I’m So Excited, And I Just Can’t Hide It

Hello, everyone.  It’s been a while.

Some stuff has happened since my last post, but mostly I won first place in the Places/Architecture category of that contest I had talked about earlier.  I’m very excited.

I used the prize money to buy a flash.  A Nikon SB-700.  Here’s me using the flash.

Self Portrait With Flash fb

Don’t let that calm demeanor fool you, I’m actually very excited about it.

Here’s a shot where I used the flash.

1957 Bel Air_4

This was at Frank’s Father’s Day Show at Findlay Chevrolet here in Vegas.  They hold it mostly inside their parking structure.  Which is great for the cars, because they are out of the sun.  But it’s bad for photography, because they are out of the sun.  In fact, it’s pretty dark in there, and it has always been a real struggle to get decent photos of the cars parked inside.  Until now.

I have been reading about flash techniques for a long time now, because a flash has been on my “to purchase” list for a long time now.  So, I knew not to use direct flash, but instead bounce the flash off the ceiling.  You can see that in the reflections on the top of this ’57’s fin, those bright lines are from the ceiling of the structure being lit up, providing a really sweet, diffused light.  I’m so happy with how the shots from this show came out.  I feel like I’ve embarked on a brand new journey with my photography.  I should have gotten the flash a lot sooner.  I’m very excited.

One other thing I’ve been excited about was a trip I recently took to California.  I was born in Los Angeles, and raised in the suburbs directly east of L.A.  Even though I’ve lived around the world, and am currently based in Las Vegas, my heart will always be in Los Angeles.

Despite that, I forgot how much I hated being in that traffic.  Whenever people in Las Vegas complain about the traffic in this town, I just smile, and say, “Aww, bless your sweet heart.”

I went to the J. Paul Getty Museum.  I had never been there before, and it has been on my “to visit” list for a long time now.  I have a lot of lists.

Getty 01

Being there, surrounded by world class art, I was inspired to step up my game and not just take standard, touristy snapshots.  I wanted my photos to be art as much as they would be about the art.  I know that’s a lofty goal, especially being surrounded by everyone from Albrecht Dürer to Vincent Van Gogh.

Here’s the set on flickr – J. Paul Getty Museum.  No, they aren’t as good as Van Gogh, but I’m excited about how they turned out.  I know that’s the running gag of this post, but it doesn’t mean it’s not true.  I can really look on these and see that I rose (however slightly) to the challenge I set for myself.

The other thing I was able to do was to have a good old fashioned photo-walk through my old home town.

West Covina_407

I haven’t done one of these in a long time.  Too long, actually.  Which is a shame, considering how important I’ve said they are to me.

Here’s the set on flickr – Sketches of West Covina.  I’ve called it “sketches” because I didn’t do any of the post processing I usually do for my automotive photography.  I adjusted the white balance, exposure, cropped a little, and that was about it.  I’m not going to say they are how they are straight out of the camera, but they’re close.

They say it never rains in Southern California, but this day started pretty overcast.  I didn’t like the light, if I’m honest, I really wanted that sweet California sun all throughout my walk.  But, what are you going to do.

The Getty set and the West Covina set are both rooted in having different priorities than my usual automotive photography.  I concentrated much more on composition than I have been doing lately, really trying to craft shots, and arrange elements successfully throughout the frame. It reinforced the fact that there is a huge gap between something that just looks interesting and being able to take an interesting photo of something that looks interesting.

Just because something is cool, doesn’t mean that a photo of it is automatically cool.

It’s a good lesson to know.  Now, I’m off to learn much more about my SB-700.

So very excited.







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