Coeur d'Alene Photographer

Favorite 100 Portraits of 2016

A difficult but rewarding task

It is that time of the year where I have a fun but almost overwhelming task.  It is the time that I go through all of my finished images of the last 365 days and narrow them down to my favorite 100. This starts out feeling like a daunting task and I experience sorrow as I have to eliminate images that I love.  Sorrow, however, is always overcome by joy as I get to be reminded again of some of the fun moments spent with my clients.  I relive the excitement of being able to show an athlete the back of the camera when we nailed the perfect sports action portrait.  I have the opportunity to experience again the awe of one of those amazing inland northwest sunsets.

Yes, it is a big and difficult job but it is always worth it!  I will say a bit more about the past year further on, but for those of you that are just here to see the photos I won’t keep you any longer!

Partnership with Interfit Photographic

One of the big changes in 2016 was a new partnership with Interfit Photographic. As a sponsored pro I made the switch to using the new S1 strobe and have been very pleased with it’s performance.  A large majority of the images that you see in the above video were taken using these lights.  I hope you would agree that these tools did their job well. One of the best parts of working with Interfit is that I am able to offer the photographers that follow my page a 10% discount on all their products.  If you want to know more about this check out this page: http://jasonduchowphotography.com/interfit-sponsored-pro-interfit-s1-discount-code/

Past Favorite 100 entries

This favorite 100 portraits post is something I have done at the end/beginning of each year for the last couple of years. For those interested in seeing my favorite portraits of years past you can check out those entries here:

2015 100 Favorites Portraits

2014 100 Favorite Portraits

Having such great clients is what makes all of these images possible.  I want to once again thank all of my clients!

 

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

Gymnastics Photo Shoot with the Interfit S1

Julie, one of my Senior Models, is a flyer for the Coeur d’Alene High School Cheer-leading team.  After learning of her years of training in gymnastics I knew I had to talk her into doing a gymnastics photo shoot, it was not a hard sell!  For a few months now I have been testing out equipment from Interfit Photographic, I have pretended to patiently wait for the brand new Interfit S1 to be available for testing.  Now after chomping at the bit for months I finally had two units in my possession and this shoot would be a great way to test them out.

(To find out more about why I was testing this gear check out this blog post)

Julie talked to her gym, Avant Coeur Gynmastics, and we found a time that we could use the gym without getting in anyone’s way.  My main goal with this shoot was to capture Julie in action. Since the vault is her favorite event that is where we decided to start.  I set up five lights, the two Interfit S1 strobes were set up as my main lights,  Camera left I had one with a 47″ gridded Octa, camera right was a 35″ gridded octa.   For my rim lights I used two Einsteins with 7″ reflectors and 30 degree grids and to light the gym I used an 11″ reflector with a blue gel.  Because of all of the equipment in the gym there were many limitations to where we could place our lights I found what I thought was our best option and we shot some wide angle from right under the vault first and then a longer focal length from a distance.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 002

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 003

Here is behind the scenes video I put together showing the capturing of the first image:

Next we moved on to get some photos of her on the floor.  For these shots I used the two S1’s with the standard reflectors and 30 degree grids pointing straight at her front and back.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 004

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 005

After the floor we were starting to run out of time so we started to move more quickly, first setting the high bar.  This time it was two S1 units with the same octa boxes and the two Einsteins with reflectors and 30 degree grids for rim lighting.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 006

Then the uneven bars, finding a good safe angle with good angles for the light was hard so I went with the a high angle.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 007

I know the classic chalk photo is common, but it would not be a complete test of the new light without it.  For these we used a 47″ gridded octa camera left as the main and a standard reflector with 30 degree grid for the rim light camera right.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 008

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 009

We concluded in the gym with some still portraits.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 010

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 011

After we were done at the gym we had time to do a quite outdoor shoot.  Since it was February in North Idaho I had hoped for some snow for our outdoor time, but that was not happening.  Without snow most places around here are not very pretty, the grass is brown the trees are barren and it is chilly.  After trying to find a place that would work we defaulted to what I knew would do the trick, sunset portraits next to Lake Coeur d’Alene.   It was very chilly so my goal was to work quickly, get some good photos for Julie, test the High Speed Sync (HSS) and call it good.  We started out with some portraits with the standard sync speed.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 012

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 013

Then we switched up to HSS.  All in all I found the color accuracy of the lights to be consistent, I did see that when we changed from standard sync to High Speed Sync the color between the two settings was slightly different but I the color in my shots was consistent in each mode.  It was just when you compared the standard to the HSS that I notice the slight difference.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 014

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 015

After this first round of portraits with the Interfit S1 I am very pleased with the performance of the light.  I really love the simplicity of set up and the fact that I no longer need to deal with cables and external batteries.  After this test I was convinced that this light would be a great fit for my workflow and that I could comfortably make the switch from my PCB lights to the S1.  The hard part has been waiting for the weather to get better so I can get out and shoot more outdoor portraits, thankfully the weather is turning and the outdoor portrait season is right around the corner!

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

 

Behind the Scenes – Softball Action Portraits

Cody, one of my Senior Models, and her sister Brianna met up with me to do some softball action portraits as a test of the high speed sync capabilities of the Strobies ProFlash 360 by Interfit Photographic.    Unfortunately the dirt on the infield of Sandpoint High School’s field was not the softest in the world which made sliding a bit more difficult (and painful) than I expected.  I have to give a big thank you to Cody who definitely sacrificed her body for these photos, the hard dirt near home plate ended up giving her a little bit of road rash . . .  sorry and thanks Cody!  Also a big thank you Cody and Bri’s dad who came out and put down the lines on the field for us so we would have more of an in game feeling to the images.

For this shoot I used three ProFlash 360 units, set on full power high speed sync.  The photos were shot with a Canon 1DX with a 17-40 f4 lens with a circular polarizing filter on front.  I could have achieved a faster shutter speed without the filter but I like the deeper blue I get in the sky when I use this filter.

The first shot that we set up was at third base.   We tried it at first with Cody wearing a helmet but in every shot it was too hard to see her face through the protective face mask so we cheated and placed the helmet in the frame to make it look like if flew off of her head during the slide.  We also did another cheat, before we had Cody do any sliding we threw the ball to Brianna and took a photo of the ball flying toward her mitt.  Unlike capturing photos during a game when I can shoot 12 frames a second I only get one take per slide so rather than risking having the ball be in the wrong spot or worse yet hit Cody during the slide we photographed it separately and added it in with Photoshop.  It is always my goal to get the shot in the least number of attempts and these two cheats helped immensely to limit how many times we had to have Cody slide.  Here is the final image, shot at 1/2000 and f4:

Softball action portrait of a slide at third base

Next Brianna put on her catching gear and we set up for a play at the plate.  Like before we started with a clean shot of the ball without Cody sliding to use in Photoshop later.  Here is a pull back shot of our lighting set up, you can also see out setup in the behind the scenes video at the bottom of this post.

softball action portrait behind the scenes

Here is our final image shot at 1/1000 and f5.0:

softball action portrait slide at home plate

Now, as promised here is a quick behind the scenes video from our shoot.  You can watch it here or on YouTube at this link: Cody and Brianna Softball Action Portraits

Since doing this testing I have receive the latest strobe by Interfit Photographic, the Interfit S1, which I will now be using as my go to for all of my on location portraits and action portraits.  Like the ProFlash 360 these strobes have high speed sync capability to be able to do actin portraits like this one.  They are bigger than the ProFlash 360 units but they have a built in battery instead of an external battery and they pack a bit more power with 500 watt seconds as opposed to 360 watt seconds.  Through my partnership with Interfit my readers and social media followers can save 10% on all of their products.  Just order directly from InterfitPhotographic.com and use the coupon code “DUCHOW10” (all caps) when you check out.

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

Favorite 100 Portraits of 2015

Every year at the end of December I have the extremely difficult job of going through all of the photos I have taken for the past 12 months and picking out my favorite 100 portraits.  With such great, talented and creative clients this is a job I mostly look forward to, but with a hind of dread as I know will have to eliminate from contention many portraits that I really love.  I readily admit that I do have an biased connection to some of the photos that I choose as I know the challenges that went into making them.  It may be that someone else might choose a very different top 100 list, but then it would not be MY favorites 100 portraits of the year.  With the number of jobs and clients I have every year narrowing this list down to 100 unfortunately means that not every one of my clients or subjects makes this end of the year video, I wish they all could be here but then I would have to have a top 200 or 300 portraits video and that would double the play time of the video and with attention spans what they are these days keeping things shorter is often sweeter!

One of the photos featured in this video was selected by Senior Style Guide to make their yearly Hot 100 issue featuring the best senior photo artists in the country, I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this honor a second year in a row.  You can check out the winning entry on this blog post.  I think that is enough words, now on with the show!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my video. If you want to see my selections from last year you can check out my Favorite 100 Portraits of 2014 here.

Favorite 100 Portraits of 2014

The job of narrowing down all of the portraits I have taken the past year to only my favorite 100 is so very difficult, I have great clients and every one of them have photos that I love and want to include in my final Favorite 100 portraits of 2014, but alas I have to narrow it down to only 100.  2014 was a great year for me.  I added new photos to my portfolio that I have had in my mind for a long time, I learned new things and I pushed myself to try new things.  For the first time I entered photos into the Senior Style Guide Hot 100 contest and was thrilled to find out that I had an image selected in the urban category, check it out here.  This was a hard job, but now I can present to you a short video featuring my favorite 100 portraits of 2014!

 

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

Arielle Walden – 3 Time State Champion

Recently I had the pleasure to meet up with Arielle Walden, a three time 100 Meter Hurdle State Champion in Washington State for Newport High School.  This year she was competing in three events, the 100 Meter Hurdles, the Long Jump and the Triple Jump.  She brought home gold in both the Hurdles and the Triple Jump and a silver in the Long Jump leading Newport to an 8th place team finish as the lone competitor for the team!  Here are my favorite shots from our evening together.

Portrait of Arielle Walden, three time state Champion for Newport High School10

Arielle, three time state Champion for Newport High SchoolArielle Walden, three time state Champion for Newport High SchoolPortrait of Arielle Walden, three time state Champion for Newport High School Portrait of Arielle Walden, three time state Champion for Newport High School

Portrait of Arielle Walden, three time state Champion for Newport High School

Portrait of Arielle Walden, three time state Champion for Newport High School

Jason Duchow Photography is located near Sandpoint and Priest River Idaho and serves throughout Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work for www.idahosports.com, The Coeur d’Alene Press, The Bonner County Daily Bee, Priest River Times, Newport Miner, Sandpoint Newsline and a handful of other newspapers and publications.