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Showing posts from 2020

Fire & Smoke...

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So I was doing some photos and video for a project and decided to shoot some extra images for myself... Of FIRE... and SMOKE! Well, just a bit-o-fire and a bit-o-smoke... And, did I mention, I had to set things on FIRE! Okay, it was just candles... Small space... Daylight... Ya' know - my usual... So first I wanted the fire - the color, the texture, the symmetry (of my candle holder thingiemajiggie)... A little depth-of-field playing aroundness... Again, my usual... But then, as I was photographing the fire, I realized there was SMOKE! Oooooh - COOL! Yes, I am easily entertained... And my lighting was already setup to make the most of said smoke! Light arranged in relation to smoke to shine through it. Extra COOL! Yep - me, easily entertained... again. First shot - pretty much straight on from above... Next, some angles to see how much I can do with perspective... this impacting not only the depth of field but also how the candle holder did or did not reflect the candle light - w

In Vino Veritas...

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Glass is always an interesting subject in that it is very unforgiving regarding lighting... and reflections of said lighting... and of just about everything else in a 5 mile radius of your location... Now take that glass and bend it around so that it is curved and contoured... And then shape it into a vessel capable of containing liquid... Then try to photograph it with specific highlights and lines - and not others... And now we come to In Vino Veritas ... Because in your endeavor to control all light and reflections while photographing said glass vessel of liquid you will become suddenly and painfully aware that the truth is that you need a wine... stat... in great volume! Which reminds me, I need to restock my wine rack. Okay, so it's not THAT bad... but it can be challenging... While also quite a bit of fun and a tremendous learning experience... Recently, I had a bit of a go around with a camera, some strobes, a few modifiers, and a bottle (or few) of wine... My first sh

'ROARING' 20s and... Paleontology?

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Ah, yes... the Roarin' 20s! No more war - soldiers comin' home... Automobiles... Electricity... Everything was getting better, bigger, and easier to get your hands on... The economy grew by 42%... Forty Two Percent!!! Jazz was in the air... Flappers were swingin'... Booze was flowin'... Shhh... Don't tell anyone about that last one... Prohibition, ya' know. And raging debates were taking place among paleontologists... Um... wait... what!?! Paleontologists? Hey, buddy... is someone zozzled on foot juice? Yep, paleontology. Apparently the Tyrant Lizard King (Tyrannosaurus Rex) was having a bit of an up hill battle in claiming the thrown. You see, there was some debate as to its classification... and you know how those paleontologists get when they can't agree on classification. Um, yeah - they snuff at one another and storm off to measure some things and jot notes detailing millimeters and geology terms. Okay, so these paleontologists (Matthew, Brown,

Ignatius Scardino Pino

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For those of you who read my blog on "The FIXER", here are some shots my son let me setup with him of Ignatius... The goal for these shots was dark/harsh light, hard contrast - moody... And I dropped an led (some shots white and some shots red gel'd) in the camera to get the light coming from it... I put a small strip box to his left (camera right) with a grid to really focus the light but along his full height... And black v-flatz to his right (camera left) to eliminate any light bouncing back from that size... and a pop-up black backdrop behind him... And I pushed the contrast and clarity to get the hard/sharp edges of texture and light I was looking for in post... I'll drop a photo of the basic setup at the bottom of this post... Remember, don't make eye contact! ;) In my mind, this is the photo of Ignatius Scardino Onofrio - the guy you do NOT want to make eye contact with - I.S.O. - - - The other shots are James doing cozplay of Ignatius - Hence, Ignati

The FIXER...

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So a friend asked for some advice... She had been trying to get some photos of her daughter playing high school basketball and facing the eternal challenges of photography in a school gymnasium... She brought her camera and lenses over and explained that she had spent SOOOO much time on YouTube watching videos and finding that none of the tips she gleaned from them seemed to help... I decided that instead of walking her though what would likely have been her 4,738th lecture on the 'exposure triangle', I would try to distill down the relevant pieces of information she would need, and only those pieces, into something easy to remember but solid enough of a base that it could be built upon going forward... So, I decided to create a character. In my head I called him Ignatius Scardino Onofrio - I.S.O.... FYI - Scardino and Onofrio are family names from my lineage... Ignatius is just a fun name... ;) Before introducing her to Ignatius I gave her some core relevant bits on

Fealty by Fly...

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Yesterday, our female husky, Raven, killed a fly... My wife described the scene: She was crazy like the Tasmanian Devil going after it and then stood over it with an odd look on her face as she looked from the dead fly, then to me, then back to the fly... it was kinda' creepy. What I heard in my head as my wife relayed the tale... Raven went wild like a feral beast and then presented the carcass of her slain foe to me and said... "I have slain the beast in defense of the ancestral lands and now present it to you as fealty to the family Pino - we shall feast in honor of this event and speak of it in prose for generations to come!" So... You are all invited. We strongly recommend you bring tokens of honor to present to Raven... and please don't be late. Oh, and Raven now prefers to be referred to as "Your Majesty the Great Defender and Amazon Warrior Princess" DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible for what happens to you if she finds out you did not

A Photographic Journey on Books...

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How has a simple pile of paper, string and leather survived for so many years and in the face of so much technological assault directed at it? This is part of my series of blogs to explain what exactly is the Essence of a Book by photographically exploring my personal library. And I'm starting with my limited edition of The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night... There is something about a book - a REAL book... that has permanence - that says to the reader that the author committed to their words and thoughts... and the act of producing that book, those thoughts, on a typewriter gives the author the ability to physically produce their thoughts and ideas - instantaneously and indelibly. Here you just barely see the almost imperceptible indentation of letterpress. Today we crave the telltale indent that says we are beholding a work of handmade skilled craftsmanship but back in the day it was typically considered by many to be bad form to press into the paper to the e

Essence of a Book

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 Why do we still collect books? Well, I do... and apparently so do many others. Given the availability of digital texts, why do so many still love books? For me, it is the Essence of a Book... Material - Paperback/Hardback... Weight/Texture of the pages... Type of binding... The ink... the color... was it set via letterpress? traditional letterpress or modern? Can you feel the indentation of the letterpress or is it perfectly elegantly smooth? Size - Quarto... Sextodecimo... Folio... It's Tactile - the pages, the printing, the binding... everything about it... It's Three Dimensional - you can relate to the events within the story not only through the words but via their location within the block... how far through the block, how far up/down/left/right on the page - recto or verso... The typeface... The spacing/leading... The simple decision of margins... Illustrations - wood block, hand drawn, black and white or color... How is the title first presented to you - gilded, emb

Meet My Crew...

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So, this is my core crew... relaxing at home waiting for quarantine to lift... One the left, in the back, we have the the enforcer, the K3, wearing top hat and tails - the 150-450... top hat removed and set aside (left/front)... Then old yeller, the K7, sporting the ranger - the 55-300... Next the overseer - the Rokinon 14mm... Then the grifter, the KP, sporting a lovely little eye-spy - the 50mm 1.4 - though she is eye-spying her favorite little black dress to her left (your right) - the 100mm 2.8 Macro... Next we have Frank and Dino, the K1Mii duo... one wearing his shirt with the top buttons undone, 28-70, with a little bling on top, Godox R2ProII trigger, while the other is running top down and ready for anything... That's my crew - well, most of them... As for the rest, well... I would introduce you but then they'd have ta'... ya' know.

Hildebill witodlic glôf | Sword & Glove

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I have been wanting to take some particular shots with my swords and I finally got the chance thanks to a little help from a friend who loaned me the gauntlets from their suit of armor. I knew that reflections and light flare in the swords and gauntlets were something I needed to avoid so there was a bit of contemplation on how to position them and how to light them. This was a situation where I did meter the light rather than setting exposure purely by eye. In the trial and error of finding how best to arrange and support the swords and gauntlets my wife came to the rescue with the solution - the stand from a vase we keep full of potpourri in our front room. She had the idea of putting it in from behind and under our backdrop. The equipment I used (shown below) was two Godox AD200 units with bare bulb heads - one with barn doors and a red gel and the other with a small 9x36 strip softbox. I shot with a Sigma 28-70 2.8 on my Pentax K1Mii - hand held - ISO 100, 1/200th, som