Snow in the 505

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Snow might not be that uncommon in late February in certain parts of the northern hemisphere but in Albuquerque if it does snow it’s usually no more than a half inch sheet and will be gone by the afternoon. So when we get 8 inches over two days a portrait photographer like myself needs to take advantage.

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Now getting a model to do a shoot at the last minute can be a hassle but lucky for me, my lovely girlfriend Emilie was more than willing to be my subject out in the bosque.

AJA_0037Normally in complex weather conditions you get an excellent side effect with overcast acting as a giant softbox in the sky.  The problem was is that the sky was only partly cloudy so we didn’t get the soft light I wanted 100% of the time, making shooting a bit challenging. Lucky for me though, I was able to keep my ISO at 100 making for optimal image quality.

AJA_0032One thing you might be noticing from the images is that there is a lot of light being reflected upward. This was an added effect of the white snow on the ground reflecting the light back up at Emilie.

AJA_0117The snow allowed for some unique aesthetics that we don’t get a lot of where I’m from and I’m grateful for the opportunity. But to be completely honest I can live without the snow. It makes it hard to move around and the cold makes it limiting in terms of wardrobe. If it could just be in the upper 60s with constant overcast I’d be in my own photography heaven but we can’t always get what we want. But you know what we all have work with what we’re given and when you’re given something different you owe it to yourself to try it out.

 

 

UNM Journalism Boot Camp: Photo Essay

The University of New Mexico’s Communication and Journalism Department hosted their annual Journalism Boot Camp where they get many media professionals from all over to come to give their insights on the industry and educate aspiring journalist on the things they need to know to do the job in the modern era. I spent weekend capturing the event and the different panels over the weekend.

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Associated Press reporter Russell Contreras discusses how to cultivate sources and how to get the best information out of them.

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KUNM News Director Elaine Baumgartel educates students on the challenges of vetting sources amd getting to the truth.

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Editor for the New Mexico Business First Rachel Sam and various other editors from local papers elaborate on the avenues that college gradates can take to find employment in the journalism field.

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Veteran Reporter Sam Donaldson interacts with UNM students discussing his experience in news media.

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Photographer Steven St. John captures moments from Sam Donaldson’s key note speech with the boot camps attendees.

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Investigative Producer for KRQE Jeff Proctor presents the differences in reporting between the mediums of television and print and how they come together online.

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Journalism student Rebecca Cox listens to a lecture on visual presentation’s in the press and how each publication has its own style and restrictions.

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Seasoned Photojournalist Mark Holm directs an activity that teaches students to become stronger storytellers in a collaborative way.

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Andrew Oxford of The Taos News (left) Nicole Perez and Robert Browman of the Albuquerque Journal explain to UNM students the process of reporting breaking news.

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Howl Reporter Brianna Gallegos checks her phone while in between panels at the Journalism Bootcamp.

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Daily Lobo Photographer Kanna Mammadii sits in for a panel on visual presentation.

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Public Square Producer Megan Kamerick and Crime Journalist Robert Browman setting up the presentation for their panel on breaking news.

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Carlos Ayulo from the St. Louis Post-dispatch discusses covering a national story when you only have the resources of a local paper.

TLE Records Promotional Shoot.

An upstart record label and recording group out here in Albuquerque, New Mexico recently approached me about getting professional photo shoots done to be part of a promotional package that they are putting together to shop around for interested parties. The photos were meant to be done in a stylized GQ fashion.

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Albuquerque Comic Con 2015 Preview: (ReEdits from 2014)

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It’s a new year and what better way is there to kick it off than going to a Comic Convention? If you’re a humongous nerd like myself, there really isn’t any. It’s always fun to go to these conventions and spend time around people with similar interests and just celebrate our enthusiasm for nerd culture. I only got to make it to one day last year  but this year I plan on taking the whole weekend in and sharing with you the visual goodness that I capture.

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Now last year was one of my first outings for using my d600 and I can tell you, having a full frame camera was a godsend with how little light I was dealing with. It was dark, crowded, and I had to literally had to shoot wide open just to get anything. This year however they have changed locations to the Albuquerque Convention Center which think is great because 1. I’m familiar with the layout of that building from all my outings at ACE (The Albuquerque Comic Expo) 2. Lighting is so much better and 3.Crowding shouldn’t be an issue like it was last year. This year I will pretty much have the same gear and I’m hoping that the photos I get will show a years worth of improvement in my photo skills.

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As always I will be focusing on the people who are attending the event and the creative costumes that many of them have come up with. Some of the things I’m expecting to be popular are characters from Guardians of the Galaxy considering how popular that movie became, and probably a ton of Harley Quinn (because that’s just how it is.)

Normally I don’t much care for the celebrity guest that come to these things but there are some notable ones like Sean Patrick Flarney of the Boondock Saints cult classic and Fabian Nicieza who wrote one of my favorite comic book series, Cable and Deadpool. Whether or not I get permission to get photos of the guests is still up in the air, but if that’s a No-No I’m not going to be heart broken about it.

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Another really exciting thing about Albuquerque Comic Con is getting to see some awesome people who I don’t get see on a regular basis like the members of the 501st Legion: Dewback Ridge Garrison, some of my cosplay friends who are always bugging me for photo shoots.

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Speaking of photo-shoots, I’m probably going to be doing quiet of few of those while I’m there. I’d like to get some new people in on them but if that doesn’t happen it won’t be for lack of effort. Posed shoots are always fun to do at conventions and it’s always great to give cosplayers who have spent so much time and effort a chance to show off their work everywhere and not just at the convention.

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So here’s to what hopes to be a spectacular Albuquerque Comic Con and I hope I get plenty of stellar images to share with all of you.

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First Shoot of 2015 Tara Noir.

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The first shoot of this year I wanted to do something that was super stylized and different from what I’m used to doing. I came up with the concept of a classic black and white portrait session in a sort of neo-noir setting.

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Most of the shots that were done inside of my apartment using a 1k light with a soft box balanced for daylight as a key and a 60 watt lamp with a indoor balanced bulb as a back light creating some contrast. Now some of my images came out a little on the under exposed side, but by shooting in raw and making sure I was at least close enough to retain detail, it wasn’t hard to save files in Lightroom where I tone all my images.

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A ballsy move on my part was trying to shoot at f:2 on my 85mm f1.8 and 50mm f1.8 in an attempt to get the depth of field as shallow as I could so I could blow out the backgrounds in order to keep some of the things in the background from seeming out of place. The reason this is so ballsy is because you run the risk of not getting your photos in focus properly making images look soft. However I feel like I managed that problem well.

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What I wanted to accomplish with this shoot was to actually have a solid concept and style for me to shoot for as opposed to doing what I normally do which is to just show up to a location with whatever the model is already wearing and just messing around until I find something that works. I believe that goal was reached and I hope to take this experience and try and apply that into future shoots by already having a concept in mind. One thing that I can improve on though is keeping a better attention to detail and making sure everything in the scene fits as so that way I don’t have to shoot at f2 to make the image look right.

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