American Balalaika Symphony

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

On the 16th January, 2010, I was asked to photograph the American Balalaika Symphony who were performing at the Strathmore. Make sure you try and catch one of their shows as they were absolutely fantastic.

Combining the rich traditions of the Russian Music School with the best of European and American music, founder, artistic director, and conductor Peter Trofimenko has created a unique American orchestra. Matched against 33 others in the performing arts, the American Balalaika Symphony was selected as the winner of the Great Strathmore 25th Anniversary Giveaway competition. ABS will perform in the Music Center on January 16, 2010.

Here are some images from the event shot with the available light in the concert hall with my Canon 5D mark II with the 24-70 F/2.8L and the 70-200 F/2.8L IS.

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

American Balalaika Symphony - Tony Eckersley

Posted at 12am on 01/26/10 | 21 comments | Filed Under: Canon 5D mark II, music, Photography read on

2009 in Pictures

2009 in Pictures - Tony Eckersley

2009 was an interesting year full of ups and downs for pretty much everyone. We were (are) facing a massive economic crisis, unemployment was at an all time high, people were loosing their homes, on going war, yet we all are continuing to battle on and continue to live life doing the best we can with inspiration from stories of courage, charity and love. 2009 brought a lot of people together with great collaboration projects from artists who wanted to give back (Help-Project is a great example) and while photographers are doing their best in an environment that is changing against them, we are all coming together to bring new ideas and innovations.

2009 for me was a life changing year. Faced with the economic crisis, I, like many, lost my job. I saw this as an opportunity and took off with my wife on a road trip across country to take some time to think about where to take my career next and really concentrate on what really made me happy.

2009 saw me slowly fading away from design work and more into photography and at times, combining both elements together for my clients.

So I figured the best way to sum up 2009 is using pictures. Click on each photo for a very quite sentence about the photo.

So how was your year? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Great Falls National Park + my water technique

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700" caption="Great Falls National Park - Tony Eckersley"]Great Fall National Park - Tony Eckersley[/caption]


Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

  • Exposure: 0.6 sec
  • Aperture: f/16.0
  • Focal Length: 70 mm
  • ISO Speed: 50

A wintery photo I took a few weekends ago on my way home from a meeting… With Great Falls National Park being the closest park to home, I like to stop in when I can, especially at this time of year where it is very quiet, peaceful, yet rough in the conditions of the falls.

There is a little bit of Post Production done to this photo, so let me explain a little:

This is 3 exposures combined, but not a HDR. I like to experiment with different exposures and water to create interesting textures, so what you see here is -2 / 0 / +2 overlapped to generate this unique water feel. The water has a very choppy feel to it, while still containing that milky feel from a long exposure. For a place like this I feel it is perfect to show the rough conditions and bring the viewer more into the picture. I generally use the Luminosity blending mode, mixed with lighten and darken. It’s all part of bringing the water to life and really pushes it away from the results you see with one exposure.

I boosted the colors in the sky a little too. The winter sun set had created a nice purple hue, but the blues had been washed out a little, so I upped the blue saturation a little.

I also added clarity to give the rocks a bit of a punch, but the sky exposure and water exposure come from using a grad ND filter (0.9) which helps bring out the shadows in the rocks.

Posted at 3pm on 12/10/09 | 9 comments | Filed Under: Canon 5D mark II, Friends, National Parks, Photography, travel read on

Public Performance – filmed with the 5D mark II

On December 4, 2009 over a hundred people descended on Bethesda Lane startling shoppers with a surprise performance in celebration of Strathmores upcoming world premiere performances of Take Joy! A new holiday show, Take Joy! reminds us that amid the hurry and hassles of the holidays we can find light and joy with each other.

I filmed the above video with the Canon 5D mark II with a 24-70mm F/2.8 lens on a Cavision Shoulder Mount. My job was to rush around capturing people’s expressions of the surprise event and edit it together with some footage of a stabilized camera mounted above the event (shame that wasn’t a Canon 5D mkII!). It was a lot of fun and a great number of people were certainly surprised!

It was a tough place to film with people bumping into you, freezing temperatures (adding more camera shake), constantly changing focus as your moving, but we wanted to give the viewer the impression they were wandering around the crowd and I think we managed that quite well.

Posted at 3am on 12/09/09 | 2 comments | Filed Under: Canon 5D mark II, Photography, video read on

I do Wedding Photography?

Jen and Toby Wedding Photography Northern Virginia

Something a little different from me today…

While travel and landscape photography is my ‘thing,’ I have also dabbled in other areas of photography, especially while transitioning and forming my career path from graphic designer to photographer. Over the summer I was presented with the opportunity to shoot the wedding of two good friends of mine after their photographer of choice couldn’t make it at the last minute. I had never shot a wedding before, but one of my mentors is a wedding photographer and through him I had picked up some great tips. He also shot my wedding back in September 2007! After doing a lot of research with some of my favorite wedding photographers out there, I put together my game plan and ultimately applied my style of shooting to the event, one that had a very ‘documentary/journalistic’ feel to it, rather than posing the couple. That’s just the way I prefer to shoot people, trying my best to become invisible while shooting their special day.

The wedding itself was a beautiful event. It was a hybrid between a traditional Indian Wedding and a traditional American Wedding and keeping with Indian traditions, there was a Mehndi party the night before. Well, I guess it was a cross between a traditional Mehndi party and American party. The ceremony was held at bride’s place that included food, drink, Bollywood movies, and my wife and friend become henna designers, applying mehndi to the bride’s hands.

Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to do an “engagement” shoot with the couple, but we may try and get together soon to do one…

Again, this was my first ever wedding shoot and while I do not plan on adding it to my services offered, I had a lot of fun and have since had a few more offers to do others weddings in the future. But ultimately, I love photographing people and I love telling stories with my photographs. This was just a new adventure and a new way for me to try and tell a story.

If you have some feedback I would love to hear it! Constructive criticism is how we all grow.

So here is a quick sample (picked at random) from the final photos delivered to the couple.

Posted at 2am on 12/03/09 | 15 comments | Filed Under: Photography read on


My name is Tony Eckersley, and I am a photographer

Whether it is going to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre or the Spooky Movie Film Festival, I immerse myself in the countless outputs artists use to express themselves. As a result, my inspirations include, among other things, Strobist’s blog and Robert McKee’s Story. As an artist, capturing the uniqueness of our world—the landscapes, cityscapes, cultures, feelings and overall stories—helps me fight the inscrutability that surrounds us. I hope others find a similar release by viewing my work.

I was born and raised in the United Kingdom. I moved to the east coast of the United States of America in 2005, which only fueled my passion to travel. The people I have met and the places I have seen, altogether, have shaped my need to photograph. That being said, I believe my need to photograph is no different than the people’s need to see photography; and that is to experience their relationship with the world through an artistic medium.

Capturing social documentary through photography, I hope viewers look deeper into the surface of their screens for a story about life today and how we might admire, change, and appreciate it more. For this reason, I look forward to the future, hoping to expand my work nationally through publications and galleries. Thus, I am always adding to ongoing projects and hope you will return to my site soon again

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