Nathaniel Rateliff and some band that was not Paper Bird by Justin Fritts

So these are some "old" photos, from all the way back in December.  I know, I've been slacking, truth be told I have plenty more history to blog but this one seemed like a fun break from all the corporate posts.  This was a gig for Nathaniel Rateliff's Christmas (Holiday?) show in Boulder, CO.  It was a great show and I got some really fun photos from the gig.  Chuck Roy MC'd he event and Josh Blue did some hilarious standup. Overall a great night, except what I found out was that Boulder really shuts down over Christmas break.  I met up with some friends and had great plans of delicious food and drink before the show began only to find out that half of the restaurants in Boulder are closed when the students are gone.  Oh well, Mountain Sun Brewery came through for us even when other places failed.

Josh Blue coming on stage

Captain Morgan Snow Daze by Justin Fritts

So I got to go up to Vail and take photos for Captain Morgan.  It was during Vail Snow Daze and I got paid to go snowboard for half a day and take photos.  Then I got to go to the Dummy Demolition Derby.  All around a very fun day.  The Captain is holding a drive to get one million poses photographed.  For every pose uploaded Captain Morgan will donate $1.  You can see more on their Facebook page. Here are some of the photos from the day on the slopes.

More after the break...

Seriously good times!

Tebow Follow Up by Justin Fritts

So the photos I took for Nike have made the rounds.  I found them posted on a couple of blogs around the net, pretty much all Tebow.  Have a look around, I google'd Tebow Boom Box and came up with just these couple of links: http://www.solecollector.com/niketraining/?p=2513

http://www.shoespimps.com/shoes/tim-tebow%E2%80%99s-florida-rivalry-boom-box.html

http://www.topflightkix.com/index.php/tim-tebow-florida-rivalry-boom-box.html

And of course a link to my original post here

Lunar Eclipse Time and Happy Solstice! by Justin Fritts

Here's a couple quick photos from the eclipse last night, more in the Flash slideshow link.  The photos were taken with my Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS L, a Canon 1.4x TC and a tripod.  I did some tethered shooting to try to get the focus sharp but even with that it was hard with the bright Denver lights.  Enjoy.

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edit: So I'd like to put a little more work in here because I know a lot of people love to seek out advice on photography instead of just look at pretty photos.  If you'd like to read more about these photos click through to here.

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Flash Gallery Link for a Slideshow (edit: I'm having a few issues with Chrome loading the page but IE and Firefox are doing just fine)

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More after the fold.

Cuervo Cue the Epic Night Facebook goes Live by Justin Fritts

So after a long wait the Cue the Epic night Facebook page has gone live, I know, that's what the title said.  I've been telling all the random people in the bars for months that their photos can be seen on a billboard in Times Square and will eventually be on Facebook.  Well, today is the day: it can be found here: http://apps.facebook.com/epicpics/ and you can vote on and submit your own Epic Pics.  Right now 8 of the Top 10 were taken by yours truly and I'm pretty excited about that.  I'm sure that will change very quickly as people start submitting their own but I'm happy about it. Go, upload, vote, have fun.

Paul and Kelly by Justin Fritts

So Paul and Kelly needed some photos taken to celebrate their engagement.  They picked out a place down by the Platte River in Denver.  It was a great location for photos, cityscapes, railroad tracks, the river, bridges, some green grass still, lots of areas to play with.  Paul is in to photography himself and lately has been enjoying vintage cameras.  Because of this I decided to play with some colorization on a few of the photos.

Nike Boom Boxes by Justin Fritts

So I got a gig this week, kinda last minute, real quick, real cool. The gig was this, go to the Nike Ambassador's house Tuesday morning, hop in a Lincoln Towncar complete with a driver, leather seats and bottled water. Ride out to the Broncos training facility and take some photos of Ryan Clady and Tim Tebow receiving their Nike Boom Boxes. Pretty sweet.  The Nike BOOM Box contains shoes, gloves, a shirt, belt and a card written for that specific box and college.  They are very limited, less than 100 made in total and each one is individually numbered and personalized with the person's alma matter.  What a fun shoot and what a cool gift from Nike.

Tebow receiving his Nike Boom Box

Tebow Holding up his Gator Gloves

Clady Holding up his Boom Box

Times Square, way better proof! by Justin Fritts

So since flying to NYC to get some photos of some photos wasn't really in the cards financially I put the call out to reddit.  I have been a redditor for three years (according to my profile, I can't believe it's been that long) and was a lurker even before that.  Reddit is an amazing online community, people submit stories, photos, comics, for people to review, comment on and vote on. I've seen people request things from other redditors, a couch to sleep on, a restaurant recommendation, relationship advice, so given my limited resources I decided to try it.  I posted a call out to r/photography and r/nyc asking if any redditors could go get some video or photos of the billboard and the response was amazing.  I had no less than a dozen people offer to help me out.  Jclemon was the first to respond to me with photos and marvelously told me he'd have video posted for me soon.

I'm so pumped, thank you all of reddit for being an awesome online community.

More after the fold...

Times Square Proof, really awful proof by Justin Fritts

So I found a webcam for Times Square.  After watching the webcam for about 15 minutes I saw my photos on a billboard.  The billboard appears to be on a 5-6 minute loop and it is by the Morgan Stanley corner, 1585 Broadway.  The photos aren't my most artistic shots but they are the fun, wacky, party photos that the client wanted.  I'm just excited that my photos are on a billboard in Times Square and I have proof, hopefully better proof to come. You'll have to do some photo comparisons, like I said, hopefully I can get an NYC person to go take better photos or video.

Click through the break to see the actual photos.

It is for real.

Big FrittsPhoto News by Justin Fritts

So this is actually the second piece of news that I have this week but I still don't have any proof of the first. FotoMoto, my printer for all the online prints, has decided to feature my photo from Mallory and Doug's engagement photo session as their photo of the day.  Go to http://www.fotomoto.com/ and check it out for Nov 18th.  I have a screenshot cause I don't know how far they go back.

Featured Photo of 11-18-2010 on Fotomoto.com

The second piece of news is that my photos that I took this last weekend for Jose Cuervo have been picked by the marketing company and ad agency to be featured on Facebook.com and on a billboard in Times Square in NYC.  I was hoping to keep this news under wraps until the photos ended up on facebook or I had proof of the Times Square billboard but with the FotoMoto news I decided I should just do one bragging post.  Hopefully I'll have actual evidence of the other ones soon.

Whoop whoop!!!

Marguerite - All white background photos by Justin Fritts

Marguerite was a referral to me from Ryan Brandle over at http://www.brandledesign.com She needed a headshot with a white background for her site that is currently under development.  This one was a new one by me and given that I do nearly all available light photography or single flash (Speedlite) photography I knew this would be a challenge.  An exciting challenge though. Marguerite headshot

I ended up with a few reflections on the cheeks and on the glasses but the diffusion of the umbrellas went a long way to helping this.  If you'd like to read more about getting the shot please continue after the break.

I looked on the Internet high and low for help getting these white background photos.  I couldn't find much and what I could find was way more complex than my budget and space constraints would allow.  So...

First I went to my local camera store and bought some continuous lights.  Two reflectors with 250W bulbs, light stands and umbrellas.  This little setup only set me back $100, I figured with those two and the flash I'd be good.  That was until the light bulb in one burnt out 30 minutes in to playing around with the lights.  The next day I went and bought two bulbs, $7 a piece and went home to play some more.  Well, another one went out pretty much immediately.  This wouldn't do so I turned to craigslist.

After two days of browsing craigslist and diamond in the rough showed up (well at least a cubic zirconia).  A pair of Promaster strobes with stands and umbrellas.  This set new runs $300-350 from what I could tell and I picked it up for $100.  Not an amazing setup but a functional one.  I must say, plug in, studioesque strobes are awesome.

After playing around (with a Halloween skull on a barstool as my stand in) I found that placing the strobes with white shoot-through umbrellas at a 20-30 degree angle in front of the person gave some good light, it didn't make the features completely flat.  Now I just needed a background.  Simple as simple could be I bought the cheapest plain white queen sized sheet at Target and tacked it into the wall.  Now I just needed to light up the background.

I used my Speedlite (Canon 580 EX II) with a remote trigger on a tripod for this.  I put the tripod down low and lowered the wide angle flash diffuser.  I have some of the cheapest remote triggers you can buy from DealExtreme.com although I've seen similar ones on Amazon now and am thinking of increasing my collection.   Luckily for me the strobes I bought have a photo sensitive light trigger so me remotely triggering the Speedlite also triggered the strobes.

I sat on a stool about 10 feet away with my 5Dm2 and my 70-200 2.8 IS L.  I had my ISO down at 250 and the flashes all at 1/8.  I hope this all makes sense, if it doesn't I can give more info or some illustrations.  Please feel free to tell me.

Tanqueray Ten 10 Year Anniversary by Justin Fritts

I was recently hired to take some shots at the Tanqueray Ten 10-year anniversary party here in Denver.  The event was held at Colt and Gray near the Highlands.  Mixologist Sean Kenyon hosted the event and brought his specialty to the party serving delicious cocktails to party. Here are some photos I snapped while there:

Martini Glass on a Colt and Gray Napkin

More after the break...

Sean shaking a cocktail

A guest asking about the cocktails on the menu

The place was filled up, hard to navigate for photos

Tanqueray Ten bottles on the mantle as decoration

Full set of photos here: http://client.frittsphoto.com/2010-10-10_Tanqueray_Ten/

Day of the Dead and Halloween by Justin Fritts

Happy Day of the Dead and Happy Halloween!  To celebrate this year other than going out to the Alice 105.9 party I got to take some photos for a Jose Cuervo party.  The event, Subterraneo, took place on Tuesday this last week and was a huge event, place was packed and going crazy (on a Tuesday mind you!).  It was held at the Church here in Denver, CO and the place was packed.  Skeletons, face painting, good music and DJing, creepy face projections, low riders, 12 foot puppets, oh and free booze for all, absolutely killer. Some of my favorite photos from the event...

This was the creepy projection and the shadow people on the couch

More after the break...

A nice tribute to Jose Cuervo (in the painting)

More of that creepy projection and the girls painted for the occasion.

Like I said, it was packed

Ghostly low-rider

Seriously, 12 foot puppets

Feel free to go to the client gallery here to see more, way way more.

Mallory and Doug's Engagement by Justin Fritts

Mallory and Doug came to me wanting some engagement photos done.  They had planned on having her uncle take them who was a career photographer but just decided to hang up his gear a few months ago leaving them without a photographer.  I was told that they were both un-photogenic and didn't have more than a handful of photos together without them looking goofy.  I don't believe either one of those statements :)  Mallory wanted to find somewhere that there was an old small schoolhouse or church.  Although there might be some cool decaying structures on the outskirts of town I couldn't find many resources but I did find out that the oldest operating church in Denver was located right down the street on the DU Campus.  The Evans Memorial Chapel was originally built in the late 1800's in downtown Denver but then disassembled and then reassembled in the 1960's on the DU Campus.  Although we used the church for the beginning of the shoot we found out that there were plenty of beautiful areas within a short walk from the chapel. I really enjoyed working with Doug and Mallory, we tried some more fun stuff and they were okay with my more hands-off photography.  I like to observe and take photos of people just being themselves and I think it worked well.  Congratulations to them, they will be getting married soon in Sacramento, best wishes to them both.

The couple by a reflecting pool with the sun setting behind them

More photos after the break...

Posed outside of the oldest operating church in Denver

On the stairs

Doug and Mallory by large wooden doors

Doug and Mallory walking into the sunset

Photos for Me, Lost Lake by Justin Fritts

So I've realized since I started taking more photos for money and for other people I've been taking less photos for me.  There is something about it deep in my brain that stops me from taking photos except when I'm working.  I've even gone out with friends or hiking or whatever, taken my camera and then not taken any photos.  Carrying heavy gear for no reason really.  I think this summer has done well to give me a little space and time. I've thought about it more and realized that I think in reality photos taken of people and things in a forced situation (aka work) are more challenging.  The challenge drives you to be better, to make it interesting, to find that angle or get that lighting even in the most challenging of situations.  Suddenly stumbling upon shots seems easy, so many shots that I used to really enjoy just feel cliché (they always were, I just didn't care) and without a goal to the day when I go out it just gets so hard to make the photos feel like an accomplishment.  I don't know if any of this makes sense, feel free to respond in the comments if you'd like, but to me it all makes sense, I just can't quite express it, need to think on it more.

So all of this means that the last time I went out hiking and camping I knew I wanted to take some photos, I needed to force myself to take some photos.  When I finally did the juices started to flow again, it started to feel good.  I explored angles, exposures, time of day all over again.  Since then I've had the camera out a lot and am taking photos for me again and it feels good.  I'm doing this in conjunction with a lot of work and photos for other people but right now I have no conflict about it.

Lots of words, but its a photo blog, so on with the photos.  A few friends of mine, TJ and Kathy wanted to go get in one last camping trip for the year and invited Christina and me along.  They brought their two dogs and their little girl and we brought our two dogs, it was a bit of a madhouse, luckily the wild was large enough to handle it.  It ended up that TJ got a job offer in L.A. a few days after our little hiking trip so it will likely be their last Colorado hiking adventure for more than just the year.  We drove up west of Boulder, past Eldora to a little area of trails, one leading to Lost Lake.  We really got to test out the Outback, drove it along a fairly shallow length of river for about 1/4 mile and up some crazy dirt roads, felt like a Subaru commercial.  I have an awful photo of the river drive but I gotta share it just cause:

Driving down the river

We then hiked with our packs about 1.5 miles up to the lake.  I brought a good amount of gear with me, wish I would have brought a little less cause damn it made my pack heavy.  Although had I brought less I probably would have brought a tripod and offset any savings, stupid having no tripod.

We set up camp and started to get some food prepared.  About this time the dogs were let off leash, Ruby and Lucy had quite a good time without their leashes on.  We went down to the lake and they even decided to go hopping log to log.

Dogs on a log

The lake was beautiful and very still, practically mirror-like.  As the sun started to set I got some very nice photos it.

Lost Lake Sunset

We went to bed and had a terrible night's sleep.  The dogs didn't like the tent and the moon was too bright.  I don't think any of us got much sleep all night.  In the morning we broke down camp, spent some time hanging out and then hiked our way out.  The hike on the way out had some nice early morning beauty.

Glass Lake

Continued...

Aspen Changing

Changing Aspen

More Changing Aspen

Post Backlog by Justin Fritts

So I'm currently backlogged about 6 posts, I think.  But in order to continue my procrastination I'm going to post a quick one.  The Boston Market in Greenwood Village now has a drive thru as of Saturday morning. Truck ran through the Boston Market storefront

Trying to get to the other posts quickly but busy and slacking is a hard combination.

New Private Area Coming Soon! Very Soon! by Justin Fritts

So, first things first.  I sat down and crunched all the photos on my laptop tonight.  They are now all on my server except the ones I still need to work.  Yay!!!  To all my friends I am creating a personal, private area of the website.  It will be password protected, I can separately protect galleries but right now once you are in you are in.  Link will be provided along with a username / password, probably through Facebook.  Some of the photos are a year old and I was just so lazy that they sat on the laptop waiting for editing and uploading.

Tonight, done!  At least once the desktop stops crunching.

Site Refreshed by Justin Fritts

So I finally found the time to really site down and redo the actually website part of the website.  Blog and Client areas are untouched but now the website matches.  Yay!!!  It only took me several months to find an afternoon to really just do it.  Also I have added a Sales Gallery where I can sell prints of some of my more artistic and pretty photos.  Now you can buy my art!  Well, as soon as I get some more galleries added.  Currently I have some photos from Chicago up just to test it and give everyone a chance to play with it, maybe even buy one of them.