I left Gulf Shores to go on vacation. Usually its the other way around, everyone comes to Gulf Shores for vacation but I needed to get away for a few days. To relax, hang out, fend for myself, and to get away from everyone/everything. So I went camping. Not completely ruffing it, I had everything I could need in my truck, so I slung up my hammock, built a fire, and enjoyed it. This is a short video of my time away.
Well life isn’t all fun and games but we make the most out of what we do. I’ve been spending some time helping my dad on a few projects. The first of the video is us on lunch lol “do you want an onion sammich” (couldn’t really film when there was work to do). Since the out of town work we were doing was close to the hunting camp, we jumped over and spend a day there. Spent the morning walking, scouting, squirrel hunting, and spent the afternoon down at the pond catching dinner.
Music: Dixieland Delight by Alabama from their The Closer You Get.. album
So as you can see I havn’t posted anything in the last few weeks. I know, horrible of me.
I started this blog with the intent to update it on a regular basis, but to keep it professional and media related. I planed to post video updates, photography, updates in the photo/video world. I truth of it all is that my life is not completely surrounded by photography and video related projects. So I am going to update based off what I HAVE been doing. Posting about the rest of life, things I’m doing and working on even if its not media related, are important. This is my life, who I am, what I am about. I’m not hiding anything or putting on some front so that people will thing more professional of me.
This is about the real Chris Helton. Not just the photographer. Not just the editor. This is my life and what I do
Another publication I tracked down. Had several pictures published in the Encore Louisiana magazine.
Here is the cover. My shot is the inset photo of the crawfish.
My photographs of the book and wine bottles on the first page, of the crawfish dish on the next three pages, Ms Elmore, two page spread of books, and the wine glasses again on the “raise your glass” page.
Once we had the chairs in place, we had to make the sand smooth and relaxing. We had quite a few odd looks from people but it was worth it. We had to sweep the sand in the area to smooth out the foot prints and then use a leaf blower to blow the sand so it looked natural. Here is a little behind the scenes from the day of the shoot. The picture looks like a secluded beach, but here’s a look from the other direction. This is a picture of Dusty helping sweep. He was a huge help getting this shot. And on a side note he just got back from having his film shown at Sundance!
The waters were clean and clear and beautifully relaxing. Most people wonder how much photoshoping was involved, but this short video show this is really what our beach looks like. I had to walk in the water and grab a few short clips of these guys swimming around.
A few notes on Follow Focus units for my Canon DSLR. Of course there are a ton of follow focus units out there, from geared to friction base. You can spend more than a grand on a nice unit, and even the lower cost $350 focus units are super nice to have. I’m not going into big specifics between cinevate, cavision, redrock and so on. Today I wanted to point out two interesting finds that have a different take.
Ok, first lets take a quick look at a typical follow focus and then move on to the two interesting finds. To use one of these your camera has to be on a set of rails. Personally I own a Cavision RFD15BM Basic Mini Single Wheel Follow Focus and I really love it. Mainly I bought this because it fit my budget and have never looked back, its been a GREAT follow focus unit. Here is a shot of what it looks like.
On to the cool stuff. This seems like a great little unit thats relatively inexpensive. The motor seems a little loud though, so that could mess with your audio. First off is Jag35.com electric follow focus.
Here is the newest find that I CAN”T WAIT to get my hands on. It’s from a group Im not familiar with but called Okii Systems. This looks like such a sweet little idea. You have to use a USM Canon lens for this to work, but it is based off of Canons EOS Utility plugged into the usb of the camera. Check out the site for more specifics on it. As of today its not been released yet, but has a price of $400. THATS AMAZING! Anyways, here a shot of what it looks like. There are a couple videos on their site.
How many of you know what im talking about when I say the “Holga”? Im sure a percent of you are thinking, this guy has spent a little to much time in German hostels. As a female name, its actually has a Danish origin. BUT for the photographers out there you either just gave me a high five, or imagined slapping me in the back of the head. You love her or you hate her. She is the Holga!
The Holga is a all plastic toy camera. You load it with real film, and take actual photographs with the camera, but it is as basic as basic can possibly get. It is a creative camera. A learning tool. My first photography class at Savannah College of Art and Design was centered around this camera. We used this camera for a couple different purposes. We used it to hone our skills in the darkroom because of the unique photographs it produces, but this camera was to teach us to stop worrying about each photograph and details of shutter and aperture and just take a picture. Pure creativity. Many of us fall away from this side of photography because of all the details and specifics our cameras posses. After college a few of my friends traveled Europe with their Holga camera. It was cheap, plastic, could be beat around, did not need batteries, could get wet, and had a spring shutter… I mean it made some wonderful photographs, but they certainly didn’t have to worry about someone stealing their camera.
To be creative and photograph just for creativity. As a photographer, this is rare. Taking photographs with something that produces a low quality crappy image? Why would I do that? I am sure a lot of you do it on a daily basis and never realize it. I call it the modern Holga…… our cell phones. This is something that every one of us has in arms reach nearly 24/7. Our phones take the same quality picture as a Holga, instead of shooting on 120 film, its straight to a memory card where we can see our picture that instant, make quick edits straight from our phone, and even post them for all our friends and family to see within minutes of taking the picture. And the joy of it is we don’t worry about specific focus, what shutter we are using, nothing but pure enjoyment and capturing a moment. To snap a picture out of pure carefree pleasure, not caring how it came out or what the picture even looks like. It’s simply for the creativity and for capturing that moment.
I challenge you to take a photograph every day. Any photograph. Something funny, something enjoyable, something painful. Anythings that is in the moment that makes us smile, makes us cringe, or makes us laugh.
OH what a beautiful day it was! Sunny blue skies with a temp around 68*. Ironically I didn’t film the first thing today.
I did however have a late lunch with my wonderful girlfriend at Waffle House in Gulf Shores. When you hit the T at the beach, turn left and its just down the road across the street from the gulf. There were a few bikes parked outside, otherwise it was pretty slow. We had a great meal, and an interesting conversation with a plumber named Arthur. Scruffy looking guy with a beard and I’m going to assume one of the motorcycles in the lot was his. Like the majority of people you find down here though, he was friendly as can be and happy to drink his coffee and share a story.
Better late than never. Here’s an update from the beach. Stopped off at the Beach Pavilion and talked to Fred for a few minutes. He was out wind surfing, enjoying the sun even if the wind wasn’t perfect. Real nice guy, came over and talked to me a few minutes when he saw me on the beach.