One of Those Days

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Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/60 second, f/5, ISO 100

January 31, 2009 at 6:55 pm by | Categories: Post

Photowalking Utah – A Look Back

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Cactus and Tropicals, January 2009

The Photowalking Utah group has been around now for about 15 months. In that time it has grown a great deal and many of my best photographer friends are ones that I made through the group.

One thing we do (or at least attempt to) at each event is to get a group shot before we head out. It seems that this task falls on me quite often. For today’s post, I thought I’d share the group shots that I have captured as a sort of “Time Capsule” backward in Photowalking Utah’s history. Enjoy.

Hill Air Force Base Museum Photowalkers
Hill Air Force Base Museum, December 2008

Turkey Day Photowalkers
Thanksgiving Night “Turkey Shoot”, November 2008

Photowalking Utah - 09.20.08
Downtown Provo, September 2008

July 4th Photowalkers
Fourth of July Freedom Festival, July 2008

June Photowalkers
Great Salt Lake, June 2008

In the Wind Tunnel
Salt Lake City TRAX, March 2008

Provo Photowalkers
Downtown Provo, November 2007

Photowalkers
The Very First ‘Walk – Salt Lake City, October 2007

January 30, 2009 at 9:08 am by | Categories: photowalking

My New Year’s Resolution: Using a Monopod

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Rich Legg, Photographer
image by Scott Jarvie

One of my photography resolutions for the new year was to use a monopod for the majority of my shooting. The reason is quite simple: to create sharper images.

Two photographers whose work I greatly admire, Kenneth Linge and Yuri Arcurs, use a monopod the majority of the time. Kenneth (international award winning wedding/portrait photographer) uses his mostly while shooting outdoor portraits with a 70-200 lens using available light, and Yuri (one of the top selling stock photographers in the world) uses his for all his commercial work. The final thing that pushed me over the edge to begin using this piece of equipment was this video that Yuri posted on his blog:

The statement that Yuri makes in the video that you don’t want to be throwing out your #1 pick when selecting images because of blur hit home with me. Having absolute perfect focus on stock photography is critical, and I have had to often discard an image because of slight camera shake.

Kenneth Linge's New Blog
Kenneth Linge using his monopod

One thing that has happened since I have begun with the monopod is that I have received numerous requests about the equipment I am using. My setup is very similar to the one Yuri describes in the video. The great part is that I already had most of the pieces and only had to add the relatively inexpensive monopod to complete my kit. And guess what? My mother knew what I wanted and I found it under the tree on Christmas morning (Thanks mom!).

Here are the pieces I have assembled for my setup:

Monopod: Manfrotto 334B Automatic Monopod
Head: Manfrotto 488RC2 Ball Head
Bracket: Custom Brackets QRS-H2 rotating bracket

For the bracket, I use the QRS-H2 which normally has a flash mount. I have removed the mount (simple to do using an allen wrench) for everyday use. The reason I use this bracket versus the more compact Digital PRO-SV is twofold. The first reason is that I already had this bracket (hey, I saved +$200), and the second reason is that I can attach the flash mounting arm if I am shooting in a scenario where I need the strobe.

I have now used this setup for a half-dozen shoots and must say that it is becoming a very natural part of my work. I find that after a rather brief adjustment period, I don’t feel as though it is an inconvenience at all to use. In fact, I think it has made it easier for me to shoot. And the final result, I have absolutely noticed that I have discarded fewer images, both in-studio and outdoors, for camera shake.

January 29, 2009 at 8:06 am by | Categories: tutorial

Save the Dates: Two Studio Lighting Photowalking Utah Events

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The plans have been finalized for the February Photowalking Utah events and they are going to be great. We will be having two separate but related events. The theme is “Studio Lighting” and since it tends to be a bit cold this time of year in Northern Utah, both will be indoors.

FEBRUARY 19th – Mini Clinic

On the evening of Thursday February 19th, I will be facilitating a mini-clinic at the City Library in Salt Lake City. The theme of the clinic is “How to Get Great Studio Lighting Results for Under $250”. In the session, I will be demonstrating how to shoot portraits with extremely inexpensive (cheap?) lights and get professional results. I will be using a model and shooting with a tethered camera so everyone can immediately see the results.

Austere

Handouts of all the lighting setups will be provided. If time permits, I will also demonstrate with the help of Harley Pebley a “Strobist” style setup using a couple of Speedlights on stands with umbrellas.

Date: Thursday February 19th
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Location: Salt Lake City Main Library – 210 E 400 South, Conf. room #4, 4th floor
Cost: Free

FEBRUARY 21st – Studio Lighting Photowalk

In a repeat of last year’s most popular Photowalking Utah event, we will again be doing an indoor “Studio Lighting” photowalk. The event will feature six different studios set up within a large conference room. Participants will be able to walk to each setup photography station and try their hand at shooting. Models will be provided along with assistance from the host photographer at each station.

This year we will be working to create a variation in the type of lighting setups provided. This will give the participants a way to work with a large variation of portrait lighting arrangements.

Photowalking Setup

I have arranged with several of my stock models to help us out. Just like the previous event, we are suggesting a $3-5 “tip” given that will be put in a pool and divided up among the models after the event. This is purely optional but it really helps to have dedicated models available for the photographers to shoot and this is a great way to compensate them for their time. I’ve got a pretty diverse group confirmed so far including different ages / genders / looks.

For those photographers that aren’t carrying around digital SLR’s, don’t worry. We will have a way to sync point-and-shoot cameras via slave to at least a couple of the setups. Everyone is welcome at these events regardless of skill or equipment. There will even be some higher end gear available to borrow.

Our friends at Pictureline have again donated a bunch of photography ‘swag’ to be used for door prizes at the “Pictureline Prize Table”.

Here are the details:

Date: Saturday February 21st
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Gateway Community Church, 584 E 12300 South – Draper
Cost: Free (though a suggested model tip of $3-5 is appreciated)

If you’re planning on attending, please drop an RSVP into the ongoing discussion thread on the Photowalking Utah Flickr Group. Here’s the link.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me at rich@leggnet.com or 801.259.3500.

January 28, 2009 at 8:48 am by | Categories: photowalking

Twitter and Photography: A Match Made in Cyberspace

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I’ve been an active user of Twitter for over nine months. In that time I have come to depend on this great social-networking tool for keeping in touch with a lot of fellow photographers.

If you don’t know what Twitter is, it is kind of hard to explain. It is a micro-blogging service that allows users to post 140 character updates. These updates are then sent to other Twitter members who are “following” the user. Users can decide they follow and can block people from following them (if they desire).

The majority of the people I follow are related to photography. They are photographers, designers, industry people and the like. In keeping with this theme, the most of my updates (Tweets) are photography and tech related.

When I am working on my production iMac (usually editing images), I keep Twitter running on the second computer. I find this is a great way to keep in touch without having to be “actively” chatting with people. If I see something come across that I want to reply to, I can. Otherwise I just watch occasionally read the updates as they scroll by.

One of the best uses I have found for Twitter is using it as a source of quick information. If I have a question (again, usually photography related), I can ask it to my Twitter followers and I will usually get a pretty quick answer. As an example of this, I just asked this rather generic question on my Twitter feed:

“How many photogs carry a backup camera with them when you shoot? Is it a DSLR or Point and Shoot? Same model as primary or an older one?”

And within a minute, I’ve received a couple of replies. The first one came from local photographer Mike Calanan and the second one from St. Louis photographer Dan Zimmerman:


calanan: @leggnet Always, D700 primary, D200 backup”


danzphoto: @leggnet I ALWAYS carry a backup – shooting wedding and sports. Not responsible if you don’t. Shoot with D300, carry a D200 as backup, 2nd

(Edit: After 15 minutes, I received an additional 6 replies to the question)

One thing about Twitter that I have learned in both the updates of users I follow and my own is to provide a bit of substance. As I mentioned, I like to keep my tweets photography related and link to outside sources when relevant. There are users that blast meaningless junk into their feed, and these are the ones I avoid.

Bad Tweets (fictitious)

twittgrls123 OMG, I just at teh most AWFUL sanwich. PB with tomatos on rye. YUKKK!

mlm_guru_123 Make $10,000 this month!!! You’re an idiot if you don’t do MLM. Click this link ——> jkfdsjkldfs.com

Good Tweets (real examples)


ramseeker New blog post: How to Upgrade Memory in Apple Mac Mini 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo http://tinyurl.com/cdjh2p

hawridger New post at PB: Canon 1D Mark IIIn Rumor Update http://tinyurl.com/dn9ct2

When someone follows me on Twitter, I take a look at their last 20 or so updates and make a quick judgment on whether I want to follow them back. If I see any marketing or “Get Rich Quick” posts I don’t follow them. If I see photography or tech information, I usually will. I follow about 1/2 the amount of people who follow me.

So, how do you get started. It is simple. Go to http://twitter.com/signup and do just that, sign up. It is free and easy. Once you have your account, find a Twitter user with similar interests and click “Follow”. You can also look at who they are following and see if any of those members are ones you’d like to add to your network.

Once you’ve done that, begin posting updates and replying to others. You will be amazed at how quickly it will become a useful tool in your online life.

To follow my Twitter updates, go to http://twitter.com/leggnet

January 27, 2009 at 11:12 am by | Categories: Post

Behind the Scenes – Poker Party Photo Shoot

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My most recent stock photo shoot was a poker themed session. I had a few particular shots in mind when designing the shoot, and I was able to get pretty close to my ideas with the final products.

For the shoot, I borrowed a small poker table along with some generic cards and chips from a card playing friend. The table wasn’t as authentic looking as a real casino table would be in wide shots, but it worked nicely for the close-up style of images I had in mind when planning the shoot.

Behind the Scenes - Poker Party Photo Shoot

I brought five guys in to model for the shoot, and they had a great time playing the part of “players”. Some of the shots are particularly authentic since the models were actually playing hands of poker as I shot. We did several various setups including a home poker party, a blackjack dealer and a tournament player.

Blackjack Dealer - Sample

I am not sure of the demand by buyers for poker themed stock images, but I will soon be finding out.

January 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm by | Categories: Post

Blackjack!

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Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/8, ISO 100

January 23, 2009 at 7:55 am by | Categories: Post

Wedding Day

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Bouquet

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/8, ISO 200

January 22, 2009 at 12:19 am by | Categories: Post

Happy Birthday, Elisabeth!

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Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/250 second, f/4, ISO 100

January 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm by | Categories: Post

Share-a-Link Saturday, The Results

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5d copy

About a week and a half ago I did a blog post called Share-a-Link Saturday. In the post I asked for readers to submit their favorite photography websites. The response was fantastic. Since so many good links were provided I felt that they needed to be shared. Here, in the order they were submitted, are the reader-submitted links to their favorite photography related websites.


Photowalking Utah – photowalkingutah.com
Epic Edits – epicedits.com
Photography Bay – photographybay.com
Harwood Photography – harwoodphotos.blogspot.com
The Big Picture – boston.com/bigpicture
David’s Photography Blog – www.davidfenwick.co.uk/blog/
Pierre Winther – www.pierrewinther.com
Muenchen – www.muenchenmenschen.de
Magnum in Motion – www.inmotion.magnumphotos.com
2 x 365 Photos – 2x365photos.blogspot.com/
LG Photo – www.lgphotoblog.blogspot.com
DentonImages.comhttp://www.dentonimages.com/
The Strobist – strobist.blogspot.com/
Bryan Niven – www.bryanniven.com/blog/
The Photographic World of Drew Gardner – photography-thedarkart.blogspot.com/
Yuri Arcurs – www.arcurs.com/
Sharon Yanai – www.sharonyanai.com
This Week in Photography – twipphoto.com/
Alex Moore’s Blog – moorealx.com/
orangeblob Photography Blog – www.orangeblob.com/blog/
Foto-Biz.com – foto-biz.com
Jen Murray Photography – www.jenmurrayphotography.com
Myerson Photo – www.myersonphoto.com/
Myerson Photo Blog – www.myersonphoto.com/blog
StudioLighting.net – www.studiolighting.net
Nuno Silva Photography – www.nunosilva.ca
Lens Baby – www.lensbaby.com
Shadow Mountain Photography – shadowmountainphotography.com/
Digital Grin Photography – digitalgrin.com
DIYPhotography.net – diyphotography.net
Pro Photo Life – prophotolife.com
Digital Photography School – digital-photography-school.com/blog/
RomePhotoBlog – romephotoblog.blogspot.com/
Twin City Photos – photoblog.twincityphotos.com/
Beeps and Chirps – beepsandchirps.com/
Bandung Daily Photo – bandungdailyphoto.com/
Oeiras and Environs Daily Photo – oeirasdailyphoto.blogspot.com/
David Terry Photography – www.dterryphotography.com
San Francisco Ed Pingol – edpingol.blogspot.com
Greg Bumatay – bumataystudio.blogspot.com
Dustin Izatt Photography Blog – dustinizattphoto.blogspot.com
Joe McNally’s Blog – www.joemcnally.com/blog/
RobNunnPhoto.com – www.robnunnphoto.com/
ApoChromatic – apochromatic.eu
BURNBLUEDOTCOM – www.burnblue.com/
Zoriah – zoriah.net/
FILE Magazine – www.filemagazine.com/
Flak Photo – www.flakphoto.com/
Joseph’s Life and Photos – www.josephburford.com
Digital Photography Life – personallifemedia.com/podcasts/405-digital-photography-li…
PhotoNetCast – www.photonetcast.com/
hyperfocal – apeture.my-expressions.com/index.html
H-town streets – apeture.my-expressions.com/Htown.html
Photine – www.photine.net/
The Learning Photographer – learningphotog.blogspot.com
Mark Velasquez Photogrpahy – www.flickr.com/photos/markvelasqueztoo/
mikesphotography – mikesphotography.my-expressions.com/
Bert Staphani – www.bertstephani.com/Site/bert_stephani_home.html
Is Steve Still Alive? – www.isstevestillalive.com/the-substance/2008/12/30/random…
Brian Lima Photography – brianlima.com
Peter Lik Fine Art Photography – peterlik.com
Voyages en Images – www.voyimage.com/
Craig Holmes Photographer – www.craigholmes.com
Argos – www.olddogphoto.com
Amy Coffey Photography – www.amycoffeyphotography.com
Aaron Moller Photographer – www.aaronmoller.com/blog
The Online Photographer – theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer…
Little People – little-people.blogspot.com/
Rob Galbraith DPI – www.robgalbraith.com/bins/index.asp
This Urban Life – thisurbanlife.blogspot.com/
The Caretaker’s Concern – thecaretakersconcern.blogspot.com/
The Circle of Confusion – thecofc.wordpress.com/
Magical Places Fine Art Online Photography Magazine – www.magicalplacesfineart.com/blog
Andes – www.magicalplacesfineart.com/andes/

January 20, 2009 at 9:35 am by | Categories: Post