Death Race Competitor Portrait

© Matthew Jonas 2012/Evergreen Newspapers 2012

Yes. You read that correctly. There is an actual event called “The Death Race.” It’s a 24-48 hour endurance race that features some unique challenges. These can range from carrying a 20 lbs stump for several miles, crawling through mud under barbed wire or memorizing and reciting bible verses after climbing up a mountain. Yeah. I’m dead serious about that last one. (Get it? You’re so smart!) If you are looking for more info on the race, check out www.youmaydie.com.

One From This Weekend

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I made this picture on Friday night at Evergreen High School. That gym is one of my favorites to light. I’ll take good action and good color over ISO 3200 and a motor drive any day. This picture was made using techniques learned from strobist.com. Speaking of the strobist, David Hobby himself will be visiting Denver on March 22, 2011 along with Joe McNally on the flash bus tour. If you are looking for a good (cheap) workshop that will most likely be packed full of information about getting your flash off of your camera this is it.

Environmental Portraits

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

I haven’t posted anything of value in a while so I thought I would write a little about a portrait I shot last week. I shoot a lot of environmental portraits. In the newspaper industry it is something that is used to illustrate a story where there isn’t an “action” shot to be made. In general, I really like shooting them because it pushes me to step outside my comfort zone and use some of that lighting gear that is usually collecting dust on my office floor.

The subject here is an 18 year old metal sculptor and amateur body builder. Because he wasn’t currently working on a new sculpture I chose to make a portrait instead. The portrait was made in the metal shop outside his home in Evergreen. I used 2 lights. The red-gelled-light on the left was used to signify welding sparks or molten hot metal. On the right side, I wanted a “light coming through an open door” look to give the shop a darker feel. I underexposed the ambient by 2 or 3 stops and filled it back in with the lights. Overall I am pretty happy with the end results. Looking back now I would probably add at least 2 more lights. I would put a light on a boom to illuminate the top of his welding helmet and I would try to illuminate the TIG welder to give a little more definition to the image. Other than that I like it.