Shooting action photos with a flash.  Photo a day, day 88, Tempest Freerunning Academy, Inglewood, August 2014.  

I had a clear idea of the photo I wanted before I arrived at the trampoline park today.  I pictured a very dark background with a well lit subject floating, frozen in the frame.  To get this effect I knew I would need a flash and the fast syncing speed of my Fuji x100.  Flashes are incredibly useful for freezing fast motion and also isolating a subject by cutting ambient light.  In this photo I used an off camera flash to light the subject and tried to cut as much ambient light as possible by using a very fast shutter speed (1/1000).

Can’t take great photos every day.  Photo a day, day 87.  Venice, August 2014.

It is really difficult to take a great photo a day. But, every day still I try.  One of the skills I have learned from taking photos every day, no matter how busy I am in the non-photography domains of my life, is the ability to take a “not-bad” photo even when no good photos seem to be coming to me.  Some days not bad is the best I can do, and today was one of those days.

At home with Yuki, an iPad, and Hipstamatic. I forgot how much I liked shooting with the hipstamatic app. The app handles all the technical details and makes the photos look great, so all I need to concentrate on is composition.

Post 29th Birthday Self Portrait.  Photo a day, day 86. August 2014.

After learning how to properly light portraits in my apartment, I started thinking about how to actually take interesting head shots.  I came to the conclusion that by just adding a single prop a headshot would convey much more about a person.  To try my experiment I used myself as a subject and a glass of wine as the prop.  I like this results so much I am going to take portraits of the friends I have over to my apartment as a photo project.  

Using two flashes to shoot portrait photos.  Photo a day, day 85.  

One thing I love about photography is how much there is to learn.  Although I enjoy the spontaneity of street photography, I have recently become interested in taking portraits, specifically with off camera flashes.  To light these photos (one a self portrait, one a photo of my girlfriend Tani) I used two speed lights.  One was placed directly behind the subject pointing towards the wall.  This light would overexpose the wall leaving a pure, white background.  The other light was shot through an umbrella and placed above and slightly to the right of the subject.  This light would cover the subject in soft, flattering light.  

Shooting from your subject’s perspective.  Photo a day, day 84, Venice Beach, August 2014.

One easy way to make photos more interesting is by simply taking photos from a different perspective.  I have found a slight variant of this technique is to shoot on the same level of your subject when taking photos of a subject that is much shorter than me, for example kids or animals.  By shooting on the same level of a shorter subject I capture the world from the subjects point of view, not mine. In this photo I held the camera close to the water to show a kid’s view of the beach.  

Drinking and taking photos in dark rooms.  Photo a day, day 83.  Culver City, August 2014.

Drinking and photography mix very well.  I realized the photos I took that resonated with me most were when I was photographing moments or things that intrigued me, almost like I was subconsciously drawn to them.  Drinking has a way of both bringing your subconscious to the surface and also putting potential subjects at ease, a perfect combination for street photography.  

I took many photos while out last night, but this is my favorite.  I like the action occurring in the middle of the photo, but also the mysterious guy looking at the camera in the lower left corner of the frame.  Because the bar was so dark, I needed to shoot wide open and couldn’t rely on auto focus.  Instead I zone focused to 4 feet and used my flash to illuminate the subjects.