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  1. #771
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi-snapper View Post
    Going back to your train pictures you took, the lighting was your big focus and where your major efforts went, but as to art direction and variety to the pictures, I have been wondering just what they would have been like if you had use your russian tilt-and-shift for a few pictures...

    The train shorts alll shrink into the distance towards the upper right hand, I'm wondering what the effect would be if you had them dead level, shrinking in a perspective of being dead level, or of shrinking in a lower right hand slant as if they were climbing uphill...
    Unfortunately, I will not be able to get back to the train barn until next Spring, as it is closed for "the season." Now, admittedly, I was invited to the Steam Shop. if I cared to stop in, this Winter, but the train barns are not heated and when it is 20-degrees outside... it is 20-degrees inside. The digital cameras and lenses tend to have real issues dealing with the lower temperatures... so, since there is not a real demand for the work, at this time... I can wait for the warm up to try the T-S lens. Cool idea, though. Real cool... (brrr)

    Thank you for the suggestion, Kiwi-S. For the moment, we're just going have to...

    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #772
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    The 2012 Winter Quarter - Senior Project

    It is hard to believe it is here... I'm down to my last quarter, figuratively and literally.

    I am now looking at (drum roll please)... the SENIOR PROJECT... a time to collect my work, examine it... and reshoot it. LOL

    Also, the production of business cards, resumes and promo (leave behind) cards. I $ee the money just pouring out for this grand and final step in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Photography-degree process. I have witnessed the other digital photographers hit the road, literally. Through politics and other financial failures, there still seems to be a serious belt-tightening going on in this country and jobs are in short supply. Photography may be one of the more "optional" ones. I can only hope my attempts at larger than life lighting projects give me an edge.

    But, despite my photographic efforts, I will have one thing I didn't have before... yep, that ol' sheepskin... the new minimum requirement for... pumping gas. Hey, it has been a dandy two year event. I wonder... what the heck will I have to document after this?
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #773
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chongqing Jiaotong Daxue, Xuefu Dadau, Nan'an, Chongqing, P.R.China
    Posts
    19
    heh, it's a degree... a Bachelor degree at that... so get a $29.99 online TEFL/TESOL certificate and start looking for jobs in China!

    I'm teaching english here at a moderately prestigious university on no more than that

  4. #774
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Looks like the SENIOR Project...

    is going to be more artsy than I originally conceived. The instructor has decided that the first 6 weeks will be dedicated to a 5-shot, printable image project, complete with an artistic concept and 5-creative stage statements, with concept images, one statement to be turned in every week, explaining progress step, details and the timetable for production. Heck, I am considering adding equipments cost, modeling costs, costuming costs and the cost of gas.

    Of course, being the ultra-compliant student, I have written the preliminaries for the five "creative statements" and just need to tune them as we go along. This project will not be cheap (are they ever?). Of course, the weather is not being cooperative. I had planned to hunt out locations, in downtown Chicago, for my on-site shoot, but instead of the beautiful 50-degree day I had, yesterday (which I had to spend in class)... I now have to deal with this...

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    and more on the way, for the next two days. Thank goodness all of the Christmas decorations and the RV are all stowed away, for next year.

    I tell ya... I have to quit looking out of the windows.

    EDIT: Okay, it's Monday... weather is holding for the day... about 40-degrees. So, off we go to see the sites, literally. The parking is my biggest concern. The cost is almost beyond reason.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-16-2012 at 07:39 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #775
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Inspection...

    I was able to get to two locations I had picked out, and attempted to get to a third one, but I soon realized the inflexibility of doing this and high cost just is going to be too much to overcome for a school shoot. In one instance, I was ready to drop my tripod and set up for a long-exposure, natural lighting shot, when this building guard comes over and says, "you cannot set that up in here."

    "Excuse me. Why not?" I asked.

    "Because, you can't." was the reply I got.

    Guys, there was no one in the building. It was basically empty. I shrugged, in my ever-present care-free attitude and replied, "Then, I will just have to shoot it faster" and broke out my weapon-of-war, the Metz mecablitz 76 MZ5 "flamethrower." Obviously, I find using it rather annoying, because of direct shadow throws, but hey... when you're given a bunch of eggs... I guess you make omelets.

    So, here is one of those interior shots.

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    It is a little difficult to comprehend this stair head on, so I stepped to the right and got a perspective, to help out. I have to admit, it is a piece of art. Frank Lloyd Wright designed this and the building has been declared a historical location.

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    Inside it is the one actual staircase that I was considering, in that very room, when you turn around...

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    but, this equipment limitation is just nuts.

    My second stop had this staircase to work with. I was able to set up the tripod, so I shot it HDR +/-2... and see what it would look like... ambient.

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    It actually is a little warmer looking, than the starkness of the previous one. Flash is a tough sell, in some arenas.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-18-2012 at 06:22 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #776
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Sometimes, things happen for a reason...

    Today was a weird day, indeed. I had to withdraw from the Winter Quarter, due to the fact I did not have an Internship I could do, at this time. And try as I might, with thirty-years of work experience not withstanding, the school simply refuses to let me graduate without it. Since I am only taking the two classes, this Quarter, I felt it was in my own "best interest" to simply take them in Spring Quarter, together, and seek a full-time position, in the meantime. I will then drop to an Internship, in the Spring, and wrap this all up in June, when they have the "official" graduation ceremony anyway. Sounds complicated? You know what? It is!

    I am still shooting my Senior Project, on schedule, regardless of my enrollment status. As of today, I finally have the manpower in place and simply need to nail down the location... then, just GET THE SHOT. The toughest part was getting all the pieces together... and that is, apparently, 75% accomplished. I mean, why scrap it if I do not have to, right? The motivation, intent and result are the same... plus, I was told that was an acceptable pursuit.

    Of course, the weather, here, in Chicago, is dubious for about half the year... but, come to think of it, even that's being optimistic. I'm just going to play the cards, I guess. No more reports from the school, though, until the Spring.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-18-2012 at 06:24 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #777
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    If I thought yesterday was weird...

    today... topped that.

    I went to school, thinking I was going withdraw from my classes for the Winter Quarter, but before I did any of that, I had to conduct a preliminary shoot of my female "Senior Project" model, which I had scheduled a week earlier. I know, I know... why bother? The Senior Project is going to be curtailed. Well, somethings were already in motion and I really hate disappointing people. I really do.

    Anyway, as I walked in, through happenstance, I ran into the recruiter who had introduced me to the school, back in Oct 2009. I explained that my plans had gotten "derailed" by the Internship issue and he immediately told me to not do anything about my withdrawal, but he would see what he could find to fill in this blank. So, I filed that little tidbit away, wondering what he had in mind, and continued on to the shoot.

    Anyway, the shoot went well. I made use of the school's studio lighting, to avoid having to drag all my gear into the building and away we went. Below are a few of the images from the shoot.

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    For the next three hours, I shot this & that and discussed with my model the upcoming project shoot. Then, the male model showed up and there was some more discussion. Once everyone was satisfied with what was planned, I packed up and headed down to do the deed. As I sat with Academic Advisor, staring at the withdrawl sign-off sheet, I made mention of my earlier encounter with the school's recruiter and, suddenly, her eyes lit up. She placed a call to the Academic Department Director and then to the recruiter I had made mention of. Within thirty minutes, the situation was "controlled" and I have to hand it to them, I no longer had to withdraw. Uh... Whew!

    So, I know have an Internship with another photographer and this particular crisis has been averted. Like I implied, a very strange day. Have camera, will soldier on!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-21-2012 at 11:20 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #778
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    That's good Don, you deserve a bit of luck I reckon.

  9. #779
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Digging a hole...

    When it comes to photography, it is pretty easy to dig your own grave. Your expectations are usually very high... that is to say, you want to turn out the best product you can and maybe even "get lucky" when you do it. We tend forget, as advancing hobbyists, that we are supposed to be "enjoying" ourselves. I know, I know... looking back at your work is suppose to be gratifying, but I tend to live in the moment. I like it when it is coming together and producing the desired result.

    Shooting landscapes, you tend to lose this overall feeling, as you are waiting for the sun to pop... or a cloud to make its way into the scene. You've had plenty of time to erect your setup and, normally, you are not counting on anyone other than yourself, to be there.

    Shooting animals... well, nothing has changed much there... they are usually impossible to predict. Heck, some ani-mules can put you in the grave.

    Shooting people, though... now, that equation is far more complicated... and more often than not, the chances are something or someone is going to fall short of the mark, even if you have paid for your talent. It comes down to the best laid plans of mice and men. With the "work ethic" of the current generation, the "let-downs" are far more prevalent than I have ever experienced before. That's not to say there are not "a few good apples" in the bunch... they just seem to be getting harder and harder to find. I see it daily, at the school, and I have been wondering how far this "slide" is going to go, before it breaks down entirely.

    My "Senior Project" shoot has been a coordination far more difficult than any I have done in the past... and I have had a few. My Internship is with a wedding photographer... and I am hoping to find a better way to coordinate events and learn how to improve in planning my shoots, from equipments needs; talent requirements; and just having the time to get it all done without forgetting anything. Obviously, going into this rather unarmed and inexperienced will expose the bitter aspects to the task. Again, I ask, where's the fun?

    Right now, everything is motion and timed to arrive prior to the shoot. How many things can go wrong? Too many! Will anyone thing sink the shoot? Definitely. Are there ways to avoid this in the future? <- Are you kidding?

    It seems the farther you reach, the better chance you are going to pull back a stub.

    When I look back on the shots I did at the Illinois Railway Museum, I realize it had a lot in common with the landscape stuff... but, it also relied on the construction of a light setup. The glint of the Sun would not be in the image and that was 200-feet of lighting to sweat. Was it fun? Sure didn't feel very fun. Yet, the pleasure had to be found in putting forth that kind of solo-effort, which no one else ever had with this subject, as far as I know. It is doing something entirely different... to achieve an end... with what you have on hand. Looking back... well, it was what it was.

    Again, it is setting your aspirations to a level... then trying your damnedest to achieve it. Does the end justify the means? In photography... you bet your... well, your shot.

    A wise man once said.... nothing. What we do between now and the grave... is what life is all about.

    The beauty of all this is: You have photographic evidence that you did it, good or bad. Just open your scrapbook... and see what FUN you had.

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-21-2012 at 11:17 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #780
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I was able to get to two locations I had picked out, and attempted to get to a third one, but I soon realized the inflexibility of doing this and high cost just is going to be too much to overcome for a school shoot. In one instance, I was ready to drop my tripod and set up for a long-exposure, natural lighting shot, when this building guard comes over and says, "you cannot set that up in here."

    "Excuse me. Why not?" I asked.

    "Because, you can't." was the reply I got.
    It can often be an easy remedy. Ask where the management office is and go speak with them for permission to use a tripod. Most places have a general no-tripod policy to avoid tripping hazards and liability from just anyone setting up a tripod at any time. Security just follows the normal policy unless you have permission from the owner/management. I've found that when I explain what I plan and would like to do (it especially helps to have a small portfolio of some of your work to show and mentioning you're a photography student goes a long way), 95% of the time I'll get permission to use a tripod.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

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