Sunday, February 20, 2011

Waves of Color

During the months of February thru April, I am the official photographer for the WinterGuard Association of Southern California (WGASC).

What is that? You might say.

Basically winterguard is colorguard shows held indoors, usually in high school gymnasiums, during the winter season. Most of the performers are high school, middle school, and some collegiate. Pretty simple explanation, eh?

What is not simple is photographing these guards. The challenges of photographing these shows are numerous. For one, the action is definitely not predictable. It is also fast and quick. Then you have the challenges of poorly lit high school gymnasiums. I could go on and on. Trying to maintain auto focus, though, is the biggest challenge of all.

So many factors come into play which affects auto focus. Cameras weren't specifically designed to shoot this activity. I have tried many different custom auto focus settings and each has their perks and downfalls. Plus, it really depends your style of composition. That has a lot to do with all of this, as well. Try maintain auto focus when the uniform is all black. Uniforms which are colorful and contrasty are much easier to maintain auto focus and keep it locked on, vice solid black. You also have shiny flag poles, sabers, and bright white rifles being tossed all around and in front, which can throw off the auto focus. Auto focus systems love to lock on those things a lot. Again, I could go on and on. Catch my drift?

While all of this is difficult, this pageantry arts activity is simply a joy to shoot. You have the colorful uniforms, the thrill of performing displayed all over the performer's faces, and of course, the thrill of capturing that special moment in the show.

This was one of my favorite shots from this weekend's performances. This part had great visual effect, especially if you sat up high in the stands. But as you can see, it has a great effect from my point-of-view, as well.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Endless Possibilities

On my way back, last Fall, after my trip up the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway, I made a stop in Lone Pine, California and decided to finally see the Alabama Hills (Yes! We are still talking about California here).

Alabama Hills, as you can see, is very scenic and it's no wonder why Hollywood has used this area over 150 times to film movies and TV shows, especially westerns. They even have a road named Movie Road. There is no cost to enter this area. It is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

For a photographer, this is a place of just endless possibilities, as far as composition goes. I really enjoyed driving my car along these dirt roads. Talk about a scenic drive! Layers upon layers of rocks.

I really like how this dirt road winds, as well as how it clearly shows the layers of rocks, which is what you will see all over here. The challenge of this area is to not take the same photo as any other photographer.

The curvy road, as it disappears around the rocks, sort of leaves you guessing where it continues to weave through and around the next set of rocks and so forth. This is no photographic trick that fools the viewer. I had this same exact feeling as I was driving, wondering where this dirt road will lead next.

Exploring can be such fun!

About Me

San Diego, California, United States
Thanks for checking out my photography blog. I am a photographer from America's finest city, San Diego, California. This blog is just a regular update of what I am photographing or what catches my fancy, when I am out and about with my camera. So subscribe and stay up-to-date with my latest photographic adventures.


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