I will be at the Downtown Rail Jam tomorrow evening in Wausau. Come find me at The Teamlab Brand Booth, say hi and grab some stickers.
Excuse the consumer level pic, but I wanted to show that I am, in fact, making things happen here at the JHP offices. Slow but sure progress is being made on all fronts, the new TheTeamlab.com website is in the final phase of programming. I am meeting with some of the TL heavy hitters tomorrow about putting the finishing touches on over the weekend.
The same can be said for Chemishlifestyle.com which should be live in some form by the time you read this.
The picture above is of myself preforming one of my least favorite tasks, stretching mesh on some new screens for some silkscreen jobs next week. The mesh comes in a roll and must be stretched with equal tension (X,Y) in order to take emulsion and pass ink through the screen. This is accomplished with a jig, like my home brew version shown above. Four wide clamps pull the mesh taut and it is fastened to the frame with a distant, industrial cousin of super glue. The glue comes in a bottle that almost guarantees that you will get it on your fingers. After the glue is spread on the screen it is sprayed with a catalyst that instantly cures it, again, ensuring that your fingers will be glued together. It also gives off very strong, nasty fumes, hence the respirator.
More to come. -J.H.
I'm really proud of these, been working on them for the better part of 6 months. The design is least of it, understated as hell, just enough to let people know you're down with the cause. This is definitely not one of those "look at me" caps all the kids have these days. No, this one is special. The important thing here is the cap. New Era would have been nice, it really would have. But not everybody likes that super deep, ear tucked look, and we would have had to up the price to 1% status.
This cap give you options. Adjust the fit until it's perfect, no playing hunt and find like you would with a fitted cap. These will actually fit all the way to 7 3/4" without breaking a sweat. They have a nice structure, I wore one for a month straight, just to make sure they would hold up. The bill is stiff and flat, but you can add some curve to it if you want, not "git 'er done" curve, but just the right amount.
Take your pick, dark, dark gray with gray stitching, or black/gray split with gray stitching.
Available at Outdoor Outlet in Appleton or directly from The Teamlab Facebook page. $25 each.
These have been around for a week, and there are only about a dozen left, so get on it.
More to come. -J.H.
Even though a lot of people have pulled their docks and stored their boats for the winter, I still have a few shoots from earlier in the summer to write about. This particular day was a multifaceted deal with my good friend and Liquid Force rider Matt Larson. Skipper Bud's Marina in Oshkosh loaned us a sacked Tigé Z3 for a few hours, so we loaded up with fresh gear from LF, Vooray, and Teva and set out on the bay to do a little riding and surfing, before returning to the dock to shoot some product details.
Matt is an up and coming rider going to school in Green Bay. I have known his since he was just learning to ride cable when he was in high school. This year he has a some serious backing, and just joined the Vooray Clothing team in the last month or so. Vooray send a big box of product to Matt for the shoot, as you can see, they make some cool stuff.
I spend a lot of time shooting with a Nautique 211, the Tigé is a very different boat. Much bigger, and certainly a more spacious interior. This z3 had plumbing for soft tanks, which fill and dump insanely quickly. It seems like an minor point, but it's so nice to be ready to go with a massive wake within 10 minutes of turning the key, and then to be able to go on the lift immediately upon getting back to the dock.
Obviously, you need to find a use for the fisheye, whenever you bring it.
Matt rode for like an hour, putting up with my requests to do the same thing over and over until we got it just right.
After getting back to the dock, we shot a bunch of PR and detail shots for Matt's various sponsors. I put a few of my favorite in this post. I will update it as these get used over the next year.
I actually went into this shoot thinking that I would be using available light, but a cloudless day and our 4pm time slot got the best of us. A single AB 800 in a 3x4' softbox helped balance a reasonable sky with a reasonable exposure on Matt.
This technique isn't exactly a replacement for a cloudy day, but it looks pretty good and is super fast to set up and move around, which is an important thing.
Right at the end of our shoot, we got exactly 2 clouds that passed directly in front of the sun, giving us about 10 minutes of shade.
Those Teva Gnarskis look pretty awesome, especially in the shade.
So does Matt Larson.
More to come. -J.H.
I really love what I get to do for work. I mean I REALLY love it. Over the last few years I have been able to shoot and design an amazing variety of things, just take a look back at the past few years of posts on this site. Out of all the shoots that I have done the ones that I like the most are ones with friends.
This is my friend Matt Hedrick. I am not that old, but we have been friends long enough that I can't recall exactly when we met. Matt is also an up and coming photographer in his own right, and I was stoked when he asked me to shoot these portraits for him.
On this particular day, we spent a good deal of time ducking in and out of the car due to the weather. You can see in the images above that the ground is wet, it seams like we didn't get more than 10 minutes at a stretch. Both of these images were taken with a Tokina 16-28mm wide angle zoom. This is not exactly what you would think of as a good portrait lens, but it does offer an interesting perspective and a dramatic looking background.
The ambient light was actually like f/8 at iso 100 here, and that was dropped another stop or so to get the look seen here. The key light is an Alien Bee AB800 in a 3x4' softbox boomed above and to the right of the camera.
More to come. -J.H.
I've been shooting a lot of stuff outdoors in the last couple of weeks, following my usual pattern for this time of year. Things generally look pretty nice outside going into fall, it's that time when the kids who left their senior portraits until the last second start to scramble to get them done, and I am sick of living in a hot, uncomfortable studio. Location shooting is a sort of blessing Traditionally, I would be shooting with a bag full of speedlights for many of these shoots, but this year I am trying something a little different. On many shoots I am using a single Alien Bee AB800 in a 3x4' softbox with a 2 stop diffusion and powered by a lithium battery/inverter.
When I purchased my first set of big lights I kind of jumped all over the Norman pack & head setups mentioned in THIS post. They were rugged and powerful, and people were practically giving them away on ebay (sadly, no longer the case). But they were also very heavy and kind of a pain to set up on the fly. They are still my go-to setup for shooting on white seamless or indoors, but I picked up a pair of the Alien Bees and 2 Vagabond Mini's in June, and I have been giving them workout over the last few months.
Below you can see the result of that single 3x4" softbox boomed overhead and slightly to the left of camera. There are a few reasons for doing this.
The most obvious reason is the light fall off. Josh is on the far left of this photo, his sister Bekkah is on the far right, and their parents Jim and Wanda are in the middle. If I had positioned the light just out of the frame, Josh's shirt would be blown out (it nearly is now) and Bekkah's face would be underexposed to a noticeable degree. By moving the light further back, you get a more even exposure across the frame, but you end up with an effectively harder source (I promise to shoot the setup next time). The other reason to move the light further away that it gives a little more of a punchy look and not as much of a beauty wrap. I would liken this setup to using a beauty dish in close on a single subject, a technique that I like to use very often. The physical size of the light is bigger than a beauty dish, but it's effective size is very similar. The light from this setup is fairly dramatic, but not what I would call particularly flattering. It is best used with full length shots, some subjects may not like the sort of "depth" this light can create on their face.
As you can see, this also scales pretty well for larger groups. The above shot was done with the same light setup and a Tokina 16-28 to fit the group in (I'm standing with my back to a wall). Again, it's not a beauty light, but it does look very dynamic with a very simple setup. You can see that the shadows are pretty hard here, the only fill being the ambient in the scene. I kind of like this look, but you could lighten the shadows by raising the ambient exposure. Alternatively, if you like the darker background, you could use a bare speedlight on-axis to lift the shadows on the face slightly.
Here is a third example, same setup as the other two images. Like I said above, this technique lends itself to a full length portrait the best, it is possible to do a shoulder length image (we did just that on this shoot) but you have to be mindful of the contrast on the face if you are going to try it.
More to come. -J.H.
In July I got the chance to photograph the world's best young canoe athletes as they competed in the the U23/Junior World Championships at Wausau Whitewater. I was there for two days, shooting the qualifying and semi-final runs. The speed and grace of these athletes is pretty incredible to watch, even through a 300m lens. Here is a selection of my favorite frames shot over those two days.
These were the Slalom World Championships, so the boats are not exactly what you would think of as a whitewater boat. These are thin hulled, ultra light and ultra fast canoes. I guess technically there are events for both canoes (c1 and c2 in this case) and kayaks (k1 and K2). The number indicates the number if athletes in each boat. The letter indicates the type of boat, paddle and position of the athlete.
The two pictures above are of K1 paddlers. The athletes in this class use a double bladed paddle and sit in the boat. You can see that they are wearing skirts to keep the water out of the boat. Although Wausau Whitewater is a pretty flat course, the skirts are pretty crucial to keep them afloat.
Above you can see one of the German men's C2 teams. You can see that they are using single bladed paddles. It's slightly difficult to see in this image, but they are also kneeling in the boat. This puts their center of gravity slightly higher and allows for effective use of the single bladed paddle.
Here is a Women's C2 team from Great Britain. In this slightly wider shot you can gain a little insight into how the course is set up. Paddlers must maneuver though a series of gates as they make their way down the course. The runs are timed, and paddlers must guide their boats through the 1m wide gates without touching them. A touch adds a full second to their overall time, a missed gate adds a whole minute to the overall time. This pretty much ensures that there is no scenario where it is faster to skip a gate if you miss it on the first approach.
If you haven't noticed, there are two type of gates, each with a designated color. Green gates must be cleared in a downstream direction while the red gates must be cleared paddling upstream.
The gates are positioned to give the athletes a particular scenario to solve based upon the type of gate, it's position to other obstacles, and it's position to other gates on the course.
There are some that require paddlers to power through and track a clean line, while others require a lot of control and finesse so you don't end up blowing past a gate and have to paddle too far back up to clear it.
The last two images above illustrate the difficulty of navigating some of the upstream gates. This particular gate was placed directly after one of the most technical drops on the course. Not only was this challenging in terms of controlling speed, but it's placement forced the athletes to take a more challenging line to avoid passing the gate in the wrong direction.
The gates themselves are hung from cables spanning the width of the river at regular intervals. This allows the course designers to easily change the course between the rounds of competition. The course used for qualifying was very different from the one used in the finals.
This is Jessica Fox, she went on to win a silver medal in the London Olympics just days after this photo was taken.
I few more images from the weekend.
More to Come. -J.H.
Above are some of the die cuts that we just finished for TheTeamlab.com. They will be sold on that site and at events over the winter to help offset the cost of travel and creating content for the site. This is important stuff. TheTeamlab.com is a site dedicated to the development of a better action sports community in the Midwest. On October 1st the site will be relaunched with many new features, including a comprehensive list of events and companies that call this state home. Much of the work on this site is done by volunteers and it is a tough job to stay up to date on news and events in the Midwest. The stickers will sell for $3 and the profits raised will go directly towards covering expenses associated with running the site.
If you want to help support TheTeamlab.com pick up a couple of these and stick 'em on your board, your car, or give them to your fiends. Helps spread the word, while backing the work that these guys do at the same time.
More to come. -J.H.
I haven't written a technical post in quite a while. This is mostly because I haven't really been on the gear hunt that much lately. One new thing that I have been using is these Petrol semi-hard cases. I have been using these for about 6 months now, and I have been pretty impressed with the quality. Lighting cases are an expensive investment, and sometimes it is hard to stomach the additional cost of purchasing a good case when you have just dropped several hundred to several thousand dollars on lights. Here I will tell you how I chose my cases and why cheaper isn't always better.
I spent a fair bit of time looking at different options, but in the end I chose some cases from Petrol Bags.
The PCAB-2R is designed for carrying audio gear on set. It is an affordable, semi-rigid roller bag with configurable padding and a tough exterior. I have been using this bag to carry a set of Nikon prime lenses that have been converted for video use, as well as a base video package. This isn't a large case, but it holds 6 lenses, a follow focus, base plate, cage, rails, a small led light, matte box, a full set of 4" ND's, a set of lav. mics, 6" monitor, and a few other little bits with ease. The pads are some of the better made that I have seen, with this much stuff in one case, that protection is important. Really, the only other option in this category would be Pelican. This case costs about half what a comparable Pelican roller would have, and it has better padding to boot. Unless you fly a lot, I would go with the Petrol.
Another thing that I really like about this case is that the interior is bright orange. This is a big deal when you are trying to find stuff at night or on a dimly lit set. I am working on a full blown post about this bag and what gear is in it. I will have more photos and words about it in a week or so.
The other bag in the picture is the PL2004 Deca. This bag comes in a few different sizes, and you will definitely want to get the large size. The photo above is from back in May, and I have crammed a bit more into the case since then. Currently, I have 2 norman 808m packs, 4 heads, 5" reflectors, speed rings, a large and a medium softbox, the power cords, sync cords, tape, super clamps, A clamps, and a few sheets of gel in there. It is pretty much a small studio in a single case. Again, the interior is bright orange, and the dividers are nice and sturdy. My case came with a free dolly rig that I would recommend getting as well, even if you have to pay for it. Repeatedly lifting 100lb+ cases gets old really quickly.
The only thing that I don't like is about this case, is that it is only about 34" long. While the specs say that it can hold 4 light stands, the shortest ones that I own are about 38". If you want to pack your stands and lights in a single case you will probably need to look elsewhere. I will am hoping to write up a little post on this bag as well, with some more detailed pictures. Call it 2 weeks out on that post.
The positive thing about these is that a quality bag can last you through several sets of lighting gear. Also, a well packed bag will pay for itself in both time and money pretty quickly. The sort of things that you put in these bags are usually quite expensive, even a broken bulb can cost you over $100. Add that to the the time and money that your production loses when you have an equipment failure, and it becomes a little easier to justify the expense
Both of these bags are sturdy enough that you can store your gear in them as well. This means that your stuff is always packed and ready to go at a moments notice. It is easy to know exactly what you have packed because everything is in a single bag, there is nothing that can be accidentally left behind.
More to come. -J.H.