Norm’s Night

Last weekend was Norm’s Night at HU. Since it was a special event with contests during the regular basketball game, I decided to go and photograph it. For this event, I used a two-flash setup with green gels over the flash heads. I was having trouble getting my Wein Peanut to sync the second flash so for most of these I went with on-camera flash and a somewhat slow shutter speed (usually 1/80th sec).

By the time I was in place with fresh batteries and SD card (oops), they were having the Norm look-a-like competition. Several guys dressed up like lumberjacks to show off their Norm-ness.
SMC PENTAX-M 50mm 1:2 f/2.8 1/80 ISO 320 no flash
This one involved people spinning around a baseball bat in a sort of race or relay. I’m not really sure. The picture says it better.
85mm (I think) f/2.8 1/125 ISO 320 PENTAX AF200T
I’m not really sure what this is about, but it seemed interesting. Shutter was 1/80th with no flash. This looks like a static shot of players standing around, but you can still see the ball being passed. I increased the ISO to 400 and used my flash to give a cleaner image than the one previous.
This is probably my top pick of the night. Good focus with a sense of motion. Definitely a keeper.
1/80th ISO 200
Another good one with more of an action pose. You can see the off-camera Sunpak filling in from camera left.
Yes, there’s someone’s head in the way (certainly not intended that way), but I like how the players are running into an area that’s obscured. This leaves a lot to the imagination by what is hidden. Also, the flash makes it look like they’re headed towards…something. ‘Course it obviously can’t be seen.
1/80th ISO 200
I saw these cuties sitting behind me. I snapped three exposures of these girls, and this is the one that stood out the most. Still not entirely satisfied, but that’s life. The Sunpak fired from just a few feet to camera left.
1/80th ISO 250
Shot of some cheerleaders. One of the things that I like about HU basketball is the cheerleader team. They seem to have some really good routines.
1/80th ISO 250
Last picture of the night. Pretty much what you see is what’s there. Using an ISO of 400 helped to capture more of the motion of the scene, I think.

Of Friends, Video Games, and Pictures

Over a month ago, I came home from college on break and visited some friends. Of course what better thing to do while visiting friends than bring a camera and take some snapshots. So I had my new Pentax DSLR with me and took a few photos. I’d like to share a little bit about what I did along with showing some of the pictures.

First thing that we did was snap some pictures of each other. This is one that Winn took of me. The lens was the 18-55mm kit zoomed to 32 mm, and I added some fill with the K-x’s pop-up flash. Exposure was f/5.6 @ 1/80 ISO 200. In this one we swapped places. Only change was I zoomed the lens to 40mm and used a shutter speed of 1/30.

Looking around I took some more pictures outside, including a few of the chickens on their farm.
55mm f/5.6 1/60th ISO 200

This was especially tricky to get. I knew I wanted a great looking sky, but finding the balance between the highly contrasted sky and ground was difficult. 38mm f/8 1/400 ISO 200


Next my friends got out their Playstation 2, and we started rocking it up. When I didn’t have a controller in my hands, I grabbed my camera and started shooting away. This picture was straight available light. Max has such a nice smile.        18mm f/3.5 1/6th ISO 160

Then I popped on my Pentax AF200T flash. I looked around the room and noticed that the ambient illumination came from an incandescent bulb. Instead of drowning that light with my flash, I decided to use it and taped a full CTO gel in front of my flash to match the color of the bulb.

It’s still looking good in this one, but I do have harsh shadows from the on-camera flash. Technical info was the same as before.

Before taking this shot, I found a piece of paper towel and held it in front of the flash as a diffuser. It’s not efficient, of course, but it’s better than nothing.                                                                         26mm f/4 1/6th ISO 500

The slow speed sync is really evident here. This is one of those pictures that make me feel really creative.                                                         38mm f/4.5 1/6th ISO 500

  This is the final one with big smiles all around. Unless you’re too busy staring at a screen to look at the camera.

Olympiad 2010

A few weeks ago was Olympiad at HU. Olympiad is a series of Olympic-styled games and tournaments where four teams compete to see who is the best. It is also a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I did not participate this year, but I did shoot quite a number of photographs and video. I’m still digitizing and editing the video footage, but here are a few selects from among the Olympiad photos.

I took a couple of shots at my dorm of people getting ready for the opening ceremonies on Thursday night. This was taken with my Pentax AF200T flash and 18-55mm lens.


The last event of the night was dodgeball. This picture is from the first round. During the second, I was able to get in due to several open spots on the team.

This is an example of the low-light capabilities of my camera. This picture was taken at ISO 1250 using my 80-200mm f/3.9 zoom lens.



This is the cornhole event. What I experimented with here was flagging off part of the flash with my hand after seeing the effect caused by a person’s head.



Non-athletic contests involved pumpkin carving where each team rushed to complete their carving before any of the other teams.  



Olympiad is certainly a lot of fun as these cheering people can plainly attest to.  Lens is the 18-55mm. It’s not the greatest, but it does zoom and is currently my only autofocus-capable lens. Main light is the Pentax on-camera flash with a Sunpak 611 providing rim light. Flash sync was with a Wein Peanut.

Same light setup as before. In this one, you can see the streak of light on the background from the unflagged Sunpak. B/W conversion was done in Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4.

  During one part of Olympiad, a series of water
games were held at the nearby YMCA. Here, two men attempt to gain possession of the ball during water polo.

In order to get this shot, I used a slow shutter speed of 1/30 at f/3.9 ISO 800 with Shake Reduction. My flash set to rear curtain sync. In order to avoid the fluorescent lighting from affecting the color, I set the WB to Cool White Fluorescent and taped a Rosco Plusgreen filter in front of my flash.

The Synchronized Swimming event was for me the highlight of the weekend. Technically, it’s the same as before except with the 85mm f/2 lens and a shutter of 1/40.


  This is a shot of the card tournament using available light with the 18-55mm lens at f/4 1/25 ISO 1000.

Posing for pictures after the closing ceremonies.

50mm lens wide-open at f/2 1/20 sec ISO 1600

New Photography Gear

It’s been awhile since my last update, but I wanted to jot down a few
thoughts about my latest gear. First, I finally have my Wein Peanut
slave. This is actually my second one after I learned to keep the first where the dog couldn’t get to it. I’m using this a fair bit to sync a flash off-camera. This allows me to have a second flash up to 100′ from my on-camera or PC-corded master flash. Second, my parents got a new tripod. I’ve gotten the chance to use this a few times, and it comes in especially handy when using it as a light stand. Another thing that I now have is an entry-level digital SLR camera. It is a Pentax K-x. It is a nice camera, and it allows me to take more photos or different types of photos. It does have some drawbacks, however, primarily the lack of a PC sync port and inability to use high-voltage flashes. Finally, I received the Rosco Strobist Gel Collection. This is something that I have been using to great effect. It has really allowed me to enhance the look of my images.