I had an assignment today that I want to share with you guys. Gabriel Del Real is a local boxer that will have his first professional welter weight fight at the Silver Nugget Casino this Tuesday night in Las Vegas. My editor was looking for a portrait for the upcoming story our sports department is writing on him. I decided to break out the new homemade ring light I talked about in my last post. With the assistant help of Chris Jordan, one of the other photographers here at the paper, we added side light strobes from the left and the right to help separate the boxer from the background. Here is the final result. I am digging this new light.

So I was surfing around on the Internet the other day on my day off and was catching up on some of the photo blogs that I follow. I came across multiple construction plans for a mock ring light setup for hand strobes. These are the type of lights that fashion and portrait photographers like to use to achieve the really cool lighting effect with shadows and awesome skin tones. Actual professional company made ring lights retail for over $1400.00. Not cheap. But I really liked the look of the types of photos that one can produce. Having nothing but time and a surplus of cardboard, tin foil and tape on I thought I would give it a go and build one myself. Low and behold it worked. This is a picture that I made of my photo editor Brad and then one of my eyes. Notice the cool shadow outlines silhouetting him and for the close ups, the ring glow reflection in my eyes. You can be sure that I am just starting to scrape the surface of cool effects this lighting set up can create. More to come. -M

Things are smooth sailing right now for me at the paper. The last week or so (as you can see) has lent itself to a variety of cool stories that I have had an opportunity to shoot. A lot of what I have been doing has revolved around the new school school year both elementary and high schools. Classes are in session and with that, the season starts of all the fall sporting events. I’ve never seen let alone shot any water polo before and I have been enjoying the challenge of trying to document a sport that I am unfamiliar with. The photo of the woman clutching her son was taken after she rushed home after hearing her home caught on fire. Nobody was hurt thankfully but her family home was completely gutted out. It’s scary how quickly a fire can change your life. Never a dull moment in Fairfield. Thanks for looking. -M

The last week has been pretty intense here in Fairfield. Matt Garcia, a young, loved and well know city councilman was killed when a unknown gunman shot him in the head a week ago. The police have yet to turn up any leads in the homicide case. My newspaper has been covering each day as it unfolded. As an outsider new to the area, it has been amazing to watch as this town has come together to support not only the fallen but his grieving family that was left behind. Throughout the week, there have been numerous virgils and ceremonies in addition to the funeral yesterday that I helped cover for the paper. I wanted to share some of my images here. It is my hope that these photographs convey not so much the sorrow of a community but rather (and more importantly) the outpouring love and support of a community picking up one of their own. It was something special to see how many people a 22-year-old councilman could leave an impression on in such a short amount of time.

For the last week I have been working on some portraits for my newspapers upcoming Prep Football Page used to introduce the upcoming season and players to watch for. I had very little time to set up and shoot these. I recently purchased some remote radio firing devices aka pocketwizards and this was my first attempt at using them. Considering the time constraints, I was pleased with the results. There is always room for improvement and I consider these to be a good foundation to grow on. -M