Jumping through Hoops

https://bobkrist.com/movies/Rachelle6FPS.mov

I’m just in the process of ordering the big (up to 30″x45″) prints for my community portrait project, called New Hope: In Character.  I’m working with the great folks at Aspen Creek Photo and West Coast Imaging to do the printing, and I’ll be writing about them soon.

Our exhibit will be up for the last two weeks in August at the New Hope Arts Center, and it’s going to culminate in a big street party outside the center where we bring the prints outside (more on that as the time approaches).

Of the fifty-plus of my neighbors that I photographed, only two pictures will run in color. One of them is of Rachelle, a young lady who went to school with my sons and is currently a professional dancer. One of her specialties is the hoop dance, with a hoop that has built in LED lighting.

It’s just too cool to see her do her thing, and to capture the movement of the lighted hoop, plus Rachelle, we did some slow synch flash, using the same basic broad light I’ve discussed before (see the jump for a picture of the studio setup).

But we turned off the overhead lights and blackened out the windows and went for a long (1/2 second) exposure in the dark, and then the strobe fired to provide the light on her.

It’s a dynamic look, and when I was cycling quickly through the shots in Photo Mechanic to pick the one frame to print, it had a kind of flipbook effect.  So I grabbed all the jpegs from the session and made the timelapse in Quicktime that you see above.

For a look at the studio setup (one 4×6 softbox at a 45 degree angle, basically), hit the jump. (more…)

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Friends in High Places

Photo © Bob Krist

I’m just putting together a stock submission of images from Buenos Aires  for a European magazine client when I came across the above pic of the Capitolio dome in Buenos Aires. It’s the seat of the government and notice how it’s nicely etched with light.

There’s a story behind that, and it’s another tale of who you know, not necessarily what you know.

My excellent friend and fixer, Bernardo Galmarini, knew the building manager of the Palacio Barolo building, an unbelievably beautiful art deco masterpiece from which we shot this view. It’s a work of art, and topped with a real working lighthouse complete with giant bulb and fresnel lens. That’s Bernando, below, checking his settings by the glow of the lighthouse.

Photo © Bob Krist

For the story of how we lit the dome of the Argentinian parliament without bringing the country’s Air Force or the Secret Service down on our heads, hit the jump.

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The Great Video Dilemma…Redux

It would have been cool to have a video clip of these Shinto priests processing out of the temple after a ceremony, but while my video rig wasn't ready, my camera was! Photo © Bob Krist

Well, my marathon trip is coming to a close in beautiful Istanbul. And one other thing (besides the weather) has been bugging me on the trip.

Whether it’s a speed dating tour like the one I’m currently on, or a more in-depth assignment like my recent city profile of Buenos Aires for National Geographic Traveler, I am having a devil of a time fitting in the time to shoot video, let alone collect audio.

I’ve seen such stunning work from younger PJs who are combining both in beautiful stories. Maybe it’s because I’m from a pre-multi-tasking generation, but I really find it difficult to do both, or all three. I’ve written about this before and it hasn’t gotten any easier since.

I think part of the reason is that, while video-enabled DSLRs produce stunning-looking video, shooting video with them still presents, shall we say, ergonomic challenges.

First you put on your Zacuto viewfinder, then you put on your mic, your mixer, and your follow focus rig, and by the time you do that, the subject you want to video is three towns away, and maybe even retired. When, I wonder, will Nikon or Canon come up with a camera with the same chip, that takes the same lenses, but is actually designed to shoot video and not jerry-rigged to do so?

For my speculation on that and other video ironies, hit the jump.

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Soaring into Kazakhstan

Photo © Bob Krist

We were supposed to go to Uzbekistan as part of our Silk Road adventure, but there’s a State Department travel warning (or was) so we flew into Kazakhstan instead.

Yes, Kazakhstan: the country made infamous by Sacha Baron Cohen, aka, Borat.

So everybody kind of modified their expectations and our first view of Almaty, the main city, didn’t do anything to lift them. But then we started touring around, and Kazakhstan turned out to be a sleeper hit on the last leg of this long jet journey.

We visited a falconer (where I shot the above sea eagle, D90, 70-300mm VR, Vivid jpeg, ISO 400, Aperture Priority wide open) and got great looks at a variety of raptors, attended an Orthodox  service in the Cathedral of the Assumption in the main park, heard a variety of unique folk instruments playing haunting melodies at the music museum.

We hit a big open market where all the vendors were friendly and open to being photographed, and ate some great food. Authentic and as yet unspoiled by mass tourism, K’stan is on my bucket list to come back and explore in depth. For a look at some of the situations that convinced me that Sacha Baron Cohen was all wet, hit the jump.

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