Archive for August, 2012

Clark Family

Today I was fortunate to have the chance to photograph the Clark Family (Ron, Jen & Brady) while at Stone Mountain, Georgia.  The purpose of today’s session was to practice outdoor flash lighting and white balance.  Still, I struggle with natural coloring in the images, but getting much closer.

Key learnings from the day included awareness of shadows between multiple light sources, managing extreme highlights/contrast from background sunlight and adjusting the LCD display on the camera to be as true as the actual image to verify color of the image.

Secondary notes include awareness of poses and the appearance of being contrived, or at best, not sincere.  It doesn’t feel natural for people being photographed to take on poses in where the final result is supposed to be ‘natural’.  It’s an unusual paradox, to-be-sure.

Today’s shoot started with 41 photographs (not counting closed eyes, flash fails, etc.), of which 7 became ‘print worthy’, or 17%.  This is a low ratio and is the result of unexpected shadows, awkward coloring and heavy sun in the backdrop washing out too much of the image.  My goal is 50% – still a way to go yet.

Several of my photos were featured today in the Rockdale News (online) covering the United Way BBQ fundraiser.  The fundraiser is being sponsored by Jim ‘N Nicks and the food is being prepared at the Rockdale Career Academy.

The story in the Rockdale News is located here.

Bill & Abby

With a wedding shoot pending, I decided to dust the cobwebs off my portrait technique again to make sure I still have what it takes to create the wedding image look and feel.  I was also looking to practice a few poses and get the lighting right.  Still struggling with the white balance, but getting real close to resolving.  I should point out that while most won’t notice minor white balance issues, the keen photographic eye does, and it’s all about honing the craft – getting a little better each time.

My cooperative victims were kind enough to pretend to like each other.  The goal was for images, poses and lighting that helped develop a sense of intimacy yet at the same time not falling into the “Wedding Faux-tographer” trap of insane poses and outrageous photo shopped images.

With all the hoop-lah of Instagram and the retro-look many photogs are providing these days, I certainly feel pressured to give in.  After some thought – if you want photos that look like vintage 1960′s or 1970′s, then dust off the old Instamatic and load the 110 film.  Even better, pull out the old Kodak Disc camera.  My feelings are – if you have a look and feel to your photographs that you’ve worked to perfect, then go with it.

Yes, I’m a bit abusive with color.  Admittedly I’m a little bit ‘color-blind’ struggling with the distinction between black-dark brown-navy blue, and not in the dark at 5:00am trying to match socks – but all the time.  I’m guessing this makes me over compensate for colors and tweak the ‘boost’ or ‘saturation’ sliders a bit.  I also like to add a touch of gaussian blur and then my trade secret final filter.  This combination of processes is the secret sauce of my images and is the look and feel I’m proud to produce.

Abby and Bill were super cooperative.  Thanks for your help.  I hope you enjoy the photos.