooting 2 people until I was processing my photos.

The Group, courtesy of Angi Manter
This photo was shot by Angi Manter with her camera balanced on a stone step, with the timer on. Top row is Alisa Blundon, Lauren DelVecchio, Andria Simmons and her son Zane. Bottom row is Brady Allen, Rebecca Richards, Justine Johnson, Kayte Churchill, Jim Walker, Kyle Burnell, and Angi Manter.

Angi Manter, getting her shot.

It was all about the photography, and I don't mind telling you some of us were very uncomfortable being in front of the camera for a change. Talk about being out of your comfort zone. But, like a lot of us that spend most of our time behind the lens, I really did not have a decent shot of myself.

Jim Walker, courtesy of Angi Manter. Finally got a useable Head Shot.

This is my new "Head Shot" courtesy of the fine photography of Angi Manter. I am now using it on my web site,, my FaceBook page, Google + and Pinterest.

Brady Allen

We had a blast, and it was also nice meeting some of the great photographers that we have been chatting with on-line for quite awhile. Six of us adjourned for drinks and dinner at Joyce's in Hallowell, Maine. A good day was had by all. Thanks to everyone involved, and special thank you to Angi Manter for her photos.

Kayte Churchill and Angi Manter

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Special Event Photography

I was asked to photograph the Androscogin County Republican's Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser on 5 Apr 2014. That gave me the idea that highlighting Special Event Photography would be a good subject for the blog. Have you ever been asked to photograph a convention or a reception, or maybe a family reunion? And, you were very hesitant because of the challenge of low lighting, or maybe color balance problems were looming their ugly head!!! This is not to say there are not issues with all these things, but they are something that can be overcome and dealt with.

As can be seen in these photos, with a slight tweaking, it can be saved, even if the lighting is less than perfect. I begin the evening with my ISO set to at least 400 or 800. If the lighting is really dim, I might even bump it up to 1600. Modern Digital DSLR's handle ISO settings up to 1600 with little, or no, noise introduced. You may notice slight noise artifacts in the very black areas of the photo, but that can usually be dealt with effectively. These photos were taken with a Canon 60D, a Tamron 28-300mm IS Zoom lens, and a hot shoe mounted Canon 580EX flash. I am shooting the event in Shutter priority, set at 1/250 of a second, which is the sync setting of my flash when using the ETTL setting.

The top photo appears too dark, lacking details. With just a slight levels adjustment I can increase the light, without introducing a lot of noise. And the photo is saved, and more interesting to view.

This photo of Maine Governor Paul LePage was taken during his keynote speech. Close proximity to the stage is key to these types of captures. Depending on the venue, and your association with the organizers, you can put yourself in a good position, or not. I like to arrive early and check out the room arrangements and stage lighting, if I can.

Part of the fun in event photography is grabbing candid shots of the people in attendance. Everyone knows you are there to take photos, but the more you mingle and talk to folks the more at ease they will become. My goal is to be as unobtrusive as possible.

This photo of Bethel Shields, Dr. Tom Shields, and Governor Paul LePage shows how I captured a conversation in progress, without intruding on their space. A good zoom lens can capture a lot of interaction, without intruding on private conversations, and being in their face.

A couple of thoughts, from my perspective, to close this topic. It is all about the photography. I do not care what your political affiliations are, or your personal feelings. If you have agreed to photograph the event, (I will repeat) it is all about the photography. It is my job to take images that show folks in their best moments, and make them look as good as possible. No open mouths, no chewing food, no ugly facial expressions. And people do make the weirdest faces when engaged in conversation and especially eating. And, above all, Have Fun....