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Car Photography
On Sunday I had an incredible opportunity to photograph the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. I have been asked by “Rhino OnAir” radio station to photograph the Grand Prix for them and for St. Pete buzz. I have never photographed a racing event before and was not sure what to expect, or even where to go. It first started out with a photo briefing in the morning, that explained where we were allowed and areas we cannot go. Between the media briefing and talking to some of the seasoned photographers that have photographed many of these events I have a new awareness of the safety issues that surrounds a race like this.

Since I never photographed a race before I decided to ask some of the other photographers that looked a lot more seasoned than I on where I should go and some of the things to look for. “Mr. Ed”, as he introduced himself to me, was a wealth of information he told me some of the better locations and when I should be there, he also informed me that some of the great locations were reserved for national press and TV and not to even try to get to them.

There were two races before the main Grand Prix event so I was able to walk around the track and locate some of the windows that are cut into the screen fences for photographers. I was asked by people after the race “was it cutthroat around these windows” and I was glad to inform them that no, most people would shoot some shots and then allow another photographer to get in and it was quite enjoyable.

Just to give you an idea the noise from these cars are incredible, even with earplugs my ears are still ringing from the sound. But, it’s quite a thrill when you see a Grand Prix car heading straight at you and turn literally inches from where you’re standing. I’m not an adrenaline junkie but I could get used to this!

I had around 3000 images by the end of the day and in my first edit I deleted any that were out of focus or just had cars cut off, bringing it down to about 1500. I still need to go through and probably narrow that down by half to really get an idea of the shots that I like.

My Canon 70 to 200 mm lens was a lens I used the most and produced my best images. I also had my 24 to 70mm lens that was great for the “pit area” and a few of the wider-angle shots to give an idea of the location of the race. I also used my fisheye lens for one shot with the cars and drivers and stands all in the shot together with the camera over my head, I think it was a neat shot. I wish I would have had 200 to 400mm Zoom lens for Canon. This would’ve been the perfect lens to get in tight on some the drivers why they are in their cars.

Just to let you know I had more fun than I was expecting to. The experience was wonderful, the people were great and the weather was incredible and I hope I get the chance to do it next year.

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Changing the Sky Color with Blending Mode

Some times you can get a weird color cast to an HDR or any sky and this video will show you an simple and fast way of correcting the color.

My local Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Guild had there bi-yearly print competition last night and it was one of the best we have had in a while. There was over 90 images submitted in 5 categories and we had three great, John Jernigan, Gary Sweetman and Jane Conner-ziser. I had a great showing with a 1st place in the commercial category and a 2nd and 3rd in the Digital Imaging category. I also had everyone of my six images receive a merit score of 80 or better, the first time that has happen for me. Thanks to all the people that worked on salon and made it a great event.eye_of_the_tigerflorida_polytechnic_lobbyredemption

In this video I take a few travel photographs from “The Digital Photo Workshops” and discuss what I like about them and why I think they work as Photographs. You should get a few tip about where to go and how I photographed that image.

1514-0075As an architectural photographer I don’t always get to see how my clients use my photography once I deliver the images to them, but once in a while I do get a chance to see how they are used. My wife is an interior designer and receives email promotions from many different companies for their products and services and the other day she received one from “Big Ass Fans”. I had photographed a new restaurant in Brandon Florida that used these fans in their restaurant. The restaurant “Wow! That’s Fresh” is a new franchise and this was their first restaurant they had built.

This job presented some unique challenges in photographing both the fans and the architectural aspects of the restaurant. The first challenge was that all the photographs had to emphasize the fans, not that big of a problem since the fans are big ass.

Another challenge was for one of the shots to be of all four fans, the restaurant was not that large and the fans were in the four corners and I was informed that I needed to keep distortion of the fans to minimum. We had talked on the phone about a shot they would like, but when I set up the camera there was no way that that shot would work, so I had to come up with a new angle that I think it worked out quite well from them.

The last challenge was time. I was told that I could start at the restaurant at 8 o’clock in the morning and had to be out by 11 AM. This meant that I was not going to be able to use any lighting and I was not to have much time for each shot. I was contracted to photograph for different views, but as you can see I always try to get the client a little bit more if I can especially when this is the first job for me with them. The problem with that timeframe was that at 10:15 AM the fans all turned on and are controlled by the corporate office through a satellite connection and cannot be overridden by the restaurant, so I photographed all the shots in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Here is the link to big ass fans webpage and what they said about the restaurants and how they use the photographs: Big Ass Fans

MCPJ_2-300x190I am flying back from speaking at the “MadCity Photo Jam” in Wisconsin an don’t have a new video ready. Will have one next week and if you want to have an idea or something you would like me to do, please drop me an email and I will try to make a video from your suggestions.