First dream of 2011

Minolta X-370 35mm film SLR manual focus camera

Woke up with a laugh at the first dream of the new year – I was shooting 35mm film with my first SLR camera, the Minolta X-370. Nerd alert. Manual focus, manual exposure, thumb lever winder style. Vaguely remember I was shooting some outdoor wedding stuff and keeping up with the action just fine winding after each shot.

I’ll take that as a sign and shoot some film today, see what a little suspense to see the photo can do again.

Go have fun with whatever camera you can find!

Dance Performance Photography – Caught at LangLab

Reiterated confession: I’m a live performance & visual media junkie.

The anticipation, nervous energy before the stage comes to life, and one-shot no retakes atmosphere gets my creativity charged up. I absolutely love the countdown to go time. Troubleshooting in a pinch to make it work and look flawless. Fast paced action all around! (These all translate just fine to wedding photography moments too… but that’s another post.)

Caught performance at LangLab December 2010

Earlier this month I joined the production of Caught – a senior thesis turned full out dance production by Hannabeth Fischer. A brief excerpt from the show’s event page goes like this:

Artistically acclaimed “mesmerizing”, “enthralling”, and “beautiful the whole way through,” Caught is up for it’s second run in South Bend, IN. Choreography and film: Hannahbeth Fischer. After a highly successful debut at Saint Mary’s College in November, Caught has grown. Adding two musicians to the original sound artist, Patrick Quigley, the Analecta trio is complete. Analecta is a group of rising local musicians: indie, progressive, classical.

Experience a cross-platform performance with digital film and dance, playing on the borders of Dance Theater. Live sound engulfs the entire audience, the entire building. This performance, while beautiful on camera, cannot be experienced anywhere but live. Fischer’s statements about movement, duality, tension, architecture, desire, and interaction permeate the multiple channels.

Audience members should look forward to an exciting new space at LangLab. The truly unique space, conducive to incubation and artist musings, will shock many that it exists in South Bend.

Fischer shot some of the film for the projection in the space, adding a unique parallelism to this run of the piece. This is LangLab’s first full length dance performance. Neither South Bend nor LL have experienced a full kinesphere performance such as Caught, and should make it out to LangLab on December 10. Fischer and collaborators welcome conversation in the post-show hang time.

Aside from the usual available light performance photography I also worked with a great crew to provide video and multitrack audio recording for the performance portfolio DVD project. This was a first to go a huge step past mics-mixer-camera to allow for precise audio postproduction mixing of the single-take recording. Translation: geeking out.

Caught LangLab Dance Photography

Shots made with Nikon D700 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens in existing light / video projection.

Technical challenges outside of the recording side included adapting a theatrical stage performance at Saint Mary’s College to the LangLab warehouse art venue (very cool feel!). Full theatrical lighting and dimming control was simplified to fit the intimate space. I do enjoy a good brainstorm and improvisation!

Congrats Hannabeth and the cast of Caught on a wonderful 2nd performance! Glad to have been part of it!


UPDATE! Jan 2011 – Check out the LIVE recording album the band made from the audio tracks from the show.

Think outisde the pouch

My son Adrian has a great imagination. Much of what goes through his toddler mind, aside from thwarting child safety devices and what to do with his near endless energy supply, involves things with wheels. Trains are on the top of that list.

The other day he got into of some of my spare camera pouches and came up with a new use for one of the Lowepro slip lock lens cases. I love seeing his imagination at work.

Lowepro sliplock camera case lens pouch

Free reminder from Adrian – think outside the pouch!

My First Letter to Madeline


Tomorrow’s the big day – Madeline’s first birthday!

For some reason I always feel the need to preface a post with a back story. When I found out we were expecting our first baby Adrian I grabbed a journal I hadn’t written much in since blogging came about and wrote my news in ink. Not quite two years later when I found out I would be expecting my second child I made sure to write again.

Since the firstborn already has his story on a few dozen albums, a birth video, and a fair amount of spoiling, I’m sharing the letter I wrote to Madeline when I found out she was joining our family.

March 28, 2009 – 2:25am

To my child, announced with joy and surprise this evening! Your mother and big brother Adrian are sleeping while I am awake late. We are all excited to welcome you to our family. You will love the snow this winter when you meet us face to face. It is chilly but it sparkles in the sun and makes for great snuggling weather. It is now spring and there is new life and new starts around every turn!

Already your mommy and I are talking about the fun we will have when we meet you, your baby smile and wiggly fingers and toes. We may not know if you will be a daughter or our son but we do know we’re excited that you’re part of our family!

For tonight, and until we meet you, stay cozy in mommy’s tummy while you grow. We love you more than there are words to explain it – that’s why there are snuggles, hugs and smooches!

Your daddy

Madeline almost 1 year old

Behind the Scenes with Overdun Productions

Disclaimer: geeky production stuff ahead.

Catching up from a busy October, a few weekends back was packed full of all kinds of production work, new to the mix of production I enjoy: professional video production. I’ve always liked video production, but a setup of this caliber is above the old camcorder and VCR work I did back in the 90s. One Christmas break back in elementary school I may have set up a news desk set and even a little home made lighting gear, and turned an extending painting pole into a mic boom… no tech like low tech. Later in high school put together a promotional piece with *actual* television editing staff and equipment, and was definitely hooked on tinkering with video gear. About the same time I picked up my first 35mm SLR camera and got into live audio, a bit of my own personal geeky production Renaissance.

On to the high tech big boys’ toys with Overdun Productions. Grip trucks, dollies, Steadicam, and a slick camera to drool over, the RED HD camera. Here’s some behind the scenes photos to check out.

Overdun Production behind the scenes RED dolly shot
Kyle and crew on dolly shot at sunrise
Video production makeup artist on location
Makeup artist Peg Jaworski touching up between shots
Video production scrim RED steadicam grips at work
Grips providing a little diffusion as shoppers go walking
Goshen Courthouse video production shoot
Production setup outside Goshen Courthouse
Goshen Indiana video production shoot
Line producers Kipp Norman and Executive Producer Kyle Bainter on location
Overdun video shoot RED camera on Steadicam
Sebastian working the RED on Steadicam
Overdun Productions behind the scenes Director Kyle Bainter
Alternate view from the talent side of camera
Overdun Productions - Line Producer Kipp with child talent
Director Kipp and Eric hi-5 - the crew was great with child & adult talent
Video shoot outdoor light modifying setup
Who says I take too much gear to a photo shoot? All modifiers on the sunny October daylight.
Outdoor video production RED dolly setup
Dolly shot setup of the Tommies
Child talent and RED camera video shoot
Tommy checking playback before shouting "in your places everyone!"
Commercial viedo shoot adult and child talents
Dad and son taking the winning shot
Video production father and son watch playback
Father and son watching playback

So what’s all this setup turn into? You may have seen some of Overdun Production’s work in the Michiana area already, here’s a clip below that’s been on air.

Check out more of Kyle at Overdun Productions’ work at

Children Are a Blessing – Victoria & Louis’ Baptism

Yesterday Victoria stole the show during her parents’ private wedding ceremony at the Log Chapel. Today she and little brother Louis were baptized at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Notre Dame University campus. Notre Dame and the Basilica are full of traditions, both of the church and the families who have worshiped there. It was wonderful to be part of the Haynes’ family’s celebrations this weekend as the children were baptized where their father was also baptized.

I loved Louis’ attentiveness and curiosity as Father Rocca prayed over the children.

Notre Dame Basilica of the Sacred Heart Baptism

Notre Dame Basilica of the Sacred Heart Baptism

More photos to come! Congratulations Edward, Li Bing, Victoria and Louis on all your wonderful celebrations this weekend!

Notre Dame Log Chapel Favorites

I started the weekend early celebrating a wedding at the Log Chapel on the Notre Dame University campus with the Haynes family. It was a great morning for a summer wedding ceremony! I’d like to share a few favorites before I head out to this evening’s photo festivities. Enjoy!

Notre Dame Log Chapel Wedding Photographer

Wedding Flower Girl watching ring exchange

Daughter Victoria’s playful smile as vows and rings were exchanged

Wedding Flower Girl watching ring exchange

Heart shaped shadow reflection eucharist cup

The Eucharist cup reflected its shadow in an interesting shape – a heart!

More photos to come from a weekend of many celebrations with the Haynes family!

Everybody look at the moon!

Half moon August night 2010

Nice clear August night sky for checking out the moon! The tomato plants have certainly helped find photo inspiration this week. Rather, walking out back to check on them and water them has crossed my paths with a few ideas. Spider at sunrise the other morning and a good glimpse at the moon tonight.

I got my tripod, camera and a telephoto lens and shot a guesstimated, underexposed frame as a reference point. Turns out it was one of the favorites right away. I made a nice tight crop, not too many pixels needed for the web version. I’d love to add a teleconverter and a longer lens for my next round of shooting the moon, but enjoyed snapping something for kicks before putting the kids in bed.

Geek specs: Nikon D300 body, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR telephoto lens, exposed at ISO 100, 1/60th sec @ f/4. Crop in Lightroom.

Keep looking up, Stargazers!

Morning macro – 8 Legged Tomato Guardian

Woke up before the alarm today. Before the 6:00am alarm, no less. I’m no morning person, but knew I should make use of an early start while the kids were still sleeping.

When I went outside to water our tomato plants I nearly walked into this spider’s web nearby. One thread was going up to a tree branch above the deck and the others were anchored to the patio table. The morning sun and a black cloth over a patio chair were all the studio setup I needed. Here’s two favorites from the spontaneous sunrise spider session.

Geek specs: (top image) Nikon D700 with Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro, ISO 800, 1/200 sec @ f/5.6, (bottom image) 1/80 @ f/8

I’ve shot with the 105mm macro for the images above and picked up a 55mm manual focus macro in years since. Here are some of Nikon’s macro (Micro Nikkor) lens options and great ways to add one to your kit.

  • Nikon 55mm f/2.8 Macro – manual focus on Adorama or eBay
  • Nikon 55mm f/3.5 Macro – Manual focus – is a deal on eBay
  • Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Macro at Adorama or eBay
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Auto focus at Adorama or eBay


Celebrating Grandma Eleanor today

Eleanor V Bucholtz 1913-2010

That smile and her laugh went with her everywhere, and was contagious.

Today we’re getting all the Bucholtz families and friends together today to remember and celebrate the 96 years of smiles she shared with us all. Family gatherings were never without laughter, and I don’t see us changing that tradition today either.

Eleanor V Bucholtz, at the age of 96, passed away at 8 PM Sunday, May 23, 2010. A two year resident of The Sanctuary at St. Paul’s Healthcare Center, South Bend, she was born June 20, 1913 to the late John J. & Blanche (Holewinski) Otolski.

On April 29, 1939, she was united in marriage in South Bend, Indiana to Remont (Joe) F. Bucholtz, who was the love of her life.

Surviving are three sons, Terry (Susan) of South Bend, Randy of Mishawaka, and Bill (Susan) of South Bend; 9 Grandchildren, Jeffrey Bucholtz, Lisa Bucholtz, Randall Williams, Samantha Hazelton, Eric Bucholtz, Aliya (Ray) Caldwell, Genna Bucholtz, Wendy (Francisco) Jaramillo, Zack (Alethea) Williamson; 7 Great Grandchildren, Olivia Bucholtz, Adrian and Madeline Bucholtz, Olathe and Davia Williamson, Leonardo and Gabriel Jaramillo.

Preceded in death:
She was preceded in death by her husband Joe, in 1961; her parents; and four brothers, Edward, Joseph, Henry, and Clement Otolski.

Eleanor’s devotion was to her family and especially her late husband, Joe. Her eyes would light up whenever she could share her memories of their life and travels together.  She taught the importance of family values, Sunday worship, and prayer. She enjoyed humor, was a great polish cook, loved reading, and prayed every day for her family and friends. She will be remembered for many things, but mostly for being a loving and compassionate mother and grandmother to all. She was loved and will be greatly missed.

A memorial and Celebration of Life Service will be held on June 6th 2010, 3:30 PM at Historical Hamilton Church located at 31519 Chicago Trail, New Carlisle, IN.