Why I like light meters… REALLY

Oskar Hasselhoff examing his sword.

Oskar Hasselhoff examing his sword.


Fizgig pushing pies. Mmmmm….

I don’t use a light meter all the time. In particular when walking around renaissance festivals or moving around a lot outdoors when light direction and clouds are changing, I stick to Aperture Priority (Av on the Canon dial). However there are times when flipping things into full Manual and using a light meter is the way to go.

Basically when your light is going to be consistent and not changing much during a shoot.

Case-in-point: The Combat Tournament of Sherwood asked me to take some shots of them earlier this year prior to the opening of Sherwood Forest Faire. The faire grounds in February have lots of dappled light in the shade under trees (no leaves yet) and the shoot would be mid-day. (Isn’t it always that way? 🙂 )

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3rd Coast Tribal 2013 photos – in Zaghareet!

Zoe Jakes at 3rd Coast Tribal 2013

Zoe Jakes at 3rd Coast Tribal 2013

The May/June 2013 issue of Zaghareet! magazine has a review of 3rd Coast Tribal by Clarissa Rosario on pgs. 52-54 that features some of my photographs from that event.

Congratulations to Zymirrah and everyone who assisted her in creating another great year of 3rd Coast for everyone to enjoy!

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Sherwood Forest Faire updates

Sherwood Forest Faire - Robin & MarionI was over at Sherwood Forest Faire today – volunteer workday.   Helping clean up the grounds prior to the upcoming Summer Camp that they are holding July 8-13.

Grounds are in pretty good shape.  Still losing trees, but thankfully at a slower rate than last year – which was really bad – lots of trees just couldn’t handle the drought.  Hauling, mowing, general grounds cleanup.

Eric showed a photo of the collectable coin they’re going to have for 2013.  Pretty cool.  I’ve got a complete set so far.  He also showed a couple of designs – either for the mug or a pen, maybe both.  Anyway, well done artwork.

The falconer is out there setting up for the summer camp as well as some of the vendors working on their booths.

Weather worked out pretty well, mostly overcast early on.  But no rain so work was able to be accomplished.  I bailed around 2:30pm, wish I could have stayed for the potluck this evening, but I had stuff to continue working on back here.   Hopefully I can stay late next time. 🙂

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Club Bellydance – Austin, Tx

Sabaya Bellydance Collective at Club Bellydance

I was invited by Stacey-Lizette of Sabaya Bellydance Collective to photograph the local groups performing in the recent Bellydance Superstars Club Bellydance tour which came through Austin, Texas.

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Scarborough Faire 2011

Well, I only got to make it to Scarborough Faire once during this season. I’m grateful that I was able to make it even once this year. My gallery is finally posted at: Scarborough Faire 2011 – closing Sat.

I will be at Texas Renaissance Festival for opening weekend Oct 8-9! Looking forward to catching up with friends and trying a couple of things out. If you see me wandering around the lanes, flag me down and say “Hi!”

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Dancers: Tips on a studio photoshoot by Sarah Skinner

While clicking around on the web trying to avoid doing “real work” 😉 I tripped across the work of Sarah Skinner. She’s a belly dancer, belly dance instructor, and a photographer as well. She lives in the New York area and knows both sides of the camera – being in front of it as the subject as well as being the shooter behind it.

Working with dancers, tips…

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The need for (high ISO) speed…

Angela Nations

Angela Nations performing with Raqs Helwa
Canon 40D - 1/60sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600

Usually when I’m shooting belly dance, I’m working in very low light. Apparently people who light stages think the absence of light creates ambiance.  Or perhaps they just have better eyes than me. 😉   Also I generally am not allowed to use flash – which is fine with me.

So how do I maximize the possibility of capturing the moment when there’s barely enough light on the moving subject to even permit autofocus to work?

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Watch your background…

Lady Kat - final select

I have a tendency to wander around faire looking for a subject to shoot.  Then when I spot a subject, I’ll bring the camera up and fire!

One of the things that I’ve learned (and sometimes even remember 😉 ) to do is to see what is behind the subject.  The background can make a huge difference in the quality of the image.

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Blog purpose

I shoot at renaissance festivals and belly dance events around Texas.  As time has gone on it occurs to me that others might find some of the stuff I do useful in their own shooting.

So this is to serve that purpose as well as a place where I can catalog findings so I can remember them!  It’s amazing how many times I need to be reminded of tips/techniques that I already learned the hard way, but I forget and have to re-learn that they are still valid. 🙂

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