Working with Flash

I picked up a pair of Canon Speedlights a few months ago and I’ve slowly been teaching myself flash photography. I’ve really been enjoying the results – the photos are really fun and can add a whole new depth to your photography.



Remembering Marion Barry

Marion Barry’s funeral procession took place over three days in early December. On December 5th, 2014 I took my bike and camera and set out to interview and photograph people who came out to line the processional route.  I was struck with how many DC residents had a personal connection to Barry – it was clear he was very beloved by many people.  People had so many different things to say, but if I had to sum it into one sentiment it would be thanks.  Marion Barry was a champion to these people and he will be sorely missed.

Stop Motion in Mexico

Theresa and I went to Mexico for Dia De Muertos. I spent a few years in Mexico as a youth and was excited to go back. Just before we left I picked up a Canon 6d. Really psyched to finally have a full frame still camera. The wireless connectivity is also crucial – it lets me upload photos to Instagram directly from the field. It may seem like a small thing, but having the ability to immediately upload a photograph was a great motivator and definitely lead me to take more photographs.

The form factor of the 6d is also excellent. I love using the 40mm prime pancake lens – its the perfect focal length and makes the 6d a nice small package thats easy to travel with.

I’ve been noticing recently people are creating interesting stop motion videos from simple hand held photos.  I decided to test the technique out with my new camera and I’m pretty happy with the results – definitely a technique I’ll keep experimenting with.

I think the video gives a really nice frenetic sense of our trip, and at 4 minutes is very watchable. Check it out:

A few of my favorite photos:

4th of July Weekend

I had a busy 4th of July weekend. I brought along my 7D and new Canon 70 to 200mm lens.

Overall  I’m really enjoying the lens – its super fast, sharp, the IS helps immensely, and its great to have a 2.8 throughout the entire range. Great lens for shooting people from a distance, portrait shooting, indoor/low light shooting, and anytime you need to get close to the action. The only complaint I have is the crop factor really makes this lens pretty tight and its very difficult to use as all purpose lens.

I know its a lot to ask a single lens to do it all – particularly a telephoto lens, but I can’t help but feel this lens would be a lot more practical on a 5D.  Going forward I’m either going to have to be more judicious about using this lens exclusively or just bring along a 2nd body with a wider lens.

The Abel Cine – Field of View Calculator is a great way to see just what the crop factor between camera body looks like.

Here are a few photos from the weekend.

Gay Men’s Chorus: Supreme Court DOMA Decision

Living on Capitol Hill, it seems there is always something going on.

I’ve been out of town recently and missed several major news cycles. Yesterday around 10:30  I was scrolling through my instagram feed – I posted under andrapolis if anyone is interested – and I noticed the DOMA decision was being handed down by SCOTUS. I recently purchased a new C100 and have been eager for excuses to shoot. Still getting used to the camera but loving it so far.

I missed the bulk of the action but was lucky enough to stumble onto the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC singing in front of the Supreme Court. Pretty moving stuff.

Check out the quick video I put together:

Quick Interview in Dushanbe

Lost a little momentum on the blog but we’re going to push on.

After my trip to the hospital I met a local who handles some of the programs at American Corners – a cultural center located in Dushanbe dedicated to bringing American culture to Dushanbe.

We chatted a little bit about Dushanbe,  American Corners, and what its like to live in Dushanbe.  I was taken with how frustrating it can be to live in a “re developing nation” –  a term I heard used a few times in Tajikistan.  Tajikistan was industrialized by the Soviets during their 60 year rule.  When the Soviets left a lot the industry left with them and an economic vacuum opened in their wake.  The country’s 5 year civil war only compounded the issue and as a result a  lot of intelligent and educated people remained in a country with little industry to sustain them.

My friend “Bob” studied Russian literature in Khujund and eventually made his way to Moscow but was eventually forced out of the country by a capricious and arbitrary visa issue.  Bob was really friendly and clearly highly educated. If he lived in a developed nation he would undoubtedly be doing very well for himself. In Tajikistan he does the best he can in a difficult situation.

I have a small technical issues in the video.  I’m still adjusting to my 5D/H4 setup and inadvertently misplaced some synced files. As a result I’m forced to use the camera mic for a portion of the interview.

BobNazibaev Int from dcdocumentary on Vimeo.