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Season of the Witch

July 13, 2006 by Mark Cornelison  
Filed under Mark Cornelison

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This is the second or third year I have done the Shakespeare covers for Shakespeare in the Park. Each year I am given three plays that I need to do a dramatic cover for. Problem is I rarely if ever know the story that the play is about so I end up asking the actors whether their character is, nice, mean, scary, funny, or whatever. This year was a little more difficult in that for more reasons than I care to relive the shoots were postponed, or put off until the Wednesday before the designer needed to put them on the page so each week I was under the proverbial gun. Today’s shoot with Rachel Rogers was no different. No one could reach her for a few days and once I did get to talk to her it was all about what her costume was, what it looked like, and if she had any input on what a good setting would be. We both came up with a few ideas and decided to meet at the Herald-Leader studio for the shoot. The big problem there is I don’t like shooting in the studio. It all tends to feel like it all looks the same and it kind of does after 10+ years of working here. My goal was to get some kind of shot and then head outside possibly to a fountain around town we could shoot in. Her character melts in the play so the water sounded good and different. I figured I could light her from the front and use the reflection to make an impact. As the day went on the hard rain continued ending that idea so it was up to us in the studio to make it happen. I did everything I could with the lights using grid spots, barn doors, and bare bulbs, whatever I could to try to get a good look. I even looked out in the hallways around the studio for a location I could light but electrical outlets were strangely missing from the hallways so that was out too. I like to back light a lot of stuff so when she struck a pose with arms raised and the sheer material letting the light through I finally felt like I may have my shot. I worked hard on the other two covers finding good locations to shoot and making the most of them but with the weather and the late shoot date I had no choice but use the old trusty studio. There is/was a lot of potential for this photo. I only hope I reached some of that potential here. Thanks to Rachel for all her patience through my experimentation with the lights.

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Junior League Opening Night

July 11, 2006 by David Stephenson  
Filed under David Stephenson, Sports

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Canon 1D MkII, 300 2.8 with 1.4 teleconverter. 1/800th sec, f4.0 ASA200

Last night was the first night of a week of Lexington’s Junior League Horse show. After nine years of working at the Herald-Leader, this was somehow my first night to ever cover the event. It was a nice break from the equine events I’m used to covering. Because of our deadlines, I was only able to cover the first four classes before I had to stop and send photos. Going early helps, though. The three photos here were shot before any competitors actually hit the ring.

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Canon 30D, 16-35 2.8. 1/400th sec, f5.6 ASA250

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Canon 1D MkII, 300 2.8 with 1.4 teleconverter. 1/640th sec, f4.0 ASA200

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Experimentation pays off…

July 8, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Lighting

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Alright this may not be a new technique, but it was something I wanted to try to do.  On July 7 I received probably the most fun assignment I have been given all summer.  The assignment was to photograph Samantha Mahoney, a Kentucky basketball player, who has spent the last month or so training like a boxer.  Her goal is to be a tougher basketball player by becoming accustomed to getting knocked around.  Anyway I shot the normal assignment stuff (which turned up some nice frames too) while Mahoney trained with her coach.  While I was shooting that stuff I noticed through the view finder that the sun was really strong through the bank of windows on the front wall.  I have seen this technique before but wasn’t sure of how it was done.

Mahoney finished up and I kind of thought I was done, but now it was reporter Jen Smith’s turn to work.  For some reason I decided to hang out.  Jen was done interviewing Mahoney and began interviewing her coach.  I noticed that Mahoney was sitting over by the ring just hanging out as well.  So I wondered if she would let me experiment a little and went over and asked her if she wanted to try something with me.  I wouldn’t say she was exactly eager but she agreed.  I told her I had an idea I wanted to try following Ron Garrison’s lighting class I had taken last semester and she seemed to be a little more interested ( I think she said "There’s a whole class about lighting?").  Anyway, I asked her to sit in front of the large window and started "testing" the digital way.  After a few frames I chimped and made a few adjustments.  So I began overexposing in order to blow out the background detail (which was a really lame parking lot).  Once I got it to where I wanted I then started working on a the composition and liked the feel of this one.

I may not have executed it 100% correctly but the result was close to the picture I had in my head, which is what I want to work on.  I want to try the technique again correcting what I think I did wrong and hopefully my future experiments will work out.

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Independence Day!

July 5, 2006 by Mark Cornelison  
Filed under Mark Cornelison

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Coming just one day after, we the photo staff of the Herald-Leader, told everyone how to photograph fireworks I was given that very assignment. Talk about feeling a little pressure. How could I list some exposures for you to use when I was not even sure I would use them anymore. The main reason being when I listed those exposures it was based on shooting film. Remember film? It is a different ballgame with digital and I am not sure I had shot fireworks yet with digital. OK maybe one time, but it was with a Nikon D-1 so I might as well have used crayons to draw it. My assignment was to shoot the fireworks that were to be shot at the Idle Hour Country Club. We were trying to do some things different and shooting a different set of fireworks was my task for the evening. I arrived at the Shriners Hospital across from Idle Hour around 8:30 expecting on a few people that early since heavy rains had just stopped a little earlier. I did say a few didn’t I? I found no one. Not one person was there staking out a perfect seat. I decided to head over to Idle Hour and it was the same. One car, a hundred or so empty and wet tables with a random peppershaker here and there and lots of inflatables that I am sure were used during the nice part of the day for kids to play in. Approximately one hour until fireworks and no one setting up or getting ready. I walked across the pool area and into the golf course where I thought the trailer with fireworks would be but there was nothing. As I began to leave I was told there was a sign at the Shriners Hospital that said the fireworks were cancelled.
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I guess no one at Idle Hour had more than this small piece of paper so people were beginning to gather unaware of the cancellation. At this point I had to scramble downtown to find a decent vantage point to try to get the A1 photo that was expected of me. Fellow H-L photographer David Stephenson was Downtown to gather some audio for his multimedia show of the days events and shoot a few photos but the fireworks themselves were up to me and I was feeling the pressure as I drove around through all the people and traffic. I randomly pulled into the Calvary Cemetery and asked a gentleman at the main house if I could shoot from there. He told me of a good place to shoot from so I checked it out. Just as I got set up for the “perfect” skyline/fireworks shot the fireworks began. Did I mention they began WAYYY to my left. I quickly had to move out and recompose. The fireworks were too high to include the skyline so I franticly looked for a good way to compose my shot. I spotted a man who I would later find out was Lt. Mark Hutchkiss, 34, who returned from Iraq in January, watching the Lexington fireworks display from atop his SUV. I repositioned the tripod and began to shoot,once I figured out my exposure. What did I do with that newspaper article anyway? Turns out my old formula for film did not translate exactly to digital but it was close.

ASA 50
5 seconds at F10
Canon 5D.

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NUESTRO KENTUCKY

July 5, 2006 by Pablo Alcala  
Filed under Blog

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Ringing bells as he pushes his cart, Alejandro Vasquez has a job
that keeps him on his feet. For five to nine hours a day, he provides
Cardinal Valley neighborhood children with Mexican-style paletas.

Chicago-based Paletas Emmanuel, similar to Popsicles, are available
at Mexican grocery stores in Kentucky, but last month the company began
using pushcarts to sell its 15 flavors of the frozen treats to
customers such as Giselle Rocha, 5, above.

Pushcarts are a common way of selling ice cream, cold drinks, and
even hot tamales in Mexico and Mexican neighborhoods in the United
States.

"We want to make a tradition," said Vasquez of his family’s business expansion to Lexington.

Paletas are made with real fruit, in flavors typical of Michoac‡n, a
state in Mexico. Flavors include pi–a colada, coconut, cookies and
cream, and rice, but on hot days Vasquez’s most popular favors are
strawberry, lime, pineapple, tamarind, and — of course — spicy
cucumber. The latter tastes like sugary cucumber with chili powder.

Pushing a cart around can be a tiring job, but it does have small
rewards, says Vasquez. "Even on hot days, the children put a smile on
your face," he said.Nuestro Kentucky is a monthly photo column focusing
on life in Kentucky’s growing Latino community. An increasing
population of Latinos from other countries and other parts of America
are choosing the Bluegrass to live, work and play. Each month in
Communities, a single photo explores an aspect of life in this often
overlooked population.

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