Friday, May 25, 2018

Giving back...

Before and After, in front of Mr. Roark's house.
For over 100 years, there has been a "Big Brother / Big Sister" organization in the US, which pairs volunteers with at-risk kids in single parent homes to provide a caring adult role model.  For over 20 years, starting in college and continuing well into my working life, I was just such a "Big Brother" to two fatherless boys.  

[Yes, this relates to photography.  Keep reading, as I segue into a way you can assist me in my continuing quest to give back... ]

Meet "Little Brother #2".  I spent time with him regularly since he was 5.
We learned to horseback ride together.
We learned to scuba dive together.

A few other sports too! :-)
We had all sorts of other adventures.
He was a huge basketball fan, and I had a ton of frequent flyer miles.  So one weekend we flew to Detroit, saw a Pistons game, and flew back.  This picture was taken with a point-and-shoot that only had a center focus point, so the players are in focus but not the subjects.  It is the photographer's curse that nobody else ever takes good pictures of you.
I had a friend who was a pilot.  He got the experience of taking control of the plane for a short time.
Before and After #2.  Recently he came over, brought a soccer ball, and took ME to the beach!

I bring this up because next month he's getting married!  Yeah, a milestone for both of us.  And in addition to being asked to be the best man at his wedding, I also gave him and his bride-to-be the gift of engagement pictures.

And what better way to shoot outdoors than to use the new Godox flashes I talked about in last month's blog?
Godox AD600 with a 48" softbox.  That sucker is heavy and easily blown over.  Notice I used the trick of putting their faces in shadow and lighting them the way I wanted.  The foreground and background light balanced out nicely!
Engagement shots, like portraiture, can become very formula after awhile.  There are a standard set of textbook poses and standard lighting; once you nail those the trick is to make the couple feel comfortable and get very natural smiles out of them.  Fortunately this becomes easier as the day moves on.  For these shots I used the A7R III and either the 24-105 G or the 70-210 f/4 G.

Same basic technique...
FINALLY got natural expressions halfway through the day...
Dramatic, PORTABLE light at the beach!
For this shot I took the tiny Godox flash and taped it into the of the umbrella.  
I took others, but I don't want to bore you.

"Gee, Gary, are there any other projects you have your eye on in order to Give Back?"  The answer is YES, and I'll talk about it more after a few announcements.

New Ebooks

Fujifilm X-H1 rolling release - We're experimenting with a new format, where the ebook (just the .pdf version for obvious reasons) is released in stages, as they are completed.  Users get the information sooner and are theoretically happier.  The first two releases of the Fujifilm X-H1 ebook by Tony Phillps is now out and you can get your copy here!

Also, the Sony A7 III ebook is now out!  Feel free to tell the world.

Seminar Updates

There's a lot coming up:

Special event!  Portrait Lighting Workshop - July 28, 2018 in Huntington Beach, California

The rest are the very popular Friedman Archives Seminars, which you can learn more about here:

Atlanta, Georgia - August 18-19, 2018
Boulder, Colorado - September 22-23, 2018
Scottsdale, Arizona - November 2019 (email to be put on waiting list)
Las Vegas, Nevada  April 2019 (email to be put on waiting list)
Copenhagen   May 2019 (email to be put on waiting list)

Help Me Give Back...

So all of the above was a prelude to my next chapter of giving back.  There is an organization called "Photographers Without Borders", which is very similar to the more famous "Doctors Without Borders" except they don't actually save lives.  PWB's purpose is to send volunteer photographers to some of the poorest countries in the world to document the impact that NGO's (Non-Governmental Organizations) and other do-gooding non-profits tell their stories and document the positive impact they are having in the communities they serve.

I joined the organization a couple of years ago, and after several interviews they have selected me for an assignment in Vietnam, documenting the Thua Thien Hue region, one of the hardest hit areas in the Vietnam war, and still in need of rebuilding.  This under-served community includes those living with physical disabilities, mental challenges, families impacted by Agent Orange as well as residents who have been resettled into the area. This NGO provide assistance and support by giving them access to quality education, health care services, equal economic development opportunities, and improved environmental conditions.
I'm starting to do my homework already.  Had lunch with someone who grew up in North Vietnam, then migrated to the South to evade the communists.
The assignment takes place in December of this year, and I'm looking to raise USD $5K to help offset my costs.  Would you do me the honor of helping me bring this story to the world, much as I did back in 1988?  A donation of just $25 gets you a 10% discount coupon code for any of my downloadable products.

You can read more about the project here, or you can skip that and just donate via the GroupRev (kind of like kickstarter for social projects) widget below:

Thank you for your support!

Until next time,
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman

1 comment:

  1. Gary, You have done so much via your books and blogs to improve my photographic experiences. Now I read about your kind and generous heart and it (almost) brought me to tears. Thank you for all you have done and are still doing. -Fred


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