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Monthly Archives: November 2013

 

So how does one get this face to face shot of four African Lions without getting eaten?  You sit really, really still.

Well, no… not quite.

If you’re an experienced wildlife photographer like Chris McLennan, you design and fabricate your own remote control range rover complete with a Nikon D800 and operate from a safe distance.    Chris is a New Zealand based commercial photographer famous for his adventure and wildlife photography who offers the opportunity to tour with him in Alaska, Botswana and Norway among other places.

To get this shot, Chris had built a remote car (affectionately named as “Car-L”) around an Aquatech sound blimp.  The blimp serves two purposes… it muffles the sound of the shutter so as not to startle the lions while at the same time (and more importantly), protects the camera from being destroyed by said lions.

Enjoy the vid and be sure to checkout Chris’ website and facebook page.

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A photographer friend invited me to join him in a “fun shoot”… not client work, just shooting for the sake of shooting.  He was bringing two models with him to Wilmington to shoot in random areas around the city and thought it would be fun to hang out and see what we could come up with without any preplanning.  Between us we had minimal gear… two cameras, three speed lights, a reflector and a portable softbox… oh, and a colored gel or two.

Most of the afternoon I kept low key and assisted him as he shot in various locations.  I am always content to assist other photographers, as it allows me to watch how others work and at the same time, build great relationships.  Regardless of whether it’s my shoot or someone else’s, I simply love being an active part of the image making process.

We eventually came to an alley with a thrilling environment. I turned to my friend and said… “My turn”.  It was the middle of the afternoon, probably around 2 pm, but I was envisioning a night shot with a subject just screaming at the top of his lungs.  I had the model change into some plain clothing while I frantically searched my gear bag for a CTO gel.

Cameras are designed to figure out your environment and automatically adjust themselves to give the correct color cast.  If you know how your camera operates, you can fool it into thinking you’re shooting indoors when in fact you are outside.  That’s exactly what I did for this shot.  I tricked the camera into giving me a blue color cast… I then gelled two of the lights to bring back some normal skin tone on the model.   Afterwards, I opened the image in photoshop and jacked up the contrast and saturation levels.  All tolled, it was about a 10 minute shoot with about 5 minutes of photoshop.  Nothing ground shaking, just a fun spur of the moment image.