A fun fall night photo session

Ok, so for a few months I have been trying to get more people to shoot. I have been slacking on my photographing of people over the past few years. Portrait sessions have been few and far between. So, a few months ago, I made it a point to try to get more sessions under my belt. Back in October, I put out what I guess you could call, a “casting call” to have people to shoot. I won’t lie, I got the usual ” I would love to shoot, just let me know when!” responses from some people. It never came to fruition. Which is par for the course so I can’t really be mad at them. But, one person who has been down to shoot whenever was up for the challenge and made sure of us being able to shoot when we could.

A friend of mine that I met only a few months ago, Lindsay Bryan, is trying to get her portfolio up and running and let me know that she was definitely down to do a session at any time. Well, back in November, I was up for doing a shoot one evening at a park that I photograph at every now and then. This time, I did it a little different. I used an external flash on most of the images. Honestly I normally do natural light, but I wanted to try it out and well, I did.  I was going for a fall theme; with her wardrobe and as well as with all the orange and red leaves in the back ground, along with the treatment. Take a look at the photos below:

This was a good learning experience, for not only myself but for Lindsay as well. For me, I learned more about using the external flash off my camera. I am used to using external lighting more in terms of actual strobes in a studio; like Alien Bees and Photogenics. Using my Yonunguo Flash was something I have tried before, but honestly not as successful as this time.

With Lindsay, she had never really done a lot of “modeling.” She had gotten photos taken of her and her son but nothing where the focus was on her. Getting her comfortable in front of the camera was not a tall task and you could tell that as the hour and a half went out she felt more and more relaxed.

Overall, it was a good feeling session and I feel like many of those images above were a successful attempt at using my off camera flash.

Till next time!

Afternoon at the Atlanta Goat Farm

Yes, I said Goat Farm. If you are from Atlanta, or just familiar with the creative community in the city you should know what that is. Back in September some of us from a photo critique group on Facebook got together at one of Atlanta’s studios, (in my opinion best studios) Armada Studios. Two of the photographers there who also belong to our group, Riche Meade and Anderson Smith allowed us to use that space for the day. They also set up a couple of models for us to shoot, and make up artists to do.

Now, I’ll admit that day I was not feeling good at all. The prior weekend I had taken a fall that messed me up pretty bad so I was pretty weak, and cold walk around a lot or use my hands that much. It was no fun. But I got around to shooting near the end.

Below are The images that I shot. Please take a look and tell me what you think.

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Seeing the world in a different view

 

Little Mulberry Park, Infrared, Wheeltracks

Infrared photography taken at Little Mulberry Park

                So this is a subject that I have wanted to talk about for a really long time. It’s one of those subjects that when you bring it up in conversation to people who are in the same industry you are you get one of two reactions. The first (which normally comes from people who are new in the industry and haven’t been shooting that long,) is the question of what is that? The second on the other hand is one of “Ah yeah I have heard of that, but I have never seen it or tried it.

            When I started doing photography almost 7 years go, I had never known that this type of photography honestly existed. I knew there were landscapes, photos of cars, and pictures of people, all those different types. To be quite honest I didn’t even realize that there were that many different subsets of photography in each one of those types of categories.  If you would have asked me what Infrared photography was, I would have immediately thought that it was one of those images that you see where everything is pretty much different shades of red where heat signatures are red, like in the picture below to the left.

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            In reality though, infrared photography is nothing like that. The whole idea of infrared photography starts with the idea that you are capturing the all the infrared light that bounces off the foliage, water, buildings, etc. Now what does this look like? I will give you more of an idea of what it looks like after I’ve dived a little bit more into it. How the final product turns out is dependent on a couple of things; the type of filter one might have to go on their lenses, and how they edit the image in what ever post processing software that they use. Personally, I like to do a lot of conversion. Going from the original image that was taken after the filter was put on, a custom white balance as created, and the correct settings are used, it takes a lot of time and processing in the computer. Many hours of doing many different layers and zooming in so close, down to pixel level, to make sure you don’t make the image look like crap when it’s zoomed in on.

             But that’s honestly not where it begins, but more along the lines of where it ends. Post processing takes a lot longer when it comes to doing Infrared Photography. But, having the right equipment is where you have to make sure that you are doing everything right. Personally, I use a filter that attached on to two of my lenses. It’s a 77mm IR Filter made by Hoya, and the type of filter is the R72. You can buy other filters that are different opacities as well. Hoya, is one the big makers of these types of filters but they make some that are less expensive from other companies.

            When using this filter the biggest obstacle that you have to take into account is the fact that the filter does not allow you to focus. Because of this you have to basically guess the infrared focusing points. I say this because the focus points are completely different from normal images to Infrared ones. Thankfully on my canon and its higher level L-series and some of its USM lenses have The infrared focus points on the lenses so that once the filter is put on, you do it without looking through the camera. The camera settings are practically the same, a stop up or down on aperture and shutter here and here but you don’t really want to change it up too much. My safe zone for shooting these types of images are (if you don’t have a remote for the bulb function) f8 30sec at 500 ISO. Make SURE you have the camera on a tripod or a stable ground that you can use as one. Any type of movement while the camera is taking the exposure as you know, will mess the image up. Those settings are where I start, and then adjust from there. Now, keep in mind these are settings that are needed when using a filter. If you are fortunate enough to get a camera that is converted for infrared photography, you can use that camera as if you would normally. That allows you to not have to use a tripod because of the long exposure time.

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             After I put the image into the computer, if I really wanted to I could leave it like this. But, it doesn’t really do anything for me. If I had a converted camera and had it set differently I may. Once You get it into the computer, you pop it over int o Photoshop and let the converting begin! Using the channel mixer layer, black and white layer, and a few levels layers I get the conversion I want where it looks like a normal sunny day with ALL white foliage as seen below.  This is the way that I love to see the infrared images that I take, that or in black and white.

Little Mulberry Park, Infrared, Wheeltracks

Infrared photography taken at Little Mulberry Park

            I honestly have my professor, Tami Chappell (www.tamichappell.com) at Gwinnett Technical College for my interest being peaked on this. It has really hobby inside of my profession that is photography. She began teaching us about it in my second semester of my first year of school and It has stuck with me ever since. The picture that you see at the bottom of this page was one that I did for a final project, which later was put into my final portfolio for graduation, and is still hanging up at the school in the department in one of the offices.

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Alexander Park, Lawrenceville Ga

Success: A thought during my beach trip to Pensacola, Fl

My father Kayaking on the Santa Rosa Sound in Pensacola, Fl

My father Kayaking on the Santa Rosa Sound in Pensacola, Fl

            You would think me being down in Pensacola for vacation would give me a clear head, and not really think about doing anything except for just relaxing on the beach with my family, nope. With my mind racing and trying to figure some things out, the beach is only a slight reprieve. Maybe 4 hours of one, depending when I feel I am baked (from the sun you bad thinking people) enough. Work and the attempt to find work for myself personally and my business is constantly on my mind and not willing to escape the ignorance of the hopeful bliss I would love to have while here on vacation. But, isn’t that the normality of life when it comes to being a free-lancer? Especially when you are a creative, like a photographer?

            I have been thinking about something these past few days, after I got into a conversation with a fellow colleague and I want to throw something out there to you, the readers. Whether this is photography related to you (for those of you that are in the same profession as me), or something else that you might be into. This question really applies to anything. When you think to yourself, what is success, what do you think? What do you honestly, truly, think success is? How do you, yourself, measure it? At what point in your life do you go and think. This is something that I have been thinking about a lot over the past few days. I think I began to ponder about the subject had to do with after a discussion with a colleague of mine who has been in the business for a good number of years.

            I am not sure about anyone else, but success is a very simple thing to me. It has taken me a very long time to get to that point in life as I used to think that big success was the only type of success. Much like when you set goals, you immediately go for the big goals, and don’t think about the smaller ones you have to set and achieve along the way.

            I’ve developed an unfortunate perception these past few years that I have not been very successful in the world of photography and really in life itself in general. Quite frankly, lot of it had to do with the fact that I had gone through a really bad depression for two years and didn’t really anything was going the way I wanted. But, that was my fault. And, that’s another story to be quite frank. When I look at everything I have accomplished and have done, I see that truth be told, I have actually accomplished a LOT more than I think I did. But due to my neglecting of the small things, and not achieving my big goals in the manner and time that I wanted to, I couldn’t or rather wouldn’t allow myself to believe I was being successful.

            What I would like to get across with this article, to someone who is reading it, is that in all honesty, success is in the eye of the beholder. I feel a though that I have been successful and that I will continue to be successful and ultimately at the end of the day. Be where I want to be in a timely manner. It’s just a matter of time. I feel that is the same for everyone and that I hope it will continue to be that way.

           So, everyone, please continue to be successful and continue to dream love yourself and what you do, and have fun with who you are and where you think or know you want to go!

A Carl House Wedding

 

The Carl House

The Carl House

So this past Sunday, HOT Sunday afternoon might I add,  I had the opportunity to help out a fellow photographer at a wedding.  Kimberly of Blubird Photography had a wedding out in Winder at the Carl House Sunday evening. I had never shot at the Carl House so I definitely wanted to go and give it a look. You never know what bride you book may have their ceremony there in the future! This was one of Kimberly’s first formal weddings and she asked me to come help out after the bride had asked about doing some things that she wasn’t too sure she could do alone. I was more than happy to, I always like being helped when I asked so I want to return the favor.  I had finished up my wedding obligations the day before down in Atlanta with The Photo Collective, my other photography company that I use to focus on weddings. By the way, please be on the look out over at The Photo Collectives blog for an entry on that one. It was such a nice little wedding!

I got to the Carl House around 430 and we started doing details of things like the shoes, the garter, the rings, etc. After that, we split up. Kim went and took care of the girls and I went in and I went into the guys room while they were getting the final things together. After that, I went back down to where the ceremony was going on outside and just kind of discussed plans with Kim as far as were to stand what to shoot, how to shoot it etc. After that, I posted up to get the wedding party and the bride and groom as they were coming down and photographed in various places through the wedding but focused mostly from the back of the guests getting wide shots with my 16-35 that I had rented from Aperature Rent and close-ups with my 70-200. We were not asked to stay for the reception but we stayed a little bit longer to get some of them making their entrances. After that we called it a night! Below is one of my favorite images from that wedding. and Please give a look at Kim and her work on her website!

A bride walking down the aisle at The Carl House

A bride walking down the aisle at The Carl House