Endurance Athlete – Cindy Henges

I am in awe of the athletes in Austin. Cindy is one of these amazing people, nursing school, check, 2-time Leadville 100 mile Finisher, double check. Sweet, Funny, down-to-earth. check, check and check.

Got the chance to meet up with her for a photo session down at a mutual friends house, and we shot away for a few hours. Mind you, this was a week after finishing a 100 mile race in altitude.

Mentally and Physically Strong!

I love this one of her holding a winter jacket, looking tough and serene at the same moment.

I think this session has kicked off a new idea in my head for some of the personal work that you will be seeing from me, runners, triathletes, cyclist, I love what they represent and the beauty of a soul revealed through dedication.

See an interview with Cindy here

–JB

Rogue Diva Night – August 2010

Rogue Running is on a roll this Summer! We have already seen the Double Dare Challenge, the first Rogue Raffler and now a Diva Night!

Diva Night is full of Power Women!

Rupal, leading a discussion on posture and alignment

Gundy trying to figure out how a sports-bra works. 🙂 He was giving information on the proper fit in the Moving Comfort line

Uncorked was on hand filling up wine glasses

Stan the Man, being more of Stan the She-Ra

Gaggle of Gals giving me the princess pose

Be sure to come out to Rogue EQ on Thursday for the second edition of the Raffler!

Noel and Denise – Save The Date Video

From our not-engagement shoot from a few weeks ago with Noel and Denise. I knew in my head that I wanted to surprise the couple with a little something different. I have been experimenting more and more in the Still+Video hybrid shoots. For this shoot, I knew that I wouldn’t have access to my video function (that camera was elsewhere), but I did have access to my high speed burst mode 🙂

We went with a cinema theme because the happy couple loves movies! There will also be an appearance of the PropBooth at the Reception.

AzulOx Photography will be covering this wedding on 12/11/10.

Noel and Denise – Save The Date from Josh Baker on Vimeo.

Noel and Denise, I am so excited for you guys!

To get your super-awesome Engagements-Save The-Date video, please contact Josh at josh@azulox.com

Rogue Double Dare Challenge – Austin, Texas

I work for a great running company, Rogue Running, and they like to put on crazy events to break up the summer doldrums. Last week they put on the Rogue Double Dare Challenge. A timed obstacle course ending in a murky inflatable slip n slide.

First up, Bobbing for Apples

The Second Event is High Knees

Third, Shaving Water Balloons, aka Steve’s Revenge

Fourth, Medicine Ball Reverse Shot Put

The Fifth event is interesting. Whip Cream Pie Pushup to find the Gummi Bear. One pushup per bite.

Sixth up is the Hula Hoop. Guys had way more issues than the Gals on this event.

The seventh obstacle is over and under hurdles.

The World Cup-inspired eighth event had runners weave through soccer cones with a super light kids ball.

Ugh, Dizzy Bat for number nine.

Immediately following Dizzy Bat, the Egg Carry required the exact fine motor skills that Dizzy Bat depleted.

Remember the murky slip n slide? Yep, that is the finish.

And your reward for completing these 11 events? Beer, from North by Northwest!

Emily’s Bridal – San Antonio

I am super excited! Now that Zac and Emily have gotten hitched, I can finally show off the bridals from a few months ago. We didn’t want the photos in the wild and ruin the surprise of her dress.

In talking with Emily we decided that a San Antonio shoot would work best and after hearing her describe her dress, decided that the Art Deco District near Fredricksburg Road would be the place to get our photos on. We started at Eisenhower Park, so named because Dwight and his wife used to rowboat around the lake.
Then we hit up a couple of places with good sights along the way.

Thanks to Russ for helping me with the lights, and to Kate for helping Emily with her Dress.

Too many photos to share, so here is the slideshow from this gallery

Enjoy
— JB

The Wild Ride of a Weekend

It wasn’t Mr. Toads, but the last few days have been a journey for me, including the 768 miles I drove between Thursday and Sunday. The week started off with some new gear. I stepped up from battery powered strobes to an Alien Bee 800 with a 47 inch Octabox. For those who read this who have no idea what that last sentence means, I now have the sun in my bag. And yes, I did have to get a bigger bag.

Thursday, Headed out to Houston. Scouted the location of my Friday Corporate shoot in downtown. 16th floor conference room that looks out to the former Enron building. Well, it is still a building, just used to house Enron. Wrapped up the scouting, and proceeded to a Mother-Daughter head shot shoot. Had a wonderful time with Natalie, the actress, and Beverly, the corporate speaker. Beverly is from Alice and her family and my family were in a similar line of business back in the day, mainly oil fields and construction.

Beverly and Natalie

After the requirements of the shoot were done, we headed outside for a few Mother-Daughter moments.

Thursday night, Bari (friend from wayback), her few month old Max and I went for tacos at 100% Taco. Great little restaurant setup like a street vendor in Mexico. Even had the green taxi in the center.

Friday Morning, Downtown Houston. Corporate shoot for Enite Consulting, Thanks to Neal Hamil Agency for providing our clients and the awesome front desk help of Ashley and Brandon who made our time a breeze. Ashely is in film school, and Brandon does graphic design. Further proof of the creative mind looking to break out from behind the front desk. Another former Seguinite, Andrew, helped me with setup, grunt work, and detail picture taking. Thanks Andrew!

The shoot went great, lots of fun headshots/team shots/stocky shots. Can’t post em yet until the client is happy with them, but they will probably be their own post later.

Lunch with Andrew followed at The Hobbit? down by Rice U. Good blue cheese burger, The raspberry tea? not so much. Best part of the lunch. Guy in table next to us talking to three medical clients, “Don’t ever go into trading lumber futures, you can lose a lot of money in it” ….. What?!, I don’t even know where to begin on that one.

Friday evening, headed back to Austin in the rain. Dropped off the borrowed Vagabond power pack back to Jake North Photography (mine is on backorder), thanks Jake! Friday night was filled with backing up files, spinning hard drives and charging batteries. The glamorous life we lead 🙂

Muddy Buddy Mud Pit

Saturday morning up early to shoot the Muddy Buddy Austin race for brightroom in Johnson City. I was the photographer in the “pit”, 40 foot mud pit that the racing teams finished in. After 10 minutes of wearing sandals, it became a barefoot day in the mud. Great race, terrible parking, copious amounts of mud flying. (in my ear, on my beard, on top of hat, etc.) After I had cleaned up a little, enough to get into the wifey’s car, I helped a fellow photog get her car unstuck. Did I say cleaned up? I meant, splattered with mud from head to toe. Melissa, I am waiting for that six-pack….

Soon to be gone Sandals

Drove to Luling to grab some City Market hot links, then off to my mom’s in Seguin for a power nap. Saturday Night, my assistant Kaush and I tackled the wedding of Zac and Emily in downtown Seguin under the gazebo at Central Park. Following a horse drawn carriage ride to the reception area, Emily and Zac partied in the Coliseum of Seguin. All of their photos will be on my zenfolio site here

Emily and Zac

Drive back to Austin late, recharge batteries, dump files, backup files, catch a few hours sleep. Up again Sunday morning at 5am, picked up Tenille, my favorite Canadian Pro Triathlete, and headed out to Pace Bend Park for the last of the 2010 Rogue Trail Series, The BEND. Interesting course, in that the 10k and 30k racers finished in different directions. Gabe, the trail master, was trying to challenge me I know. Thanks to Minh for bringing me a breakfast beer up to my perch on the 30k course. The sprinkles came shortly after that, had to engineer cover for my flashes, and used a shoot thru umbrella as an actual, yknow, umbrella. Haha.

Umbrella'ed Flash

Finished up Sunday with another power nap, and then a Maternity shoot with my running buddy JP and his wife Vikki. Vikki’s daughter learned how to ride a bike that morning, so we got some snaps of that as well. Pretty powerful to be a part of both of those experiences, the expectation of a new child, and seeing another child hit a great milestone in their life. I have the best job.

To me, the journey of the last week encapsulated what I love so much about the photography business. Meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends for new purposes, challenging one self creatively, jumping into situations that make me feel a little uncomfortable – but surviving, and seeing joy in others as they pass into new life accomplishments.

Stay Thirsty My Friends, and enjoy the Wild Ride of your Lives!

Zac and Emily – Austin Engagement Session

The last thing I posted was all about my workflow, lots of words, no pictures. Let us change that up a bit for you and give you pictures with not a lot of words.

We have already covered some of Emily’s Bridal pictures, the 2 that I could show you. Now we get to meet Zac. Started out on the East Side of Austin, meeting at Progress Coffee on 5th and San Marcos. Then moseyed over to some cool loading docks.

On the Loading Dock

The running joke of the day was to “Act Natural”, as though those are magic words a photographer can say to elicit true emotion.

Walking by the Station

Hit up the Saltillo Plaza train station for some beautiful flowers, benches, a homeless guy sleeping, and stolen moments

In the Stairwell

The ran over to Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake. Of course it was Saturday, so a wedding was going on and about 3 other photography sessions at my spot, but luckily I bring my own lights.

Of course, I had to put Emily in front of some graffiti, she pulls this off so well. Emily probably will love it, her mother not so much.

Till Death due us part

And then right around the corner, I found my new favorite space in Downtown. This cool little alleyway across from a Bank of America (so Emily will know how to get back). I setup a flash as some backlight, and pulled out my low light special – 85mm f1.8. The lightstand almost got run over, but the pictures came out great. I think they are like something out of a forbidden romance movie set in New York.

Silhouette - Take 1

In the Movies

Take 3

In honor of Emily’s blue dress we tried to hit up the convention center parking garage, but some other photographers were there with on-camera flash ready to go. I stayed out of their way out of respect.

All in all, we had a wonderful time together. So glad I got to meet Zac, we connected on bad movie jokes and cultural references that made me feel old since Emily didn’t get them. Looking very much to their wedding in May.

For all the images in this set, head over here.

–JB

Emily’s Bridal – San Antonio Bridal Photos

Emily at Woodlawn Park

Emily’s Bridal Portraits went awesome Sunday’s in San Antonio. I was assisted by my longest-time friend, Russ. Emily brought along Kate.

First off, the sky was beautiful, some wispy clouds, but otherwise blue. The wind continued my streak of Lubbock-like breeze patterns, hard and often. Undaunted, we set off on to the Deco District in San Antonio near Woodlawn Park. We roamed up and down the streets utilizing the funky architecture to fit Emily’s personality and wedding style.

Second, Emily is fantastic to work with. She claims to be shy, but I never saw that. Continuing another streak, she learned her model moves from America’s Next Top Model. That is a streak of 4 clients in a row for me, I had to confess again to watching it for the photography/modeling as well. Doesn’t help with the man card, but it helps with the photo card.

Em has a neo-funky dress which fit her awesomely, can’t show the dress yet, don’t want the groom peaking too much. Some traditions still hold and this is one I like.

Our favorite background is the one that Russ is modeling here.

Monroe Wall with Russ the Model

We went with an Orbis Ring Flash as the single light here. When Emily was in the frame, we used a white sheet as a scrim to block the sunlight and bring the ambient down some so that we could carry an aperture and get that ringflash look. If this makes no sense, head over to strobist.com .

Once the wedding happens in May, I will give it the full blog treatment with lots of pretty pictures!

— JB

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

–JB

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!

–JB

Huntsville

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

JB

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.

-JB

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 www.endurophoto.com
Jake is at Jake North Photography