What are you (am I) waiting for? Shoot.

Sailing ship Jacksonville Florida 2001

“I need a newer/older / film/digital / manual/automatic camera/lens/computer first.”

This new year has been 3 days -and a few leading up to it last year- of kicks in the pants to get a camera and use it. Not a new one – one within reach. A phone if I have to. Create already. Reminders I find in old film photo prints I keep running into that I had no idea what I was doing when I took most of the shots, but I tried an idea anyway. Reminders I find in the photos of friends very new to photography who are trying their ideas wildly and doing so with great creativity.

The shot above is flawed, flared, and yet is a favorite (from film photography follies in Florida if we’re going to go on with the alliteration). My job at the time relocated me to live on a ship in a tiny town marina outside Jacksonville, Florida. In what has been a trend since my elementary school days I am up awake into the morning hours writing, and did so often in my travels. I had a pair of 35mm Minolta SLRs, a compact tripod, and hours of the night to think. For my first eBay purchase I picked up a light meter to help me judge nighttime and long exposures and began to photograph the ships, marina, and town around me after dark.

I had an idea of how to set the film camera to get correct lighting where I wanted it. I knew a few tips. Most of all I knew that if I wanted to take a photo I’d have to press the shutter release. I’d have to just try.

When I got the prints back from my evening shoot around Jacksonville I was a bit let down that I had been blasted with lens flare. I liked the way the street light looked in the foreground but forgot altogether what might happen with a light source right in the frame shining my way. I shot for 15-30 seconds to soak up more background light and let the lines of people going by blur. This much had worked as planned.

What surprised me was that behind the moving crowd sat a couple along the walkway’s railing. They sat still enough to remain sharp in contrast to the crowd in motion that now appear as streaks. If I had arranged the shot I could have recreated this look easily. They are a happy discovery from a photo made while just tinkering with ideas and playing to motion blur during long exposures, reminders that you never know what you’ll find unless you try.

Go create something.

Shot by Eric Bucholtz with Minolta 7000i and 35-105 lens on the cheapest ISO 400 or 800 35mm film in bulk packs, summer 2001 in Jacksonville, Florida

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. http://www.myspace.com/analectaband

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 www.overdun.com

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!

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.


Why I love black and white photos

Remont "Joe" and Eleanor Bucholtz

Why is it I can’t get enough of looking at black and white photos from the early 20th century? These guys. Grandparents. Legends.

Last Sunday my Grandmother Eleanor V. Bucholtz passed away a few weeks after my 30th birthday and a few weeks before her 97th birthday. She was more than ready to meet her Jesus and see her beloved Joe again – the two people she never stopped talking about. Grandpa Remont “Joe” Bucholtz, a US Navy veteran of World War II,  passed away when my dad was just 6, 16 years after the end of the war. Grandma never ran out of stories to tell about him, and I never got tired of looking at old photos with her.

Grandma B -a name that stuck from before us grandkids could all say “Eleanor” or “Bucholtz”- was nothing short of an amazing woman. Friday I went to the hospital to be with her and my parents, aunts & uncles and 2 older cousins that live nearby when the family was notified that she was very near to going home to heaven. Even amidst somber moments reflecting on her life the gathering of family was the same ornery bunch and told the same crazy stories of our times over the years. It was there I realized it most that it had never taken a relative in the hospital to get us all together and talking on good terms; she had helped put so much love and care for each other into our family already.

That love and peace is a legacy and immeasurable inheritance to leave as an example for your family.

We’ll miss Grandma, without question, every time we think of her and tell her stories. She loved hearing about all the places I traveled so she was my pen pal when I traveled Scandinavia, Central America, and southeast Asia. I’m thankful for the 30 years I shared with her and all the time we spent together as a family. I’m grateful she was able to meet my 2 children, too. (My son Adrian even got to help push her “wagon” (wheelchair) for her when he visited.) Lots of her grandkids’ friends had her as an honorary Grandmother. She raised 3 sons and helped to weave a family together with genuine love for each other.

Also notably, she helped to instate the food groups of pirogi and Polish sausage as staple foods at family gatherings. Our matriarch Eleanor is the reason my family with a German last name calls itself Polish in honor of her heritage and various phrases said in Polish. (Mostly ones you’d say under your breath when you want to call someone a name they wouldn’t understand – told you she was ornery!) 😀

In closing, the only obituary she wanted: “Eleanor’s gone.”

If you listen I’m pretty sure heaven’s playing Polka this week to welcome her as we miss her and celebrate her life with us from 1913 to 2010.