Monday, February 28, 2011

visiting yucaipa

Sarah and I were in California these last 10 days visiting supporting churches. Our first stop was Yucaipa; my hometown. (I think I forgot how beautiful the mountains could be) Primarily we were seeing people from my home church, but we also had the opportunity to see my grandma, aunt and my mom’s twin. We also visited Shauna; a Wisconsin friend now living in California. The unexpected occurred one evening when we drove home from in the falling snow! This happens about once or twice a year so it is a little funny that we left Madison hoping to find warm California sun only to have it snow. So we did what probably everyone else in California does, we go up to the mountains where it is thickest to visit this rarity.

Friday, February 25, 2011

the advantage of window seats

One of the fun things of travel is the occasional window seat on the plane. Add in clear and bright weather and you have a happy Matt. Flying over the Grand Canyon area (more accurately: the Utah / Arizona boarder, I was looking out the wrong side of the plane for the Grand Canyon) is always good for a couple photos but I have never seen the city of LA like this. As we were driving through traffic we could see for miles to both the mountains and the city, something I do not remember ever being able to do. But don’t worry; a few days later there was snow (yes, snow!) and smoggy haze…that is the California I remember.  Sarah and I are in California visiting Churches that we grew up in and that support the ministry of InterVarsity, so I am sure there will be more images coming from this trip.  Images below look a bit better when you view them large, just click on them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

greek conference videos

In my memory, twentyonehundred productions had never produced videos for Greek Conference until this year. (I think the reason has something to do with the fact that we are usually in the midst of another conference of just back from one.) This year, we tried some experiments; instead of the normal 1 week shoots and 2 month edits that we would do for Staff Conference (one of those videos here) we decided to do 1 day shoots and 2 day edits. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, but a lot of fun. We kept the stories simpler by limiting it to one or two people and went in knowing for the most part what the story was and how to tell it. Also, on the ground shooting I was already formulating the edit in my head with the shots I was getting so editing was a lot faster. These are things that you can do with a quick edit and shoot; keeping all this in my head after a week shooting was impossible for me. Below is one of the videos From North Western University; we also created videos from New Hampshire and The University of Wisconsin.

Along with still images, I was also asked to gather video footage for a quick summary video at the end of the conference. This is a lot harder than it seems, video and stills have two different mindsets and make it hard to capture both. Only in times where I had control of the environment (where I could tell the subject to either repeat their actions or stand still) was I able to capture both, most of the time I had to decide prior if I was going to gather video of stills, and you never know which will be the correct medium until after it happens. Here is the final video Eric edited until 7:00am.

Monday, February 21, 2011

driving to-n-fro: greek conference

Like Sarah and my trip to Arkansas, I kept my camera in my lap for the drive to Greek Conference in Indianapolis. It is always fun to see what images the window frames for you. I was also trying out how fast I could manually spot meter a Canon camera…let’s just say it is like throwing a Frisbee with your left hand (or right if you are left handed.) It was not pretty; when you can fluently handle your other camera system like an extension of your arm, you feel like a piano player wearing mittens.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

greek conference portraits

Along with making general images of Greek Conference, I was also asked to create quick portraits of students…sounds really easy on paper but this was the hardest part about my photography job. For some reason I really struggled jumping into this assignment (even though I have photographed strangers before) never have I had this much anxiety; twice I had to turn around and walk into a room where no one else was. It was not until I accidently found my solution that I felt much better about it: Instead of asking “can I take your photo,” I would say, “hey, you have letters on, can I get a photo?” Just the simple ask to photograph the students letters, instead of them, seemed to take the focus (and creepiness) away and I was able to get the job done. Similar to public speaking where if you have the audience focused on a prop, it is easier to speak. I bet there are a ton of psychologists out there that could tell me why my brain works this way, but it was an amazing help for me this time. These are not necessarily my most beautiful images, but graphic designers just eat these up and create a lot of impactful banners and promotional material out of these simple images.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

greek conference

This last weekend, InterVarsity’s twentonehundred productions drove down to Indianapolis to join over 500 fraternity and sorority students for Greek Conference. One of the assignments I had was to photograph the event and post images to Facebook; see those here, and my favorites below.

Friday, February 11, 2011

baby gracelyn kay

No need for words.
Congratulations Beth and Ryan.