goal setting

Using simple #Lighting for a #Baseball #Portrait

On Sunday I had an assignment to shoot 3 team members of the Ferndale U11 Cal Ripkin All-Stars.

As part of the assignment for The Bellingham Herald, I was to meet three standouts and photograph them at practice. To be safe, I met the three early for a quick portrait session.

Always thinking on a larger scale, I kept picturing 3 major leaguers and wanted to light them as if I was working at Sports Illustrated. Hey why not think big. They may be 11, but why let that limit how you shoot it.

Using my set Nikon SB-910 speedlights and Phottix Odin TTL flash trigger and remotes, I set up a simple “studio” at home plate.

Three All-Stars:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Evan Rehrberger, Ethan Brooks, and Greg Roberts of the Ferndale 11-U Cal Ripkin All-Star team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Evan Rehrberger, Ethan Brooks, and Greg Roberts of the Ferndale 11-U Cal Ripkin All-Star team.

As a safety, I asked one of the dads to be a test subject so I can get the light placed correctly and power output set properly. I like my strobes at a 1:2 ratio.

The main light I place on the right at about 90 degrees from the camera-subject line. The secondary fill light, at a 45 degree angle on the left. I switched the main from left to right while keeping the 1:2 ratio. This gave me lighting choices to keep me from second guessing myself during the editing process.

With the sky dark from clouds, I tried to set my exposure to underexpose the ambient light by one stop.  But in retrospect, I should have underexposed the ambient by 2 stops. Live and learn I guess.

For the three youths in one shot, I kept the lights simple: placed each strobe at a 45° angle and evenly lit.

One Shot:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -(l to r) Evan Rehrberger, Greg Roberts, and Ethan Brooks,  of the Ferndale 11U All-Star baseball team during practice at Pioneer Park on Sunday afternoon July 6, 2014,  in Ferndale, Wash.. Catcher Greg Roberts, first baseman Ethan Brooks, and second baseman Evan Rehberger featured.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -(l to r) Second baseman Evan Rehrberger, catcher Greg Roberts, and first baseman Ethan Brooks, of the Ferndale 11U All-Star baseball team during practice at Pioneer Park on Sunday afternoon July 6, 2014, in Ferndale, Wash.

  • 2 SB-910 Speedlights placed about 5 feet from subject(s). IMPORTANT!!! Set the mode for the strobes to manual.
  • Phottix Odin TTL triggers used to control light output. They give you the ability to control the light output from the camera.
  • Have subject turn to their left towards the main light to give dimension to the face.
  • Adjust lighting as needed using transmitter.
  • Swap the lights between subjects for variety. Place the left at 90° and the right at 45° for variety.
  • I did not use a tripod to be more fluidlic. But my camera position was in a general area about 5 to 7 feet from the subject.
  • For the 3 Subject photo, I placed each light at 45 degrees and set to full.

Here’s a couple of tips, which I went over in a previous blog Intro To Creative Flash: Balancing Your Flash with Ambient Light

  • Because the flash duration is so short (1/100th of a second or shorter), the aperture controls the amount of light when your flash is set on manual. Keep in mind this only works on manual. If you have your flash on auto , TTL, program, or whatever, this won’t work and you’ll get more confused. It must be on manual mode.
  • The shutter control the ambient light for the most part. Use the FP mode on your strobe if you need to go higher than the camera’s highest flash synch speed.

Simply: aperture for your flash, shutter speed for the ambient. It takes some practice, but it’s well worth it and gives you more tools for your photographic toolbox.

Simple lighting Set-up:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Using just two strobes with diffusers place about 5 feet from subjects. Radio remotes to trigger. Simple and easy.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Using just two strobes with diffusers place about 5 feet from subjects. Radio remotes to trigger. Simple and easy.

Practice! Practice! Practice!!!

Photography is NOT a Spectator Sport!!

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

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© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The super full Moon rises over a ridge in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, Wash., on Monday July 22, 2013.

A Quick Update and a Few Photos: Mount Baker in Alpenglow

With my photography biz picking up, I’ve been rather busy and have neglected to post new entries.

I’ve got more work from Getty Images, a few local companies have hired me to shoot portraits of their staff and products, getting wedding and engagement inquiries, and have been out shooting my personal stuff. And I’ve kept a day job working in a retail store.

With that being said, you now know why I picked the one photo as the lead photo for this blog. So, I’m going to get the ball rolling and kick this adventure into high gear.

With that being said, here are a few photos from just this past week. On Monday, I chased the super perigee Moon, or “SuperMoon,” while it rose over Whatcom County and Bellingham, Wash.

“Rolling Ball”

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - A super perigee Moon appears to roll down a hill while rising in the southeaston Monday evening July 22, 2013, in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, Wash.

I was on Ferndale Road watching the light on Mount Baker. The beautiful alpenglow was palpably delicious. I saw a field of potatoes ready for harvest. Their flowered tops flowing in the breeze.

As the Sun set in the northwest, I had my lens focused on Mount Baker to the east. I turned around to see the setting Sun through the wheat grass. I quickly removed my camera from the tripod and shot a few frames. With a wide aperture to capture only the grasses in focus, the Sun appeared as a small orb in the lower left. I also underexposed a few stops to keep the grasses in silhouette.

“Amber Waves of Grain”

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The setting Sun silhuoettes wheat grass growing along Ferndale Road in Whatcom County north of Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening July 22, 2013.

Just moments after the Sun dipped below the horizon, the remain light bathed Mount Baker in a beautiful purple alpenglow. I had to quickly shoot some frames before it disappeared. Just after that, the full Moon began rising above a ridge south of Mount Baker. I could just see the glow of the Moon.

“Purple Mountains Majesty”

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The setting Sun alights Mount Baker in alpenglow on Monday evening July 22, 2013.

I repositioned my camera with my telephoto to shoot it. It reminded me of a photo shot by the great photographer Peter Turner called “Rolling Ball.” Photographer Eric Meola wrote about this iconic piece on his blog titled “Finding Pete Turner’s Rolling Ball.”

After shooting that photo, I chased down another opportunity I scoped out earlier in the day: The rising Moon above the old Whatcom County Courthouse. That adventure is for an upcoming post. Nothing like seeing a beautiful, awe-inspiring scene to have it ruined because of the limitations of digital cameras. I’ll update with a link to the blog. But for now, here’s a link to the photograph: Full Moon over the Whatcom Museum.

Here’s a quick view of some future blogs:

•    Before/After: Fixing a Photo
•    Critiquing photos: 3 easy steps to help you learn photography
•    Spray and Pray: Don’t hope you get the shot, plan to get the shot
•    Photo Updates: (Victoria’s Secret, Daily shoots, etc.)
•    What I learned working retail ( I worked at Home Depot for a while).

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

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© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography Most Inspiring Blogger Award

An Honor and a Surprise: Winning an Inspirational Blogger award

The other day, I received a notice that my friend Erin gave me a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.” The first thing I want to do is to thank her for this award. Thank you Erin for the honor and thank you for having an inspiring blog!!

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyMy rendition of the Inspiring Blogger Award.

Her blog “Musings, Photographic & Otherwise” is a fun read full of quips and insights on just about everything. Go check it out.

A big second Thank You for all my readers. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t even be sitting here typing this. You guys give me the inspiration to keep blogging and documenting the world around me. Thank You.

But most importantly, a big hug and Thank You goes out to my Li’l Bear and wife Heidi. Her support in my endeavors elevates me to new heights.

However, unlike other awards, there are a few caveats to the rules that one must follow when accepting this esteemed honor:

The Rules…

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 5 things about yourself.
  4. Pass the award on to 6 other bloggers and link to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.
© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyClouds ensconce the northern Cascade Range with a barn north of Belligham, Wash.

So, I continue this tradition and to keep the love flowing, I submit to the rules and continue the custom, here is my blog thanking those who have inspired me.

#1 – Complete!!

#2 – It’s above. Spend a few moments reading her blog.

#3 – The 5  things about myself:

  1. Love to cook. I worked as a Sous Chef at a french restaurant, worked as a line cook, breakfast cook, and managed a few Burger Kings and a Wendy’s. I sooo hated the fast food jobs, but I was willing to do something I hate, so I can do something I love.
  2. I never really camped until I moved to Colorado after I graduated college. But I loved it so much, I taught myself everything I could. Hell, I couldn’t take my job at The Aspen Times if I didn’t learn how to ski or snowboard. And at the age of 42, I just said “Why Not?”  And as everyone knows, if I don’t camp for a while, I get really super grumpy. I need my outdoors.
  3. I left my house and family when I was 17, during the summer of 79, between my junior and sophomore year of High School. I hated the constant bickering and fighting. When my mom and dad split up, my mom and two younger sisters moved to Arizona. My dad moved on base. I didn’t want to move to Arizona so I ran away. When my mom and dad caught up to me later that day, I explained everything. I moved into my friend Gary’s house with his family for my last year of High School before joining the Navy.
  4. The proudest moment in my life, besides marrying my Sweetpea Heidi, was graduating from Western Kentucky University with my Bachelor of Arts in Photojournalism. My last two years I went through a divorce, worked a full time job (at the Bowling Green Daily News) and part time job as the Black *& White lab manager, AND up to 18 credit hours a semester. I sat next to my best friend Rissa Miller who is now a successful photographer and owns Balance Photography out of Baltimore with her husband Nathaniel Corn.
  5. My biggest regret is saying no to a question I was asked when I was a teen living in Australia. I lived there from Sept. 76 to Sept 78 when my dad, a sergeant in the Air Force, was transferred there. I became close friends with an Aussie Brendan Schafferius and as a result, he, his mum Kathy and dad John, and his sister JoAnne became my second family. I’ve always thought Brendan to be the closest thing I had to a brother. A month before moving back to the U.S. as my dad’s tour ended, I stayed with them for a week down at a beach house in Whyalla. During the stay, they asked if I would like to stay with them as part of their family. I said no. I guess I didn’t want to miss my family, but, less than a year later, I ran away from home. Re-read number 3.

Whew, that wasn’t so bad. #3 – Done.
© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographyDELIVERING AUTUMN: A leaf hangs onto a mailbox along Northwest Avenue in Bellingham, Wash.

#4 – There are a lot of folks who deserve this award. Some, don’t even have a blog. This list is by far, not finished at all:

Balance Photography: My friends’ photography site and blog Rissa Miller and Nathaniel Corn. I’ve known them for many, many years.

Thomas O’Brien Photography: A great photographer based out of Aspen, Colo. His work inspires the outdoorsman in me to get out and shoot the natural world. His night shots are incredible.

Jordan Stead: A Seattle based photojournalist and co-founder of The Emerald Collective

The Pixels in Pete’s World: The photoblog of my friend Peter Phun. He has a lot of great information on it.

Cornforth Images:The photography and blog of Jon Cornforth. His specialties are underwater and Alaskan wildlife. .

Alpine State of Mind: The photography of Jason Hummel focusing on the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. He captures something I never could: the emotions of the mountains. The images he captures of off-piste skiers and snowboarders are in a class of their own.

Jacob F. Lucas Photography: A displaced Australian photographer now living in Seattle.

There are many more than this. My friends Clinton Lewis, John Lok, and Earnie Glazener. Sports photographer for the Seattle Seahawks Rod Mar, portrait photographers John Keatley and Don Gianetti, photojournalists Yunghi Kim, Anthony Suau, and many others. And especially to my photo teachers James Kenney, Dave LaBelle, Tim Broekema, Jack Corn, Susie Post, and C. Thomas Hardin whose lessons still resound in my head each and every time I begin to press the shutter button.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad PhotographySunset at Boulevard Park along the shores of Bellingham Bay in Bellingham, Wash.

Photography is not just about a job taking pictures, it’s about a living breathing community as diverse in skills and expertise as life in the ocean.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. All comments are appreciated.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Pablo Conrad Photography

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© Pablo Conrad Photography

2011: A Look Back- A Selection of My Best Images

For my second to the last post of the year 2011, I give you my best images from 2011.

Many of you may be asking why I haven’t blogged for awhile and why I haven’t posted any images.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s simple, I’ve been undergoing some soul searching, major website redesign and gallery reorganization, business planning, goal setting, and a big move to Bellingham with my fiancé Heidi.

I have been out and about documenting this wonderful world we live in, but I also needed a breather from the daily tweets, blog updates, my Facebook page (which I will move all my photo related stuff to G+), and generally the internet.

2011 was a pretty good year for me photographically speaking. I’m not talking business wise, just visually. I tried new things, used more lenses, attempted my hand at HDR, shot for Black & White, and began pursuing more portrait photography.

Enjoy the slide show.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. All comments are appreciated.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Pablo Conrad Photography

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