Saturday, January 3, 2009

Silver wedding shoes

This was taken with the flash off camera to my left using a sync cord attached to the camera and flash. Lightroom was used to 'wash out' the corners and to create an interesting tone to the image. Photoshop CS2 was used to create the sparkles on the diamonds and to 'erase' the brand name on the shoes.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I highly recommend experimenting with off camera flash. An inexpensive way to start is to purchase a sync cord for your camera to flash set-up.

Another method is to use a flashlight and point it at your subject. This creates an amazing look too. If you use a flashlight, you might need to color correct in your photo processing software or use color gels over the flashlight.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lights Happy New Year

I took this image at at a friend's house at sunset to create a different 'Christmas Lights' look.  I used a circular polarizer on the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens to reduce the light and increase the 'pop' of the sky.  My camera was on a tripod set at f/10, 6 seconds @ ISO 200.  Lightroom dodge and burning was used to highlight the furniture.  
 Rather than shoot the typical Christmas lights shot, try shooting the image at sunset.  This image was shot in manual mode [which is my favorite mode to use] and I adjusted the settings by eye.  I knew I wanted good depth of field.  Therefore, the reason for using f/10.  I took a few shots with greater DOF but this image I liked the best.
I heard a quote the other day that makes for a great New Year quote.  Especially in light of all the frustration in the world.  For all of you living in America; remember you are an AmeriCAN and not an AmeriCANT.  For the rest of the world!  Do not let the naysayers get you down!  You can and will have a great New Year!  2009

Monday, December 29, 2008

The year in review 2008 photos plus

As I stated in my post yesterday, I had the privilege of shooting a 50th anniversary celebration given to the couple by their family this past weekend. The first image today is when the 'bride' [from 50 years ago] saw her granddaughter dressed in the same dress she wore 50 years ago.

[both of the images were shot with the Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 and the scene was lit with the Nikon SB800 and the Gary Fong Lightsphere II as the light modifier.]

I stumbled on this list of images from a different site. Every image depicts emotion in some manner. The main reason I put this information on this blog is to assist you in finding new pictures to look at. What causes you to look at the image? Why is it intriguing? Would you have shot it in a different manner?

Wherever I go, I look at pictures. If you are walking in the mall, take time to look at the pictures in each store. Notice how they photographer lit the scene and why the image is striking. Dick's sporting goods has an image in the middle of their store advertising under armor. The lighting on the athlete is amazing. If you are walking along the news stand at the grocery store, pick up a fashion magazine and notice how the studio photographer lit the model or the wedding magazine and notice how the models [brides] are lit. After you review the following images, go back through your collection of images and make a year in review for yourself. Once you look at your own images, from 08, 07, etc., can you see an improvement in your work? I took time over the past week and looked at images I took over the past seven years. The good part, I notice a big difference in my work and realize the areas that need detailed work.

2008 in Pictures, Part I

2008 in Pictures, Part II

2008 in Pictures, Part III

If you attend year end/year beginning parties this week, there is no doubt you will have your camera [I will :-) ]. Remember to capture fun pictures of the events and many years from now you can look at them and remember the year 2008. Who knows, a picture you take in 2009 might end up as a year in review picture for someone.

As always, get out and capture the beauty of life!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

50th wedding anniversary shoot Cider House

I had the privilege to shoot a 50th wedding anniversary over the weekend. The couple was honored by their family and friends. In between portraits and candid shots, I took a few shots of the facility which was nicely lit.

This image was shot at f/10 and 6 seconds on a tripod. I converted the image in Lightroom to give it a 'different' look. The first image is the 'after' and the second is the before.

This is the same building but from the front.

The final image is an image of a few other buildings in the area. It was a perfect night for capturing fun pictures. The weather was very nice [60+ degrees in Dec wow!]
I tried shooting this type of shot in the past without a tripod and it is very challenging. There are still many homes that are lit up for the holidays. Even if you do not have a tripod you can use a bean bag or other creative surfaces.
The best advice for capturing holiday lights is on strobist.