Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just a Quick One.

I didn't show this one yesterday because it was not one of my favorites.  However, the more I look at it the more I like it...  I would normally just delete something that I considered mediocre but this one is hanging around.  I love the different layers and colors this one shows.  I hope you like it as well.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another Morning in the Great Smoky Mountains

Here are a few shots from today!!  It started off sort of rough weather wise but I have said often that bad weather can often equal good photos.  Let me know what you think.

Friday, June 24, 2011

And I Almost Missed it....

The issues all started the night before my first photo trip into the Smoky Mountains.  The weather forcast changed from they typical summer forcast (30% chance of afternoon showers) to 60% chance until 9am.  I thought to myself that it would make sunrise photos impossible.  Taking my own advice (as seen in previous posts) I decided to go.  The alarm went off just before 4am.  After tripping over everything in the house just trying to be quite I made it out of the house.  About half way there I realized that I had forgotten my food and water.  Oh, and it was raining the whole way.  I stopped off at Wal-Mart and bought more food and water.  On the way out of the store the rain increased and I thought well, I could concentrate on mountain streams today.  Then, I remembered that in my attempts to be quiet getting out of the house I left my polarizing filter.  This filter cuts down the glare on rocks and vegitation and is one of the few that cannot be duplicated in Photoshop.  It is very important to have this especially when it has just been raining.  Ugg...  I should go home and try again another day I thought.  But, I wrote the previous posts about getting out the door for a reason so on I traveled.  I made it to the top of the mountains just before sunrise and....  It was completely socked in...  Yep, couldn't see 25 feet in front of the truck.  I kicked back turned my iPhone (ipod) on and slept.  When I was awoken by 60+ mile an hour winds I figured it was time to go home.  I was grumpy.

On the way down though my grumpiness went away FAST.  Just a little below Clingmans Dome the visibility opened up and I got to witness mountains in a storm.  These photos are not your typical majestic mountains but the drama that is produced was well worth my efforts.  There will be more days in the Smoky Mountains next week and with luck they will be just as "bad" as this one.

What a Wedding!

I just had the honor of photographing a wedding this past weekend.  The wedding took place in Saint John's Episcopal church in Knoxville, Tennessee.  It was a full military wedding complete with sabers!  One of the advantages of having military personnel is they take direction very well.  I could get them to stand where ever I needed them too with no distractions.  They paid attention and it was VERY efficient.  With the location and the bride being beautiful it was hard to make a bad image.  Here are a few of my favorite from the shoot. 
The most difficult part of the photographs was the ambient light inside the church.  I wanted to make sure that the beauty of the place showed in the background.  However, I didn't want that to be the focus.  This is done by taking a meter reading of the ambient light and subtracting about 1 stop of light.  Then when the flash goes off it properly exposes the subjects and shows the background as slightly darker.  The few exceptions to this dealt with the reception.  It was a very dark place so bringing in ambient light wasn't always an option.

In the end, the bride was happy with her photographs which of course is the most important thing!

Thank you Conley and Stephanie for allowing me to document and to be part of your beginning.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Leave this Week

That time of year has come again.  The family and I head out for Tennessee this coming Wednesday.  We will be there two weeks so I should have ample time to visit and photograph the mountains.  I hope to continue blogging while I am up there and at the very least I will be posting photos.  Not only will I be photographing the landscape but a good friend of mine is having a baby tonight!!!  Well, his wife is anyway.  I sense a newborn photo shoot coming up soon.  On top of all of that I am also doing a wedding on the 17th!  Whew...  There will be tons of photos to blog about coming soon.  Thanks for reading and be sure to give me till the end of next week before you start seen tons of photos populate this blog.

Now What?

Okay, so you have spent a good bit of time planning your photo excursion. You checked the road maps, trail maps, sunrise times, sunset times, potential weather patterns, and even places where you can eat lunch. Then, you arrive at the site only to find out that the entire majestic landscape is obscured by fog. Now what?

Now, you have to think about how you can salvage this well planned trip. First, be willing to look at the landscape and take photos anyway. Start looking intimately at the landscape. Is there a small grove of trees semi obscured? What about the macro opportunities. Look everywhere for something you may have missed had the conditions been as planned.
Try to have a back up location as well. We all know that direct light is only good for 30min before and 45min after sunrise. I always have a second location picked out (when possible) to photograph after the landscape light is gone. Usually it is under a canopy of trees going for a closer view of the forest (or environment). This can work because if the primary location turns out to be a bust you can move to your secondary location early.
I hope this helps you plan your next photo trip!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Product Review: Nikon D7000

I decided to make this review of the Nikon D7000 an audio blog post.  The review is only about 5min. long so I hope you enjoy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

It is Never too Early to Start

Coming up on June 17th I have the pleasure of photographing Stephanie and Conley's wedding. Conley is a life long friend and I consider him a brother though we are not blood related. So, for me this is a special honor and privilege. Recently my wife and I received the invitation in the mail and decided to start the wedding shoot early. I loved the wax seal that they used for their invitations as well as the invitations themselves. These shots only took me a few minutes to set up and I bet they will find themselves in the wedding album as a fond memory. I used a single studio light and a light meter to get my first readings. It took me longer to set up the light than it did to capture these images.
If you have been asked to be a wedding photographer keep little ideas like this in the back of your mind. They only take a little time to capture and will me a good deal to your clients. Oh, and treat each wedding as a privilege because you have been asked to take part in the joining of two lives.
Conley, Stephanie... If you read this know that I am excited about the wedding that is forthcoming... And perhaps a little nervous.