Portraiture: Quarter Horse Shooting

Hallo zusammen,

gestern war ja endlich mal wieder prima Wetter, fernab von trüb, und das haben Taylor, Jule und ich glatt mal zu einem kleinen Quarter Horse Shooting genutzt.

Taylor, das ist Jule’s Quarter Horse und wie im letzen Jahr, so haben wir auch in diesem Jahr wieder ein kleines Shooting vor seinem Geburtstag mit ihm gemacht. Die beiden sind ein wundervolles Team und unzertrennlich. Bei so vielen Turnieren und Auszeichnungen die die beiden bereits bestritten haben, ist das auch unverzichtbar. Zum bevorstehenden Ehrentag daher ein paar Erinnerungsbilder. 🙂

Wir hatten das Ganze schon langerhand geplant und eine Location nahe der Koppel ausgesucht, wo die Sonne laut Sun Locator passend unter ging, um warmes Gegenlicht zu haben.
Für meine Verhältnisse ungewöhnlich bei diesen Aufnahmen: Ich habe keinen Blitz eingesetzt.
Das lag aber weder daran, dass es das Pony irritiert hätte oder ich die Lichtstimmung nicht beeinflussen wollte, sondern es lag daran, dass mir der ganze Blitzbaum umgekippt und die Halterung abgebrochen ist.

Tja, ich kann euch nur empfehlen in anständiges Fotozubehör zu investieren. Das gilt insbesondere für gute Stative, z.B. von Manfrotto. Auch Blitzhalterungen sollten nicht aus Plastik, sondern Metall sein, wie beispielsweise beim Lightware FourSquare. Oder, wenn ihr lieber mit mobilen Studioblitzen arbeitet, holt euch am besten gleich das komplette Kit wie z.B. das PROFOTO B1 Kit. So, genug Empfehlungen ausgesprochen. Ich will hier nicht bewusst werben, sondern euch gutes Equipment empfehlen, bevor ihr euch was Billiges holt und im Nachhinein über die Qualität und Leistung ärgert. Lieber mehr investieren und länger etwas davon haben. 🙂

Von daher sind alle Bilder Available Light und mit Photoshop aufbereitet. Ich habe das Nikkor 70-200/2.8 und das Nikkor 300/2.8 verwendet und eine Nikon D4. Wichtig bei solchen Aufnahmen ist, dass man korrekt belichtet. Dass der Himmel bei derart kontrastreichen Aufnahmen “ausbrennt”, ist ganz normal. Vor Ort hilft in solchen Fällen ein ND-Grad-Filter, der Zeichnung in den Himmel zurückbringt. Habe ich bei diesen Aufnahmen allerdings nicht genutzt. Die bessere Wahl wären hier in jedem Fall ein Blitz mit Softbox oder für mehr Lichtstreuung ein Durchlichtschirm gewesen.

Nikkor 70-200/2.8

Nikkor 300/2.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Etwas ärgerlich war, dass wir auf Grund einer Jagd von unserer eigentlichen Location, einer Stoppelweide mit dürrem Gras und Wald im Hintergrund, weichen mussten. Das kostete uns nicht nur eine tolle Szenerie, sondern auch wertvolle Zeit und kostbares Gegenlicht der untergehenden Sonne. Die sicher gelegene Ausweichlocation war gar nicht so nach unserem Geschmack, weil zu öde, uneben und mit schlechtem Hintergrund, aber wir haben dann halt das Beste rausgeholt – was blieb uns anderes übrig? 😉 Schließlich zerriss noch ein plötzlicher Schuss der Jäger die idyllische Abendatmosphäre und erschrak uns, das Pony blieb jedoch sichtlich unbeeindruckt – eben ein richtiges Western-Pony, der Taylor. 😀

Was soll ich sagen, was ihr nicht selber wisst? Besser noch weiter vorausplanen und noch mehr Unvorhersehbarkeiten mit einkalkulieren. Dennoch hat es super viel Spaß gemacht und das wird definitiv nicht mein/unser letztes Pferde-Shooting gewesen sein! 😀

Behind the Scenes

Wenn ihr auch gerne mal ein Shooting mit eurem Pony machen möchtet, lasst es Jule und mich wissen (hier geht’s zum Kontaktformular)! Wir verhelfen euch gerne zu stimmungsvollen und denkwürdigen Aufnahmen mit eurem Lieblingstier. 🙂

Bis bald!

Giessen again – Botanic Garden

I hope you had a great weekend so far.
Since the last days were too cold for late July with the beginning of August summer came back.
Yesterday I thought: “Carpe diem.” and drove to a city I share a lot of memories with – Giessen. Which had the side effect to make a ride with my Audi S3 and finally make a slight detour to Marburg to have Sushi at the Sakura Sushi Bar (I highly recommend it! It’s the best Sushi in town and around!) .
In Giessen I had a walk through the botanic garden with the Nikkor 85/1.4 and just would like to share a few impressions. The garden is really worth a visit – but currently a part of it is under construction.
I think this would be also a nice place for engagement shoots …
Enjoy.

Mushroom Season

Hi everybody,

when I made a walk through the woods last week I recognized some mushrooms and thought: “Well, seems like it’s mushroom season again.” And I remembered my mushroom series from last fall.

I don’t know, but sometimes you forget nice things that you did some time ago. Anyway, fall stands for mushrooms, colored leaves, wind, rain, last warm sun rays etc. So, I will shoot some fall scenes during the upcoming months. Especially another mushroom series for editorial use.
Finally it’s a small project for fall.

I think it’s important to have some kind of projects that help you to expand your skills in a motivating manner. Of course, you can shoot this and that circadian and have adapted lots of techniques to a lot of scenes that results in a mixed portfolio at the end of the day. On the other hand working on a project helps to concentrate skills and techniques on a specific topic. Just try to create a common theme.

Bye!
Chris

 

See you next year, guys!

Well, Thursday was my last morning at the reservoir. I arrived at 5.00 a.m. and tried a new position on the other side of the waters under bushes. I built the hide into the bushes and hung a camouflage net in front of it and put the lens through. I was sure that this would be a great position to shoot close-up images. Finally, I cannot confirm that because there were no Osprey action that day. 8.55 a.m. was a time where they surely appeared the days before but not on Thursday. I waited until 10.30 a.m. than I went home.

I’m pretty sure that they already moved to Africa on Wednesday. Normally Ospreys stay in Germany until August. So, I will have to wait for next year. Around March 2012 they will come back and I will be there – that’s for sure. 🙂

These are last impressions from the reservoir:

Therewith the 24h Osprey Project is closed.

See you next time when I will tell you something about one of my other projects!

Bye!
Chris

Another Morning at the Reservoir

Well, OSPREY MANIA! Yeah! %)

Today I went to the reservoir again. And it was amazing! I watched THREE Osprey hunts within two hours. And I shot all three. But, (yes I hate that exceptions too) every time I was too far away! The last action was near my first position but I changed the place before and finally missed great close-up images. Argh!


6:48 a.m. (ISO 3200)


8:56 a.m. (ISO 400)

8:57 a.m. (ISO 400)

However, I – will retry tomorrow, indeed.

Here are more reservoir expressions from today:



Bye!
Chris

They’re still there!

Yeah, I’m VERY happy!!! The Ospreys are still living at the reservoir!!! 😀
When I arrived around 5 o’clock the sun was rising and the scenery looked like this:

I immediately went to the place from where to shoot which I found a few days ago at my first visit after four years. Because I had no camo tent I built one with an umbrella and a camo net. I used a SuperClamp a Novoflex P19 and a mike stand to fix the umbrella. Then I put a camo net on top of the umbrella. Done! 😉

Here you can see the mike stand, SuperClamp, Novoflex P19 and umbrella construction and the fluffy interior of the “tent”. 😉

Of course, that’s me in my DIY camo tent. 🙂
(Photo details: I used a ND-Grad filter to darken the sky and a SB-800 to lighten the inside of the tent. (NIKON D200, Tamron 10-24/4.5-5.6))

After almost 3h of waiting (and listening “The Three Investigators – ???”) I recognized shrill calls and tumult. Glancing at the sky I saw a swarm of ravens chasing two bigger birds. When I had a closer look I saw that these bigger birds were – Ospreys! I thought: “Awesome! They’re still living here!” and gripped my camera. 😀
I was happy and nervous at the same time. I’m sure that the angler on the other side of the waters could smell my excitement. The ravens chased the Ospreys and they were very fast and also too far away for my 600mm lens. To make matters worse, I had to shoot against the light. So, I waited until they came around again. This time there was just one Osprey who was searching for fish. I followed it and suddenly it happened: The Osprey caught a fish! Wow! What a spectacle! I’ve never seen that before live. Actually the action happened too far away and wasn’t worth the clicks but my NIKON D3 rattled like a machine-gun – 11 fps. ” Maybe I can crop it.”, I thought.
And here is a cropped frame:

Too far away as I said but finally, the Osprey project was an success and lasted at least 4h instead of 24h! Why just 4h? Well, Ospreys need one or two fish per day only. I would have to wait too long until the next hunt in the evening (if there would be ever another hunt). Therefor I’ll be at the reservoir again tomorrow because after a cool night they need something to eat in the morning for sure.

Oh, and Tweety was there, too:

Wagtail (Motacilla)

Bye!
Chris

Projects

Hi, I hope you had a great weekend.

This week I’ll continue current projects but I’ll also make a start on upcoming projects.

TRACK AND FIELD
The current project is on “Track and Field” sports scenes. It’s fun to shoot because it offers so dynamic and predictable scenes that I can arrange everything in my mind and on the the track exactly. Then I just wait for the athlete and press the shutter – “CLICK!”. Done! 🙂

Maybe I’ll give detailed information about this project in one of the following posts …

BALLET
My upcoming project will include some more portraiture. Therefor I’m looking for ballet girls. So, if you are a ballet girl or if you know one in the area around Alsfeld please let me know! I plan to shoot some atmospheric and moody images and authentic ballet scenes. I’m really looking forward to this ballet project!

OSPREYS
I’ll do a 24h nature/wildlife project tomorrow: shooting Ospreys. We don’t have any Ospreys here normally. Finally, I don’t know if it will succeed but I want to give it a try.  I met the first Osprey here in our area in 2008 at a reservoir, chasing fish. At that time I had only a NIKON Nikkor AF-I 300/2.8 with a defect AF – so I had to focus manually. I was on my way home and packing my stuff when I glanced up and saw this Osprey which clawed a fish . It came closer and I put the 3o0/2.8 onto my NIKON D70s, aimed, focused manually and shot several frames as the Osprey flew over my head at a high of 25 meters or so. That was pretty amazing!
I always wanted a better shot of it and maybe the luck will be on my side tomorrow. We will see. I’ll post the results of this project the next days.

Bye!
Chris