Thursday, August 14, 2014

First Cover

A few months back my niece, Carol Ann (aka MotoCarolAnn), emailed me and said that I might get a call from American Motorcyclist Magazine as they were using her for a story.  She had suggested they should consider me to take the shots.  I've been published in their magazine before which I think put them in the right place to contact me.  A few emails later and everything was set, well, almost set.


The story was about people that might not fit the typical motorcyclist image and for Carol Ann, they wanted a shot of her at work.  She manages a clothing store in a mall.  The magazine thought it would be a great location to shoot and so did the owners of the store.  Mall management wasn't so enthusiastic.  In fact they emphatically said NO WAY.  Obviously they're more concerned what their risk managers might say then some exposure in a magazine.  They may have just watched 12 O'Clock Boyz (a must watch documentary) and thought we'd be riding wheelies in the mall.  Either way, the mall shot was out.  Plan B was simply to shoot in a strip mall parking lot.  Not the most exciting location but we'd make it work. 

I drove the 6 hours down in the afternoon and we poked around some strip malls in Danbury, CT.  We picked one for the shoot and had my niece meet me there at 7am the next morning with her boyfriend.  That would give us a couple hours before stores opened to get the shots.  We needed ten different shots, each taken with both work cloths and riding cloths and they had to match as closely as possible.  This took a bit of the spontaneity out of the shots but not too much.  It also was time consuming with wardrobe changes with each set-up.


The weather cooperated perfectly with nice morning sun and I used natural light for most shots and was happy to leave the big lights in the car. For a few shots I used a simple speedlight as a fill light.

Through all the communication with the magazine, the word COVER never came up but when the issue arrived, there it was - Carol Ann was the new American Motorcyclist Cover Girl.  Another two shots were used with the story but they did not run any with the side-by-side wardrobe as they had hinted, but after landing the cover, I'm OK with that.

Special thanks to Ed Pudvah for his help and arriving with a perfectly coordinated jacket and Triumph Thruxton.


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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stowe Antique Car Show 2014

Spent an hour or so this morning wandering around the Stowe Antique Car Show and taking photos of hood ornaments and other details.   This show has just about everything including cars from all eras and all continents, a few bikes, trucks, firetrucks and a group of army vehicles.  Apparently Saturday is the day to go with twice as many vehicles as today, but there was still plenty of interesting vehicles to check out.
 
The challenge at car/bike shows it trying to take shots that don't look like they were taken in some hot, dusty field with a bunch of other people wandering about.  To do that I use a small, handheld flash held off camera and underexpose the shot while pumping the flash power up to compensate.  This is combined with using a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field and put the background completely out of focus. 

Below are the favorites from the day but you can view many more shots from the event here.  Prints are also available via the link.

Shots from other car and bike events can be found here.

And, for anyone interested, here's a great source for hood ornament identification.

Pontiac

someone buy me this car...

Rover

Electric cars are not new.  This one from the 1930's.

Chevy

An amazing Rolls restoration

Rolls Royce


Pontiac

Pontiac


Pontiac Woody complete with authentic travel stickers.

From the muscle car section

The story behind this bike was pretty amazing.  We'll see if anyone can guess what it is on my facebook page.

A perfect example of how a bit of underexposure with flash makes for a very interesting photo.

You can view many more shots from the event here.  Prints are also available via the link.

Shots from other car and bike events can be found here.


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Monday, July 07, 2014

The Williston 4th of July

There is magic in small town July 4th festivities.  Williston has a lot of that magic and this year's 4th of July Parade and Frog Jumping contest were great fun for all.  Its been fun over the years to watch our boys grow up from being the little guys on the side of the road snatching candy to carrying the American Flag in the Boy Scout Color Guard this year.

These are my favorite shots from the day.  To see a lot more photos from this year, click here.

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt Boy Scout Troop 692 l
Boy Scout Troop 692 leads the parade.  I think I know that kid holding the American Flag. 
Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
Doggy Day Care's customers get in on the parade.
 
Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
US Representative Peter Welch

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
He bought it new.

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
A lot of excitement for a free water bottle.

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
The Imported Car Center's copilot.
Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
Former US Marines.

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade photo by Dave Schmidt
Risking life and limb for candy.

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade
Candy Crush

Williston, Vermont 4th of July Parade
In need of more candy.

Williston 4th of July Parade
Williston fire chief's personal ride.

Williston 4th of July Parade
Chief


Williston 4th of July frog jumping contest willie the jumping frog bill skiff
The wonderful Bill Skiff, hosting the frog jumping contest for more than 20 years, now has his own children's book starring Willie the Jumping Frog.  More on Willie here and here

Williston 4th of July frog jumping contest
Brayden's prize frog

Williston 4th of July frog jumping contest
Zoe gets her frog flying

Williston 4th of July frog jumping contest
Javier, (far right) an exchange student from Spain, definitely enjoyed his frog jumping experience, as did Joe, Doug and Ian.

Williston 4th of July frog jumping contest
Asa

Williston 4th of July frog jumping contest
By the time I took this, the crowd had dropped from the throngs at the start of the contest

frogs
Before being released back into the wild, we did a little frog photo shoot.  This was shot with an extension tube on the lens to allow for extreme close-up.

Faces and frogs from years past.  You can get a print of this here.
To see a lot more photos from this year, click here.

Click a year to see more images:  2013, 2012, 2011 and more...

Prints of any image always available.  Contact me dsphoto(at)comcast.net


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Balancing Stones of the Bolton Potholes

Bolton Potholes is one of the most popular swimming holes in Vermont.  It's an amazing place and to watch kids throw back flips into the potholes carved out of the stone over centuries is a lot of fun on a hot summer day.  On this day I headed just above the Pots where those not looking to risk their lives for the crowds might retreat to, but on this day there was no one to be found, including those that had built these balancing stones.  As it is still only late spring and the warmest weather is yet to come, there were not as many balancing stones as one would find late in the year. 

bolton balancing stones

bolton balancing stones

bolton vermont balancing stones


bolton vermont mountain stream

bolton vermont balancing stones


bolton vermont balancing stones

Bolton Pots swimming hole Vermont


Prints of any image always available.  Contact me dsphoto(at)comcast.net


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Monday, June 02, 2014

Kayaking the LaPlatte River

Spring is always the best time to paddle the LaPlatte River in Shelburne, VT.  With Lake Champlain still swollen from spring runoff, you can paddle into usually unreachable places and cut corners in the normally meandering river.  The green ash, silver maple and black willow trees that love the annual flooding create an endless sea of reflections in every direction.  The trees that arch over the river make a kaleidoscopic tunnel to paddle down.

This 225 acre marsh near the mouth of river into Lake Champlain is a protected area with some help from The Nature Conservancy who has a little writeup about it here.  Access is easy by using the boat launch at the mouth of the river on Lake Champlain right on Bay Road.  Once launched, turn right and paddle under the Bay Rd. bridge.  Once your round the first corner, the rest of civilization disappears quickly and the sounds of birds and a thousand frogs take over.  There is at least one beaver family in the area that will usually let you know it's their turf with a good slap of a tail.

For photos, the challenge is to keep the kayak still enough while still moving forward so the glassy smooth surface is not disturbed in the direction of the camera.  These photos were all taken with a small Sony NEX6 camera in a high contrast black-n-white mode then post processed in Adobe Lightroom to pull up the shadows and add some sharpening.  Most had some localize dodging and burning as well.

There are duck eggs for anyone that makes it to the end.  Photos from a couple years back can be seen here.

The tunnel of bent trees over the main channel of the river



Silver maple tree bark




The view looking west very near the mouth of the riven into Lake Champlain
Here are your duck eggs, nestled into the crook of an old tree



Prints of any image always available.  Contact me dsphoto(at)comcast.net

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