News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for November, 2010

Vote Request

by on Nov.19, 2010, under Photography

I have a picture in the running for the Grand Prize in Unified Color’s HDR photo contest. If you are so inclined, I would be delighted if you gave it your vote. The image is a monochrome HDR of the Chevron Tower in Houston and you can find the voting page here. Voting requires that you register on the site and you can vote once per email address registered.

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Unintended Humour?

by on Nov.15, 2010, under Photography

Touchdown!
Touchdown!, originally uploaded by DaveWilsonPhotography.

…or pain?

I posted this image on Saturday night shortly after returning from shooting at the UT/OSU game in Texas Memorial Stadium. At the time, I titled it “Touchdown!” but, now that I look at it again, I’m wondering if “Illegal Ball Handling” may be a better title? 🙂

Although I was shooting for the UT band, I managed to grab a few shots of the game action when it came close to the end zone I was standing at. With the play inside the 20yd line, the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens I was using for my band close-ups was ideal and I ended up with clean images of 2 of the game touchdowns.

I’ll post a longer article on the whole experience later but, in the meantime, I’m off to rent a 2x teleconverter for next week’s (daytime) game since I think a 140-400mm f/5.6 would be rather helpful.

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Looking for a Videographer

by on Nov.13, 2010, under Photography

A group of HDR photographers I am involved with on Facebook is trying to pull together a charity project and we’re looking for a skilled videographer who would be interested in helping us out. The plan is to produce a DVD containing examples of our work along with hints and tips on improving your HDR work and we need someone who can cut the whole thing together nicely and add a soundtrack. If you are experienced at that kind of work and interested in helping out, please leave a comment or drop me a line via the contact form.

People involved so far include (in no particular order) Scott Wyden Kivowitz, Oliver Fluck, Scott Frederick, Trey Ratcliff, Jacob Lucas, Pat O’Brien, Mike Olbinski, Phil Cohen, James Howe, Brian Matiash, Bob Lussier, David Nightingale, Jeff Revell, CJ Kern and Jacques Gudé.

We’ve not finalised on a charity that will benefit from any proceeds yet but the current front runner deals with providing clean water supplies to third-world villages. I’ll post more news as the project progresses.

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What Makes a Favourite?

by on Nov.09, 2010, under Photography

I normally come away from a shoot with one picture that stands out from all the rest as my favourite. It’s pretty clear to me which picture this is yet often I can’t be sure why I prefer that particular shot. Take, for example, this shot from my recent visit to Space Center Houston. I took loads of images while I was there and I’m delighted with most of them but, for some reason, this one stands out for me.

It definitely falls into the minimalist, abstract, geometric category that I typically enjoy and I do love the smooth variation of light over the curved surfaces but why would I prefer this over, say, this shot, or this one?

When it all comes down to it, photography is an emotional activity where our preferences are ruled more by our hearts than our minds. I don’t know why this is my favourite image from that particular visit but my intuition is pretty insistent so I’ll go with that!

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A Different Kind of Reshoot

by on Nov.01, 2010, under Photography

In the past, I’ve mentioned that I don’t mind reshooting old subjects if I missed something the first time or if I wasn’t completely happy with the technical execution – depth of fields wasn’t quite what I wanted or the framing could have been every so slightly better – but recently I’ve found myself doing a different type of reshooting. Since upgrading my camera and lenses this year, and since being so impressed with the quality improvement I’m getting with the new equipment and some changes in my processing workflow, I’ve been reshooting to get higher quality versions of existing photos. The difference in sharpness between the old Sigma 10-20mm and the Nikon 14-24mm is very noticeable and the 1 stop bracketing I’m now doing for my HDRs is definitely allowing me to create cleaner images that should print as large as I would ever want. Previously, I pretty much assumed that people would not want prints larger than 36″x24″ but I’ve handled orders for two 50″ prints in the last couple of months so I guess larger sizes are in demand after all.

I have several examples from last weekend’s Space Center Houston trip where I reshot exactly the same composition and I’ll post these later. For the time being, here’s an example where I was reshooting for both quality and composition. I love the detail in the new shot (on top) and the fact that it’s less obviously a mock-up since you can’t see quite as many plexiglass panels and “audio tour” reference numbers. Talking of size, I sent a quote to a customer in France a few months who wanted to use the bottom image printed 15 feet wide to cover an office wall. I wonder how the new version would look at that size? You can click through either image and access the original file to take a closer look.


Shuttle Cockpit, Space Center Houston

Shuttle Cockpit, Space Center Houston

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