Monday, April 8, 2019

Annual UCSF hospital prom for their teen patients

At this time every year, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital hosts the annual hospital prom for all their teen patients. Many of the kids miss their own high school proms due to severe illness and compromised immune systems. This is their chance to have their hair done, get dressed in new clothes and have fun within the safe environment of the hospital.

For those of you who have been regular readers of the blog, you may remember seeing this in past blogs. UCSF puts on this event with countless people and companies donating their goods, time and money to make this happen. This was the sixth time that I have volunteered to capture this event and I am continually inspired by these kids.



As they entered the hospital (or came down from their room upstairs), they were photographed by my good friends at Studio Booths. It was a rare time for the kids to head down the hallways of this building with big smiles on their faces!


Each teen got a corsage or boutonniere.


I saw these two girls admiring their flowers and grabbed this shot.


Big smiles from everyone - kids and volunteers alike.


There is no shortage of personality with the nurses at UCSF (who photo bombed this shot).


This year's theme was "Under the Sea".




While the kids are having fun, their parents are treated to good food and adult music in a separate room.



The kids dance party, with DJ and thumping music, was a lot louder than the adults room. That was until the DJ stopped the music and called everyone's attention to one young lady.


It turns out that this lovely girl was celebrating her 18th birthday at the prom. They surprised her with a cake and sang happy birthday to her.


A great birthday moment that she won't soon forget.


There is a quieter "resting room" where the kids could get their faces painted and they put their message on multiple banners.



I saw my two favorite nurses dancing with this young lady in her wheelchair and had to get this photo.


They even got her up and dancing for a little bit. I love the reactions in this photo. This is what the prom is all about; trying to forget their hardships for a little while and just enjoying themselves. 



Another teen who was not going to let a wheelchair stop her from having a blast.


This young man was on the dance floor from the first song until the last one. He is one of those kids who can dance all out and not be concerned about others opinions of his moves. I am jealous that he can do that. He was busting moves from Michael Jackson to Bruno Mars.


The dance ended at 10pm, but I always stay late to get a shot of these awesome hospital volunteers who make this possible. Their selflessness and dedication to not only their jobs but to the kids is absolutely apparent and I tip my hat to them.

I look forward to doing this again next year.

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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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Monday, April 1, 2019

Chasing a rainbow all the way home

On Thursday, I was driving back home after taking portraits of a client. While taking the portraits, we had a variety of sunshine, clouds and a pretty good amount of rain. We managed to get some nice photos and I was back in the car heading south. For almost the entire drive, I had an amazing rainbow in front of me.

As I always teach that for a really good photo, you need a good foreground and background. In other words, I prefer not to take just a photo of a rainbow. I prefer to have more in the shot.


I was driving down Highway 280 and was hoping for a shot of the rainbow with the old Stanford Dish. I saw this and pulled over to the side of the road, put the Canon 1D X Mark II and Canon 70-200mm lens out the window, and got this photo.


I drove up a little farther on the highway until I saw this shot with the trees and cows as my supporting subjects.



Ultimately, this was the photo I wanted most. You may recognize this tree from a photo I took many years ago. It is the lone tree on a hillside, and a site that I see quite often. But not like this! I really like this photo but wanted to see what it looked like with a closer crop.


I really love this photo and it is my favorite from the evening.


This composition was interesting to me as well, but once again I had the fence in the shot.


Using the adaptive healing brush and clone tools in Adobe Photoshop CC, I went in and removed the fence and other distractions from the photo.


Thirty minutes later I arrived at my house and still had the rainbow in sight. I walked down my street to one of the blossoming cherry trees and framed this shot with the rainbow behind the blossoms.


I tried a variety of different compositions...



I went inside my house to tell my wife about this beautiful rainbow, and when we got back outside, it had turned into a double rainbow. Just for fun (and since I had the 70-200mm zoom lens on my camera), I decided to put the DSLR down and take a wide panorama shot with my iPhone. I did a little bit of retouching in Photoshop and ended up with this photo. Not too shabby for a cameraphone picture.

This beauty of nature not only let me capture some pretty photos, but also made a commute in traffic way more interesting!

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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A rare chance to get on board the Orbis MD-10 flying hospital

A good friend of ours is one of the leading ophthalmologists in the country and every year he volunteers his time to travel the globe helping others as part of the Orbis organization. Years ago, he told us about a new flying hospital that Orbis had acquired, and I was hoping for the chance to get on board to photograph this amazing MD-10.


The Orbis plane was parked inside the Moffett Field NASA base, in which one needs clearance to get in. Once inside the base (which has been many years for me), we drove around for a couple of minutes to check out the old hanger. Hanger One is one of the world's largest freestanding structures, covering 8 acres and was originally designed to hold large blimps. It is so big that it reportedly had it's own climate inside when covered. It was in disrepair and has since been "unskinned". Google has pledged the money for a complete restoration, but this is not likely to be done until 2025.

Then we continued our drive into the base until we came to the real reason we were there.


Here is the exterior shot of the MD-10.

Before we go inside, let me explain a little about Orbis. Their goal is to transform lives through the prevention and treatment of blindness. Did you know that there are more than 253 million people worldwide who are blind or visually impaired? And 75% of those people are living with conditions that are preventable, treatable or curable, if only they had the resources. Orbis brings those resources! They don't just fly to other countries and do surgical procedures, they teach the local doctors how to do the same procedures so that they can continue to help the locals even after the Orbis people have left.

The plane, which was donated by FedEx, is flown into other countries and parked for 3 weeks per location so that the doctors and other volunteers can do their work. Last year alone, using the plane and other methods, they performed almost 100,000 surgeries and laser treatments in 18 countries.


Before entering the mobile hospital, I took this shot looking down the body of this jumbo jet. Yeah, it looks like almost any other plane...until you get inside.



This is the operating room, which is located about halfway down the cabin. As you can see, it is not much different from any other hospital surgical area.


It isn't until you see outside the operating room window that you see the airplane windows.




This is a wider view of the operating room. If you look closely, you will see many video cameras on the ceiling and throughout the room.


All those cameras are fed into this control room where an AV specialist can determine what is shown in the training room.


This may look like your typical coach class, but this is actually where the local doctors are brought in to watch surgical procedures and learn new techniques.


Towards the back of the plane is the recovery room. They can work on three people at a time, with one in surgery and two in recovery.


In between the surgical room and the recovery room in a teaching lab with some incredible technology inside. (For those photographers out there who are wondering what equipment I used for this shoot, here is what I brought with me. I was using the Canon 1D X Mark II camera, Canon 16-35mm lens, Canon 600 EX-RT flash and the MagMod MagSphere diffuser.)


The volunteer doctors (who come from all over the world) spread their knowledge to doctors who have less technology and are not as well equipped.



Living in Silicon Valley, I have seen and heard many promises of augmented reality. Most of the time, this has been talked about in regards to video games and other entertainment. But to see augmented reality here in the lab was nothing short of amazing. Here, a doctor from Chile, shows me how a doctor can learn how to analyze the human eye on a simulator.


This was the most impressive piece of technology that I saw in the lab. This device lets doctors perform a surgical procedure on a virtual eye. In the image below, you can see the eye sensor, and in the image above, you can see what the doctor is seeing in the scope. He was telling me that the device has haptic feedback so that the doctor feels the same resistance as a real procedure.  That is awesome.


The eye sensor. It may nook look like much here, but what it does is simply amazing.


Here is a photo of me in the cockpit of the MD-10. (Photo credit: Annette Cable)


We stayed for a really nice reception, but before leaving, I wanted to go out and get a couple of shots of the plane at night.


As I walked out to the plane, I noticed that the moon had come out over the plane. I quickly ran back to my camera back and switched from the Canon 16-35mm wide angle lens to the Canon 70-200mm. I set the camera to manual mode (metering for the moon) and used my flash to light the plane.

I would like to thank Dr. Fredrick for giving his time to this cause and along with all the people at Orbis for giving us a chance to see the plane and learn about their organization.  If you would like to know more about Orbis, click HERE.

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
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Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Friday, March 22, 2019

Want a fun and entertaining book for free?

Here is something different for all of you.

A good friend of mine, who used to work at Apple, has retired from the corporate world and become a writer. Like me, Marc Jedel left the board rooms and boring meetings and is following his passion in the arts. He just finished his second book and was kind enough to offer any of my blog readers a chance to download his first book for FREE. Thanks Marc!

Marc's books are humorous murder mysteries that fall into a sub-genre called cozy mysteries (like the old Murder She Wrote series for those that remember) because they’re clean and do not have any violence or sex. Well... if they do, they take place off-page. Marc told me that his mysteries wound up like this mostly because writing violent scenes when it’s dark outside would probably frighten him and writing sex scenes would frighten his friends and family. He is a funny guy.


Anyways...as I mentioned, he has two books:

* Uncle and Ants: A Silicon Valley Mystery (Book 1). Mysterious attacks. Mischievous nieces. Can a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer… and be home before bedtime? If you like clever humor, sassy side characters, and average Joes facing extraordinary circumstances, then you’ll love this twisty mystery.

* Chutes and Ladder is the side-splitting second novel in the Silicon Valley cozy mystery series. 
When a camping trip uncovers a corpse, this amateur sleuth is stuck putting out the fire. Marty vows to investigate. After all, it’s poor manners to let a friend’s death go unsolved. Like quirky sleuths, wacky sidekicks, and laugh-out-loud moments? You’ll love this offbeat whodunit.


The books are really fun and easy to read. I am currently part way through the second book.

You can download the first book for free from Amazon using this LINK only between now and Mar 24th.


If you look at his Amazon page, you will see Marc's portrait. He asked me to shoot this for him about a 6 months ago ago. I started with a standard "back of the book" typical headshot but since his character always wears Hawaiian shirts, we thought it would be fun if he did the same.  Marc even had fun with the photos and created this page.

Download the book, kick your feet up and have some fun. I am!

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
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If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Zebras in Africa - These black and white stripes are everywhere

Today we are going back to my recent trip to Africa for another blog post. This time I am focusing on the referees of the African plains, the zebras. During the reverse migration, it is not uncommon to see thousands of these animals during our 10 day safari. And did you know that every one of these animals has their own distinctive pattern?


It was early in the morning on our January safari and we were driving into the Ngorongoro Crater as the sun rose. We looked to our left and saw these zebras sparring in the early morning light. I got out my Canon 1D X Mark II with the Canon 200-400mm lens and captured many images of this activity.


We also saw this young zebra (foal) nursing.



There is nothing cuter than a young zebra. They actually start with brown fur, which falls off to reveal their black and white stripes.


At one point, we came across two cheetahs who were crossing the plains in Ndutu. They seemed to be in a hunting mode and I was confused why these zebra would just stand there and wait to be eaten. These were the dominant members who were watching out for the others in the herd. If I was a zebra, I would have been heading for the hills (even though I know they can not outrun a cheetah).


On the February safari, we saw these zebras standing in front of this large flock of flamingos and I thought it made a nice composition. Just as we started shooting photos, these two started sparring, giving us even better subject matter. I made sure that all of our guests were shooting a shutter speeds of at least 1/1000th of a second to freeze the action.


It was fun watching them as they jumped and swatted at each other.


It is this activity that may explain why zebras, which are related to horses and donkeys, have never been domesticated.


Once the zebras were done sparring, they sprinted away.


Most of the time, we will see zebras coexisting with the wildebeest. These zebras were within sight of a family of lions and they were on high alert. The zebras have excellent eyesight, and even night vision, which is why the wildebeest like to travel with them. This is an added layer of protection for the wildebeest who have poor vision.


We saw an endless line of zebras coming over a hill and crossing this small lake. We had fun capturing images of them as they ran through the water.


Since we had so many of these animals crossing in front of us, and everyone had nice shots of them frozen in action, I encouraged our guests to slow their shutter speeds to try and capture some motion pan photos. For this shot, I changed my camera settings from 1/1250th of a second to 1/20 sec (by setting my ISO to 100 and my aperture to f/36) and panned with this group.


Whenever I see zebras in or around still water, I always look for their reflections.


Using the reach of our long lenses, we zoomed in on small groups of zebra to highlight their reflections. I converted this photo to B&W using NIK SilverEfex Pro, since I thought that this particular image would be more dramatic without color.

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Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
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