Friday, November 29, 2013

Carry your camera--ALWAYS

Anacleto Rapping taking a photo at the Southwestern Photojournalism Conference in Fort Worth, TX. [Nikon Coolpix P7000, 28mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/2.8, 1/30]
This post has only photos from just me having my camera with me. Not my phone, but a camera with high ISO capabilities and flash if I needed it.

None of the photos are from a single assignment.

My point, is if you don't have your camera is when you will see some cool moments.

Nikon Coolpix P7000, 28mm, ISO 949, ƒ/4, 1/280
“Always carry a camera, it’s tough to shoot a picture without one.” – Jay Maisel

Nikon D4, 14mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/5.6, 1/60, Off camera flash using SB900 and SB800 triggered with Pocketwizard FlexTT5 Transceiver with the MiniTT1 and AC3 to control the output power.
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”— Dorothea Lange

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm and 1.4 converter, ISO 9000, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000
“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” — Paul Caponigro

Nikon D4, 14mm, ISO 10000, ƒ/5.6, 1/60, Off camera flash using SB900 and SB800 triggered with Pocketwizard FlexTT5 Transceiver with the MiniTT1 and AC3 to control the output power.
“If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.” — Eve Arnold

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/13, Off camera flash using Alienbees B1600 and one with a blue gel.
Lighting Diagram for the Late Nite Reading shoot.

I had my gear with me when I took my daughter to the concert. I just offered to get some cool shots if for nothing more than just for me and my daughter to have.

Nikon Coolpix P7000, ISO 1600, ƒ/2.8, 1/140
“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” — Elliott Erwitt

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/8, 1/160
“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” — Steve McCurry

Nikon Coolpix P7000, ISO 1600, ƒ/2.8, 1/55 
“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” — Alfred Eisenstaedt

Nikon Coolpix P7000, ISO 1600, ƒ/2.8, ƒ1/180
“It’s a process of getting to know people. That’s what photography is to me. It’s about paying attention, not screwing up and blowing a great opportunity.” – Eugene Richards

Nikon D4, Sigma 120-300mm and 1.4 converter, ISO 900, ƒ/5.6, 1/2000

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 280, ƒ/4, 1/100

Nikon D4, 28-300mm, ISO 450, ƒ/5.6, 1/100

Remember to take your camera with you where ever you go. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving is really special this year for a few reasons

Jachai Wilmont, Chamber orchestra freshman violist is surprised at The Varsity with a brand new viola from the Mark Wood Foundation. Our family was blessed to be able to deliver this to Jachai today, the day before Thanksgiving. 
"This is the best day of my life," was Jachai Wilmont's response to receiving a new viola. What prompted the gift was this fall Jachai's viola was stolen out of his relatives car.

Jachai started playing the viola in fourth grade and hasn't had any formal lessons. His dedication is something that his classmates know all too well.

You can find Jachai, Chelle and Ari enjoying each other as best friends who all play the viola.

For Jachai music has changed his world. Jachai was invited after a workshop he did with Mark Wood to perform in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Mark Wood asked Jachai to join him on stage for the MuzArt World Foundation's concert event called "We Are Hope" which was in early November in Salt
Lake City. The all expenses paid trip included a performance on stage of 10 of Mark's students with The Mark Wood Experience.

Mark Wood visited Elkins Pointe Middle School and heard Jachai play and invited him to that camp this summer.

I think it is better to see Jachai's expressions and hear in his own words what this means to him.

By the way, my daughter Chelle helped to film part of this project.

Dorie Griggs, Jachai and JaVair Wilmont and Chelle Leary at the Varsity with Jachai's new viola from Mark Wood Foundation.
The other thanksgiving is for my daughter's favorite band Late Nite Reading. I posted on my Facebook yesterday how they were robbed at a mall parking lot in Orlando.  Well friends all chipped in and they look like they found out they have a lot a friends. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Two worlds collide at The 7 Venue

Late Nite Reading playing at The 7 Venue in Douglasville, GA. photo by Stanley Leary
Two worlds collide a few times a week in Douglasville, GA. A little over 8 years ago Tony Hart had a moment with God that had him open up The 7 Venue. The 7 Venue gives people a cool, safe place to hang out, have fun and see a dang good show. They have amazing sound and lights. The 7 has two concert rooms the underground and the ballroom, acoustic stage, plus a mini ramp to skate.

They are an all ages music venue. It has a lot of shows most of them are hardcore and metal shows.

When Tony first opened up they only had "Christian Bands." He wasn't reaching the group he had hope to reach.

photo by Stanley Leary
As Tony says, they were preaching to the choir. He then opened the venue to all bands with just request, no foul language from the bands. For the most part they do their best to honor Tony's request.

Gary Leftwitch, a volunteer at The 7 Venue, cooks up grilled cheese sandwiches for anyone there. They are free. photo by Stanley Leary

For many who attend the concerts they would never go to a church or feel comfortable going to one, but here at The 7 Venue they feel totally comfortable. They are enjoying their music and most of all they are enjoying the hospitality of the volunteers.

Jocelyn performs at The 7 Venue.  photo by Stanley Leary
My daughter has been following the band from Indiana Late Nite Reading for a few years. For her birthday we gave her tickets to go to the concert. I took her and her friend to see the band and this is why I was at this special place.

Drew Cottrell, the drummer for Late Nite Reading hangs with my daughter and her friend before the concert. Photo by Stanley Leary.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

UGA Journalism Student Jane Ellyn Hardy Shadows Stanley Leary

Jane Ellyn Hardy
Mark Johnson, senior lecturer of photojournalism at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has his photojournalism students follow a working photojournalist for day. They are to produce a SoundSlides show where they interview the photographer and capture what they experienced.

UGA student Jane Ellyn Hardy reached out to me to follow me for a day. I told her what I was working on and then was encouraging her to cover some other photojournalist friends of mine. She still wanted to shadow me for the day.

Mark Johnson enjoys the day that everyone in his class shares their stories of spending a day shadowing.  While each student learns something first hand with their professional, the class of twelve students, gets to expand that with the SoundSlide stories that each of them share.

photo by Jane Ellyn Hardy
So in one class these students are seeing what is going on right now in the industry. Mark even told me about a time one of the students shadowed a photographer who was super negative. From the moment the student interacting with them until they finished that day, the pro was telling them to do anything but photojournalism.

This opened up the eyes of the class. They talked about this reality for some photographers and contrasted this to those who were still positive.

photo by Jane Ellyn Hardy
Maybe the reason Mark Johnson has one of the best job placement rates in the industry is because of this project. The students are getting real world experience. he averages about 75% of his students working in the industry six months after graduating.

Those students who graduated this past May 2013, 87.5% are now working in the industry. It might be even higher but he isn't sure where some landed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Facebook now with more stories than ever

Frontera de Cristo shared a link.

Check out this 1:30 minute video by Stanley Leary, a professional videographer who participated in our border to border delegation. Thanks Stanley!
5Like ·  · 

I love it when my clients are posting packages I have done for them on their Facebook page like Frontera de Cristo did with one of the videos I did for them

What is just as exciting is seeing the responses. Five people went ahead and shared this on their Facebook pages as well. Within a few hours the video was seen by more than 300 people.  Maybe more if more than one person watched it for each click.

Stories are what people are spreading on their social media.

  • My feed on Facebook is full of stories everyday. Many are multimedia. I am seeing more storytelling than I have ever seen before in my lifetime.
Some of the stories will have you crying.

If you own a business and you are not creating story content for your Facebook then you are missing an incredible opportunity. 

I am encouraged to see that people really do love good storytelling. People want to be entertained and educated. 

Some of my friends like Alex Garcia are always posting the best stories they are finding like this one here on the recent Tornadoes.

Surviving residents of the Washington IL tornado talk share their experiences.,0,2702436.embeddedvideo
Maybe this is why so many of us are going to Facebook in addition to catching up with friends. Our friends are sharing great content.

I am loving all this, how about you? My friend Kathleen Murray shared this series of photos of dancers in real life situations.  Very cool.

Give me a call if you need some help telling stories for you to post on Facebook, Google+, or Instagram. Remember for them to be shared the content has to be entertaining. The best way to do this is hire a professional.

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Motivating Light" is my favorite

Gregory Heisler is a professional photographer known for his portraits. Long before 2007 when David Hobby started his blog "The Strobist" Heisler was already doing some incredible work with strobes.

Heisler is most known for his 50 Time Magazine covers.

Today many photographers will quickly pull out their large soft boxes for portraits. While even Greg Heisler will use this on occasion, he prefers to light things so that they look natural.

 I recommend buying Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits: Stories and Techniques from a Photographer's Photographer where you see not only his photos, but hear the stories behind those photos.

Heisler introduced a new lighting term used in theater and on movie sets that is not commonly used in still photography.

Heisler heard while on a movie set the director say "Motivate the Practical." The practical is the light fixtures with in the frame.

As Heisler pointed out that when you go onto a movie set you almost never see a large soft box. The reason you don't is the same reason when you go outside you do not see light boxes all around us. While the light box is wonderful light that looks like a large window light, it isn't the norm for most places we see people.

Heisler prefers to light scenes so that they look like they would in a natural setting. He even goes so far as to make his studio at night to look like a pool side photo during the day for a photo he did of Julia Roberts.

I was pleased to not only hear Greg Heisler speak I also was able to get him to personally sign a book for me.

This photo is an example of where I worked to create what would appear to be window light from the sun coming in the window. I put a strobe outside the window to create sunlight on this rainy day.

If I wanted a harder light I would have taken off the umbrella.

While in theater and movies they would call this "motivating the practical." I am creating a light that look natural rather than just creating great light.

I too prefer using "Motivating the Practical" over most any other type of light.  It looks the most natural and the more natural the light the better the chance of it helping to create a "real moment."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Be a conscientious coffee drinker--know who grows your coffee

Every once is a while you run across something that everyone likes. One thing that comes to mind for me is ice cream.  Very few people just don't like it.

While not everyone is a coffee drinker, most everyone who hears this story is moved at how just being a conscientious consumer can change the lives of a community.

In the small town of Salvador Urbina, Chiapas, Mexico where they grow arabica and robusta coffee life is a lot better than back in 2001. Back then the price they were getting for a bag of coffee was about $30 and today they are getting $160 for that same size bag.

When you can help a community by just giving the farmers in that community the ability to buy a coffee roaster changed their lives forever.

They repaid that loan to the group of ecumenical churches that gave them $20,000.  Now they are taking care of that community in so many ways.

Now those small store fronts are full of supplies because those in the community can now afford to buy from them.

Coffee is the most labor intensive crops one can grow. From the time of just planting a seed to your first harvest can take three years. Once your plants are ready to harvest it can take a few months to finish the harvest and weeks to de-pulp, dry, husk and then roast the coffee.

Every day while I was in Salvador Urbina, my host Pelayo, was spreading the robusto coffee to dry it before going to the roaster.

Just three years ago since I visited the community I could see changes. Most of all I saw more laughter and smiles than even before. The reason was they were able to live as families in community.