I had a chance to photograph a couple of the lifeguards at the Santa Barbara historic Los Banos del Mar city pool. It was a bright, sunny day so I moved Dustin into the shade cast by a palm tree at the shallow end of the pool. I set up one flash, gridded, on camera left to give him some edge lighting and the key flash on the right, no diffusion, just a bare flash. ISO 200 at 1/250sec, f/8, blew out the background by about 1 2/3 stops. Overexposing the sunlit area kept the background from looking too busy and really helped focus the eye on Dustin. This lighting/exposure technique is a favorite of fashion shooters on location.
Santa Barbara lifeguard Dustin McQuary
During this summer’s InWater Photography course at Brooks Institute one of the students brought a silicone mermaid tail, designed by Eric Ducharme, on our 5-day boat trip down to Catalina Island. Getting into the tail, and then getting the mermaid into the water, was a group effort but it looked amazing in the water.
Angelina and Todd helping put the tail on Cherie. Lots of baby oil was involved.
Mermaids Jane Austin and Hannah Geer
I will be one of the presenters at the c’t Digital Photography Seminar Series on October 19th in Santa Monica. My presentation will be “Lighting Creatively: The Path to Seeing”.
If you register by October 7th, you will receive a special price of $139 (the regular price is $199). To receive this special pricing, please contact Devon Bell at 805–687-2208, and mention my name. I hope to see you there!
Is the weather crazy this summer or what? We just returned from another great trip to Denali National Park in Alaska where temps are normally around 65F, max. But after a very late snowfall near the end of May, they’ve been enduring a record breaking heat wave.
More than 20 hours of sunlight!
Our first day at Camp Denali saw 82F with clear skies, the next day we had a torrential downpour with lots of lightning, and then cloudy, smoky skies from all the fires burning in and around the park. The Mt. Booker fire started a few miles from us but was quickly doused by water dropping planes.
These heroic pilots fly into the park, scoop up water from local lakes, and attack the fires before they can grow. They generally only worry about fires near human habitats and let wilderness fires burn naturally.
The combo of lots of melt water and warm temps created a perfect storm for mosquitos too. But our group of fun travelers put up with the heat and bugs with barely a complaint. After all, Camp Denali was amazing. The staff and food were great, we had views of the mountain and fields of wildflowers, and saw bear, moose, caribou, sheep, eagles, swans, porcupines, and muskrats.
Only the female mosquito bites. This one is weaving its proboscis between the threads of my jeans to reach my skin. She made it.
A lot of my peers and clients don’t think of me as a people photographer. But ever since my son was born (he’s 24 now), and I was informed by my wife that I would be taking lots of photos of him, I’ve gotten to love working with people. Creating good people images is as much about their body language and facial expression as it is about lighting and post work, something I learned from paying attention to Peter Hurley. Peter has a great DVD and online training session on how to create dynamic “headshots”.
The left image is pretty dull. Just a change in shoulder angle, a tilt of the body towards the camera, and attention to where the kicker and main light are falling makes a big difference.
At the end of each semester at Brooks Institute I offer to photograph students in my Lighting Theory course. Using the Einstein E640 flash as my main light and a Nikon SB900 as my kicker flash, I’ll shoot the students in a couple of different poses. The “demo” shows them how quickly you can create different variations of a portrait.
Photographed at the library and gallery on the Brooks Institute campus, Santa Barbara.