Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Camelback Portrait Sessions - March Dates Confirmed

[EDIT: The March dates for 'Portraits at the Top' have CHANGED. The corrected dates are listed below and are 03/15 and 03/28.]

Some of you may already be aware that I am offering a service called 'Portraits at the Top'. For the benefit of those who haven't yet heard of this, I am hiking to the top of Camelback Mountain twice a month and shooting free portraits. The twist is that I will have portable lighting equipment with me and have a mobile studio set up to create portraits like the one above.

It would be great to see you up there for a free photo and to say 'Hi'. The dates for March are Sunday 03/015 and Saturday 03/28 from 9:00am until noon. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me here.

Strobist Info:
Exposure was 1/800 at f/16 to underexpose the sky
Two SB800's fired full power using CLS high and camera-right
One Vivitar 285 fired full power using PocketWizards low and camera-right
One SB800 fired full power on-camera to provide on-axis fill light

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sun Rising Over Watson Lake

The sun just moments after cresting the horizon - Watson LakeA friend (and fellow photographer)invited me to visit him up north for a visit and a photo shoot. We shot at Watson Lake outside Prescott, AZ starting just before the sun crept over the horizon. It was a beautiful cold Arizona morning and some of the snow from a previous storm remained despite a week of warm daytime highs in the 40's.

After shooting the ambient light of the rising sun, I wanted to try something a little different and use some strobes. The foreground of this image is lit predominately by strobes. As you might guess, shooting into the sun with the surfaces of the foreground facing away from the sun (toward the camera), they would have been very dark without a little help from artificial light.

Strobist Info:
2 SB900's and 1 SB800 camera right (needed lots of light to compete with the bright sunlight)
1 SB800 camera left to throw a splash of light on the left side of the main rock in foreground.
All strobes fired full power using CLS

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stormy Day on Camelback Mountain

Stormy day in Phoenix, AZ - view from top of Camelback Mountain
Today was scheduled to be the second installment of Portraits at the Top (the first of which was a great success) however Mother Nature had different plans for me. It rained all night and was still raining when I got up this morning at 6:00. But by 7:00 or 7:30 it started clearing; patches of blue sky with big puffy silver and black clouds. I figured the heat of the sun would burn off most of the moisture in the sky and I would be good to go - I was wrong. Just I was approaching the peak the skies opened with fury. I was getting my ass kicked by rain and hail - the trail turned into a river and I hid for cover.

After hiking back down, a hot shower, and a hot meal the skies seemed to be friendly again - same as earlier; patches of blue with big puffy clouds. I tried to figure out where the line between 'persistence' and 'learning my lesson' was drawn. Persistence won and I headed up the mountain a second time. I got rained on again. No portraits today but this time I wasn't leaving without a photo. So as soon as there was a break in the rain I set up and snapped a few landscape shots (not my forte).

Anyway, when life gives you lemons . . .

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rappelling . . . Only Different

Rockclimber Rappelling - UPSIDEDOWN!For some time now I have been wanting to expand my portfolio with more lifestyle portraiture - rockclimbing, running, kayaking, dance, etc. On a recent hike up Camelback Mountain, I saw this guy rappelling down one of the walls. Except instead of a traditional rappel, he was running down the wall facing downward - toward the ground! I had to approach him and ask if he would be interested in volunteering for a photoshoot and a few weeks later we are out in the desert shooting. He has some seriously dangerous moves like the one above in which he is actually descending the rope by sliding down it upsidedown.

We will be shooting more together and I'm sure his future performances for the camera will be just as harrowing!

Strobist Info:
2 SB900's and 1 SB800 camera left (gobo'd to prevent light from hitting the wall and diluting the subject's shadow) fired 1/4 power using CLS. The reason for so many is it was broad daylight and I thought I would need more horsepower. Strobes are bracketed and hanging from a rappel rope.
1 SB800 below subject and slightly camera right aimed upwards at subject fired full power using CLS.

To see more of my work visit my commercial photography website.