Silcox Hut Wedding

9 01 2010

As a photographer nothing is better than shooting in a different location, especially for a wedding. When I met with Sarah & Ryan they told me about their winter wedding plan to get married on Mt. Hood above Timberline Lodge at the Silcox Hut.

Now, if you haven’t heard of the Silcox Hut, it was built in 1939 by Ferdinand Silcox and it’s primary function was to be used as a warming hut for the Magic Mile chairlift, the 2nd chairlift in the United States. The Hut is located over 1 mile up the mountain at 6950 feet, 1000 feet above Timberline Lodge. (For more info visit Wikipedia).

A few weeks before the wedding I met Sarah & Ryan at Timberline for a quick ride in the snowcat up to the Hut. We went over details and I scouted the place for my first time. I knew before even getting up there that it would be impossible to take a bad photograph at their wedding!

So, over the next few weeks after the meeting, I came up with a few ideas and knew what I needed for lighting and camera gear. I packed as light as possible so I could carry everything in one trip on the snowcat. The ceremony was scheduled for after sunset and at that time the inside of the hut would be very dark so a light kit was a must! Also, with every wedding I plan to take at least one well-thought-out, amazing photo….all I had to do was wait and see what the weather threw at us!

Once we arrived at the hut on the wedding day the weather was great but blizzard-like conditions and 8-12 inches of snow were in the forecast! We quickly took a few outdoor photos, then headed inside to set up for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Everything went as planned, the ceremony was awesome, and the winter weather rolled in!

Now for the last photo of the day, the “blizzard photo”! Since the bride would be in her wedding dress (plus a pair of boots) I needed to work fast! The snow was blowing sideways and the temperture was in the 20’s! I set the camera on a tripod and planned for a 4-5 second exposure. While the shutter was open I used 2 canon 580ex2 flashes to add a small pop to the outside of the hut, and to the “dipping” bride & groom. Well, without further explanation, here is the final image, a short  behind-the-scenes video, and a few more images from the wedding day. Enjoy!

Sarah & Ryan: "Blizzard Photo"

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan's Silcox Hut Wedding

Sarah & Ryan: "Blizzard Photo"





Wilsonville “Contenders”

15 12 2009

Back in November I did the team & individuals for the Wilsonville girls Varsity team. Just like the girls at Lakeridge, they too had a team theme….”Contenders”. Their idea was to have boxing incorporated into the team poster!

For the final poster image, I had a perfect idea, knew exactly what the team needed and how I wanted the final image to look. I wanted to use two images photoshopped together: a background image of a boxing gym with an image of the girls superimposed over it.

For the background image I wanted to  use a technique called “HDR” or “high dynamic range”. Basically, it’s a photoshop merging of 3 different image exposures. Luckily, my father-in-law is a boxing trainer for the #1 ranked female boxer in the nation, Molly McConnell, so first thing was to call Molly and set a date to shoot the images at the gym where Molly trains, Grand Ave. gym in NE Portland. The main image of the girls was taken on the day I shot the team & individuals at the school.

Here is the final composite image, the HDR background, and the main image of the girls as taken on team photo day:

Wilsonville Girls Varsity: "Contenders"

Grand Ave. gym, photoshop HDR

Wilsonville Girls Varsity 09





Lakeridge Girls Varsity: “Fast & Furious”

11 12 2009

Had another awesome team photo shoot last week. This shoot was for the Lakeridge Girls Varsity basketball team! This year their theme was “Fast & Furious”. Here’s a YouTube video and the final poster shot!:

HUGE thanks to Mike Reams for shooting the video for me!!!!!!

Lakeridge Girls Varsity "Fast & Furious"

Lakeridge Girls Varsity "Fast & Furious"





Basketball Season & Arena Lighting!

17 11 2009

In the past, I have always photographed in small gym’s and they always have terrible lighting! I mean, in order to stop action, especially very fast action like dribbling basketballs and 6’9″ guys slamming a serious dunks, etc., you need expensive lenses and top-of-the-line cameras, ie: Canon 1D Mark 2’s or Mark 3’s that can follow focus that fast action. 

At a minimum you need 1/500th of a second and in those dark gym’s that means shooting 1600 or higher ISO’s. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Quality! The newer camera’s are starting to get better with the grain quality but what better way to get good quality but to lower that ISO down in the 400 range, and stop the action with flash duration (I will probably make a blog post in the future regarding flash duration but a basic explanation is the time the light from the flash that falls on the subject) but anyway…. use arena lighting!!

So, with the upcoming basketball season I thought I would finally sit down and create a couple video clips to share with potential clients. The argument is this “oh, I dont want those bright flashes going off during the game because it will distract the players….”. Uh, not if you do it right! The positioning of the lighting is crucial, yes, but if proper testing is done, it can be perfected and create amazing results!

Oh, and remember, I don’t charge a fee for shooting action so email me your team’s schedule and have me shoot a game for your team!

Here are two videos I created that show the full-speed action, along with some still images in between. ENJOY!

Can’t forget the ladies!….

The gym at Mt. Hood Community College with 2 lights bounced off the ceiling:

2 lights bounced off the ceiling

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

Now this is taken without the lights firing, same settings, horrible quality!





Blazers – Game One!

28 10 2009

Wow, can’t believe the regular season is finally here! It was great to see all those familiar faces…and some new ones too. How long has it been, like 6 months since we played Houston in the playoffs? I heard the Canzano show on my way to the game that: “it seems like we’ve been playing Houston all summer”….for sure, LOL!

For me, tonight started like we left off back in April…CRAZY! My shot list was full for pre game so if you yelled at me on the concourse and I missed you or if I just gave a wave…sorry but I was runnin’ everywhere!

It is definitely nice to be back shootin’ the games…can’t wait to see how these guys play together and follow the team again. One down, 81 games plus playoffs remain….UPRISE part 2, bring it!

GO BLAZERS! Here’s a few from tonight!





Mt. Hood Hoops Photo Shoot – Part 1

22 10 2009

Since I graduated college from Mt. Hood in 2001 I have always had an association with the Mens basketball team there at the college. The story goes, back in 2000, then Coach Neilson, recruited me from the photo program. I recall one day this guy showed up to the photo room looking for a sports photographer. Naturally, I was the “sports” guy in the photo program so I agreed to cover games, I was excited to shoot some basketball action! I was looking to get great images for Coach Rob as well as my portfolio for class. It also opened a door to having me share images with the college newspaper, The Advocate.

I think I shot 3000+ photos that year (film of course!). I would shoot the games on a wednesday night, then after the game at 11pm, drive down to Wy-East photo lab, downtown,  to drop off the film, then go home to sleep & drive back downtown at 8am the next morning to pick up the negatives, then drive back to the college in Gresham to edit the film. After I edited and chose the 2-3 images I wanted, I would scan the film, convert to black & white in Photoshop and send the files to the sports editor to make the afternoon deadline for the friday printing of the paper. I ended up winning first place for division 3 best sports photo , and honorable mention for best photography (keep in mind that I only shot sports for the paper so that was HUGE!).

So since I graduated the photo program, I always make it a point to shoot action at a game or 2. I love to follow the team and hope they have a good season to make it to the NWAACC Championship games in Tri-Cities……they always do!

Now on to this year’s photo shoot! Coach Rob has since stepped down from coaching and has passed the rains to his assistant coach Geoff Gibor. “Gib” has been with the team for as long as I can remember and I have always worked with him in the past. Now that he’s head coach he has been doing a great job of team promotion and getting the Mt. Hood name in the Community. That’s where the photo shoot comes in!

For the first part of the shoot we wanted the standard white background to easily cuy out the players from the background and use them in various web site and poster applications. Here’s a couple image examples and

click here for the part 1 video!

Before I forget, a HUGE “thanks” to Bryan Heim for shooting the video and assisting me on this shoot!





Mt. Hood Hoops Shoot – Part 2

22 10 2009

Now that you have seen the first part of the shoot with the white background, it’s time for part 2, dramatic action and the team portrait! (If you havent seen the part 1 video, click here).

Last season, 2008-09, the Portland Trail Blazers and Getty Images Photographer, Jonathan Ferrey, did a very cool portrait session for the team and I wanted something similar (for Blazers portrait examples visit the Getty web site, search for “blazers portrait” and click over to about page 8). He set two studio lights in the background and had a large softbox to light the front of the players. I took this idea and gave it my own spin. I used the same 2 lights in the background but I also wanted a good spot light on the floor to light the Mt. Hood logo and the player.

Now, once all the individual portraits were taken it was time for the team portraits. Coach Gib had the idea that he wanted the players walking through fog. I did my homework and after talking to Denis at Pacific Grip & Lighting he suggested dry ice and said it would stay low to the ground. We also opted to use a fog machine to haze the background air along with the dry ice for the ground effect. Gib & I were pumped, this would be waaaaay cool!

Here are a few action photos, a few setup photos, the awesome “fog” shot, and how Gib used them in this year’s posters! 

Also, click here for the part 2, behind the scenes video!