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Posts tagged “photography

Michael’s First Trip to Coldstone, Plus Photo Talk




Well hello, people! I know. I know. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve decided to wipe the dust off of my trusty Nikon and get back into this photography game. CALM DOWN! I know you’re excited, but I’m going to ease my way back into this. So don’t expect a barrage of posts … at least not right away.

So, for some strange reason, I realized today that I’ve never taken my son to Coldstone before. For those of you who don’t know, Coldstone is an ice cream shop that is, well, EVERYTHING. Imagine eating the ice cream that you love the most. After eating Coldstone, that ice cream will taste like hobo underwear dipped in a garbage juice au jus. Anyway, I figured today would be a good day to take him. We could eat the ice cream outside, and I could snap some pictures. Image

Everything went very well. He enjoyed the ice cream. “Can we come back here and get the same thing again, Daddy?” BTW, we had the Apple Pie a la Coldstone. My favorite one there. I also took these photos while he was eating.

ImageSo not only is the photo above my favorite of the 3, it’s probably one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken. I love LITERALLY everything about it – the depth of field, his eyes, the ice cream on his mouth … EVERYTHING.

Finally, I’ve decided that going forward, I’m going to dedicate a paragraph or two in each blog post to talk about how I took the photos in the post. Most of what I’m going to say will probably seem like a foreign language to the vast majority of you, but for those of you still learning photography – actually, let me rephrase that – for those of you just starting to learn photography (we’re all always learning), these paragraphs could be helpful.

All of these were very simple shots. There was no work put into them as I was shooting them. These were all shot at f/2.8 on my 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. My camera was in aperture-priority mode, so I set the aperture, and the camera selected the shutter speed based on the available light in order to give me a proper exposure. My ISO was at 200, which is where I keep it unless I have to change it.

One weird thing that I’ve always noticed is that, in-camera, when pictures look like they’re properly exposed, they always look too dark when I view them on my computer. That was the case with these. When I opened them in Photoshop, I changed the exposure on all of them, increasing them about half a stop apiece, basically until they were pleasing to my eye. I sharpened them a bit, whitened his eyes, removed a blemish a two or on his face, smoothed his skin a bit, and that was it for any post production.

So that’s it for now. Feel free to leave a comment here or my Facebook fan page, and I promise I’m going to start updating this more often.



#FebPhotoADay Day 22 – Where You Work

I didn’t work at my day job this day, but even if I did, I still consider this my true work, so I would have taken this photo regardless. It’s probably my least favorite photo out of the month so far. I don’t know. It’s a little too over-processed, and I could have put in more work creating better light so that each individual photo was better. It’s difficult to get a cell phone photo without noise, but it’s possible. Anyway, I shot those 4 shots with my iPhone 4s camera, and processed them in Instagram and Stitched.

The Outrageous, Fashionable, and Famous People of Fashion Week

Upon approaching The Lincoln Center plaza during Fashion Week, I quickly learned that the show outside is just as entertaining as the one inside. I’m pretty sure that New York City is a place where people want to be seen, and what bigger stage to be seen than Fashion Week? Fashionistas from around the world pack into this one small area for an entire week, wearing the most lavish and extravagant outfits they could find in their closets.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 was not only my first fashion week, but it was my first time in NYC as well. I’ve been all over this country – LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas – but NYC and Miami have eluded me. Arriving in New York, my focus was to make sure that I was prepared for the runway shows and presentations. I was mentally ill-equipped for what I would see during my down time.

I’m sorry, but if someone steps on THOSE shoes, killing the offender is a justifiable reaction. I’m just saying. lol

The next time I return to New York for fashion week, now that I know what to expect, I will put much more emphasis on my street photography. This is a fraction of what I got, but what I got is a fraction of what I saw. I need to get enough street portraits to last me a few dozen blogs.

I like the look on the young lady above, particularly that piece around her neck.

The woman above reminds me of an older version of Krista, the winner of America’s Next Top Model a couple seasons ago. That hat is like a church hat on Super Mario mushrooms. lol I’ve also found myself wondering how I look in the photo that the man behind her is taking.

I did a blog on the young lady pictured above! Check it here ——> https://michaellacombe.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/mercedes-benz-fashion-week-ss-2012-caught-in-a-crowd/

Another common phenomena at fashion week is celebrity sightings. I saw more celebrities in my few days at fashion week than I did during my entire 2 years living in California. Granted, that’s an easy number to top since the only “celeb” I saw in Cali was Cornel West when I went to his book signing. I didn’t always have a camera ready, but I was still able to capture a few celebs during my time in NYC. Again, the  next time I go, I’ll know to be ready at all times. I’m mad that I missed opportunities to photograph the likes of Lindsey Lohan, Susan Sarandon, Tim Gunn, and others. Anyway, here’s a few that I DID get…

Miss J from America’s Next Top Model.

Uber fine model, Selita Ebanks. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

Object of my thirst that no Gatorade can quench, celeb stylist June Ambrose.

I had all kinds of hilarious insult-captions, but I’ll behave. Omarion. lol

Husband of the star of “Lala’s Full Court Life,” Carmelo Anthony. I think he plays a sport, too. Badminton maybe? 🙂

Philadelphia 76ers forward, Andre Iguodala. Are they even called the 76ers anymore? They’re officially just the “Sixers” now, right? When I saw him walk into the show I was photographing, I tweeted him asking if it was him that had walked in, and he actually responded. He also (obviously) posed for one of these pictures. NICE! Props to Iggy!

And last but not least, one of the most-hated women worldwide, Kim Humphries. What? She’s not married anymore? News to me. Well I guess it’s Kim Kardashian, then. Like her or not, this photograph was a huge score for me. While the reason for her fame may be … non-existent … her fame itself is undeniable. Photographing Kim K was one of my biggest wins during all of fashion week.

On that note, my friends, my coverage of #MBFW is finally at an end. It’s been real! I hope you all have enjoyed my coverage a fraction as much as I enjoyed living and chronicling it.

“WALK” It Out

Saturday night, The Roostertail in downtown Detroit played host to the WALK Fashion Show. The event showcased the work of more than a dozen designers, and offered a night of food, drinks, and music.

The show was split into 3 portions: the urban portion, the couture portion, and the couture and high-fashion portion. Each portion was preceded by a musical performance by a local artist.

The Roostertail was jam-packed with eager fashion fans, and the show did not disappoint. Many portions of the show received standing ovations from the excited crowd.

The crowded venue did, however, present several obstacles for me as a photographer. For one, there were A LOT of photographers there. Photographers tend to be … how do I put this nicely? Assholes. They behave as they’re the only person there, ignoring any thoughts of common courtesy or decency – assuming those thoughts even occurred to them in the first place. So I had to spend the vast majority of the show “dealing with” less-than-savory individuals.

Secondly, The Roostertail sits off the water and has giant large glass windows for walls. This provided a stunning light for the show, and the sun stayed up fairly long. So, had the show started on time, the light would have been phenomenal. Unfortunately, by the time the show actually started, the sun was long gone, and the venue was VERY poorly lit.

Despite cranking my ISO way up and attempting to shoot at f/1.4, I was STILL not getting an acceptable shutter speed. So, I was forced to do something I have literally NEVER done while shooting an event: Use fill flash. I took the time to get the settings right to a point where the flash was as unobtrusive as possible. I think the results look pretty natural, and most people probably would not know I used flash had I not just said so.

The show had its issues, but all in all, I think the creators of the show would consider it a great success. Check out some more pics after the jump, and I’ll get back with you guys very soon with a “different” sort of post. 🙂

To see the full set of pics, head right on over here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157626381271210/

Imagine That!

Last week, I had the opportunity to cover the International Academy of Design and Technology’s “Imagine Fashion Show” in Royal Oak, MI. The event showcases the work of IADT students and alumni, and a “Best of Show” award is given to the top designer at the end of the show.

IADT packed the Royal Oak Music Theater full of eager fashion fans, and the show was definitely a hit. Hosted by William Malcolm and 2011 Miss Michigan, Channing Pierce, the show featured up-tempo music complemented by killer designs.

My night featured several highlights. For starters, I love getting to sit up front. Unobstructed up-close views are the bee’s knees.This enabled me to vary the angles of my photos as I pleased. Though I was working with a fixed focal length lens, I had the freedom to move around, so it wasn’t much of an issue.

Secondly, as has become the norm at any fashion-related event I attend, I got to see a lot of familiar and friendly faces. I’m very fortunate to have met so many awesome people since I’ve returned to Detroit. SO, follow them on Twitter! @NotoriousBYG @AsiaWillis @FO2LA and @TheSaleRack !

Third, there was alcohol. 🙂

On the photography side of things, shooting the event was fairly simple. While it was dimly lit – causing me to up my ISO quite a bit – I enjoyed not having to use flash. I HATE using flash at these sorts of events. I don’t like to tamper with the light that’s there, deal with recycle times, factor in various degrees of necessary light output, and all other sorts of tomfoolery that goes along with using flash.

All in all, I had a good time at the show and hope to photograph more fashion shows in the VERY near future. All of this will ultimately culminate in my achieving one of my major goals for 2011: Attending New York Fashion Week in September. So in closing, check out some more pics after the jump, and if you want to see the full set of images from the show, head over to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dtownpistonsfan/sets/72157626171880917/

A Little Fashion Editorial Work

While working on some images from another shoot, I decided to grab a few of my lesser-used images from some fashion editorial work I did while I lived in California and make some new edits to them. I like the way they look now – sort of like they should be in a magazine. I really hope to do more fashion editorial work in the future.  Hell, I hope to do more fashion work PERIOD in the very near future. So I figured I’d throw a few of the images up here for you guys to check out. Feel free to leave some feedback.


I know I keep saying this, but I truly do intend on blogging more often. Although I’ve consistently been inconsistent with blogging, there is a very big difference between my initial inconsistency and my current inconsistency. Before, I was just lazy. Now, I’m busy. So that’s a good thing, right? 🙂


So, What’s Been Up With Me?

I’ve been loving life! That’s what’s been up with me! I’ve been watching “as my goals unfold right in front of me,” and it feels pretty damn good. The picture above was taken at Royal Kubo in Royal Oak at an old (literally old, lol) friend’s going away party. I hadn’t seen her in 16 years! Even though she couldn’t quite get my name right, it was still great seeing her! I wish her the best on the west coast.

Moving on, I’ve never been one to make a New Year’s Resolution. I don’t think they’re stupid or anything – if you need a fresh start in order to be motivated to achieve your goals, by all means, make a resolution. It’s just never really been for me. However, I had a goal that I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2011. I decided on it in November. So why not label it a New Year’s resolution? I didn’t wait until January to start on it, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, in short, the goal is to be able to leave corporate America and work full time on my own as a photographer; OR, to get a job as a photographer with a respectable publication. In 2 hours, it will be February 1st, and the progress I’ve made toward that goal in just 1 month is staggering.

I think the ball began rolling for me when I applied for press credentials to shoot the Design Define Detroit fashion show back in November. I was excited to be approved, and I was looking forward to shooting the show. I got some great images, but looking back, the show was far more beneficial for me networking-wise than it was for my portfolio. I met some amazing people at that show who I continue to stay in contact with to this day, and with who I hope to stay in touch with for many years to come.

Things just sort of snowballed from there, and I went on to shoot some great events. Then, out of nowhere, things REALLY began to take off. I got the job shooting the auto show (see the previous post) and all of a sudden I began being contacted about weddings and various other jobs. However, let me go off on a brief tangent here. I don’t want to make it sound like this was all just good luck. I put in a lot of work to get to this point – shooting, networking, shooting, and then networking some more. So I’d like to give myself just a little bit of credit. 🙂

One day, while I was on the networking juggernaut known as Twitter (if ya don’t know, now ya know…), I saw a tweet about a job covering the nightlife in Detroit for a website. I jumped on the opportunity, and almost immediately, I became the new photographer for after5detroit.com . To say that I love this gig would be a huge understatement. I get to go to major events for free, have drinks, mingle and network, and photograph all kinds of cool people. For me, it doesn’t get much better than this. So for the rest of this blog post, I’m going to show you guys a couple of my favorite pics from some of the events I’ve shot recently.

This one speaks for itself. He’s a PBR fan. lol I took this one at Delux Lounge downtown during the first Saturday of NAIAS. There was also a Kid Rock concert that night, and a Wings game. It was INSANE downtown, despite temperatures reaching “witch nipple” levels of frigid.

This is from the Plymouth Ice Festival. The entire bar is made of ice. It reminded me of Minus 5 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. If you look in the lower left on the menu, you can see the drink “purple haze.” Yeah, I got one. 🙂

This is an ass. And no, I’m not talking about my friend Steve. This was also taken at the Plymouth Ice Festival. They had an outdoor petting zoo for the kids. I saw a reindeer, too. No one seemed to believe that I actually saw a reindeer, so I twitpic’d it on their asses. Me – 1. Everyone else – 0.

This is a fun photo from Vodka Vodka out in Royal Oak. This guy posed for a picture with his girl (who is NOT picture here, lol). The girl who IS pictured here, I’m assuming is a friend of theirs. She didn’t want to be in the picture, so she stood to the side. After that picture, I peer pressured the guy to force his friend to take a picture, and this was the result. lol In other Vodka Vodka news, Absolut was there and they had a Wild Tea Vodka. It was a revelation. I also had some sort of vodka-infused cake truffle. It was also the bee’s knees.

Recognize that face on the left? It’s Natalie Martinez from Detroit 1-8-7! I ran into her at the grand opening of a new store called Complex out in Birmingham. She looks exactly the same in person!

During these events, I’ve met so many cool people, made some great connections, exchanged some business cards, and just had a helluva lot of fun! Now all I need to do is convince some of you guys to come out to the events I’m shooting so you can end up on the site… 🙂