Archive for the ‘24-105mm f/4L IS’ Category

Dalí Till Dawn at the High Museum

Last weekend, I was asked to “provide coverage of the Dalí Till Dawn event” at the High Museum in Atlanta, where I am currently working. This turned out to be a larger task than one person could handle, as they wanted both still AND video coverage of the whole night, which went from their normal closing hour of 5pm until 5am. Luckily I didn’t have to stay till 5am, but I did enlist Andrew’s help to do video and we were there until 2am. Giacomo came as well and he hung out with us towards the end. All in all it was a good time, and the only downside is the 600+ photos and hours+ of video I have is very difficult to edit down to a 3 minute video… it is coming along, but slowly. We were even able to take the time to grab a few night-HDRs of the museum, as well as a time-lapse HDR of the festivities inside which will probably make its way up on the blog soon. I really liked the way this photo turned out, as it shows the density and length of the line, but one thing it does not convey is how cold it was. These people were waiting in line for hours and hours in below-freezing temperatures, all to see the galleries within! Things like this make me feel validated in my love of art, because the Dalí show really was one that was worth waiting in that line to see. Anyway, here is this shot of the museum entrance around midnight.

This shot was taken with Andrew's 24-105mm, which is very likely to be my next lens purchase... that range on the full-frame 5D is so perfect.

Tough Competition

With Tucker off on some gorgeous island chain in the Pacific, Giacomo and I will be hard pressed to generate some competitive material. I can only guess as to what Tucker will be posting in the coming days because Hawaii tends to be a picturesque location… In the meantime however, Giacomo and I will continue to figure out the best approach to HDR time-lapse video in addition to posting the occasional image or two. Earlier today I stumbled across a 5-shot bracket I did of Splash Mountain around sunset when I was in Disneyland a few weeks ago — why had I not processed it? Whatever the reason for my delay, I have finally sat down with it and I am really pleased with the result. California has its sunsets, yes, but that rarely guarantees anything in the sky but beautiful colors, let alone the really awesome clouds we had a few weeks ago. I give you, Splash Mountain at Sunset. I will now set up a batch in photomatix and will see the results of our latest test HDR time-lapse test shoot in the morning!

I mean, how could I have passed this one up? You've got the tripod, you've got the camera, and you're standing right here. Every time I hit Disneyland I find something great to shoot... what a place: Los Angeles, CA

Leaving Amarillo

We crunched through 750 miles on Day 1 and 825 on Day 2 but just as the sun started to set behind us making our way out of Amarillo, TX, I leaned out the passenger window to check out the view. Definitely one of my favorites. The absolute nothingness along the New Mexico highway was  behind us and things would gradually become more and more populated the farther east we got. Highlight of Amarillo: we kept seeing billboard advertisements for “FREE 72oz. STEAK” with a picture of a sketchy cowboy holding a dinner plate.

The west is great but you never get clouds like this in L.A. Amarillo, TX

And now for some new material…

Oh man, it’s been crazy. I think Tucker, Giacomo and myself have all been outrageously swamped with work and other obligations as school semesters and seasons have come to a close and it’s gotten to the point where new material is hard to come by shy of reaching into the past to rework old shots. I just completed a 2,270 mile journey from L.A. back to Atlanta and let me say I will not be doing that again anytime soon. The three of us will all be in town at the same time for the better part of two months so there is guaranteed to be some amazingly fun stuff to go around in the next few days and weeks. To get things rolling again I have a shot from the road trip, around the California/Arizona state line at a rest stop on the side of the highway. I love this picture but even still I don’t think I’ve done the scene justice. You just kind of had to be there I guess.

Highway rest stops never felt so gorgeous... Needles, CA

Clear Sunset on Downtown

I feel like there has been a severe lack of posts recently. The problem is that this is busy season for schoolwork and outside projects and as everyone winds their way towards a well deserved Thanksgiving break, any extra chunk of spare time you find often ends up turning into a nap. Nothing wrong with that of course, unless you’re supposed to be contributing to a photo blog on a regular basis. Regardless, on an afternoon not too long ago I decided that in my two hours before my last class before break I would steal up onto the roof of a building and see what I could see from there. It rained just a few days ago so I knew the sky would be uncharacteristically clear-ish… fortunately, the stars aligned and there were also some interesting clouds hanging in the background. This never happens. I was more than happy to record a copy for myself. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Downtown from the direction of campus, about 150 feet up: Los Angeles CA


A whirlwind weekend for sure with two back to back days of hectic, last minute night shoots. Sony officially announced their new F3 camera on Monday morning and had tasked a small group at school with putting together a test/promo piece over the wee

kend to show it off. It’s really an amazing piece of work, opting to do 1080p very well instead of trying to play the resolution game and reach 2k or 4k levels. The sensor size is almost the size of a physical frame of 35mm film and the body is intended to be used with legitimate PL mount cinema lenses, essentially Sony’s attempt at making an affordable offering for indie productions looking for 35mm caliber images who don’t actually want to shoot on film. Very pretty picture for sure. Regardless, our story for the promo involved two young people frolicking amongst the Urban Lights exhibit at the LA County Museum of Art. In between setups, our two actors were kind enough to return to their spots so I could try and come away with my own bit of imagery for the evening. I have said on previous occasion that I love getting to take HDRs when the subject matter has been intentionally lit… it’s not often but the results are amazingly satisfying. More images from LACMA to come later in the week but I couldn’t wait to start working on this one as soon as I got back home earlier tonight…

All those in favor, say aye... Los Angeles CA

On Set: Beverly Hills

I love taking a handful of HDRs when I’m on sets–prior to this post, my last HDR from a set was one of my all time favorites–and I’ve recently had the opportunity to do so while assisting on the set of a USC student film the last several weekends. It is from one of four films being produced for CTPR 480, the highest level undergraduate film course offered at school. I will be deliberately vague on details to respect the privacy of the film, but suffice to say it is very, very cool 🙂

A small alleyway in Beverly Hills lends itself to a particularly intense scene in the film. I took these in between takes while the director discussed something with the actor out of frame... Beverly Hills, CA

Finally, HDRs in a lit environment…

It’s not often I get a chance to shoot an HDR with deliberate, planned lighting. I filled in for a friend of mine today by being the gaffer on a music video shoot downtown. It’s a nasty area to be in at night… At any rate though, the surrounding three or four blocks all appeared to be empty buildings like our own, devoid of furniture and clearly angled at small productions in need of a gritty-looking flat. It was a stop-motion shoot so progress was slow and tedious. Lighting changes were fairly spaced out and so I fulfilled my other role on set by taking production stills for them. Set photography has gotten to be one of my favorite hobbies because you aren’t tied down as a coffee-grabbing PA, you generally aren’t asked upon by the camera department to move anything you don’t want to, and you basically have free reign to simply strut around the set and take pictures wherever you want.  Everyone involved in the production wants to walk away with some great shots of them working a music video shoot so it’s generally fairly easy to get along with everyone. It’s a good gig and I hope to photograph several upcoming student films this semester… That being said, set photography is an excellent place to shoot HDRs because of the deliberately constructed visuals all around. It’s a naturally cinematic place with things that are pleasing to look at and because HDR works best in environments where there are really dark darks and really light lights, sets are an excellent place to shoot thanks to the many lights that selectively stylize the scene. I took several HDRs on set here, and this is definitely one of my favorites…

Deliberate lighting makes a world of difference... Because he was playing the guitar while I was taking these, I masked in his hands from the middle exposure to prevent ghosty appendages: Downtown Los Angeles CA

Skatepark Bail

Just past the American Ninja Warrior taping you can find Venice’s skatepark. It’s always bustling with a huge variety of skaters with some (and arguably the best) as young as 6 years old. Last time I was shooting single-shot HDRs I was facing the other direction, watching the street performers climb on top of each other. Venice begs for the single-shot approach because there is so much ACTION here: the basketball courts, the mini-tennis courts, the skatepark, the street performances, and the general bustle of a place that’s forever crowded. The skatepark is one of my favorite places to find single-shot material and I expect plenty more fun images to come from here in the future…

Not everybody is a pro here. This guy got a little fancy and had to bail. This area attracts a small ring of spectators and the skaters politely take turns taking this run. It's really nice to see people from all over having fun enjoying a common pastime: Venice Beach CA

Yosemite: Starting Things Off

So Giacomo and I trekked up north to Yosemite this past Sun-Wed and came back with approximately 25GB of pictures and videos. I had been once before in 2000 and it was amazing to be able to go back with such a different perspective on the place now that I love photography so much. It really is one of the most beautiful places on earth and as such commands a near infinite number of photographic opportunities. On our first day there, we snagged a parking spot at the Yosemite Lodge before the place got too crowded. The plan was to try and be up on top of the valley ridge by  the time sunset rolled around. Although this flies in the face of official hiking advisements to hit the trails early in the morning before the sun is out, we figured that we should start the 3.2 mile climb up the Yosemite Falls trail around 1pm. Fortunately, the sun is so high in the sky by this point during the day that on this particular trail, hikers are afforded a great deal of shade even in the afternoon since the sun is already blocked by the valley wall. More details to come later, but suffice to say that a stupid number of pictures was taken over the course of two days and we’ll be backlogged processing HDR’s for a month (I still have the Getty trip from a few weeks ago and last Friday’s Disneyland trip to sort out!). Here are three to start things off…

About a mile up the trail you can step out to a frail railing and take in this lovely view. The circular polarizer does what it can to make an utterly cloudless (and therefore boring-ish) sky look the best it can: Yosemite CA

If you adventure off the path away from the edge of the falls, you can sneak back into a little pool near the top of the falls. Instant relief for tired feet: Yosemite CA

About a mile past the falls you reach Yosemite Point and about a quarter mile past that you get to an amazingly epic outcrop we dubbed The Pedestal. As the sun set to my right, it lit the fringe of the valley walls. I can't point it out in this image, but this is Glacier Point and the west end of the valley... Yosemite CA