Univ. of Pittsburgh students cheering wildly from atop Cathedral of Learning on school's campus as they look down on Forbes Field where the Pittsburgh Pirates are winning their first World Series in 35 yrs. against the NY Yankees. George Silk
Univ. of Pittsburgh students cheering wildly from atop Cathedral of Learning on school’s campus as they look down on Forbes Field where the Pittsburgh Pirates are winning their first World Series in 35 yrs. against the NY Yankees. George Silk

Capturing a Sense of Place

When you cover a big event you want to be the one that makes the photo of the big play. If you don’t then why are you there. Sometimes though the pictures that are most remembered are the ones that show a sense of place. This photo by George Silk is a great example of what you can do if you really think about what makes up the greater scene. Here these students cheering on their team makes an amazing photo. On the field below players such as Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, and Bob Friend were playing the game. These were all big names at the time that cameras would be pointed at every time that they were on the field. George took a huge chance here, and it paid off big time. If the Cubs make the World Series this year it will be interesting if someone heads up to the rooftops to make a similar photo.

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The History of Baseball Presentation

This could not have come at a better time for me. With the NCAA baseball tournament coming up I have been looking back at the work of Charles Conlon, Neil Leifer, and Ron Modra for inspiration. I saw this video on the Photo Brigade website, and I was very excited. This is a great look at how photography and photographers have changed over the course of the last hundred years or so. Brad shows the work of around 40 photographers including some famous photos that you never knew who made the photo. If you want to see more of Brad’s work click here, and you can see more videos by the Photo Brigade here. The Photo Brigade is a great resource for photographers, and I highly recommend it.

Inspiring Image

The chain continues as I keep this portion of the blog going. I first found Joe Azure through a podcast by Thomas Hawk who is the subject of the last Inspiring Image post. Joe has some fantastic work, but it is his images of the Golden Gate Bridge that really took my breath away. His images are the reason that we stopped in San Francisco for a day last year. I wanted one morning with the Golden Gate Bridge. I found out very quickly that one day is not enough. His many images of the bridge tell me that you will always want one more shoot with the bridge. His shots are some of the iconic images of the bridge.

How to Find Joe Azure

Joe uses SmugMug to host his website. You can view it here to purchase some of his images. If you like the photo that accompanies the post you can just click on it to be redirected to his site. I personally also have Joe in my circles on Google+ here. You can also find links to his other social media contacts on the front page of his website linked above.

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Inspiring Image

As this series moves on you will start to see a trend. I found Thomas through the last subject of this series Trey Ratcliff. When I was really using Google+ both Trey and Thomas were very heavy on there as well with weekly shows on the social network. The next month or so will feature artists that I found through Thomas. Thomas makes some fantastic images, but the images that I love the most are his old neon signs. He really seems to love them even more than I do.

The old school neon sign is something that is beautiful, but it is also hard to capture in its glory. The bright lights of the sign on a dark night tend to blow out. Thomas does a great job of being in the right spot at the perfect time. The fact that he sells his images of the signs just encouraged me to make more photos of the signs that I come across. In other words Thomas is an enabler.

How to Find Thomas Hawk

Thomas is very active all over the web. I think that you can get a great grasp of his current work by checking out his Google+ profile here. Thomas has stated many times that his goal is to publish over one million photos. Many of those will be on Google+ for you to see. You can find links to all of the outlets that he posts his photos on his website here.

The Bamboo Forest and some great Twitter Lists to follow

Inspiring Image

I started this portion of the blog during the Purdue Sports season when my mind was really solely on sports. I started showing off some images that really inspired me to try new things other than just capture the obvious action. Those images come with a price though. They are usual copyright protected, and the owners could come after even a little blog like this one. That never happened, but to be on the safe side I shelved the column. For some reason I never thought about going back over to the landscape side of things. There are a lot of photographers there that can see the value of having their work shared. For my landscape work I operate under Creative Commons (non commercial) which means that you can use my image as long as it is not for monetary gain. The artist that I learned about this from made the photo above. His name is Trey Ratcliff.

Like most photographers who hear the term HDR the first person that I found when I searched for it on the internet was Trey. After seeing his stuff I went out to make similar images. Of course mine were over processed with many halos off the bat. I actually have watched hours of video by Trey where he shows exactly how he makes his images look the way that they do. Just hearing his philosophy on photography is very interesting. We come from the same photography background which is no formal training. Early on in studying Trey I found the photo above which was taken in Kyoto, Japan. For some reason it has always stuck with me as my favorite work of his. He makes fantastic images, and continues to post one a day at least. For some reason though this image has always stuck out to me. The lines all lead you down the path, and your mind can wonder what is at the end of it. It is simple and beautiful to look at.

I owe a lot to Trey. I had already started this blog when I first heard of him. He has shaped how it looks though. When I started I had no idea that I could make a header for my posts. I learned that from Trey. When my photo 365 project was complete I kept the blog going and still posting a photo a day because of the great model that Trey has. When I found his work I was still very impressionable as an artist. The slight dreamy quality that he gives his photos really spoke to me, and inspired the look that I have taken on. Watching his tutorials inspired me to show how I have made some of my photos. While the quality of the videos is not as good the idea is still there.

How to Find Trey

See that header? That is header three on WordPress. They now have a convenient drop down menu with which you can select it, but before they did I learned the simple code from watching a video of Trey’s. If you want to see more of his work you can click here to be taken to his SmugMug site with his portfolio. You will see a familiar image very quickly as you scroll through the photos. His blog can be found at StuckInCustoms.com. As I mentioned above he posts a new photo everyday with a little background behind the photo. From his blog you can find his tutorials which are well worth the money.

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Inspiring Image

This would hardly be a portion of the blog dedicated to those who have inspired me without talking about the work of Ansel Adams. His work has inspired countless souls who walk the landscape looking for that perfect shot. The story behind this shot is a great one. Ansel was driving home after a long day of shooting. He was in the process of making his national parks book, and was making many pictures a day. As the sun went down a narrow strip illuminated the small town of Hernandez, New Mexico. Adams grabbed his 8×10 camera, and went to the roof of the car which was also a shooting platform. He did not have much time to make the photo with the sun setting, and he could not find his light meter. In the age of digital you would just shoot and then chimp the LCD panel. With film you had to be right on. He knew the exposure of the moon, and he worked off of that to get his exposure. He was only able to make one frame before the light moved off of the town and the crosses. This is a great photo that shows why you need to have a camera with you at all times. If you were so inclined you could come to this exact spot everyday without a similar occurrence happening. Sometimes you have one chance to make a picture, and you have to make that chance count.

What I love about the work of Adams is the fact that much of the magic was actually done in the darkroom. There are many purists out there that say that you have to show exactly what was in front of you at the time. HDR is cheating they say. Well you only have to look at someone like Ansel Adams to see that when it comes to art all bets are off. I make only minor adjustments to my sports photos. I consider them editorial, and as such they should not have photoshop work done to them beyond cropping and minor exposure adjustments. Landscape work is another animal altogether. Adams knew that, and he spent hours and hours pouring over a print to get it just so. His attention to detail was in an age that made it hard for him to accomplish all that he wanted to do. He could work on a print for hours and have it all go to waste near the end. I think that Ansel would have loved this age that we are in today. The ease of working on an image would have allowed him to make more photos instead of processing them. I would love to see what he could have done with Photoshop and Lightroom on his side with a 30 megapixel camera. Maybe his work would have been lost in the sea of photographers that are trying to make it work today.

Right now there is an exhibition at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, IN that showcases some of the great work of Adams. It runs through August 3rd. I have already been to see it, but I may end up back at least one more time. It is just something to be in the presence of the great work that was poured over by the artist. You can find out more about the exhibit by clicking here.

Bonus Video

I have come to enjoy showing a video in which the artist explains their process. This one by Adams is a great one. You can hear a master talk about the art of photography. Enjoy!

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Inspiring Image

This is one of the photos that started this little experiment. I had been talking about this photo one week when I saw a small video on a movie that was being made about it. Then at dinner the photo appeared on the wall to my left. Well it didn’t appear, but I finally noticed it. When I started looking into this photo for the feature I found out that the photographer is not really known. The photographer who has been credited for many years with making the photo may in fact not be the photographer. The person responsible is almost as hard to figure out as the eleven men on the beam. The story goes that a couple of photographers were photographing that day, but even that information is not too accurate. It is funny how the image was the focus here, and the elements in it as well as the photographer did not really matter to the people at the time. It was just supposed to be a publicity shot for the building. I don’t think that anyone ever really thought that this photo would take off the way that it did, and that it would become an iconic American image.

A photo taken on the same day as this one shows some of the men taking an apparent nap on the beam. That helps clue you in to the fact that this was a staged photo. The fact that it was staged does not take away from the fact that it is striking. As someone who is afraid of heights I can say that you really get a sense of danger looking at this photo. No matter who made the photo they did a great job of conveying the ease of the workers with the height that they worked at.

A movie has been made about the photo. With little data to go on it really might be a bit long for what it tells you. Here is the trailer, and from here you get the idea of what the movie is about. It would be a good rental from iTunes if you have a free night.

Photo Sale!

Over at my SmugMug site I have cut the price on all of my photos for the summer. If you visit my site at pinolaphotography.com you can order any item that I sell for 50% off from now until Labor Day. Just use the coupon code ‘summer’ at the checkout.

50% Off

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Inspiring Image

This is a photo that I have admired for a very long time. While attending a game in 1986 at old Comiskey Park I was given a team photo that had some advertisements on either side of it. On that back of all three of those pages was this photo. As an adult I had the image framed for way too much money to hang on my wall. This is always the first image that I hang when I move into a new place. There is something about this image that I love. It shows the first park that I saw a game in. That alone gives it many brownie points. I love the action captured in a panoramic frame as well. The looks of anticipation as the ball comes near just makes it for me. I feel as if I am in the seat at the game waiting for the ball with everyone else. This really is a case of great positioning and timing. The ball appears to be coming right to the viewer of the image.

I have had no luck finding out who made this image. When I read through the Portraits from the Park book that I reviewed last week I wondered if Thomas Harney had a hand in making this. Searching his name and this photo did not get me anywhere. I would love to know who made this image so I can see others by them. The emotion captured here is enough to make me want to see more. I think that part of the journey that every photographer goes through is to find emotion. You can worry about camera and lens choice. They are both very important. I also went through a phase where I used HDR on every photo. The shadows in the photo above would be minimal with HDR. None of that really matters here as it is the emotion that makes the final image.

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Inspiring Image

Most of the time these inspiring images come from research into a project or a shot that I want to make. Today I saw an image that has always been awesome to me, and I realized that this project does not have to be about things that I am working on. I will probably never take a picture from the moon looking towards the earth, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t admire this one. The video below really sheds some light on how the photo was made. A course correction on an orbit showed the astronauts a view that they had not previously seen as they orbited the moon. It was Christmas Eve, but I would bet that this view was a great early Christmas present for those on board the craft. Listening to the astronauts call out the right settings to make the shot was an added bonus. Shots like this one make you want to go out and create something amazing.