Prequel to the Sequel

Photo shoot for fashion week

Posted in Editorial by brmeyer3 on 04/14/2011

Earlier this week I was assigned to go take photos of a fashion shoot that was for some fashion week event this weekend. I felt awkward taking photos of a photo shoot, I felt like I was invading the photographers space and crashing his shoot. Right when he started shooting, he turned off all the lights in the studio except for the modeling light on one of the strobes. At first I was frustrated that I lost a lot of the available light, but then realized that the only light from the strobe was helping me out a lot in making the photos a lot more interesting.

Yamei Scheda, sophomore in LAS, poses for Gino Baileau, sophomore in FAA, during a photo shoot at the Art and Design building on Monday, April 11, 2011. 

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Portrait of a National Champion

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 03/16/2011

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a portrait of Andrew Riley, who runs hurdles and sprints on the Illinois track team. Riley recently won the 60 meter hurdles event at the NCAA national championships and will be trying out to compete in the upcoming Olympics.

When I was asked to cover this, I knew I wanted to create a silhouette essentially by rim lighting Riley and not have a fill light, and capture him jumping over a hurdle. I placed two strobes, one in a soft box and the other with a half-closed umbrella, aiming at his back and front and had them slightly behind, just enough to hit the edges of his arms, face, and legs and wrap around slightly, still leaving his figure dark and underexposed.

Josh helped me out set up my lights and get everything ready so we didn’t waste much time with Andrew, and I was able to capture this image in only 2 shots. This shot came out exactly like how I imagined it, but my only gripe is that Andrew didn’t show up wearing running shirts and jersey. So I had to deal with him wearing his warm up clothes. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

*Image copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

A week full of pole vaulting

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 03/02/2011

Over the weekend I stopped by the Big Ten Conference indoor track championships that were held in the Armory to grab some photos for the paper. I’m naturally attracted towards the pole vault competition because I vaulted for two years in high school. I also knew that we had a freshman, Matt Bane, on our team that is really good, and was probably going to place high in the event, which is content the paper was looking for. Bane ended up taking first in the vault and set a new personal record.

While watching others jump, I became aware of the super clean graphical background, something rare in the Armory, behind the crossbar and wanted to grab a frame using it to my advantage. I also decided to include the entire cross bar and use the standards as “bookends” for my photo. I’ve also got this thing going on where I’m composing and cropping my shots for a a 2:1 ratio format.Hopefully I don’t exhaust it too soon.

Illinois’ Matt Bane clears the bar in the pole vault competition during the Big Ten Indoor track championship held at the Armory on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.


After his stellar performance, Matt ended up being awarded Illini of the Week from the Daily Illini, and I was asked if I could go out and make a portrait or him for the paper. I agreed to shoot him, but quickly realized I had no idea on how to make a pole vault portrait interesting, I had a case of writer’s block. When I arrived I was told I wasn’t allowed to have him take a couple jumps because he wasn’t dressed to do any physical activities, nor was I allowed to shoot his feet, because he was wearing sandals. Knowing I had a very limited amount of time with him, and had certain restrictions, I just had him hold his pole right in front of him. There are probably a ton of different things I could have had him do, but my brain fart prohibited me from it. I am fairly happy with my lighting on it, and I think it produced the most three dimensional looking photo I have ever churned out. My only gripe about the photo is the weird shadow on the right side created by one of my rim lights.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Mega Sports post / update

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 02/19/2011

So it turns out, the last semester of college is really hard, full of homework, and time consuming, which results in a lack of blog posting. Below are a collection of sports photos I have shot since winter break. I’m going to try a lot harder for the rest of the semester to keep this blog updated a lot better and post photos right after
they run in the paper.

(Left) Illinois’ Myers Leonard (12) dunks the ball after completing and alley-oop during the game against UIC held at the United Center in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 18 2010. (Right) Illinois’ Brandon Paul (3) blocks Michigan State’s Korie Lucious’ (34) during the game against Michigan State at the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.

Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (0) dunks the ball during the game against Ohio State at the Assembly Hall on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.

Illinois’ Mike Davis (24) attempts to block Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas (1) during the game at the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.

Illinois’ Mike Davis (24) dunks the ball during the basketball game against Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.

Illinois’ Jereme Richmond (22) questions of referee’s foul call during the basketball game against Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber stands out on the court calling plays to his team during the basketball game against Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.

Illinois’ Corey Liuget (93) celebrates after tackling an opponent during the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 29 2010. The Illini defeated the Bears 38-14 making it their first bowl win since 1999.

Illinois’ Jonathan Brown (45) prepares to tackle and opponent during the Texas Bowl against Bailor University at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 29 2010.

Illinois’ Austin Bostock (22) celebrates with teammates on the bench after assisting a goal during the hockey game against Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

Illinois’ Scott Barrera (73), left, Mike Ursitti (32), Chris Peter (21), and Joe Sullivan (24) talk amongst each other while sitting in the penalty box for different instances of fighting during the hockey game against Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

Illinois’ Amber Stack passes an opponent from Eastern Illinois University in the 1 mile race during the Illinois Intercollegiate track meet held at the Armory in Champaign on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

Illinois’ Jimmy Kennedy wrestles Ohio State’s Randy Languis during the wrestling meet held at Huff Hall  on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.

Illinois’ Jimmy Kennedy wrestles Ohio State’s Randy Languis during the wrestling meet held at Huff Hall  on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Basketball: Illinois vs. North Carolina

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 12/09/2010

After a hectic 2 weeks of trying to finish up all of my final projects for the end of the semester, I now have time to catch up on this blog. Last week I was fortunate enough to shoot Illinois playing North Carolina. The game was really hyped up, and probably had the most media in the media room I have ever seen at Assembly Hall. The crowd was also the loudest I have ever heard and the energy was intense. The game itself wasn’t anything terrific, I was expecting the Illini to beat the Tar Heals. It was a game for Illini fans, rather than an important game in NCAA basketball. I’m still trying to figure out my autofocus settings on the 7D for basketball. I can make it work really well for football, but I feel like it’s not working as well as I want it to for basketball.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Illinois football game at Wrigley Field

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 11/30/2010

Last weekend I had the privilege to shoot the first football game in 40 years at Wrigley Field with Ned Mulka. Knowing that this was most likely a once in a lifetime opportunity, I rented a 400mm 2.8 lens for it, and it pretty much saved me because it gave me a ton of reach and could shoot plays that were happening on the other end of the field. Photographers were restricted to the south west corner of the field, and we pretty much could not move around and had to sit down the entire time. The restrictions were bitter sweet, I was getting the same photos as every other photographer, and every photo I shot had the same look to it essentially, but it allowed me to be lazy and not have to think as much on where I should be on the field, all of the plays were coming towards me because all offensive plays had to be driving towards the west end zone. Wrigley also didn’t feel like Wrigley, probably because it was a football game and the entire place was covered in purple (even the hallways leading up to the press box). It was still a blast to shoot, and will be an experience I will never forget. Also, apparently leaving the game 27 seconds before it is over when one team is up by a significant amount is faux pas and is worth being tattled over (I learn something new every day).

llinois alumnus Pat Black of Arlington Heights, right, cheers for a television camera outside of Wrigley Field before the Northwestern football game against Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010.

Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase (2) yells as he steps onto the field during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Michael Buchanan (99) recovers a fumble during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Jason Ford (21) runs in a touchdown during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure (5) runs the ball down the field during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure (5) runs the ball down the field during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Northwestern’s Mike Trumpy (29) scores a touchdown during the game against Illinois at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Ian Thomas (38) intercepts the ball after Trulon Henry (9) deflected it in the air during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Passion Pit Concert

Posted in Bands, Editorial by brmeyer3 on 10/25/2010

Last weekend I was called by my photo editor asking If I was available to shoot Passion Pit who were playing on campus at Assembly Hall. I accepted because shooting a concert is way more fun then shooting someone standing at a podium or in front of their computer. I met up with Josh (you can find his photos on his blog), who was shooting for Assembly Hall that night, and we both noticed that the crowd was extremely small. The concert was also pretty boring. Indie bands don’t move around on stage very much and don’t really interact with the crowd as much, which is the polar opposite of the hardcore/metal shows I attend and shoot. The music wasn’t my taste, but it is still nice to shoot a performance during the week.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

First sportrait of the year

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 10/18/2010

2 weeks ago the Sports Editor at the Daily Illini asked if I was available to take a portrait of a swimmer and I jumped at the chance. I feel like swimming is by far the hardest and most boring sports to shoot when they are actually competing (everyone looks the same and 90% of the time their heads are facedown in the water). But swimming portraits come very naturally for me and I have an endless amount of ideas of them in my head. The first idea that jumped out at me that I could pull off in a very short amount of time was to shoot the swimmer half submerged in the water and have my camera almost on the surface of the water. I wanted to completely kill the ambient light and use one light on the side, and have a rim light behind her to help her pop from the dark background. Josh helped me out with setting up the shoot and he acted as my boom and held my flash out over the water for the rim. The photo came out exactly how I envisioned it and I didn’t drop any of my gear in the water or electrocute the girl from my battery powering my strobe. I really hope I have a ton more opportunities to shoot portraits of swimmers, because I have a lot more ideas cooking up in my head.

*Copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Kid Cudi Concert

Posted in Bands, Editorial by brmeyer3 on 10/06/2010

Last night I shot my first concert of the year for Assembly Hall. Kid Cudi was to take the stage at 9:30, which is a half hour past my deadline for transmitting photos to the News-Gazette. Another problem was that I had no idea if I was approved to the show until a couple hours before it started. After being in contact with the News-Gazette all day, I was told that I would be pushing the limits of getting my photo to them before their paper was sent off to the printer. After shooting my allowed two songs of Kid Cudi’s performance, I ran to the media room to quickly caption, edit and transmit. I sent the photo off at 9:47 and the paper didn’t receive it until 9:50, but I made it in time and the photo was printed. The first photo is the one that I sent them.

The performance itself was alright. The lighting was very inconsistent, and the stage was filled with smoke by a machine, which meant my photos were a bit hazy. I also had a ton a lens flare in my photos and they were washed out a lot with the color of the lights, which produces an odd result that could be good or bad.

Hip Hop artist Kid Cudi performs at Assembly Hall in Champaign on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Assembly Hall

Football vs. Ohio State

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 10/06/2010

Here are photos from this past weekend’s football game against Ohio State. Everyone thought somehow this was going to be a huge upset like the game in 2007 when beat them. I knew the odds of that happening were slim to none, but we surprisingly didn’t get blown out of the water like last years game. The Illini didn’t play terrible, so I didn’t come up with a lot of photos of us sucking it up, but Ohio State just played better then us.

Illinois’ Travon Bellamy (31) tackles Ohio State’s DeVier Posey (8) during the football game against Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.

Illinois’ Nate Bussey (18) tackles Ohio State’s Dane Sanzenbacher (12) .

Illinois’ Trulon Henry (9) is unable to tackle Ohio State’s Daniel Herron (1).

Ohio State’s Daniel Herron (1) runs in his team’s last touchdown.

Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

Illinois’ Tavon Wilson (3) tackles Ohio State’s Daniel Herron (1)

 

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini