No Beakers Were Damaged

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Notes from Rich, Photographing Arizona, Photography, RLC Design 3 Comments

One thought for a cover edit. Cropped it square, pushed a warmer tone, etc.....

When I think of experimentation, I think about labs, Bunsen Burners, test tubes, beakers, and cool goggles that fit over my glasses. Experiments in my mind imply some form of potential danger, but also offer amazing payoffs. This weekend I experimented, and incredibly enough, nothing blew up in my face, nor have I been mutated by any freaky radioactive spiders that got in the way of the experiment (although that would have been so cool).

What did come out of the experimentation was an amazing payoff.  At least for me.  It was the culmination of a lot of learning, and frankly I didn’t think I’d be doing it this weekend at all.  See, wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling after the oral surgery on Thursday.  Go figure, I’m feeling pretty darned good!  So, I got to experiment a little after all.

Yesterday, on top of taking myself for a ride around areas south of Prescott, I popped out to Vulture for a few short hours with members from the local group, “Sweet Nasty“.  Very fun, very rushed, and very new to me.  Normally when I go out to shoot I wander around looking for the scene that grabs me.  This time around, the idea was to create the scene.  Ah, this ain’t Rich’s fun landscape photography……  🙂

I had to try a new technique I learned in Lightroom from Kelby's Light it, Shoot it, retouch it class. Here it is!

I met up with the group a little after noon yesterday, and chatted with them about what they were looking to do once more.  We’ve talked back and forth about this for a few months, and something always came up.  Weather one time, me feeling like garbage another time, etc.  Well, yesterday we actually met up.

My normal photo gear fits in a single backpack, and that’s about it.  Yesterday I had a pair of Canon 430EX II’s and a 580EX II along, a few light stands, some umbrellas, and some wireless gear.  One back pack, one huge Pelican Case, the stands, oh and my tripod.  2 cameras too.  The 5D Mark II and my 40D.  Both were used often.

It can be said, this was a big experiment for me.  Helping to make images that are to be used in someone else’s commercial venture is not a small task.  Not unlike wedding photography too.  You’ve got to get it right.  Doing landscapes and architecture you’re never going to let the scenic view down.  Heck, scenic views don’t watch your blog to hear when the images are done!  🙂

So, a little pressure to produce something cool.

Of course, the pressure comes from myself and myself alone.  The whole, “Get it right in the shot Rich, then you’ll have some great stuff to work with.”

And guess what?  We got several things right in the shot in only a few short hours.  Returning home last night later than I expected, I dove into the images and started parsing things out.

In total, I shot 239 frames.  And unlike the HDR world, one image equals one frame.  Not bad for about 2.25 hours work.  The big part?  Getting through the sorting and whittling stuff down.

Round one of flagging photos brought me down to 64 images out of 239.  So, of the shots I took I found that about 27% caught my eye in some way or other.  Round two came after ingesting some food, and I was a little more relaxed.  I dropped from 64 images to 48.  That got me to 20% of the images having some merit!  Not bad.  Finally, going through for one more slash and burn I worked myself down to 21 images that really stood out for me (9% of what I shot is now what’s on the radar screen).

This photo was made while I was stomping around with my camera lowered taking test shots to see why one wireless unit wasn't firing. An accident that I thought was cool!

At that point I got bored sorting and decided to play the “post production game.”  That’s the game where I tool around with the images I like and see what I can do with them in under 2 minutes of editing.  The edits aren’t final or anything.  They’re just for me to play with ideas, see if I like the ideas, or see if I totally picked the wrong image.  It’s a fun game!

Just to let you know, normally days or weeks later I’ll look back at a shoot and find gems that I totally bypassed.  So in a few days I’ll be taking a second hard look at everything, even the images that didn’t make the first round of cuts.  Just in case.

What’s posted here today is part of the overall product from the experimentation.  And it’s not done by any stretch of the imagination.  The band will be going through the first round picks just in case.  And the edits are unnecessary, just things I have fun toying with.  What will be settled on?  Well, that will depend on what the members want to put forward.

So, there you have it.  The big experiment is under way.  I’d say we’re 60% of the way through overall, 100% done with the shooting part at least.  And it’s safe to say that nothing is going to blow up on this one.  Just all positive stuff, which is always a fun way to conclude and experiment.  And not a single beaker was broken during the whole process…….

As an aside.  Is it just me, or do you think of a funny little muppet running around saying, “Me me me me” when you hear the word Beaker.  Then doctor Bunsen Honeydoo pops to mind as well…….as well as explosions and lots of smoke in a lab……..  Maybe it’s just me!

Comments 3

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  2. Okay, you’re definitely Beaker – running around going Meep Meep MeepMeep – especially with the hair! 😉 And the smoke? Coming from your ears with all those great ideas confined…..

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