Archive for June, 2009

Baltic / Imperial Porter Tasting at Upright Brewing

2009.06.13 -- Baltic and Imperial Porter Tasting at Upright Brewing

2009.06.13 -- Baltic and Imperial Porter Tasting at Upright Brewing

2009.06.13 -- Baltic and Imperial Porter Tasting at Upright Brewing

I was asked to attend and photograph a Baltic / Imperial Porter tasting tonight at Upright Brewing.  I don’t mind mixing work with pleasure, especially when it comes to beer, but the physical aspects of holding a glass and shooting photos can be tricky at best.  Couple this with the fact that we are gathering in the basement of a building with uneven lighting and there can be some issues.

I used my 50mm 1.4 for most of the night because of the low light where the taps (and hence, most of the people) were gathered.  I also used my 10-22mm around the brewing equipment where there was much more light available.

It took about two hours to go through the photos tonight with selection and remastering.  Make sure to click on the photos to see the larger versions as the tones and brightness are compressed in the thumbnails to the right.  Great night, awesome beers, and now it’s late and I want to go to sleep.

The Ten Percent Rule

Widmer Brothers 25th Anniversary Double Alt

One obvious advantage of shooting digital is the almost unrestricted amount of shots I can get.  I usually carry about 20GB worth of cards around with me, so it’s shoot, shoot, shoot.  Because of this, I can take chances with different lenses, various angles, and unlimited compositions.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a familiar formula popping up when I take photos.  I call it the Ten Percent Rule.  It’s pretty simple.  Out of all of the images I shoot during a session–an event, a game, a hike–I’ll be happy with about 10 percent of the photos.  Out of the final 10 percent, I’ll be very happy with 10 percent of those.  So, if I shoot 900 photos during a game, I’ll send about 90 to my publishers, and end up with about 9 shots that I really love.  Or if I go for a hike, take 100 photos, I’ll end up posting about 10 for people to see with one exceptional shot.

Once I realized this pattern popping up in my photography, I put it to good use.  If a client wants 20 final photos of their business, I know that I should be shooting around 200 photos.  Now, this isn’t an exact science, but it’s a good benchmark.  If I finish that client’s shoot and realize that I’ve only taken 50 total shots, I’ve got a lot more work to do.

With a 90% “waste” rate, I’m lucky that I love post-production.  There’s a lot of sitting, sorting, tagging, and eliminating photos after the shoot.  After shooting a two hour game, I spend about three to four hours of post production going through and remastering the final photos.  This isn’t a very glamorous aspect of my job, but for some reason I enjoy it as much as taking the photos.

Maybe in a few years, I’ll get good enough to rename the rule to the Twenty Percent Rule.  For now, I’m happy with ten percent and very happy that no one else knows where to find the other ninety percent of the photos I take!

Goodbye Portland LumberJax!

2009.03.29 - LumberJax v. San Jose Stealth

2009.01.23 - LumberJax v. Edmonton Rush

2009.04.17 - LumberJax v. Calgary Roughnecks

Well, it’s been kind of slow around here lately, though I’ve been extremely busy.  I’m pretty sure that those two concepts are related.  Ideally, I’d like to post whether I’m busy or not, but blogging usually takes a back seat to my other projects.  Unfortunately, this is a post about bad news–at least for Portland lacrosse fans like me.  The demise of the Portland LumberJax has been confirmed.  Owner Angela Batinovich stated that she was looking into moving the Jax to a new venue, but that looks pretty unlikely at this point.

Despite growing number of fans, the economy has played a devastating role in declining sponsorship. Add this to the huge costs of operating at the Rose Garden, and you can see a bleak financial outlook for owners and investors. With a huge National Lacrosse League franchise fee and other startup costs, the big hit was supposed to come at the beginning of the 2006 season, when the LumberJax started here in Portland. After that, the following years of ticket sales and sponsorships are supposed to make up for that loss and then in later seasons, start actually seeing a profit. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the LumberJax.

There are thousands of fans who are just as disappointed as I am, wondering where they’re going to get their LAX fix. I spent the first two seasons in the stands with the rest of the crowd, but then decided to take a leap and talk with the team about becoming a photographer. Everything worked out, and I became a photographer for the NLL, shooting LumberJax home games at the Rose Garden. During that season, I managed to get several online publications and a couple of billboards around Portland. During the 2009 season, I became a freelance photographer for NLLInsider.com and Inside Lacrosse magazine, as well as other local and national sports outlets.

Without the LumberJax, I wouldn’t have been able to start my photography career at the professional level. It was a great opportunity for me, and I made the best use of the two seasons that I photographed at the Rose Garden. I wish I was going back to photograph next season, but maybe this was just a gateway sport for me.