I haven't been updating the blog since I started my 365 project back on 01/01/10. The 365 is a project where I take a photo a day for 365 days. You can start the project on any day you want, but of course most people start on 01/01. 3 months into the project I found out my wife was pregnant. A few weeks after that I found out we were having twins. 3 weeks after that we found out we were having triplets. Not much free time for me to blog and keep up with things. I found some cool triplet blogs today that I hope to follow so I can see first hand what others are going through. Maybe I can convince the wife to do a blog together so we can document this craziness we are about ready to embark on, and so we can share all of it with our friends. I have been telling parts of the story during my 365 on flickr, but a blog might be easier for the 2 of us to manage. We will see. Check out www.allanfosterphotography.com to see what all has been going on this year so far. Not every photo is a masterpiece but I am happy with a lot of them which is surprising.
Back in the 1990's I really got into music. I started listening to it a lot more and eventually started trying to make some. I went down to OU while my friends back home in Columbus were working on their band and meeting all sorts of new people in the scene. I started hanging out with Rich and Lizard when they moved to Athens in late 1995. They didn't stay in Athens very long but we got to know each other well enough to where we started hanging out in Columbus whenever I was in town. During the break between my Junior and Senior, me, Rich, Jason, and David formed a band called Coronado. Rich and David on guitar, me on bass and harmonica, and Jason on drums. Rich was the lead singer/song writer and David did some backing up on the vocals every now and then. When I came back for my Christmas break we played a couple of shows around town. During that break we were asked to contribute a song to the LFM holiday compilation "An LFM Christmas Krissingle".
It was a cassette with 4 bands doing covers or originals of holiday songs. The bands were Bigfoot - Silent Night, Preston Furman - A PF Holiday, Earwig - Feed the World, and Coronado - Mrs. Christmas. I'm not too sure how many of these tapes were made up but they all sold at an LFM show at Bernies around the holidays. I have 2 copies of the tape but only one with the case and insert. As you can see it's a little banged up but it still gets the job done. I like to listen to the tape each year at Christmas times to relive the memories and to listen to some great music.
The Coronado song we recorded for the tape wasn't the same as we played it live. For the cassette version I played a drum beat on a brown paper bag and a seat cushion. I also did a track on the harmonica. David played the keyboard and Rich played a little (little meaning the size of the actual guitar) acoustic guitar and sang. Jason was at work when we recorded it but he sings at the end when the music fades back in. I think the lyrics to the song are hilarious. We ended up speeding up the tape just a little bit to get a funny kind of comical sound out of our voices. The recording takes a few seconds to kick in but once it does you will be blown away.
I recently saw somebody online asking about the tape and decided that I should probably put the tracks online. Merry Christmas!
I just tried to add a new blog entry about how I haven't been blogging and it didn't save for some reason. Just one more reason why I am not blogging. Lets try this again. Here is a random photo I took recently.
I love shooting bands and I love getting my flash off camera. Shooting my good friends band at a small club gave me a chance to experiment with options and to see the different results. Shooting at larger venues doesn't allow you any option but shooting the first 3 songs with no flash but with pretty good stage lighting (which helps a ton).
This first shot was taken of Preston Furman with my 580 EX II rigged up to a Home Depot clamp that was hanging upside down from the ceiling. The power was set at 1/8 and I had the ISO at 400 so I could get some good recycle times and not kill the batteries too fast. I went bare flash instead if using my stofen omni bounce just to see how it looked. The flash was out of the way of all the people there to see the show and nobody really seemed to be bothered by it (or at least never said or did anything about it). I wasn't too sure if it would be wide enough to get all the guys lit up since it was pretty close tot he stage already and the guitar player on the right was pretty far. I thought it worked out fine. The only thing I did when I was only shooting him was adjust my aperture to let a little more light in. I stopped down when shooting the guys individually that were closer. I stayed at 5.6 when I was shooting the whole band. I kind of liked being able to capture people rocking out without any blur. Kind of neat since my shutter speed was sometimes half a second. That let a bunch of ambient and got me cool light trails from the x-mas lights that were strung up. My biggest complaint are the shadows that were cast by the speakers hanging from the ceiling and the shadow the bass player cast on the drummer. Maybe using a second flash could fill in some of those shadows. I will just play around with one flash for now and then figure out how I can incorporate a second light later.
The next picture was taken with the same setup but no flash was used. The lighting at this bar was real bad so I had to crank up the ISO to get as much as I could out of the camera. The ISO was at 1600 and I'm not sure of what the shutter speed was. I had the aperture opened up as big as it would go. These shots are drastically different but not bad either. First off, no shadows. The natural lights look great. Even shooting at ISO 1600 the noise wasn't that bad. I ended up setting the white balance on my shirt since it was gray. I might need to start wearing that same shirt to other shows when the lights don't change. My new little secret/tip for anyone who stumbles upon this blog. The bad part but good part of these natural light shots is the blur. I think it ultimately it works in the end but I could see some people being turned off by the way these look. Nobody comes out perfectly sharp, but I think that once you go blurry you might as well let it go all the way like these did.
and I love it. For the money ($165- through Amazon), you can't beat it. When I first bought my 400D I bought the 50mm 1.8 to go along with it. I used it a ton at the beginning since it seemed to be so much better than the kit lens. I used the kit lens every now and then but never really liked what I saw. 3 months after getting my camera I bought the 28-135mm 3.5-5.6 IS and started using that a ton. It's a great a lens but I'm not sure if I knew how to use this lens but it was supposed to be great so I tried to figure it out. After a while I decided to go back to the 50mm 1.8 since it was so sharp and you could get some great DOF with it. I worked that lens for a while and felt like I really understood it. I used it to shoot a bunch of rock shows and was real happy with the results. The only problem with the 50mm 1.8 is that all my rock show shots started to look the same. Since my kit lens wasn't fast enough, I picked up a used a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8. I thought I had finally gotten the perfect lens to shoot bands. I tried it out and loved the wider angle I was getting but I hated how soft it was at 2.8. No point in really using the lens if it wasn't sharp so I returned it. I ended up trying to use my 28-135mm 3.5-5.6 IS. I had always heard you couldn't shoot a rock show with anything slower than a 2.8 lens. I figured I had nothing to lose since I really couldn't afford anything better at the time. I ended up getting some great results with this lens and switched between it and the 50mm 1.8 when I photographed bands. At some point I really started to figure out how great wide angle shots were. I started using my kit lens for everything just so I could get a little wider. My shots weren't tack sharp but they looked so much better. I didn't really take the lens off my camera for about 2 months. I really felt like I learned how to use the lens and get the most out of it. Once I heard that Canon was releasing this same lens but with IS I knew I had to pick up a copy. The 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS is super sharp at 5.6 and is great for photographing people.
I also used it for photographing "The Kooks" (British rock band), and was blown away with the results. I finally have a lens that is fast enough to shoot a rock show, and wide enough to get some amazing angles.
I haven't been good about keeping up with my blog so I am hoping to do better. This is a picture I took at the Dallas airport on my way to Cabo San Lucas. I stole this idea from a picture I saw on flickr but had to try it anyway. It took me about 5 attempts to get this one. I kept going back up to the top of the escalator and waiting till it cleared out to where I could take photo. I learned quicly that you really need to cross your legs for this shot. I only had my little tripod with me so I used my 18-55mm lens and tried to figure out how it needed to be pointed to get the shot I wanted. I like my little tripod because it fits in my camera bag and weighs next to nothing. It has come in handy a few times now.
I have started a blog. If you find this, you have been surfing the web way too long. I hope to use this to post some of my photography work and anything else that is interesting. Keep checking back for new things along the way.