All posts by DavidG

Wine Country

I love the wine country — Paso Robles, Sonoma, Napa — but usually when I’m there, I don’t get much chance to squeeze in any photography, despite the natural and manmade beauty of those areas. I’m too busy tasting wine! Still, I take my camera every time I go, and try to sneak in some shots without detracting from my party’s enjoyment of the activities.

UPDATE: Pulchella Winery in the Oldtown Newhall Historical District is displaying some of my prints of the Wine Country in their tasting room! I’m thrilled by the opportunity to display, and perhaps even sell, some of my prints. You can see the exhibit at: 24261 Main Street, Newhall, CA 91321. Thanks to Nate, Steve and Joey for this opportunity!

I’ll disclose the name and location of the tasting room when the images have been hung up. In the meantime, I’d like to share some of my favorite Wine Country images with you here.

Amgen Tour of California

As a cyclist and a fan of cycling, May is one of my favorite times of the year, as that’s when the Amgen Tour of California comes through town. It often makes a stop in Santa Clarita, with either a stage start or finish, or sometimes both. I’m not a sports photographer, but since this offers a chance for me to play with two of my favorite activities, I like to bring out my camera and try to get a few good shots.

This year, I was fortunate enough to be right on the finish line, and was able to get some emotionally charged shots of stage winner Elisa Balsamo from Valcar Cylance decisively taking the stage 3 of the women’s race, as well as Cees Bol from Team Sunweb narrowly defeating superstar Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe by half a wheel to take Stage 7 of the men’s race. The frustration on third-place finisher Jasper Philipsen of UAE Team Emirates is clearly visible as well.

New Mexico

It’s been a while since I’ve posted! I recently visited New Mexico for the first time. Although it’s very picturesque, I didn’t shoot many photos, due to weather and activities. Here are a few I was able to grab.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Music: “Reflections From the Moon,” Bill Frisell

The last time I took a real summer vacation was in 2006, to see a total eclipse in Tobruk, Libya. So, it’s only somewhat coincidental that my next summer vacation would be to see the solar eclipse in Teton Village, Wyoming. Dubbed “The Great American Eclipse” by the media and science press, this highly anticipated astronomical event had millions of people who don’t usually care much about science buying “eclipse glasses” and making plans to head to the zone of totality.

Eclipse photography is generally more about technical issues and challenges than art, at least for me, but it is interesting to try and conquer those challenges, for what they teach you about other photography (and Photoshop!). The above images are perhaps incomplete, but I thought it was worth posting something less than perfect as an example of what it takes to take such images to completion. I’d love to see your comments!

Diaspora Reggae Live

I was very pleased to be invited by Diaspora Reggae to shoot their live gig at Howl at the Moon at Universal Citywalk, on May 17. It was my first live gig shoot in a while, and I enjoyed getting back in the swing of it.

Howl at the Moon is a very nice club, with a really good, clean-sounding sound system. I thought they were only a dueling piano bar, but they have a lot of live bands, too. Because of the high-intensity color of the LED lighting system, I found it hard to get shots of the band where they didn’t look like Blue Man Group (or Red Man Group, etc.), so I wound up converting a lot of the shots to black and white, which really saved a lot of otherwise unusable shots.

The band consists of: Tyler Reinhart (Vocals, Keys), Cedar Compher (Lead Guitar, Keys, Melodica), Brandon (Drums), Joe Hall (Rhythm Guitar), Jason Dickie (Bass)

Diaspora Reggae Shoot

Diaspora is a great, L.A.-based reggae band that I met through Craigslist, and arranged a shoot while they were in the rehearsal studio. They are a great bunch of guys, and very talented. The band consists of: Tyler Reinhart (Vocals, Keys), Cedar Compher (Lead Guitar, Keys, Melodica), Brandon (Drums), Joe Hall (Rhythm Guitar), Jason Dickie (Bass)

During a break from rehearsing, we went outside and shot the typical, cliche “five guys against a brick wall” band shot. It’s hard to shoot something that is so common and make it different! You have to rely on the band giving you something to work with, in terms of attitude, look, and swagger… which the guys from Diaspora did very well at.
From the wall, we went out to the streets, literally, and we all stood in the middle of a busy street during a break in traffic. Don’t try this at home, kids!
Then we found a darker wall, with a low wall in front of it, and the band decided to try out their powers of levitation for a fun group shot.
Because the studio was dark, and I had traveled light, bringing just a couple of Speedlites, I was shooting at ISO1600, which brought a certain amount of digital noise to the images. Instead of correcting it  in post, I worked with it, and allowed the processing to bring out the graininess and contrast of the RAW file.
This was a fun shoot, and I look forward to working with Diaspora again.

Hard Six: Through the Lens

I was happy and fortunate to be selected as part of the exhibit Hard Six: Thru the Lens, at Megasound Studios in Ventura, CA. The exhibit, which includes photos about the local band, Hard Six, opened Saturday, January 28, and continues through March 28, 2017. There was a great opening night party, featuring Hard Six and many friends from other bands. I was very pleased with how great the Xpozer image mounting system from Bay Photo Lab’s  worked. The images really popped, and stood out (literally!) from the others.

 

The Other Side of the Lens, continued

A few years ago, I saw esteemed photographer Joe McNally give a talk at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Despite all of Joe’s amazing work over the years, doing shoots for various news organizations and the National Geographic, what stuck with me most were some simple shots he took of photographers with their cameras. It inspired me to begin my own project, taking portraits of all the photographers I know with their cameras.

Over a year or so, this project grew into, “The Other Side of the Lens,” which has so far been exhibited once.

Due to work, I had to put this project on hold for a while, but as I’m gearing to start it up again, I thought I would share some of the images from the extended shoot here.

Here are some shots of the gallery exhibit, which took the form of an old-school, analog darkroom, with “prints” in developer, hanging from drying lines, and “negatives” in the enlarger. It was a lot of fun to put together, and the reactions of experienced photographers taking in the digital recreations of the analog photography tools was fun to watch.

It was fun to create negatives of the exhibit, which I printed on a clear mylar film, to replicate the real thing.

Sample Negative
Sample Negative