I thought I’d share a photo and give my self a pat on the back (or two). First, the photo:


Fielding and I have been trying to shoot trains for the last few nights. Last night we waited and waited with the disappointment of no train. We occupied our time with this photo. That’s Fielding on the left and me on the right.

Fielding and I on Flickr's Homepage

The photo made Explore #1 spot on flickr and was featured on the front page. I’m pretty stoked considering the photo was rated #1 (at least for a day) out of the more than TWO BILLION photos on flickr. Here’s the evidence 🙂

Photo Specs: Nikon D300, stacking method used with 35 exposure, 30 seconds @ ISO 1000 for fielding and I and 2 mins @ ISO 800 for the rest. Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, f/2.8 and f/4.


In other news…

Recently, one my audio trigger photos won 3rd place in the diyphotography.net D3A contest. The contest had close to ten thousand submissions during 10 month entry period. Thanks to Fielding, Nick and Jon for all the help and I have to admit that any of their photos could have easily won (if they had submitted them). BTW, the prize was a fancy programmable audio/visual timer (similar, but much more sophisticated than the one I used for the glass breaking shots). My next goal is to capture a bullet.


Finally, the scanner camera project has been featured on various tech and photography sites, the largest being CrunchGear.com and CNET Asia:

I have been shooting nonstop for the last few days and I plan on posting more photography soon. Keep checking back.

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Anger Management

March 26, 2009 | Category: Lighting, Photography | 4 Comments

What do you do when you need an outlet? How about breaking glasses and making a huge mess with food dye all while using guns and hammers! These photos were created using 3x Nikon speedlights (2x SB-800s and an SB-28) at 1/32 output against a white background. The speedlights were triggered by a home-made sound trigger kit (Big thanks to photographer Jon Loder who built the trigger).  Three of us were shooting cameras and one was destroying glasses (BB guns and hammers were the weapons of choice). The cameras were set to bulb (with the lights out) and the sound of the glass breaking triggered the speedlights creating the images below.

I convienantly left when it came time to cleanup!

The exact moment the Fielding and Nick got lacerations - no joke.

Green Wins!

  The Aftermath

 Screenshot of some other (unprocessed) attempts from the shoot

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Fluidic Space

March 23, 2009 | Category: Photography | 2 Comments

Zero Gravity Liquid 

A few test shots from my weekend project. Project you ask? There’s gonna be hell to pay and these glasses will be picking up the bill! Stay tuned.

 Glass explodesA drink with a bite

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Prototype Pen on black glassLast week was quite busy for me. I did some photo-tutoring, lots of product photos and even managed to squeeze some recreational photography in with a few friends. Here are some photos I did for a client, an ex-f/18 navy pilot, who designed a prototype pen developed specifically for fighter pilots and law enforcement agencies.

The pen has a special LED that is night vision friendly, is built using super tough metal and writes in freezing environments.

Photo Details: For the photo on the left, I used black string to hang the pen above a sheet of glass (RIP right after this shot). The lighting is 2x 600w/s strobes on each side of the pen shooting through very large soft-boxes and an sb800 with a round snoot for the background light. The shot was difficult because the pen was constantly spinning and I had to time the rotation perfectly. The pen’s green light was no match for the brightness of the strobes, therefore I took a second exposure with the light on and combined the two. (Nikon D300, 80-200mm 2.8, 1/250 @ F/16, ISO 200)

Pen Still life

Photo Details (above): For this photo, I set the camera’s white balance to incandescent (making my strobe light blue). I then The setup shot, check out the super expensive "fabric softener" snoot.added some extra blue filtration to my main strobe for a much colder look. The photo has 3 strobes and one gold reflector: Main light is blue gelled 600w/s strobe with softbox to camera left. 1x CTO gelled (for neutral light) snooted sb800 to illuminate the pen and pad. 1x CTO gelled + “gobo’d” sb-800 for the map and pad on the bottom right. And finally, a gold reflector, just outside the frame to the top left for the warmish colored light. (Nikon D300, 17-55mm 2.8 lens, 1/250 @ f/5.0, ISO 200).

Notice the high tech snoot and gobo/snoot thing. The setup shot doesn’t show the main strobe. Below are a couple more.  

Pen on blackPen on White

The final two photos were created to demonstrate the angle, shape and intensity of the beam.

  A fog machine was used to show the shape and spread of the light beam.

 This entire scene was painted with gelled flashlights.




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Between the Cracks

March 10, 2009 | Category: Photography | 7 Comments


 Living Room


Three from an abandoned building in Virginia City. Thanks to Jon for access to the house and a great time shooting.

Comments welcome. 

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A few nights ago I had an opportunity to not only shoot an NBA development league game, but have access to the custom strobe setup in the arena. These photos were my very first attempt at shooting strobed basketball.

Blatant FoulI had to try the fisheye for at least a couple shots: Nikon D300, 10.5mm fisheye. This fast break was shot at 1/250th @f/3.5, ISO 640

Thanks to Fielding Cathcart (friend and Bighorns official photographer) for the invite and use of his “big boy” Nice lighting thanks to some powerful 1600 w/s heads!lights. Fielding has installed 2x White lighting 1600s on one side of the court and 2x interfit heads on the opposite side. All of the lights are up in the rafters, on the corners of the court arranged in a X lighting pattern, cross lighting the court. They are triggered by PocketWizards—on channel 1 for anyone who wants to leech off those heads….kidding, kidding (or am I?).

The lighting is beautiful and the flash duration is very short on the White lightings allowing for very nice frozen action. The one caveat of the setup is that the lights are running at or near full power and therefore require at least 2 seconds to recycle. With slow recycle times, timing is absolutely critical!

I hope to shoot more hoops with Fielding, in the meantime, be sure to check out his website

All Photos: Nikon D300, 1/250th, around f/3.5, lit by 2x White lighting 1600s.

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Lately I’ve been shooting a good amount of indoor action. A couple weekends ago, I was invited to shoot the 2009 AMA Arenacross event held at the Livestock Events Center here in Reno. I attended two out of the three nights and shot about 18 gigs (a ton of photos for me). This guy has some balls! ISO 3200, 1/200th @ f/2.8
The event was a blast to shoot but proved to be challenging due the the very low light in the arena and the high speed of the racers. As many of you likely know, shooting indoor action is always a balancing act between freezing action and controlling high-ISO noise. My plan was to combat the noise and blur by using both on and off camera lighting.

I decided to take the risk of hauling around too much equipment and brought my Quantum Q-flash T2 wNikon D300, 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, 1/50 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 640. Illuminated by Quantum Q-flash at 1/4 power, rear-sync, triggered by Elinchrom Skyportsith a light stand and skyport radio trigger setup. The Q-flash has about twice the output (and twice the size/weight) of a standard speedlight and a decently short flash duration for freezing action.

The Q-flash worked well, especially on a rear sync but wasn’t very mobile. Since I didn’t want to bring it onto the track,  I switched to an on-camera SB-800.

Photo left: Nikon D300, 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, 1/50 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 640. Illuminated by Quantum Q-flash at 1/4 power, rear-sync, triggered by Elinchrom Skyports

Once I switched to the on-camera flash, I focused on using rear sync panning, a technique that involves following the subject (panning) using a slow exposure and firing the flash on the 2nd curtain to freeze the rider in place. I like the sense of motion that is accomplished. Nikon D300, 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, 1/50 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 640. Illuminated by SB-800, rear-sync, triggered on camera

Photo right: Nikon D300, 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, 1/50 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 640. Illuminated by SB-800, rear-sync, triggered on camera


    Nikon D300, 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, 1/50 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 640. Illuminated by Quantum Q-flash at 1/4 power, rear-sync, triggered by Elinchrom Skyports





Photo left: Nikon D300, 17-55mm f/2.8 lens, 1/50 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 640. Illuminated by Quantum Q-flash at 1/4 power, rear-sync, triggered by Elinchrom Skyports







The big dark arena. ISO 3200, fisheye. 

I’d like to thank Howard at RPM photography for allowing to access to shoot the event. Please check out his site. For those curious, I will be posting more motocross photos on my flickr account.

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The Fort – 2 New Photos

February 24, 2009 | Category: Photography | 2 Comments

Every winter seems to revive an internal battle of mine. As the days grow darker, my photography diminishes and I begin to question my skills, my body of work, my goals and my future in the art.

In an attempt to combat my winter slump, I recently took a trip to Fort Churchhill Nevada.

I feel much better now.

The Fort 2

The Fort

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With life in the way, I have really been neglecting the scanner camera project for the last couple months. I finally found myself with time today and figured I’d do a short progress report. Since my last project post, I’ve designed a primitive focusing and framing back that is pretty accurate. I’ve also made some progress on the banding (effectively eliminating roughly 60-75% of the horizontal banding). I describe the process after the break.

The first field test of the scanner camera. This is cropped and has not had any banding reduction. Notice the odd way that motion is recorded.

Read More

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The Family

December 12, 2008 | Category: Lighting, Photography | 4 Comments

Since I haven’t posted in a while, I figured I’d share some photos…. and yes I need a hair cut 🙂


Above: Playing around with a single light source, minimal processing, honest portraits.

Below: A ridiculous photo of the dog and the overly elaborate lighting setup used to achieve the shot

 NeoHere is the setup for the shot of Neo: 2x large softboxes for rim behind the dog, a halo to camera left, slightly above the dog and foam-core to camera right, all in front of a black background

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