Hotlanta

I just spent the weekend in Atlanta. Had a great time hobnobbing with the locals while watching the exciting Falcon/Seahawk’s game. Being a Detroit Lions fan, I’ve never had the pleasure of sitting in a bar watching the Lions win a playoff game. And I’ve had 16 years of opportunities to do so. How sad. What was I talking about? Oh yeah…..

I also had some time to look for photo opportunities and there were many. The graffiti in Atlanta was great. I wish I had more time to spend there. I haven’t finished editing my set yet, but here’s a little preview of what’s to come:

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An evening with Messersmith.

Last Monday, Jeremy Messersmith stopped by our house to perform for his Supper Club Tour. We had some great food, great wine, made some new friends and had a great time. Oh yeah, and he played some music.

The first thing he did was give us a nice gift for us offering our home for the tour.

Apparently, he’s a mushroom hunter. I verified that he knew what he was doing (I’d hate to die from eating a poisonous mushroom. I’d rather die from spontaneous combustion). He assured me that he did, but I’m still waiting to hear news from a killing spree by mushroom toting musician. If I don’t hear anything soon, I’ll take a nibble.

He was also gracious enough to sign my albums and take a few photos.

My girlfriend* took this photo, hence the soft focus..

I’m happy that I got some new photos for the portfolio:

And finally, I recorded him playing a little:

And here he is showing a sense of humor:

*note to self, only let pros handle my gear

Macro Photography

I recently got a 100mm macro lens and have had a blast playing with it. It was one of my very first “wants”, but with my filmmaking needs, it kept getting pushed back on the list. I finally made the purchase.

I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s very difficult to get subjects in focus, but I’m enjoying the challenge. Thankfully, my years of shooting at 1.4f have conditioned me for getting the focus right. Most of the time. After just one day of shooting, I realized I want to get even closer to the action so I purchased a 1.4x extender from Canon. I’m looking forward to many years of shooting with this.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s hard finding good information about how to shoot macro and/or getting closer to the subject. If anyone has any tips they’d like to share, please do.

Here are some of my first photos from it:

Portrait photography

I want to get into portrait photography, but I just don’t like the results. I think it may be the studio setting where no one can relax and it feels more like a business than for fun. Whenever I’m out and about, I see perfect portrait opportunities, but I’m always too shy to ask someone to take their picture. I don’t like when my space is invaded and I don’t want to invade other’s. I may just have to say screw it and go for it, because there is immense pleasure from getting that perfect photo. And recently while I was shooting a short film for my friend Jason Pierce, I took a snapshot of actor Phillip Ward while he was waiting for me to get my camera ready. It was a complete accident as I was taking the photo to check the histogram, but when I got home I knew I had lucked out. Now if I could only get this kind of result every time.

Go to this page and you’ll see it looks very similar to the grand prize winner’s photo. A happy accident.

New website.

Lately, I’ve focused my attention to building a new website. Somewhere I could host all of my interests on one page. The blog will stay here, because I like all the exposure I get with other WordPressians, but it will also be on my homepage.

Years ago, I found the perfect website Neon Sky. It has a clean look, easy to navigate, quick loading times and looks great on the iPad. But it’s too expensive for my budget. It runs around $600 a year and that’s just too much for me. I don’t get the amount of clients I need to afford the website.

Another site that I love, but is out of my price range is APhotoFolio. Again, it has all the great features of Neon Sky, including an app for the iPad, but it’s too expensive at a $1000 setup fee and $17 a month.

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to just do WordPress and I built two different sites; one for my photography and one for my film-making. And I linked them all on my homepage (which is now defunct). And wouldn’t you know it, just a couple of days later I found the perfect site: Virb.

With a little tweaking, you can get Virb to look every bit as good as Neon Sky and APhotoFolio, but it only costs $10 a month. The only thing that isn’t as good with Virb is that your photos aren’t protected from downloading like they are with Neon Sky and APhotoFolio (the reality is if your work is out there, then it’s available to be stolen. I’ve watched Stephen van Vuuren create IMAX sized images from four mega-pixel NASA photos for his film in a basement movie Outside In, so anyone that knows how to screen grab can print their own artwork at any size they want). The best thing about Virb is the ease in which you can build pages. It’s far superior to WordPress, which is super easy itself, so that says a lot.

Anyways, this post is supposed to be more about me and not so much about Virb, but I love the site so I recommend checking it out. And check out mine as well. And if you could, buy something! It’s cheap, great art. Thanks.

www.ioannisbatsios.com