Help Portrait Planning

Well, we’re less than a month away from the Help Portrait 2010 event. Here in Orange County we’ll be supporting the Orange County Rescue Mission and the Orangewood Foundation. Our second planning meeting is this evening at 7:00 PM at the Wedding Pantry in Tustin.

To help the organizers in the various cities around the world, Jeremy Cowart (Help Portrait founder) has started doing weekly hour long planning conversations through Creative Live. The first of these live broadcasts was this morning at 8:00 am Pacific. This morning’s topic was how to find a non-profit to support through Help Portrait. Future topics include, making the portraits, printing and distributing the results.

I know to many this may seem like a small thing. But I encourage you to get involved. You never know how one picture may improve someone’s life. If appropriate, I’ll edit this post later with details from our meeting this evening.

Film….? Yes film!

Kids are kids


Going through some of my scanned images the other day, I came across my “Korea” folder. These were taken while I was stationed in S. Korea as a combat medic. I served there for twelve months from 1976-1977.   

While there, I bought my first single lens reflex camera, a Canon EF body. Yes kids, before DSLR’s, we actually made images by exposing light to film. TV used to be all black and white too. Ok, enough ancient history…   

As the battalion medic, I was stationed at two different air defense bases. These bases were located in what even the locals would call, the boonies. Wayyyyyy off the beaten path and quite a few clicks from civilization or major metropolitan areas. The bases were armed with the Improved Hawk Missile systems. The system basically required two forms of radar, the missile aray(s) and generators to power everything up. All of that equipment was typically deployed high up on a hill, while the battalion headquarters was located down below the hill. That’s where my aid station was located. As the only medical staff on the base, (and for quite a distance in any direction) I treated both the civilian population as well as the enlisted troops.   

Some of the images from this series are “soft” by today’s digital tack sharp standards, but I’ve posted them because for me, they still communicate something from the late 70’s. Some of the softness may be my own fault as I developed some of the negatives in Korea myself. Also the scanner I used to convert these to digital images was done with a consumer Epson model vs a VXXX version. You can see a slide show of that series here. I’ll keep adding to this gallery as time and image quality allows.

Help Portrait 2010 – First meeting

We had our first meeting of the Orange County Help Portrait group last night in Santa Ana. If you’re not familiar with Help Portrait, you can find some information here. Basically, it’s a day where photographers, hair stylists, MUA and many other people volunteer a day to make portraits for folks that might not otherwise be able to have their portrait taken. This year, the event is on Dec 4th. This is a GLOBAL event that takes place in hundreds, if not thousands of cities around the world. The images are made on that day, and then within days or a week or so, actual prints are handed to the folks, for free.
If you or your business is approached to offer support, I’d say jump in!.  This is a simple, straight forward way to have a small positive impact on someone’s life. I’ll have more info posted leading up to the event on Dec 4th.
Here’s a video explaining what Help Portrait is from the founder, Jeremy Cowart.

At the Beach

Beach Run


It was mid August this year when my Niece said she and a group of her friends were going to have one last  Beach Day before school started again. So it gave me a chance to lug the gear down to the beach and battle the sand.          

One goal I had set was to shoot into the sun with subjects in the foreground. This to test my 7D’s AF capability. I was shooting manual all day so didn’t intend on testing exposure as that was all set with a Sekonic L-358 for flash fill.           

So just a chance to catch some college kids goofing off at the beach while they put up with my direction and pushing a lens in their face. Catch a full screen slide show here.          

[mappress mapid=”3″]           

Models at the Falls

Models at the Falls
Models at the Falls I


In late July a group from the OC Strobist camp gathered at Tewinkle Park in Costa Mesa, CA to shoot some models we had arranged to meet there. H&M was there too,  so everybody was looking their best.    

These images were made with a Canon 7D and 580exII exclusively. The speedlite was gelled with a 3/4 cto for many of the images. We shot from two locations and were able to make a few fairly respectable shots given these were all taken between 12:00 – 3:00.    

What a difference a model makes! Beats the heck out of my SP sessions, uggghhhhh.

C.R.W. and axe

This summer, August to be exact, C.R.W. stopped by the studio with his axe, so we set up the lights and popped a few shots.  That series is posted here.

These were shot with a Canon 7D, (my current body) and a Canon G9. We lit things up with 580ex II and a pair of Yongnuo 460 II’s. Everything was triggered with Yongnuo RF 602’s. We used a number of different modifiers from a 42″ shoot through umbrella to 24″ and 16″ speedlite softboxes. We used two 9′ rolls of seamless, a super white and dove gray.