Road Trip Across America – (Part 1: The Plan)

iLHP is doing a photography road trip across America. The plan is to drive from Boston to Los Angeles via a southerly route,  across 15 states, two mountain ranges, three time zones, 3790 miles (6100KM), and about $500 in gas (if I’m lucky). Since it’s such a rare opportunity to do a massive drive like this, I want to make the most of it. So, my time table is pretty loose and I’m planning for making the journey in two weeks.

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Ideally, I’d like to say this trip has been in the works for some time, and that I’ve gone through painstaking planning. Honestly, I planned this trip in one night, first by researching what I wanted to explore in America and then working out the route itself on www.roadtrippers.com. Let’s see how I did.

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Shooting in Groups | A New Experience

When I first starting shooting on somewhat of a regular basis, it was all done with my iPhone 4s and alone.  I was living in Paris at the time and would be walking around and see something that would catch my eye and I would quickly capture the moment.  The more I would photograph, the more I was determined to improve my skills and learn how to properly use a camera.

I did some research and decided to purchase a Canon 70D just last September.  I have used a Canon many years before but only used it in fully automatic mode. I had no real technical background or an understanding of photography whatsoever!  I would encounter difficult situations that I didn’t know how to perform and decided it was time to get a better grasp on the basics of photography.  I enrolled in few beginner courses to educate myself enough to become familiar with my camera and the basic tools necessary to achieve my desired vision.

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Glasgow, Scotland | Shot with iPhone 4s | October 2012 | Taken by Alyssa Black |

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Fashion Shoot Jams – Japanese Nujabes & Hip Hop Mashups

I have a good friend that used to teach English in Japan. When he asked his class to practice English conversation, things were awkward at first. Then he put on some music. The timidness went away, smiles and hand gestures starting flying, and it quickly turned into a party.

Shooting with a model is similar. Silent photo shoots are like getting your passport photos taken. The model doesn’t really have any vibe to emote off of, and it makes for conversation between photog and model very awkward.

In this new series, I’ll highlight some music I use during my fashion shoots. They’re mostly off the beaten path. But at iLHP, we’re always here to give you something different.

#1) FreshGalaxy – “Sky’s the Limit” Notorious B.I.G./Nujabes Mashup [Explicit]

http://youtu.be/8bEj8tcMVDw

FreshGalaxy is the best artist you’ve never heard of. His mashups are so good, they make the original songs sound bad. It’s kinda like when a cover is so much better than the original that it takes on a life of its own. He’s not professional, but he does have an album on iTunes. But his best stuff are free for download through his YouTube links.

Mood: Intimate, urban, and beat heavy against a beautifully repeating lyrical background. This song reminds me of a 3am drive down Avenue of the Americas with my wife’s hair flowing in the breeze from the open sunroof.

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What’s in my Camera Bag?

When I used to shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, I had a whole system based on the Kata 3n1-20. That thing was superbly designed. It was a backpack that could be used as a sling for lefties and righties. It had a trolley system so you can use it as a roll-on bag. It even had a tripod/monopod holder that I regularly used. It was great. It was always ready. I could pick up and travel with me anywhere in a moment’s notice. It could carry the pro body, 5 lenses, all the chargers, miscellaneous gadgets, and even an iPad. But, fully laden, it weighed up to 40lbs.

The switch to the FF mirrorless Sony A7 has been a joy. Superior image quality at half the size and weight. With the smaller camera, I was also able to significantly lighten my gear. To quote Lotus cars founder Collin Chapman:

“Simplify, then add lightness”

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The Fairytale Garden

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Very design blade of grass with a dew drop at its end. The bokeh adds the magical atmosphere to this image. (90mm, f/3.2, 1/640 sec, 200 ISO)

Macro Photography is interesting as it allows us to see what we cannot plainly see with our eyes. A simple lawn with morning dew becomes a place where artistic subjects cohabits with bugs and incredible lansdscapes making a fairytale of all of these things.

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Snail on a flower petal at twilight (90mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, 320 ISO)

It’s also a very convenient photography field because you don’t need to live in a wonderful place or travel to fabulous countries to find artistic and amazing sceneries! Continue reading The Fairytale Garden