personal work

what are your personal photography projects for 2013 ?

This photo shows me setting up to shoot a time-lapse clip of the New York skyline from Brooklyn. The bride is a model being photographed by someone else. She just looked good as part of the composition of this shot. (photo by Peter Salo) The motive behind shooting time-lapse is no more than it’s just to do something creative. You know? Something for the soul. Something to keep the interest in photography alive, and to remain motivated to create something new and interesting.

For those very reasons, I think it is essential for any photographer – in fact, any artist – to keep exploring ideas and avenues.

As this year winds down, and my workload eases up a bit, I’ve decided that 2013 is the year where I want to devote more time to personal projects of various kinds. I do want to explore HD video further and shoot some short clips. In fact, I’ve been talking to Anelisa (my favorite model), about doing a video clip centered around her, in a music video / Fashion style. I’ve also discussed with a friend who does boudoir photography, to do a promotional / instructional clip with her.

I have this intention that during December, I’ll figure out a plan – a schedule for 2013 to be posted in my calendar – where I work on several projects during the course of the year. That’s the grand scheme. To do more stuff!

let’s make it interesting … 

With that, I’d like to hear from others what they have been contemplating or are planning to do as personal photography projects for 2013? What has caught your interest and what has intrigued you enough that you’d like to get into? What themes or ideas or techniques do you want to explore?

So let’s make it fun, and inspire each other.

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Amsterdam – a short travelogue shot and edited on the iPad 3

While isiting Amsterdam for a few days with my daughter, I decided to see how well it would work to shoot and edit a video clip on the iPad 3. In fact, do it all on just the iPad 3.

Even though I had my Nikon D4 with me – a camera which is far more suited to shooting video – I decided that it might be fun to shoot and edit on the same device. While I could’ve shot the video footage more easily on my iPhone 4s than the clumsily large iPad, I wanted to edit on the same device, and the iPad offers a lot more real estate when you edit the clips in iMovie.

The iPad 3 was … interesting to use as a video camera. Even though it offers stabilization of the image, I think the shape of the iPad just means it will be more prone to camera shake than a D-SLR that you can cradle in your hand. There’s no easy way to brace the iPad.

Then also, I think I looked a bit of a dork shooting the video on an iPad. Especially with the Nikon D4 dangling off my shoulder.

The real limitations of the iPad came in that you can’t control exposure or focus. Also, you have a single focal length. Even with that, it was a fun challenge to work around these limitations to come up with a short clip that stands on its own. And for me, it is a wonderful reminder of the few days during which my daughter and I explored Amsterdam.

related link: workshop report-back: Amsterdam, July 22

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finding that photo opportunity

November 24, 2011

finding that photo opportunity

We stumbled upon this opportunity for this portrait of Jessica, my infamous assistant with an attitude. The reception room for a wedding we were photographing had several large boxes of lights against the walls as a kind of light mural, with baubles inside that were lit up. And the back of each of these displays was a mirror …

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personal work – Manhattan cityscapes

It’s been a long cold winter without much chance to roam around and explore with a camera. The past weekend it seemed like the weather was finally relenting and becoming warmer. Taking to the streets to shoot for myself a bit with no purpose in mind, I ended up with three images that I liked – all deserted New York city scenes. Or in the case of the image above, nearly deserted.

It felt good to let my thoughts roam for a while, getting some exercise and listening to music … looking for anything that visually appealed to me in the camera’s viewfinder.

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portrait: Janine vN

November 15, 2010

portrait using a gridded softbox

It’s been about a year since I last took a more formal portrait of my daughter Janine. Last year it was her with the steam-punk goggles, when I used a beauty dish (with a sock) as lighting. During a restaurant dinner last night I noticed Janine had ‘LOVE’ scribbled on both her forearms with a felt marker. I asked her about it, and she explained the idea behind ‘To Write Love On Her Arms‘. So I decided to include this tonight in the portrait of her.

Lighting her and the words on her arms was a slight challenge. I wanted a moody portrait, instead of just flooding it with even light from something like bounced flash …

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fire performer at PDF

October 8, 2010

After I was so thrilled with watching and photographing the fire performers at their wedding, Katie and Nathan managed to get me a ticket to the PDF event this weekend. Due to work commitments this weekend, I was only able to visit tonight (Friday), and take in the activities and spirit of the event, and chat to random people. Magical.

Of the fire performers (and other participants) I photographed, I really liked the few images I got of Nichole .. and thought I’d show them here as a small glimpse of the event.

Shot with the Nikon D3, using the Nikon 85mm f1.4D lens
1/125 @ f1.4 @ 3200 ISO

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dynamic composition – changing your viewpoint (model – Carrie)

Near the end of the recent photo session with Carrie, I walked across the street to find another angle. Walking back, I noticed the sun just dipping behind the roof of this old train station. I thought it might flare interestingly if I caught the sun just on the edge there.

The problem was that I had to step into the street a few times when there was a lull in the traffic. The angle was a tough one since I had to, or rather, wanted to keep my camera at ground level to shoot up. I wanted the flare, and I wanted this angle to accentuate Carrie’s legs.

I resorted to stepping into the road, crouching down, pre-focusing, and then holding my camera away from my eye at ground level. There was no way I was going to lay down in a busy street! It took three tries, each with a series of images, until I “blindly” got the composition the way I wanted it .. with the right amount of flare.

Playing around with the controls in ACR (similar to Lightroom), got me to a retro- faded look I liked. The processing hopefully complements the sun-kissed image and add to the overall feel of the photo.

Settings:  1/250 @ f5.6 @ 200 ISO  //  no additional lighting
Equipment used:  Nikon D3;  Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 AF-S  … at 24mm

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I took this photo of the Hotel du Louvre during a trip to Paris in 1993.  I carefully propped  my camera against a hand-railing  to steady it during the slow exposure of 1/4 second.  As I took my first frame, a bus drove past. I cursed my luck and took the photograph again. (This was pre-digital, and I was poor enough that every frame of transparency film that I shot was expensive.)  Anyway, I cursed my luck, thinking the bus would spoil the image I was after. However, when I saw the results, the ‘accident’ looked far better than the intended shot.

This favorite photo of mine, is this week’s entry for the Alive for 365 project.

[ Pentax Z-1; Pentax-FA 28-80mm f3.5-4.7 / Fujichrome RD 100 ]
[ Paris, France / April ’93 ]

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Cork Ireland – travel photography

I visited Cork for a few days to present two workshops on flash photography, and immediately fell in love with the historic city.  It was a simultaneous pleasure just exploring the place, and taking a short break from a hectic schedule. 

On the first evening, we walked around the city to soak in the look and atmosphere of the place. It had just rained, so the colors really stood out .. and I was drawn to the boldness of the colors, especially of the shopfronts. Since it was after hours, all the traffic had left that area, leaving a clear view of the closed shopfronts.

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