Iwamoto's Photos

Painting with light.

Brandon Iwamoto is a freelance photographer based in Aurora, Colorado, USA

Check out our state-of-the-art camera equipment here at the Daily Times. That’s right… A Canon EOS-1N/Kodak DCS 520. I almost would rather use that than our amazing Canon 1D classics, except the batteries don’t work. </sarcasm>
2 Megapixels, brand new circa 2000, released the same time as our equally state-of-the-art Photoshop 6.0 software.

This. Is. Paradise.

Check out our state-of-the-art camera equipment here at the Daily Times. That’s right… A Canon EOS-1N/Kodak DCS 520. I almost would rather use that than our amazing Canon 1D classics, except the batteries don’t work. </sarcasm>

2 Megapixels, brand new circa 2000, released the same time as our equally state-of-the-art Photoshop 6.0 software.

This. Is. Paradise.


Got the opportunity today to shoot portraits of Colorado Rapids players Kosuke Kimura and Davy Armstrong at the Dick’s Sporting Good Park for the cover of Asian Avenue Magazine. The two are a class act, great folks and easy to work with, made getting a few different shots in a few different places relatively easy.

It was definitely an interesting experience, my first time just chatting with and shooting portraits of professional athletes, especially a pair who just won a national championship with the Rapids this past season.

Also had a chance to shoot with my buddy Joe’s 5D Mark II, reaffirming my love for that particular camera body. The detail it captures is utterly amazing and I love the full frame. Just an all around fun day to shoot today.

Thanks for reading and look forward to posting more in the near future!


One of “Those” Days

Got done with the first day of shooting the state softball tournament in Aurora… Ups and downs, frustrations and surprises, on and off the field. It was kind of one of those days where everything… didn’t necessarily go wrong per se, but absolutely nothing went right, so the result was the same.

3 of the 4 teams I was sent to cover lost in their first games. The one that didn’t, Lewis Palmer, won both games and move on to tomorrow’s semi-finals and, if they win that game, finals rounds. I love shooting sports and all, but part of me is starting to get a little overwhelmed with them.

Forgot the actual cables for my Canon, which I was going to set up as a remote at some of the games, and had to resort to using the camera, attached to a fence with a Magic Arm, as a pseudo remote triggered by a cable release and aimed at home plate. Needless to say I didn’t anticipate any jumping, hence why her hand is cut off. However, I guess Stuart liked the shot, for he added it to the Gazette’s photo blog this evening, only my second shot to make it there.

So it wasn’t an unproductive day at all, but I definitely struggled more than I expected to… it was very frustrating. Maybe my standards are higher, or maybe I really did have trouble, but I’m hoping tomorrow goes much more smoothly, both shooting and transmitting (Starbucks wifi was soooo slow tonight).

Even my “remote” had trouble… after setting it, the thing apparently slipped a little, causing me to miss this great (and only) play at home base mere minutes after I had set the remote. Just one of those days.

Keeping it short tonight, not really in the greatest mood to talk work today. Happy one year anniversary shout-out to Danielle! Umm… yea, that’s about it. Goodnight and thanks for reading!


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Cheyenne Mountain is a scary tennis team to watch. These guys are ridiculously good, having clenched the team 4A boys title in the semifinals… Yea, not even the last day, it’s ridiculous.

Tennis in general is kind of an interesting sport to shoot, the players are either scary silent and focused or slightly insane, talking — even yelling — at themselves in the third person… I mean, ok, most athletes talk to themselves at some point, but in tennis they do it out loud. It’s kinda funny actually.

Pulled an old trick out of the hat today covering the waning rounds of today’s tournament. Thanks to having my Canon back, I was able to throw a wide angle lens (24mm 1.4) onto it before attaching it to my monopod with a cable release and hooking it up and over the fence behind the player, catching a nice shadow on the floor from an angle that no other photographer had today. I wish I had brought my 17-40mm though instead, would have gotten more of the shadow since the players volleyed from so far back (and when they moved forward they tended to disappear in the frame).

After that came Mitchell v Wasson football, a couple of rivals with fairly mediocre teams that made for some interesting pictures, surprisingly. I was blessed with shooting once again in sweet light, and managed to get a couple of interesting frames from the game trying different things (though unfortunately I forgot to save one of my wide angle silhouette shots from near the end, when the sun made for a great back light).

So that’s all for today, nothing terribly interesting else to report from a day full of sports. Tomorrow I’m shooting a quick (very quick) portrait of a wounded soldier who will be running in a marathon, the state 4A tennis finals round and an international students event in the afternoon.

I have an interesting opportunity story-wise coming up here soon, I will elaborate more fully in the future here on my blog. Suffice to say it involves historical places and ghosts, some of my favorite things (ok, maybe not ghosts ;P).

And just a quick bonus picture for those who found it necessary to tease me about shooting “the only Asian cheerleader in Colorado Springs” last time I covered Mitchell. Enjoy ;P


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Hooray, as in my Canon is back from repairs! And boy does it feel good to have a camera I’m confident with back in my hands. Although I will say for the first few hours I kept trying to turn it on like I would a Nikon, as well as wondering where the ISO button went hahaha.

But all was well in the end, it’s definitely going to take some more getting used to everything on it again, and it’s not like my time with the D2H cameras was a waste, I got some really wonderful images with them, including at least a couple of portfolio shots. And I’ll still have them for second cameras, remotes or for sports, since its my only means of using long glass (300, 400, 600).

One additional thing from my days off I wanted to mention was I finally got around to replacing the stereo deck in my car that was stolen a few weeks ago… Got myself a nifty little Alpine with USB support and an Aux jack, which is everything I wanted. And the best part was I paid for the entire thing with the money I got back in reimbursement from work (gas, etc). Good thing I drive a fuel efficient car, I actually make money on the mileage reimbursements.

Back to today, I got to shoot volleyball for the first time for the Gazette. I’ve shot dozens of games of volleyball at CSU’s Moby Arena, which is a well-lit, large college arena, but going into high school gyms is something I was not prepared for, despite how much Kevin tried to give me ideas on how to set up strobes and get past the absolutely horrible lighting at the Manitou Springs HS gym (1/250, f/2.8, ISO3200 ambient, for you photo geeks). I set them up as best I could, but there were so many people in the area where Kevin suggested I set them up that I had to improvise, setting them up to cross light and hope I didn’t get TOO weird of shadows near the net.

The effect was nice, when I could position myself right and get the players to be in the right areas, but otherwise there was all kinds of flare, weird fall off and lots of unintentionally lit background to fight off. I’m not so sure yet how much I like lighting high school gyms with Speedlites, but it was definitely better than the alternative.

Well, that’s all for today (previous photo was a feature photo from a local public library where the archivist was sorting through and inventorying photos). Tomorrow I’ll be shooting state tennis in Pueblo and a Friday night football game, so lots more sports coming your way. よろしく!


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Crazy Mondays

Ok yes I know today is Tuesday, but I decided I didn’t feel much like writing about this last night. Yesterday was, as Jerilee put it, “Crazy Monday.” Apparently this isnt an unusual thing around here, between bodies found in the creek (my assignment) and a triple homicide (her’s) and who knows what else, it was definitely a strange day.

While technically yesterday was not the first dead body I’ve ever had to be in proximity of (the first being train man), it was the first time I ran into the dilemma of when you have pictures of the body, does it run? In the end, we decided not to, that we would go with the safe picture, here:

While I didn’t get photos of the dead body in its entirety (in fact I never even saw it in its entirety), I did get shots of it partially visible, which while the TV guys I’m sure had no problems with, its a little more sensitive with the still photo, as it stares you down and isn’t just a fleeting image. My argument for why still photos are still more powerful and are more relevant than video.

There it is, hidden behind a little drop off in the creek’s stream. Glorious isn’t it? Of course, in the end neither photo ran in favor of a less interesting photo by Jerilee (she even said so herself) of the triple homicide house, simply because a triple homicide of a white, middle class family means more than a possible homeless guy.

Just going to leave you with a random photo from last night’s Air Force Hockey game. Enjoy:


Oh man, finally got the email I’ve been waiting for from Canon to estimate the repair costs for my camera…. $480 >.< Oh man, it’s a good thing the newspaper is going to pay for the repair, that’s more than my rent… More than I make in a week, even! On a shutter repair! Jeez, that really hurts, I’m kinda embarrassed and unhappy that that’s the number I have to report, but even still… Guess I need to hurry up and re-qualify for CPS and then apply for it, that’s just unacceptable…


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Wish List

So, because I’m bored and its still early in the evening, I thought I would post my little wish list, a hypothetical aggregation of what I would like to wake up one day and find in my closet (or else have $200,000 to spend wildly and freely on). Just so you all know, I DO still believe it’s not the gear that makes a good photographer but rather the photographer makes a good photographer. Still, sweet gear doesn’t hurt either ;P

So without further ado…:

2 - Canon 1D Mark IV bodies

2 - Canon 5D Mark II bodies

1 - Canon 14mm f2.8L

1 - Canon 24mm f3.5L Tilt Shift

1 - Canon 85mm f1.2L

1 - Canon 200mm f2L IS

2 - Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS

1 - Canon 400mm f2.8L

1 - Canon 600mm f4L

8 - Nikon SB900 Speedlites (w/ lightstands, modifiers, etc)

12 - Bogen Magic Arms, Super Clamps and Plates

8 - Pocket Wizard Multimaxes (w/ cables for flashes and cameras)

2 - Leica M9 camera bodies (w/ wide/normal lenses, since I’m not too familiar…)

1 ea - Aquatech Splash Housings (for each the 5D II and the 1D IV and lenses)

1 - Modified Golf Cart (to carry it all… a Helicopter would work nice too)

So, that’s it… you’ll see I have a lot of prime lenses and not so many telephotos, mostly because I think I’d like to spend time using whatever lenses I happen to be carrying with me at the time rather than have the entire arsenal everywhere I go…

Anywhoo, that’s really all I have to post now, maybe periodically I’ll revisit this and add more as I see fit…. Or maybe if enough time passes, see how much of it I’ve actually gotten.

What all would you have on your wish list?


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