Monterey Country Club, Palm Desert, CA
Thanks Matt for letting me use the Monterey Country Club to shoot the Palm Desert fireworks. The last (16th) photo was shot 5 minutes after the fireworks ended. Many of the photos were shot while I zoomed the Canon 70-200mm lens.
I know JJ likes to know the equipment and camera settings:
Canon 5d Mark III (two bodies); one body fitted with the Canon EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS II USM lens, and the other Canon 5d Mark III fitted with the Canon Zoom Lens EF 16-35mm 1:2.8 L II USM.
I was in manual focus set at infinity.
I was in bulb mode.
I used a shutter cable release.
Settings didn’t change. I was at ISO 200; f/5.6 for a few and f/8 for most.
Focal length was typically between 70-100+.
When used zooming was one direction (not back and forth) and slowly.
Bulb time was a guessing game depending on how white and bright the fireworks were. Sometimes a second and sometimes longer up to 3 seconds or so.
I started shooting the fireworks with the 70-200mm lens but feared I was to zoomed at 70mm and after 10 shots switched to the 16-35 camera/lens. But I felt too far away from the fireworks and switched back to the 70-200mm. I really wanted to get some good firework shots before all the smoke accumulated, but missed the mark using that initial shooting time changing camera and lenses.
I have been trying to learn Speedlites and Speedlites with Pocket Wizards for over 4 years. I’ve never had consistent luck getting all the gear to work consistently with each other. I’d try to figure out where I went wrong. Sometimes they’d fire, and then stop. I’ve been frustrated beyond belief. Each year I’d pick up trying to get them to work, usually after I’d spend more money on newer versions of the same lighting gear. Insanity, I know. I just kept thinking I’d get different, workable, results. I never did. Until………I got the new Wireless 600 EX-TR Speedlite. I don’t need Pocket Wizards anymore when I shoot with 600 EX-TRs (thanks JJ for the loan of one of yours) and the Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2.
Thanks to to JJ for this link to Syl Arena’s video tutorial on the Canon 600 EX-TR Speedlite. And……for coming over so we could practice with our 600’s.
I’m shooting a Family of 19 tomorrow. So thanks to Jen for coming over to scout locations with me, and thanks to Jen and Stacy who will be helping me at the shoot just outside my home on one of the golf course hillsides in between the Palmer 15th and 16th holes.
I’m open to any suggestions as to where I might sell some of my old lighting equipment.
Item #9 on my to do list today was to go outside around 5pm with my camera and scout out close-by shooting backgrounds for my neighbor’s family group photos I’ll be shooting in a week. I was not seeing backgrounds I liked. The light at 5pm was still too high. It was flat and lifeless. But I kept looking. Until……….., I got distracted by this Snowy Egret. I followed him. He pulled me right away from being serious about scouting for backgrounds. The light was still not great but I decided to underexpose these shots and then put Lightroom presets on them.
I did eventually get back to looking for backgrounds for the 18 people family group shots. I need to find more locations and a variety of ideas on the groupings. I’ve included shots where I might have the family members group around trees and the tree limbs. Your thoughts???? I’m not very creative when it comes to posing ideas so if you have any ideas I’d sure welcome them!
A much needed photo play day with Jen, first in Palm Springs and later by the windmills, 15 minutes west of Palm Springs, near the PCT I-10 underpass.
Jen and I were invited up to a Hookah Lounge in P.S. This charming Palestinian man, only here in the US 1 year, spoke to us about his 6 year imprisonment. He is showing us scars from having been tortured by electricity.
Erika, Jen and I spent late afternoon and evening at the Salton Sea last week. What a joy. And what a great opportunity it was for me as Erika knows so much more than I about flash. This was a first shooting with a skilled photographer. I loved it. I keep saying I need to join a camera club and not be so solo learning photography. Anyone local reading this, let me know if you want to go shooting sometime, ok?
Stacy and I spent time this afternoon practicing with our Speedlights and Pocket Wizard Plus III’s. I’m so lucky I have such beautiful and willing models to practice on.
A big bag of spinach put in the disposal clogged both sinks. Aaron, the greatest plumber ever, came to the rescue.
Cynthia came by with Noah to pick up the turkey soup I made for her Dad and her family.
Four o’clock seems to be the time I’m drawn outside for the remaining 1/2 hour of light. I look outside and think there is nothing to shoot that I haven’t already shot. Ignoring my thoughts, and outside with my eye up against the view finder, something interesting always appears.
Jen and I decided to work on some of our NYIP Lesson Four assignments today. This assignment calls for natural lighting. Today’s shots were just practice. Next week we hope to use lots of makeup and be dressed for the assignment shots. Jen doesn’t look like she needs to do much with herself in this practice shot though.