Everyone has a special place. I think mine is Ketchikan, Alaska. I change my mind quite often. Sometimes it’s Kauai, other times New Orleans but for now it’s Ketchikan. I was introduced to the area by my great friend Charley Starr. Charley moved his family and photo business there 10 years ago. It is a small seaside city, population over 13,000 and is dependent on the cruise ship industry to survive and thrive. Charley has generously hosted me on four visits and on the fifth I finally brought Patti, my wife. The geography is unlike anything here in San Diego. We were able to see waterfalls, bears, eagles and the salmon were running. I wish I was a better writer so I could describe the area and community. Wherever we went Charley was greeted and the people were pleasantly friendly to us strangers. I’ve started to remember names and now know places to go. It’s truly a small town environment with a Walmart. I can’t wait to go back. Where is your special place?
More of my work can be seen at www.zwink.com
Father and Son Conversation
Jamison: Is Zoey a Dalmatian?
Joe: No. She’s a French Bulldog.
Jamison: But she has spots?
This is a quick exchange Joe (my son) had with his 4 year old son, Jamison.
I’m not a real descriptive writer. That’s why I’m a photographer, a visual artist. I let my images tell the story. Cubans were very friendly, interested and loved to interact. Tour guides loved to tell the stories of the Revolution and the strength of the culture. Owners of paladores wanted to not only share their tasty cuisine but the stories of their families. Street vendors along with the hustlers were happy to share their smiles. Others just wanted to enjoy their siesta.
Havana, Cuba is not New York City yet, but it’s streets are busy during the days. Predominately carefully maintained l1950s style cars, many with original motors and others that have been converted to Russian diesel motors with the telltale sounding diesel noise. We rode to a jazz club in a 1956 Chevy Impala with the owner styled and groomed to match his cherry red Chevy.
Delivery trucks, freight trucks, buses and horse drawn carriages are interspersed by the rare modern Mercedes and Toyotas. Road rage a rarity. It will come.
Personally, I would not mind if there was a basic certification to regulate the industry. The fact is there has been an increased interest from photographers, hobbyists and business owners to integrate into their offering. With the advent of gps in the “drones” it has become easier to fly. But stuff happens, how many pilots will know how to safely react and land without injuring anyone or damaging property? And if you’re flying without FAA knowledge or permission will your insurance still cover you?
I just wish the FAA would do their job and let us get back to ours.
Summer for a lot of parents mean a lot of time spent at the ballpark practicing and on the weekend All-Star tournaments. Payton, one of my granddaughters fits into that category. But this isn’t about her story. As they used to say these are “Kodak Moments”. If you spend all that time you need good memories. And not just the team or posed photo. So I’m going to share a couple tips to improve your chance to get good photos.
This is not the big leagues. Every where you look there are fences you have to shoot through. Most of the photos above were taken through fences. If you have a dslr first put your shutter speed on a high setting, 1/320 or higher. The longer your lens the faster your shutter should be to minimize vibration and movement in the photos. Your aperture (f4.0, 5.6, 8.0) on the lens should be at the smallest setting. The ASA should be set as low as possible to get a quality image. But if you need go up to asa 400 or 640 to get the proper settings. These combinations when shooting through the fence will start to give you good results. To improve on that go to the side of the fence where the sun is behind you or totally in the shade. Move the lens as close to the fence as possible. What you want to do is avoid the sun bouncing off the fence into your lens. Remember your pictures that look foggy? That’s what happened. The light bounced into the lens creating flare (photo term). This won’t work all the time but most.
What if you have a iPhone or Android? Same concept. Get close to the fence. Make sure you know where the lens is and carefully place it in-between the wire so you have a clear shot. And don’t forget to use the zoom. As our editors always said, “fill the frame”. Lastly, do you use one hand when holding your smartphone? Unless you’re blessed with ultra steady hands don’t. Two hands will make you steadier and your photos sharper. Below are a couple tips that will give you your “Kodak Moment”.
• Move around. Don’t always shoot from the same place.
• Don’t just shoot the action. Look for reactions. Sports is about emotion, the kids having fun.
• If you have a long (large 200 or longer) lens go to the end of the fence to get different looks. Even if they look small in the frame you can crop in. If your camera has a lot of megapixels use it.
• Learn your camera. Don’t wait till you get to the ballpark to figure out how to use it. You don’t want to miss the action.
• Have fun. Capture the action but always remember, it about the kids. They won’t always be young.