Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jason Janik Shoots Sports?!?

It's true that I'm not exactly known for shooting sports in Dallas. There are so many great sports shooters here, some with Pulitzer Prize awards for their Olympics coverage. Sports is their life and that's what they've focused on their whole career. I have spent most of my career shooting music, performances, plays and people... not sporting events. I would not be considered a "sports shooter" by my peers.

However, I have been known to point my camera at a few athletes in the past. I used to get a lot of praise from a certain news editor, because I shot Volleyball and Basketball with such a different eye than the average sports guy. Of course, I had another photo editor that absolutely hated my Volleyball and Basketball shots, because it looked so different than the normal sports photos.

Sometimes, music and sports collide, as it did in October 2006 when I was hired to shoot an X-Games style competition and the Deftones concert afterward. I can't remember what I was shooting with back then... maybe my 10d or 20d? You can see how poorly it handled shadow areas at a high ISO compared to today's cameras.

If you like these photographs, you should check out my website at


Friday, February 3, 2012

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!!!

Another old pic from the days when I would be shooting another band every few days... This one is of the New York art punk group Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The show was at the Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas' music and nightlife Mecca, Deep Ellum. The band came through town on October 10, 2006 and totally blew away the audience. I still remember the show, and it was amazing!

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Photoshop Can Kill Your Career...

Read the story in the link below, and then tell me what you think...

There is a fine line in professional photography, and that line is drawn with Photoshop. Commercial photographers are expected to use it. Fashion photographers would get fired, if they didn't use it! Wedding photographers get paid extra to use it on their brides. However, it can end your career, if you use it as a photojournalist.

I don't mean that a newspaper photographer can't use Photoshop at all... I mean that newspapers only expect the basics from the imaging program - crop, resize, color adjustment and contrast. No cloning, copying, pasting, joining, deleting, etc... If you alter a photo to add or remove people or things in a newspaper, it goes against everything journalism is supposed to be about.

But, what about those obvious manipulations you see in the paper? Chances are you are thinking about a "photo illustration" used for an editorial piece. When there's a factual story being covered, the image has to be factual, too. But, editorial pieces with more abstract ideas can use a Photoshopped image to "illustrate" the idea. It's an illustration, because it no longer represents factual reality. Some newspapers won't even use them... they'll use an artist to render an illustration from scratch, so that a "photo illustration" doesn't confuse the reader.

So, put your Photoshop skills to good use, unless you are a photojournalist!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some Old Spoon...

As long as I'm doing some digital house cleaning and organizing, I thought I'd share some other random photographs, as I find them. This is a shot from a very special moment in my career. I was hired by Spin Magazine to hang out in Spoon's Austin studio for a couple hours and shoot the band as they recorded the album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

Since Spoon has been one of my favorite bands for a long time, of course I was more than happy to take the gig. It was like my own private concert! How can you beat the chance to hang out with some of your favorite musicians... and get paid for it?!?

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Dear Etta James...

I remembered shooting Etta James several years back, but couldn't recall exactly when. Well, today I found the photos while doing some digital house cleaning. I was hired to photograph Etta James during a performance in Dallas.

The show was in 2007 and I still remember the concert pretty well. I remember that she had quite few interesting stories to tell in between songs... most of them were too racy to share! I remember that her voice was so expressive, and the rasp that came with age only added to its interest.

I'm glad that I had a chance to photograph this legend. There are so many people that I wanted to shoot and I wound up missing for one reason or another. But, you can never shoot them all, I guess!

If you like these photos, be sure to see more at

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Canon CPS Update...

I have had my share of problems with Canon's CPS lately... see here:

However, a member of Canon Professional Services did actually call me to follow up and see if I got things taken care of. I thought that was nice. Not every company will call to follow up on customer issues. Of course, I answered "no", and told her things weren't resolved. I've decided to use a local repair shop for my gear, but Canon said they would try to push this issue up through the chain of command and see if they could provide a solution.

We'll see what solution they can come up with. Last time I had my Canon 70-200mm 2.8L lens repaired with CPS, I had issues with them, too. How many times do I need to waste time and energy with a program that was designed to make things "easier" on us working professionals?!?


More Lego League Video...

I've shot this fun, creative, energetic event for the last few years now, but it never gets old for me. The Museum of Nature & Science holds an annual event in Dallas called the First Lego League, and it's part of a nationwide competition where school children use technology to overcome obstacles. Very nerdy, in a good way!

For any of your video technical questions, I shot this using my Canon 5DmkII, a combo of the 70-200mm 2.8L lens and the 28mm 2.8 lens, mostly all shot at 1000 iso/30fps/2.8-4f, in-camera mic. Post was done with Final Cut Pro and a wonderful local band named Shibboleth offered use of their music for the background!

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