Blagg Summer Wedding, June 4, 2011

Recently I was invited by a co-worker bride-to-be to her wedding, and I asked if she had a photographer. Her reply was she did, but I asked if it was alright to be a 2nd photographer. While the 'main' photographer who was a relative mostly took pictures of the procession and some ceremony, and did all the formal shots, I don't believe much was taken of the 6 hour reception afterward, so I was glad I acted as a backup. It was an outdoor in-the-park wedding and one seriously hot day with an extremely bright overhead sun so there was a lot of contrast to contend with. While it was extremely hard to get ceremonial shots in because everyone milled everywhere with their point-n-shoots including in front of the main photographers, I did manage a few suitable shots.
For my first wedding it was quite a trial run, and a Godsend for being more of an informal ceremony (the couple had been together for 13 years and have 3 children so everyone already really knew each other).
Hectic -yes, somewhat crazy -yes, would I do a wedding again? absolutely!
I admit I am still kicking myself for certain things, but I loved the learning experience.
Below are the best contenders...
*Nikon D80 @400iso -A mode (f/8) +  Nikkor AF 75-300mm   -manually focused for faster focusing
*post-processing GIMP, shadows-highlights script for extreme contrasts, levels adjusted
"Blagg wedding" "Robert Blagg" "Kelly Blagg" "June 4 2011" "Blagg wedding June 2011"


4th of July, last year 2010

With July 4th coming up with another photoshoot opportunity, I figured I'd post the rest of the only good part of the parade from last year, the local Moolah Shriners Go-Cart Clowns. (The first pic of this series is located on my first posting.) Hopefully this year's parade will be far better than the sorry thing last year..  and maybe this time I can get better shots of the Shriners circling each other. Check back a little after the 4th to see photos of this year's parade and its attendees.
(click on any pic to enlarge)
*Kodak GC400, Nikon N8008 + Nikkor AF 28-85mm
"July 4 2010" "July 4 Bridgeton MO"



I thought I'd answer early on before someone asks later, my most used Photo Gear:

*Nikon Nikkor 28-85mm AF-s
my fav all-purpose lens at moment; this lense also has a M "macro" setting allowing close-ups of a sort. semi-wide, normal, portrait zoom.
bad point- horrible to manual focus due to a narrow and nearly impossible to find focus ring
*Nikon Nikkor 75-300mm AF-s
mainly used for nature photography, recently used as the primary lense for a wedding outdoors; dslr sensor crop makes it 450mm- took crazy far away shots with no one noticing; also love the fact that I can quickly manual focus and zoom without handshifting thanks to the wide focus ring
bad point- zoom creep? -more like zoom limp...
*Nikon n8008
awesome film camera, good points- uses AA batteries, 1/8000 sec shutter (not that i've used it yet), meters even without lense cpu /ai contact in Manual, easily viewable and well-lit info in viewfinder, very usuable command dial
bad point- 'chunky' AF with lenses
*Nikon D80
great dslr. good points- works graciously w/ older AF lenses, 10MP, usable ISOs to 1000 (can do 1600+)
bad points- underexposes by 2/3 stop, doesn't meter even on manual if can't figure out lense in use, horrible ae/af lock; other points- on my end, I can't stand the double command dials or the push-in ae/af lock compared to the great slider switch on the N8008, nefariously hard to read info in viewfinder- also doesn't give info such as changing modes /iso on fly like N8008
*Nikon CoolScan II (20e)
works alright at 2700dpi scan which is so much better than a 1 hour lab scan (gag); the only compliant I have and presumably from its age, is the lack of definite color adjustment, so normally I attempt to fix the color balance using GIMP and a previously scanned frame of the Macbeth color chart
currently trying to switch to Kodak Ektar 100 (c41), though still use off-shelf Kodak GoldColor 200 /400
 most people use PS, but I think it's just expensive overblown bloatware; 700 dollars, serious learning curve, and it only runs on nearly-top-line hardware- it crawls on a P2,1G ram PC if it gets there at all.
Currently my setup is scan film NikonScan /upload, FastStone view /RAW convert, and GIMP for everything else, and if need be maybe run the final through Noise Ninja.
I love GIMP- it even runs smoothly on my ancient 700mhz 512mb PC- figure that one out Adobe! my only quelm with GIMP right now is that it isn't 16+ bits, only 8, but supposedly that will be fixed by version 3.0 (which is sadly about 3 yrs from now!)
The other thing I love about it is it's open-source, free, and freely contributable to. There are 2 awesome scripts I recommend, Meaningful-Black (kp24_zone_adjustment.scm) for color-cast, and Shadows-Highlights (shadows-highlights-2.4.scm) for heavy contrasts, the later one saved alot of pics (and headache) for the wedding I mentioned that was shot outdoors in june with high noon conditions and no ND filter.
*Nikon sb-27
ok. good points- small size!
bad points- no rotate /tilt, have to use Manual on d80, and I absolutely abhor the ant-size buttons!
*Sunpak 433d
love these. cheap, GN118, easy sliders. I don't know if these even TTL or what, because I use these with remote radio triggers. bad points? none for what i'm using them for, as they are for my 'strobist' attempts
"most used Nikon gear" "nikon n8008" "nikkor af 28-85mm"
Soon to follow posts-  '4th of July, last year '10'  &  'Blagg Wedding, 2011.06.04'


...and away we go

Moolah Shriner Clown
Kodak GC400
This is the start of my personal /blog /picture /site.  When Geocities closed thanks to SouthWestern-Bell greed, I couldn't find any good websites (let alone free) suitable for my needs, especially when I hand-coded alot of the layout etc, so this is a hopeful attempt at something useful to showcase artwork, designs, photography, and possibly a lot of rambling inane thoughts.

If you received my personal /business card directing you to this site, I first want to express my complete gratitude for your decison to peruse here; hopefully what is seen and read will influence you further to contact me and together we can progress to a mutually satisfying end.

contact:  0.sm.fsts@gmail.com