Sunday, November 28, 2010

Photo shoot with Deanna

A couple days ago when I was photographing the roses my youngest daughter Deanna wanted me to photographer her as well.  She is still at the age where she likes to be in front of the camera.  She was a real trooper during the shoot right before helping to hold the reflector and to mist the flowers.  When that was done, and before we started to tear everything down she really wanted me to take her photograph.  This shot was my favorite from the session and just looking at it makes me smile.

One thing everyone has probably noticed when trying to photograph children is when you put your eye behind the camera the expressions and poses are lost in that very fake smile and pose.  What I did to get this shot was to pull my head away from the finder and interacted with her.  It made it a little difficult because I was hoping that I didn't move the camera around and mess up the framing or the focus.  A better solution would have been to tripod mount the camera but it wasn't in the cards.  The other neat thing about this is that my wife Denise is hold a small piece of black foam core right behind her to make the background go black. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flowers & Roses

I ran into town the other day, we kind of live in the middle of nowhere, to pick some things up and on the way back I bought these Roses for my wife Denise.  She was having kind of a frustrating day and I wanted to do something nice and special for her.  I didn't really intent to photograph them but after a day or so they really were looking pretty beautiful so I went decided to capture them.

The lighting setup is a little different because basically I was kind of lazy and I already had the lights in a certain configuration. So I boomed a light with a grid-spot directly over head pointing straight down at the flowers.  I then put a medium softbox about 6" off to camera right feathered away from the background to keep it dark.  Then for a bit of fill I used a silver circular reflector to bounce just a bit of light back into the shadows.  

Monday, November 22, 2010


I had an opportunity this afternoon to just be a little creative and play around. My wife Denise has this thread holder that is full of brightly colored thread hanging on the wall; since it is something that I have thought about trying to photograph it for a while. Today was more about just testing angles and lighting to see if there was a good way to capture what I envisioned. I already happened to have a couple of lights setup on stands and moved them into place to light the area. Obviously I will need to rearrange and cleanup the thread but I think it is something that would make a really cool image.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The boat...

I was searching through some old images from the last year.  I was with some friends just taking some grab/scouting shots when we ran across the red board beached next to a small lake.  The lighting was just amazing and it made the boat really pop against the background.  I've had a few people ask if I somehow added extra light to the scene but it was just natural available light.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Backlite test...

I wanted to try something a little different today.  I recruited my son Devin to sit and hang out watching a television show while I did a new lighting setup.  I put a strobe behind him with a 20º grid spot and then lit him from the front-right with a large softbox.  I was hoping to have the background go a bit darker but considering the room and time I had this is pretty good.

Bottom line it is a really good idea to play with your equipment and try something new.  You can learn some great new tricks for the tool kit and although you might not get what you are expecting the effect might come in handy in the future when trying something different.  The main idea here, keep experimenting and trying new things.

So the lighting was an AB800 with a 20º grid on a c-stand and another AB800 with a Photoflex Large Softbox on another c-stand.  The c-stand for the front was nice because it allowed me to flip the light upside down to get it lower to the ground without having to have a smaller stand. 

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Story time!

I had the opportunity the other day to shoot a "story time" shoot with the family.  It has been an idea that I've had for a while and although it sounds like it would be a simple shoot the logistics of setting everything up and having everyone pause for a moment to read under the production of lights can be a little daunting.

Fortunately my son Devin was a willing model stand-in for me to get everything set up.  I also took advantage of the setup to get some really neat shots of him reading his book.  I had to joke with him a bit to get the right emotion (that he was really enjoying the book) but it was pretty cool

The lighting step-up is pretty simple.  I used a large Photoflex softbox off a c-stand right over and slightly in front of them for the key light and I then used a simple shoot through umbrella right next to the camera for a bit of fill.  It was a pretty neat setup and produced some really cute images.  

A selection of these images is available in my stock portfolio!