Monday, May 25, 2009

The Prom, Horsham, PA

Sorry, it's been a while since I last post a blog. Things are a bit busy at my main job and I haven't been shooting lately.  One my boss asked me to shoot her daughter's senior prom last week and the itchy shutter finger on me was ecstatic about it. I have been dying to have a photo shoot and this is the perfect timing. 

About 15 lovely teenagers came to the shoot dressed in their nice colorful dresses and slick tuxedos. Here are some of the pictures from that shoot.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Sight For Sore Eyes

After years and years of waiting and staring at other beautiful websites, Photoyourworld has launched its own site. We know web presence is a must, but why wait a couple of years to launch one? Here is a short interview we had with Mr. Clickerhappy himself to answer the question.

PYW: Chief, Why did it take so long to launch a site?

Clickerhappy: We needed time. We slowed down and took it one step at a time. We built our portfolio and gained experience. You know its not only a business but its also a Creative Juggernaut that we had to build.

PYW: Tell us about the business model.

Clickerhappy: The basic model is that we are a creative juggernaut first before a business. Our motto of "Taking your photos to the next level"; thats what we strive for. We want the client to be awed 5, 10 ,15 years after the photo was taken.

We exist in two locations, in Michigan and in the East Coast area. Each has a unique market, and we try to serve both as one requres. On big weddings, the photographers fly out to help cover the event.

PYW: What are the features of the new website?

Clickerhappy: We have gone flash, since that is the norm. But the content, logos, menus, etc...We tread warily with thought in order for things to pop out. I was particularly careful with the logos, I did not want any bleeding or bluriness to it. It came out simple but straight to the point.

The Photos on the site were some of the best. We wanted to save the other All-Star photos for the client to appreciate on their own.

Other smashing features are The Room, which is a virtual proofing room. You would see these in studios but photoyourworld offers it in the comfort of your armchair. But what I love most about the site is the mouse-over layered thumbnail. You should try it out, its carpal tunnel friendly.

PYW: To Close.

Clickerhappy: Give us a buzz, subscribe to our newsletters or come back to this blog from time to time. We would love to hear your feedback about the new site.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Basketball Series

The NCAA tournament is here, so what better way to start this week's blog by a basketball photoshoot of my friend Paolo and my son Kris. Both Pao and Kris have mad basketball skills so I think they are both perfect for this photo shoot.

In this shoot, Dominic ... my good friend and fellow photo enthusiast accompanied me and he also provided the venue for our shoot. His basement was a good spot to do our shoot because there is so much room to move and play around.

We want our shoot to not only be basketball portraits, we want to capture a lot of movement and running around which is how basketball is. So on our first shoot, we asked our models to sprint-dribble across the basement. We placed 2 snooted Vivitar 285HV speedlights(both are at 1/4 power) on each end of the floor where they are running and created a cross light on the path where they are running. Though we can pretty much kill the ambiant by the shutter speed, we place a black backdrop to help in the separation.

Here are some of the behind the scene pictures:

And here are some of the results:

Click the image to see it in large


This created a really nice natural action shot of Paolo and Kris while running and dribbling. The pictures turned out just like those Nike posters(well, thats what we are really aiming for,lol).

The next sequence of shot is shooting them facing front while doing some fancy dribbling skills. We used the same cross-ligthing setup used in the first sequence.

Here are the behind the scenes:

Here are some of the results:

Click the image to see it in large


Then we added a 3rd light source on the portrait shots, a Nikon SB26 (1/8 power) on a shoot thru umbrella, just above the subject to add more drama on the picture. We do not have a boom to hold the flash and the camera so we improvised by having me stand up on a chair and hold the stand above the subjects.

See how we did it :

And see the results:

Click the image to see it in large

Wing Span

We also created a Nike-like poster by stitching a couple of pictures together. This created some transition of one photo to another to create motion.

Click Image to see it in large


Again, you do not need expensive equipments to create cool pictures just how you see it on billboards and magazines. In this series we only used 3 cheap speedlights and we have created pictures worthy of being put in an ESPN magazine (I think??? lol). Lighting photography is really fun and not that hard, you just have to do a lot of creative thinking and enjoy what you are doing.

Here is a slideshow of all the pictures taken in this series:

Models: Paolo Velarde and Kris Rivera
Photographer: Dominic Estrella
Lighting Director : Randall Rivera
Gears: Canon EOS 5D, 24-70mm L, Cactus Ebay Triggers, Vivitar 285HV(2), Nikon Sb26

Monday, March 2, 2009

Impromptu Photo Shoot

I have been watching a lot videos of on location photo shoots lately and it motivated me to shoot one soon, even though its darn freakin' cold outside. So last Sunday, I asked my friend and fellow photographer, Dominic if he wants to do a photo shoot with her lovely daughter, Lauren. It is short noticed and not planned but I want to see what we can produce given that time. Both of them agreed on the plan so I went to their place to pick them up.

Dominic and I scouted for a good place to do the shoot and we both want it to be a nearby location. It just so happen that there is a wooden area, a couple of yards from their house, where a couple of concrete pipes with graffitis lying around. I thought that was a really good location for Lauren's shoot.

So off we went to the woods... I brought 2 speedlights on a lightstand, an umbrella and a DIY grid spot with me. I have no pocket wizards that day so I have to deal with the cactus triggers to fire my speedlights.

First we started off on using available light, a couple of shots worked but it's a little bit overcast that day so we moved on using the speedlights. The sun is out, so we improvised on some shots to make it look that we are shooting with the sun up high.

As you can see in the behind the scene shoots, the concrete pipes in the area has a lot of cool, colorful graffitis. We had Lauren go inside the pipes and shoot her from there, the graffitis made a really nice background for the pictures. We used a speedlight (Vivitar 285HV) with a DIY grid spot to light her face. We place another speedlight (Nikon Sb-26) outside the pipe on 1/16 power to emulate sunlight so it looks like there is a bit of ambient coming in and make the graffiti wall pop out. A couple of other pictures where shot using one speedlight on a shoot thru umbrella just to put in soft light at Lauren, enough to make her pop out of the background. An hour later we produced a couple of good picture of Lauren and its amazing one you can do during that time, and it was short noticed too. What more can we do in an organized and well planned photo shoot.

Here is a slideshow of the pictures we took that day. Thank you for our very lovely model Lauren for letting us do this shoot even if it was short notice.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A tale of 120 people and 2 speedlights

This is my take on David Hobby's (Mr. Strobist) On Assignment Group shot, but instead of 30 people, I shot 120 people in the group.

This shot was taken at Music Choice's Annual Company Meeting(2009). I did this for 2 years in a row now and I think I'm getting better at it.

This was taken using 2 flashes(1 Nikon Sb24 and 1 Vivitar 285HV), one is on the left on 1/2 power and one is at the right at full power (that explains all the shadows) pointing towards the people on top. Both triggered by pocket wizards.

This year I decided that I will not "Photoshop" myself in the picture, it just feel weird. :)