Hoofer Rail Jam 2013

Last weekend I photographed the Hoofer Rail Jam down in Madison. The format was a bit switched up this year, as was the location. All in all, it was a pretty fun event. Tyrol basin provided the features and trucked in a ton of snow. Red Bull was in attendance as well with their DJ/Fire Truck. It was frigid cold, and with 4 heats and a final, the contest was over 4 hours long. Enjoy the photos.

Order prints HERE.
Purchase a Digital copy HERE.

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More to come. -J.H.

Color Grading with DaVinci Resolve

I mentioned a while back on the JHP Facebook page that I had purchased a Dell Precision T7400 workstation and have been messing around with Windows 7 a little bit. One of the main reasons why I did this is because I wanted to run DaVinci Resolve, but a Mac that you can stick a decent graphics card in is stupid expensive. The Dell is in it's infancy, but I have been grading a few samples with it. Below is some footage that I shot last spring in Sheboygan, WI. Nothing fantastic, but you can see the power that comes with using a dedicated grading package like Resolve. The first video is a before/after split and the second one is the graded footage. You can see that I over exposed some of the shots, but the end result shows some of that sky detail pulled back.

More to come. -J.H.


Jeez, just over a week-anda-half overdo with my new years post. I will forgo the traditional "Year in Review" type list, if you're interested in that type of thing, let me know in the comments and I can point you to a dozen or so blogs that did this really well in 2011. It's not that I have been too busy write or that nothing interesting to write about, I have had plenty of both, I've just taken a bit of a break from posting over the holidays.

Normally, I would be super busy this time of year documenting the Midwest  snowboard scene, but we have had an absolutely horrible winter this year. No snow, temps in the 40s and 50s.

That's not to say that I have been twiddling my thumbs, I'm actually feeling pretty productive over the last month.

I helped work out a new look for THETEAMLAB.COM. The season has been rough, and it feels good to freshen up the look of the site, even if it's pretty young.

I unloaded a bunch of gear that has just been setting around. The stress of constant travel and perpetually moving around this year has meant downsizing considerably. I just packed up and shipped off a bunch of stuff this week and I have another set of listings ready to go in a few days. Most of the big ticket items are gone, but check my listings HERE. Lots of odds and ends, books, random photo, video, audio and production gear.

That reminds me, I finally got around to finishing the gear section on JOSEPHHORVATH.COM. Lots of links and reviews in the que, set to launch next week. Check it out HERE.

While we're still talking about gear, I've managed to fit a few new pieces into the budget. I'm building up a Nikon based HDSLR rig, shooting lots of tests and even a couple jobs with it. God, it is good to get away from shooting HDV, I've shot 10x as much stuff in the last month than I did all last year. I promise there will be a series of posts describing my rig in sickening detail. Yay.

Of course, Nikon has insisted on castrating there dslr's video functionality. If only there was a Stu Maschwitz who shoots on Nikon, wielding enough influence to give us proper exposure control and whatnot. Oh wait, Nikon Just released THIS, maybe Nikon is on the right path.

I've also picked up another copy of the SIGMA EX 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5, I swore I wouldn't touch SIGMA again, but it was a really good deal and has turned out to be a wonderfully sharp lens (this copy on my bodies, click HERE if you don't understand what I'm talking about). Lens tests are pretty much meaningless but I will probably post one anyway in the future.


Other than that, I have about 100 other partially finished projects, design tantrums, etc. to talk about in the future. No promises, but hopefully I will have something to show soon.



Toolbox: BRNO Dri + Caps

One of the topics that I really enjoy writing about is gear. I mean, at some level every photographer lusts after gear. In the beginning you can't get enough, you read every catalog, memorize every spec, and make crazy lists of stuff that you want. What eventually happens is either you grow tired of photography and move on to the next phase, or you become too busy hunting for that next killer shot to care anymore and you lose a little of that gear lust. For me, it was the latter. I became busy enough with trying to turn photography into a way to support myself to spend much time thumbing catalogs or searching the web for the latest and greatest. If I do buy something new, I am rarely what you would call an early adopter and the folks who get paid to write reviews or blog about such interesting things have probably written said bauble to death. That is why I was pleased on several levels to find the BRNO Dri+Cap. Those of you who shoot in the extreme cold or in humid climates are probably familiar with the effects that all the moisture exposure can have on your expensive gear. Bring your stuff in to a warm humid base lodge from a cold day on the hill and watch the fog appear.

This is enough to scare some people away from using their camera in the cold altogether, but guys like me don't really have a choice in the matter. Camera manufactures have helped by making cameras and lenses more weatherproof with seals and gaskets but that sort of protection only goes so far. Making your gear "splash proof" does not protect against to slow creep of moisture from long term exposure.

The best defense here is to make sure you store your gear in a dry place, that way the air can absorb that pesky moisture and keep things from growing inside your lenses. The problem here is that, if your like me, your gear spends most of it's like in a bag or case in the trunk of a car either heading to or from a shoot. And those non-shooting days tend to be filled with other important things, I would guess that my gear spends the better part of the winter in some sort of wet conditions whether it be snow or a damp camera bag.

Let me be clear here, I try my damndest to take care of my stuff, I'm not trying to give the impression that put my gear in a wet bag and leave it, we're talking about the 95%+ humidity condition, where there is too much moisture in the air to allow your stuff to dry out after use.

Anyway, I have been using these rechargeable desiccant bricks for a few years now. They work pretty well. I have two sets for every kit that I own and dry one set out in the oven while the other set is being used. They offer piece of mind because you know that your gear is dry until the indicator tells you that the brick is saturated and needs to be swapped out for a dry one.

The problem is that the sometimes need to be changed every day or more often when used in wet conditions. During these times its tough to keep up with recharging them, especially when traveling.

This it where the Dri+Cap comes into play. Not only does it add an another layer of moisture absorbancy, they actually seal the rear of your lens, or the inside of your camera against moisture, basically closing up the most susceptible part of you gear.  This also means that your lens gets dry faster and stays dry even if your bag does not.

The Dri+Cap is a two piece plastic affair with the main body of the cap having a small chamber where the desiccant packet lives. That chamber is sealed with an o ring and another smaller cap and the surface that seats against the lens has an o ring as well. The whole system is only slightly larger then the standard Nikon caps and arguably cooler looking (though, that is a matter of taste). The only real downside is that they currently cost like $20 a pop. Not cheap. But when you consider the cost of having to replace or rebuild a 70-200 or 24-70 then it starts to look like cheap insurance. If you don't think you can afford to outfit all your lenses with these at once, get a few for your most expenive glass now, and skip a few coffees until you can afford the rest. Besides that, you only have to buy the caps once and they can be reloaded indefinitely. The build quality is pretty good and they definitely should last for the life of a pro lens.


Ready for Your Close up, Mr. O'Malley?

I shot some senior pics for my cousin Everett a few weeks ago. Part of why I like doing these types of shoots is that I get to spend more time on 'em then is acceptable for a normal portrait shoot, and go to locations that would otherwise be time prohibitive to get some really interesting results. As you can see here, over the course of two days we shot in a studio, in an alley, and even traveled to several locations by boat to get a variety of shots. Unfortunately, I didn't snap many set up shots on this one, but you can still get the idea.[gallery link="file" order="DESC" columns="4"]