Mount Vernon

A vs B: Making Deadline. Did I Choose Wisely?

On Saturday evening I covered two final matches in the 2A Northwest District varsity girls’ basketball tournament. As I was covering this for The Bellingham Herald, meeting the tight deadline was imperative.

One minor problem: I had a 9:30pm deadline with one game starting at 6pm and the other promptly at 8. This meant I had to come up with a plan and execute it without a hitch. But that’s for a later blog.

A: What I Sent to the Paper

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls' basketball tournament final against Burlington-Edison  at  Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Saturday evening Feb. 21, 2015. Lynden defeated Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 to win the district title with both teams advancing to the regional playoffs.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls’ basketball tournament defeating Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash. INFO: Nikon D3s with WB set on fluorescent light, and shutter at 1/250th, 17 to 35 f/2.8 set at 5.6.

 

With this, I had my edited images to the paper for the first game by the time the second game started. I also had the online gallery posted. I shot the first half of the second game, worked on my images, then uploaded my 5 edits from the first half.

It was 9:10 and the game was still going so I called the paper to let them know Lynden was ahead and that I was going to shoot the reaction of them winning the District Title.

B: The Second Choice

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls' basketball tournament final against Burlington-Edison  at  Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Saturday evening Feb. 21, 2015. Lynden defeated Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 to win the district title with both teams advancing to the regional playoffs.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls’ basketball tournament defeating Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash. INFO: Nikon D3s with WB set on fluorescent light, and shutter at 1/250th, 17 to 35 f/2.8 set at 5.6.

At 9:15 the game ended. I rushed onto the court and began shooting. After a few minutes the celebration calmed down so I went back to my workstation, ingested the images, then chose one for sending. I made the deadline with 4 minutes to spare.

Sometimes in the stress of making a deadline, we can choose the wrong photo. I think each of these has their merit.

The strengths of A are: You can see all their faces, it’s a little cleaner, it’s easier to read, and overall a touch sharper.

The strengths of B are: The raised arms show celebration, the girl is framed by the arms, the couple in the back hugging (which I missed in the first edit), and the overall excitement.

If you were an editor and had to choose which one to put in print, would it be A or B and why?

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

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., north of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Tulips blooming in Skagit County in the Northwestern part of Washington State.

Tip Toeing Through The Tulips

It is the Tulip Festival in Skagit County near Mt. Vernon, Wash.

Being as the weather is unpredictable in the Pacific Northwest this time of year, I headed down there on a whim when it was a sunny day last week. I didn’t want the chance for the clouds and gray to roll in. It was a glorious sunset but lacked some clouds to break up the monotony of the sky. It’s a quick half-hour drive from Bellingham.

This is just a quick posting of some of the images I shot.

As I drove around, I stuck with the Roozengaarde Farm as it was easy to get to without any parking issues. However, I will say that after about 5 or 6, traffic is very light and there usually are not parking problems.

Feel free to leave comments about which one is your favorite, and just don’t excite you.

1. From low, with the Sun back lighting the bulbs:

Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013. (photo © Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

I laid low on the ground for this while adding a bit of overexposure. It’s different and looks good. Although it looks good, this is not my favorite.

I used my 80-200 and zoomed in while laying on the rain-soaked ground. It was hard to shoot, especially trying to keep the horizon straight. I also focused further away to make the closer bulbs out of focus.

Trying a more artistic approach than usual.

2. Low, off camera flash, Sun backlighting the blooms:

Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography-Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.(photo © Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

For the above photo, I again was low to the ground and used my strobe on a mini-tripod and radio slaved so as not to worry about the cord. It was my first time using the triggers and I think they worked well.

My main goal was to capture a “starburst” coming through the tulips. I have one and it’s posted below. I created the starburst using a time-honored method of tenacity, luck, and patience. Here’s a link to an earlier posting about how to create one: Capturing a Sunburst: A Few Tips

I also posted another photo with a starburst coming through the tulips. Some like this version without the starburst, some like the starburst. Which is your favorite and feel free to leave a comment about what you think.

3. A vertical utilizing the strong back light of the setting Sun:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography-Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.

Again, a little overexposure and utilizing the lens flare helps create this low contrast image.

4. A lone red tulip amidst a forest of yellow:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.
There is a saying in photography: Repetition is a great compositional tool. However, repetition without opposition is boring.

With the Sun getting low to the horizon, it made for some sweet side lighting. I found this lone wolf and shot it from different angles. I liked it when the Sun was not directly behind, but slightly off to the right.

5. The Sun sets beyond the sea of yellow:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash., on Tuesday April 15, 2013.

For this image, I exposed for the setting Sun to get a nice exposure on the sky but still allowing for some detail in the farmhouse. To get the tulips lit,  I remotely triggered my speedlight using radio slaves.

So I set my shutter speed to synch with my speedlight and used my aperture to properly expose for the sky. I then set my speedlight on manual and set it for what the aperture was on my camera.

6.   Red Tulips, Blue Sky, and a Starburst:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Tulips blooming at Rozengaarde Tulip Farm in Skagit County, Wash.

Same photo as the second one. But to capture the starburst, I moved until just a pinpoint of light shone through the tulips. Being as I was stopped down to f/22 on my lens, the refraction caused by the aperture blades created the starburst.

Hint: older lenses have straight blades which create a polygonal shape. These make for better starbursts. The new lenses have a more circular aperture and do not create a starburst.

I think now matter what the skill level of the photographer is, as they continue to grow, the continue to ask questions about how to improve. My question to you is what is your favorite and why? AND what is your least favorite and why?

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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