Once I found out that my Facebook friends were using my photos as wallpaper to their cellphones, I decided to optimize a few to make sure they looked as I intended. Feel free to download these to your phone. Update: I’ve disabled right clicking on my site, but if you want one of these, email me and I’ll send it your way.
A few years ago, I had a contract with the former company Qualex, which was a sister company of Eastman Kodak. They started a new marketing department in an effort to breath life into their declining photographic processing business model. Our first test was to create a line of MLB licensed, print-on-demand photo templates. Online customers would upload their photos into these templates using the Centrics Sell System interface.
Designing for multiple teams using only royalty free sources was a huge challenge on this project. No outside party could own rights to any of the elements used in these designs. We found that colors, textures and simple graphic shapes were all we could use without violating the license agreements. Photographs of textures really helped bring these templates together visually as well as conceptually. I photographed textures of peeling paint on a barn, rusted metal on dumpsters, old farm equipment, and stained concrete.
Each design uses some kind of visual tie-in to each team or region. The Washington Nationals uses an American flag with an added cloth texture. The New York Mets uses a texture and a design reminiscent of the New York subway. The Pittsburgh Pirates use a flag blowing in the wind with a slight texture of an ancient map.
As you might be able to tell, I love animals and the outdoors. The gardens in my yard are filled with flowers that attract all kinds of birds. One of my favorite birds that visit my flowers are Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. When I first moved to my house, I caught a glimpse of one and that next day I hung a feeder next to my kitchen back window. The hummers didn’t take long to discover it and have been entertaining my family every since.
This summer I bought a SB-700 speedlight for my Nikon camera and decided to put it through it’s paces. Photographing hummingbirds is a great way to teach yourself the finer nuances of flash photography. The challenge I posed to myself was to capture images with the little hummer’s wings frozen in mid flight. It’s a challenge just to catch a photo of these quick little birds. But it takes many tries to get just one good photo.
I tried lots of different techniques and camera settings to get the wings and feathers just right. I finally found a good mix of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to give me a pleasant mix of stopped action and depth of field. The next step for me will be to get a couple more flashes and better reflectors.
For now, I just wanted to share what I’ve been able to capture. I have my favorites but think the collection really shows the personality of these very fast flyers.