Sunday, September 30, 2007

WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant)

Having an assistant when shooting here is a must.The WIPP safely disposes of the nation's defense-related transuranic radioactive waste. WIPP is located in the Chihuahuan Desert, outside Carlsbad, NM. WIPP began disposal operations in March 1999. WIPP is a U.S. Department of Energy facility.

I was contracted by an engineering firm to document the underground disposal of the radioactive waste being shipped to WIPP from around the country. When I first received the call for this assignment, my first thought about the waste was that of old fuel rods or something like that. Where in fact, the waste takes the form of old gloves, tools, clothing and other items that may have been exposed to radioactive materials in the process of making nuclear weapons.

Shipments are received by truck from various places like, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rocky Flats, Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab, etc. WIPP has received over 6000 such shipments to date. This waste is stored underground about 1/2 mile down in the Permian Salt Formation. The disposal rooms are roughly 33 feet wide, 500 feet long, and about 15 feet in height.

The really radioactive stuff is placed into horizontal boreholes in the disposal room walls. The other less radioactive stuff is stored in the open rooms in barrels and other types of containers.

Shooting underground is no easy task! Conditions can run the gambit. Dirty, cold, hot, wet, dusty and down right miserable


video

Friday, September 28, 2007

Utility Switch Yard

I posted another You Tube video of a recent shoot for an annual report. I was shooting for a utility company at one of their coal fired power plants in Craig, Colorado.

The client was using some new technology to help detect the possible failure of transformers within their switch yard. If they are able to detect such failures before they happen, the company could not only save money, time and keeping their employee's safe from catastrophic failures.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Medicine Bow Wind Farm

I have just returned from an annual report shoot in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. I was shooting a wind farm for a client on mine. We left Denver at 7:00 am to shoot this assignment, we had a 3 hour drive to the location. With sunrise at 7:30 am, you can see that we where not shooting in the best of light.

Sometimes we have clients that do not want to budget for the amount of time that I feel is required to shoot an assignment. I would have preferred to have overnighted in Medicine Bow, allowing us the opportunity to shoot sunset as well as sunrise before returning to Denver.

I'm including a short video of our shoot, my assistant Erik shot this with my new Canon G9 point and shoot camera.

I've been shooting for 24 years specializing in annual report location work. More of my work can be seen at my http://www.tejadaphoto.com/.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Flickr Explore

Stopped by Strobist this morning and read the latest post regarding Flickr. Flickr has this stream called Explore in which they select images they think are really cool.

I followed the links on Strobist which took me to Flickr Explore, typed in my email address and got the following results. I had an 8, that is to say that Flickr thought 8 of my total images are really cool.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant)

Having an assistant when shooting here is a must.The WIPP safely disposes of the nation's defense-related transuranic radioactive waste. WIPP is located in the Chihuahuan Desert, outside Carlsbad, NM. WIPP began disposal operations in March 1999. WIPP is a U.S. Department of Energy facility.

I was contracted by an engineering firm to document the underground disposal of the radioactive waste being shipped to WIPP from around the country. When I first received the call for this assignment, my first thought about the waste was that of old fuel rods or something like that. Where in fact, the waste takes the form of old gloves, tools, clothing and other items that may have been exposed to radioactive materials in the process of making nuclear weapons.

Shipments are received by truck from various places like, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rocky Flats, Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab, etc. WIPP has received over 6000 such shipments to date. This waste is stored underground about 1/2 mile down in the Permian Salt Formation. The disposal rooms are roughly 33 feet wide, 500 feet long, and about 15 feet in height.

The really radioactive stuff is placed into horizontal boreholes in the disposal room walls. The other less radioactive stuff is stored in the open rooms in barrels and other types of containers.

Shooting underground is no easy task! Conditions can run the gambit. Dirty, cold, hot, wet, dusty and down right miserable


video

Light Painting

Have you ever tried light painting? This is a fun experiment particularly in this digital age. It use to be of course we had to wait for film processing to see our results. Now a days, we have the benefit of instant feedback.

This exposure was taken about 30 minutes after sundown. The shutter speed was 45 seconds long at a unrecorded f-stop perhaps f8.0. During this exposure, I walked into the frame carrying a 1 million candle power flashlight. I lit each of the stepping stone just for an instant as I walked up the gate. While still moving around, being careful not to stand in any one spot for to long. Remember, the shutter is open for 45 seconds, I never stand long enough to be recorded. While out at the gate, I washed the fence and gate with light. I hit each of the pots on the sides of the gate.

When light painting like this, I try to imagine the complete image in my minds eye as I paint. Staying focused on what your doing, will allow you the ability to chance your settings and timing (duration of illumination) in subsequent exposures.

Quite honestly, it only took about 10 tries to get the results shown here. I point this out because I want to stress to you, the importance of visualizing your image and staying focused. It's not that different than visualizing the effects of dodging and burning a darkroom print.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Snoot that strobe

Here is a classic sample of the use of a snooted strobe.

I wrapped my Nikon SB-800 strobe head with Cinefoil creating a snoot on my flash. By containing the spread of light, I was able to light just the subject "Mitch" without contaminating the rest of the wall.

I used an additional Nikon SB-800 with a CTB gel (cooling gel) aimed down the row of meters.




















Here is a sample of the type of snoot fashioned on location. I keep several pieces of Cinefoil with me for this very purposes. Cinefoil cam also be used to flag off light, by placing a piece of foil on the side of the strobe.

I made a post some time ago before I spoke at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif. In this post I show my small lighting kit, you might find it interesting. Hope you enjoyed the post. DT

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lightroom Pick

I've been using Adobe's Lightroom program since their bata first came out. Just love this program! I've been going through my library of images and ran across this older image and I thought I'd post it.

I was traveling through the Orlando airport years ago and grabbed this shot. It was the light that caught my attention, warm and directional. I had made mention to my wife the quality of the light earlier in the concourse. As we turned a corner, I spotted this older man sitting and reading his morning paper.

When you think about it, it truly is all about the light. Doesn't matter what the subject matter is when you have light like that. More of my work can be seen at my home website.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Using Foreground Elements

Placing foreground elements within you shot not only create depth in a photograph, it is an excellent way to frame your subject.

This shot here was done for a hospital client in their lab. By placing beakers and other glassware on a cart in front of the lens, allowed me to frame my subject easily by moving the glassware for a pleasant composition. I lit the lab technition using a softbox from the left, I used a grid with a full CTB gel, this is where the blue cast is coming from on her left side of her head.

Using the backs and shoulders of other in a photo is another good way to frame you intended subject. I was shooting for a Real Estate developer who operates hundreds of apartment complexes around the country. I took one of their sales persons outside on an overcast day and put together this composition using an on sight maintenance person and another sales person as perspective renters.

I used a Nikon SB-800 on a stand pumped through a small octobox to the subjects right (camera left) a fill card was used to bounce fill into the shadow side of the face.

Here are a few more examples applying the same techniques as above. Using foreground elements really help to draw the viewers eye where you want them to go. The only lighting added to the UPS photo below was a fill card held by my assistant to the left of the frame just out of sight. The fill card bounces sunlight back into the subjects opening the shadow side of the face.

The last photo was shot for an oil & gas client in their drafting department. Once again by use of a foreground element depth and framing directs the viewers eye to what is important...Your subject.

I've been shooting for Fortune 500 companies for over 24 years specializing in annual report work. I love this type of work, I never know whats going to handed to me in the way of subjects or weather. Be sure to visit my website to view additional work.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Sense of Scale

Having a sense of scale in a photograph is critically important. I try when ever possible, to include a person (more than likely my assistant) within the photo. This not only provides a sense of scale to the photo but it also allows you the opportunity to interject some human interest.

It's my opinion that the photo here at the left would be less interesting without the 2 worker wearing yellow slickers below at the bottom of the frame.

I this situation, I had the use of walkie talkie's to communicate with the worker below. I was able to position them wherever I wanted and direct them to pose and gesture as needed. Basically I'm recreating an activity that you might see just waking through the facility.

I was shooting an annual report for a chemical company some years back on the gulf coast of Mississippi.

During the summer months you have these wonder sunsets on the gulf coast. I had a wonderful leading line of the pipe straight out to the ship being filled with product. Bay placing a worker in the photo, you see what I mean. Just put your finger over the worker, still a strong graphic shot but more interesting with someone in the shot.

This photo was taken for one of the many oil & gas clients I have. I shot this photo just east of Denver and because it was so close to my home, I was able to scout the location ahead of time. While scouting, I saw this composition and knew I just had to shoot it.

This pipe runs east and west and I wanted to take advantage of a sunrise for this shot. I had a compass with me and I took note of the excite compass heading the pipe was running. When I got back to my office, I went to the web for information relating to sunrise time and compass heading where the sun would rise. For that information, I head to USNO which stands for U.S. Naval Observatory. This online resource is wonderful, you simply plug in your location or the locations your traveling to and the information comes up instantly.

As it turned out, this pipe was running straight inline with the sunrise. Just got lucky! Before I leave on assignment, I check out USNO and print out the sunrise and sunset information for each of the locations I'm traveling to on assignment & vacation.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Road Rags for light control

I recently purchased a set of Matthews Road Rags Light Control Kit. I think these control devices will come in handy. The kit comes in two sizes 18"X24" and 24"X36". My kit is the smaller of the two.

Road Rags are extremely portable light modifiers, the kit comes with a couple of scrims, a flag, one silk and 2 frames to hold them. This kit is very portable and lite weight. The complete kit measures 20"x5"x8" inches (LxWxH). The frames are made of aluminum and are joined with elastic shock cords, very similar to collapsible tent poles.









Here is a look at the kit folded into it's travel size.











You can see from the photo at the left that the frames fold up quite small. The photo below shows the frame opened.




















It appears that the frame is larger that 18"x24" however, when the modifiers are placed over the frame it pull in to the 24" width.



I ran a test to see how the artificial silk would work as a diffusion for my small strobes. I used a flexarm to position the frame and a Matthews Miningrip Head to hold the frames.

I used an SB-800 mounted behind the silk just to the left out of frame. I also place a reflector to bounce some light back in on the shadow side of my face. You can see the set up in the next two photos.

As I continue to try to lighten my load, I find tools like Road Rags that add to the stuff I carry. Time will tell if I get the use out of these as I thought I would when I purchased them.

High Tech Lab Shot

I recently posted a video showing some of the flash equipment I take on certain assignments. The video showing some of the additional items such as Morris Mini's were used here.

First I will tell you that I used a total of 4 lights in this very small location at a lab in Ohio.

Let's first look at the reflection in the glassware at the left of the frame. I used a Vivitar 283 with a blue gel over the flash head with a small softbox attached to the head of the strobe. This strobe was held in place with a Bogen type (Avenger) clamp & flexarm. I had a slave plugged into the strobe which allowed it to fire when another flash in the room went off.

For the main subject, the technician was lit with a single dyna-lite head with a grid on it to contain the light from spilling all over place. The orange light behind the glassware just to the right of the technician was created using a morris mini with an orange gel. I simply taped the strobe to the wall in the corner of the venting hood. The mini fires with the use of a built in slave on the flash. One 4th light gelled with blue, was bounced into the ceiling to the right of the technician to fill the upper right corner of the image with color.

A day without the assistant

I had an assignment the other day where my assistant was unavailable to "assist me" so I headed out on my own. I'd rather shoot with an assistant any day, doing this stuff on your own is difficult. Having an assistant allows me to fully concentrate on the photos and the lights and gear thing can be handled by the assistant.

Anyway, I had to shoot executives in an office environment. I have shot in these office several times before and I am now suggesting to my client that they move. We have shot this place out!

Because I was without an assistant, I chose to go lite with the lighting gear. I've been doing that a lot lately. I find it very challenging to head out with just the small strobes. The gear on this shoot consisted of my Nikon SB-800 set and a few reflectors.

This shot here to the left was shot using 2 SB-800 strobes. I had one in the door opening to the left of the subjects standing in the hallway. I used a folding Westcott umbrella to pump the strobe through to soften the light. The other strobe was placed on a stand just below my lens and bounced into the wall just to the left of the camera for fill. The shutter was dragged in order to capture the ambient light in the background. Down the hall in one of the offices, I set up another shot with 3 executives taking at the doorway.

Here I used just one SB-800 on a stand, camera right and bounced off the ceiling. I was using my Nikon 12-24 mm lens for this shot. By placing myself close to the wall and map, I was able to use the distortion to my benefit. The strong lines of the map draw your eyes to the subjects at the doorway. Another shot I had to do was with 2 other executives talking.

Actually, I knew I had to shoot 4 shots that morning. 3 of those where of executive taking (visiting) with each other and the 4th one in the conference room. I didn't know where I was going to shoot the executives, just find an interesting place somewhere. The 3rd shot here is one of those interesting places, the break room.

This shot was lit with one SB-800 pumped through an umbrella. The shutter was dragged in order to capture the lights on the back wall. I used the bar stools in the foreground to lead you eyes into the shot to where these stiff executives are standing. They really did not want to be there, we go through this every year. Even though they complain every year, they love the photos when the annual report comes out.

The final shot was the most difficult to obtain. First, I working with a bunch of regular people that are not use to being in front of the camera. Well, at least once a year. Anyway, the designer wanted a shiluette of executives in the boardroom which he was going to screen back on the cover of the annual report along with 2 other stock photos.


The problem I had here is that this boardroom did not have a full bank of window behind the subjects. Just behind the the two men in the center of the shot, there is a solid wall. I needed to blow out the wall with light to equal the two other windows on the left and right. I placed a SB-800 strobe on a stand to the left of the frame in the conference room. I pointed it at the wall in the center of the shot and blasted the hell out of it. I used cinefoil to flag off the light from hitting the subject in the center closest to the wall. I been using PocketWizards to fire all the strobes on this assignment.

I've been shooting corporate annual reports for 24 years and absolutely love doing so. It can be very challenging at times which I enjoy, and I also like the travel which comes with the territory. Additional work can be seen at my web site.

Strobist Mention

I woke this morning to a large amount of Flickr and YouTube mail. Thought perhaps David Hobby at Strobist might had pointed his readers to the videos I posted at YouTube.

Sure enough, went over to Strobist this morning and found a post of David's mentioning the videos I posted at YouTube and at my Blog. Not certain if viewer are interested in more or not. Let me know if you would like to see more videos. Thanks. DT

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just another lighting test

Just another lighting and equipment test. This is a photo of my son Chris on his bike in our driveway.

The lighting was very much straight forward, a single light placed camera right. I was using a Lumedyne 800 pack with a large octabox as the light modifier.

I shot this using my Nikon D2X with a Nikon 24mm-85mm lens. I was wanting to see what kind of power or f-stop I could obtain using an 800 pack. The f-stop used was f/14.0 at a shutter speed of a 1/10th of a second. The focal length was 62 mm. I just love the camera data available with every image.

Yesterday I learned that I'll be shooting the complete annual report for a very large construction company. Their specialty is highway construction, I've been told that I will be shooting 8 to 12 projects all around the country. I'm really looking forward to this assignment and I plan to shoot some video while on assignment so I can post some it here in the blog. To see samples of the type of work I anticipate shooting on this assignment please go to Here.
I hope you enjoyed this post. To view additional work, please go to tejadaphoto.com.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Constellation Copper Shoot

I Recently found YouTube and have started posting videos there so I can post them here in my blog. Here is some video of me shooting a subject at a copper mine in Utah, the wind was blowing very hard which you can hear in the clip. I shot this job about a year and a half ago. This give you a small glimpse of shooting on location. I look forward to posting other videos of actual shoots for your enjoyment.

Additional small lights

Here are a few more lights I'll take on assignment when the need arises. These are Vivitar 283's, Morris Mini's and Stick up lights. I will often take these additional lights with me when I know that I will be required to create some sort of control room or laboratory shot. Take a look, perhaps these tips will help you put together your own lighting kit.

Small Lighting Kit

This type of post is something new to me. I taped myself showing the small lighting kit that I might typically take with me on a corporate/industrial assignment. I hope you like it.