I've finally gotten around to editing and uploading the photos of our new lamb; still adorable even without its little cold-weather jacket!
Today I was able to go visit my family hobby farm in Izmir, Turkey. Inspired by some old pictures of horses I took when I got my first DSLR, I decided to take my camera along to see how much better I could do.
It's relatively cold (by Turkish standards) right now- about 40 degrees Fahrenheit- and overcast. The cloud cover made for some really nice, filtered, crisp light.
My mother brought them some leftover pizza from our New Year's Eve dinner, which meant that they were happy to come right up to us and munch away.
Some of my favorite images from the shoot are of our Seramas- a Malaysian breed of chicken that claims the title of smallest breed in the world. They have striking posture, standing tall with a puffed out chest, which I think gives them a lot of attitude as a portrait subject!
I also got a couple of shots of our non-chicken residents-- our two Anatolian shepherd mixes, a curly-feathered Sebastapol goose (nicknamed "Wolfgang"), our barn cat, Frisbee, and one of our turkeys. (Cue the turkeys-in-Turkey joke. I know you're thinking it.)
We also had a new lamb born a few days ago, but it's still hiding away in a stall to stay out of the cold. If it decides to venture out before I leave, I'll have to try and get a shot of it- it's currently been put in an adorable little makeshift outfit to keep warm!
Happy New Year!
I recently photographed the Princeton-Harvard football game for the Princeton Alumni Weekly. Given Princeton's defeat, it was hard to get happy reaction shots of adults past the first quarter- but there are lots of children and small dogs included to make up for it!
Check it out here!
This weekend I was lucky enough to get up to Boston for the 50th anniversary of the Head of the Charles Regatta. For those of you who don't know, the Head of the Charles is the world's largest two-day rowing event, and basically the hottest fall regatta in the United States. Crews from all over the country (and the world!) come to compete, and it's a pretty exciting event.
The HOCR is a 3-mile "head race", meaning that crews are started a few seconds apart and try to finish the course in the fastest time possible. If you're gaining on the crew that started before you, you'll have to pass them, and if the boat in front of you don't yield, sometimes collisions can occur.
Stressful for coxswains, but much more exciting for spectators than your average sprint race!
The Princeton racing got off to a good start on Saturday with the Club 4+ event, in which we had a lightweight women's 4+ entered. Consisting of all-freshman rowers and a sophomore cox in a field of experienced (and often openweight!) crews, they ended up with a remarkable 12th place. Since Princeton didn't enter a boat in this category last year, they were given a very late start of 60th out of 61 boats-- they ended up passing 12 boats along the way.
The next day was when the fun really began, kicked off by an alumni boat of "Fat Cats" racing in the men's 4+ event.
Next were the heavyweight men, racing to a 9th place finish in the Men's Championship Eights category. The Champ 8+ event includes national and elite club teams, so the competition is fierce- Princeton was actually fifth among college crews.
The openweight women raced two boats in the Women's Championship 8+ event, with the first varsity finishing 10th overall (7th among college crews) and the second varsity close behind them in 16th place (11th among college crews.)
The lightweight women's team fielded another four for Sunday's lightweight 4+ event. They swept ahead to finish in first place in 19:03 minutes, a comfortable 14 seconds faster than second place Brock.
The lightweight men also had a successful day of racing: the first varsity boat won gold for the second year running! The second varsity also had a strong race, finishing 9th overall, 7th out of college crews, and a full 44 seconds faster than the next fastest 2V boat.
Congratulations to all Princeton athletes on a successful showing!
Recently I had the opportunity to attend and photograph several rehearsals of a new production of John Logan's Tony Award-winning play, "Red", about the artist Mark Rothko. The results can be seen in the Princeton Alumni Weekly blog's recent slideshow here. Check it out!
I just returned from two months of thesis research in Brazil, where 99% of the photos I took were of early 20th century medical documents. Naturally, upon my arrival back in Turkey I was eager to point my camera at a living subject.
A great opportunity came on a boat trip in Çeşme, a windy seaside town where everyone goes in the summer to escape Izmir's oppressive heat. Although the humans on board were somewhat unenthusiastic about having their pictures taken, I had no such trouble with our four year old Maltese, Phoebe, who is a very willing model.
Getting her to look in the right direction is always the most challenging part- she loses interest in me extremely quickly (especially when my mother/her mother is around) and after a while calling her name stops getting a response.
Overall, I'm happy with the few clear photographs of her that I was able to get, and really happy with the relatively new lens I shot them with-- a Canon 50mm f/1.4.
This past week, I yet again had the opportunity to photograph our home races on Lake Carnegie during another successful day for the tigers.
Unlike the last time I was on the launch, the weather was beautiful: this time I was more worried about sunscreen than keeping my camera dry. In some ways, shooting in direct sunlight is more challenging than when it's drizzly and overcast: it's easier to expose an image a little bit in post-production than it is to fix harsh shadows.
Regardless, I was able to get some photos I was really pleased with; the upside of sunny days shooting fast-moving boats is the ability to use a lower ISO and faster shutter speed for sharper, less-grainy images.
One of the biggest challenges of photographing crew, especially three years in, is the challenge of trying to capture moments in a way that you haven't done before; at least ideally, the rowing stroke should look exactly the same every time (and you won't make friends if you try to mix it up by showing a photo that's unusual because the blades are flying all over the place!)
That's why my two favorite times to shoot are at the start and finish lines; I love capturing the concentration on people's faces before the announcer says "Attention: Go!" and I love getting the reaction shots at the finish: the fist bumps, the tired smiles, people leaning back into each other's laps.
I don't know whether not having captured a rower vomiting over the side of the boat yet makes me grateful or feel like I'm missing out. Probably grateful.
It was exciting to be able to capture such a successful day for the tigers; the lightweight men swept over Georgetown and Penn, the openweight women had strong wins in their first, second and third varsity boats, and most excitingly, my own team had a great first home race.
Although I was disappointed that Georgetown scrapped their lightweight women's varsity four, which meant that I wasn't racing, it was exciting to be able to photograph my teammates in the first and second varsity boats race Georgetown's 1V and see our first varsity girls retain the class of 2006 cup.
Congratulations to all the tiger crews for a great weekend of racing. Here's to replicating that this weekend!
Thanks as usual go to Marty Crotty and Ed Hewitt for getting me on a launch to photograph
That project was Jasper, an "open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications". Basically, it's JARVIS from Iron Man, and it's awesome- especially given that I remember Shu and I messing around with it when it was in its earliest stages, cracking up at the stock responses it would give to rude questions. In its current version, it can update you about your Facebook notifications, tell you what the weather's like, and play a specific artist's music. Pretty cool stuff!
I went and filmed them talking about the project, handed over the footage to Shu, posted the video on this site when it was finished, and didn't think too much about it until a couple of weeks ago, when Shu told me that they were being featured on Wired.com and asked if I'd take a picture of them with Jasper. We had a quick, fun photo shoot, and it was awesome to see both a great project and a photo of mine (!) featured on a major website.
We all had a great time playing with the puppies, who quickly got so tuckered out so they had to go home early!
It was an unusually hot and sunny day, and it quickly became clear that the puppies were more interested in us as potential providers of shade rather than playmates...
Whatever their intentions, they were still hopelessly cute, and saying goodbye was a struggle!
Last week I had the opportunity to photograph Princeton's lightweight men, heavyweight men and openweight women race their season openers against schools from around the country.
The weather started out cold and got colder and rainier as the morning wore on; most of my photographs of the later racing were shot through a Rainsleeve that barely kept my camera dry.
My pants were less fortunate, and after over four hours shooting in the rain finding a spare set of dry clothes at the boathouse was a huge relief.
Overall, it was a successful day of racing for Princeton, with the lightweight men sweeping over Georgetown, the top two heavyweight boats besting Georgetown and Syracuse, and a close loss to Brown for the openweight first varsity after a great sprint, though their 2V and 3V posted solid wins.
The weather didn't stop rowers and non-rowers alike from putting on a good face for the camera...
Thanks go to Ed Hewitt of Row2k for taking me along on the aligner's launch and to Marty Crotty for facilitating.
Every year, Princeton Crew runs its own version of "Crash B's", a 2-kilometer indoor rowing competition, in preparation for the spring season. This year, I was unable to participate due to an injury, but was able to contribute to the video instead!
Working together with Paul Popescu, who also filmed and edited the whole thing, I was able to try out my new 50mm f/1.4 lens. The wide aperture was a godsend in such low light conditions, and both my video and photos were much higher quality than when I covered the event back in 2012 (prior to walking on to the lightweight women's team.) I was also able to get some footage with a Go-Pro camera, which made it into the final cut.
You can see the full video here.