Last fall, I did something that was definitely outside of my comfort zone … I approached a local food cart, Cheesy Stuffed Burgers, and asked if I could do a photo story on them.
Just to be clear, this wasn’t one of those times when I’d already built some sort of low-level casual relationship. Nope. The bottom line was that they made some awesome hamburgers that not only did I like – but my family liked, too. And when I recommended them to friends – they liked them, too. They seemed like great people and a fun, local business – and the idea of a project sounded like a creative challenge.
So, after placing an order one time, I said something like “hey, I was wondering if you folks might be interested in a photo story”. Except – I probably sounded even more stilted and awkward than that. And Janice – one of the owners very cheerfully and kindly said – “Sure – drop us an email”. So, I did – and included links to my portfolio, Facebook page, and Exposure stories.
Then I met with Mark (Janice’s husband) and pitched the idea to him – and we started that weekend. The funny thing – the trio of owners hadn’t yet looked at my portfolio. They just thought it would be fun – and we seemed to connect well. That was enough.
I showed up at 1oPM on that first Saturday night and shot to midnight:thirty or so. And it was way different than I thought it was going to be. And it was a heck of a lot of fun.
Fast forward to a few months later – and I’ve now published that photo story. If you get the chance, check it out. Better yet – if you’re in the Corvallis area – go get yourself a burger and fries. My favorite? The Sriracha Burger.
Earlier this week, I posted a few “best of 2015” rodeo images. So, here’s a few from the “everything else” bucket.
Looking over these images – there’s quite a bit of low light work in here. I don’t recall setting that as a 2015 goal – but if the shoe fits…
In no particular order:
These next two photos are from a yet-to-be-published project with a local food cart.
From a basketball tournament for Oregon Special Olympics.
Cliff Lake at sunset in the Seven Lakes Basin (Oregon).
Milky Way over Big Lake (Oregon).
Milky Way over Waldo Lake (Oregon).
And, of course, a few hot air balloon photos.
These next few images are from the photo story I did on the Super Plungers – a small group of Polar Plungers that jump once an hour for 24 hours into the very cold Columbia River – as part of a larger event to raise funds for Oregon Special Olympics.
It’s that time of year when I like to look back on the year that just closed and try to distill a set of “best of”. As I had the chance to shoot a bit of rodeo this year – let’s start with a few of those.
So – in no particular order – here you go.
The Polk County Fair and Rodeo – not only did it produce more good barrel racing images than the bronc events – but the bull riding images were some of the best from the night. I often don’t shoot straight into the gate – but on this evening it worked well. And like the barrels – the light + dirt were nice compliments.
As I mentioned over on the Camera 47 FB page – it’s an odd day when I get more barrel racing keepers than from the bronc events. But that’s exactly what happened up at the Polk County Fair – rodeo provided by Wild West Events, Inc. It was mostly an evening of rough stock (bareback bronc, saddle bronc, and bull riding) – but there was also some barrel racing – and just for fun – some mutton busting.
All too often, I can get into a groove (rut?) when shooting rodeo – mostly because I have a preferred location (or two) for each event. But while up at Polk County, to be honest, I was a little out of sorts. It was a pretty small arena but for the horse racing segment – I happened to be outside the arena near what is often the 1st barrel (depending on the rider’s preferred pattern) – and in between some gulps of water – tried for a few images. The dust + low light were great elements to work with.
This trip to the rodeo was also the first gig with the new camera. I’m digging it – but I’m still trying to dial in the nuances. Hopefully, more on that later.
In no particular order – here’s a few barrel racing images from the evening:
This had been on my “list” for awhile and last Friday night during their Test & Tune evening, a buddy and I headed on out to the dirt track at the Willamette Speedway. It’s just unfortunate that I can’t push some dirt, exhaust, and engine rumbling through the screen to you.
This was the first time I’d taken the opportunity to shoot fast moving cars and, truth be told, it was a heck of a lot of fun. The Test & Tune format really provided a great opportunity to get some daylight images without a lot of distraction.
At the Willamette Speedway, these Test & Tune nights are free to attend but for $15 you can get yourself in the pit. If you’re asking – it was worth the $15.
And if I have my classes right – #25, #90, #31, and #22 are Street Stock. #0 is Modified and #33 and #2 are Super Sports.
Yesterday’s post from the 2015 Great Oregon Steam Up had images from the Oregon Electric Railway Museum. Today’s post includes steam tractors, fire trucks, and some farm tractors.
If you read yesterday’s post – just for fun, I suggested that the last photo gave a hint about today’s post. That hint: IR. As for the images today: each of these continue my experiment with IR + X100S.
So, let’s talk a bit about the IR process. With this technique, if you’ve not yet had the chance to work with an IR filter – the images out of camera can look like this:
A very orangey / red photo. Blah.
So, the challenge when working with IR images is deciding on the best technique to get them to something that looks interesting. There are some great techniques out there – and I’m constantly fiddling with mine – but generally my steps include (1) apply my custom LR preset (2) flip the red / blue channels (3) adjust as needed. The results can look something like this:
But during this batch, I guess I was feeling a bit impatient, and started fidgeting with the photos after the preset – and I sort of stumbled on what I’m going to call Bleached IR. So, here’s a few from that set.
To be honest, for these very industrial tools – I like this treatment.
But maybe it was the “vintageness” of the hardware that inspired me to add a bit of “remix” sauce to a few. So – here’s a few with the the Bleached IR + Remix:
Had a chance to shoot the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo last weekend. And just for fun – I thought I’d change it up a bit. So, here you go, in no particular order – some of the top dismounts I was able to put on film.
Two frames before the image below – you’ll see this fellow in a near swan dive. Unfortunately, it’s not a very usable image. Still – I thought this one worked well, too.
These little guys took some spills, too.
OK – so it wasn’t entirely an unplanned dismount.
Can’t have a list like this without a bull rider.
As a Cub Scout, I recall my one year on the Pinewood Derby circuit. Sure – that season was compressed to a single evening in the cafeteria of my elementary school – but it was a heck of a lot of fun watching my car take 2nd in all three heats that it bounced down the wooden swooped track.
So, imagine my joy when my daughter announced that she had a morning of Pinewood Derby racing on the calendar.
Of course, we worked on her car. It was pink. And, as it turns out, the fastest “legal” car of the day. But for this project – we wanted the fastest car of the day.
I was looking for a bit of track level video and thought it would be fun to bolt one of the Contours to a car as an experiment. Thankfully, by simply weighing more than twice the allowed limit of 5 oz – the extra weight helped get the car out in front of the pack. And with the wide angle lenses on most POV cameras – your car won’t need to be much faster – maybe only a couple of car lengths.
This design is essentially a basic wedge Pinewood Derby kit and a Contour camera. The weights? Well, where they’re located on the image above – I don’t think they really helped. A simple quarter-twenty bolt attached the camera. The spacers you see were only added to take up some of the bolt length – as it was a bit long.
As for the track footage – I cleared it with the event organizers, got a race number for the car so that it would be integrated into the real-time racing matrix (this allowed for footage from all 4 lanes and a mix of cars) – and simply let it go. For most cars on this day, it was fast enough. This version of the camera car only ran in the high 2.5’s. Next year – I’ve got some ideas to see if I can get it a bit faster.
If you decide to try this – or something similar – let us know!
For folks that read this blog regularly, you know that my assignments typically don’t have me rubbing elbows with public figure types. But one of the organizations that I’ve had the opportunity to work with the past few years is Oregon Special Olympics (SOOR). And as a near life-time Trail Blazers fan (there – I said it ) – I think it’s great that the Blazers have a strong relationship with SOOR.
This last summer while I was at the Oregon Summer Games, former Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey was in attendance, spoke at the awards ceremony, and was on hand to pose for photos.
Last week, Jerome Kersey passed away suddenly from a blood clot at the age of 52. Those who knew him well, speak much of his warmth and his infectious personality. Those who played with him speak of his tenacity and hard work. I didn’t know him personally, but one thing that impressed me in my very few short minutes with Jerome was his genuineness with everybody around him. Not once did he seem distracted or if there was somewhere else he’d rather be. Heck, I’m not even sure if he ever stopped smiling.
Prior to the ceremony, I was asked if I could get a photo of Jerome with the Olympic torch. So, after the ceremony, I introduced myself and we tried to cross the fifty feet from the stage, down the steps, and to the torch for a photo or two. And as he was surrounded by athletes and coaches – Jerome stopped for every hug, handshake, high five, and photo that he possibly could. By the time we made it to the torch, it was quickly evident that we weren’t going to the get the photo we’d set out to make. Just a quick bit of eye contact, a smile and small shrug, and we got the photo below. A quick nod of thanks (as the crowd rushed in – we weren’t going to get our parting handshake) and Jerome got back to the hugs and autographs. Looking back – I’m glad that we missed on the initial photo idea. I’m pretty sure this one is much better.