Friday, May 14, 2010

Combat Photographer

Every once in a while a new contraption comes along that makes you go "hummm".  When I stumbled upon this little gem that's exactly what I thought.

Are you a Xbox junkie?  Perhaps a Gulf War vet that got used to having an Aimpoint or Eotech red-dot sight on your service rifle?  Well, wait no more - you can now mount a red-dot optic on your DSLR presumably for shooting birds in flight.

Just plop this baby on your hotshoe mount and start blasting tangos... I mean birds at 8fps with your favorite shooter.

Unfortunately this little gem isn't commercially available (at this time) and it's DIY.  But the sight can be had for a mere $29 on and the rest looks fairly easy to make yourself... assuming you're so inclined.  For me?  I'll stick to my viewfinder.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Season Musings

This year is off to a great start.  Since I live in Indiana, the winters tend to be a bit tough and honestly, it wears on my creativity and inspiration.  I don't do a lot of shooting in the winter, and when I do it's mostly in studio.

I'm a people shooter.  I really enjoy shooting people vs. shooting nature.  I'll get the bug every once in a while to shoot a flower here, a bug there or something without a pulse occasionally.  But what really gets my shutter clicking is a person in front of my lens, preferably doing something interesting.

I have an interest in events such as WWII reenactments, Civil War reenactments and Ren Festivals.  Why?  Well, because there is a seemingly endless number of willing subjects to pose for me and they almost always have an intriguing costume or are doing something fun that makes for great imagery.

During the first week of May each year they hold a WWII reenactment in Lowell Indiana at a park named Buckley Homestead.  This year I headed down again to shoot the massive WWII event which includes tanks, airplanes, soldiers, guns and even food.

Inevitably when I get home to my studio, I want to edit the images so that they have a historic look.  I want to fool the viewer into thinking perhaps these images weren't taken in 2010 but in 1942 instead. 

I find this somewhat challenging.  I mean, the 40's were an interesting era in photography because you had a mixture of both color and B&W images.  You even had B&W images that were later colored by airbrush which have a very unique quality all their own.  So for me, trying to capture the essence of the era and the feeling of warfare proves to be very difficult.  I also like to mix things up a bit and not repeat the same editing technique over and over.

This years event was great and I feel as though I've done what I set out to do with my captures and edits.  I've shared a few images here and hope that you enjoy them.  If you have any questions about how I achieve a particular look, please post in the comments section and perhaps I'll make a post dedicated to my editing techniques.

Coming up this month I have a Civil War reenactment in Naperville on the 15th (next weekend).  I'm really looking forward to this event and the challenges my edits will present yet again.  Trying to reproduce the look of Civil War era photography is especially challenging for me.