Even though the weather has been good this past week, it’s time to leave Oslo behind and fly south to photograph the ESpanish Blues Festival. I am very excited to be working with the crew from ESBF in Madrid again! Last year I had a great time at the event...Read More
I think we all want good photos of ourselves and on social media especially we want to have photos as proof that we were at an event and part of the party. I find that a quick snapshot with your phone is fine to mark a point in your life, but usually doesn’t produce a memorable photo orRead More
Delft is a city where I have lived for almost half of my life. I think it has great size, location, architecture and general gezelligheid (thats a Dutch word that doesn't translate well but is closeRead More
A small preview of the Chase Festival photos in the form of a sunset over Heidelberg! Heidelberg is a very pretty city and it has been preserved through all the wars. On the first night I was on my way to the venue and crossing the bridge the sun broke out under the clouds to bath the sky with brilliant orange rays of light. I was able to catch it and this is the result.
I'm currently in Edinburgh for a blues dance festival called The Spoonful. I am not the official photographer so I will probably not take too many photos and get as much dancing in as possible. It is nice to see the organizers paying a little bit more attention to the media and promotional side of things as they have a professional video team with two cameras, and also a guy walking around with a gyroscopically stabilized handheld camera. Of course they also have some studio lighting to help light the performances for the video. I am excited to see the performances when they come out.
To close out I would like to end with a colorful flower I found in Oslo last week. It was a cloudy day so the light was beautifully spread out and balanced. I was walking around town and had my camera with me (as I often do) and happened upon these small but really interesting flowers. I really like them because they have lots of details in them and have an exciting color gradient from the middle to the outside. I chose a shallow depth of field and looked for a composition with the same colors as the flower in the background.
I'm not sure what the flower species is so if you can tell me then please let me know in the comments below. Additionally I will be on the west coast of Ireland the coming two weeks so I don't know if I will have access to internet so I might not be able to blog for a while. I do intend to get some great pictures if the weather permits so hopefully that will make up for less blogging!
Ruth and Mike returned to Delft for a weekend workshop aptly named: The Return. I was invited to be the photographer and was very happy and excited to showcase blues dancing in my hometown.
The Friday evening party was held at the Boterhuis, a cafe in the old historic center of Delft with a good beer selection. The room we were in was quite sparse with plain white walls and only a few things to use as a background. On the other hand the white walls and roof allowed me to use my flash to get nice, soft lighting and make the photos interesting that way. One wall had some windows that gave a view from outside or just added some shapes in the background.
For the photo above I bounced the light off of the right wall to get a nice soft light but the orientation of the dancers still gave really dramatic shadows. You can also see the classic Rembrant portrait lighting scheme here with the triangle of light under her eye.
The classes were held in a gym hall with a bright blue floor and flourescent lighting above. This type of lighting usually doesn't color well on people and a gym is designed to be effective, not to look good so I had my work cut out for me. Fortunately the sky was covered in thin clouds and high up on one wall there was a row of large windows that gave the hall a very soft but directional light. The walls were a nicely textured neutral gray that helps make all the colors really jump out of the photo. With a long lens and minimal editing this produced a great photo.
Staying on the lighting theme the Saturday party was very challenging but also very exciting! We were in a back room of an out of the way bar with very nice atmosphere but it was quite dark. The interior had lots of interesting things hanging on the walls with couches, tables etc. which helped break down the background but above all the ceiling lamps were very cool. They made a super cool sunburst pattern of warm light over the whole room.
To preserve this great light I was not able to use too much flash as it would overpower the lamps. It was very tough to take pictures in this dark room but I am happy with the results as the backgrounds are very exciting and I was able to use the light to accentuate the dancers in some places and to compliment the photograph in others.
Besides being one of the main organizers at Moose Blues this year I was also the designated photographer. This was both great and terrible at the same time. Great because I have creative control of the photographs and impressions of the weekend but terrible because organizing and running a festival is already a full time job so adding photography to that is obviously challenging.
One thing that I think is a great part of Moose Blues is the photo booth. The first year was a celebration of Norway with Norwegian flags, national costumes. etc. Last year the theme of the event was the Vikings! The photo booth had helmets, swords, shields, and viking cloaks. The props worked really well and I have to give mad props (pun intended) to everyone who helped with all the decoration (Unn Elise, Daria, Sunniva and Dag Are). This year the theme was trolls so we built a bridge, added some goats and had some wigs so people could be a troll. (If this is in any way confusing that's fine, you should have been there but there's always next year ;) )
As we had multiple layers where the people could be in the photograph this year the lighting was a bit trickier. I started with an umbrella as key light on camera left. You can clearly see this in the reflection of Dan's glasses. This was a great but the right side was a bit dark and the background was a bit too monochromatic. Next year we should make the background a bit more colorful or have a bit more interest. The pure white wall was not really the best idea in the end. To have some fill from the right side and have a bit more color in the shot I had a bare flash 90 degrees from the camera with a blue gel. I choose blue because it had some distinct color and there was already some blue in the shot.
This was nice but the tunnel under the bridge was very dark so I added my favorite light of these pictures. I had a bare flash rim light coming from behind the set. That really made the 'water' pop and really helped separate the subjects from the background.
All in all I was quite happy with the photobooth. Of course there are improvements to be made but those will be for next year. For one I want to include a broader range of colors in the set. You can see all of the photos on my facebook. If you have feedback on the photography grab me for a beer and I'd be happy to discuss it. Or discuss beer. Or philosophy. Or Whatever.
Leave a comment below if you have inspiration or ideas for next year's photobooth!