The Digital Photo Guy

The Good, The Bad and the Great

by on Jun.13, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips, Photos

The Good – San Luis Rey Pow Wow

The Mission San Luis Rey Inter-Tribal Pow Wow was a small event but I managed to get some good photos. Having attend a number of pow wows, I had a good sense of when, where and how things would unfold. That allowed me to pick out the best sight lines and backgrounds. Here are some photos:


I used my fallback lens, the Canon 28-135 with a Canon 550EX in manual mode at 1/16.

Also in the Good column, I met Dave Plunkett, the Arena Director who will also be the Arena Director at the Pechanga Pow Wow on July 3-4. Pechange is a huge event with nearly 1000 dancers so knowing Dave will help me get the inside scoop. I also met Al Footracer, the Head Gourd Dancer who allowed me to enter the arena and photograph the Gourd Dance. This is the first time I’ve seen a non-Native American allowed inside the arena so I was thrilled.

The Bad – Skunked at San Diego Fair Photography Contest, Again

 This year, my hopes for a prize at the Fair were dashed again. I entered 5 photos and had 4 accepted but none received even an Honorable Mention. Oh well, there’s always next year.

The Great – I’m Ready for 2011

I’ve been thinking of a 1950s pin-up style shoot and have been looking for a “Bettie Page” look-alike. At the pow wow, I hit paydirt. When I saw Tyler, I knew immediately she was the model I was looking for. Tyler is a cute 17 year old Bettie Page look-alike who loves to dress in 50s and 60s styles.

She has a complete wardrobe, knows how to apply makeup and, best of all, has a Mom who encourages her. Mom was fine with the pin-up shoot as long as she was on-location with her daughter. Since I would never shoot a minor without a parent or legal guardian present, that works for me.

Here are some test shots taken in front of Mission San Luis Rey.


I’m hoping I’ll be able to win in 2011 with photos of Tyler.


6 Comments for this entry

  • Jill Johnson

    Hello Lee,
    I googled Bettie Paige & wow, Tyler sure does resemble her. I like the photo of her standing by the brick wall, the best.
    Very pretty girl.
    So sorry about your “Fair” entries…DARN!!!!
    We students would have given you a big Blue Ribbon :o)

    • Lee

      Thanks Jill,
      I just can’t compete with my own students like you who now regularly win photo competitions while I’m still trying to win a dinky local county fair! LOL To quote a 16 year old, “Reality bites!”

      Our housekeeper tells me the 50s & 60s look is all the rage with teenagers these days. I guess that’s preferable to other fads I’ve seen. The thing that struck me about Tylor (that’s the correct spelling) is that she’s sharp as a tack. The photo by the brick wall was the first so she was still a bit nervous but, once she got into character, she could repeat a pose pretty consistently.

  • Jim

    You wrote:

    Mom was fine with the pin-up shoot as long as she was on-location with her daughter. Since I would never shoot a minor “with” a parent or legal guardian present, that works for me.

    Don’t you mean – “without” not “with”

    I hope this was a typo. Otherwise, this could imply you were a “pervert” of the worst kind; one who takes advantage of a minor without the parent or legal guardian present. I am not offended (I feel it was a type) but others may be. Please make a correction somewhere, sometime and make it crystal clear this was not your intent.

    Regards, Jim

    • Lee

      Thanks for the “heads up”, Jim. My only excuse is that it was late and my bum knee was in pain. The typo has now been corrected.

      • Jim

        Hi Lee,

        Regarding “Bettie Page”, Can you post a couple old photos of her when she was at her peak – her pin-up style shoot? I’m sure most of us would like to see what she looked like back when and possibly make our own comparisons.

        Thanks, Jim

        • Lee

          Hi Jim,
          Google “bettie page” and you’ll find thousands of hits. Most of the images are copyrighted so I can’t copy them onto my site. Also, keep in mind that modeling is more about attitude, mindset and smarts, not just looks. This young lady is the same height and weight as Bettie Page but, more importantly, she can mimic Bettie’s mannerisms. Also, she’s been coached by an aunt who used to model so she knows how to follow directions when being posed. The ability to get into character is really the most important aspect for me.

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