The Gallery Owner and the Speedlights

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I shoot a lot of environmental portraits and have written about it before. Generally I choose to light a portrait and not include the gear that I use to do it with in the actual picture. I’m not sure where I got the idea or what I was looking at that gave me the inspiration but this time I decided to leave it in. I’m still not sure if I like it or not but think I am going to run it this week as the main photo in a supplemental publication we have called Upslope.

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Covering Summer Festivals

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

As a photojournalist working for a group of small circulation weekly papers, I cover a lot of festivals from May to September. I think I am crossing into the double digits of festival coverage after this weekend. Fortunately the summer festival season is coming to an end. I was just about to resort to the face painting photo (small paper PJs know what I am talking about) when I saw this “game” above. I’m not really sure if it was an actual game but it did cost 3 tickets. The way it worked was one person stands in the opening and the other whips water soaked sponges at that person’s face. That’s it. Interesting “game.” Good photo op.

Dakota Ridge Hogback Brush Fire

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Today while I was on the way to another assignment I got a call from one of our reporters about a brush fire in Morrison. I could see the smoke when I was driving down from the Canyon Courier office. When I got to Morrison it was clear that I would not be able to access the road that I needed to. Morrison Police had already blocked the road access to anyone except fire fighters. So I drove up Morrison Road towards the Soda Lakes and pulled over. I was able to make a few frames that showed the size of the fire as well as a couple of details of the smoke. Being that far away is not ideal but it is still something different than what any of the TV stations or other papers in town had. It’s days like this that give me a reason to carry a 1.4x and 2.ox converter in my bag. Read the official story about it at the Columbine Courier, Canyon Courier or High Timber Times.

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4A State Basketball with a broken lens

© Matthew Jonas 2010/© Evergreen Newspapers 2010

I haven’t shot basketball without lights for a long time. I have to admit it was kind of relaxing. I didn’t need to worry about getting to the venue super early or setting up and transporting a ton of gear. All I needed was 2 cameras, 2 lenses and a custom white balance.

That may have been what I needed but its not what I had. Currently my 70-200mm f2.8 (a must-have for indoor sports) is being held together with gaffers tape. I can’t manually focus it because of the tape, so I have to rely on my auto-focus. In basketball I usually have to use a combination of both. It was a tough game to shoot, but the Conifer Lobos made it easy by defeating the Pueblo South Colts advancing to the final four. Super high ISO, newspaper sharp, over toned basketball photos commencing in 3, 2, 1.

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I’m a sucker for a good texture

Yellow Barn© Matthew Jonas 2010

The design above is similar to what we ran on the front page of the High Timber Times this week. The story is about the yellow barn that is for sale and how a developer wants to, uh, develop the land. Instead of running a single building mug for the main art I chose a series that shows the character of the barn. A lot of people will pass by without ever stopping to see the intricacies of the structure. Hopefully it will remain in its current form or maybe someone will buy it and restore it. Since we are such a small operation, its nice to be able to help with a little design every once in a while.