Sunday, May 31, 2009

OBX Vacation

As busy as I am, I was in need of a vacation, so I spent a long weekend (5/22-26) with friends at the OBX, specifically Corolla, NC. I left for the OBX at 1:45pm on Friday and finally arrived at the beach house at 9:45pm. There was a lot of traffic starting out and there was also an accident along the way near the VA beach area. It made me wish I had just got up early Saturday morning to drive down there. I thought about all the things I still needed to do to catch up in photography, but I also needed a vacation. Well, at least I could try to relax on vacation. I still brought most of my camera gear with me.

I spent every day that I was there on the beach and it felt good to be there, especially just laying out on the beach and absorbing the warmth of the sun and viewing the blue skies with gorgeous clouds. I didn't really get out and about while at the OBX. Our beach house was just a short walk to the beach and my car was in a satellite lot far enough away. The weather was nearly perfect.

I left the beach house Tuesday around 4pm with a couple others and we got back to the DC area around 9pm, so we were glad to be able to get home relatively quickly. I enjoyed the trip and have a lot of pictures to go through and share, but here's a favorite photo from each day of my trip there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

PDN Photographers' Virtual Trade Show!

Online today is the first PDN Photographers' Virtual Trade Show! It's live from 10am - 6pm EDT. It's like getting education and being able to network like in a real trade show, but you can do this online. What a great idea. The second part of this virtual trade show is on June 21st, so that should be worth checking out too.

Scott Kelby's 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk Announced

On May 18 it was announced on Scott Kelby's blog about his 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk which will take place on July 18. I went on one of the local photo walks with Jeff Revell's group last year. It was a great opportunity to get together with up to a group of 50 photographers, learn, explore, and meet other photographers. Here are my images from last year's photo walk:

GI Film Festival

For the 3rd year in a row the GI Film Festival took place at the Carnegie Institute in Washington D.C. It took place from May 12-17 and I was able to go there and photography the evenings of May 15-17. The GI Film Festival celebrates the successes and sacrifices of the American military. There were also celebrity appearances and an awards show.

Here are the photos from the 2009 GI Film Festival:

I also took pictures from last year's GI Film Festival:

America's Polo Cup

May 9th was the 2009 America's Polo Cup day. I started my day there around Noon and there was a lot going on:

* Ambassadors Celebrity First Chukker Round Robin Polo Cup.
* Opening ceremonies: The Man from Snowy River Ride out. Demonstrations on Polo Field: Hunt & Hounds / United States Park Police Horse Mounted Unit Color Guard Presentation
2010 Challenging Country was announced and awarded to India.
* Australian & USA National Anthems Live performances with Spectacular Air Parachute Team show by BLACKWATER.
* Metro Chorus live performance.
* The Battle of the Coral Sea AIR SHOW. A Moment of Silence for the US & International Armed Services Fallen Soldiers, followed by a Special Presentation by the world famous United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team.
* Military Fly Over followed by "Sneak Pass."
* USA Land Rover Polo Team VS. QANTAS AUSTRALIAN Polo Team - International World Cup Championships. The USA won the game 4 to 2.
* US Coast Guard Helicopters Fly Overs & LIVE Concert by Jay Hoad Band.
* Polo Field Divot Stomp.
* Trophy Presentation by Raymond Weil in Land Rover Winners Circle.
DAUM Luxury Art presented the "DAUM America's Polo Cup Best Sportsmanship Award"
* The Washington Post FW presented the Winners of the Best Dressed Contest. VA Wine Lovers Package with Celebrity Judge "Omarossa" from Donald Trumps "The Apprentice."
* The Washington Post FW presented Winners of Best Hat Competition Announced. Luxury Gift Certificate presented by Celebrity Judge "Omarosa."
* American Idol Star "Michael Johns" performed, including singing the live debut of the song "She's Dangerous."
* Superstar surprise performance by Mya.
* A Joint American & Australian Grande Fireworks Celebration Show - A Celebration of Freedom, acknowledging the friendship between the USA and Australia.
* The Polo Celebration continued with "Rockin the Polo Field" dancing on the Polo field.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rockin' the Runway

On Friday evening (5/8) I photographed the eve of the America's Polo Cup event. The venue was the Capitol Polo Club in Poolesville, MD. The highlight of the night was Rockin the Runway," a nationally recognized fashion show and dance numbers by the Land Rover Dance Troupe. It was a very muddy evening, yet people tried to make the best of it, and we even had people dancing barefoot on the stage. Wine awards and tastings were in order alongside a cocktail party and silent auction. Fireworks lit the sky and dancing continued till late in the night.

CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks

I heard Scott Kelby was coming into town to the Washington Convention Center in DC on May 8. It was for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour and Scott was going to teach on Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks. I saw Scott and Corey as they were walking into the ballroom and introduced myself to Scott and chatted with him on his way up to the front of the ballroom. He was very friendly. It was a whole day of learning techniques just like the pros do, and Scott taught with his trademark style and humor, even when audio problems came up during the morning hours. I also took some pictures during my time there and sent Scott Kelby a link to them and he posted the link on his May 12 blog entry. What a great day.

Couture for a Cure

May 7th was the eve of the America's Polo Cup weekend. The Couture for a Cure event raised awareness and support for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Presented by to the Nth Degree and America's Polo Cup, Couture for a Cure is a fashion show highlighting the work of local designers including Aidah Fontenot, Tsyndyma, Wendy Jarmol Jewelry, and Evelyn Brooks Jewelry. The venue was The Peacock Grand Cafe. Paul Wharton was the Master of Ceremonies and Deejay Neekola spun some tunes to help keep the crowd party on into the night.

DC United players and staff Bryan Namoff, Jamie Moreno, Ben Olsen, Santino Quaranta, Devon McTavish, Clyde Simms, Doug Hicks, Brian Goodstein, Rodney Wallace, Chris Pontius, and Anthony Peters walked down a red carpet runway in designs by Lost Boys!

Couture for a Cure honored eight individuals who are currently living with cancer, have survived cancer, or have lost a loved one to cancer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Black Rapid!

I finally got a new camera strap on May 6th. Last year I saw a photographer with this Black Rapid camera strap which I had only heard about before. It's a revolutionary camera strap that hangs the camera from the strap and out of the way and allows the photographer to use the camera quickly when necessary. I've seen other photographers with this camera strap as part of their gear list. I checked out their website and their videos are fun and showed me how cool and easy it is to use the camera strap.

Penn Camera Expo

I go to the local Penn Camera store so often that most of the staff there knows me and my penchant for looking for new stuff to potentially buy. Every now and then they'll have a class or sale going on. I got an ad in the mail about their in-store weekend expo coming up, so I planned to attend it on May 3rd. In addition to having a sale on many items from various vendor representatives. There also had several vendors give short sessions on some of their products. There was also a guy giving free camera cleanings with various tools for one or two cameras, so I got both of mine cleaned. It was good to have that camera cleaned and it even felt good to know they were. Good thing I didn't need to send it in for further cleaning. It's exciting to go to these expos and I'm looking forward to attending more, especially the big ones.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Embassy Tour Day

Living so close to DC, I've been there many times, yet I feel like I still haven't seen enough of it. I'm sure there are tourists that have seen things in DC that I haven't seen yet. There is so much to see and do in DC, and one of the most culturaly rich things to do is to be able to visit an embassy in DC. I got to do that on Saturday May 2nd with Passport DC as various embassies opened their doors to the public. I went with a group of friends which made it all the more fun, and I also brought my camera. I wasn't going to miss a chance to photograph the interior of some embassies. We took a shuttle a couple times, but walked most of the time. It was a fairly long day of tourism, and it gave us a all a different persective of the culturally rich environment we have here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Learning to Photograph Everyone

Some time ago while browsing around at the Penn Camera store, I saw an ad for Clay Blackmore & Co. Clay was going to have a seminar on April 29 called How to Photograph Everyone and he had a great photo that he used for the ad. I picked up a postcard about the seminar and read how the seminar was to emphasize posing, lighting, composition, and expression. The seminar was to also talk about what people like and don't like in portraits and to have the photographer confidently produce consistent results using a few thoughts and techniques. Clay is one of Canon’s Explorers of Light and a member of the elite Cameracraftsmen group. I'm always up for building upon the foundation of what I've already learned in photography and I also believe in getting back to the basics.

The seminar was at the visarts center in Rockville Town Center and I was amazed at the visarts center with the classes and things offered there. As I walked into the room where the seminar was held, I was impressed with the set up of the room. As Clay started his seminar, I was immediately drawn to his candor and speaking style. He went through his seminar sharing practical information and showed us examples with his photography and with the use of people to show lighting and posing. A couple assistants along with people who know Clay helped him out during the seminar and I got the sense that he had good relationships with the people in the room. He spoke with respect and admiration for Monte Zucker, the master photographer that Clay assisted and learned many things from about photography.

The seminar went for about four hours and afterward a few of us helped Clay & Co break down everything to store it upstairs. In one of the rooms I got to see more of the tribute that Clay & Co have for Monte Zucker, especially with a large and detailed lightbox that was on a wall that showed some of his life and times. Monte passed knowledge to Clay and many people are the recipients of that knowledge. I got the Capture & Creativity DVD from Clay which talked about much of the things he taught in the seminar he gave this night. I was able to get in a couple pictures with Clay and hang out with the crowd that was left at the end of the night at Gordon Biersch.

This was a great night and a very inspirational one at that. One of the main things I took away from this seminar is more of a recognition of making people look good and feel comfortable about pictures of them and the relationship with them. Another take away is to do what I can to get the shot right and not just settle. I've done these things, yet I want to keep building on these qualities. You could know a lot about technique, but if your heart is not into it, then where is it?