Saturday, May 28, 2011

Unexpected Source of Advice

My son, who is two and a half, has this program he likes on the computer.  He has used it for a long time and in fact it helped to teach him his ABC's about a year ago.  Since then he occasionally goes back to the computer and brings it up so he can play.  It has several different areas like learning to read, spelling, etc..  He always just wants to do the ABC's.  You know why?  Because it is easy and comfortable.  I told him that if he doesn't challenge himself that he will never reach his full potential.  Yep, I got the sort of vacant stare that you would expect to get from someone his age but the point is valid.

Photography can be looked at in this same way.  I used to shoot nature and wildlife exclusively.  Why?  Well, I was comfortable with that.  I knew what to expect, I didn't really have to interact with people, and no one was expecting anything from me.  It was safe.  I have stepped out of that comfort zone and found that I truly enjoy photographing people in different situations because each one poses it's own unique challenges.  I am a better photographer because I allow myself to be challenged.
Now you may be thinking 'well, I am happy doing nature and wildlife and I have zero desire to photograph people.'  This can apply to you as well.  How you might ask?  It is simple find different ways to challenge yourself in whatever genera of photography you have chosen.  Instead of getting out of your car, extending the tripod legs to their "usual" position, and shooting away try some different perspectives.  Try going out in weather you would not typically set foot out of your house.  You might be surprised and you will likely be a better photographer by the end of the day.  So, I am going to try and take the advice that I gave my son and challenge myself just a little more each time I am doing something photographic.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Wife's New Endevor

A month or two ago we finally got my wife a professional underwater camera set up.  We live just north of Key Largo so there is certainly opportunity for some great photographs.  Since she and I both got certified we have been wanting a full pro level underwater camera, housing, and strobe.  Now we have it our hands  (Nikon D7000, Ikelite Housing and Strobe).  She has gotten to go several times now and is begining to get the hang of managing that beast underwater.  It is different to say the least. 

Ultimatly though the idea is still the same.  Find and manipulate the light to create the image that you see.  There are a few other things to consider underwater though.  For example;  Red is the first color you loose at depth and you can see this in water as shallow as 15 feet.  The strobe of course takes care of that but anything the strobe does not light shows obvious color loss.  There are things you can do in post to help deal with that and we will cover those in later blogs.

I am most excited about this because for years I have been trying to get my wife to take photos with me but she has had no interest.  Now, she is interested.  I might have to don 80lbs. of dive gear but it is more than worth the effort.  She may never take photos on land as a hobby but underwater we can share this adventure.  What do you think of this photo she was able to capture on just her 4th time with the camera?

If you are interested in learning to dive she is also a fantastic PADI certified Staff Instructor.  You can check out her website here.  More underwater photos to come...  I guarentee.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Dharma Studio Art Exhibit is Over.

That is me on the right. Jorge on the left is a
friend that stopped by the gallery.
The Dharma Studio Art Exhibit is over and the area has been cleaned up. Was it successful? I guess that has to be determined by how one defines success. Did I sell any prints? No. However, there were people that were moved by the photographs, even to the point of tears. I spent a good deal of time talking to people about the entire trip to Cuba. I was able to discuss the fact that it was a mission trip and talk about some of the missions work happening on the island.

I am a photographer because I like creating images. I enjoy making order out of chaos and sparking an emotional response from myself and from others.

Would I like to have sold some prints? Well, one of my goals as a photographer is for it to one day be my primary source of income. So yes, I would love to have sold some prints. Am I sad that I didn’t? Of course, who would want a little extra money or at least enough to cover the cost of putting the show together?

Back to my original question: Was it a success? Hands down; YES it was. I was able to spend the night talking about a trip that has had a profound effect on me. The works displayed are photographs seldom seen of the island. Several who viewed the photographs used to live near where they were taken. Their memories renewed and their emotions touched.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Group Photos at Roxy Theatre

We were invited back to the Roxy Theatre to do some yearbook photos.  Here are just a couple of examples of what went on Saturday.

I will be there all week so I am sure there will be more posts to come. 

This was also the first time I have had a chance to put my Elinchrom BXRi lights to the test.  The were able to like everything and still had power left over.  I was even using umbrellas as well.  Regarding some of the shadows you may see I was not able to place the lights in the most ideal spot.  The best placement for group shots is to just the right and left of the camera.  However, I only had a
couple of small spots on either side of the group to place the lighting.  I was out in the audience area on a 6 foot ladder.  Normally I like some shadow in my images because they help define that individual or scene.  Group shots are different though because you do not have the ability to always light everyone dramatically.  If you try you end up casting shadows on other individuals.  Still, I think they came out pretty nice.  The groups the rest of the week are smaller than the first one so with luck I can rearrange the lighting set up.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pano Excitement

Here is just a quick photo of me holding the two panoramics that I will be displaying at the up and coming Dharma Studios Exhibit.  Both are photos of Havana, Cuba.  I just spent the last two days making the frames that hold the photos...  It was my first attempt at frame making and I found it rather relaxing.  They are not perfect but it let me know that if I have odd sized photos I don't have to pay $300.00 to have frames made (what Michael's wanted to frame them).  These only cost me about 30.00 for each to frame (and about 6 hours).  Not too bad when you're on a budget.  Anyway, I just thought you might like to take a look!