Monday, November 15, 2010

2011 Calendars Completed!



The Maltphoto.com 2011 Wall calendars have been designed and are being printed as you read this!  I had a tough time deciding on which photos to include this year as there were lots of great moments to choose from.  Below is a sample of the images included in this year's calendar.  The calendars are 8.5 x 11, and 17x11 when opened and hanging. If you're interested in purchasing one, the price is $15, and they should be ready to ship by early December.  Please drop me a line at andre at andremaltaisphotography.com or maltphotography at gmail.com,  if you are interested in purchasing one.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Wescott Top Pro Tour - San Francisco

Taken with a Canon 40D and a 70-200mm f2.8 IS II at 200mm, 2.8, and 1/250 Sec  ISO 320 

On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the FJ Westcott Top Pro Tour in South San Francisco, California.  What attracted me to this seminar was the opportunity to photograph different lighting setups with models.  Wescott had a done something similar on a much larger scale at Photoshop World in Las Vegas, but I was unable to attend. Now, you might ask, how does one set up a lighting demonstration and allow everyone to photograph at the same time?  Wouldn't it be difficult to set up the strobes and everything?  Well, that was my first thought, at least.


The solution is simple and extremely elegant.  Westcott makes a continuous lighting source called a Spiderlite TD5.  It's sort of a "What You See Is What You Get" approach.  Since the subject is constantly lit, it allows multiple photographers to take photos using the lighting setup.  I've seen these used before, but only in online videos and talked about in some books.  Actually seeing them in action definitely pushed me over the edge, and they are now at the top of my list as my next equipment purchase.  Now, clearly you can't really use these to shoot at f/16 for fashion-type photography, but for those who do family, baby, and senior portraits, they can be quite useful.  The nice thing about these lights are that they can accept both fluorescent daylight balanced full spectrum bulbs and tungsten bulbs.

Rod Evans photographing our model, Chelsea with the TD5 Spiderlites

The evening was divided into two parts, a basic overview of lighting techniques (short, broad, rembrandt, butterfly, etc) and a demonstration by pro Rod Evans of how he uses the lights.  The first part was given and demonstrated by John Williams, the Westcott Technical Rep,  who allowed us to photograph the beautiful Chelsea with the various lighting setups.  For me, this demonstration and the opportunity to photograph the different lighting setups was a terrific use of time.  I also got to break in my new 70-200mm f2.8 IS II lens, which performed beautifully.

After a short break, Rod Evans then took center stage and proceeded to demonstrate how he uses the TD-5's.  Despite his equipment not arriving, Rod made the best of a bad situation and watching him improvise with the equipment that was available was quite impressive.  He walked us through his basic lighting set-up and philosophy.  Then proceeded to demonstrate a high-fashion type shoot using the TD-5's.  Normally, this type of shoot would be done with strobes, but since the TD-5's were all that were available, he demonstrated as best he could the different setups, posing techniques and interactions that make him a "Top Pro".  He ended with a quick overview of how to make money using social networking (mainly facebook) and different tools that he uses to streamline his studio business.

Overall, I'd recommend this seminar for those looking to gain some knowledge of lighting or looking for some new ways to improve their use of lighting in their work.  For me, this was a very timely seminar as I work through launching my new website and focus on lifesyle photography.  There were a few things that I wish were done better, though.  First, there were no materials to take home, other than the Westcott catalogs.  Maybe I'm just spoiled by the Kelby Training Seminars, but it would have been nice to have some of the set-ups diagrammed for future use.  My memory isn't what it used to be.  The trade show portion was also a little on the smaller side (granted there were only maybe 50 participants as opposed to the 300+ that Kelby accommodates), and only Westcott was represented there.  It would have been nice to have reps from some of the other sponsors there as well.  The nice thing is that all 26 cities are being video taped and attendees will have access to all 26 seminar videos once the tour ends in mid-November.  The door prizes at the end were also very nice, including a 16GB Lexar card, a year membership at NAPP, a 5 in 1 reflector kit, and a complete OnOne Plug-in Suite  (which I already have and love) among other items.

If your interested in attending and want to save $20 on the registration fee (as I did), you can go here, to follow the link to get that savings.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paris Icons at the Mumm Napa Gallery



On Monday, Labor Day, we took a drive up north to Napa Valley.  I've always found that Mondays of a long weekend are the best for visting and wine tasting.  While we are driving north and stopping at vineyards at a leisurely pace, everyone else is heading out of the valley and back home.  At our first stop, Consentino Winery, we picked up a bottle of one of my favorite wines, CigarZin and a copy of Wine Country This Week, looking for tasting coupons and other goings on.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this article on a photography exhibit going on at Mumm Napa.

What I love about Mumm is the Ansel Adams prints they usually have displayed in the Gallery.  As a gallery they usually have wonderful photography on display and until recently hosted the Napa Valley Mustard Festival Photo Finish, where I first got my taste of having my photography on gallery walls.  Not to mention that there's no admission fee for viewing the gallery.   While the Ansel Adams photos were not on display, the Paris Icons Photography Exhibit was an excellent substitute.



Paris Icons, by James Scholz is on exhibit until September 26th.   Given the sheer number of times I have been up to Napa since March, I'm surprised I hadn't been aware of this exhibit.  Scholz's photography of Paris is amazing.  The prints are beautiful and the composition and his unique take on Paris is excellent.  I highly recommend stopping by the exhibit before September 26th, as it is well worth seeing.  My only disappointment was that there weren't more images.  After wandering through the gallery of about 50 photographs, I was left wanting to see more.

Scholz does has a book available at IconImages, but it's a tad out of my price range for the moment.  The prints are all on sale and I must say, very reasonably priced.  I was very tempted to purchase more than a few of them!  Mumm Napa is on the Silverado Trail, just north of Mile Marker 12.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Clay


The Clay, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

Fillmore and Clay

Camera: Canon 40D
Aperture: f/4
Focal length: 60mm
Lens: Canon 24-105mm L f/4
ISO: 1000
Shutter Speed: 1/30

Processed with Lightroom 3 and converted to b&w with Silver Efex Pro

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Banksy?


Banksy?, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

A recent article in the Berkeley Daily Planet on Sunday by Gar Smith brought this graffiti to my attention. According to the article, it appeared in early June, around the same time Banksy's film "Exit Through the Gift Shop" is playing in Berkeley at the Shattuck Cinema. I'm not sure it's a Banksy work, and I don't know how to decide if it is.

Fortunately, I pass by this parking lot every day on the way to work. I never noticed it before, because it's really set back from the street. I stopped the other day to get a shot, just in case it was done by Banksy. In the meantime, I guess I'll periodically check his website to see if this piece makes an appearance.

Let me know if you think this is his work, or an imposters. I have my own thoughts, but would love to hear others.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nicolas Alain

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to be able to get back east and visit my nephew for the first time. He's almost 6 months old in these photos. I took the opportunity to rent a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO HSM
lens from Lensrentals.com. I normally use Borrowlenses.com because of the ability to pick up the lens at a local photography store. Lensrentals.com was a very seamless transaction. They provide a return label, so you just keep the box and packing material that the lens comes in, slap the return label on the box and ship it back at the end of your rental period. I'd definitely use them again.

The Sigma is very similar to the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM, but at about 2/3 of the price. I've been a fan of Sigma lenses since I first bought my Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM. I've been very impressed with the sharpness and quality of the lens, and was hoping to see similar results from the 70-200. Sigma is coming out with an Optical Stabilized (OS) version of this lens soon, which may persuade me to go with the Sigma version over the Canon for my low light needs. As you can see from the photos below, I was very pleased with the results of the Sigma. The second photo was taken with my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS
. which is a great lens as well, and is on my camera 80-85% of the time.


Nicolas_May2010-4

Nicolas_May2010-5

Nicolas_May2010-2

Nicolas_May2010-6

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crocker Galleria



Crocker Galleria, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.
Location: Downtown San Francisco
Camera: Canon 40D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
Aperture: f/14
ISO: 200
Exposure: 1/25 Second
Black & White conversion using Nik's Silver Efex Pro in

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kiehl's


Kiehl's, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

You can see my whole Neon set here. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro for the black and white conversion., Then used OnOne's Photoframe 4.5 for the frame/film styling.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

when we were young


when we were young, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

Found this while walking the dog yesterday. There was a date scratched into the concrete as well. Just thought this was so cute.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

after hours


after hours, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

Seen on Shattuck in Berkeley around 9pm.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

quiet through tunnel


quiet through tunnel, originally uploaded by Maltphoto.

As seen on Stockton Street at Sutter yesterday morning.

Friday, February 19, 2010

at the corner of vine and mustard

Spent last weekend scouting locations for the Napa Valley Mustard Festival Photo Contest. Unfortunately, the entry limit has been reduced to 1 per category (traditional/innovative) due to wall space restrictions. I like this one, but not enough to go with it as my entry this year. It is HDR, so I could enter it into the innovative category, but I have another idea to try first.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

124 Photographers Show Their Best from 2009

  1. Best Photos of 2009 – Jim M. Goldstein | JMG-Galleries
  2. Best of 2009 Photo Set – Heikki Salmi
  3. Top 10 2009 – Chris Moore | Exploring Light Photography
  4. Best of 2009 – Wat Chedi Luang | FocusPocus
  5. Best of 2009 – Dave Wilson | News and Views
  6. Five For Friday – Favorites of 2009 - Craig Ferguson Images | Cultural Photography
  7. Best Photos of 2009 – David Cleland | Flixelpix
  8. Best Photos 2009 – Chuq Von Rospach | chuqui 3.0
  9. 2009 Favorites – G Dan Mitchell | G Dan Mitchell Photography
  10. Best of 2009 – Roberta Murray | Uncommon Depth
  11. My Year in PicturesJon McCormack Photography
  12. Top 10 Photos of 2009 – Steven Bourelle | SierraVisions
  13. 2009: Year in Review – Stephen Zacharias
  14. 2009 – A Photographic Year in Review – David Taylor | Sixtyone North
  15. Best Photos of 2009Tony Rath Photography
  16. Top 10 of 2009Steve Cole Photography Blog
  17. my top ten shots of 2009Tom Varden
  18. Best of 2009 – Mario Batalla
  19. My Top 10 Photos from 2009Justin Korn [dot] com
  20. Best of 2009 – Inge Fernau | Magical Glow Photography
  21. My Favorite Photos From 2009 – Brian Auer | Epic Edits
  22. Best Photos From 2009Janis Janums Photography
  23. Best of 2009 – Tim Parkin | Still Developing
  24. 2009 Retrospective – Jan Klier | AllKlier Photography
  25. Best of 2009 – Jenni Brehm | Changing Perspectives
  26. 2009 in Pictures – Hitesh Sawlani | A Visual Treat
  27. Year 2009 in pictures – Minna Kinnunen | The Quiet Picture
  28. 2009 in front of my LensMarcin Retecki Photography
  29. Best of 2009 – Peter Carr | Vanilla Days
  30. Best of 2009 – Dave Reichert
  31. My top favourites from 2009 – Ricky Law
  32. Best of 2009 – Joshua Beckman |PhotoVandal
  33. 2009 Top Ten – Jessica Sweeney | Quotidian Photography
  34. My favourite shots in 2009 – Catalin Marin | Momentary Awe
  35. Best Photos of 2009 – Suzy Walker | Reef Beasties
  36. My Best of 2009! – Michelle Johnson | My Two Seasons
  37. The Best of 2009Photographic Phantasy: Photography by Samantha Genier
  38. Best of Photos Part I-IV - Chuck Goolsbee
  39. Statue of Liberty 2009 – Scott Dunn
  40. My Favorite Photos of 2009 – Ed Rosack | Central Florida Photo Ops
  41. Best Photos from 2009Jim Wheeler
  42. Year in Review 2009 – Laurie Ballesteros | Photine
  43. Favorites of the Year – Ken Trout | Lunch is Optional
  44. Year 2009 in Korwel photography – Iza Korwel | Korwel Photography
  45. Best of 2009Uschi Gerschner Photography
  46. Top Five Images from 2009 and Keeping It NewMike Cavaroc
  47. Wrapping up 2009Ivan Makarov Photography
  48. Favourite Nine from 2009 – Todd Metcalfe | Daily Grind Photography
  49. Favorite Images of 2009! – Allison Pluda | Seneca Creek Photography
  50. Best photos of 2009: Non Portrait Pictures – Julie Provost | Julie Loves Photography
  51. 2009 in 12 beelden – Jeroen Mentens | FaunaFlora.org
  52. Reflections on images of 2009 – Mark Graf | Graf Nature & Wildlife Photography
  53. An End of Year Retrospective for 2009 – Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston | Journey of Light Photography
  54. Top Ten Photos Of 2009 – Jed Link | Mr. & Mrs. Link
  55. YEAR IN REVIEW – TOP 5′S OF 2009 – Matt Graham
  56. Ten Best for 2009 – Dan Baumbach
  57. Top 10 Photographs For 2009 - Seung Kye Lee – fine art landscape photography
  58. My 10 Favorite photos of 2009 – Alex Budak | Unpopped Collar
  59. Best Photos of 2009Dave Hammaker Photography
  60. My Best Photos of 2009 – D. Travis North | Shutter Photo
  61. Favourite Pictures of 2009 – Janne Moren | Janne in Osaka
  62. My Best Photos of 2009 – Michael Spivak | Developing The Fixer
  63. 2009 Favourite – Marc Hodges | sevennine
  64. NZ Opera: Macbeth behind the scenesAlexia Sinclair
  65. The Best of ‘09 – Porter Watkins
  66. Respect - Paul (Slimeface) Tarin
  67. Best Images for 2009 – Giovanni Russello | GRGalleries
  68. Happy 2010 / Best of 2009William Neill Photography
  69. Top 10 Photos of 2009Digital Kloc Photography
  70. Best Photos of 2009Dave Schumaker
  71. Best of 2009 – G. Kaltenbrun | gZphotoGraphs
  72. Favourite landscape photographs from 2009 – Jonathan Martin-DeMoor | Silvicola borealis Images
  73. Top 5 of 2009 - Jim Maher | Jim Maher Photoworks
  74. Favourites 2009Chris Gin
  75. Best Photographs of 2009: Globetrotting – Justin Shifrin | J. Stuart Studios
  76. Best 10 of 2009 – Duffy Knox | The View Through My Glass
  77. Best of 2009 – Rian Castillo | Digitized Chaos
  78. Best of 2009Rick Goldwasser
  79. Best of 2009 – Jeremy Brooks
  80. My best from 2009Massimo Belloni
  81. Favorites of 2009Pat Ulrich Photography
  82. Best Photos of 2009 – Nick Fuller | JadeGreenImage
  83. Best of 2009 – Stig Nygaard | Rockland
  84. My Fave 5 from 2009 – Greg Russell Russell
  85. Best Images of 2009Peter Cox Photography
  86. My Favourite Photos of 2009 – Daniel Loshak
  87. Favorite photo – Lacey Smith | Lace’s Photography
  88. 2009 Year in Pictures - Lane Hartwell | The Post and Review
  89. Ten More from 2009 - Ann Torrence
  90. Best of 2009Ken Snyder
  91. Best of 2009 – Simon Ponder | Simon Says
  92. TOP Photos of 2009 - Gary Crabbe | Enlightened Images
  93. 2009 Top 10 – Steven Scherbinski | Randomness
  94. Looking back, looking forward - Kevin Ebi | Living Wilderness Nature Photography
  95. Best of 2009 – Todd Heckert | Great Lakes Exposure
  96. MY BEST PHOTOS of 2009Sean Willis Photography
  97. Best Photos of 2009 – Andre Maltais | Maltphoto
  98. Top 9 of 2009! – Jenna Stirling
  99. 2009 in review, the photo version - Sam Bloomberg-Rissman Photography
  100. Favorite Photos from 2009 – Ron Niebrugge | Niebrugge Images
  101. Niner for Zero Niner before Zero Niner of Zero Ten - Jay Goodrich Photography
  102. Best of 2009 – Prajit Ravindran
  103. Photos of 2009 + Flickr Set- Carl Donohue | Skolai Images
  104. Top 12, 2009 – John Fujimagari
  105. Top 10 Photos of 2009 – Mike Criss
  106. 2009 IN REVIEW – Kriz Cpec | kRiZ cPEc Photo Blog
  107. My Favorite Photos of 2009 – Greg Lato | latoga photography
  108. Best of 2009 – Andree Oulmann | On Linden Way
  109. 10 Favorite Pictures of 2009 – Chris Williams | Hidden Light Photography
  110. Your Best Photos From 2009 – Gurbir Singh Brar | Fotovala
  111. Landscape Photography My Best of 2009 – Steve Sieren
  112. Best of 2009 – Torsten Curdt
  113. Best of 2009 – Stefan Neuweger | addicted2pixels
  114. Image Picks from 2009Neil Corman Photography
  115. Jahresr├╝ckblick (fotografisch) – Steffen Goethling | Lens-Flare.de
  116. Best Photos of 2009 – Mike Reys |pl?dys
  117. My Best Photos from 2009 – Terri Jacobson | Greyhound Gardens
  118. My best photos of 2009 – Bryan Villarin | All Narfed Up
  119. Best of 2009 – Heidi Donat
  120. Best of 2009 – Pedja Pavlicic
  121. Best of 2009 – Matthew Sallee | IAmMatt
  122. Best of 2009 - Go2Grl
  123. 10 Top Photos of 2009Gavriel Jecan Photography
  124. My Top 10 Photos for 2009 – Neil Creek Photography

Friday, January 8, 2010

Best Photos of 2009

First off, a great big thank you to Jim Goldstein for this great blog project, now in it's 3rd year. Sometimes you can't always see the forest for the trees, and taking some time to reflect on year's worth of work can be extremely rewarding. He will be posting links for everyone participating in this project on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, and I will be posting to that entry, both here and on Facebook and Twitter.

While 2009 was, in all rights, a very tough year for some people, it was a very successful one for me in terms of photography. When I reviewed what I had done in 2009, I was personally very satisfied with the results. One of my 2009 photography goals was to shoot more often and more of what inspired me. To help get me started on this particular goal, I started participating in an annual photochallenge shooting one photo a day with a different theme for each day. I was able to get some spectacular photos through the process. Unfortunately, the rigors of daily life took over, I fell behind and never managed to get through May or even get back on the wagon. You can see the beginnings of this challenge here.

In March, I entered three photos into the Napa Valley Mustard Festival Photo Contest. I participate in this contest every year, as mustard season is my favorite time of year to visit wine country. This year, my second participating in this event, one of my photos was awarded an honorable mention. I hope to build off of that success in the coming year.

July brought about Scott Kelby's 2nd Annual Worldwide Photowalk, with one of 5 walks in San Francisco led by none other than Jim Goldstein. So I jumped at the chance and was rewarded with several photos that are all worthy of being in the top 10.

Trips to Seattle, New York City, Boston and Orange County rounded out the year and provided wonderful photo opportunities for me.

I've created a set of my top photos over on Flickr. They say every picture is worth a thousand words, and many of these photos have a back story that has a personal connection with me. Conveying that personal connection in a photo without a description is, to me, the hardest part of photography. To show emotions or a feeling in a photo takes more than just clicking the shutter and it is an area I hope to focus on more in 2010.

So here are my personal top 5 from 2009. There are currently 30 photos in the set, so please take a look through them and let me know what you think.

#5
Es tan corto el amor
From a 10th Wedding Anniversary celebration for which I was hired.

#4
Atlas in the City
Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan.

#3
Jenn & Ernie
This one I'm particular proud of, because I was able to incorporate all the information I learned from Joe McNally's location lighting seminar despite the fact that I didn't have any other flash than the pop-up flash on my 40D.

#2
Shrouded Golden Gate
What had once been my white whale is now an event that I'm photographing more and more of. After this shot, the park rangers starting escorting everyone down from Hawk Hill.

#1
Mile Marker 12
I'm still not convinced that this is my "best" image from the previous year, but it is the one of which I'm most proud. Honorable Mention at the 2009 Napa Valley Mustard Festival Photo Contest.