If it’s May, it has to be the Indianapolis 500. This photograph was selected by Sports Illustrated as the third greatest photograph in the last 100 years of the 500. They reproduced it in the centennial issue and on their website. That’s the good news, the bad news is they never asked me. Does the word “copyright” mean anything to anyone? Who said “power to the people”? No, it’s “power to the corporation”, step on all the people. In this society, we all have to play by the same rules. Actually, I think someone wrote that in the Constitution. To my friends; go out and make some great photos. Capture history with a camera. Life is good, life is great. Health and happiness to everybody, even SI.
While working on an essay called America, I came across some college students at the U of A who were heavy into mountain biking. We did all of the classic cliché photos and then I decided we can do better. So I took one of the small Canon cameras with a 15mm lens and a remote cord and put it at the end of a painters pole and was actually able (for a millisecond) to get the camera under the tire as the young man did a wheely.
I had the opportunity to do an ad campaign for the Cleveland Indians. As part of the contract, I did several billboard,. one of which, Shaun Casey was the star. The key to this photograph is Casey’s eyes and his intensity. The ball was not on the bat yet, but very close. If you were to utilize the correct daylight exposure his eyes would have been shaded by the cap. By opening up a half to three quarters of a stop, you will have the correct exposure for under his cap and his eyes. The same is true for a football player or race car driver with his helmet on. If looking for the eyes, you have to make the right adjustments.
That’s my tip for today. Finish reading the blog then go out and make some photos. Joe D
You would think after several decades of making photographs there would be no surprises, but the greatest thing about photography is that there’s always a surprise. You can pre plan everything to the final millimeter, you can pick the perfect day for light, you can have the best athletes or models, but invariably something will come up and will bite you on the –whatever. This is a perfect example, of Murphy rearing his ugly head. We planned this shoot several months ago waiting for the right rain conditions so we could make great photographs on the upper portions of the Raymondskill Creek. Cue the cameras! Cue the kayakers, let’s go! But Murphy cued three logs that broke loose and were blocking the creek. Ya can’t kayak over a log, and you can’t kayak through a log, so we went to plan B. Plan B was a 44 foot drop. To put that into perspective, that s a 4 story building straight down. The problem with the shot is the extreme heavy mist. It was like putting a Tupperware cap over your lens. The front element of the lens was absolutely soaking wet all the time and as we all know, anything put in front of a lens will degrade the image. I was shooting with the Sigma 150-500 and I didn’t have the underwater version- OK that’s me trying to be funny again. One of the keys in photography is your ability to be flexible, when you don’t get what you want- you gotta get something. We hiked up one more mile to a tributary and were able to get a 30 foot drop shot with the 24-70 Sigma. ISO and exposure are approximately the same; the difference would be considerably less mist. Keep on shooting, it’s all good. Next time I see you- I’ll have a brand new set of wheels- half titanium and half ceramic.