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Oatlands Steeplechase

Back on the Point-to-Point circuit in the Virginia countryside. This past weekend the races were held at the 19th century Oatlands Historic House and Gardens near Leesburg, Virginia.

All of these pictures have been stylized using Snapseed software to give them an aged look. Not a normal procedure for me, but a welcome departure from the normal photojournalistic documentation of the races.  (3 photos below)

Steeplechase in Virginias Piedmont region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steeplechase in Virginias Piedmont region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steeplechase in Virginias Piedmont region.

iPHONEAGRAPHY – GROWING ON ME.

iPHONEAGRAPHY – a word that I invented on GoDaddy.  Being a day late into the world of the iPhone, all the key and popular words for websites have been long taken. So I sat in front of my computer and kept at it, till I finally came up with an “a” in between the “iPhone” and the “graphy” of photography. The other one that I settled on was – IPHONEVISUALS. So in case you’ve wondered, that’s the story.

One thing that is not late is my enthusiasm for shooting with the iPhone.I’m joining the bandwagon, it’s a blast!  I feel the same joy and abandonment that I had when I was a young photographer. Frame, tap for focusing and exposure and shoot.  Im sold.

Today I went down to Capitol Hill to cover the Supreme Court / Obamacare Rally. Like any other venture to cover a story like this, I had two DSLR’s and 3 lenses with me.  Next thing that I knew, I was shooting all the pictures with the iPhone and it’s accessory handgrip – The Big Red one.

Protesters on Capital Hill on repealing "Obamacare" Healthcare bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve used the grip know for three weeks and love the handling capabilities that it brings to the iPhone camera. It’s well built, fit’s tight on the phone, provides you with  a tripod socket and the company is already working on upgrading the software and color offerings.  They are determined to make this the go to accessory for iPhone photographers. I offered my suggestions to the company and they received the praise and criticism with a desire to make changes and look into  how they can improve it.

Supreme Court holds "Obamacare" hearings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m in the process of launching a new website that will be dedicated to conducting Digital Photography Tours & Workshops. One of the offerings will be the iPHONEAGRAPHY Photography Tours. Going out to different locations with 10 other persons and having fun shooting and capturing the moments.

"Obamacare" Rally on Capital Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It will be open to all mobile camera users. Although the iPhone is the top dog, many other phones have excellent cameras and capabilities. As far as software – my favorite at this time is FREE. SmugMug’s Camera Awesome.  Free and awesome, no other words needed.

Jeffrey Toobin of CNN waits for his live shot outside the Supreme Court.

 

 

 

IPHONEOGRAPHY – THE CAMERA IN YOUR POCKET

A friend of mine recently told me, “ We have to evolve….. or die.” Of course we were talking about photography, specifically the movement and growth in the mobile phone/camera market.

It took a while, but we are finally at the point where a few phones out there (and more will be coming) are also competent point-and-shoot cameras. A recent article that I read had this to say, “The numbers work out to 144 million compact (point-and-shoot) cameras in 2015, 1.515 billion cell phone cameras will be produced in the same year.” So with that in mind I migrated to the iPhone.

iPhone photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend was my first full weekend experimenting and learning to do photography all over again. I ventured out with just the iPhone. The equivalent of going out years ago with my Leica M4P with a 35mm f2 lens. The DSLR with the zoom lenses stayed in the bag, back home. And I must admit, I fell in love with taking pictures once again.

iPhone photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The file that comes out from the iPhone is a 22MB file. Plenty big enough to blow up and play with. Big enough for a magazine front cover. If you do your work, the iPhone will give you excellent results. If you want to zoom in, you begin walking forward. Forget the two finger swipe, it will only degrade your file by enlarging your pixels.

As with anything you have to learn what works best. The iPhone is not a camera to shoot sports with. But for capturing street scenics and still life it’s just about perfect. And after you capture the image, the App’s that are available give you the opportunity to create works of art with them right in your mobile device.

iPhone photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I choose to download the files and processed them on my MAC. I used the software; Snapseed and Topaz Adjust, to process the images seen here. For a FREE camera App there in none better than SmugMug’s – CAMERA AWESOME. Another that you would have to buy (for the cost of a soda) is CAMERA+. They both have all that you need to get the job done.

Overall the whole experience was fun, exciting and fresh. After a weekend of shooting over 2500 NCAA basketball action images, it was like learning the joy of photography once again.

So come evolve with me and join me in some new – iPhoneography Safari’s. Contact me at: andres@araphotos.com for more info.

iPhone photography

 

 

 

Virginia – Thorton Hill Point-to-Point

steeplchase-point to point-horses-racing-jockeys-virginiaLast Saturday I made the trek to Speeryville, VA to photograph the start of Virginia’s Point-to-Point season. Years ago (when I was a young photographer) I used to cover a lot of steeplechase races, but with everything… if you don’t practice, you will get rusty. My days take was not as good as i wanted, but I came away with a few pictures.

Im doing a project covering the circuit for the next two months. I found myself at a point where I needed to photograph a project. Then an old roommate from Leesburg asked me if I would like to have a month long show at his real estate office, so off to the races I go.

For now I just have to go out and practice. The photos will come.

 

Washington, DC – 39th. March for Life

Sometimes you have to wait for the picture to come to you. You keep looking, shooting and working the event. Then it shows up. This “baby” traveled all the way up from Chattanooga, TN to be captured in front of the Supreme Court. A small island of Pro-Choice protestors were busy mocking and chanting slogans and profanities at the participants of the 39th. annual March for Life. U.S. Capitol Police formed a ring around them to keep them safe (although they were the ones instigating the crowd), rather than making them leave since they had no permit to protest. As they chanted “This is what Democracy is like,” I thought…. They have no clue. 30-40 people in the middle of a rally of Ten’s of Thousands (100,000+) yelling insults at them and the police were standing there, quietly protecting them. That….. is truly what Democracy is. Scroll down and enjoy the pictures.

 

U.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. Wade

U.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. Wade

U.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. Wade

U.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. WadeU.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. WadeU.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. WadeU.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. WadeU.S. Supreme Court abortion protests. Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Roe v. Wade

Going Back 31 Years

It all started very innocently. “Dad, can I borrow your camera for the weekend?”  His answer was, “Sure, come and get it.” So I did.

Granted, I had no idea how it worked but that was not as important as the “Girl.”  Yes, there was a girl behind the camera. She was taking a photography course with this other guy, and I could not just show up empty handed.  (More below Image)

Nikon - 1967 Nikkormat with 55mm Micro-Nikkor Lens

1967 Nikkormat

The weekend was a humbling experience.  They had to teach me how to put film in the camera, but once they did I shot “two rolls” of film that weekend.  The rest…. Well its history now.  A year and a half after that weekend, I began working as a photographer with a daily newspaper.  That was 31 years ago.

So this weekend, I travelled back from the digital world and spent the weekend shooting ” three rolls of film.”  Actually 3 rolls of Kodachrome 64, soon to be obsolete.  The film that rocked the photography world is no longer being manufactured and as of the end of the year won’t be processed ( only one lab — www.dwaynesphoto.com/  available worldwide till Dec 30 ) any longer.

At the beginning instead of B&W, I shot slide film and Kodachrome was king.  I spent lots of money on it, honing my craft.  So when Kodak announced the end of Kodachrome, I ordered 3 rolls. Don’t know why I ordered 3, but at the time it seemed as a good number. And after the weekend, I’m glad it was only 3.

It was hard going back. Using my trusty  (old) Sekonic meter and shooting one frame at a time was OK, not being able to see what I was shooting was not!  So  now I will send the film away to California to be processed. When it returns, I will scan the slides and dedicate a post titled: Kodachrome Fall – A Weekend Journey.

Nick & Natalie

I remember Natalie as a little girl who was always laughing, this was many years ago. Time passed, we lost touch. She went off to High School, College, became an Architect and then found a “boy”, a good one!  And they got jobs at the same firm!

Over the weekend we met in Richmond for a morning at Maymont Mansion, in the heart of the city.  It was a wonderful morning of catching up and photography.  I was assisted by my “lovely” daughter (my reflector girl) and God graced us with wonderful weather.   (3 Photos Below)

Nick and Natalie, Maymont Park in Richmond, VA.

Nick & Natalie

Nick & Natalie

Nick & Natalie