Georgetown Seniors – Chelsey H – Part Two

Chelsey and I met up again at Ramaker Stables in Leader, Texas. We had about an hour to knock out some different looks and get a 17 hand horse named Bentley involved. No problem.

We started in the Small Barn, not as new as the Big Barn, but more colorful and possessing more character. I was thinking something along the lines of images out of Dover Saddlery, but prettier.

Tried working with some backlit/Ezybox combo’s, but they weren’t working for me. Ended up with an over/under lighting scheme to bring some beauty and contrast to Chelsey.

Over Under Contrast

This image has a Lastolie 24 inch Ezybox (my favorite) on top, with a big reversible umbrella on the bottom, both are off to one side slightly.

Remember in part one, when I said there were no clouds. That changed for the better.

The barn was fun, but then the sky did me a favor and went wild with clouds and color. Let’s ditch inside the barn and go crazy with the sky’s.

Fun with Skies

What is more fun that a senior and great skies? A senior, her horse and great skies!

Bentley and Chelsey

Thanks again to Chelsey for being a wonderful model.

See all of the images here


Georgetown Seniors – Chelsey H – Part One

Chelsey in the Wind

Started working with Chelsey after I talked to her from the Sunsets and Horses photos from last week. Said she might be interested in some Senior Portraits. I said, “Let’s do it!”

We started at Cianfrani’s in the square at Georgetown, my favorite coffee shop. Met up with Chelsey and her mother and went over the plan I had set out for us. Our plan was to use the niche’s and vignettes that make the Georgetown square one of my favorite shooting area’s. Thanks to my buddy Geoff Hammond to turning me onto a couple of them.

First, we hit up a doorway on the backside of the square to show off the angles and lines of Chelsey’s 6’2” frame. I used my orbis ringflash on these to give it a high fashion look. Had to make sure the the first location was in the shade because the sun was out with no clouds, although that would change later, because the Orbis eats up a lot of power from my 430’s.

Chelsey in the Doorway

Our second location was at the Rough and Ready Antique Store, a great location for vignettes. The sunlight was hard still with no clouds and about 12:45 in the day. I found a non-wet chair with good color and told Chelsey to “get slinky”. this location produced 2 of my favorites from the day.

Chelsey in the Movies

Movie Star

The 2 images above seem like they could be from a 1970’s movie set, one starring Farrah Fawcett, or maybe Barbarella.

Then off to the classic alley way in between Rough and Ready Antiques and The Framer’s Gallery. I have used the back drop before. Still love it.

Backlit Chelsey

From there, we moved around the corner to a little white table and chair, with the Antique Sign in the background. The last 3 locations are within 30 feet of each other, but each gives such a different vibe. Thanks again to the local merchants of Georgetown fro keeping your stores awesome. Almost Mediterranean in feel, Chelsey is rocking the casual look in these.

At the Cafe

And it wouldn’t be a good blog post with out some bodily injury to me, the photographer. We were setting up right on the corner of 7th and Main, watching the cops roll by, when my forehead fell in love with a dowel rod on a lamp post. 3 days later, and I still have a bump, bruise and scab…. Love hurts.

I knew this would be a good location because it really says Georgetown to me, well, not just me, the sign in the back actually reads, “Discover Georgetown”. Figured it would be a good graphic element to work with, and I ran with it as my adrenaline was coursing due to head trauma.

Discover Georgetown

The last location at Georgetown is my wife’s favorite, I like it too. My buddy David helped us out here, the wind blew him to our corner of the street and I used the gift.
He is holding the 24 inch Ezybox while Chelsey get her posin’ on.

Rock Wall, Red Head

We finished up at the Square in a robust 90 minutes of shooting, full of antiques, vignettes, green tea, and battle wounds.

The gallery of Georgetown images is here.

In Part Two we travel to Ramaker Stables

— JB

Snow in Texas

We live in Austin,Texas. We get to see snow on the Olympics and when we go Skiing in New Mexico or Colorado. But Snow in Austin? Not so much.

Yesterday was a glorious day. Austin received several inches of snow. Two days prior the temperature was in the 70’s. I blame Al Gore.

Gump and Olivia play in the Snow

As a photographer and a Texan, we have to seize rare opportunities. Tuesday was one such opportunity, I posted on Facebook, “Who wants Snow Pictures?”. I got a reply within 10 minutes. Gump and Olivia, some horse friends of my wife, were game so we trekked over to Brushy Creek Park in Cedar Park Texas, an in between meeting spot for us.

Gump on the Dock

My goal was travel light in gear because the snow was occasionally light rain and I didn’t want my gear getting too soaked, so I headed out with my trusty Lastolite Ezybox 24″ and my Orbis Ring Flash. Camera strapped around my neck, I had a hand for each light modifier. Gump and Olivia were willing models, staging a quick snowball fight, and mucking through the mud to get to the prime locations. After my Ezybox toppled twice, Gump and Olivia alternated as VAL’s (voice activated lightstands).

My photography goal at first was Snowing Senior Photos (yes, all caps, it was a main thought). We meandered around the park, using the running trail as a pathway. I was getting some good, some bad, but nothing that I absolutely loved. That is, until we found a sweet spot in the trees with a pathway running away from us. My photography imagery turned to the wood nymphs I have been reading about in the Percy Jackson series (movie? eh, not good). Maybe for its rareness to me, but a good flaky snow just transforms ugly cedar trees into a sweet winter vignette. We finished up the shoot with these fun Girl in the Woods photos.

Olivia on a Snowy Path

On the way home, I had to stop off of the toll road onto a sidestreet that dead ended. I had driven past a group of small barn houses in failing condition a 100 times, and decided that because of the snow, today was the day to stop and shoot. I was thinking of my buddy Andy, who jumps fences to get the shot he wants, but I was feeling un-nimble in my snow clothes. The hog wire bottom, barb wire top were daunting to me on this day as the steady flow of cars just feet away were witness to my weakness. Instead, I just used the fence as a compositional element in my frames. I processed the HDR’s by going through Lightroom > Photomatix > Photoshop>Imagenomic>Photoshop.

Snow in the Fields of the Farm

The sense of urgency and immediacy of yesterday is hard to replicate. The snow that fell was the best snow in this area in 20 years, maybe since 1985. And today? Should be in the 60’s. Grab your camera. Get out the door!



Huntsville Morning

Just a quick note.

Sometimes in life we are lucky.

We see something spectacular in a place we have never been, and might not be again.

Camera in hand, let the world breathe around you, fire off a few frames. Exhale.

Take a few seconds today to remember something you are thankful for, let the world exhale a little around you.

Huntsville Morning

More from Team Rogue Elite

Team Rogue Setup Shots
(From left to right: Adam Perkins, Joe Thorne, Darren Brown, Kyle Miller)

First up, I remembered to take some setup shots so that I don’t have to draw cheesy diagrams in photoshop.

Second, these Team Rogue guys are F-A-S-T. I asked Coach Sisson if they would be moving quickly through my lighting zone. He said, “well, you won’t be able to tell the difference between their hard and easy, from 4:10 to 4:30 pace.” That, my friends, is hurtling through the bi-pedal atmosphere.

This weeks workout was at Zilker Park in downtown Austin, Texas. I wanted to get more essence of place than last weeks non-descript track. The skyline of downtown Austin would be awesome. The fog and haze prevented a clear view, but at least my strobes weren’t working overtime like last week.

Team Rogue Setup Shots

The runners were coming by from both sides of the road, running an out and back course. So I setup a modified triangle lighting. The flash to left had a 1/4 cto on it, and the middle side light had a blue gel. I should have put a warming gel on the far right side. The middle light was for rim lighting, and at some point I moved it across the street into the same position.

Not having an extra person around this week, I had to self test the light to make sure I had a decent exposure.

Team Rogue Setup Shots

I know that David Hobby uses his hand for this type of thing, and I usually do too, but I want to see how the gels would play on my noggin first.

When the guys and gals started their workout, I wanted to go low with a wide-ish angle and get close to get the feel of speed and still get some of the Austin Skyline. It worked okay for a single runner, but for the guys in the groups, the person closest to me would look good and the others would become obscured. The point of these photos is the team, so I switched to my trusty 70-200 and captured the Rogue’s as they came around turn 1.

Lots more from this group to come, including my favorite composite.

EDIT: HERE is the video link from the workout


Running Round the Track

As some of you may know, I take many of the images seen on Rogue Running’s Blog. The folks at Rogue have a nascent elite training team that need more exposure. (<--- photog joke). Today we are going to talk about how light a subject like Raul, in the above image, to give some dramatic light to fast moving subject. Going into to this photoshoot I knew that I wanted to add edge lights. With my wireless triggers, the excellent AlienBee CyberSyncs, my max shutter speed is going to be 1/250th of a second. Faster would be better, but then the lights start doing funny things, so 1/250 it was. To set my aperture, I just kept upping the dial until I got an f-stop that was making my ambient go somewhat underexposed. It was between f11 and f14 depending on cloud cover. My plan was then to build the subjects up with flash, making them the brightest object in the frame. I setup the flashes at the transition area from straightaway to curve on the track. This gave me the opportunity to shoot the runners straightaway, profile and everywhere in between. The sun is coming in at about a 45 degree angle to the runner. I setup 3 flashes, one from behind and 2 in front of the subject. [caption id="attachment_76" align="alignleft" width="500" caption="Diagram"][/caption] Hopefully, my crude photoshopping will illustrate this setup. The flashes were at 1/2 power, to get me some recycle time. The low flash in front is aimed at the shoes to help freeze the motion in the lower leg and foot area, since this is the part of the body traveling with the most speed. Part of the issue with shooting at 1/250th is that you can get some motion blur in heavy ambient, I was ok with a little but that one flash done low really helped out.

I used the finish line as a marker and general guideline. When I saw a foot or body pass by this position I took a frame. I use this technique in races a lot where I have my triangular zone lighting setup. My flashes are generally out of view, so I use a rock, or stump or whatever I can scrounge as a key to where the exposure will be best.

The second part of the track workout, I wanted to give the new 85 1.8 a spin, to see how it would do in fast moving conditions. Used f2 and underexposed by a stop or so, and then brought down even more in post. I got some images like this one:

the goof

No lights were used in these because I was getting f2 and 1/6400 at iso 100. Radiopoppers would be nice, but alas.

You will be seeing more from this group in the future once the Team gets settled and in town.


Bandera 25/50/100K

@Bandera 100k
This post is out of order in terms of my weekend, but these photos had to be edited sooner than later. We will get to Friday’s Rehearsal Dinner later this week.

Saturday Morning (yes, capitalized) started at 3:15 AM. Friday night ended at 2:15 A.M.

Woke up, got gear together, kissed sweetie on the forehead and off to meet up with Jake at his house in west Austin. He had a hot cup of green tea waiting for me, good man. We packed up the gear into his truck, and set sail for the trails of Bandera where we were to photograph the race for 12 hours or so.

The plan was for me to sleep on the ride out, yeah, that didn’t happen. Me and Jake were doing what photographers do when not actually shooting, we talked about gear.

Stopped in Bandera for some donut holes and kolaches. My brain was fuzzy upon entering the little shop but the conversation went like this:
Me: One kolache for 95 cents, Half Dozen for $5.95?
Jake: Yep.
Me: Is my math wrong? or are they charging a bundling fee?
Jake: (something about arbitrage)
Me: arbitrage is a big word pre-dawn.
Jake: We can go outside and resell them, make up for it in Volume!

We laughed about this the rest of the day.

Ambled over to the start of the race. Took one step out of the car – Shiny it was cold
@Bandera 100k
Can you see Jake’s frozen breath?
Apparently it was 8 degrees at the start. Ice was on the ground throughout the day in the shade. Brrr.

I got the gig to travel up the second hill climb, with strobes, food, water, and camera gear. In normal temperatures this wouldn’t be an issue for me, but I was dressed like Ralphie’s little brother in “A Christmas Story”, so my mobility was hindered all day. Made it to the a lechugilla cactus gauntlet where I shot for the first 3 hours of the morning.

My setup shot here at the lechugilla gauntlet
@Bandera 100k

After the last of the runners passed through, I headed down the mountain to the finish area, then over to my spot in the woods. I found my trusty log from last years 50 miler and plopped my stuff down. Got the strobes setup again for the runners and whaddya know? Erik Stanley (StanFan) shows up to goof off.
@Bandera 100k

For those that don’t know, Erik is part of Team Rogue Elite, and is a coach for Rogue Training Systems. He is also really fast, like sub 2:30 marathon fast. yowzahs. He is also a goof ball as here he is giving the victory sign to the imaginary crowd.

I stayed in the woods till about 3pm. Made some friends along the way, guys from Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico. All with the trail runners vibe. diggin it.

Headed back to the crowd, Rick had his new 300 f2.8 IS lens attached to a 1d3 body. Decided that would be fun to handhold for 5 minutes, so I walked around to hand hold it for as long as I could. Made it about 3 minutes, then handed off the 15 pound behemoth to Jake and shot finish lines photos for a bit.

In my lack of sleep delirium I figured it would be wise to ask the race director where some good sunset shots with runners would be. He pondered a bit, then pointed to a far reaching hill and said, “There”. I took off with all my gear in tow. Camera around Neck, Camera Backpack on both shoulders, Strobes and Stands on Right Shoulder, Food and Water on Left Shoulder. 2 mile hike out and up. 10 pictures with runners in them. 2 mile hike back and down in the dark and cold. Still, it was worth it. Why? Because one of the runners never saw me until the strobes fired, and she jumped, accusing me of being a mountain lion. She was delirious and sleep deprived too apparently.

Grabbed some Sonic in Bandera (who forgot my corn dogs), and headed home. Edited 1500 photos on Sunday and posted that PM. Long Weekend done.

The event photos are/will be at
Jake is at Jake North Photography