Monthly Archives: February 2011

Water and Stone

I had a hard day yesterday. They come and hit all of us some times right? We all have our fair share of these days. I went down to the Ocean and watched the cold, cold water run up and over the rocks, and then slide back down the slope of the shore line and cliché as it is, this wonderful rocking was so comforting to me. I looked at these perfect soft looking round stones and was touched by the constancy of their battle against the elements. It is exactly this struggle that has formed these beautiful shore line. Without this battering that these rocks have been getting for the past 30,000,000 years or so it wouldn’t look nearly as soft or refined. So I am hoping that with the battering that life has been giving me, that I will get a little softer around my edges, and a little more refined in the way I engage the world. Here’s to hoping!

 

Click on this beautiful photo to really see it at it’s best!

My Funny Valentine

Creativity, talent and growth are funny things. I have been thinking a lot about these issues lately. Paraphrasing a quote I heard recently: Inspiration is a myth, real artists just get to work…

So I have been getting to work testing out new lighting techniques, new Photoshop techniques, and just plain getting to work on my craft of photography. And I am happy to say that I am in a growth period and it feels GREAT! My photos are better than ever and I am understanding light more every day. I photographed my beautiful daughter today. She is a remarkable child and I am lucky to have her as my daughter. Here is her picture

DIG IT!!!

 

TSR lights behind the scenes (or lighting a light)

I had an interesting job come my way this week. I don’t do a lot of “commercial” photography, very little in fact, but I had the time and they had a need so why not take on a challenge right? So I pushed myself a little and photographed this very interesting new lighting set up. TSR Thermal Solution Resources makes these lights which are bright, don’t get hot… Very cool in fact, as I was photographing this light I was impressed at how cool it stayed the entire time it was on which was a few hours. Here is the TSR website by the way

SOooo to the lighting set up and technical info.

Here is the shot

This was shot on my D700 at ISO 160 Shutter 30th of a sec, at F 5.6 on my 55 mm manual lens. This means there is no computer in the lens or any electronics of any kind. It is a manual focus lens made in 1977 long before digital photography even existed! this photo was taken using 2 lights both off camera. And the light itself on as well. One was placed just slightly below the subject and camera left about 1.5 feet back and the other camera right and high above the subject about 3 feet away. Also I had a silver bounce camera right and in front of the subject to fill in the shadows a bit.  also there was a window just camera left filling in soft light as well and the back ground is the side of my refrigerator… Here are some set up photos

Photoshopping behind the scenes

I get asked all the time what amount of photoshopping I do to my images and the truth is not very much. Most of the time I prefer to do my work before hand using good composition, good lighting, and just generally get the fundamentals of photography “right” in camera. But sometimes I do take extra time and really tweak and tweeze a photo in the computer to push it to another level. Also let me be clear I have NO problem AT ALL with using the computer to enhance, change or manipulate a photo. There is an erroneous idea out there that with the invention of Photoshop so came the invention of the manipulated image. This is simply NOT SO. Here two examples of people using the dark room, airbrushing, and other techniques to manipulate enhance or just change an image…

The great master Jerry Uelsmann

And Joseph Stalin not only wiped people out with guns, but in photos too…

But I am getting a little off topic here, I love the computer and Photoshop, and have no problem using them to execute my vision of what a photograph should look like. Maybe on another day I will spend some time writing about this and going into in with more detail, but for now I want to show you what I have done with this image of a beautiful woman who I photographed this week. This 1st shot is straight out of the camera no changes at all to the image. Pretty good ha?

This 2nd version has been adjusted in Adobe Lighroom 3

I added just a tiny bit of green and yellow to the white balance of the photo, removed the mole from her chest and brightened the shadow on her face just a little. It’s getting better…

This finished version was exported into Adobe Photoshop CS5 and changed a little more there.

I added a little more yellow to the photo softened just a tiny bit, and cleaned up the stray hairs on her head, and last softened the shadow on her chest. So this is my vision of what this photo should look like as realized by the computer. I hope this helps illustrate to those of you who are interested what can happen behind the scenes on an image. As I said at the beginning of this post, I mostly don’t do this much work on my photos. Because there is something to be said for a more “natural” look. But sometimes I feel the desire to push an image to that next level…

Lighting a portrait with one light

This beautiful portrait was taken for Yvette in her home using only one light mixed with natural light. At first glance you might think it is all natural light. But I was actually using a small light mounted on a tripod and triggered with a Pocket wizard. Here are the technical specs.

ISO 100/shutter speed 125th of a sec./ aperture 3.2

Taken on a Nikon D700 with an 85 mm 1.8 lens

What I did was set the exposure to be just a notch down from what the ambient light exposure should have been so the background wouldn’t be to bright, and then set the light shot through an umbrella just off camera left to light her up a bit with nice soft light. I set her with the natural light coming from behind her to add a small edge of light that you can see on her arm and shoulders. This defines her visually from the background more to your eye.

See the below for an illustration of the room light and where the umbrella was.

 

Zmira’s Bat Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel in Providence RI

I photographed a Bat Mitzvah on Sat Jan 29th at Temple Emanuel Here is their website

Here is there Facebook Page

Congratulations to Zmira on completing this wonderful accomplishment!!!

This Temple is so beautiful, it is alway an honor to work here! That is one of the benefits of my job 🙂 working in cool places! Bonnie Gold of Gold Events transformed the function space in the Temple to a soc hop from the 50’s! GREAT JOB Bonnie! Here is her website

And Here is Gold Event’s Facebook page!

Everyone got into the spirit dressing up and having a fantastic time! What a fun night it was! AND it was my birthday, so I had an extra fun night!!!

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