Iwamoto's Photos

Painting with light.

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

A couple walking along the incoming high tide near Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, just prior to the typhoon-produced rain of that evening.

A couple walking along the incoming high tide near Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, just prior to the typhoon-produced rain of that evening.

Got a little wet near the end of my time on Miyajima, thanks to the incoming typhoon.

Got a little wet near the end of my time on Miyajima, thanks to the incoming typhoon.

Long story short, went storm chasing. Depending on how I feel tomorrow, I’ll write a full update about these photos.

This post is dedicated to littledemonpixie who, for some reason, actually misses Colorado summertime. Can’t imagine why :P

Does anybody not love a carnival? I mean, sure it was muddy and wet and cold, but it’s a carnival! I know that I had a good time, despite my injury, my new boots getting muddied up and such. Cheers!

/Brandon

This kid was having WAY more fun than I was. Granted, he was playing in the water and I was sweating up a storm in my stuffy work clothes. It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees in Farmington tomorrow… I’m not ready. Are you?

This kid was having WAY more fun than I was. Granted, he was playing in the water and I was sweating up a storm in my stuffy work clothes. It’s supposed to hit 100 degrees in Farmington tomorrow… I’m not ready. Are you?

Raindrops and Fireworks

I was NOT prepared for every student to stand up and run to the outfield after tossing their caps. My camera viewfinder covered in raindrops, my hair in my face, my aperture at 1.4, I have no clue how I managed to pull this shot off. Not that I’m complaining.

Lots of open mouths in my photos today for some reason, and not all of them primal screaming… sometimes it’s just to grab a quick bite to eat on the way to the stadium grounds.

Also earlier in the day got to shoot a big motorcycle rally, the “Navajo - Hopi Honor Run” featuring nearly 100 bikers touring the entire Navajo Nation.

Anyways, that’s all for tonight, one more evening of graduations tomorrow then I can finally (hopefully) get some rest!

Hopefully Denver Post photos will be up tomorrow. I got some feedback today from the DoP, John Sunderland:

"Very nice job with the Museum photos.  Good selection - nice composition et al.  If I have any criticism at all it is the overuse of the wideangle on some of the detail shots …. but not a biggie.  The section editor is very pleased with your work and we will most likely be calling you again as assignments demand."

Good feedback overall, I think, just gotta remember to switch it up a little here and there. You’ll see what he means tomorrow (hopefully).

That’s all for tonight, thanks for reading!

/Brandon

Juuust a Bit Outside

Leading off tonight with just a few shots from today’s softball and baseball games, mercifully a short walking distance apart from each other, not so mercifully played in hurricane-like winds.

I got the opportunity to take the Daily Times’ camera, an older 4mp Canon 1D body, and hook it up as a remote facing home plate during the softball game. Unfortunately, the thing sucks battery like mad so I was unable to use it for the baseball game in that capacity.

Winds wreaked havoc with the pitchers all day, even managed to see one batter get nailed in the head by a ball carried by a rogue gust. Catchers were reluctant to throw the ball to second to stop attempted steals because of it (I counted 6 stolen bases in the third inning alone).

Now a little more random. Apparently, while it didn’t happen today, usually on Saturdays the photographers have to go out and do what is basically a “man-on-the-street poll.”

Now for those of you who don’t know, “man-on-the-street” polls are basically send some chump out with a camera, ask a number of random people to answer a given poll question and take their mugshot. It is, in short, the most asinine thing to ever happen to newspapers.

However, I got to thinking. I have an idea I want to pitch to my editor when he gets back, see if it’s worth looking in to. The premise of the whole thing is to “get more faces in the paper.” However even the best mugshots (which are tough to do with no lighting gear) are just that: mugshots. There’s nothing pretty about them, there’s nothing that would make the subject, much less other readers, stop and go “ooooooh.”

So my idea: instead of doing half a dozen folks each week, do one or two, but really spend the time to make good pictures. Take their portrait. Ask them to give us a little peek into what makes them [insert name here] instead of just another man on the street.

Then, get their email address and send them the picture. Sure, you lose the potential opportunity to make $10 on a reprint down the road, however think about what you gain. One, the subject not only gets to open the paper and see themselves looking good and having their voice heard, they get to have a picture of them to show their friends, put on facebook, cut out and stick on the fridge.

Secondly, other readers start seeing that people are being treated with a little more interest and instead of having stuffy looking mugshots lined up in a row with a quote, they get something that makes them look human. People are narcissists, it will get people to be like “damn, I want to be the next man on the street.”

Third, when you get the chance to step into someone’s life, even briefly, it can open up new story ideas, new avenues and new sources that were not there before. Imagine the kinds of history, the stories, the features you will find along the way. Imagine the opportunities that will open up.

Lastly, us photographers get to fully utilize and hone the skills for which we were hired for. Again, most places I know who do these polls give their reporters a point and shoot camera and let them have at it. At least this way, we make the paper look nicer, we get to hone our portraiture skills a little more and we get to be creative and do the things we were hired to do.

Thoughts?

/Brandon

This Is It

I’ve been procrastinating this blog all week now, and I think it might be out of denial that the internship is finally almost over, that four months flew by like nothing. Mark, Jerilee, Stuart, and Christian took me out to HuHot (“In honor of you coming from Fort Collins,” Mark said) for lunch as an end-of-the-year going away shindig. Walking into the restaurant, the skies were cloudy and ominous. Walking out, the snow was blowing sideways and the roads became slick.

Lunch was fun. The snow wasn’t. Thanks for killing the mood once again, Mother Nature.

So out feature hunting, I ran to a crashed car that allegedly slid into a light pole and from there found some kids sledding and playing with their dog out at a local elementary school.

Wasn’t (but should have been) prepared for the snow, and so walking down the hill to shoot this, I slid and fell, hard, into the snow. Twice. My camera is fine, but my shoulder and side is a bit sore, nothing major though luckily.

So, since I’ve been procrastinating this blog, here’s a few photos of what I’ve been up to lately:

Post-Christmas returns.

Local soldier home, for those suffering from various ailments/conditions and are, more often than not, homeless.

House fire, where the man inside was woken up and, essentially, saved by his dog.

Only a couple of assignments tomorrow for my official last day, a dining photo at a local steak house ($45 steaks… I think this could be a fun shoot) and then a personal chef. Still waiting on a repaired lens from Canon and my last phone bill as well, then all will be settled.

Shame we don’t have personalized Broncos credentials anymore, otherwise Mark had suggested I go up on Sunday and shoot. Ah well, that’s the breaks.

Thanks for following me through my internship here at the Gazette, I really appreciate all the support you guys have given me. This is not the end of my blog, because it is not the end of my job as a visual storyteller. This may just be a new beginning.

So here’s to 2011.

/Brandon

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Lunar

Today marked what will likely be the last Peak Performer athlete-of-the-week portrait of my internship at the Gazette. I decided I wanted to try something a little different lighting-wise, using a pair of blue-gelled speedlites on each side of our wrestler and a snooted, 1/4 CTO-gelled SB900 clamped to some peeling padding on a wall on the far edge of the tiny wrestling room.

One of the big stories out of the Springs today was the vicious windstorm that swept through overnight and into the morning, and while cruising for weather art in the Broadmoor area, I came across this 70-foot tall, 3 foot diameter tree that the winds snapped like a twig.

The whole area just south of the Broadmoor looked like those trees from the Lord of the Rings movies got into a heated battle and all sorts of body parts and dead trees littered the streets. Just insanity, trees on houses, in the middle of streets. Insanity.

And so after a couple hours of some much needed and procrastinated Christmas shopping, I came home in time to use the Gazette’s 600mm lens and knock out a few shots from my wobbly tripod of the glorious lunar eclipse. Composition’s not great and it’s a tiny bit fuzzy, but not much you can do with a D2H and a massive lens pointed straight up from a shaky, plastic tripod, right? Shoulda seen if Jerilee could have lent me her D3. Ahh well…

That’s all for tonight, Avs game tomorrow and then who knows what else for the rest of the week. Thanks for reading and have a good night!

/Brandon

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