Dance and Swimming Portraits

This is part two of my “Proud parents wanting something just a little different from their sports pictures” series. The dance pictures were interesting to take, because she started out a little shy, and I didn’t know what type of dance moves she was capable to doing. I didn’t want to ask for something that she was unable to do, and then have her get discouraged.

The lighting was the same as in yesterdays post. I had a SB900 in an umbrella high on the left, almost directly at her side. I had another SB900 on a gorilla pod stand with an umbrella draped over it. I would have placed it higher, but didn’t have another stand with me.

We started off with some of the more basic, and static moves, and joked around a bit, until she loosened up, which truth be told, was not a very long time. We were then able to get some other “action” type moves where I would capture her in mid air. This picture may not have captured her legs quite as high as some that we took, but it looks the most effortless.

We moved on to the swimming pool late into the light. It was between disappearing fast, and almost gone. We were going to need lights to get anything to work here. The swimming shots were all with one light. When the light was near by, it was not zoomed in, but when taking the shots of her father away, I zoomed the flash to 200mm I think. It was a SB900 hand held by her mother. Sometimes we also aimed it through an umbrella, but not always. The lights were held at pool level. No lights fell into the pool.

I had her going back and forth several times as we fine tuned the lights, and then tried to get the timing down. It took awhile, but got it in the end. I think the pictures we got of the butterfly and the breast stroke were the ones that worked the best. They are the most dramatic looking at least.

These were a lot of fun, and I hope to get to do this again with some other kids soon.

Brainerd Racing

I was up at the Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) to shoot some pictures for Pat Rounds, the Orange 27 car. It was a lot of fun. It was quite a bit different type of shooing than I was used to. I got to work on my panning again.

I found out which corners where going to be where the action was, and tried to set up there, but I always seemed to be one corner ahead of where something exciting happened. You really need to be paying attention too. At one point in the race, the start officials had to hit the deck when a car came straight at them. And I had been right there earlier in the day!

Panning consistently was key to getting a lot of the shots, but these guys are almost always accelerating or breaking or shifting, so it was hard to stick with them smoothly. I think I got some that worked though.

At the beginning of the day, I saw another photographer with a longer lens, and went to say hi. He was inside the “hot zone” where spectators were not allowed to be, but I had been put on the pit crew for Pat, so I was supposed to be allowed to be there. Anyway, this photographer wouldn’t shake my hand, and wouldn’t give me the time of day, other than to tell me that if I wanted to shoot there I needed a media pass. I told him I had a pit crew pass, and he told me that wasn’t good enough. Fine.

I headed over to the registration tent, and asked for a media pass. They said sure, I should them a business card and $15 dollars. I was now legit. I headed back to show off my pass, but he was gone. Didn’t see him for the rest of the day. It was helpful to have though. I would walk up to the race volunteers, say “I have a media pass, can I shoot from over there?” and I always got to go in front of the fence, but behind the concrete barrier.

Well, I think I will try to get back sometime, just not sure when. I have lots of the pictures up on photoshelter, and I trying to contact some of the racers. Here is a small sampling.

Richfield Gymnastics Club Spring Show

I finally have a video up from the Richfield Gymnastics Club’s Spring Show. For this show I took almost 3000 images from the rehearsal to the warmups to the actual event over two days. Some of them were dismissed right away as I missed focus, or body parts, but I had over 2000 shots that I had to whittle down. These are some of them.

What I was asked to make was a DVD, that the club will sell to the parents of the kids. I created 7 videos from images over the event, about a 100 per video. Seven individual songs to create the videos. I then put them together into a DVD with a menu. The one above is not one that I put on the DVD, it has images from all over the night.

It was a lot of fun to make. I shot a bit of video at the event as well that I mixed in with the stills. It worked out well. The club loved the videos that I showed them.

Hierarchical Criteria in a Lightroom Smart Collection

So here is the issue. I want to create a smart collection in Lightroom where I get all the photos from another collection that have either of two keywords. For a recent shoot, after pulling all the rejects, I created a collection of these images that spans a couple of days. The was a gymnastics event that my kids happened to be in. They were only a small part of the 3000 images that I took, but they were in specific sections of the show, so I found them and keyworded them. Now, how to create a smart collection of these images.

Well, that didn’t work. Notice the drop down for “Match”. If you set it to “any” then you get all images from the Spring Show collection. If you set it to “all”, the images have to have both Kate and Lily tags. I was stumped. Then I found that there is a little trick. Press and hold the Option/Alt key. Notice that the plus signs next to the rules turn into a hash sign. Now when you press that hash sign, you get to define rules that operate independent of the first Match drop down.

Now we get what we want. We first match on the “Spring Show” collection, then we match if either of the keywords belong to an image.

You could use this any number of ways.

Trip to LA

Went to LA this last weekend for a wedding. I got down to a couple of beaches to take some pictures a couple of times too, which was nice. I got a few good surfing shots despite not having the greatest of telephoto lenses. Here is a composite that I made. This exported version does not seem all that clear, but the originals are quite sharp.

Surfing Newport Beach