Monday, October 18, 2010

Great Wedding Shoot

This weekend I had a fun wedding photo shoot. The tricky part is that we closed on the deal via email and had never met the bride or anyone else involved. There was also a long negotiation process. Just another sign of the tight economy these days. Still, it's better to have discounted business than no business at all.

In any case, I was the first person in The Eyrie at Kathryne Albertson park and it was easy for them to identify me as the photographer with my huge camera and over the shoulders camera harness. Also I had chosen to dress professionally, all in black.

In any case, it was a fun gig, they were great people and I had a wonderful time working with them. I also didn't hesitate to hand out my business cards. That's particularly nice since I think I left them with a positive impression.
Now I have 482 images to sort and process. A lot of the main pictures are multiples of the same pose so the final package will be a lot less when I deliver it. I've learned over the years that when you take pictures of a group of people, someone's going to blink when you hit the shutter. So it pays to take lots of shots to have choices to make. The joys of the digital age. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Playing with HDR

I've learned a trick using my camera and Photoshop. It's called HDR which is short for High Dynamic Range imaging. Using this trick you can combine a variety of color ranges and exposures into one image with some very dramatic results. I'm just starting out so I'm going to have fun playing with the potential of this process.

The first thing I did was to set my camera up on a tripod and shoot the same picture over and over again but changing the exposure with each shot. These shots ranged from under exposed to over exposed and here's the result.
Then I used the HDR merger to load them into Photoshop. This opens a series of slider tools that you can use to manipulate the pictures as they are stacked on top of each other. You can bring out the best parts of each exposure, including details that couldn't be seen in some of the shots. There's also a lot of other fun things that you can do to make the photo look surreal and fantastic. This is what I came up with at one point.
Some may consider this bad HDR or even HDR abuse, making weird looking pictures. That's because one of the interesting powers of HDR is that you can also make very realistic pictures. The trick is that you can create pictures that appear as the human eye views a scene in detail that the camera cannot. Cameras only pick up details at a certain exposure while people can see into shadows on a bright day.

In any case, this is a fun new toy that I plan on having lots of fun with.

Since I had a lot of exposures from my Jacksons Foodstores project, I decided to do an HDR of that too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Family Portrait Session

A few months ago I did a really fun family portrait shoot. We all met up at Katheryn Albertson Park which is a beautiful place for such a taking pictures. It has rich greenery, winding paths and ponds filled with fish and water fowl. It's also a popular place for wedding ceremonies. There are literally hundreds of fun spots to explore. And aside from all the great vistas, the numerous trees also provide the right kind of diffuse lighting for some really great close up shots.

The other challenge is photographing toddlers. In my experience, the best approach is to put them down and just let them do their thing. Trying to get them to pose at best bores them and at worst they get annoyed after a while. However, if you let just them be themselves, then the child is happy and you get some great pictures that help the family remember what they were like at this age.
It's a lot of fun working with the customer to see what kinds of pictures they are looking for and encouraging them to experiment to what surprises may come up. If things go really well, they'll even want a picture with the photographer. :)