September 1, 2014

Our blog has moved!

Please note that our blog has moved to a self-hosted location! You may view up-to-date articles, tips and info on photography at http://blog.mortonvisuals.com. Please update your bookmarks, and follow the new/current blog!

NOTE: You can also follow Morton Visuals on Facebook and/or Twitter @MortonVisuals

Thank you!
Wm

 

 

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October 18, 2013

Morton Visuals Launches Holiday Charity Fundraising 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.

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.

Read the full article here…

January 2, 2012

Ringing In The New Year, Mardi Gras Style

New Year’s Eve is always a fun time, even if you’re working. This past Saturday night I had a chance to work with my friend Mark Hays of Grins 2 Go. Mark is a franchise owner in the Temecula area, and we spent New Year’s Eve photographing portraits for Valley View Casino. The theme was Mardi Gras – always a great opportunity for colorful costumes and accessories.

We set up two sets to share a common background – a New Orleans French Quarter street scene. Both sets were shooting and printing photos on the spot, to be framed by the Promotions Center and made available to Players’ Club members within two hours. We even did a quick reset in the middle of the event to accomodate a formal group portrait of 30 employees decked out in their New Year’s finest. The group shot – a logistical challenge given a 10-minute window – went off without a hitch, and turned out magnificently.

William Morton Poses Guests at New Years Eve Celebration

William Morton gives posing guidance to his portrait subjects

William Morton shows previews prior to printing event portraits

Guests approve their portraits before printing

Best wishes for the new year, and I hope that your 2012 is your best ever!

December 25, 2011

Season’s Greetings

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Holidays from William Morton and Morton Visuals. May your holiday season be filled with peace, love, joy and happiness.

Morton Visuals' Christmas Card 2011

December 4, 2011

Morton Visuals Photographs Santa

Portrait of Santa and Mrs Claus

Santa and Mrs Claus

This weekend Morton Visuals photographed Santa (and Mrs. Claus) for My Kid’s Dentist in Vista and Murrieta CA. The staff at each office made a party of it, serving Christmas cookies and drinks and giving tours of their dental offices. Christmas movies played on big screens in the lobby as well as on small screens in the dental exam rooms. And the kids got to sit on Santa (and sometimes Mrs. Claus’) lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas! Morton Visuals photographed the kids and printed 4×6 photographs on the spot, so each child left with a picture of them with Santa in a nice white folder. The Murrieta location added a mini-fair outside, with a huge inflatable slide, a DJ, and tables for other nearby vendors. Hot toddy (or hot chocolate) was also on hand, so everyone could warm up from the windy chill. At one point they even got a fire truck to stop by! It was surely a day to remember, and spending a few hours with Santa will really get you in the Christmas spirit. Thanks to My Kid’s Dentist for a fun weekend!

October 15, 2011

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.

August 19, 2011

Online Image Theft Video

My friend and colleague Kevin Lock stumbled across this YouTube video recently and shared it with me. It’s a great analogy of online image theft, created by DontScrewUs.org. Check it out, and please feel free to share it with your friends if you like it!

August 2, 2011

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

July 20, 2011

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!

June 21, 2011

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).

 

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