Category: Around Town

FIRST Worlds Event Photography

A post of FIRST Worlds event photography.  These images are of Team RUSH 27 and their involvement and winning of the FIRST World Championship, held in downtown Detroit this May.

FIRST is an international organization that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. (lifted from their webpage). Specifically this competition was for the high school level student competing in a co-opetition of radio controlled robots.  Over 400 teams from around the world came to Cobo Hall for there days of competition and then off to Ford Field for the finals.  Team RUSH, along with their other three alliance teams won!

I got involved with Team RUSH about 5 years ago when Mrs. Hughes asked if I would share some images of a t-shirt robot I had photographed at a Clarkston High School football game, I agreed.  She also asked if I would be interested in helping the team out with photography, I agreed.  I have been hooked ever since.  That year they won the most prestigious award – The Chairman’s Award.

My involvement is mostly event photography, portrait and banners, general photography and video to help support the team. I also do what I can to mentor aspiring photographers and help out with social media in general.

Restaurant interior HDR photography

Examples of restaurant interior HDR photography.  A local restaurant, Ninos, needed updated shots of their interior for use in their website. I got in a bit before the lunch customer arrived one cold winter day.  Because of the difference in brightness between the interior and exterior I chose to use a multi exposure technique called HDR.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is a software process where multiple images of the same scene are combined to create an optimal image.  For these images I chose a 3 exposure HDR, an on exposure, a 2 stops bright and two stop dark exposures.  The software chooses the best part of the images.  It may use the bright exposure for shadows and a portion of the dark exposure for bright areas.  It is easy to push the software too far and get false or over enhanced color.  I even made some panoramas from some of the HDRs.  Three exposures for each image, up to 8 images per panorama, that is 24 images to create on image.

Give them a try.  The food is excellent and the service is fantastic and friendly.

Nino’s Italian House

4255 Baldwin Rd

Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Downtown Clarkston light trails photography

This Downtown Clarkston light trails photography is a project I did for the Clarkston Chamber upcoming directory cover.  Don Rush of the Clarkston News is the publisher and acting art director.  We had done a previous shoot of scenes of Clarkston shot with HDR and neither Don or I we super pleased with the results.  Don had seen a similar photo online and comped up the cover.  I was it and was inspired to do this.

To shoot this I placed a tripod in the backseat of my car and pointed the camera out the back window.  In the uncropped versions, you can see my side mirror.  I then drove up and down Main Street as the evening got darker, using different shutter speeds to create the trail of lights.

I’m pretty sure Don will use one of these for the Chamber directory.

Can you guess the various buildings in Clarkston.  They are all upon and down Main Street.


Downtown Clarkston HDR photography

Here is some Downtown Clarkston HDR photography I did this summer for the cover of the Clarkston Chamber Guide.  I was working with Don Rush, the publisher of the Clarkston News to supply a photograph of something classic Clarkston business.  Ultimately we ended up going in a different direction and did not use these shots.

HDR photography is a process of combining multiple exposures of the same scene where there are brighter and darker exposure, capture detail in all the shadows and highlights.  Photographic software like Lightroom, Photoshop and a bunch of apps combine the exposures to make a pleasing shot.  Some of the software allows adjustments and some do it for you.  It is easy to go way overboard with the HDR software and get artificial looking images.  It is all under the control to the photographer.

I have used HRD here as a way to make a pleasing balanced image to bring back what our eyes and brain see.  Cameras today have limited (but much improving and considerably better than film) dynamic range.  The camera cannot record the wide difference in the lightest and darkest area on scenes like this.

The shot of Old Village Cafe is a multipart panorama in addition to an HDR, so there are 12 separate images to make this one.  Other shots include Honcho’s umbrellas, the side alley next to Union Woodshop, the clock in front of The Fed and a couple in the downtown area.