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Keepsake Notes Section
- Who was I with?
- What did I see?
- What did I feel?
- What did the people with me think?
- Where did I stay?
This book is a keepsake. Get a copy for each of your family members.
For the spring Teton Photography Group program, we’re covering photographic composition. It’s the most important aspect of photography, well ahead of exposure and basic camera management. If you don’t know where and how to point your camera, all of the exposure controls in the world won’t help you.
We’re bringing in several professional photographers and artists for this one. Attendees will enjoy speeches from:
Each of these speakers brings their own photographic and artistic genre to life. Each is special in their own way, sharing their knowledge with the audience. They’re all worth listening to, as how they view the world will help you better view yours.
The symposium is on Mar 14, 2015, from 830am to 315pm at the Black Box Theater in the Center for the Arts.
Come, enjoy, learn and ask questions. I know I will!
Listen to the radio interview here:
Thanks to Kelly for recording this for me in her Toyota FJ (hence the tin can sound).
Some of my Old Bill’s Fun Run time lapse footage was used in the 2014 1% For the Tetons Video Blitz Film Festival. Check out the film here:
I used Nikon lenses with aperture rings to take all of the shot sequences to avoid flicker. When building up a time lapse video, flicker is the bane of time lapse shooters. It’s caused by subtle variations in the aperture setting when the camera takes pictures. You’ll never notice these in normal shooting but if you lay the shots down in a video sequence, the effect is distracting and ruins the video.
There are software tools to “de-flicker” or deflicker the video sequence. That’s all fine but it’s another step. All of Nikon’s new lenses are G series without aperture rings. I rarely use them but for time lapse. But when you need it, there’s nothing better. The only way to directly avoid this problem is to leave the G lens wide open or stop it all the way down. Both of these options aren’t as ideal.
Canon lenses and cameras used for time lapse shooting suffer from the same problem. If you are lucky enough to own a lens with an aperture ring and are thinking about selling it, consider that if you’re ever going to shoot time lapse, you’re selling off a superior tool.
The program is built in, it’s free, and it’s quite powerful for the cost. Many people use the software and been quite happy with it.
However, if you photograph a great deal, are serious about your shooting, and really need to upgrade your images, the only major software on the market now is Lightroom. It has far more capability than iPhoto, being able to manage images with keywords, collections, heavy editing, and seamless integration with Photoshop.
What happens when you have overwhelmed the abilities of iPhoto and you want to expand your repertoire, go pro, or whatever else you might like to do with your images? How do you get these images out of iPhoto and into Lightroom easily? Unfortunately there’s no easy answer. There are software packages out there to do the conversion but there’s nothing that’s truly dominating the market.
You are most likely going to need to convert manually. Before you break out in a cold sweat, don’t worry, it’s not a terribly complex deal, just a bit laborious. However, once you make the switch to using Finder to organize your photos on the Mac then use Lightroom to edit the ones you want to work on, you’ll be set.
I spent the afternoon with a private lesson student working on exactly this process. There were over a hundred events in iPhoto to convert. At first it seemed overwhelming, but once I shared the tricks and procedure of how to make the conversion and organize the files, the student saw it really wasn’t a complex process. Just a bit laborious. Once the folders are set up in Finder and the files are exported as originals out of iPhoto, it will be much easier to manage, view, and share these images.
If you’d like help with this process, contact me and I can arrange a lesson show you how to make the daunting task manageable.
Recording voice overs isn’t as simple as it seems. I’ve been working on getting the audio set for Antarctic Tears: The Movie, and it’s been a long haul getting audio correct. As all still cameras now have video capability, learning better audio to present your video and still work is worthwhile. The Nikon D800 records amazing film, as well as the Canon 5Diii. Photographer journalists are now virtually expected to produce good video as well as compelling stills.
Apple would have you believe you can just hook your ear buds into the computer, click the Record Voice Over in Final Cut Pro X and everything will be good. Only if you want room noise, the dog next door barking, and lots of static hiss to ruin your otherwise good film.
How about the built in microphone on your Macbook Retina? Only if you want to record fan noise, your keyboard strokes and who knows what else.
No, you have to go to some effort to get good audio and a great deal of effort to get excellent audio. People spend a lot of money on it! How do you make a basic voice over that sounds decent?
10k later, you’ll be set for your first audio book. Maybe.
Don’t believe it? Here are 2 audio samples of what you’ll get if you chose
A bad recording location: Wood floors, cathedral ceiling, lots of windows. This was recorded directly into a Zoom H4n into the stereo mics
You can hear the room echo. It’s terrible and makes the voice over difficult to hear.
You can hear the voice, it’s clear and there’s no high or low frequency echo. Would this be better if it were recorded on a Schoeps CMC641G microphone? Sure! But you’ll be set back $2000 or more just for the microphone.
I’ve been self-assigned the duty of creating Photo Wednesdays with the Teton Photography Group. To foster discussion, have a good time and improve communication between photographers in the group, we’re going to do this.
Loren Nelson will be sending out more specifics. Specifically, it’s informal, post your photo you think is interesting, even it’s your house cat. We’ll eventually have themes, but it’s a forum for everyone to post, have fun, and learn something. It’s a supportive environment and I hope to grow this into something fun that people always like to check out every Wednesday.
This will be open to everyone who is a TPG member, more details from Loren forthcoming, but we expect it to be fun and worth the time. Even if your photo is like the above and you’re hoping to get some discussion, it’ll be good. You see the pink area? That’s from light leakage in the Nikon D800. That’s why it has a little hatch on the viewfinder for long exposures. I learned that one. But it does make the photo more colorful, so maybe it worked out.
The Jackson Hole Off Square Theater Company contacted me to photograph their staged reading of The Lion in Winter, a 1966 play by James Goldman about Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their children (include Richard the Lionheart) during the Christmas of 1183.
The play was made into a movie in 1968 featuring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn. It was also made into a television show in 2003 with Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close. Though those actors are gone, the actors who played in this rendition directed by Natalia Macker, went well and was quite enjoyable.
Presented in two parts, the play relates the trials and tribulations of the medieval era and illustrates how people have not changed in 1000 years. The intrigues, devious nature, and constant infighting are no different today than they were at any other time in history.
Given the play was presented as a staged reading, I at first thought it wouldn’t be too interesting but I was quite wrong. Even though the actors held their scripts to read from, they did such a good job of interacting with each other and making the reading dramatic that them holding their scripts didn’t take away from the action at all.
One interesting technique that the play used was a narrator at the side of the stage to give audible cues to the audience for actions that would have required more props and action than the play afforded. Whether it be Henry drawing a sword on John or Eleanor cutting herself with a knife, the lack of props didn’t detracted from the play.
One of the best parts of photographing on a stage with the lighting is that I don’t have to add any drama to the image, I just have to capture it at the correct moment. So often lighting in things can be bland, so I work hard to add great lighting to give dimension and emotion to the image.
It’s important for me to deliver dramatic images to my clients to give them the feeling of a moment which would be lost otherwise with boring lighting. It’s not the camera that makes the photographer better but rather a sense of timing and ability to manipulate lighting to make the image striking and exciting. And if you can’t change the lighting, then finding a place that makes the image good and the lighting workable is just as important. When I teach photography, I impart in students that it’s important to work the image. With digital photography, you can see what you’re getting, so you can keep adjusting and get the image just right.
For those more interested in learning some of my lighting techniques, check out my training DVD Flash Photography with Aaron Linsdau at TVL Video.
It was a stormy day in the Jackson Hole area, so we decided to go out looking for animals. There were moose reported out past Kelly and that’s what I was hoping to capture. As luck would have it, those moose were as far away as possible. That’s the way animal photography works most of the time.
The first shot on the right ended up being my favorite because of the interplay between light, shadows, shapes, and branches.
As luck would have it, there were several nice images that rendered well in black and white. One even surprised me that I thought it would look good in b&w but actually looked better in color because the green standing out against the plain brown and slate gray of everything else is what caught my eye.
Walking in the landscape as a small animal, this young one has to keep a sharp eye out for trouble. As bighorn sheep seem to have very acute vision, this didn’t seem to be a problem for him. >
< I was quite excited to actually get an “okay” shot of two bighorn sheep head butting. I heard the crack several times but every time I looked, they were just standing around like nothing had happened.
Some of these sheep will come right up to your vehicle on the refuge road. Of course you have to be very careful when you drive around and it’s best not to get out of the vehicle. They like the chemicals and salts falling off vehicles, so they’ll actually come up and lick car tires. I did my boy scout duty today and towed a guy in a Nissan Altima out of the ditch on the side of the road. He tried to be proper and pull off to the side, only to immediately sink into 2 feet of snow, swamping his car. A little tow strap action got him on his way.
Kelly was able to get some video of this young ram munching on the refuge road twigs. He was so loud her iPhone actually captured the crunching. That was the funniest thing of the day.
Even though the animals were fun to photograph, I found some arguably more interesting scenes to capture. A few of them turned out fairly well. I haven’t decided what the power line and the crepuscular rays say, so you’ll have to make your own interpretation.
The sastrugi raking off the sage sticking out of the snow reminded me of Antarctica. Of course continent 7 doesn’t have any plants, but the windswept shapes of snow reminded me of Antarctic Tears.
At first I thought this shot would look great in black and white but it was the green against the brown gray of everything that actually caught my eye. Once I toned the image, it had not excitement. So the color version actually ended up working better. Finding shots where there’s a single item that’s out of place with the rest always makes for an interesting shot.
The moose was way out there, sitting, down, and facing away. He was no doubt tired from the photography and video he enjoyed having done on him the past couple days. I was hoping for something more exciting. But I’d be resting, too, if I had to run around all day in winter munching on twigs. The wind cooperated and make a blasting bison shot. I was hoping for some worse wind but this worked okay.
The hunters had to slog through knee deep snow to go after the animals they were looking for, so they had to work for their food.
Flat creek is the perfect place to catch swans, cygnets (baby swans) and mallards One doesn’t even have to drive barely past town to capture these magnificent animals.
Bad weather days are actually very nice to photograph in because there are far fewer people, the light is more interesting, and the drama can be much higher. A plain bison standing in sage in the middle of the summer – boring. A bison laboring to find something to eat while being blasted by 20 knot wind-driven snow – interesting.
Click on any of these photos to see a larger version.
Note – As always, all of these images are copyright and are not in the public domain. Please contact me if you’d like to use them. For most uses, I’ll happily oblige.
Happy shooting as we head into Thanksgiving!