Friday, April 30, 2010

Birthday Cake How to photograph

First - This is one of the cutest Birthday cakes I ever saw - Who would think to make a 3-D giraffe birthday cake? The cake is too cute to eat but the folks in attendance ate it up quick.

This cake was made by Amy's Cakes and I am always amazed how nice her cakes look.

Second - When I saw this cake, I thought, I better get as much detail as possible.

The first tip is NOT to use a direct flash on the cake. A direct flash will destroy most if not all of the detail. Keep in mind that shadows help with dimension and this cake needs its dimensions shown off. :-D

I used my Nikon SB800 on the camera and pointed it to the wall next to the counter (camera left). It created a soft light on the left side of the cake and a soft shadow on the right side.

I used the same technique to photograph the back of the cake (I did the same for the side and a few close ups of the 'feet'.) The critical point is to diffuse the flash. I used the wall and it created a very soft large light that wrapped around the cake's features. If a wall isn't close enough to bounce off or if the wall is very dark, then have a guest with a light (hopefully white) shirt stand near the cake and bounce the flash off their shirt. I have a large and small reflector that I use when needed.

Another key point about photographing cakes is time. Rarely is there time to set everything perfect compared to a controlled shot at home or in a studio. Since this cake had some much character, I took more shots than I typically do for a 'flat' cake. Therefore, it is critical to get the shots of the cake as soon as possible. I try to get the shots as soon as I arrive to the event-reception. This buys me a few minutes and eliminates rushing. If you wait until minutes before the cake cutting, you might miss something.

I use the same technique as a wedding photographer when I am photographing a wedding cake. If special lights exist, use them to create drama. For example, if the party or wedding reception has a DJ that utilizes uplighting, then their lights create very nice accent lighting on the cake.

This was shot with my Nikon D300 and Tamron 17-50.

Frank Kendralla
Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Economy village Ambridge part 2

A few more pictures from Old Economy Village. This is a beautiful setting for weddings and portraits.

I can imagine the giggling of littler girls as they run around the ground covering and hid behind the stone building sitting in the far back left.

Regardless of where I stood in the area, the beautiful clock was seen. No doubt it was done purposefully since everything within the village was done with thought and precision. The stone walls protected the grounds from some of the dirt and dust from the nearby river.

Images by Frank Kendralla
Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Economy village - Ambridge PA with the kids

We took the grand kids to visit Old Economy Village in Ambridge, PA and had a great time. It is a historical landmark dating back to the 1800's. Please visit their site for detailed information. Historically, it is filled with tremendous information and the guide was very knowledgeable. There were a few other guests that toured with us. The tour started with a brief video about the Village and the history of the Harmony Society. After the video, a tour guide dressed in similar clothes that were worn by the women of the Harmony Society takes you back in time and discusses each room/building and its historical significance.

Our guide explained many fun and insightful facts about the Harmony Society. Since we had our grand children with us, many of the questions were directed toward them. No doubt, this made the tour entertaining and enjoyable for the kids.

Photographically, it is filled with a gold mine of photo opportunities. Although the look is much different than some of my recent post and travels, it is no less exciting and colorful. The village is located within thirty minutes of our home and is another example of great photo opportunities close to home.

The gardens within the beautiful buildings and landscaping are available for weddings and other portrait sessions. I can image the look similar to weddings seen in the many wedding magazines. I wonder how many wedding coordinators and brides 'to be' know of this beautiful opportunity. This is another example of a beautiful place within Beaver County, PA and very close to Pittsburgh, PA which is a beautiful setting for an outdoor wedding. In addition, how many wedding and portrait photographers realize this beautiful facility is available for weddings and portrait sessions.

As I walked through the buildings and down the streets and heard school kids playing, I wondered if the founders of this beautiful historical landmark ever thought children would play in the area. (The society practiced a vow of celibacy. Men and women married but never having children or enjoying them.)

Images by Frank Kendralla
Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jared Platt - check out his work and blog

This image was shot during my walk around Station Square in Pittsburgh on a very cloudy, rainy day.
Wedding and Portrait Photography

I am not sure how I stumbled upon this blog site but when I did, I knew I must share it with others. He has great information, photos, and great tips for using Lightroom. Jared Platt - check out his work and blog.