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Mission Bio

So many favorites from our photo shoot at Mission Bio. What a great group! Thanks to all of you.

Xenophon Gala Photo Booth

The “boof” was a huge hit again at this year’s Gala, held at the amazing Blackhawk Auto Museum, who claims to have the World’s Best Car Collection. Having seen the collection, it’s hard to argue with that.

I made a couple of small changes to my photo booth this time. I used a somewhat smaller rig on a single C-stand and added a little music, which made the gear more manageable, and loosened up participants even more. (It may also help to explain the huge popularity of the microphone props.) This year’s Gala featured a rockin’ 50’s theme. As you can see, everyone who stepped into the booth had a blast.

If you’d like to see the 400+ more shots from Saturday night’s event, head on over to http://photos.xenophontrc.org!

White Background for Business Head Shots

I’ve decided that the white background is my favorite for business head shots. This is mainly because they are so easy to produce consistently, but also because a pure white background is so versatile.

Slightly blown-out highlights on the background, 40-inch umbrella to the right, reflector on the left.To create these, I use a simple two-light setup. First I place a 7-foot umbrella with diffuser behind the subject and, paying close attention to the camera histogram, set the flash so that the light from the umbrella is just slightly blown out. I place a smaller umbrella up and to the right of the subject – as close as possible. (I place it so close that it’s often visible in the shots, but that’s OK, it’s easy to remove it.) I find a willing assistant to hold a white or silver 5-in-1 reflector down and to the left. (A bit lower for the girls.) I shoot handheld, and very fast. Being so close to the subject, the flash units are on very low settings, so they recycle in a fraction of a second. I also use a smaller aperture (f8-f10) on the amazing 56mm Fuji lens. I do not want a shallow depth-of-focus in these shots. I want a clean, easy-to-mask image. If it’s even slightly soft at the back, this is much harder to do.

Post-processing is minimal. Often a simple tweak on the highlight setting in Lightroom turns the background to pure white. After a little cropping I can export an image with a pure white or even transparent background. Perfect!

Our Fastest Sequencer Ever!

A fun project for this special day.

From the e-mail sent to the whole company:

Finished with subtle touches from the impenetrable genius of industrial design guru Jim Pire, the new system’s speed will leave the competition in the dust.

Have I ever told you how much I love my job?

Isleton and Locke

I visited a part of California I never knew existed with the Johnstone Clan. What a great day it was…

Built by the Chinese early in the 20th century, Locke, California is 14 acres of quaintness. The main drag – about three blocks long – is a hodgepodge of rotting and twisty woodwork – an exquisite state of decay. The few remaining inhabitants operate a couple of museums and galleries filled with curiosities. If you ever visit Locke, you can find a decent steak or burger at Al the Wop’s.

On a side note, this was an excellent opportunity to put the new Fuji X100F through its paces. I am amazed at how much of an improvement this version is over its predecessor. If you must, check out a few reviews, and then buy it.

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