Category Archives: Technology

New and Old Friends

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of catching up with some old friends, and meeting some new colleagues, on a couple of projects I’ve been working on these last few weeks. I’ve learned a lot from these guys and I recommend hitting their websites/blogs for some excellent inspiration and instruction.

Reznicki Rules–I’ve known Jack Reznicki for years and long admired his people photography, but I had never heard him speak until I caught him at a recent conference. Wow, his talk was funny, informative, and just loaded with terrific images!  He is one of those rare shooters who not only makes great pictures, but he’s able to break it down and teach the process as well. His books and website are highly recommended.

Dynamite Dave–Veteran sports shooter and speedlight maven Dave Black is a delightful guy, major talent, and great teacher. He regularly runs  “Workshops at the Ranch” which are always popular. I had a chance to watch Dave at work recently. Although Dave is famous for his sports photos (and rightfully so) I love his feature work and the stuff he’s done with lightpainting and speedlights, especially at Arlington National Cemetery….haunting and beautiful.

Corey is Cookin’–I also recently met Corey Rich , and he is a one man visual dynamo as well as an articulate teacher. Long known for his outstanding adventure and extreme sports photography, Corey has made the transition to video and has made it with a bang. I admire him not only for his eye, but for what he’s had to climb (hint: El Capitan, for one) to get that eye in the right place at the right time!

Also posted in Career issues, Destinations, Lighting, Photo Gear, Photo Techniques, Travel, Workshops & Seminars

Tanzania Photo Safari Redux

I had all but given up on the video footage I shot with my D300s when leading a photo safari in Tanzania last February for National Geographic Expeditions. Although I used a beanbag and did my best, the ever so slight movement of the Land Rover, even parked with the engine turned off, were enough to give most of my clips a little shake. A shake that became painfully obvious on my 30″ Cinema Display!

Of course, I didn’t notice it at the time on my LCD—I thought everything looked solid.  Oh, the lessons learned (see the post–Prides Cometh Before a Fall)

I’m working with the son of a friend this summer, trying to learn Final Cut Express, and together, we tried to salvage what we could from my clips, posted above. As regular readers know, I’m currently struggling with video and wondering if I might be better off forgetting the whole thing and sticking to my strong suit, or plunging ahead.

Plunging…hmmn, unfortunately, that’s still the operative word when it comes to my video chops so far. But I’m not giving up yet!

I spent last weekend shooting video of the first ever Jazz Academy at Solebury School, one of the projects of the Jonathan Krist Foundation.

We had students from inner city Camden and bucolic Bucks County side by side all weekend, learning jazz from some great pros like James McBride, George Laks, Brent White, Marlene Rice, Devyn Rush, Jamal and Nasir Dickerson, Hassan Sabree, and Dave Bachart.

Next week, I’m teaching my travel photography class up at the Maine Media Workshops….it’ll be great to be back in New England, teaching a subject that I know something about!

Also posted in Audio, Destinations, Ironies, Multimedia, Travel, Workshops & Seminars

What’s wrong with this picture, er, I mean, this video…

In the midst of the packing and last minute details for an assignment I’m leaving on tomorrow (note to self: no more blog posts about Photoshop or plug-ins…whoa…you guys are tough, tough, tough), I took stock of my upcoming shopping list for gear, gadgets, and software.

And none of it was for still photo stuff.

I should be upgrading to CS5, but all my cameras are covered by the version of Adobe Camera Raw in CS4 so what I’m really getting ready to plunk down near four figures to upgrade is to Final Cut Studio from Final Cut Express, and not from CS4 to CS5.

And yes, I’d like that tiny new 85mm Nikkor DX  VR macro lens, but what I’m actually buying next is a fairly pricey little Sennheiser wireless mic setup. And I’ve been hitting the videography blogs with alarming regularity.

What the hell is going on? Hit the jump to find out just who, or what, has hijacked my brain.

Continue reading »

Also posted in Audio, Career issues, Multimedia, Photo Gear, Workshops & Seminars

Bokeh in a Box

Photo © Bob Krist

Photo © Bob Krist


Ordinarily, my clients don’t let me mess with reality, but I had a shoot last weekend for the Arthritis Foundation‘s annual report cover that was clearly considered to be a “photo illustration,” and as such, I had more than the normal leeway.

The AD wanted a shot of a remarkable guy named David who cycled across country to raise money for the foundation, despite the fact that he’s pretty heavily laden with arthritis. And the concept was to get him moving along on his bike—trying to keep him sharp but getting a sense of movement to the rest of the shot.

So we popped open the trunk of my car and I got in, rigged up an SB800 on the lid, put my trusty 20-year-old KenLab KS 6 gyro stabilizer under the D300s and 24-70mmf/2.8, and had David trail the car (which was piloted by my good buddy, photographer Jerry Millevoi) at upwards of 20 miles an hour down a country road near New Hope. I tried a variety of shutter speeds, some resulting in very dramatic blurs, but for the cover purposes, just the hint of movement seemed to do the trick.

The 1/30th of second shutter speed picked up a nice bit of blur, the flash froze David (an excellent and fearless cyclist who tracked the car without breaking a sweat!), and the shot worked nicely. But the trees and the road behind him didn’t fall off a lot because we were down at f/11 or thereabouts. So if you wanted to run a cover headline and cutlines, the foliage would be pretty defined and distracting. But how to soften that background after the fact?

Cue the software cavalry…

Aaand bingo! A program called Bokeh, from Alien Skin, comes riding to the rescue.  Hit the jump to find out how. Continue reading »

Also posted in Photo Gear, Photo Techniques

May Gear & Gadget Update

Large 220V Powerstrip

Compact Magellan Powerstrip

Kodak Zi 8 pocket camcorder

Wide angle auxiliary lens for Zi 8 (caution: soft corners ahead!)

Polaroid Pogo Printer

Bob’s Maine Media Travel Photo Workshop, July 4-10

Also posted in Audio, Destinations, Multimedia, Photo Gear, Travel, Workshops & Seminars