SevenDays Make a Ripple Walk

I recently volunteered to shoot the start of the Give Seven Days walk this year in Downtown Kansas City.

A bit about Seven Days:

Following the April 13, 2014 tragedy at the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kansas, a group of caring individuals decided that we, as a community, have the power to outshine and overcome such senseless acts of hate. SevenDays® is a challenge for young and old, to embrace diversity across race, religion and culture. Through a variety of events hosted each day of SevenDays® Make a Ripple, Change the World you will be engaged, enriched and enlightened. Join us in our mission to promote interfaith dialogue by engaging all people to discover commonalities and overcome evil with acts of kindness.

The walk went from Union Station up through Liberty Memorial and back to Union station where food trucks awaited anyone who wanted a bite.  It was great seeing so many people out for this walk, the first year it was held downtown.  SevenDays is a great organization with a beautiful mission.  If you want to learn more and get involved you can visit them at http://givesevendays.org

 

 

Custom Flash Drives + New Strobes

I recently purchased my first strobes since I began my career 12+ years ago.  I also recently got some Custom UBS flash drives for large file client image delivery and thought what a great way to test them both!  Well at least test the strobes and test my “product photography” skills out as it had been a while.  I’ll have more to come on the strobes (couldn’t be happier), but the usb sticks look great!  USB memory direct worked with me to get the drives looking good and I couldn’t be more pleased with the final product.

 

Last Light on Buffalo Pass

There are times in a photographer’s career when they capture an image that blows them away.  I was lucky enough to have taken one of those recently and wanted to share it.    I was fortunate to have both: the sight of absolute autumn beauty, and my Arca Swiss RM3di, Rodenstock 40mm, and Phase One IQ100MP (100 Mega Pixels) back to capture it.

The camera if you aren’t familiar is blend of old and new,  and probably similar to what Ansel Adams would have used today if he was still alive and shooting.  The level of detail and quality is unmatched in the digital world and this photograph is a perfect example of it.  Below are some tighter crops of the above photo that show the incredible detail you can get out of a 100 Mega Pixel camera.

This is one of my favorite photos I’ve taken and wanted to share it with you as the fall is upon us.   I’ve made a free wallpaper of a section of the image, you can download it here.

Buffalo Pass, Steamboat Springs Colorado

Buffalo Pass, Steamboat Springs Colorado

I don’t know about you but I kind of want to ditch work early and head to the mountains.

McCownGordon Office/Lifestyle Shoot

I recently had the opportunity to work with the great people at McCownGordon Construction to create images of their people and workspace for their redesigned website & marketing materials.  The goal here was to tell a story that was as much – if not more – about the people of McCownGordon.  It wasn’t just showcasing their workspace, it was telling a story of their workspace and their culture.  It was a great challenge for me and one I really enjoyed.

Sometimes it’s nice to break free from the tripod and go freehand, and throw half the room out of focus.  It was a nice change of pace and I got to work with some wonderful people.  I totally get why they’ve been on the KC Biz Journals best places to work for 11 years running!

McCownGordonOffice_0051_LR

McCownGordonOffice_0273_LR-2

McCownGordonOffice_0248_LR

McCownGordonOffice_0266_LR

McCownGordonOffice_0365_LR

Corporate Woods 40th Anniversary

Last year I was commissioned to shoot Corporate Woods.  The entire office park for the upcoming 40th Anniversary of the office park which is this year.  This post is a bit delayed, but I was waiting to release the images until Corporate Woods had.  The focus was to shoot the every building in the park, the surrounding wooded areas and everything in between in all different seasons.

It was quite a task and one that required a lot more from me than I had anticipated.  I was always looking at the weather and knew I had an upcoming trip to Corporate Woods in my future.  Often early in the morning, late in the evenings and on the weekends.  I’m sure I made 20+ trips to shoot.

This was a unique job for me.  The building weren’t shiny and new, they had been lived in, some are as old as the park itself.  So it posed a challenge for me, they don’t have the pop of some of the newer buildings I shoot but I still found some beauty left in them.  Corporate Woods also holds a place in my childhood, growing up not far from a path that went through the park I rode my bike through the trails often.  I also passed the entrance on my way to elementary school every day.  So the connection to my past was also something that interested me when taking on this project.

As you can imagine I got quite a few images of the park, here are a few more of my favorites.

Stoltz-CWoods-Fall-Fog_comp2

Stoltz-CWoods-Summer_com[3

Stoltz-CWoods-Spring_101

Stoltz-CWoods-Summer_324

Stoltz-CWoods-Winter_0028

 

 

Let’s Go Royals!

The Royals are on another unbelievable run this October, much to the delight of all Kansas Citians.  They have literally turned the town blue.  I’ve been wanting to take a daytime photo of the K for a while and the only problem is the only time the face of the KC gets light is sunrise.  The leaves are turning and the colors pop off the blue, the American Flag bunting is up encircling the K making this morning a perfect time to get this shot.

Buy prints on the Etsy Shop  Kauffman Print

You can also download a free Wallpaper version of the shot here  Kauffman ALCS Wallpaper

*This shot was taken at sunrise October 16th..  In less than 12 hours from when it was taken the Royals will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the first game of the 2015 ALCS.

 

Super Blood Moon

Unless you’ve been under a rock the past week then I’m sure you’ve heard all the hoopla about the Super Blood Moon of September 27th, 2015.  I had never shot an eclipse before so thought I would give it a go, especially since it will be 2033 before I get another chance at a Super Blood Moon.  And why not all I had to do was open my office window and crawl out onto the roof, with tripod and camera in the pitch black.  No problem right?..  Well I managed to do it without falling off and got a good shot of the gorgeous blood moon on a crystal clear night in Kansas City.  This image is a pretty tight crop from a Sony a7RII 42 Mega Pixel capture at 200mm.   Its was my first celestial shot, and I’m sure it won’t be my last.

Arrowhead Stadium

The Kauffman Stadium shot of the ALDS last year has quickly grown into a fan favorite and I’ve had a lot of requests for Arrowhead images which I had none of.  After a quick glance at the schedule I noticed I only had one shot at a twilight shot this year.  It was Thursday night football and the Chiefs were facing their rival Broncos in a big game early in the season.  I left 2.5 hours from kickoff to scout and get set up.  However due to some construction it took me 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to the stadium.  Leaving me running to catch the light.  I got to the hill top and literally just put my camera on the tripod as the first fireworks started going off, shortly after the B2 Bomber flew overhead.  My heart was racing after spending almost 2 hours in bumper to bumper traffic then sprinting with 30lbs of gear up a hill.  I didn’t get the fireworks shot, but did manage to get a good overall.  I will be making a few more trips out there this year and will be waiting until after kick off to get there.

2015 MADA Awards

A couple of weeks ago the International Interior Design Associations (IIDA) Mid America Chapter had its annual MADA awards.  This year we are proud to announce that our clients took home 7 awards out of 21 possible, including Best of Show!

We’re honored to work with such talented people!  Congrats to Helix Architecture + Design, HOK and Blackbird Design Studio on the great work!!  Keep it up.

Here is a winners gallery featuring some of the best design projects going on in the Midwest…

WinnersGalleryFull_01WinnersGalleryFull_02 WinnersGalleryFull_03 WinnersGalleryFull_04 WinnersGalleryFull_05WinnersGalleryFull_06

Helzberg Hall and Muriel Kauffman Theater

I had the opportunity to shoot Helzberg Hall and Muriel Kauffman Theater at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts awhile back. Unfortunately work got in the way and I hadn’t had time to finish what I’d shot til recently.  Here are a couple of images, if you like what you see check out my website for more.  More Images

 

201359KauffmanCanon061

201359KauffmanCenter030

 

 

 

 

Rabbit Ears West Summit Loop 1A

I am most fortunate to have in-laws that have a mountain home.  I joke that it was one of the prerequisites when I was dating my wife.  I have been a skier since I was in 3rd grade and have always loved the mountains.  As I’ve gotten older the skiing has been happening less and less, and other activities like Snowshoeing have been happening more and more.

This last New Years trip I headed out with my brother in law Adam.   Adam is cyclist and overall fit guy, he has been referred to as an Olympian for his sheer speed and endurance down the mountain, usually leaving everyone else in a cloud of his snow dust wondering where he is.  He was a great sport on this little trek as I’m sure he could have lapped me on the 4 mile loop no problem.

The route was Rabbit Ears West Summit Loop 1A and at its peak I’m sure it’s close to 10,000 feet, and at that point you get great views of the Yampa Valley.  It turned out to be the most beautiful day of our entire trip.  Started out with some scattered snow showers, that turned into blue skies with clouds.  It had snowed for 17 days straight and this was the first sun in a long time.  So the trees were absolutely caked with snow!  This made the whole loop absolutely beautiful which meant a lot of pictures for this guy!

Here are a couple of my favorites, as I get some time I’ll work on the rest and post them to the personal section on the site.  All images were shot on the Phase One DF+, with the 45mm + 80mm and an IQ260 Digital Back.  My passion for photography started with black and white and it was a lot of fun to get out there with a camera that is capable of created stunning black and white images.  The clarity and detail is unmatched, can’t wait to blow some of these up!

RabbitEarsLoopA1_0114

RabbitEarsLoopA1_0165

RabbitEarsLoopA1_0232

 

 

 

 

 

Play Ball!!!

I could say I’ve waited a lifetime to take a shot of a packed Kauffman Stadium (home of the Royals). But in reality, I’ve really only been waiting two years.  Ever since I got the Arca Swiss and the Phase One IQ260, I’ve wanted to get a shot of the stadium.  At 60 Mega Pixels its the perfect camera for big places and big moments.

For the past two years, my plan was to go opening day to get a shot of the full stadium. If you’re a Royals fan or Kansas Citian, you know this is the only day of the season when the K is full with blue.  Naturally, the last two years opening day as been either cloudy or rainy.  So I’ve waited….

It was definitely worth the wait!  The Royals are having their best year since 1985 and the K has been packed for (at the moment I write this)… 2 playoff games.  I went the night of the ALDS game 3, the clouds were beautiful and I knew I had get there and get the shot I’d been waiting for.  It was a beautiful night, and a great game. I could feel the sensation of the crowd, the importance of the game and the energy buzzing.  The crowd this night was amazing.. standing over 100 yards away on the side of the highway it felt like I was shooting Arrowhead, not Kauffman Stadium.  Go Royals!!!

In honor of the Royals amazing Postseason enjoy this free Wallpaper!

Kauffman Stadium Wallpaper

 

If you’re interested in prints be sure to check my Etsy store for more images and a wide variety of print sizes.  More images, matting and framing options to come.

Architectural Photographers’ Collective

I’m honored to be included in the in a new group of Architectural Photographers… the Architectural Photographers’ Collective.  The APC is a directory of elite Architectural photographers located within the Continental US.   It includes the best of the best Arch shooters in the United States and is invitation only.   Its an honor to be among the first 15 included in this directory.  It will be the premiere site to find the highest quality Architectural Photographers from coast to coast.

Visit the site here:   www.archphotocollective.com

House Journal of 1876

I shot the Kansas Statehouse this summer  for JE Dunn and while in the State Library I took a picture of some old Journals with my iPhone.  I Posted it to Instagram and a friend from school made a smart a*& comment about Kansas as would be expected from this individual.

It spurred me to research 1876 Kansas since that book seemed to be the largest something must have happened that year.  What I found was actually pretty cool.  In 1876 Kansas passed a law that Prohibited racial discrimination at any State University.  We may appear to be behind in the times here in Kansas, but at one point we were actually quite progressive.

Bahá’i Temple Chicago

I’ve always wanted to shoot the Bahá’i Temple in Chicago.  Every time I’ve driven by it’s called out to me, probably because you can see if from a mile away.  It kind of sticks out at you and you forget your in Chicago.  If you were dropped off in the beautifully manicured gardens that surround the temple you may think you were half way around the world in a foreign land.  

Lucky for me I was driving down Sheraton Rd on an amazing fall day with all my gear in the car from an earlier shoot.  The light was just about perfect when I arrived.  I quickly setup the Arca Swiss, this was going to be a great test for my new camera.  The camera and the building did not disappoint.

I had never actually gotten out of the car when driving by before, so getting up close and seeing the ornate details from top to bottom was quite impressive.  Especially considering the fact that original construction was completed in 1931.  The exterior was in amazing condition for being 82 years old.  The gardens and fountains surrounding the building added to the atmosphere making it rather etherial.

After shooting the Temple I turned to google to find out more about what I’d shot and the Bahá’i faith.  It turns out Bahá’i is a pretty cool religion.  It emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind, the unity of one God, and the unity of all Religions in that they all have the same spiritual source.  So if you ever find yourself on the North side of Chicago stop by and say hi.. All are Welcome.

bahaitemplediptick

AMC Graphics

I recently shot the AMC Headquarters / Theater Support Center in Leawood KS for 360 Architecture.  Its a beautiful space, if you haven’t seen it on the site I highly recommend checking it out.  This post is about the super cool graphics in the building.  There are so many we actually came back on a separate day just to focus on shooting this work.

We captured some great work all throughout the building.. from the huge cork board map of the US with all the AMC screens marked, to the bathrooms inside and out, the history of Movies in the lobby and much more.

The main focus of the graphics shoot was actually in the bathrooms.  Yes probably the areas I shoot the least of on commercial projects were the main part of this one.. all 8 of them!

The concept was fabulous.. take the top 8 grossing movies of all time.  Pixelate a scene from the movie, make it giant wallpaper.  Then only give two hints as to the movie.  The year of release, and the gross sales.  Its then up to the users to figure out which movie it is.  This may seem simple looking at these pictures, but I guarantee you when you are standing there it isn’t so easy.  Its a visual trick, when viewed life size the image is hard to decipher.. pull out your iPhone and take a picture and you can see clear as day what the image is.

Makes you want to pit stop on every floor and peek your head in to guess.  Just make sure you knock before you do.  But just in case you forget to know don’t worry every stall on every floor is completely enclosed with its own sink so there’s plenty of privacy.

amcgraphiccomp

Chicago Squared

I was up in Chicago mid September for a week of shooting and my first shoot was 9am Monday morning.  Not the best time to be driving downtown.  So I mostly beat the traffic by leaving at 6am and got downtown early to test out the long exposure mode using a neutral density filter on the IQ260.  One of my favorite images ended up being a square instead of the traditional panoramic skyline shots.  The long exposures lend themselves to black and white in my opinion (this was a 15 second exposure).  The skyline has changed a lot since I lived downtown, it was good to be back.

Arca Swiss + Phase One vs Canon Comparison One: Sharpness and Tonality

The one thing I had a hard time finding in all of my research before upgrading to Medium Format was real world head to head comparisons with 35mm.  Yeah you get a lot of studio shots with color checkers and other objects and you can compare focus yada yada yada.  But what about a blue sky with green grass and sunlight and shadows.  Thats what really matters to me.  So here is the first of hopefully a few posts (god knows it took me way to long to get to this one), showing the real world comparisons of 35mm v Medium Format.

My first test was at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, home of the National World War I Museum and an iconic structure of the Kansas City Landscape.

The Gear:  the Arca Swiss RM3di with a PhaseOne 60 Mega Pixel Back and a 35mm Schneider lens vs a Canon 5D Mark III with the 24 TSE II.

One of the first things you will notice in the two images above is the different aspect ratios.  The Phase One shoots a 4:3 whereas the Canon shoots a 3:2.  While I accidentally may have had the Canon framed a little more to the left than the Arca Swiss you will notice that both images cover the same distance on the horizon.. however there is more room vertically with the Arca Swiss image.

This is a post about focus so lets get down to the nitty gritty and take a look at some pixels.  Below we have two images in a slider format.  If you click and drag the blue bar in the middle you can drag it right and left to see the images stacked.  The Canon is at 100% and the Arca Swiss image is zoomed in 64%.  Pay close attention to the text at the base of the monument, the Logo Stinson on the high-rise off in the distance, and the detail of the grain of the stone is also something to note.

arcalibertyzoom_comparison

Both the images were processed in Capture One.  Almost all adjustments were identical minus the vignette, the Canon has a -1 stop vignette whereas the Arca Swiss naturally had some light falloff that I didn’t correct for so the sky which makes it a bit darker, there is also more sky so it appears even darker.

The tonality is also something to mention as to me the Phase One capture looks better to me.  I matched color off of the stone of the memorial and the greens so the sky in the Canon went a little green for me.  The 16 bit capture from the Phase back produced better color out of the box than the Canon (14 bit).

Heres a fun fact.. 14 bit capture is capable of producing 4 Trillion Tones.  16 bit capture is capable of 280 Trillion tones.  http://tinyurl.com/ksomksq

The Roasterie Factory and Cafe

The Roasterie Factory and Cafe is located off Southwest Blvd and is open for serving up fresh coffee and tours Monday through Saturday.

I shot these with the new back on a PhaseOne 645 DF+ with the Schneider 80mm.   The detail that back capture is stunning!  Lets just say if you wanted to count the rivets on the DC-10 that flys over the factory this camera would be a good place to start. (image on the right is a crop of the image of the left)

 

Sporting Park

One of the first things one must to do when they get a nice new piece of equipment is test it, extensively.  So I’ve spent the last few months testing out the Arca Swiss/Phase One system all over town — learning the ins and outs, refining techniques to create the best images possible.

Sporting Park was a favorite among the destinations. I’ve always loved Sporting Park and am a big Sporting KC fan, so getting an all access pass inside the stadium with a brand new 60 Mega Pixel camera was pretty high up there on the scale of all things awesome!

Here you can see one of my favorite shots from the day.  The files really are amazing.. Zoomed in at 100% I could tell you where your seats are from across the park.

Latest Tweets  : 

Follow @mrobinsonphoto >>

Instagram  : 

Follow @mrobinsonphoto >>