Seattle Flickr Meetup

Spring 2010 Portfolio, Art Show, and the UW Garage

It’s been a while since I’ve inducted photos into my portfolio, which is a shame because I’ve had some amazing experience and photographic opportunities over the last year or so. Typically, I did portfolio inductions in coordination with the Spring/Fall photo exhibit at school. Since I’m graduated, I have really had a chance to display my work (although I have made two photo books).

Seattle Academy, my alma avia1, is hosting an Alumni Art Show in the spring, and it’s been so long since I’ve done an art show that I decided to submit two pieces.

I’m planning on submitting them as 30″ x 20″ pieces, which is the largest format I have submitted to date. There are a couple of technical issues to overcome as well. First, is can I even get a decent print at that size for a decent cost? The answer is yes; Costco is on the low end at $8.99, while Kodak Gallery is on the higher end (of this little experiment) at $27.99 for Profession Matte prints. SnapFish and ShutterFly are in the middle in terms of cost. Kodak obviously uses their KODAK Professional Color paper, and Shutter fly uses Fujicolor Crystal Archive photographic paper2, but I can’t figure out what everyone else uses.

Framing is currently going to be done with an Ikea RIBBA frame, which will fit a 19.75″ x 27.5″ photo, which is only a titch smaller than the print. It also comes with a mat, although I’m not sure of its quality since it’s paper.

The other issue is can I really get away with printing at that size? Here’s the math:
My Nikon D70 takes 6.1 megapixel photos at a ratio of 3008 x 2000 effective pixels: \frac{3008 \mathrm{\ pixels}}{30 \mathrm{\ inches}} \approx  100 \mathrm{\ DPI}

Costco recommends a minimum 115 DPI, SnapFish says 90 DPI, and ShutterFly says 66.6 DPI. Ideally, I would be printing closer to 200 DPI.

However, the other thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the arc length. It would seem to me that if you maintain the same arc angle, as if you had printed it at 200 DPI, since the radius would have to increase, the DPAA (Dots per Arc Angle) would remain constant. In short, if you stand back farther, which you should do since it’s a bigger photo, it should look just fine.

This is all really perfect timing as I just got back to shooting some fun stuff, which I haven’t gotten to do in a while.

I like to wait a couple months before I add new photos to my portfolio, so these won’t make it this time. But enjoy them all the same.

A couple weekends ago I walked around the UW Quad and shoot the cherry blossoms.

48.0 mm || 1/500 || f/4.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

50.0 mm || 1/400 || f/1.8 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

This past weekend, I participated in the Seattle Flickr Meetup where I got to play around with some off-camera lighting, including a ring flash, for the UW Garage 11 event. I spent most of the time mentoring another fellow on off-camera lighting, so I decided to get some more practice with my 50mm and be a bit more creative in the Lightroom3.

50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/5.0 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

Special thanks to the models: Vivian Luu (top) and Aisha Rose (bottom).

Anyway, I’m going to be working on selected the next portfolio inductions. Feel free to shout out any favorite photos you have from the last year or so.

  1. alma mater is Latin for “nourishing mother”, “alma avia” is Latin for “nourishing grandmother”, which seems like the appropriate relation for my high school 

  2. Have I become that pretentious? 

  3. A darkroom is the place where film is usually developed. Lightroom is a digital darkroom program made by Adobe for editing photos 

Making Pictures

A while back, I had the amazing fortune of attending the second ever Chase Jarvis Hanger meetup. Organized by the equally amazing Seattle Flickr Meetup group and Chase Jarvis, the Hanger meetup brought together over 100 photographs to “30,000 square feet of shooting space, [with] 25 models, 4 stylists, a breakdance crew, a freestyle ramp complete with BMX riders, 7 fully professional lighting stations, and a whole lotta positive vibes.” [1]

The experience was nothing short of spectacular and an excellent way to finish off my official summer break. Chase spent a bit talking about taking pictures and emphasizing the difference between taking pictures and making pictures. I had never thought about making pictures before. That became my goal for the evening. Chase also talked about how working with models is a give and take relationship. You, as the photographer, often need to provide direction, but still understand that it’s a colaborative effort and allow the model to do his/her thing too.

I spent some time shooting the BMX riders before I headed inside and worked with Samuel Tribble, Electric Fanny, and Shana O’Gorman. It was a bit overwhelming, since I was being introduced to using studio lights, backdrops, models, and Pocket Wizards all at the same time. But I managed pretty well and by the end was having a blast. There was also a prop table that had various items on it, including the gun and katana I used with Electric Fanny and Shana, respectively.

I’d also like to a moment and say that Chase and his crew are awesome. And I’m not just saying that. It has been a long time since I’ve met someone as cool and down to earth as Chase Jarvis is. He also has a fantastic group of people he works with that patiently answered my questions, even the stupid ones. My only hope is that I’d get to work with them again.

In the meantime, check out Chase’s blog. He usually has some great videos and fantastic insight into the world of photography.

Speaking of videos, I decided to try something new. I made a short (5 minute) video showing ALL the pictures I took and then showing the original picture and the final product. Think of it as an interesting look into my photography:

(If you can’t see the above video, try going to the blog post)

If those photos went by too fast for you, you can see them up close and at your own speed over at my Chase Jarvis Hanger 2 set on Flickr.