Photoshoot: wedding announcement photos for my sister and her fiancé

My first portrait photo session was of my sister and her fiancé for their wedding announcements.

I had the honor of shooting the wedding announcement photos from my sister and her fiancé. I have recently bought a bunch of studio-style equipment which made possible what would have been absolutely impossible before. I’m still not very good at using the equipment, but thankfully I was able to pull off a few decent shots with their patience and trust.

After the portrait session, I took some time to process the RAW images. I also played around with some presentation options, especially insets into the bigger photograph.

Most of the work was on the exposure, cropping and playing with the filters in the black and white conversions. For the kissing portrait, I cropped it close and made it grainier for the photo CD that I gave them.

Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger

Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger

Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger

Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott Wedding Announcement Portrait Photo by Eric Holsinger Deni and Scott’s Wedding Announcement Photo by Eric Holsinger

Here is the final photo that they went with for the announcements.

Deni and Scott’s Wedding Announcement Photo by Eric Holsinger

Thanks to Deni and Scott for the opportunity.

Freestyle Motocross at Cumberland County Civic Center

On Friday night, I took my family to see Freestyle Motocross at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.

Freestyle Motocross at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland Maine, by Eric Holsinger

I remember that there were a lot of kids at the Freestyle Motocross show at Oxford Plains Speedway. A lot of little kids were there.

The show was pretty dramatic, as all FMX shows must be. Unfortunately, Jason Rowe hit the front of the landing ramp and was out on the floor for a while. My son was initially unaffected by it, but as time went by with the paramedics working on him and preparing him to move, he got more and more upset. When everyone cheered for Jason and he gave us some devil horns back, my son broke out in panicked tears. We’ve talked about it a lot since. He doesn’t really dig noise from crowds anyway.

So, we hope Jason is OK and I posted some photos of the crowd in the MaineToday.com Seen photoblog.

It’s Official: I’m a Stock Photographer

A while ago, I became a contributor to iStockphoto.com, the micro-stock website. Today I went to the website and discovered someone had actually purchased a download of one of my photos. It’s very exciting. I guess I’m officially a stock photographer.

Pennies

A while ago, I became a contributor to iStockphoto.com, the micro-stock website. Today I went to the website and discovered someone had actually purchased a download of one of my photos. It’s very exciting. I guess I’m officially a stock photographer.

Lost Valley Snowboard and Ski Photos

I added some new Snowboarding (and Skiing) photographs from Lost Valley Ski Area.

Brandon McCleod, Lost Valley Ski Area, by Eric Holsinger

I went to Lost Valley Ski Area to see if the Mountain Dew Series would be happening. The snow was wasn’t good enough for racing today, but some guys were building up a snowboard jump when I got there. I took photos for MaineToday.com’s Seen photoblog for about three hours. I posted some of the better photos to my gallery page under “action“. All of the photos from today are posted on MaineToday.com, but the photos are only 800×600, there. The photos in my gallery are about 50% of the original size.

Some guys from Vertical Outlaws were there. I took some photos of them, from the stands, at the Boost/Rockstar Freestyle Motocross show at Oxford Plains Speedway, last year. Even though the weather was probably good enough to have the bikes out, they were hitting the slopes, today.

I also got to meet some of the guys from Team Snomad. I got some pretty cool photos of Brandon McLeod, Dustin Harley and Drew Stretton, today.

I didn’t get most of the names of the skiers and riders. If anyone wants me to put their name to their picture on MaineToday.com, just post a note below.

Using Paint Shop Pro Photo XI to create Black and White Photos

How to use new Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Photo Effects to create Black and White digital photographs.

Some of the coolest features of Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI are the new Photo Effects. I have been playing around with the Black and White Film effect lately. Effectively converting a color digital image to black and white takes more than just a greyscale converter. You can do it, but the results usually won’t be the best.

As a demonstration, here is an example image of my son climbing an indoor rock wall.

Original Image

Using the Black and White Film Effect in Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI I tried different Filter Colors to see which would create a black and white image that had good contrast.

Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Black and White Film Photo Effect - filter options dialog box

In this case, I did not adjust the strength. I ended up choosing the green filter because I thought it gave the image good contrast without making it too dark, or too light.

Here is the image after converting with Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Black and White Film Effect and the green Filter Color choice.

Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Black and White Film Photo Effect - Green Filter

Now lets compare that to a greyscale conversion done in Paint Shop Pro Photo XI.

Paint Shop Pro Photo XI Greyscale

Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI does a good job with the greyscale conversion. If you look closely you’ll see that the greyscale image is muddied and has lost some of the detail in his hair.

Marginal Way Skate Park: some Freestyle BMX and sick Aggressive Skating

I stopped at Marginal Way Skate Park in Portland, Maine tonight and got some photographs of some Freestyle BMX guys and some really exciting aggressive Rollerbladers.

I stopped at Marginal Way Skate Park in Portland, Maine tonight before getting groceries. I got some photographs of some Freestyle BMX guys and some really exciting aggressive inline skating Rollerbladers.

I posted the pics of Marginal Way Skate Park to the MaineToday.com Seen photoblog.

Here are a couple of pictures, though.

Here is Ryan Strout, who is sponsored by ECS Hardware, showing some Mute Air. Ryan was getting some big air, I just wish the camera flash had filled him in more.
Aggressive Inline Skating, Ryan Stout, Mute Air, by Eric Holsinger at Marginal Way Skate Park, Portland, Maine

And here is Kent Dyer stalled on the fence above the quarter-pipe. He did this like 5 times so I could get the shot. This one came out great.

Aggressive Inline Skating, Kent Dyer, stalled, by Eric Holsinger at Marginal Way Skate Park, Portland, Maine

You can click the images for the fullsize version.

I hear Portland may be relocating the Skate Park to a new location. Wherever it goes, I hope there are no giant highway lightpoles in the background. Arrgh!

Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs. Lowell Nor’easter

I shot the Souther Maine Raging Bulls semi-pro football game against Lowell Nor’easter, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, Maine.

I took photos at the Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs Lowell Nor’easter semi-pro football game at Fitzpatrick Stadium, in Portland, Maine.

The bulls won a very interesting, and excting game. There were some crazy shenanigans, but it was really fun to watch and shoot.

Matt “Dookie” Rutherford runs a keeper.

Dookie runs a keeper, Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs. Lowell Nor'easter

Here, Chris Degree, Lowell Nor’easter Quarterback, tries to fend off Lonny Thomas.

Chris Degree runs a keeper, Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs. Lowell Nor'easter

More images are online at the MaineToday.com Seen photo blog, Raging Bulls vs Lowell Nor’easter.

The Southern Maine Raging Bulls are in the playoffs now. Check out a game sometime, here is the Southern Maine Raging Bulls website.

Portland Rugby Club vs Springfield

I used a borrowed Canon 300mm f/4 with image stabilization on my Canon EOS 10D to shoot a rainy rugby match between Portland Rugby Club and Springfield.

Portland Rugby Club passes, by Eric Holsinger

I went to the Portland Rugby Football Club game against Springfield today. It was raining all morning, but I tried using and umbrella and a rain coat to protect my camera and lens. I used a Canon 300mm f/4 with image stabilization and a 1.4 teleconverter. I also shot without the teleconverter.

Portland Rugby Club vs Springfield, lineout, by Eric Holsinger

The 300mm was a great lens, and on this raining day I needed the image stabilization. I was using ISO 800 already. Anything higher and the quality would have been really bad. As it was, you can still see a little but of the rain coming down and it’s not too noisy in the reduced images.

Portland Rugby Club runs in the first try, by Eric Holsinger

I stayed until they changed sides; the rain was picking up. You can see more in the MaineToday.com Seen Portland Rugby vs Springfield photo album.

Rotary Park Short Track

Tom Noble sponsored the Eastern Fat Tire/Maine Mountain Biking Association Rotary Park Short Track at Rotary Park in Biddeford, Maine. The race benefits the Biddeford Parks and Recreation department. I got some shots of all three races and some pre-race stuff, too.

Tom Noble sponsored the Eastern Fat Tire/Maine Mountain Biking Association Rotary Park Short Track at Rotary Park in Biddeford, Maine. The race benefits the Biddeford Parks and Recreation department. I got some shots of all three races and some pre-race stuff, too.

I posted most of the pics to MaineToday.com in the Seen section. You can go to the Rotary Park Short Track gallery.

I worked the area in the woods in an attempt to get interesting shots of the riders coming downhill. The downhill brought them to a tight, 90-degree turn where they lost all of their momentum.

Bradford Perley, Rotary Park Short Track by Eric Holsinger

That is Bradford Perley of Kennebunk. In that shot, I was shooting with my Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX ASP lens, trying to get that “magazine cover” type shots with enough space around the rider for some type.

Here is another photo of Jeffrey Dixon of Windham. I was crouched in a pile of brush on a technical section of the track.

Jeffrey Dixon, Rotary Park Short Track by Eric Holsinger

I shot that with my Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG AF. I had to shoot at ISO 800 to get the shot, but my shutter speed could be lower because the action wasn’t as fast here.

N.E.F.L. Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs North Shore Generals

My first N.E.F.L. game, Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs. North Shore Generals went well, but the photography was only so-so under the stadium lighting with a short telephoto lens.

The N.E.F.L. Southern Maine Raging Bulls played the North Shore Generals at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, Maine, tonight. The Bulls pulled out a win.

I experienced the frustration of shooting sports under outdoors lighting at night. I was using my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, which is pretty fast and gives me good quality. But the lights just weren’t bright enough, even at ISO 1600. A monopod may have helped.

N.E.F.L. Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs North Shore Generals

The AI Servo was having trouble tracking the action with such a short telephoto. I really needed, like, a 300mm zoom. Something with image stablilization, too. I could have really used a couple extra f-stops.

N.E.F.L. Southern Maine Raging Bulls vs North Shore Generals

I got some fair photographs from the game tonight. I uploaded them to MaineToday.com at http://seen.mainetoday.com/album.html?alb=858. I think I could have done a lot more with some more light. Maybe earlier in the season, when the sun was up longer. Otherwise, I need a longer lens with image stabilization.