Event Photography Holiday Charity Drive

William Morton, owner of Morton Visuals event photography in San Diego, CA, has announced a new holiday charity drive today. For every holiday event photographed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 10% of all sales will be donated to each client’s choice of two favored charities: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Wounded Warriors Foundation.

St. Jude Children's Research HospitalThe national philanthropy of Morton’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, St. Jude’s goal is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Founded by noted entertainer and TKE frater Danny Thomas in 1962, St. Jude’s mission is one where no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

Based in Memphis, Tennessee (near where Morton trained during his service in the US Navy), St. Jude treats nearly 6,000 children per year. St. Jude is aligned with two local San Diego institutions: Rady Children’s Hospital and the University of California, San Diego (where Morton previously taught photography workshops).

Wounded Warrior Foundation - Freedom StationThe Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station vows to be the leading force in assisting, honoring and supporting the military men and women who have so bravely served and sacrificed for our country. We are committed to supporting our warriors in a variety of ways, providing quality-of-life items and numerous support services designed to assist them and their families during recovery.

The Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station assists four main groups of warriors: the Seriously Injured (SI) just returning home from war; those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI); those undergoing physical or occupational therapy, and warriors who have been medically retired and remain in our community. To serve this last group in particular, Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station pioneered a new approach and opened Freedom Station – a unique recovery transition center and housing facility that provides injured warriors with the acclimation time, guidance and resources to successfully make the transition from military service to civilian life.

Morton’s personal philosophy of “it’s not what you get in life, it’s what you give that’s important” encourages him to look for opportunities to better the lives of those in need. St. Jude’s and the Wounded Warrior Project each exemplify this vision, dedicated to giving children and veterans a chance for a better tomorrow.

Morton Visuals is a San Diego-based photography business specializing in commercial, corporate and event photography. Photographing anything from “guys in ties” to large-scale conventions, Morton Visuals delivers high quality images with an enjoyable photographic experience. Owner/photographer William Morton works quickly and efficiently to minimize the imposition on the time of busy executives, and strives to provide an entertaining presence for party guests at corporate or consumer events. Morton Visuals operates throughout Southern California and is available nationwide. Additional information is available online at http://MortonVisuals.com.

 

Investment Advisors Business Portraits

Photo Assistant Andy Wilhelm helps with business portrait setup in downtown San Diego
Photo Assistant Andy Wilhelm helps with camera and lighting setup prior to shooting business portraits.

Morton Visuals was selected recently to photograph investment advisors in their downtown San Diego offices. Tasked with matching a look created by an east coast photographer, Morton Visuals gelled a muslin background and matched the lighting to replicate the prior portraits.

In the photo above left, Photo Assistant Andy Wilhelm mugs for the camera as we were setting up lighting and the camera. The Photo Vision Video Digital Calibration Target verified focus, exposure, and color balance. (Of course we used a Sekonic 558 light meter and an X-rite Color Checker Passport for the initial metering and calibration target.)

William Morton Visuals photographs busy executives in San Diego
William Morton photographs investment executives in San Diego

Being prepared well before the scheduled shoot time allowed us to get each executive in and out with minimal of infringement of their tight schedule. In the image at right you can see me shooting one of the executives (photo courtesy of Andy Wilhelm’s iPhone).  All in all a great day photographing busy executives in San Diego!

Executive Portrait for an Annual Report

Banking executive photographed with a First Bank client in the San Diego office.
Senior Vice President and Regional Manager photographed for the First Bank annual report.

William Morton had the opportunity yesterday to photograph Senior Vice President and Regional Manager Bob Jondall in his downtown San Diego office. Destined for First Bank‘s annual report, the client wanted a view of the San Diego bay in the background. Unfortunately the weatherman didn’t get the request, and delivered a thick marine layer over the bay. So we found an alternate view showing Balboa Park in the background. Studio strobes were added to the sunlight beaming in the windows to capture this conversational moment, with Photo Assistant Angela Hess sitting in as the client. The final image was composited and delivered 2 days before deadline, to a very happy Creative Director. I love working on location with professionals!

William Morton Steps In as ASMP-SD President

Last night William Morton took over the reins of the American Society of Media Photographers (San Diego). Having served as ASMP-SD President from 2005-2007, the position is not unfamiliar to William, but in an ever-changing industry this year will prove to be a good challenge.

ASMP San Diego is a local resource for professional photographers, enhancing technical skills, business practices, and communication within the community. As the 2013 President, William is looking forward to building stronger relationships with other photo organizations and delivering great educational programs and resources in the San Diego community. The 2012 Board of Directors is mostly unchanged, but we are welcoming new members interested in participating and helping expand ASMP’s contributions.

If you would like to learn more about ASMP, please visit here.

Morton Visuals Launches Fundraiser For St. Jude Children’s Hospital

William Morton announced a new fundraising drive today to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For every holiday event photographed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 10% of all sales will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The national philanthropy of Morton’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, St. Jude’s mission is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Founded by noted entertainer and TKE frater Danny Thomas in 1962, St. Jude’s mission is one where no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

Based in Memphis Tennessee (near where Morton trained during his service in the US Navy), St. Jude treats nearly 6,000 children per year. St. Jude is aligned with two local San Diego institutions: Rady Children’s Hospital and the University of California, San Diego (where Morton teaches photography workshops).

Morton’s personal philosophy of “it’s not what you get in life, it’s what you give that’s important” encourages him to look for opportunities to better the lives of those in need. St. Jude’s exemplifies this vision, dedicated to giving children a chance for a better tomorrow.

Morton Visuals is a San Diego-based photography business specializing in commercial, corporate and event photography. Photographing anything from “guys in ties” to fundraisers, Morton Visuals delivers high quality images with an enjoyable photographic experience. Owner/photographer William Morton works quickly and efficiently to minimize the imposition on the time of busy executives, and strives to provide an entertaining presence for party guests at corporate or consumer events. Morton Visuals operates throughout Southern California and is available nationwide. Additional information is available online at http://MortonVisuals.com.

Morton Visuals Covers Microsoft

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2011
Microsoft WPC 2011 entrance

Morton Visuals was selected to cover the weeklong 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference last month. Occupying most of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the WPC event was enjoyed by a record-setting 16,000 attendees from 135 countries. William Morton worked with the Filmateria Digital crew to provide coverage of the Microsoft Dynamics trade show presence and their keynote speakers. Additional coverage included a party at The Highlands in Hollywood and an awards program across the street at the historic El Capitan Theatre. The Filmateria crew is well-organized, and William was able to provide images throughout the day to make them available to Microsoft immediately. All in all it was a terrific experience, and Microsoft proves that when they do something they do it First Class!

Michael Park, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, speaks at the 2011 Microsoft WCP conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Convention photography by William Morton of Morton Visuals.
Corporate VP of Microsoft

A panel fields Questions and Answers at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles. Event photography captured by William Morton of Morton Visuals.
Microsoft Q&A Session

Testing PocketWizard™ Flex Radios

As part of my research for a writing position with the fine folks at LPA Design, Inc., I had an opportunity to test the new PocketWizard™ Flex radios for Nikon – the diminutive MiniTT1 and the FlexTT5 transceiver. Without a doubt, these units are game-changers!

For my first test I enlisted the aid of fitness model Stephen Harvey. (Great model – very focused and relentless energy!) I had an idea to test a shot with my Nikon Speedlights in bright sun, so we headed off to the San Diego Convention Center and set up a shot with Stephen running up the stairs and leaping over the camera. (See images below)  I mounted two SB-800 flashes on FlexTT5 transceivers, both set to full power and facing the model head-on as he leapt over the top step. I set the D3 to Aperture Priority mode at f/4, positioned the camera on the ground, and shot up in to the afternoon sun. Without Speedlights I would be expecting a near total silhouette. What I got was eye-opening — the PocketWizard™ units fired with my D3 all the way up to 1/6400 second!

PocketWizard setup
PocketWizard Setup

Fitness model Stephen Harvey leaps up the stairs
1/2500 sec

Next we set up for some running shots before the sun set. Our positioning for these shots didn’t require as high of a shutter speed even at f/2.8, but I’m accustomed to seeing a big black bar when I exceed the 1/250 sync speed of my D3. Here I was synching with the PocketWizard radios at 1/640 sec without the black banding!

PocketWizard FlexTT5 setup
PocketWizard Setup

1/640 sec

So that brings up a valid point about Speedlights. The Nikon CLS system is capable of doing high-speed sync up to 1/8000 with their infrared signals. Two problems arise though. The IR does not function well at all in bright sunlight, as the receiving sensor can’t detect the signal when it’s overwhelmed with sunlight. When it does work, the remote Speedlight must be pretty close to the transmitting Speedlight. Secondly, when CLS needs to sync at faster shutter speeds (where the shutter is never fully open, but rather an open “slit” passes over the camera’s sensor), the Speedlight must fire a series of “mini-pulses” to illuminate each area of the sensor as the shutter exposes it. This uses the lower power “tail” of the flash pulse — resulting in a greatly reduced effective range.

In my first series you see a shot taken at 1/2500 second. This was accomplished using the High Speed Sync feature of the PocketWizard™ radios. Yes, power was reduced and the Speedlights used the pulsed technique — but for the first time I was able to sync this action with my camera in bright sunlight by using the radio signal rather than the invisible IR signal!

In my second series you see a shot taken at 1/640 second. This took advantage of the Hypersync™ feature of the PocketWizard™ radios. With Hypersync™ the MiniTT1 signals the FlexTT5 to start firing the flash just before the shutter opens. The happy result is a full power flash even at a faster shutter speed. This is huge, as it negates the problem previously mentioned with having to rely on the low-power “tail” of the flash pulse.

I tested this by taking a (very unexciting) image of the wall above my desk. I noted that there was a little bit of light falloff or unevenness when I exceeded 1/250 second, but surprisingly my full power flashes showed no black band until a whopping 1/1000 second with the D3. (Other camera models will perform slightly differently.) There was a faint edge of shadowing at 1/800 second, but that would likely not impact a typical image.

Can you think of photographic opportunities to shoot with flash in bright sunlight at f/2.8? I can! And I will be doing more of it soon, now that I don’t have the burdensome 1/250 X-sync limitation. Stay tuned!

Carrier Classic Comes to San Diego this Veterans Day

Mark Larson MC's the introduction of the Carrier Classic at the Hall of Champions
Mark Larson of KFMB Radio

William Morton of Morton Visuals event photography was on hand for last night’s press conference for the inaugural Carrier Classic. Mark Larson, radio personality from KFMB radio, served as the Master of Ceremonies and introduced executives and organizers from Morale Entertainment as well as ESPN representatives.  Mike Whalen of Morale Entertainment Foundation fittingly announced the details of this unique sporting event at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park.

Mike Whalen of Morale Entertainment Foundation talks at the Hall of Champions about bringing the Carrier Classic to San Diego on 11/11/11.
Mike Whalen of Morale Entertainment Foundation speaks to the crowd

Carrier Classic 11-11-11On 11-11-11, the University of North Carolina mens basketball team will take on Michigan State onboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in San Diego, CA. The Vinson just returned home this past week from extended operations in the middle east, most notably conducting the burial-at-sea of Osama Bin Laden. A basketball court will be built on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier, now docked at Naval Station San Diego. Approximately 7,000 are expected to be in attendance, consisting of mostly military members and their dependents. ESPN will televise the event on Veterans Day, the official first day of the 2011-2012 NCAA basketball season. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Wounded Warrior Project, the San Diego Air and Space Museum and the San Diego Sports Commission are assisting game organizer Morale Entertainment Foundation with various elements surrounding the event. As described by Morale Entertainment executives Ken Kinnear and Mike Whalen, the purpose of this event is to call attention to Veterans Day, to the sacrifices made by our veterans and service-members, to thank them, and reward them for their service.

Morale Entertainment Foundation and ESPN executives for the Carrier Classic
Carrier Classic organizers pictured from left to right: Tom Lee (Morale Entertainment), Nick Dawson (ESPN), Ken Kinnear (Morale Entertainment), Mike Whalen (Morale Entertainment), Coach Don Casey (Morale Entertainment), Dave Miller (ESPN) and Mike Rowe (Morale Entertainment).