Friday, November 29, 2013

Rice Harvest | Portageville, MO

At the beginning of November I traveled to the Bootheel. The famous southeastern tip of Missouri is part of the Mississippi Delta region that is some of the most productive farmland in the country, if not the world. Corn and soybeans are grown here as well as several unconventional crops for the Show-Me State such as rice and cotton.

The rice harvest was something to behold. At the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, each year dozens of different rice research studies take place as well as the testing of numerous varieties.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Alison + Brian | Engagement

Just before the peak of fall colors I pleasure to spend an evening with my good friends Alison and Brian to celebrate their engagement. We traveled to Alison's family farm in northeast Missouri for the evening shoot. Spent a couple of hours exploring the property, but walked away with some great images thanks to this beautiful couple.

Brian is a music lover and has played in several bands. Alison is a country girl at heart and loves hittin the back roads with her bare feet on the dash.

Can't wait to shoot their big day next spring!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wurdack Research Center | Cook Station, MO

With my new job for the University of Missouri I am still able to travel the great Show-Me State and photograph all she has to offer. The main focus of my job is the outsate research centers owned by the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and with that I get to photograph the properties and the research going on at the centers.

One of my favorite so far has been Wurdack Research Center. Tucked away in the hills of the Ozarks, southeast of Rolla, the center has several head of cattle for research as well as hundreds of acres of forest for studies. The upper Meramec River also borders the center one on side where a natural spring feeds the popular fishing and float stream.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nick Watanabe | The Samurai Professor

Earlier this month I helped shoot the photos for a story about MU Professor Nick Watanabe's hobby of Kendo.

You can read the story at

We knew we wanted some compelling images to accompany the story so I decided upon using some camera setting techniques to provide more emotion to the images. We also were lucky to shoot on the stage of Jesse Hall Auditorium. The old wooden stage provided a makeshift dojo and the black stage curtains gave way to a clean background for the subject to stand out.

How did I get these images?

To get that blurred motion feel but still having the subject in focus I basically focused on a slower shutter speed and flashes set on second curtain.

Lighting Setup

I placed two Nikon SB-700 Speedlights on the side of Nick. One was on a stand about 4ft high and angled down and the other was placed on a floor stand, looking up at Nick. I fired them as slaves from a Canon 580EXII flash mounted on my Canon 7D.

I also had a Bescor LED panel to provide some fill light on Nick while my team member, Aaron, shot video.

Camera Settings

Shot with Canon 7D, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

I chose a slower shutter speed (ranging from 1/80th-1/20th) to allow the camera to record some motion from the subject and then pop a flash second curtain (at the end of the exposure) to "freeze" the subject and provide a crisp, focused subject.

The Video

This video was shot with two Canon 7Ds, a Rode shotgun mic and during the interview a Sennheiser lav mic was hardlined into one of the cameras. During the interview two Bescor LED panels were also set up to separate the subject from the background.