Category Archives: Audio

One Day in Armenia

Our first day in Armenia was pretty much of a washout, thanks to the weather that has been dogging me for seven weeks!

But we did have an amazing second day….We visited the haunting and beautiful St. Geghard monastery, where the choir gave us an a capella concert in one of the monastery chambers cut whole out of the mountainous rock in 4th century.

Then we visited Garni Temple, another ancient structure, where I recorded a man playing the traditional duduk in the ruins. We had lunch at a village house where a woman was making delicious flat bread in an oven in the ground. When she pulled one out, she would fling it like a frisbee towards her helper, who would then ferry them out to us hungry visitors.

And after that, we visited Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the “vatican” of Armenian Orthodox church for a tour of its treasures. In between, we caught some lovely scenery and even a glimpse of Mt. Ararat, said to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark. Not bad for a day’s touring.

These charter jet tours are not photography specific in their design or itinerary, and we move fast. And dare I say it, I’ve even taken to grabbing a shot through a bus window (go ahead and laugh, but that’s the way these things go!) as we whiz by. There’s a couple of those shots in the above multimedia. Thank god for clean bus windows, and the active setting on the Nikon VR lenses!

Next and final stop: Turkey!  I don’t know if I’m more excited about seeing Turkey (a first for me) or getting home….well, I do know, but I ain’t talkin’.

I will, however, keep you posted.

Portrait Session Timelapse

Along with Rich Kennedy, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, my friend, portrait photographer Arun Paul, was also helping me out during the weekend of pro bono family portraits we did for area military families during my New Hope portrait project. While he was busy helping me with the lighting, the posing etc, he also had his D700 shooting a long time lapse sequence which appears here.

Arun is a multitalented guy—-great shooter, and wonderful musician. He even wrote the music that accompanies the time lapse. It also looks like he did some kind of cool B&W action on the pics in the movie.

We had a great weekend photographing the families, and we were very touched by how appreciative they were. It was win/win all around and I bet I’ll be doing it again in the future….feels too good to stop.

Oh, and speaking of feeling good, Photo Traveler was recently cited by Photography Colleges as number 28 in the Top 100 Travel Photography Blogs. It’s a very interesting list of blogs they’ve assembled and I know I picked up a few more bookmarks just reading through it.

I always wonder about these type of ratings, though. For instance,  the number one rated blog was that of an Austin, Texas family portrait photographer who had no travel photography element to his blog at all, as far as I can see.

But that’s okay.

Last year, in another rating of travel photography blogs, I came in behind a blog called “Olga, The Traveling Bra.” So, clearly, I’m moving up in the world;  from lingerie to family portraits. Next year, who knows, I may come in behind a nice boudoir shooter!

Tango Audio Slide show

Don't click this, it's just a screen grab!!!

I posted an audio slide show about Tango in Buenos Aires….I think NG Traveler will have it up on their site too, but not sure where. This was originally going to have an interview narration with a Tango anthropologist and was going to be more educational, but then my editor said just do it a lot of dance pictures and snappy music, and I thought, why not?

Ordinarily, I HATE going out and shooting nightlife. First of all, it all starts too late (don’t you people have something to do during the daylight hours????). Secondly, everybody’s having fun, and you’re the nerd with the camera and the lightpole and no life and everybody would just prefer that you go away….

But…I loved documenting tango. I actually looked forward to getting up in the middle of the night to go out. It’s such a beautiful, passionate dance, and the Portenos were so warm and welcoming to my presence. I was blown away by the artistry of the dancers, whether the pros on stage during a show, or folks at a neighborhood milonga.  It’s the real deal, it’s a lifestyle.

And I was privileged to have been a close witness to it. That’s why, despite all the bullsh… about our business lately, it’s just so cool that this camera gives you entree into so many different worlds.

Everything you need to know about shooting the news….

Forget journalism school, here’s the secret formula…..

YouTube Preview Image

Prides cometh before a fall….

Sleeping prides are no problem to pick off with your DSLR video rig.

Okay. You name the parable, metaphor, or simile that involves overconfidence and overweaning ambition combined with lack of experience, and you can put it in the lede of this post about my foray into being a fulltime videographer on my recent safari through Tanzania.

By day two, I had visions of myself in a second career as a cameraman for Wild Kingdom. I pretty much went through the week like that…until I got home and really looked at my work. Ay carumba! What can I say….those were just delusional dreams brought on by the strength of the sub-Saharan sun!

Oh sure, I could harp on the fact that video-enabled DSLRs have a long way to go in convenience and handling before they become viable machines for documentary work (if you have actors who can do several takes of every shot, the image quality of the video from these machines completely overshadows their handling shortcomings).

And there’s nothing like multiple takes to help cover a myriad of handling mistakes, too.

It’s no mystery that the videos Nikon and Canon are using to promote their video-enabled SLRs are more like short movie features or commercials, with multi-man crews, rather than documentary projects. As Hilary says, “it takes a village” to raise a child. To that I’d like to add that “it takes a crew” to make great video.

But if you have baboons who don’t take direction, or lions who march to the beat of their own drummers, you are in deep doo-doo if you have only one chance to capture this video action on the move with a DSLR.

Hit the jump for a rundown of the things that plagued me, and why I won’t be giving up on DSLR video anytime soon! Continue reading »