Tennis Fashion Shoot

For those who might need some extra cheer during the winter season, here are a few images from a tennis fashion shoot for Xennes we did last summer. Click on any of the photos to view them in a carousel viewer. For extra fun, reload this page in your browser to view them in a different order.

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Picture of the Week 52 – Swans

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Canon EOS 60D ,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
1/640s f/10.0 at 170.0mm iso400

Hoping that you are able to look back on 2012 as a good year and wishing you a peaceful and blessed 2013!

(Swans in Schermbeck, Germany, with Secret Service duck in the background.)

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Picture of the Week 51 – Zugspitze, Germany’s Highest Mountain

panoclick image for full size

Canon EOS 5D ,Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
1/160s f/11.0 at 25.0mm iso200

Merry Christmas!

Depending on where you are in the world, you might need a little help getting into the winter mood, so here’s a panorama view from the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain (about 2960 m or close to 10,000 ft).

Many compact cameras already have a built-in panorama mode. All you have to do is swing it around.

However, if you are preparing to stitch a panorama from individual shots, as I did here, you want to set everything manually, i.e., aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and color temperature or white balance. All the individual shots will match without the camera having made changes from one shot to the next.

The latest versions of Photoshop have an excellent Photomerge function. Otherwise, there is a good deal of specialty software that serves the same purpose.

Frohe Weihnachten!

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Picture of the Week 50 – Looking Down an Elephant’s Throat

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Canon EOS 5D ,Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro II USM
1/400s f/8.0 at 105.0mm iso400

How many pictures of elephants have you seen? Enough? Probably. But how many photos have you seen looking down an elephant’s throat? Probably not that many.

The lesson here is that even familiar objects can make for interesting and novel photos. Sometimes you just have to get close (maybe not physically close, so use a long lens). Try zooming in on a zebra’s stripes. Shoot just the hairs on the back of its neck. Shoot down an elephant’s throat…

Of course, some opportunities have to first present themselves, and when they do, you have to act fast. In this case, a San Diego Zoo keeper was showing off this elephant’s reactions to various commands and one of them was to lift its trunk and open its mouth.

By the way, the tusks were sawed off by zoo keepers for two reasons. This female was too dominant and would have potentially hurt other elephants newly introduced to the exhibit. In addition, she had a habit of rubbing them against the wires surrounding the exhibit, practically filing them off herself. You can clearly see the deep mark left on one of the remaining stubs. Not to worry, sawing off the tusks does not hurt the elephants.

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Picture of the Week 49 – Devil

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Canon EOS 5D ,Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
1/80s f/4.0 at 27.0mm iso3200

This is from the final dress rehearsal of “A Beautiful Star”. The final dress rehearsal is usually my one chance to get all the images of a production I want, because in earlier rehearsals something is usually not quite ready (costumes, backdrops, special effects, lighting, etc.), and copyright restrictions often preclude photography at the performances. So, the pressure for me is on… 🙂

This shot is of Lucifer (the Devil) re-emerging from hell after having been thrown out of heaven. He has revenge in mind and wants to mess up God’s beautiful creation. His first victim, Eve, is in the background, and his means, the forbidden fruit, can also be seen.

So, it’s clear that to tell the story we need to see all the elements. A small change in my position or in the camera angle could have easily caused for example the apple to be blocked from view. Also, as I explained last week, knowing the play ahead of time is indispensable, because moments like these are all too fleeting.

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