Saturday, December 31, 2011

Butler Basketball Game Day (12-31-11)

Butler has been using a number of my photos from last season (and even some from the season before) for its basketball marketing campaign this year.  My photos have been used on posters, billboards, newspaper ads and even on the season tickets.

One of the things Butler always features in it basketball marketing is Hinkle Fieldhouse. Hinkle has quite a history (Hoosiers was filmed there among other things) and was named after the legendary Butler basketball coach Tony Hinkle who is credited with inventing the orange basketball.

The poster above was a giveaway at a game earlier this season and has also been used in print advertising.  The picture used on this poster is used quite frequently by Butler.  The funny thing is though, I didn't take it; Emily did.

This shot was taken at the last home game last season (02-26-11).  It was Senior Day and I knew there would be a near-capacity, if not a sellout crowd.  It was also an afternoon game.  As you can see, Hinkle Fieldhouse has windows.  Not many basketball venues have those anymore.  I really thought Butler would like to have some shots of the fieldhouse at full capacity during the daylight.

Since I had to be down on the floor shooting the game, I gave Emily one of my cameras and had her walk the perimeter of the second level shooting the venue from every angle.  I've include below Emily's shot that was used in the poster above.  She did a pretty good job, didn't she? Apparently the folks at Butler seem to think so.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Some More of London

Notre Dame Football

I was disappointed to hear that ND's football season ended on a losing note last night.  I'm a season ticket holder, so I go to most of the home games.  My seats are pretty high up behind one of the end zones.  I always try to take pictures at every sporting event I go to even if I don't have a press pass.  If nothing else, it teaches you to see things from different angles and make the most of what you've got to work with (like shooting abstracts in low light).  These are a couple of shots I've taken from my seat.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Butler Basketball Game Day (12-29-11)

I'm planning to post a Butler basketball picture every game day.  Butler plays UW - Green Bay today. If at all possible, I'm going to try and avoid the typical photo of the players just shooting or dribbling the ball.

Here's a shot of Butler's Kameron Woods (No. 31) fighting for a rebound in the game against Purdue (12-17-11).  There's no ball in sight, but you can see it in their eyes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Across the Pond

A business associate of mine is in London this week and he had asked me for some sightseeing suggestions before he left.  Since that's where this blog will eventually go, I thought I'd share some of my London pictures over the next few days.  These photos of a few London icons were taken in 2007 and 2009.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Last Abstract Christmas Trees (I Promise!)

Finally got to have Christmas with Emily and her boyfriend, Rick.  We celebrated at Sam's house. I only had my point and shoot  camera, and being at night, there wasn't enough light (and I really hate using a flash).  So what did I do?  Yes, I shot abstracts of the Christmas tree (see below). This is the same tree that was featured in my 12-24-11 postings.  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Abstract Christmas Trees

The interesting/challenging thing about shooting abstracts is you never know what you're going to get.  The two pictures above are prime examples.  While not significantly different, I'm hoping you can see the differences (and the differences from yesterday's Christmas tree photo which was taken in the same sequence).

I usually prefer my abstract shots to retain enough detail so you can tell what the original subject matter was.  That's why I selected the picture I did yesterday; I'm pretty sure everybody could tell it was a Christmas tree.  I think it's less obvious in these photos.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Another Christmas Tree

This is my abstract rendering of the Christmas tree at the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"). The NYSE is the building in red in the background.  More photos of the NYSE to follow.

A Christmas Carol

Even if you only have a passing interest in books, you need to visit The Pierpont Morgan Library if you're ever in NYC.  The Morgan is actually more of a museum than a library.  The Morgan has one of the greatest collections of rare artisticliterary and musical works from ancient times to the present.

Of all of its collections, the Morgan is probably best know for its literary collection though.  In describing its literary collection, the Morgan's website notes "it is rich in special and unique copies, first editions of classical authors and works of notable printers.  Among the highlights are three Gutenberg Bibles."

Included among Morgan's rare and one-of-a-kinds items is Charles Dickens' original manuscript for A Christmas Carol (which can be viewed online).  As it turns out, it's the 200 year anniversary of Charles Dicken's birth.  In honor of this anniversary, the Morgan has a special exhibit.  (And if you happen to know someone who is a big Dickens or A Christmas Carol fan, I have a unique gift suggestion for you.)

The Morgan isn't the only place the 200th anniversary is being celebrated.  Not only are there special exhibits at the Dickens Museum and the London Museum, there's even a special website dedicated to the anniversary.

While we're on the subject, this is my favorite adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol:

Merry Christmas!

This photo was taken at this year's Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Abstract Photography - Part 2

The subject of the "Abstract Photography - Part 1" posting was a Christmas tree (as seen above). Not a great picture on its own (actually it's pretty bad), but sometimes that's the point with abstract photography.

I shoot abstract images primarily for two reasons.  The first is to create an original/unusual image. The second is to make the most out of a less than ideal situation.  The first reason is pretty straight forward. The second probably requires some explanation.

There are times when the subject to be photographed is boring or uninspiring.  That's where the element of creating an abstract image comes in.  It at least gives you the opportunity to try and create a more interesting image than you might otherwise produce.

Also, it sometimes just comes down to the limitations of the camera.  This usually happens when the is very low (little) light.  In very low light, the camera often requires a slow shutter speed (the lens has to remain open longer than you would normally like).  This slow shutter speed often produces pictures that are out of focus.  If your image is going to be out of focus, you might as well use that to your advantage; sort of like making lemonade out of lemons.          

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular - Part 2

The Christmas Spectacular routine the Rockettes are best know for is when they dress like toy soldiers, are shot by a cannon and execute a controlled fall.  (There are 30+ Rockettes.)  Here are a few pictures from that routine taken both this year and in 2007.

Abstract Photography - Part 1 (of Many)

Even before sports photography, my earliest interest in photography was probably of taking photos at night and manipulating light sources (usually neon lights and car lights back then) to produce abstract images.

I use the term "abstract" to cover a broad range of my photos though.  I use "abstract" to describe any photo where I've manipulated the camera to produce an image that would not otherwise normally exist.  In some of my abstract images, you can still see some identifiable details while in others you can't (the latter would probably be closer to the true definition of "abstract").

Many times I shoot abstract pictures to create a sense of motion.  I've had a great deal of success doing this at drum corps shows (examples to follow later).  I create most of my abstract images by manipulating a zoom lens during a long exposure (often more than second in length). Sometimes I use a tripod for these shots and sometimes not.   I'm not sure if there is a term or multiple terms to describe the technique(s) I use.

Two techniques used by other photographers (but not me) to create abstract images are kinetic photography and camera tossing.  There's even a blog about camera tossing.  (I guess there's a blog for everything!)  Also, here's an interesting article about camera tossing.  As explained in the article (along with accompanying videos), not only is camera tossing used to capture abstract images, but at least one photographer is using camera tossing to take non-abstract group photos.

The three images above were all taken of the same subject (and I think these photos would clearly be considered abstract).  Care to venture a guess as to what the subject of the photos was?  The current holiday season should offer a clue.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Only One Shopping Day Until Christmas!

So, do you have all of your shopping done?  Here's a shot of Macy's in NYC taken just a couple of weeks ago.

Another New York City Holiday Treat

One of New York City's most famous holiday "treats" is Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular.  I've include below a few pictures from this year's spectacular.  

Even if you can't make it to New York during the Christmas season, you should take a tour of Radio City Music Hall if you ever make it to New York.   

Back to the Big Apple for Holiday Treats

One of the more interesting places to visit in New York City is Chelsea Market. Chelsea Market is housed in what used to be the original National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) plant.  The building now contains a mix of offices, commercial and retail.  Remaining true to its heritage, there are still a number of working bakeries in the building. (The building is also home to the Food Network.) The photos above (taken in 2007) represent just a couple examples of the holiday treats produced by some of these bakeries.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Detour from NYC: Ants in Atlanta

As I do most every year, I flew down to Atlanta to spend Christmas with my family.  When I flew down in 2006, I came across this very original art installation in the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Saks Fifth Aveune 2011 Holiday Light Show

Okay, this isn't a photo of mine, or more specifically, a video of mine, but I think you'll find it very cool.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011