Sunday, March 20, 2011

Team Strobist

Just gotta say I love Nikon CLS. It really blows alot of the time, but so much fun can be had with it.

I recently celebrated my 21st b-day. I decided to go see one of my favourite local bands, the Ak-747s. They were playing at Lanalous in Vancouver. As per usual I brought my camera (these guys kick so much ass you can't not take photos.

@ Nikon CLS.. (nikon creative lighting system)
If your not familiar with Nikon CLS I'll sum it up quick.
Newer Nikon flashes are able to be set off via infared signals from other flashes. Including some on camera pop up flashes (the middle line cameras-higer end cameras) And you can control flash power from the camera. Its really good for simple lighting set ups, but fails as you complicate things, as you need line of sight from the camera to flash to trigger it.

Some rare occasions you may go somewhere and see someone using this, when you yourself use it occasionally. Like friday, at the show. Met a guy, Adam Nowek. Who was shooting with his flash handheld. triggering with cls. This is wh
ere the fun comes in.
Grabbed my flash, set to same channel and group, held my flash, he held his, take turns shooting . No light stands, just a couple guys sharing flash!

Stuff like this I find is great, when peop
le can just have some drinks, enjoy some music, share some music, and share some photo taking fun. I find alot of photographers at local shows now days really keep to themselves and always seem cranky, and it seems like competitiveness.
When we team up as photographers I find we can take really great photos and have even more fun doing it. So next time your out at a show, and the other photographer is being lame, go say hi! Shoot the shit before the band, have some fun, make a friend, and if you can team up to somehow come out with some more cool images, do it!

Anyways, both of our sets are up now!
From the Show:

And definitely check out the ak-747s

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Heres a little post. Shot Exit 200 on my night off, some live shots, and shots of friends at the Roxy.

Some fun while live shooting a local show?
Giv'er! Make some funny faces while shooting the band, and take pictures of the reactions.


For the rest of the shots from the night, click Here

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tree Line. Photo Write-up #2

Tree Line Photo.

W time!

Where? Poco Again, a mountain biking park not far from the last photo, on Shaughnessy Street near Prairie Ave.

When? Feb 1st around 6:30pm similar to the last one. Pretty dark

Why? I just saw the line of trees and just thought "That would look killer in b&w" So why not, propped up the tri-pod and plopped the camera on top, pulled out the iphone timer and started shooting.

* Photo Tip:
When its this dark its difficult to focus, for closer subjects, bring a flashlight to help your af system, for far way subjects, hopefully your lens has a hard infinity stop for focus, just crank it to the max. In the dark if you cant see the lens focus distance meter go by feel. For most slr lenses the lens gets longer when you focus closer, so you'll want the lens to feel longer when focusing to infinity. Test in the light though.

What? Trees and skyline. I liked the implicity of it.

How? Ok heres the part for you photographers!
Nikon D700, Tamron 17-35 f2.8-f4
Exif here but Ill tell you anyways:

17mm f11 about 3 minutes (188 seconds) @ Iso 500

In Lightroom 3:
Black and white conversion, curves adjustment. A gradient from the top to darken the sky a touch to draw your eyes more towards the trees.

In PS CS5:
Cloned some white spots out from the bottom that were shining through, also there were small star trails that I used the healing brush to get rid of. Also for the star trails I used a little skin smoothing technique on the sky. How you ask?

Took the base layer, duplicate (cmd/ctrl+j). Add a surface blur (Filter>Blur>Surface Blur, about 5, not alot)
Add a Black Layer Mask (opt/alt click the mask button on the layers pallete. Layer mask button is the square with the circle in it) Then used a white brush, minimum hardness at about 10% opacity and brushed around the sky avoiding the trees.
Next I made a copy of all the layers (cmd+opt+shift+E/ctrl+alt+Shift+E), and added an unsharp mask (Filters>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask) to bring out some clarity in the trees. Settings: Amount: 175% Radius: 3.4 Pixels Threshold: 28 pixels

After all this I cropped the top and bottom off, then changed canvas size to have white space on the top and bottom and filled with black. Im sure I could have just selected the top and bottom and filled with black but I just like doing it this way. It also assures me there is the same amount of black on the top and bottom. Not that it matters for this shot though...

Inspiration? Got some inspiration for this one from the work of Adrian O'Brien. He has some great landscape photography, among other photography. I met him while shooting the cfox seeds top 3 show at the Commodore a while ago. Check out his site linked in his name, and definitely stop by his landscape section and take a peek, there is some really great images in there!

Here is 'Tree line' on facebook and flickr
and don't for get to follow me on twitter @branstonphoto

Paws in the sand. Photo Write-up #1

I got an idea! To help push myself to actually keep up my blog. I have been procrastinating a little on the subject and figured I would try something. Once a week I'll upload a photo and a description about it, and for you fellow photographers out there a description on how I achieved the image I was going for.

So here goes nothing!

I'm gonna call this one paws in the sand. Why? Well, because it has paw prints in the sand... I like simple.

Okay W time!

Where? Poco! Home sweet home, about a 10 minute walk from my place, its near a little foot bridge on the Coquitlam river. That crosses near lincoln ave. A great place to walk your dog or go for a walk with the lady friend, or, of course, snap some photos!

When? Feb 1st around 5 or 6pm, pretty dark. Just a little light from a street light across the river and the glowing ambient of the sunset above, but hardly any light at all.

Why? I liked how the water was and how the light came through the trees and formed the vertical lines in the flowing water. Also liked the line of the shore edge. The b&w? Well, it just seemed like it should be. It was nice in colour with the nice blue of the sky reflection, but the light across the river gave a nasty yellow that I hated. (you can see its reflection in the top left of the frame.

What? Well sand and water....

How? Ok heres the part for you photographers!
Nikon D700, Tamron 17-35 f2.8-f4
Exif here but Ill tell you anyways:

17mm f5 about 4 minutes (243 seconds) @ Iso 400

In lightroom 3:
Black and white conversion, some curves. 2 gradients one from top, one from bottom, just to darken the top and bottom. Little bit of Sharpening and NR, blacks up a touch aswell.

In PS CS5:
Little bit of cloning some sticks and undesirables that I felt took away from it.

And last but not least: Inspiration!
If you like b&w images, or landscapes, or well, photos at all. Look at his work! Incredible, kind of inspired a whole new route in my photography.

I highly suggest looking at ALL of his images you can find! Also, check out his Video
If you want to learn how he does it, he runs Vancouver Photo Workshops and has classes on it.

Here is 'Paws in the Sand' on facebook and flickr
and don't for get to follow me on twitter @branstonphoto

Monday, November 15, 2010

Little Promo Taster.

So been doing quite a few promos lately. Shot Bridges Out not to long ago, along with a solo shoot for Rayy Star of, as well as Scythia, Exit 200 and Imaginary Voodoo.

Got some great images from all of them. and they were all a blast to shoot. Escpecially Bridges Out, who on the day of the shoot decided to dress a bit funky, including an ancient Vancouver Grizzlies Jersey worn by Austin, the bassist.

Keep your eyes open for some more promos coming soon, I have some cool shoots getting lined up with some great bands over the next few months.
Also if your interested in getting Promos or Portraits done, give me a shout.

To view more of the photos of the recent promo shoots, here are some links to the the flickr sets:

New Cards!

Alright, been a bit behind on the blog thing, but here we go again, with a little post.

Got my business cards today, finally having the time to pick them up.
The Cards were designed by a friend and old co-worker turned graphic designer Mahyar Saeedi.
He did my website (which I will update soon) and my cards after months of planning and yes' and no's on many different ideas, looks, etc.
Thanks to him for putting up with me and my constant changing of ideas!

If you havnt seen my site yet, take a look:

And heres a scan of my card (front and back):

Not the greatest scan, so make sure to grab the real thing next time you see me. :)

The card is great, nice fairly solid paper, nice feel, and is a little bit smaller than the average card. Also it matches my site!, Seriously, go look! :)
I was thinking about putting a photo on it, but really, how was I supposed to pick ONE photo to put on it?

Let me know how you like it!

I will be trying to keep up with the blog thing, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Camera on a Stick - Photographical experimentation.

I shot a show last week with a few bands I have shot before. Ready Set Die, Mind of a Child, and Western Medicine. They played at The Bourbon in Vancouver, a local pub. I was hired for the gig and shot as such, but every once in a while Ill experiment and try something new.

This time I brought my monopod, and had a cable release in my bag from when I shot the fireworks. Stuck the camera on the stick, used the cable release to fire the camera and went at stuck my camera in some places where I normally wouldn't be able to. Achieving some great angles without getting in anyones way. (crowd or band)

Some technical difficulties though? Yeah, focusing! Luckily I usually shoot my shows with a blended flash/ambient so my lenses are at around f5-f9. With the 20mm f2.8 I used with it, just set the focus to about a meter, then shoot. Usually with the 20mm at those apertures I can get about a foot of leeway, either way, so can just stick the camera up, guess the composition (easy once you get to know your lenses, much easier with primes aswell!) and shoot! This trick works great for drummer pics and getting shots looking down onto a singer, guitarist, whatever your heart desires!

Shooting with the monopod and cable release also helped me get more great pictures in the end. Having the monopod on for the majority of the show, if I wanted to get another picture from another angle I didn't have to move as much to get it. Saving time in movement to get more pictures in one spot without disturbing anyone.

If you have time check out the bands and some more pics from the show!