Sunday, February 14, 2010

What's In Your PC?

Until I enrolled in a computer maintenance course did I have any real clue what was going on inside my computer. All I cared about is that it would run smoothly and blazingly fast. No blue screens of death nor the whirling beach ball of death on the Mac side and I was happy.

One day we took apart motherboards and had to identify and replace a processor and cooling unit. In the harsh light of an overhead fluorescent at our workbench, still I was unimpressed. Then color contrasts started to scream out in the back of my head.

Next day I borrowed some defunct memory modules and a motherboard and took them home and set up a shooting table. I kept my 4 year old daughter up late to be a hand model and then threw a blue gel on my background light. Then I gelled the ringlight to about 1/2 CTO (an orange-tinted gel). With my white balance set to warm the image some more, I fired away. Time to send off to the publisher to compete for next year's photo placements!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ignite Boulder + Velvet

Andrew, Kath and the crew over at IgniteBoulder know how to throw a party. They sold out the Boulder Theater and streamed another 500+ people in online, making this the largest-attended Ignite of all time. Well done, you guys! While photographing the event last night, I learned about how to prepare for being a contestant on Family Feud from a real-life game show veteran. Learned some new Spanish vocab should I ever get stopped at the US-Mexico border. Top that with some of the neat work being done for spinal cord injured people here in Boulder. I now have 'Pam' as a secret weapon to donning triathlon attire. And most critical of all, I learned to never leave home without velvet.

What an imaginative and informative bunch. And a heck of a lot of fun, too! See the pics here.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lightpainting the Town

Ever see a photograph where you can't quite tell how they did it? Light seems to come from out of nowhere. You wonder how did those weird streaks get recorded in the picture? Or why does the subject seem to glow in funky ways?

Take the image to the left. I shot this for a product portfolio several months back and have always liked the various bits of motion and action in the composition. What's going on in the shot to come up with this one?

I used three lights. I blue-gelled my Nikon speedlight and fired it into the white seamless backdrop from off camera left. Then I left the shutter on my camera open another 8 seconds while I took 2 different flashlights and lit the front of the bottle for a moment, then danced their lights off of the background. Then I took one of the flashlights and illuminated the back of the bottle for a second or two. Finally, I made the arcing streaks of light emerge from the bottle top to resemble an erupting volcano.

Also, there is the extra layer of color contrast going down in this shot. The bottle glows a warm tone, which your eye/brain complex interprets as moving towards you. The cooler blue background appears to recede away from the viewer.

So the result? Don't know about you, but it makes me want to go crack open another BAWLS Root Beer!