Samantha Novak’s Electric Forest Audition

I’m sure that anyone following the site remembers my shoot with the lovely and talented Samantha Novak. Those photos are actually just something that we shot on the side while working on her audition video to perform at the Electric Forest event this summer. Getting in would mean the world to her so, after you watch the video, go follow her on Facebook and YouTube. Then, share this around with anyone you can. She’s worked so hard for this, and any support will go a long way.

Going With the Artistic Flow

Last night, I was invited back out to the Metro Studio Spin Jam out in Akron for some more photos and video. This time, I decided to take greater advantage of the studio’s setup. An entire wall is basically one giant, seamless backdrop and the other walls are covered by curtains. I figured that it was the perfect chance to test out my new light stands.

Fire & Foliage

We now have the third in my autumn portrait series. This time around, I teamed up with the the awesome Dominique to create a shoot that  combined fire dancing with the color of the fall leaves. This was tricky, since the fire dancing itself is only impressive after dark, and the fire bright itself isn’t enough to light the trees on its own. I came up with a lighting configuration that uses two, off-camera  flashes, one to create a shutter dragging effect and the other to light the trees behind her. I’m mostly happy with the effect as a proof of concept, but I would like to experiment with the setup more. I’m planning on putting out a more in depth lighting tutorial soon, as well as video, so be sure to subscribe if you want to see more.

The Year In Review

A full year. Since I graduated. Since I proposed. Since I started freelancing. Since I started the site to keep myself in practice. I suppose that I should take a hard look back at 2013.

                Let’s start by looking at things from a purely objective standpoint and take a look at the numbers.

  • Numbers Total Hits: 9,709
  • Overall Average Hits Per Day: 27
  • Most Hits In A Single Day: 283
  • Total Number of Followers: 110
  • Total Number Of Posts: 205
  • 205 posts/ 365 Days= 56.1% of Daily Goal
  • Then again, I was working 60-80 hours a week the last two months of the year, so taking off November and December, we get 196 Posts /304 Days= 64.5%

 What do these numbers tell us? Well, they tell me that I need to do better. I While I have started writing, editing video, and dabbling more with graphic design, I haven’t come as far with branching my skills as I would have liked. And yes, I have been shooting daily, it hasn’t necessarily been what I want to be working on.

It might be fair to say that I’ve been… disconnected. After I graduated, I lost all of the resources available to me through the university. That doesn’t just include the photo gear and technology, but the connections though fellow students and teachers. Add all that to the fact that my car died early this year, and funds have been relatively low. So, with no money, no car, and no connections, it honestly felt like a year adrift.

But, those are just the numbers and the setup. What did this year in photos actually look like? (Be sure to click to open in theater mode. There’s a cut line for each one of these. )

Where does that leave me? I wouldn’t call the year empty, and I can’t say there was nothing fulfilling.  I wouldn’t say that I didn’t grow, but I still feel like I could have been more. I feel like I’m falling behind my peers. All I can do is try to keep at getting myself off the ground this year.

I photographed this collision with my cell phone on my lunch break. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. The photograph was picked up by one of the local papers.

I photographed this collision with my cell phone on my lunch break. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. The photograph was picked up by one of the local papers.

Still, with everything I shot this year, one photo stands out more than anything I did. It was the photograph I took on my lunch break with cell phone of the car crash. It reminded me how much I can care; not just about news, but about people. I had just finished Dave LaBelle’s Lessons in Life and Death, and learned just how much photographs of tragedy can help those involved cope and come to terms with those events. I felt like I had a responsibility.  It reminded me that no matter where I am, or what I’m doing with my life, that drive for journalism, and news is always there. I’m never going to give up.