Photographer’s Blog

Recently I photographed a series of group photos for a school client.  I used my group riser system.  Please note how I used the risers to get the most of each group photographed.
The major key to large group photography is manually focusing and large depth of field.  Manually I focused on someone in the second or third row, never the first row.  These images were taken at ISO 100, f:14, 1/200 sec using two Photogenic 600 watt second strobes on full power to fill shadows.  Photos were taken between 9:30 and 10:15am.  Sun was behind us.
For these two groups you see how I used my risers system.  I used my entire riser system to capture everyone.  My riser system is 5 sections wide and 4 steps high (16″).  I could add a front row sitting on the ground.  My system will accommodate up to 125.  I can rent a system to accommodate larger groups.  Also one of our photographers has a drone to photograph groups from the air.
This Group I placed each row on consecutive steps on the risers.
This Group I placed each row on alternating steps on the risers.   I could spread the group out but if ordering 8×10 format prints the group will fill more of the image.  Same would apply to the group above.

“Lock Bridges”

In Salzburg, Austria and other places on our recent cruise we came upon “Lock Bridges”. Couples place engraved locks on the bridges and throw away the key into the river. Last night I observed locks on McBean Pkwy’s bridge over I-5. I have seen the locks on the bridge but did not think much of it until last night walking home from the Valencia Marketplace concert. Where do the couples throw the key?

 

Use of Long Lens on our Viking European River Cruise

On our recent Viking River Cruise I lugged around a Canon 50d with a 100-400L lens on a monopod. People wondered if I would get a back and neck ache. No I did not. Here are images I took with that camera setup. Notice telephoto lenses compress background with subject matter. For many of the indoor photos I used a slow shutter speed, as slow as `1/25 sec.  That violates a basic photo rule of matching shutter speed to lens focal length.  Enjoy.

 

Zenfolio now on home page

I now have a Zenfolio.com button on the homepage of my www.1stimage.com website. You will find galleries of our travels with current images of the Eastern Sierras, last fall and last month, Yosemite, our Alaska tour & cruise last August and I will post images of our European River Cruise the next two weeks. Images are available for purchase.

Merced River with Vernal Falls in Background

Bridalvail Falls

Near Happy Isles

We just spent a few days in Yosemite.  I wanted to see and photograph the waterfalls which are abundant with water.  Much of Yosemite’s meadows are flooded with water.  Here are a few sample photos.  I wanted to get to Vernal Falls via Mist Trail but people were coming off the steps soaking wet.  I did not want to expose my pro camera gear to the “rain”.  I did not take the alternate route.

There are many minor falls created by this years heavy rain and snow events.

Upper Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Falls

Near Happy Isles

Near Happy Isles

Bridalvail Falls

Bridalvail Falls

Merced River with Vernal Falls in Background

Merced River with Vernal Falls in Background

Graduation Season

1st Image Photography is available for your graduation ceremonies.  Whether photos of receiving diplomas, instant graduation portraits or graduation parties we can photograph your graduates’ special occasion.
 
Contact 1st Image Photography
(661) 254-4720  (800) 244-4720
photos@1stimage.com
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A Very Busy Day

Last Friday was a very long day.  Angie and I awoke at 4am to prepare to get to Cerritos College to photograph the spring 2017 nursing class portraits.  Set up was scheduled for 7:30, first session at 9am.  Photographer Andre and Angie would be there until 6pm.  I went to help set up and help.
Mid afternoon I went to the Quiet Cannon in Montebello to set up for Cathedral HS Mother/Son Dance.  I would be working with Jose running his instant portrait system to print 5×7’s and wallets for the couples to take home.
After Angie got done with Cerritos she came to the Quiet Cannon to help.  We photographed 147 couples.  We would be done at 11pm.  We got to bed at 1am Saturday morning.
Later Saturday I would umpire 3 baseball game, Loyola vs. Alemany and two Pony League games.
Attached are images from Friday.
Contact 1st Image Photography at
(661) 254-4720, (800) 244-4720 or photos@1stimage.com.
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY
 
Today Angie and I, with dogs, head to Bakersfield for the 51st Annual Square Dance Fiesta at the Kern County Fairgrounds.  To those reading this post who may be square dancers and not aware of the Fiesta this is a great weekend getaway like RIVCO in Indio in November.  Angie and I have attended the Fiesta since 1981 except for 3 different years when I had photo business or involved with Knights of Columbus St. Patrick’s Day 5k run and dinner dance in Santa Clarita.
As a baseball umpire, working NCAA Division 1 and Pac 10 games, I always blocked this weekend from assignments as it was midseason in the 1980’s.
During the early years we attended this event the Fiesta would attract 3000 or more dancers at 4 levels from mainstream to challenge levels.  Angie and I are challenge level dancers though we will dance all levels this weekend. Many square dancers are RV enthusiasts, some full time RVers.
Unfortunately Angie’s 96 year old mom will miss attending this Fiesta. She fell a couple of weeks ago resulting in a very nasty bruise.  She is also having blood pressure issues. She’s in at the Rinaldi Convalescent Hospital, Hayvenhurst and Rinaldi, in Granada Hills.
For many in the education industry who read our post spring breaks are beginning.  We wish you well with your Rest and Relaxation.  Last night I read an article in Reader’s Digest on how being in nature, forest and other places, has such a positive affect on people’s well being.
Contact 1st Image Photography at
(661) 254-4720, (800) 244-4720 or photos@1stimage.com.
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Save your Smart Device’s Files & Images

Thursday I was at the Apple store for some issues I was having with my computers.
 
While I was waiting a lady was conversing with Apple employee and the store manager on duty regarding an issue with her I-Phone.  She was telling the staff her problems, that she runs a business, no one can call her and she has lots of photos on the phone.  She says it took her 36 hours to backup files from the phone.
 
The manager was telling her the procedure for solving her problem, which included cleaning out her phone and that her files were in Apple’s Cloud.  He told her it would take about 15-20 minutes to restore files to her phone.  I am overhearing this conversation for about 45 minutes.  
 
She was fearing losing her images.  Well if she backed up her files, she should have the images and files on the device she used for the back up. She wasn’t buying anything the manager was telling her.  I left after I dealt with my issues and she was still there.
 
Bottom line to all this is why keep so many images on your phone?  I can see family, friends and interesting photos, but 100’s to 1000’s?  I only take photos I want to post immediately on social media, then I throw them away because I probably photographed the same image with my pro camera in RAW format.
 
Finally, back up your cell phone files and images.  These devices are fallible and will break down.  Also edit images.  Get rid of bad photos. You don’t need to keep every image you take.  Remember the photo images take up a lot of your smart device’s memory and storage.
 
I ultimately save my images on CD/DVD’s.
 
Bob Messina

Photographer In Front of the Camera

Last Saturday I showed up at Sylmar HS to referee a boys volleyball tournament.  Though we officials were told uniforms were optional I decided to show up in uniform.  I am a contributing photographer to REFEREE MAGAZINE, since 1982, with 20 covers to credit.  Thinking some officials would wear uniforms, none did.  I brought camera for the benefit of REFEREE.  There was a photographer for Sylmar HS at the tournament.  Since I was the only official in uniform I asked this photographer if he would photograph me with my camera.  He did.  Attached are some images which were submitted to REFEREE MAGAZINE.  I am also umpiring baseball at Hart Pony League (I have been rained out 5x this season) and returned to high school baseball after 8 year absence.

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