Wednesday, September 30, 2009

John Cameron. 09/30/09. Idea/Concept Blog

So I finally got into the studio and tried out my idea. I got three of my friends from the rugby team, and tried to do a technique where I could try to merge certain parts of the image together. I maintained my usual idea of taking emotion into studio, where it shows Nick calling a play and getting ready to pass the ball. But I also tried to keep the three guys to stand in the same stance. I tried giving three of the images a quick merge, but I realized that it needs to be a time consuming job. If it is to succeed that is.
Required, Digital Photograph. 2009. 20"x30" by John Cameron
I am going to try and merge the 3 images together with photoshop on Friday, and see if it works out. But today I'm going to talk about a process that I have been looking into in editing photographs. Two artists, Dave Hill, and Tim Tadder have been doing this process. The process is by using HDR (High Dynamic Range) and by also dodging and burning in on the shadows and highlights. A soft or hard light overlay is also added for a nice contrast.
By Tim Tadder
This is image is by Tim Tadder, and as you can see it looks painterly like. I enjoy it a lot and it's what I intend to use with my photographs for this portfolio. The shadows and highlights are enhanced to give it 3-D look. With the images I took, I used two soft boxes to the side, slightly behind the subject. I then had a beauty dish in front of the subject, and also another grid (with a chimney on the end) to highlight the face.
My soft boxes had styrophome sheets infront of them to create thin strips, and they were set at f/11. I had the beauty dish at f/8, and the grid at f/4.5. Towards the end of the shoot, I added a blue see through sheet (1/2 strength) to cover the soft boxes, so that it would create a more 3-D look. I was getting a very warm contrast in the front of the bodies, so I created a cool tone to be shown on the arms for that 3-D feel.
Harri, Digital Photograph, 2009. 20"x30" by John Cameron

This image is of Harri, it was before the blue tint. The one of Nick at the top, has the blue tint.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

John Cameron. 09/27/09. Artist - Dave Hill

My latest artist entry is about the artist Dave Hill. His work is a new style of photography that is starting to get very popular around the ranks. Hill uses High Dynamic Range (HDR) and he also dodges and burns in on the shadows and highlights of his work. From this, I feel as though the images look like they are painted, kind of like an air brush. I really like it. I am going to try the technique out, and see how it goes. I feel that it's new and fresh, something different. I want to try it out, but give it my own technique. Here is one of Dave Hill's image.
By Dave Hill
As you can see, the image has a different look. It looks smooth and "un-real". But I like it. Dave Hill has taken photographes of famous actors, sports stars, musicians, and has also worked with advertising. His website is and he has lots of images on there. He also has a blog on there, which is very helpful as I previously mentioned in my last artist entry. Dave Hill was born in San Diego, and he currently lives and works out of Los Angeles.
By Dave Hill
Dave Hill is someone to once again look up to, and his work is amazing. He helps the photography community and his generosity is something to look up to.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

John Cameron. 09/23/09. Idea/Concept Blog

Form Series. 11"x17". 2009. Photographed by
Daniel Gaul, Edited by John Cameron

I had a meeting yesterday with my teacher, Tom, and we went over what I am going to be doing with the changes in my portfolio. As I discussed in my class blog, I am just not feeling the on field shots of players with emotion. However, I will keep at it, and if something nice comes up, I may use it. So I am going to go into the studio, and take athletes in there. I am going to focus on the body form, and see the relationships between different players body movements. I will most likely cut out or just take different photographs of body parts, and then the join different pieces of different pieces together. I'm also going to try some other ideas, in relating players to their real life away from sports, and how sports may effect it.

I've played a few games of rugby this year already, and when I play, I give my camera to a team-mate to take photographs. I saw two images that looked very similar, in body form. One was of myself, and one was of my team-mate Dan. The image on the bottom has 3 parts from each image. They are very similar. I got one part of the idea from the artists Gilbert and George, because they mainly use sections in their art. But then the other idea was from another teacher of mine, Jeff. He told me to maybe focus on body form of the Greeks and Roman athletes. I thought it was a good idea, and I want to relate it to Rugby athletes at first. Try some techniques out. I have a shoot on Friday, so I will hopefully have results up next week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

John Cameron. 09/20/09. Artist Dustin Snipes

I researched Dustin Snipes' techniques and talked about them in my idea/concept blog. However, I didn't really talk much about Snipes and his background. When I was looking at his work, I was very interested in his unique style of trying to be different. I was blown away and I appreciate his work a lot. I talked about Teun Hocks earlier in the semester, and I see a similarity with Snipes, because he also shows that he can think outside the box to produce unique work. But Snipes does more work with sports, so I can relate to him, and learn from him also. Even though I have been saying that I don't want to do action shots during a game, I think if I capture a shot related to the baseball one shown, I think I might include it in my portfolio. It's a beautiful image, the background is clear and calm, and the thought of a silhouette athlete and normally lit athlete is a great idea. I see that he used the shadow from a grandstand to do this. But what a great thought and it gives me something to think about when shooting photographs.
By Dustin Snipes, Digital Photograph. 2008

Dustin Snipes is a staff photographer with the Los Angeles, California based Icon Sports Media, Inc. His works appear regularly in National and International publications such as ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, TIME Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, USA Today, Los Angeles
Times, The New York Times and numerous others. In 2006, and 2007, Snipes was named the Sportsshooter Photographer of the year. Snipes is someone I look up to as a photographer. He tries new techniques and shows how he does them on his website. His website is and he has a gallery and then a blog also. His blog is so helpful to many young striving photographers, and he deserves all the credit that he receives. I learn from him, and intend to be like him when I'm older.
Photoshoot of Dustin Snipes photographing High School Basketball students. 2009 Digital

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Cameron. 09/16/09. Idea Concept/Blog.

Matt Hobgood, Digital Photograph. 2009. by Dustin Snipes.
After last week's idea blog, I went out and practiced the guidelines that I had studied. I had a rugby game on Saturday and I tried out some shots, where I used my long 70-300mm lens, and I also made sure that I focused on the face after a game, or during half-time.
This is a photograph of Aaron. He is freshman, and he played in the B side game. He is getting some pointers by the A side captain, Todd. This was during half-time, and a lot of thought is going through this image.
Fresh and Old. Digital Photograph. 2009. 8"x10" by John Cameron
However, I think I'm going to change up my approach to emotion with sports. I met with Jeff last week, and he recommended that I use a studio as much as I can while I'm a student. Therefore I'm going to take this into the studio. I plan on looking at other sports photographers that have taken athletes into a studio to do shots that make them look sweaty and muddy. However, Jeff encouraged me to be unique. To do something that hasn't been done before. I also plan to go on location, to relate sports with the athlete's life. For example, I want to get a friend/athlete in their full rugby uniform, all sweaty and muddy, sitting in a desk chair in a class room somewhere. Or take that into the studio.

Dustin Snipes is a photographer that I have been getting some ideas from. He has a website where he has a gallery, and also a blog which is helpful to me. He does a shoot, and shows how he did it. Showing photographs of the set up and finished result. In the image to the right, he used a Nikon D3, at an ISO speed of 250. Aperture was 10, Shutter at 1/250. The lens was at 56mm. Fairly standard settings, but always good to see how the professionals do it.

He did another shoot on location, where he photographed the baseball pitcher on a pitching mound. He showed the finished result and then a photograph of the set up also. This is really interesting to look at, as I haven't seen this many times before. He said that he used a hard side light, by using two strip boxes. But he then took off the diffuser in front for a higher output. His assistant (Ric Tapia, pictured) held a light upwards towards the pitcher so it would get underneath his hat.
Matt Hobgood with photographer assistant Ric Tapia, Digital Photograph. 2009. By dustin Snipes.
Matt Hobgood, Digital Photograph. 2009. by Dustin Snipes.
This is the final product to the right. Although I don't want to show action in my images, I really like how Dustin Spike showed how he did it. It was very nice of him to do, as us young photographers appreciate it so much.
This image had an ISO of 100, Shutter at 1/320, lens at 24mm, and a aperture of 10.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

John Cameron. 09/13/09. Artist David Bergman.

I found David Bergman. A photographer that is currently tearing it up. He is a photographer for Sports Illustrated, but he also photographs many different kinds of genres with many different styles of photography. He also photographs bands and other famous personalities in the U.S. Bergman currently works out of New York, and he is the President/owner of

The reason that I show an interest in Bergman is because of his strong lighting techniques. I met with another teacher about my senior portfolio, and he recommended that I use a studio as much as I can while I'm in college still. He also encouraged me to try to be unique, do something that hasn't been done before. So I am going to do a little work in the studio, and try some new stuff out. I plan on getting some athletes/friends, to get all sweaty and dirty for a sports related photograph. I plan to do some things that I haven't seen before. In regards to a student/college club athlete. When I was looking at Sports Illustrated photographers, I found Bergman, and saw his uniqueness... if that's a word. His work is distinguished and it stood out.
Brendan James, 2008, Digital Photograph. By David Bergman

This is a photograph of Brendan James. It's a nice photograph with standard lighting. I found other ones on his website, but I was unable to put them on here due to a strong copyright. So this is his site

There was an image on there of Brendan James that had similarities in what I want to do with my work for the senior portfolio. It was a close up head shot of Brendan James (pictured above) and his face was very detailed and it looked dirty/muddy. The image was personal. It was full of thoughts and emotions, and then the lighting of the image also made it a photograph to remember. Something that I also want to create.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

John Cameron. 09/09/09. Idea Concept/Blog.

Over the past few days, I have been thinking about when I want to shoot my photographs of athletes during a sport. My main goal is to try and shoot at practices during water breaks, and then after practices when everyone is tired, and taking off their cleats etc. During a game, I plan on taking photographs, before the game, at half time, and after the game.

This is Holt, He plays on the Rugby team at VCU, that I also play on. I was injured at the time and took this last year. I will talk about this photograph in the paragraph below.
Another Half, Digital Photograph. 2008. 16"x20" - John Cameron
I researched on some tips that might help me out in finding the best emotions off the field. I went to a website and there were some helpful hints on finding the best quality emotions during a game. They mentioned how half-time was one of their favorite times to take photographs, "When faces are full of emotion, sweat, determination, and grit. Besides, they are sitting quietly paying attention to the coach or whatever". This article didn't have a writer, rather it was written by ProPix Photography. They said to shoot full frame and fill the frame with a face. Even more than 3 quarters of the entire frame. Another pointer that they mentioned was to use a long lens, so that you are further away from the athlete. This would make it look as though it isn't posed. I was thinking about all these ideas previous to this article, so this article made a lot of sense to me. I have done similar work to this before. I was just doing it for fun, not even thinking that I would photograph a similar series for work.
Coach Vinnie
Advice, Digital Photograph. 2008. 16"x20" - John Cameron
The article that I found on also insisted on taking photographs of the coaches. They didn't really say much about the coaches, but mainly to not forget about them. But I know that a lot of emotion comes out of the coaches. At half-time especially, where they aren't yelling at players from the sidelines, rather talking to the players in a group and trying their best to give the athletes their best advice to do well in the game. These images are also old from last year. They're of my coaches Vinnie, and Steve.
Coach Parker, Digital Photograph. 2008. 16"x20" - John Cameron
These images are basic. They're all natural lighting, and nothing too special. Rather than a low f-stop making it focus on the subject. So I plan and changing it up a little, making photographs a little more exciting. Maybe some silhouettes and most definitely using a on camera flash. I have a rugby game this weekend, and I will most definitely practice these techniques then.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

John Cameron. 09-06-09 Artist Walter Iooss.

Walter Iooss (pronounced Yoce) is by far one of the most well know Sports Photographers in the History of Photography. He has worked for Sports Illustrated since 1961 (it was founded in 1954) and he has photographed many famous athletes over the decades. Iooss has over 300 images on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He shoots everywhere around sports, such as games, in the studio, behind the scenes, and on location.
Former NBA player Michael Jordan, by Walter Iooss. Blue Dunk, Lisle I11, 1987
In relation to my portfolio, where I want to focus on athletes emotions, Iooss did a similar assignment. Walter Ioosss was given the job to cover the U.S Olympic team in preperation for the 1984 Olympics. In 1982, he recieved this job and he had 2 years to capture athletes trying to make the U.S. team. The book is called "Shooting for Gold". He mentions, "how it would have defeated the purpose of the assignment to show only the more publicized sports and athletes, or just pure action of athletic competition". So he focused on all of the athletes "as they all shared the same burning ambition and competitive spirit".

So it shows that there is a beauty to an athlete's feelings and emotions during a sport. So much time and effort can go into a sport, and when an athlete loses an important match or event, the look on a face can be heart breaking. There is an image in the book, where there is a female diver sitting on the tiles before her event. It was the qualifier to reach the U.S. team, and she is silhouetted into tiles. Iooss, was on an angle from above. It seems as though there is a large window behind her. She is sitting, with her legs slighty bent, and her head resting on her knees. You can tell that she is nervous and that she is thinking very strongly about what she needs to do. So much emotion is shown in the image, and it is definitely something to look up to.

Image by Walter Iooss - Julius Erving.

This image isn't staged, and it isn't in the action of the game. Something I'm looking to also do. He is obviously doing a pre-game/post-game interview, and once again, a lot can be told by the expression on his face. How are they going to play today, or what the team may have done wrong in the game for example. The lighting is beautiful. Iooss is in a locker room, but it looks like it could be a studio shot. It seems as though Iooss used the light from the camera crew from the interview. There also looks to be a vignette, making the image work because it focuses in on the subject very well.

John Cameron 09-06-09. Idea/Concept blog.

For my Senior Portfolio, I intend to create a series of photographs relating around athletes and sports. I do not intend to photograph athletes playing sports, rather to photograph on the athlete thinking about the sport and how they are effected by it. I want to photograph an athlete thinking about how they are upset about a loss, nervous before a game, and tired during a break. I also may even photograph athletes off the field. Focusing on how student athletes schedule practices and games around a job and classes.

The first artist that really helped me out with my decision was Collier Schorr. She is a photographer who did a photo series on high school wrestlers. She would focus on the athletes outside of the sporting action. This really caught my eye, and I was keen to do something similar. She would mention how there is a lot to tell about a person after they have lost a game. She would say how you can really look into the person, and really question what was going through their mind. Schorr stated, "I basically want to make a book that documents every facet of the experience. Victory, defeat, blood, battered egos, humiliation". ( Here is one of Collier Schorr's images.

Collier Schorr
When you look at this image, you can really see the pain in the athlete's face. Something that I also want to capture. I watched a documentary on Schorr, and saw her lighting style when taking photographs of the wrestlers. She had an on camera flash, with bubble wrap covering the flash. I assume that she did this to give the light a soft outcome. When I take my photographs of the athletes, I will most likely use a on camera flash too. I'm a fan of bouncing the light off from the side (with a white board or reflector). However, if I was to have an assistant help me out, it may ruin the feeling and emotions in the photographs. The athlete may get shy and look away from the camera. I want to photograph athletes when they are acting as though I'm not even there.

I went golfing on Thursday with my room-mate Ryan (09-03-09) and I brought my camera along. I didn't use my flash. I intended to focus on taking a few photographs where I would focus on thoughts. It was pretty hard to do this with golf, however I managed to get a few shots. I know I can do better, but I wanted to get in a little bit of practice.

Where Should I Hit the Ball? 2009 Digital Photograph. 13"x19" by John Cameron
In this image, Ryan is teeing up, and getting ready to have his first shot on the 7th hole. From this image, I can imagine what he is thinking by the expression on his face. Although he knew that I was in front of him, he thought that I was going to be taking photographs of his swing, but I secretly wanted to capture the thoughts he had before the swing.

Next Shot, Digital Photograph. 13"x19" 2009 - By John Cameron
Although this image is from behind, I still feel a lot of thoughts are going through this image. With Ryan's head tilted down, I feel as though he is focusing on what he needs to do for the next shot.

Friday, September 4, 2009

John, by this point you should have three blog entries posted on your personal blog. Make sure to read the guidelines I sent out over email/Bb this afternoon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

John Cameron. 09/02/09. Artist - Teun Hocks

I was introduced to Teun Hocks' work by my teacher Tom Condon. I appreciated his work right away because of the beautiful dreamlike appearance of his photographs. I also enjoyed the fact that the photographs looked like a snapshot from a cartoon. He proves that thinking outside of the box in the easiest of ways can make a very exciting image.
187. Untitled. 2000. Teun Hocks. Oil on toned gelatin silver-print
Hocks shows interesting ideas that I also want to create with my senior portfolio that I will be making this semester. I'll be making a sports related portfolio, where I will focus on athletes outside of the sports action. So I will show where the athlete may be nervous before a game, upset after a loss, and then also off the field where the athlete may struggle to fit in school work and also fit in a job at the same time.

However with Hocks, I feel as though I may also try to think outside the box in my work. In Hocks' work, he does simple ideas. With the image above, he shows some photographs on the wall with his head poking in one, as though he was looking out a window. It seems like such an easy subject matter. When I try to think of good ideas to think outside the box, and have a new exciting idea it sometimes gets very tough. But I feel as though if you think cleverly and not try to think too hard, an idea may pop up like Hocks has produced many times.
155. Untitled. 2003. Teun Hocks. Oil on toned gelatin silver-print

In the image above, Hocks shows his technical skills, where he has a golden glow on the subject's face, that is being "reflected" off the fire. Another great idea, but with a smart technical aspect in the image that makes it work very well.
Teun Hocks was born in 1947, in Leiden, Holland. One of his first major exhibitions was back in 1979 at the Galerie Loa Amsterdam, Holland. He has had many more exhibitions over the years throughout Europe and also here in the United States, at the P.P.O.W in New York City.

Here is his website