When I first saw the man pictured above, something caught my eye about him. I did a double take of sorts. I did not see it at first, but after awhile it finally came to me: this man looks like either George Lucas or maybe Steven Spielberg. Tell us in the comments below what you think, Lucas or Spielberg?
I made this candid portrait using a single Nikon SB-600 Speedlight off camera on a light stand. I just slowly walked over, set the light stand down, and boom! portrait made before he even knew I was there (he was a member of another event I was shooting). Most of the processing was done using Nik Software Color Efex Pro 3 via Aperture 3. I cannot recommend this great set of software filters enough.
Early this morning I drove to Temple Beth-El to photograph my first Bar Mitzvah. On a very rainy afternoon last month I went to the temple to check it out in preparation for this morning's shooting. I liked the dome design of the temple. I thought it was interesting architecture. I was also pleased to see that lighting would not be a problem, as even on that rainy day, with the lights turned up, my single strobe style of photography would work well.
I searched for Bar Mitzvah photographs for reference, but did not find that many actually. I was able to find enough to know which certain types of shots are "must gets" for a Bar Mitzvah. The two above photos of reading from the torah (wide shot and close up of the hand) are Bar Mitzvah standards.
Jake was a very good sport during the one hour+ of shooting. He always had his smile ready and had no problem with multiple takes as various family members entered and exited the frame with him.
Jake's Bar Mitzvah was both an interesting cultural and photography experience for me. Temple Beth-El was a great place to shoot in. In fact, I will profile the interior of the temple in an upcoming post. I look forward to photographing my next Bar Mitzvah.
Finally the "Sunny Florida at f/11" project continues. When I was visualizing this photograph, I thought the large cloud above really dwarfed downtown St. Petersburg's minimal skyscrapers. It seemed almost like some large, natural mothership looking down upon lesser, artificial creations. So I composed the shot with the buildings very low in the frame to stress the largeness of the cloud even more.
Also, a first: using Photoshop's "lens correct" filter. This made all the buildings stand up straight, not just the one in the dead center. To apply this filter in Photoshop CS4: FILTER --> DISTORT --> LENS CORRECTION Then use the Vertical Perspective slider toward the bottom until all the buildings stand up straight. Thanks to Ken for first explaining this tip.
In my mind I want the next photograph in this series to be of palm trees along the beach, a more traditional Florida landscape. I will see what I can find. If you have any tips for a location like this in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater areas, please let me know in the comments below.
It was yet another blustery, chilly Saint Petersburg morning for the DSLR Photography Lesson I had with Melanie today, her second lesson. At least it was sunny. For this lesson, we focused almost entirely on shooting sports, to be specific, the 3/4th Century Softball club. I will be profiling them in detail in a post next week.
We were able to get right on the field for the softball game, along the third baseline. I taught Melanie how to best hold her Nikon D90 in portrait orientation mode. In general we focused a lot on making sure she was holding her camera in optimal position for producing a sharp shot throughout the lesson.
The other major focus of the lesson was, well, focus. How to get a focus lock on a moving subject at various distances from the lens. For this we used both single and multi-point focus, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each for photographing a team sport like softball.
It was a challenging type of photography for just our second lesson, but Melanie was able to produce some nice action shots of players rounding third especially. For our next lesson, we will switch to architecture and landscapes, subjects a bit easier to get a focus lock on!