Brooke Plank

I do quite a bit of photography for a local publication called Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine. The current issue, June/July 2016 has many of my images in it, in particular the cover story on a fantastic woman named Brooke Plank Buccola.  I was really happy to get the photo assignment to photograph Brooke, since we have been friends for several years. We first met when she and her parents opened a great restaurant, called Smokin' Planks just a block from my studio in Port Royal, SC. I quickly fell in love with the smoked fish and seafood that Larry, Nancy and Brooke Plank were cooking up.

The images at the above were taken at the Garden City terminal of the Georgia Ports Authority. Brooke's earlier career had her working on very large ships after she graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. Unfortunately we were a bit limited by time and location at that site because the terminal was unexpectedly busy! However we still managed to make some great images. Getting access to the port to do the photographs is not the easiest and I thank the writer of the article, Mary Ellen Thompson for arranging that and Robert Morris at the GPA for getting us in and escorting us ( as well as giving us a great education on the GPA operations).

Brooke is a fun person to be around and was a great sport as we did the various photography sessions. Even though we had a time constraint, we managed to photograph ina few different photography locations. One at the port, one in my studio where we include pictures of Brooke with a sextant that she had to learn to use for navigation in school and some of her in her SCUBA gear at a nearby beach. Brooke is a pretty amazing woman that I am happy to call my friend. To see and read the article, go here: http://www.beaufortlifestyle.com/brooke-plank-buccola-merchant-marine-to-mom/
And, if you love great smoked and barbecued food, including some amazing smoked fish and seafood (and the best shrimp burger anywhere) you should go the her restaurant if you are in the low country. http://www.smokinplanks.com

 

 

Hipstomatic Photography with my iPad

I haven't taken pictures using the Hipstomatic photography app in quite a while. I had some free time this morning while visiting Phoenix, AZ. So, I started wandering around the convention center taking pictures with my "real" camera, a Canon 5D Mark 3. While photographing with that I decided to try something a little different and pulled out my iPad and began to use the  Here are a fewHipstomatic   images I made today.  

Light Fixture 1

Light Fixture 1

Light Fixture 2

Light Fixture 2

With the Hipstomatic Photography app you choose a lens and film (all digital of course) and you are never quite sure exactly what the images will look like. Sometimes they are very different from each other and sometimes the differences are very small from one image to the next.

 

Flag 1

Flag 1

It can be very entertains just reading the descriptions of the various lens and films.  

Flag 2, black and white

Flag 2, black and white

Some of the digital film is color and some is black and white. 

 

image.jpg
Phoenix street view

Phoenix street view

Photographing with Hipstomatic on escalator:

 

Escolator 1  Going Down?

Escolator 1  Going Down?

Escalator 2. Going Up? 

Escalator 2. Going Up? 

View from Convention Center 1

View from Convention Center 1

View from Convention Center 2 Black and White  

View from Convention Center 2 Black and White

 


 

Convention Center Ceiling  with Blanko Lens and Florence film

Convention Center Ceiling  with Blanko Lens and Florence film

Convention Center Exterior with Blanko Lens and Florence film

Convention Center Exterior with Blanko Lens and Florence film

This was a fun exercize this morning.  I'll do more with this photography and post more images.

 

Photographing the Mayor in the River

A few weeks ago I had an assignment to photograph the mayor of Beaufort, SC, Billy Keyserling, for a local magazine article. After talking with the mayor we realized that we both wanted to do something a little different for some of the images. My photographic guideline from the magazine, was to photograph him in casual clothes in his home, and with Billy wearing a suit with a prominent Beaufort background. Here is one of the resulting images, used as the cover of the publication. Billy Keyserling in the Beaufort River, with downtown Beaufort and the marina in the background. I think that we accomplished our goals with this picture.

This location is one of his favorite places, "The Sandbar" in the Beaufort River, which is a popular place for boaters and swimmers to hang out during our warm weather, and it gives a great view of downtown Beaufort. Billy was a great sport in suggesting this spot for photographs and arranging or water transportation out and back. My assistant Charlotte, Billy, Rick the boat owner and I headed out to "The Sandbar" on a beautiful November afternoon. Below are some behind the scenes pictures and then more of the photographs that are from the article and some that did not make it into the magazine. The first image below shoes Charlotte and Rick in the boat as we were loading up for our little expedition.

My great assistant Charlotte on the boat ride out. She is the one who took the behind the scenes pictures.

My great assistant Charlotte on the boat ride out. She is the one who took the behind the scenes pictures.

Here are some of the other photographs that we made during our two different shoots. These images below were taken at his beautiful home in Beaufort that is full of artwork made by local artists. A few of the photos of Billy in the river also show Beaufort's iconic Woods Memorial Bridge in the background. We all had a fun afternoon and I feel we made some great images.

I also teach photography and people often ask me technical info about my photographs. So here is some of it. I used a Canon 5D Mark 3 camera and most of the outdoor images were made with a Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 L lens and a few with the Caon24-70 mm 2,8 L lens. As a fill light on the sandbar/water images I used an Alien Bee Einstein light with a beauty dish powered by a Vegabond Mini battery/inverter. The indoor images were made using the same camera and the Canon 24-70 mm lens. Feel free to ask me any more questions about this or any of my other images.

More drone videos

I have posted a few images and a bit of video from my drone photography recently and several people have asked me to post some more videos to go with some of the still images. I am still learning to fly this quadracopter and just beginning to learn to edit videos, so please bear with me on the video quality. Here is a short video of the Beaufort, SC waterfront showing pictures of downtown Beaufort, SC and the Beaufort River and intracoastal waterway.

This second video is just a quick clip that shows the reactions of a group of people when they saw that I was flying a drone with a camera! I think it is quite fun.

Soon, I'll start a bit more fancy video editing and will put some music to the videos, along with photographs from more varied locations. This is a fun and interesting break form the commercial photography that I normally do. I do have a commercial photography job coming up soon where I will be using my drone camera and will be posting those when they are done and delivered.

Which camera should I buy?

I often have people ask me the question "Which camera should I buy?" That can be a tricky question to answer and I usually do answer it with a few more questions. Some of these include: What is your budget? What kind of photography do you shoot mostly? Do you want/need interchangeable lenses? Is size and weight of the camera important? Do you need or want good video capability? A couple of other considerations are: how big are your hands and what brand camera do your friends shoot? (That last is important if you want to be able to borrow additional lenses or accessories.)

Me on a location shoot using my Canon 5D mark 3 camera.

Me on a location shoot using my Canon 5D mark 3 camera.

It used to be the case (back in the days of film) that the lenses were more important than the camera itself, as far as image quality was concerned. And, unfortunately, I still hear some "experts" tell people that today. In reality the camera is now at least as important. The sensor (which records the image) is now the "film" and the processors ( the built in computers in the camera) are very important in final image quality. So both the camera body and the lens that is attached are of equal importance.

So you can see that the simple question is not so simple. I do, however, often recommend the new Canon Rebel cameras for a beginner DSLR (digital single lens reflex) and the canon G16 (or whatever the latest version is) for a nice point and shoot type camera with lots of features, and it can shoot in raw file format. I just happen to be a lot more familiar with canon cameras than other brands, although to really recommend a camera I would need more information on what you plan to do with your photography. I will write more about different camera types and file formats later.

Drone Video of a Foggy Beaufort River

Here is the first video taken with my relatively new drone that I have made public. I truly am still learning to fly this machine (and shoot video with it) and had not intended to do a flight that evening. However, as I was heading to downtown Beaufort, SC and noticed this interesting fog coming in over the Beaufort River, I decided to give it a try. As a photographer, I am glad that I happened to have my drone system in the back of my vehicle. The sun was setting and the fog was coming in, so I quickly set it up and took off. I probably should have made some camera adjustments for the lighting conditions,  but I didn't want to take the time. I also realize that the quad-copter propellers are in some of the footage (a result of the camera gimble stop adjusted incorrectly). I purposely took the sound out so you didn't have to listen to the motor noise, and am just beginning to learn video editing and did not put any music on here either!

Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions or suggestions.