Friday, July 30, 2010

A Quick Tip from Hal Kicking it at Secret Beach, Maui

Holding the DSLR Properly from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

A quick tip from Secret Beach, Maui.

Hope to see you at the festival.

Fiat Lux!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hal's Not the Only One Having Fun!

Today I was in the studio shooting wine bottles for Midnight Cellars. It felt great getting back in there and behind a camera after being so involved with the festival planning! I thought it was a nice touch having a gold and silver reflector to highlight Midnight's name on the bottle. It took a while to line up the line in just the right spot, but there it is. I hope they are happy "customers".
I highly suggest their wines and their parties. Hal makes his personal label at their winery and has worked with Midnight cellars for years! Good wines, good times.
70-200mm, Canon 40D, ProFoto D1

Night Laser Photography

We shot late evening, sunset, and night photography last night at the top of Haleakala in Maui.  I will get some of the earlier images up soon.

We had the opportunity to visit some of the observatories and tracking stations after sunset.  I was able to grab a few shots of the satellite tracking station doing some work.  The station fires a laser at satellites in orbit and measures their precise location.  The information is passed to NASA in order to keep a firm track on what is where in space.

For the shots I used the Canon 5D Mk II, EF 24mm f/1.4L, Induro CT-213, and Really Right Stuff BH-55.

The 24mm f/1.4L is THE lens you need to work night photography; fast, sharp, and more!

I used live view to focus the camera on the laser tracking station (in my humble opinion, the best way to focus night or day when on tripod.)

Exposure settings were ISO 800, f/1.4, and 13".

New California Photo Festival information is up.  Newsletter will go out for it this afternoon.  Check out the website at Cali Photo Fest

Fiat Lux!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Haleakala Time Lapse Demo

Haleakala Shadow Timelapse from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

Hal leading a shadow "dance" while demonstrating time lapse on the west rim of Haleakala Crater.  Photo Adventure Maui is trucking along with Day 3 half over.  We are heading back up the hill to the volcano for sunset.

Fiat Lux!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Haleakala Pano - One Hour Before Sunrise

9 shots, 24mm, f/2.8, 13", ISO 400

Off to shoot again here on Photo Adventure Maui.  A quick pano from this morning.  Shot the 9 image series an hour before sunrise.  Full moon illuminated the crater.  5D Mk II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, Induro CT 213, RRS BH-55, RRS pano kit.

Sunset and the beach are calling.

Fiat Lux!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thanks for a Great Photo Walk

Light_SanLuisObispo_PhotoWalk from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday morning for the photo walk.  Weather cooperated nicely and the photography was excellent.

I am currently leading Photo Adventure Maui with Randy Hufford of Maui's Institute of Visual Arts.  Rough living!

Will have images and videos up as soon as we shoot.

Fiat Lux!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hal's Time Lapse Workflow and Examples

A recent post I did at Digital Photo Experience about time lapse workflow.

Time Lapse Workflow - DPE

Fiat Lux!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Video Talking Essential Gear

Hoodman HoodLoupe from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

A video from one of our location shoots this past weekend with David Mecey.  The course was a tremendous success with students from around the world learning lighting, posing, and workflow. 

Fiat Lux!

Join us this Saturday and Shoot SLO!

Join Hal and Becky this weekend as we take part in Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photo Walk.  We will start at the Mission and have a tremendous time.

Click the link below for more information.

Photo Walk SLO

Hope to see you on Saturday.

Fiat Lux!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Taking the Hand Held ROT a Bit Further

Hand Held ROT Pt. 2 from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

A couple of other points to expand on the hand held ROT.

Fiat Lux!

Quick Video Tip

Quick video tip up on the Digital Photo Experience today.

DPE - Quick Tip

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Video Tutorial and Invite

California Photo Festival Invite from Hal Schmitt on Vimeo.

A quick video invite to the California Photo Festival and shooting tutorial.

Fiat Lux!

Flash / No Flash

A few readers commented on my recent video discussing simple fill flash.  The video did not contain no flash / flash images from the market.  So, here they are.  The camera settings are exactly the same for each shot but one has flash the other does not.  The flash was a Canon 580 EX II pointed 90 degrees off the optical axis (straight up) with a Hanson Fong Skin Glow Bounce Card attached. 

No flash


Although the flash is not pointed at the subject and the ceiling was well over 20' and gave little to no bounce the fill card did a great job directing light.

The shots are straight out of the camera and will, of course, never be much but a demo.

Fiat Lux!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

8 Studio Sessions Down and 2000 Images to Edit

Finished the last studio session for my first real photo project/assignment.  The project is a silhouette and high contrast black and white series.  I'll show the lighting setup soon.  The images here are a couple we have looked at so far.

Only 2000 more images to sort.

The project will be on display a couple different places and locally here at Light on 13 August.  We are having a virtual show of my work (from this series and many others) from 6 to 9 PM.  Should be a good time with food, wine, and great people.

Fiat Lux!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another Video Tip from Hal

A quick discussion of Situational Awareness or SA as it applies to the photographer.

Situational Awareness - DPE

Fiat Lux!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fill Flash Video Tip with Hal and Rick

A quick tip from Hal and Rick Sammon on DPE, the Digital Photo Experience blog.

Fill Flash Video - DPE

Fiat Lux!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The HDR Flow

Space Invaders Anyone?

I was cleaning up my shots from Japan today and started to work an HDR project with a quick bracketed series of grab shots.  I noticed the old "space invaders" character on the side of the building and decided to shoot it on the way to dinner.  The three shots are below.

0 E.V.

-2 E.V.

+2 E.V.

Not the most inspiring shots as singles so I decided to try a couple different HDR methods.  I first went from Lightroom to Photoshop CS5's HDR Pro.  I tried to build a realistic image although I did bump up the Detail slider.  The result is shown below.

Photoshop HDR Pro

Definitely better but I wanted to check and see what Photomatix Pro could do so I sent the images over and processed twice, once for realism and the other for grungy.  The results are shown below.

Photomatix Pro Details Enhancer (realistic)

Photomatix Pro Details Enhancer (grungy)

Between the three I decided I liked the Photomatix Pro versions but neither really grabbed me.  As I sometimes do I took the two TIFFs and sent them back to Photoshop as layers.  After blending a few copies and desaturating the sky I ended up with this one.

Composite HDR after some basic Photoshop

To kick this one up just a bit more I went to Topaz Adjust and played around for a bit.  The current version of the image is shown below.  Not sure if it is finished or if I'll ever show it again but it was a good exercise.

Topaz Adjust

Well back to the studio.  Just received four new backgrounds today and must hang them for immediate use tonight.  I'm working a studio project over the next week and have seven shoots scheduled.  The first will be tonight and should be a great time.  The final result should be an iPad app ready in just a few short weeks.

Hope to see you soon here at Light or during the festival, California Photo Fest

Fiat Lux!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Podcast Wrap Up With Rick and Juan

Composite HDR pano of a "vintage" shop in Harajaku, Tokyo
On the far right, I put myself in the image.  The camera on the tripod is taking the shots
using live view, AEB, and self timer.

Take a quick listen to the wrap up of my recent photo trip to Japan at DP Experience.

Loving the weather back here in California as we ramp up for David Mecey next week.

Fiat Lux!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Studio up and Running!

This past week I was able to bring in a local clothing company called Mika Yoga Wear. With help from our assistant, Becky, we were able to create a stand, shoot and deliver work-flow that was efficient and, well, it looked good! Using our new plexi-glass sheet for a small amount of reflection it gave a different feel than just standing on a white background. With 2 sets of the ProFoto D1 packs, a beauty dish, an octa box and two umbrellas to blow out the background.
With a quick edit through Lightroom 3, I was able to sync enough of the images to make cropping and retouching a breeze.
I have to say that yoga girls are a lot of fun to photograph. They show the beautiful form of the female figure.  I was able to shoot tethered so that the designer and yoga instructor, Laura, could look over the images while we shot. Laura, in fact, seemed to have a lot of experience and was able to bend in some awesome poses as well.
The clothes worked well and they have an interesting design to be comfortable, bend and look good. 

I was able to meet Laura and have this great opportunity through our California Photo Festival Website designer, Sebastian of SLO Digital Designs. For those of you who haven't been to the newly designed website please visit! He did a great job on it!

At the festival you will be able to have the chance to use the studio as well. You can learn the Digital Fine Art Figure with Hal Schmitt. Hopefully we will have a full week workshop in this as well coming this fall or winter!

Hope to see you all here soon!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Video Post on

Check out this quick HDR discussion I had with Rick Sammon at a Buddhist Temple outside Tokyo.

DP Experience - HDR Video

Day two of the Photo Fest Japan is complete.  Starting early tomorrow with my Studio Lighting Made Simple and then Lightroom Unlimited.  I'll finish up the festival with "Six Lessons from a Fighter Pilot Guaranteed to Make You a Better Photographer" tomorrow night.

In one of our makeshift "studios" inside Akihabara's Dai Building.  
ProFoto lights with Creative Light modifiers (thanks to ProFoto Japan!)
Shot is Lightroom only using my Faux HDR and Illustrative presets (topic of another post)

Fiat Lux!