Roamed around Chicago for a couple hours to enjoy the warmer weather we had today. Hit 40* degrees.
The four and a half hour flight really sucks but you get to see some interesting topography from the air.
Jamie had set up a shoot with a someone he found on Instagram. We set out the night before to location scout China Town.
This is Kelly @Thatkellydoll on Instagram
We explored the observatory, downtown LA, Santa Monica and Venice beach.
And as you will probably be able to tell, my favorite part of the trip was shooting action at the legendary Venice Skatepark. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater anyone?
Now if I can only find some more action sports to shoot. (Snowboarding)
Had an opportunity to go to San Diego for a few days so I took it.
Stayed at the Marriot, which is right on the water. There’s a naval base not too far so you’ll see a bunch of Navy boats going back and forth all day.
I use this trail app called AllTrails and it lists user submitted trails around your area. There was a famous trail called Ho Chi Minh trail not too far away and had a difficult rating so I decided to check it out. I found out there’s a few different ways you can traverse the trail. I, of course, took the most inaccessible way through the narrowest parts of the trail only to find a 25 foot drop at the end. The second way was around the upper part of the narrows that I was just in. Only catch there, was loose sand and at some parts a 30 degree angle drop. Once you get through that part there’s another drop but this time you are granted a rope to help you down to the beach. This is probably the most enjoyable trail that I’ve encountered to date. So much so, that I took four trips.
Noticed a bunch of para-gliders up the ridge and found a ledge to go sit on the edge of. After a while I went to check out where they were taking of. They were running off a cliff. There were also fighter jets doing maneuvers over in the distance. Some cool houses in that area as well.
Went to go catch sunset at La Jolla Tide pools a couple minutes south. It was like 3 minutes of light and I didn’t get to find a nice composition. Btw It’s very slippery down there.
That next day I went over to San Berndino Forest to try to go hiking. Didn’t work out. Half of that forest was a little crispy. The official story is someone was throwing firecrackers out of their car and started it. Ended the night at Joshua Tree. Stars were incredible and it go super cold and windy.
I went back to San Berndino Forest the following day to try to go hiking again. This time the ranger station was open and I grabbed a map. I wasn’t sure where I was hiking to but the goal here was to find the highest place place I could get to, to sit back, watch the sunset and eat my Clif bar. That high place ended up being a big boulder 2300 feet in elevation and a 3.5 mile hike up. Tracked my hike down so I didn’t risk running out of battery on the way up. That rock formation looks like some kind of petrified reptile.
Taken on my return flight from San Diego. Unfortunately it was mid day so the lighting wasn’t very flattering. Shot with the 200mm.
A Onewheel is a mix of surfing and snowboarding but on land anywhere you want, in the city or on some trails. No longer do I need to wait 7-8 months to “shred some pow“. I needed to get out of the house for a couple hours and this is what happened. I had to get a little creative later in the video as I shot this on a phone and didn’t have a tripod available. Searching and constructing a suitable phone prop took up most of the time. I guess I’ll be designing and 3D printing a mini phone tripod next week.
I just realized I never finished this trip’s images. Here’s the rest of the image dump. You can click on the image to enlarge it.
I was off on my own from here on out. I had chosen to head to Honeymoon State Park. I went there before to catch a sunset but didn't have enough time to explore the island.
The moment I drove in there was a gigantic turtle crossing the road. They were scattered all around the park.
Upon walking up the beach I stopped at a cove that a bunch of birds were hanging out. Decided to test out this D850 and the 70-200mm on some action and wildlife.
Running out of light, I proceeded to walk the rest of the beach.
I finally got the the end of the beach, set my stuff down and went for a walk through the water. That walk ended quite quickly when I glanced down to find myself one step away from stepping on a group of sting rays.
The sun was going down so I had to head back but made some stops along the way.
It was Jamie's last day down so we swam in the pool one last time. I was trying to relearn how to do a backflip from my trampoline days. Never quite got the form down.
There are only so many backflips you can do before getting dizzy and my precious camera was getting soaked so I thought of something else... A composite image of the two of us in multiple locations.
This last one is probably my favorite of them all. There's just so much going on! The great thing about making these images, is that you really don't know what you'll end up with in the end. We did a number of different poses around the pool. Once you bring them all in photoshop as different layers you then can organize and pick the parts of the image you want to include in the final product.
For this last one, it just so happened that the two Jamie's sitting on the left side were looking in the directions of the other two Jamie's. And I didn't remember jumping in the deep end until I uploaded them and figured that worked out pretty well.
These are super simple to do but you gotta remember to blend all the shadows and details that are around each subject. Each image took about an hour to finish. The one of me jumping into the pool above this paragraph was the most difficult one becasue each part of me was overlapping.
All Jamie thinks about are girls.. I kid you not. Ask him. Maybe a little bit of money too. But mostly girls.
There was no way that there was any chance that Jamie was going to go through the vacation without shooting a model while in Florida. It was pretty close though. We (...he) must have DM'd at least 10 girls prior and during his time down there. Only a few got back to us and only 1 actually followed through.
I'm not one to have any shoot ideas when it comes to portraits. Ask Jamie for that, he's got all of the epic ideas.
Jamie chose a tennis court to shoot at. We ran into a problem once we got there. The courts were locked so Jamie went on a mission. And we were running out of sunlight.
This is Giselle, we got a hold of her by direct messaging her on Instagram. The plan was to use the shadow of the net that would be cast onto the court during sunset. I didn't bother to check my astronomy app to confirm this ahead of time. The nets ran east to west which is probably a good idea if you're playing tennis during those hours. That idea was out but there was a fence that had cast a nice shadow so that worked.
I usually let Jamie do his thing and I hang back a bit to shoot some behind the scenes (BTS).
Below are some of the photos of my own taken during the shoot.
The first thing we we're going to do was to head down to Clearwater Beach. It's about a half hour away. Driving without the doors on was pretty difficult to get used to at first. You're trying to concentrate on the road while things are whizzing past you in your peripherals.
We stopped on the way back to grab some shots of the Jeep.
Upon leaving we ran into some wildlife.
Remember the previous post that I mentioned about hanging out of the Jeep? That's the pelican I was talking about. (By the way, all images shown can be clicked on to be viewed larger.)
We came back to do some cannonballs into the pool.
...On to Part 3
Took a trip down to Florida with my dad and my buddy Jamie for a week. We had to rent a car cause there was only one car at the house. I usually try to rent a convertible, cause you know, vacation. And it's also Florida, hot and sunny. And finally, we're photographers and you never know when you might have to hang out of a of a car traveling at 35mph struggling to photograph a pelican that is flying what seemed to be at arms length. Cause that happened.
We called the car rental company to book our rental before leaving Chicago and the rental company didn't have any convertibles which was a bummer.
The flight was good, but was stuck in the middle seat during the most insane cloud formations and colors I've seen from the sky to date.
Touched down, got to the rental garage, and they told us to pick any vehicle with the trunk open. I spotted a bright red jeep with it's hatch swung open way down at the other end before the man could even finish that sentence. Score! And people think I need glasses.
The doors and roof came off that next morning and so did part of my skin the day after that because we forgot sunscreen. But before the doors came off, we needed to run to Home Depot for a ratchet and hex tool. By the way, don't expect to be let through airport security with a ratchet. Something about it being a metal object and the length of it. The hex tool thingy is a T50 and there are two screws per door. Upon walking out we noticed a storm between us and home and left part of the roof at home. So we got rained on.
Took the weekend to frame some photographs I had laying around.
Actually, I wish I could share what happened and while I tried taking various photos of the print showing the texture and the kind of look it had but it didn't work too well. I will say I'm about to throw out all my glossy lustre paper and make the switch to a fine art paper though.
A couple of bullet points:
- It raised the black point a considerable amount
- which gave it less contrast, making it easier on the eye
- yet still held it's punch
Believe it or not, this is the look that I've been trying to edit my photos to. I attached the sample print below but it doesn't do it justice at all. The feel of the paper itself is something I have never felt before either. Below that, is the original image of Yosemite Valley.
I guess the only other option would be, to buy a print and find out for yourself. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Was able to catch last night's blue hour and compose a nice panorama of the city. Shot in 10 images and stitched together in Photoshop. Used the Nikon D850 and Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8
▶ My gear list: http://goo.gl/yqZCsS
It was pretty rainy today. Most people would disregard any outdoor activities. But any experienced photographer knows better. I noticed it stopped raining and the sun was hiding behind a curtain of fog. It was already pretty low and sunset was happening within the hour.
I knew I had around 30 minutes to get to the city.
▶ My gear list: http://goo.gl/yqZCsS