get shorty

Photo of the Day

This past weekend I finished up my photos with the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls. Over the past year I have really come to enjoy watching the dedication behind this sport. They train the entire year for a six or seven bout season. Their dedication is very admirable. When I was asked to be the league photographer for the Brawlin’ Dolls I was very excited. I was looking forward to the things that would come of the relationship. It is moments like the one above that really make it worthwhile. This was a shot that we worked a bit to get the final result that you see above. The Dolls open their home season on April 20th at the new Brawl House at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. You can see more about these skaters at their website here.

Technical Data

I really did not do too much to this photo. Normally I start with some kind of a filter, but I did not have the need. The one thing that I did do in Lightroom here was to warm up the look a bit. The light from my speed light is very harsh. I warmed it up quite a bit so that my model did not look pale because of the light. I need to get some warming gels for a situation like this for sure. That has been the fun of this experience though is learning on the fly.

The real technical portion of this photo is how it was taken. I had my 480ex hooked up to a soft box on a stand to my right. I used two Pocket Wizard III’s to trigger the light. I have not used the Pocket Wizard’s too terribly much, but I love what they allow me to do. I am looking forward to picking up another one so that I can fire a second camera remotely. That would look great at a bout.

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springtime in chicago

Photo of the Day

It is hard to believe that I took this photo just over a year ago. We were in Chicago for a long weekend, and spring was definitely in the air. That is not the case this year. We should be getting ready for baseball to start, and there are still snowmen standing. The warm weather might be getting rid of the snow, but the cold is still showing signs of sticking around. I thought that today I would post this picture with spring in mind hoping that it hurries. I might be summer before we get spring weather at this rate.

Technical Data

I took this picture with a three shot HDR in mind. In the end I simply used one RAW file of the correct exposure to process in Lightroom. To start I used a Trey Ratcliff preset called HDR in Lightroom – Daytime Too Bright. That really seemed to bring out some of the color as well as brighten up the shadow areas. From there I worked the sliders to try and even out this picture. For once this might have been a better picture if taken more towards noon so that the light would have been even. I was on a whirlwind tour though, and didn’t stop to wait for the light to change.

iPhone Photo

Today for iPhone Friday I thought that I would try something new. A couple of weeks ago I used Instagram for the first time. I am very late to this party for sure. I finally got an account over the winter, but the weird terms of service change chased me away. Once Facebook bought the service you know that they had to try and monetize it. They paid way too much to just let it be. I am still waiting for another attempt to get their money back from it. I thought that I would try it out for the sake of this blog though. In the process of checking it out I found Brad Mangin on it. Brad is a pro sports photographer that you don’t hear much good about. Apparently he is very unkind to the others in the camera well. He does do some great things with Instagram though. I thought that I would take one of my photos from Opening Day of Alexander Field and apply the Instagram flare to it. I like the look of this, and I may try and keep the fun going. I don’t think that I will post pictures of my meals, but I will have to start using this service. I will try and post a few pictures a week to the service. If you want to follow me I can be found by searching pinolaphoto on Instagram. You can also click here to go right to my page. My body of work is small right now, but it will grow. I like the idea of having an outlet for my iPhone pictures. With nearly every day in April having something going on I will have many opportunities to use it. I think that by the end of the next month I will have a lot of experience using the program.

Technical Data

The beauty of Instagram is that it does not require expensive software. It is a free app that allows you to take a picture, apply a filter, and then apply a border to it. I really have not felt my way around the app yet, but it is a quick and easy way to share photos. The first step in the process is to either take or chose a photo to share. From there you are asked to crop the photo. The next step is to pick a filter for the picture. The one above is called X-Pro II. That particular filter comes with a border as well. You can change borders in the last step as well. I liked this flat black border. I also applied a blur to everything in the picture but the banner. I thought that it would help draw the attention in.

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white sox at dusk

Photo of the Day

This photo is the reason why you must be a patient photographer, and also why you need to be a little lucky as well. In 2010 I was at a White Sox game as part of a large group. We had seats in the outfield which if you enjoy taking pictures are not very good. We were poured on for part of the game leaving me soaking wet because of course my camera gear was covered up instead of me. Late in the game I decided to take a walk around the stadium. I was trying to get down to the good seats around the plate, but I kept getting turned away by ushers. I kept at it though at every aisle, and finally found a way down. A very nice woman saw me getting turned away here, and was in the middle of leaving. She handed me her ticket and said to try again. There I was five rows from the field with a fantastic view. As the sun started to set the clouds that produced the rain started to break up leaving us with a very beautiful sunset. I wanted to capture the view from my seat, and why not do it when the sky is so beautiful? I saw a lot of baseball that year, and took a lot of pictures as well. This is one of my favorites though from that season. With Opening Day just four days away I thought that a White Sox picture a day wouldn’t be so bad.

Technical Data

At the time that I took this photo I was more of the action photographer. I didn’t have the gear to shoot at night though. I had not found out that I could shoot landscapes yet. This was one of the first photos that taught me that what is going on around the action can sometimes be much better than the action. I shot this with my old gear that was not so great. To make matters worse I shot it in jpeg as well. Had this shot been in RAW I could have really done some great things with it in post. As it was I spent some time finessing the sliders to get the shot where I wanted it. All of the data was there, but I wanted to bring it out. This was one of those shots where no preset was used at all. I just felt my way through the image.

Damaso Marte pitches to Mike Sweeney at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City Missouri

Throwback Photo

Today I thought that since the Major League Baseball season will be starting next week that I would post a picture for this feature from a great MLB game that I was able to see. In 2005 I was displaced in Iowa. I was not happy with the area that I was in for sure. I was able though to drive down to Kansas City one weekend to watch my White Sox play the Royals. It was a great game, and thanks to the apathy of the Royals fans this was my seat near the end. Pictured above is Damaso Marte pitching to Mike Sweeney. This season was the start of great things for the White Sox as they went on to have a great season, and win the World Series. By the time that they hoisted the trophy in October I was back home in Indiana. Even though this was taken with a point and shoot it has always been one of my favorite photos.

Technical Data

This was taken with a point and shoot as I said earlier. That means that you have to be careful when trying to use today’s powerful tools to edit the photo. I walked a fine line here tweaking the sliders back and forth to add just a bit more punch to the photo. In the end I think that it turned out pretty good. I would love to have this seat now with the tools that I currently own.

Riot Running

Photo of the Day

Last year I bought a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. It was a lens that I had wanted for a while, and it was finally a reality. The problem was that I used it to shoot everything at first. I really needed to focus on learning the focus of the lens at f/2.8. You would not think it would be hard, but just look at my plane of focus above at that focal length. It is not very big, and I really had to be on my game. What better subject to test on than two dogs who just want to run around. I had a blast taking pictures of Riot (who is pictured above) and Mocha as they had fun. It was interesting using a new lens and learning it on the fly. I think that it worked out well as I made a couple of good pictures that day.

Technical Data

Besides the obvious that this was shot with a new lens I had to post process this shot a little. Being a RAW file some work is always needed. The good news was that this just needed a couple of tweaks. I adjusted the highlights and white balance to start off. From there I added back some shadow detail so that the right side of Riot’s face looked a little better. From there the picture was ready to export so that I could talk about it here.

ross ade pan

Photo of the Day

Today was a day spent clearing some space on my computer. When I first bought this computer I was in the middle of a photo 365 project with a full time job, and many other things keeping me busy. I would take my pictures, pick the best one for my post, edit the photo, and then post it. The rest of the pictures have just sat on my hard drive until I ran out of room. Today I cleared over 40GB of space off of my computer very easily. Of course in making the photo above I added some back to that.

This picture was taken as Purdue was playing Penn State this past November. I wanted to show the view from my seat as the sun was going down. It was too overcast to get too much color in the sky, but it was still a very cool sight. Purdue was pinned back near it’s own end zone, and I thought the pano would also show just how far that they had to go. After a few months of waiting I have finally gotten this pano made.

Technical Data

This was a panoramic made from 12 pictures. I had my 18-135mm lens on the camera, and I turned it to landscape mode to make the images for this. I started from my left where Purdue was in there own end zone, and worked my way to the right. I have always used Microsoft Photo Suite to make my panos. The program is from 2006 so I thought that I have to find a better solution that was a little more current. It turns out that when I bought Photoshop Elements 11 when it was on sale that I bought my solution. They have a process called Photomerge that did a great job with this pano. I stitched them together without to my eyes any ghosting. It was a longer process than I am used to, but the end result was fantastic. The photo still needed a little punch after being merged so I ran the photo through Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4. This was a new product that I just bought last night when I saw that it was part of a formerly high priced suite that was now just $149. That does not sound too cheap, but for what you get it is an absolute steal. I used the detail extractor preset in the program. It seemed to just add that punch that I wanted to achieve. From there I took the file back into Lightroom to perform my crop. I am used to cropping in Lightroom so it made sense to do it there. I love how this photo turned out, and I may have to attempt a few more panos now that I know that I have a great program to make them.

monument park

Sports Photo of the Day

In 2008 we visited New York with a couple of goals in mind. One of them was to visit Yankee Stadium during its final year. I was very excited to see this stadium for sure. This was the “House that Ruth Built” after all. So much history in this stadium. The Yankees do a great job of honoring that history. They have always had a form of monument park, but before the 70’s the monuments were in the field of play. Imagine running back to catch a fly ball and dodging a monument to Babe Ruth. When the ballpark was renovated in the 70’s the fence was moved in, and the park was no longer in the field of play. Before the game we got to the stadium early so that we could tour through the monuments. I was very excited to be here, and I had to wait just a bit to get this picture with nobody in it. I wanted this shot, and it seemed as if everyone kept leaning into it. I loved the way that you see where you are at, and can then follow down through history. This section has been moved over to the new stadium so I will have to visit it someday.

Technical Data

This is where I get to talk about how this photo was processed. For a long time now I have been using a few methods to get good black and white images. I have heard great things about Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro, but I have never gotten to use it. I would not work on my old laptop, and they would not let me try another trial when I switched to a Mac. The program was $250 so I want to try it before I buy it. I pretty much thought that I would not get to try it. Today I kept reading about people who had just bought a new package from Nik. They were bought by Google a while back, and today the result of that merger was seen. Google made the entire Nik collection available for $150. What! If you don’t have the suite already hurry up and buy it before they change their mind.

So anyway I had to try out Silver Efex Pro 2 as soon as I downloaded the software. I was looking for an image that I knew I wanted in black and white, and this one popped out to me. I had tried to make this black and white in Lightroom, but I didn’t like the final result. I opened up the program very excited to see what I could do with this photo. Sadly though it was the first preset that I clicked on that I liked the best. I did go through the rest though just to see what they could do. The ‘Full Dynamic (harsh)’ preset really made this picture pop for me. I will probably be posting way too many black and white pictures in the next few days as I play around with my new toy.

deck big snow

Photo of the Day

This weekend I had a great time shooting baseball in the sun. Of course that meant that spring is on the way and warmer weather was not too far away. How wrong could I be? About 10 inches on the wrong side. Last night the snow really started coming down while we were out eating. At the rate that it was coming down then you just knew that it would pile up. The snow did pile up, and it was still coming down as I took this picture. This was the heavy snow that you would expect this time of the year. The temperatures are supposed to warm up in a couple of days, but not before winter reared its ugly head one last time.

Technical Data

This was a quick shot out of the back door. I was not going to spend a lot of time editing it. I applied the HDR Black and White preset by Matt Kloskowski in Lightroom to the photo. After a couple of tweaks of the sliders I was ready to go.