The purpose of this blog is to bring forth the subjects' voices, as well as explain the journey of taking each photo. Photos capture moments in life. My blog will capture the moments and the stories, making it a storybook album for those photographed. This blog will show you the wonder of fine details and bring understanding behind the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
|Posted on December 6, 2011 at 1:45 AM||comments (0)|
There are some things technology can't touch, photography is one of them. While the gadgets and software programs have evolved, the technique and expertise hasn't. So far, there isn't a program that can tell you what to shoot and if that photo is worth keeping. (I imagine there'll be a day...eventually.) My ideas are safe for now. It's the gadgets that are changing.
Recently, I bought myself a grown-up phone (and along with it, a grown-up cell phone bill). I purchased an iPhone 4S which included a 8-megapixel camera and a slew of other goodies. While I was excited about having the Internet on my phone and Twitter with me 24/7, the one thing I was most excited about was that small camera on the back of the phone.
The images from this phone are crisp and sharp. The colors are vivid and rich. The images are comparable to my DSLR, but not better. From capturing breaking news to holiday events, this phone is definitely a more socially-accpeted item to have. Ever try taking a picture of yourself with a friend using a DSLR? Not easy.
While the camera phone does give me flexibility, it hasn't separated me from my bread and butter camera. Something about tapping a screen just doesn't give me the same satisfaction. The ability to view my light meter, adjust my ISO and work with the focus allows me to be more active in the picture-taking process. The camera allows for my whole body to be part of the action. My hands work the shutter, my eyes zero in on the subject and my feet are postioned just right. With a camera phone, all the action you're getting is with your finger. Where's the love?
I'm wondering where I fit in. Team cell phone or team DSLR? Can I belong to both? Below are some of the photos I took using my cell phone using the popular photo application Instagram.
|Posted on October 25, 2011 at 10:25 AM||comments (4)|
A good photo has great lighting, adequate exposure and acute timing. But a great photo has all of those elements plus a bit of character and a dash of spunk.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph my dear friends Elizabeth and Josh. As we traveled to various places across Columbia, Mo., through many wardrobe changes and action attempts, I had one mission in mind – capture personality.
To capture raw emotion, I had to rely on the basic elements of photography. I had to bring in as much natural light into the frame, capture the subjects with the right about of exposure and keep my finger on the shutter.
I’m honored to be part of the beginning stages of Elizabeth and Josh’s relationship. More importantly though, I am thrilled to have created memories they will no doubt look back on for years to come. These photos capture their happiness and showcase the many effortless smiles they produced.
|Posted on September 19, 2011 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
It's a fall tradition in St. Louis. The crowds don't need directions. The park is crowded, streets are bumper-to-bumper and everyone knows which direction to look. Scroll through photos of the Balloon Glow and the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.
The balloon glow happens before every balloon race. This year, more than 80,000 people saw 70 balloons light up underneath the fall sky. This event is particularly popular for photographers.
With a little heat, a ballon takes flight. The race is always on the third Saturday in September. Since recorded weather history, this is the best weather weekend in St. Louis.
There is nothing like being surrounded by huge colorful balloons. They come in several different sizes and shapes.
The star attraction of the balloon race is the Energizer Hot 'Hare' Balloon. At 166 feet, the bunny is taller than the Statue of Liberty and its ears are taller than the Presidents' faces on Mount Rushmore. The balloon is powered by double burners to produce 30 million BTUs per hour. That's equal to the heat of 5,000 gas grills.
I shot this while flying above Forest Park. It was my first time floating in a hot air balloon and the feeling was extraordinary. I can check 'flying in a hot air balloon' off my bucket list. The Great Forest Park is the largest single day balloon race in the country.
Pilots come from all across the world to fly their balloons above the St. Louis cityscape. I had the pleasure of flying with Denis Sutter. His family has particiapted in races all over the country and has gone through three hot air balloons. Their next race will be in Albuqureque, New Mexico to attend the largest balloon race in the country.
All good things must come to an end at some point and I know from my breif knowledge of physics that whatever comes up must come down. Turns out, we landed in a vacant lot near a house, bringing the whole neighborhood to life.
|Posted on July 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM||comments (0)|
Ever since U2 came to town and brought their octopus (OK, octopus-shapped stage) to Busch Stadium, I had one question nagging me everyday as I came into work. Where did St. Louis’ coveted grass go?
Checking around, I found out that while most of the sod went to a landfill, about half of the good stuff was hauled on a truck, transported down I-64 and arranged at Westminster Christian Academy in Town and Country. The new $70 million school now has a bit of Cardinal DNA tucked away at its softball field.
Belleville-based Perfect Play Fields and Links managed the sod movement . The timing was what sealed the deal, said Charles Waldron, Westminster owners’ representative.
“We have been under construction since June of last year,” Waldron said. “None of this was known until the last minute.”
The whole process took about 12 hours to complete. Workers laid the sod in the early morning and watered the grass as soon as they could. The move was a challenge and the 100-degree temp didn’t help matters, said Mike Munie, president of Perfect Play Fields and Links. “The simpler thing to do would be to move it to a landfill.”
According to the Cardinals, the approximately 110,000 square feet of sod cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace.
|Posted on July 25, 2011 at 1:50 AM||comments (2)|
When you work downtown every day of the week, you start to notice details. You notice the benches in the park, the flags hung on the lamp posts and the intricate carvings on the buildings. These buildings, some of them skyscrapers, are all unique in their own way.
Take the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse pictured above. Every window, every nudge and every column is built symmetrically. One of the newest skyscrapers to dot the St. Louis skyline, this building is the largest single courthouse in the United States.
Inside this 557 foot building sits the United States District for the Eastern District of Missouri. Heard about the NFL hearings these past couple of weeks? Well, those conversations were debated in this courthouse.
It's the fifth tallest building in Missouri and mimics the classical tripartite scheme, a architectural technique that follows a split-level concept. The building cost $186 million to build and remains one of my favorite buildings downtown.
As a photographer, I am constantly looking for shapes and angles. This building blends beauty with the simple rules of geometry, creating a picturesque statement for me and the rest of the St. Louis area.
|Posted on July 19, 2011 at 8:12 PM||comments (0)|
When it comes to taking risks, I routinely stay on the side of caution. Yeah, there are times you just gotta let loose, but we can't just jump off a bridge or (if you're completely crazy) a plane all the time, right? Well, sometimes even the thrill seeker in me needs to come out and this time the urge took me to new heights.
A few weeks ago, I traveled to New Florence, Missouri with my brother and a couple of his coworkers. We arrived at Eco Zipline Tours late in the afternoon and were ready to fly through the forest. According to the companies website, this tour business claims to be Mid-Missouri’s largest, longest, highest, fastest and most exciting zipline canopy tour. I guess if you are seeking adventure, the best is the only option.
As you can tell from the video, ziplining isn't that bad. Yes, the first jump is a little nerve-racking, but once you jump off one platform you can't stop yourself from doing it again. Come to think of it, there seems to be something therapeutic about taking that leap.
We decided the beginners course was sufficient enough for that day. Next on the list? Night time ziplining, complete with a head lamp and a vibrant sunset.
|Posted on July 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM||comments (1)|
I have made it an unofficial goal to hit all the major microbreweries in St. Louis. If you remember in a previous post, I visited the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. A few weeks ago, I visited yet another well-known microbrewery in town - Schlafly.
When you first arrive at Schlafly you notice right off the bat they've done their real estate homework. The brewery is at a prime location, situated towards the end of historic downtown Maplewood and reachable from any major interstate.
This brewery appears larger than Urban Chestnut. You can make out the large metal cylinders and piping as you head inside. To the left is where the bar is and that's where I met a couple RUF friends for a drink and a quick bite to eat.
I ordered the Hefewizen, a light, unfiltered wheat beer, served with a lemon to sweeten the flavor. I also ordered a delicious club sandwich, loaded with turkey, bacon and white milky cheese. While Urban Chestnut seemed to stick with the basic food options (meat, bread and pretzels), Schlafly seemed to offer a better selection of food choices giving even the non-beer drinker reason to celebrate.
The brewery offers a list of events to keep its customers in its doors and surrounded by their wide selection of beer concoctions. Schlafly also hosts a few beer festivals allowing amateur beer drinkers (that would be me) to widen their alcoholic experience. In fact, they're hosting a festival called "Belgian Beer and Mussel Mania" on July 22 (talk about an interesting combination).
Both of these St. Louis breweries offer different experiences and different selections of beer. While I can't decide which brewery comes out on top, one this is clear, I'll have to keep coming back for more.
Oh and if you are curious about where the best outdoor drinking spots are in St. Louis. Take a look at this article. The writer features some pretty well-known drinking establishments that are sure to quench your summertime thirst!
|Posted on July 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM||comments (0)|
White sandy beaches, tropical plants, brightly painted houses and an island devoted to a few important guests. If that doesn't describe a piece of paradise, I don't know what does.
My brother and his wife were married on North Captiva Island off the west coast of Florida. The weather was hot, the water was warmer, but the island breeze brought the right amount of coolness to make you feel at ease.
The journey to the island was quite an elaborate system of transportation methods. My family drove to the St. Louis airport (which was delayed a few hours), landed in Fort Meyers and hopped on a shuttle. We than took the shuttle to the ferry, sailed to the island (in pitch dark) where my brother met us with golf carts to take us to our house.
The island, which isn't big to begin with, is separated into two resorts. We were guests of the North Captiva Island Club Resort. For two and half days we relaxed at our beach house and soaked up the tropical landscape. This was defiantly the place to get married if you wanted the outdoor beach experience.
My brother got married Saturday evening just as the sun was beginning to fall into the ocean. The warm glow of the sun eliminated the wedding and coated the backdrop gold.
It was a small wedding, but a wedding that was intimate, simplistic and above all memorable. It was a wedding surrounded by nature and witnessed by their closest loved ones. It was quiet a day in paradise.
|Posted on June 13, 2011 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
I wanted to share with you a few pictures from my brother's wedding. Mandi and Steve got married June 11, 2010 on North Captiva Island in Florida. I will explain all the details in a future post.
|Posted on June 7, 2011 at 10:19 PM||comments (0)|
I visited the Wild Bird Sanctuary with a friend the other day. Now, I am no expert when it comes to birds and other raptor species, but what I do know is that these birds are amazing close up.
Take America's bald eagle for example. This bird is covered in layers of dark detailed feathers. The beak and talons are bright yellow and its head is a stunning burst of white.
But why did America choose the bald eagle in the first place? Many accounts say Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national symbol. Both the bald eagle and the turkey are natives of the United States. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the bald eagle "was chosen because it stands for strength, courage and freedom".
Bird photography is extremely challenging (I was lucky this bird was tethered to the ground). Since most birds are small in size and fast, a telephoto lens is often necessary to achieve any decent image. The lighting is crucial when capturing feather detail and the vibrant colors birds often display. Use a tripod to help achieve the clearest image.
Garth McElroy of Nature Photographers says the best place to start is in your own backyard. Set up a bird feeder, get your gear ready and wait for the best moment to shoot. Don't be afraid to experiment.