Monday, May 23, 2011

an evening at the Tripoli...

It's rare that I get to attend any belly dance event  for pure enjoyment. Almost every time I do it to shoot picture after picture. And most evenings I walk away with anywhere between 1500 and 2000 shots. When I do that, it is mostly for me. It's fun to see what you can get, how well you can capture a moment and all.

But this past Saturday it was enjoyment time in Milwaukee at the 8th Annual Middle Eastern Dance. This is a yearly shindig, sort of a shimmy into summer event, put together by Samantha Fairuz and Denise. It's hosted at he Tripoli Shrine Center in Milwaukee, a really fantastic venue for this type event.

Through a Facebook post, I was told I could bring my camera, which I did.  But rather than shooting every dancer, I shot only those who gave permission ahead of time - that meant three acts only.

Anyhow, rather than stressing shots, I sat in my chair, took a few pictures from where I was seated and enjoyed the show. What you see here is a sampling of the few shots from the evening, all quick edited. Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th Art Show at Salon Uptown

These are all the shots from tonight's party. I may go into more on them later - like that they were all shot between 1600 and 6400 hence the grain - but need to get to sleep now.

Great party Deano! Make sure to be there next Friday the 13th ya'll!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rockabilly Show at the Mosquito Gallery...

to see the entire film set click here!

Ok, so maybe tonight is the actual show. Frankly, I am old and tired - and most importantly not contracted to shoot anything - so tonight is a home night. But this past Wednesday, May 4th, the Mosquito Gallery opened the door to show off the pieces it would be formally opening up for view tonight.

The rule for showing was simple enough - every entry had to be Rockabilly themed. There, that's it.

I think there were some really great pieces there. But the shots are linked here, so click the link and make your decision.

As for the evening's entertainment, it was provided by that area favorite duo Sipos and Young.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Been meaning to do this for a while...

I have been meaning to get a photo of my main camera ever since attending the MudQueens wrestling match posted last month. In fact, I have refrained from cleaning it just for this picture.

Set up the "studio' in the kitchen at about 11 last night. I'm not happy with the text accompanying the photo and will rework it in the next day or three. My goal in the print section is to talk about my Rebel not being my "baby" but rather being my work partner. That obviously did not come across in this text. As it was after midnight when I began writing this incoherence and lack of focus is just to be expected.

I'll post the redo when it is finished. With luck, I'll have something to be proud of.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lightroom Experiment #4 - "The will to edit...

is the will to over edit." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

While this original shot is too flat and lacks contrast, it is not all that bad.
Still, it could use some more contrast and other basic improvements.
Ok, Nietzsche never said that. However, if he had been a photographer - or if he had ever seen this photo edit - he could well have.

The other shots I have posted in the Lightroom Experiments have been from stage shows or events. Normally, they have been shot in out of control conditions under the crappiest of lighting in the most chaotic conditions. 

So let's try something different - a controlled shot.

This edit has some stuff going for it. But it suffers from being overdone.
The increased contrast and darker tone has been pushed too far.
I'll be re editing it tonight.
The technical notes and all are with the pictures in Flickr, so I won't go over them again. Suffice it to say that I feel the after shot has too much "bad goth" going on with it. But the final determination will wait till I get home and see it on a real monitor. I will be re editing it tonight, along with another of one more barrista who wants her photo taken.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lightroom Experiment #3

This is the shot as it came out of the camera. I believe the settings on this shot
were 3.5, 1/80th, 18mm on a 1.6 sensor. To see how much better this looked
after an application of Lightroom scroll to the edited photo at the bottom.

This is another of the shots I had left over from the Mudqueens bout at the Viaduct Theater.
The lighting was pretty irregular so I've taken the poor man's way out by converting them to B&W.
Conversion of this shot began with my taking one of the B&W presets from Lightroom and then tweaking the curves and using the brush tool to bring out the banner in the backround.
Three things limited the quality of this shot -
1) I am still just learning Lightroom so my useage is pretty basic at best.
2) The shot was edited in just 10 minutes.
3) The editing was done on a laptop. Thus, the light/dark balance will be off. Also, the monitor needs to be color calibrated.
This edit took less than 15 minutes, and yes, I know it shows it. It is far
from great, but compared to the unedited shot is it a vast improvement.
You can actually see the banner and the wrestlers pop out more.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lightroom Experiment #2

You do what you can...

This is the second of the Lightroom experiments. If you click on this picture to enlarge it you can click on the previous and next buttons to better see the differences between before and after.

Before Photo

This shot was not taken in black and white. In low light conditions black and white is your failsafe, me thinks. When the shot is just too mucked up for color to look good you revert to B&W to save it. In this case, the lighting was not just low it was incredibly mixed and uneven.

After Photo. Note that the MudQueens logo is visible. While other things
were lightened too, that banner is the most noticable thing. 

If you saw this shot in color you would note that the card girl was either in bright white or a brilliant, near-white yellow while Jackie Daniels (left), the ref and Calamity Pain (right) are in deep blue. By making the card girl look white you made the trio too dark to come out worth a damn. balancing the wrestlers colors gives them an attractive, light blue look but gives Card Girl a jaundiced look.

What to do? What to do? Resort to black and white.

As you can see, this is not high art. But then, it's mud wrestling, not Botticelli. If this were to turn out just the way I wanted, it would look like it belonged as a poster in some Noir movie. It should look 30's or 40's nostalgic, not artsy.

One last note - I did not sharpen this shot though it could definitely use it. Frankly, I needed to get home and have lunch. Low sugar was giving me "the vapors," so I opted for the quick edit.

As always, if you have any comments or criticisms drop them in the comments.

The wrestlers are the MudQueens of Chicago -

The venue is the Viaduct Theater -

And the tutorial that gave me insites from from Fro Knows Photo -

Check out all three - they are worth the time!