Saturday, December 22, 2012
For example, a friend of mine, who is also into four wheeling like I am, is a mechanic. He has been turning wrenches for so long I swear he teethed on them as an infant. When we talk about Jeep modifications he rambles on explaining how you can do this or you can do that while the whole time I'm nodding my head in polite agreement. My understanding of engines and suspension systems is basic at most so I can follow some of what he is saying, but if I had to do anything he describes on my own--let's just say it would be a series of very expensive experiments.
The reason I mention this is because learning photography is much like learning to modify a Jeep. You have to know the fundamentals before you can advance to the bigger stuff. That is why I shake my head whenever I read a photographer's blog or watch a YouTube tutorial and the presenter comes out with. "you can do this, or you can do that, there are no real rules here." Another one I shake my head at is, "If you want to stand out from the rest you have to break the rules."
Really? No rules? Break the rules? I can rattle off half a dozen rules they have applied to their "no rules" image they showcase. When you think about it, every time they break a rule they are actually applying another rule. But, to steal a line form Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, "They aren't so much as rules, per se. More like guidelines."
Friday, December 21, 2012
Then it occurred to me that they would make fantastic props for children and infant portraits. I paused long enough to capture this shot with my cell phone. While I don't do portraits I'm sure there are plenty of others in the group that does. So if you are looking for some really great flower props, here they are. Michael's is on the Post road in Milford near the Post Mall.
This led me to think about my own search for props. Obviously since I do food and jewelry my needs are different but the process is the same. Being a big DIY guy I also try to look at conventional items in an unconventional way. This has almost become a habit for me.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
To that end I have been setting up some product and food shots in my studio in order to create content for my portfolio. This cutting board is one I just finished shooting so I thought I would share the setup with you.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
If you want to go from a mediocre photographer to a good photographer you will take your editing to the next level. That means spending a little more time with the software to tweak the image to a level that regular camera users don't bother with. While it is time consuming--specially if you are not fluent with the editors--the results are worth it and if you are aspiring to go pro it is a necessity.
But, if you are looking to really stand above the rest you need to seek out professional image retouching services.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Scientists are technical by nature. After all, they have to deal with data that must be carefully recorded in order to be replicated. Science is objective, structured and methodology paves the road for results.
Artists tend to be the antithesis to that rigorous type of thinking, often relying on feeling and flow with plenty of room for interpretation. Results are subjective and different people will interpret artistic work differently.
Both disciplines have their set of rules and, once understood, can be manipulated according to the desired results. Regardless of all that, we can definitely state that science and art are polar opposites in the way our brain deals with them. We can also state that photography definitely has a foot in the realms of both science and art.
The reason I bring this up is because I had an interesting conversation with JD, a group member I had the good fortune of going to the American Model Photo Shoot in NYC.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
It was fun and exciting because I had the opportunity to shoot New York models in New York. Not that being New York models or taking photos in New York somehow make the models or the photos any better. Frankly, they weren't any more professional or beautiful than models I have shot here in Connecticut. However, I do love getting into the city and for me, personally, that was one of the reasons for attending this event.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"My name is J_ and I am looking for new locations for family portraits in the area. I've taken pictures in town, around the walking trails, at the park and beach. I've even taken pictures at the (insert landmark here)... but I am bored and would like to try a new location. Do you have any recommendations?"
I thought I would share this email with you because we, as photographers, have been there. Probably more than once. It feels like that little muse of inspiration has stopped whispering in our ears and suddenly everything we do seems uninspired.
While at first glance the above request seems straight forward, there are several layers that I feel can be addressed. On the surface I could easily reply back with any number of places I have come across in the past or perhaps some suggestions based on feedback from others. However, I feel any list would be arbitrary as there are so many factors involved; previous visits, personal taste, her family's tastes, photogenically pleasing locales, time of season, distance and travel time, accessibility, how common the location is, and many other considerations.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
"Please don't. I look awful!"
"Put that camera down. I hate having my picture taken."
These, and other similar remarks, are usually followed with some desperate move to block, or otherwise obscure, the lens. The resulting image is a failed attempt at what could have been a nicer picture. All because the subject felt self-conscious or embarrassed by being in front of the camera.
Friday, October 19, 2012
CLICK, CLICK... BANG!!!
As frustrating as it is, that is the current mentality of most of today's photo consumers. But before you go and unload a couple of rounds into their skull stop and think about why we are experiencing this mindset.
Before dismissing the commentator as some brain-dead ignoramus who can't tell good art from bad let us analyze the problem. In my opinion it is not (entirely) because they are slow of thought it is because they have been conditioned with that response. This conditioning comes from two areas; technical advancement and advertising hype built around our current social environment.
Monday, October 8, 2012
As with the previous couple of weekends, it threatened to rain. I kept a close eye on the weather in Providence and took a gamble that it would hold off until at least closing time. Well, it almost did. Unfortunately it was damp and threatening enough to scare off almost everyone that signed up to go.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
When the opportunity to create a meet up with performers who routinely challenge fire came my way, I had to jump at it. Photographing fire adds another layer of challenge to the whole control issue yet there is a safety in knowing there is some separation between us, as photographer, and the heat of the flames.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Diane and I have been to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market many times in the past. Nevertheless, I always seem to find something new and interesting to look at and explore. That is one reason I enjoy returning to Boston on these types of day trips.
Saturday's journey to Boston proved to be quite enjoyable even with the threat of rain. Fortunately it eventually held off and created the most perfect light for a photo expedition.
I prefer the larger size of the CF cards. They have a solid feel to them without having to worry about being too gentle with their handling. I can shove them in my pocket knowing they'll be safe.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
We had a wonderful weekend with two back-to-back events; one in Boston on Saturday and the second in the picturesque Litchfield Hills on Sunday. Wanting to travel light for Sunday's shoot I grabbed my camera and a single lens, a tripod and a monopod (since we were going to be photographing fire) and my flash. What I did forget was my sync cord for my flash (not a problem) and my extra memory cards (big problem).
Yeah, I hear you groaning with understanding. However, when you are an instructor and group moderator who is always telling members to, "don't forget your extra memory cards and batteries!", this mistake can be very embarrassing.
So, in closing, I will let you walk away with this lesson. Make sure you double and triple check your gear before walking out the door. Had this been a paying gig I can just imagine the anger and frustration from the customer.
Now I have to go sit in the corner with my dunce cap.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
With photography I divide this pyramid into three levels in which each successive level is built upon the one below it. Each level in turn contains many building blocks that help expand and strengthen the structure.
As you can see in the illustration at right, each level is centered around a specific element of photography. The base level is the camera and as it moves up in levels it expands to your subject and then finally your art. Let's take a closer look at each level.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The same is true in the photography business. It's not like one day you hang a sign outside your door and, presto, you have a thriving business. It requires a lot of work, a lot of patience and a lot of time. The key to building a business, however, can be narrowed down to a single word; reputation. No other aspect holds as much value in business as that one word.
Monday, September 17, 2012
I also wanted to play around with a new DIY shooting table I built a couple of weeks ago, my shooting table 2.0. My first attempt is rather shaky and flimsy but I was working with what I could readily find. Sometimes you have to spend some coin to make a good product, even if it's a do-it-yourself project. But that's for another post.
Lastly, I wanted to play around with some LED continuous lights. I had picked up a few different sizes and strengths to play around with some of my jewelry shots (LED's have a way of making gems sparkle) so I figured since I had them... Well, here is the result of my efforts.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Your photographic language, part 2, I mention several recognizably famous photographers; Ansel Adams, Anne Geddes and Annie Liebovitz. In the article I use these photographers as examples of how an experienced artist uses visual language within the medium of photography. Their creations are more than the sum of the parts that create the scene, they tell a story, instill emotion and take us to a different place spiritually.
The interesting thing is that once you get to know these artists (or your own favorite artist) through their work, their photos become instantly recognizable as being theirs. You see a cute baby wearing a flower or animal costume set in this fantastical setting of flowers, you know it belongs to Anne Geddes. Likewise, if you look at a storm cloud breaking over a majestic valley of Yosemitte rendered in stunning black and white tones you instantly say, "that's an Ansel Adams photo."
These are signature looks that have been created and honed through years of hard work and dedication to a craft. It is also something many artists strive to accomplish in their own art. But there is a process and if you follow that process you will begin developing your own signature.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
- something (as a graphic) that appeals to the sight and is used as a system of communication of ideas or concepts
- the notion that colors, shapes and forms have intrinsic meaning within a given society that words are not needed in expressing those meanings
The other side of the coin is what is termed visual language and that is a much tougher language to learn. Visual language does not deal in words that have clearly defined definitions. It deals with impalpable concepts such as mood and feelings and perceptions. It is the mastery over this language that defines the true artist and separates them from the novice. But what is this visual language and how can we learn it?
Sunday, September 2, 2012
In that post I introduced the product with the image shown at right. In this post we will go behind the scenes in how I created it.
|Polishing a small mirror with the buffer|
There is no way of getting around it. If you photograph these items you will be polishing them first. What a pain. If there was only an easier way of doing this. Fortunately, there is. Here's what I came up with.
Friday, August 31, 2012
- a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having an understood meaning
- the vocabulary and phraseology belonging to an art or a department of knowledge
Friday, August 24, 2012
A few questions came to mind while reading some of these blogs and forums. What are some of the most common types of identification cards? Why would you want to have a fake press ID? What are the repercussions of using that fake ID? What are the laws governing identification cards in general? Here are a few points I discovered in my search for some of these answers.
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