Category Archives: Photography

Kaeleen + Bill Engagement Photos

Kaeleen + Bill Engagement Photo

Kaeleen + Bill Engagement Photo

Last weekend I did an engagement session for some friends of ours, Kaeleen + Bill. They are getting married next fall and wanted to get a few shots to use in the future for their wedding prep. The shoot went great! They both are a lot of fun and aren’t afraid to let loose a bit and enjoy themselves and make a few jokes. We wandered the neighborhoods looking for fall colors or interesting scenes, shot some nice images, and finished the afternoon/evening with a great Mexican dinner at one of the local spots (Gotta love Carlos the waiter).

For photographers:
I wanted to mention how you don’t need a ton of gear to make a nice simple portrait. I shot the image above with one strobe light setup inside a cheap ikea Chinese lantern ($5) that my wife was holding to the side. The pacific northwest is full of clouds and the sky acted as a nice big soft fill light from above and my lantern was the main light (camera left). The whole setup was clean simple and cheap. Below is the setup with Casey holding the light. I got the idea for the Chinese lantern from David Hobby during his Flash Bus Tour stop here in Portland (a great event).

Casey holding Flash with IKEA Chinese Lantern

Long Exposure from Paris.

I recently got back from a vacation to Europe with my wife Casey. We spent most of the trip in Rome, exploring the statues, fountains, and monuments! However in the middle of the trip we thought it would be great to take a quick detour up to Paris for a day and night.

While in Paris I made my favorite image of the trip, a long exposure of the Eiffel Tower shown below. My wife has a love affair with the monument and we always have to stop by and have a mixed sandwich underneath it. While we ate I took the long exposures. The sky was just perfect and had just the right amount of light and dark sections to streak along during the exposure.

Eiffel Tower by Nick Nieto - www.NickNieto.com - All Rights Reserved

Eiffel Tower

The Processing: The image is a long exposure using a B+W 10 stop neutral density filter. I set up the shot just below the Eiffel tower on a gorilla pod (nicknamed by my wife the monkeypod).

20111026-090832.jpg

The Monkeypod

The Post Processing: In aperture I processed 3 versions of the original file light, neutral, and dark and then tone mapped the three versions with photomatix to get the results you see.

All in all Paris is one of my favorite cities and I am so happy to have this photo as a memory. My wife just ordered this print on a huge canvas from APC. I can’t wait to get it and hang it on the wall. If you haven’t been to Paris I really think you should add it to your bucket list as a place to visit and I suggest you go sooner rather than later.

If you are looking for tips on Paris check out Casey’s blog- (the Macaron Post is a must read).

Long Exposure Photography – My Thoughts

Jackson Tower - Long Exposure

I have always really enjoyed looking at long exposure photographs. Seeing not just a single moment of capture but a scene that has been shaped by the movement and flow of time.  Water rushing over a fall turned into a flowing fog, cars pulling trails of light in their wake, even clouds drifting in the sky leaving soft cotton candy like remnants.  It can have such a surreal feel that is very beautiful in an image. One of the benefits to having the shutter open so long is the source of the light can move and change it’s source point, for example, during a night scene as cars drive by a monument the headlights will illuminate different areas filling in shadows and revealing details you couldn’t capture in a shorter exposure.  
 
  Arc Du Triomphe - Long Exposure

In a more controlled setting you can control the light yourself; if the subject is small you can illuminate it was a flashlight or as I like to do it the screen from my iPhone.  As the shutter remains open I can move my phone around highlighting different parts of the subject.
 
Kodak Pony - Long Exposure

I recently purchased a new B+W 10-stop Neutral density filter to create long exposure during the day (Found on <a href=”http://www.Amazon.com”>Amazon.com</a>).  I have really enjoyed playing with this filter and experimenting with different subjects.  My favorite image so far is the one below of a building just off of Pioneer Courthouse Square in Downtown Portland.  I was drawn to a few different things with this subject.  First the building was for the most part very simple with very strong geometric lines, this would be a nice contrast to the soft cotton candy puffs of clouds I was attempting to create with my long exposure.  I also loved that the building had a really strong figurehead sign, the Lion.  Very classic and very strong a great anchor point for the bottom of my image opposite of the clouds.  I took a couple of test shots set my camera up just laying on the bricks of the side walk angled slightly using the plastic case for my filter.  I got some strange looks having my camera just laying on the ground like that but the results I’m very pleased with.  
 
 Long Exposure - Jackson Tower

So far I am very happy with this purchase my only complaint is it seems like the filter is a dust magnet I can’t seem to keep it clean and have to blow it off just about every time I use it.  I really am excited to experiment more with this filter and plan on taking it to the Oregon Coast soon and next month it will come with me everywhere on my trip to Rome.
 
Tanner Springs Park - Long Exposure


Weddings

My sister Michele + Her Husband Derek

My Sister Michele and Her new Husband Derek

 

This post is more of a current events piece about what has been going on in my life and will happen in the near future.

 

It must be just the age, or one of those things of chance but this year I have a ton of weddings to go to; friends, family, and acquaintances, everyone is getting married! Things are getting so crazy with scheduling, traveling and planning. I can’t blame all my friends though I myself am less then year out from my own wedding.

 

I just got back from my sister Michele’s wedding down by South Lake Tahoe. It was great to see all my relatives! I, like a lot of people who love photography and take lots of pictures, got a text asking me to bring my camera, take some pictures.  I thought to myself sure, no problem,  I could take a few pics here or there just some snapshots.  What ended up happening was quite a different story.  I ended up shooting 90% of the wedding events.  They only had a hired photographer for about an hour during the ceremony and formal shots, therefore there was no way they would have any shots getting ready, during toasts or even  enough time for all of the portraits with extended family members (we have a big family).  Therefore it was my job to take over and a great chance to experiment with some off camera flash.

 

  Staci Dad

 

I’ve always been a natural light kind of guy that made things work by using reflectors or whatnot.  I just never had the excess cash to buy a flash. Recently I decided it was time to get one.  The images I wanted to create just couldn’t be done easily with natural light.  So I got a canon speedlite, some cheap wireless triggers to start with and away I went.  Even though I’ve never owned flashes I have a pretty good idea on how they work and how to get different effects. I used to intern for my buddy Craig Mitchelldyer, who is awesome at using flash at weddings and events (better than just about anyone I’ve seen).  Using my knowledge learned from working with Craig I did some very simple speedlite setups.

 

I’m really glad things happened the way they did at my sisters wedding. Even though it was a lot of work and a lot of time afterwards editing the images I ended up getting a lot out of the experience. I got some great shots of my family that I’m extremely happy with; got a really good sense on how to use flash to enhance my photography style, and got inspired for a few upcoming personal projects.

 

Next week off to Southern Oregon to attend my good friend Lucy’s wedding.  I can’t wait!  This time I will get a chance to relax more and shoot (A LOT) less.

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