Two friends are expecting their first-born any night now. It’s a full moon out, and NW asked me if I’d take a photo of the moon for her for her baby book. I’d never shot the moon before, and instead of doing the sensible thing and watching YouTube videos on how to do it right, I just went out and did it.
I’ll watch some YouTube videos before the next round, I promise.
That said, I kept after it, because I figure any day I shoot is a day I learn something. ((I hear Will and Nick saying, “You could learn to light, dumbass.”)) So, here are the three that I’m not too embarrassed to share:
For many, summer is about love: summer romances, May and June weddings, long days stretching out and giving the day that last gasp of diffuse light before the night is quickly upon you, thought not long to stay. I don’t know what this says about me, but I’ve never been one for love in the summertime. I typically find myself falling in love in the fall. I don’t know if it’s autumn breezes chasing the muggy sullenness of August or whether I associate fall with new school years, even nine years removed from attaining my degree. It’s just where I am.
Yesterday, two of my friends got married, and it was wonderful. Back a couple months ago, Brandon and I were into our second Whiskerino [known to some as the Colorado Bulldog] when one of us, I think Brandon, mentioned something about having a photobooth at the wedding. I said, “I know I can pull that off.” Predictably, I procrastinated on actually testing it until 10:45 Friday night. I figured out how to get the images onto the machine, but I hadn’t fully figured out how to project them in a dual-monitor setup. But hey, I’m improvisational. Here’s a little on the setup and how I pulled it off.
Here’s my equipment list:
Canon EOS-5D Mk II for my camera. I ended up using an EF 28mm f/2.8 lens, given the location I had to shoot. If my EF 50mm f/1.4 wasn’t still busted, I would have used that; my EF 85mm f/1.8 was just a touch too long.
Mac mini (early 2009, I believe), hooked up to the 5DMkII with a simple USB cable.
20″ widescreen LCD for the primary monitor. This was used to house the software windows for the image capture and review.
Mitsubishi HC5500 LCD projector for the secondary monitor. This is my home theater projector, and yes, I was willing to partially dismantle my home theater for this wedding.
EOS Utility and their Digital Photo Review or whatever it’s called software. EOS Utility is what lets you run the camera from the computer.
EOS Utility would do image capture, pulling data through USB to the local hard drive. This kept me from having to use cards to do this. Also, I could use Live View to make sure the shot that I was looking for was there without having to check the viewfinder. This worked great when I would rotate the camera around to take shots from the dance floor. I set EOS Utility to dump photos to a specific folder. All this work happened on the primary monitor.
Over on the secondary monitor, I used System Preferences to change the desktop background picture every five seconds, randomly, pulling from the directory in which EOS Utility was storing photos. This gave us an instant photobooth slideshow without having to use Automator or AppleScript to automagically move JPGs [I was shooting RAW+JPG] into iPhoto and then do the slideshow there. That was a potential option, but iPhoto frustratingly wants to push its slideshow on both monitors. Dumb. Come on, Apple.
The bridge and groom loved it. My only sadness with it was that more of the attendees didn’t come by to have candid photos taken.
I was up early yesterday and felt inspired to go take some shots. The above is the best of a bad lot: I should’ve overexposed the shot in-camera, had to crop heavily because of mediocre lens selection, and didn’t reset the white balance from the previous indoor shots I’d been doing at work. In other words, when I was in post-production, there was much swearing.
See, that’s right out of the camera. Different lens, different color balance, different day, but essentially the same shot.
I don’t do this very often—revisiting a subject in the same light, twice—because a lot of what I take is concert photos where you get one shot. Of course, I shoot in a lot of the same places with a lot of the same subjects, so in a way, I get to re-learn there, but I’m pushing myself to try this more often so I can have benefit of my re-thinking.