|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 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 April 30, 2011 at 3:48 PM||comments (0)|
Nothing says the end of the year like an influx of people wanting their photos taken. Since I've been doing a lot of portrait photography lately, I thought it would a good idea to fill you in on what I think makes a great portrait photo pop.
The objective to these kinds of photos is pretty self-explanatory. Try and get the whole subject in the frame. Whether it's capturing the person's outfit, their shoes or just their face, get it all in.
Good lighting is key. If you can't make your own light, try and find a time in the day when the sun is not directly shining down on the subject. Also, try shooting during the early morning or late afternoons to get a warmer glow. A cloudy day is perfect. Great lighting enhances the features of your subject and adds various degrees of depth and shadow.
Make sure the background of your image is neutral. The focus should be on the subject, not an object in the background. Keep your depth of field relatively short and allow the background to fade away.
Don't be afraid to move around. Shooting a subject head-on is what we're used to. Grab a stool when you go out and take photos from that perspective. The beauty of digital photography is that you can experiment with how many angles you want.
I enjoy portrait photography for a variety of reasons. These images are most likely going to be shared with family and friends. They're going to be kept in scrapbooks and family photos albums for years and they highlight someone's life at the exact moment.
|Posted on April 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on February 13, 2011 at 8:03 PM||comments (0)|
There is so much you can capture when you photograph a good portrait photo. You are able to pick up the wrinkles underneath the eyes, the blush on the cheeks even single strains of hair. But a portrait photo can offer more than just the physical elements.
When you see someone smile you can’t help but share a grin, right? A good portrait photo does the same. It conveys certain emotions and informs the viewer how to feel.
In an effort to expand my knowledge of everything aperture, I picked a setting that allowed me to concentrate on one subject only. I set my aperture on f/2.0 and my ISO at 1250. My camera selected a 1/30-exposure period for me.
I shot this photo in the same place as I took the other two pictures in the previous post. Unlike those photos, I was able to fix the white balance and preserve the color of the photograph. I think the contrast between the dark hair and the bright beam of light worked out nicely.
This exercise taught me how aperture, when used correctly, can turn an everyday snapshot into a stunning memory.
|Posted on February 7, 2011 at 4:48 PM||comments (3)|
While everyone at the Superbowl party was watching the game, (or at least watching the commercials) I was watching everyone else. I entered the party with one goal in mind - get reaction shots.
The party gave me the perfect stage. On football’s biggest night, when fans’ emotions are running at full throttle, I merely had to sit back and wait for the right moment.
Like a lot of things in photography, you have to do a little predicting before pressing the shutter button. In the photos above, I was lucky enough to capture great emotion and action all at once.
I scanned the room and picked out the spectator who seemed invested in the game the most. Clearly, it was the woman above with the Stealer’s jersey. When the moment finally came, I was ready. All it took was a little preparation and some keen intuition.
All throughout the night I was shooting in the “A” mode. For non-DSLR users, this meant that I was able to manipulate the aperture and ISO settings while my camera selected the shutter speed. For the most part, the pictures were in focus but the color was a bit off. The photos ended up being oversaturated and had a yellowish tint to them.
I worked with the white balance, but nothing really brought back those true colors again. I ended up changing the images to black and white thus eliminating the colors all together.
The Superbowl is over, but my knowledge of photography has grown. It just goes to show you can learn anything, anywhere.
|Posted on September 6, 2010 at 10:09 PM||comments (0)|
There was a travelling carnival that set up shop in Columbia, Missouri a few days ago. They resurrected a large Ferris wheel from the back of their trucks and heated the fryers in preparation for all the funnel cakes to be bought.
I explored this carnival a couple days ago not knowing what to expect. I carried my camera along (as usual) and observed these carnival daredevils from afar.
They seem like kind people. From a first glance they seem like normal human beings. They wear the same casual clothing. Speak the same language and smell (well…that might be a little different) the same way.
They yell and scream on all the rides (nothing too out of the ordinary here) and seem to have a good time while riding. But these carnival aficionados have one thing in common…they’re looking for an escape.
It seems that these people already knew the trucks would arrive. They grabbed caramel apples as if knowing what the weird concoctions were already. They were masters at the water gun shooting booths and popped each balloon with near perfect precision. They were so good that I think many practiced the night before.
These people (of all ages mind you) are out of the ordinary…and why should that come as a surprise? A carnival only pops up in an abandon parking lot every so often. It is defiantly not something you see everyday.
|Posted on May 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM||comments (8)|
I sit at my desk with my fingers hovering over the keys – I can’t write a single word. My grandpa past away on Friday and my memories of him, with him are becoming clearer. As I write this I can’t help myself but start tearing up. Below is a letter to my Grandpa:
When I was little I would follow you into your wood shop underneath the home you built. The room smelled of sawdust and machine oil, but the smell never bothered me. I would follow you past the various machines and wood saws and watch you work on a toy built for my brother. The wooden airplane that you created is still sitting in the bookshelf in my room.
I remember all the stories that you told us while sitting in that chair. Oh…the stories. It didn’t matter if you told the same stories over and over again, what mattered most was you were telling them. You always had the sharpest memory, telling us stories about your time in the Navy and how you worked alongside your father in the shop. You would remember a particular song and sing it word for word.
I remember getting up real early for a day out on the lake. I never had the patience for fishing grandpa, but I wanted to be out with you. If we weren’t fishing in the boat, we were sitting on the bench on the red wooden dock you built. As the waves rolled by and the flag whipped in the summer breeze, I felt at peace with you. Grandpa I think those moments made me appreciate life on the lake. It’s a life you have always known and a moment I will never forget.
I remember the stories of family memories and events, nicknames and even embarrassments. Grandpa, you seemed to know them all. Every time you would dive into the family history, you would laugh as if telling it for the first time. You would tell Greg’s dinosaur project, about Steven’s nickname to you and about building our playground in northern California and many more. The stories you brought up always seemed to bring our family even closer.
I remember grandpa your love of music. I remember the photos of you teaching Tim how to whistle on the kitchen table in northern California. I remember the personal concerts I would give to you and grandma with my violin. When you heard my middle school honours orchestra play you compared it to a professional orchestra. When I would play to you in the sunroom, you would always start humming a song afterwards (a song only you would know the words to).
As I finish this entry, I know more memories will continue to flood my mind, more tears will continue to stream down my face. I love you grandpa and I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful adventures. Heaven must be wonderful huh? I’ll wave to you from time to time, never forgetting the impact that you had on my life.
Love you always,
|Posted on April 11, 2010 at 10:09 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on April 6, 2010 at 2:21 PM||comments (0)|
The next couple of blog entries are going to be about my spring break to Chicago. I thought i'd start off with the picture that has the strongest story. But before I talk about the person pictured above, let me tell you how we found him.
Twelve college students, including our RUF minister, traveled to Chicago to help an urban ministry organization called Sunshine Gospel Ministries. One of our first assignments was to pack two lunches and head into the heart of downtown Chicago and share our lunches with the homeless.
It was a cold afternoon and Lucy and I were not having the best luck finding a single homeless person. After about 40 minutes we found Alvin across the street from the Willis Tower asking for loose change. Lucy asked him if he wanted to join us for lunch and I quickly asked where his favorite spot to eat was.
Before we started talking to Alvin, he quickly switched his PB&J for a turkey sandwich and Lays potato chips for Cheetos. Alvin is not a picky eater, but a man suffering from a bad kidney.
Everyday but Sunday, he has to have dialysis done to keep him alive. In fact, his money first goes to supporting his kidney, than to transportation and finally to food. If Alvin isn't able to obtain the money for his kidney, he calls 911 for emergency assistance.
Sunday is his day of rest. He doesn't have to worry about his kidney and usually finds himself at a church or park somewhere in Chicago. The constant worry of survival doesn't ruin Alvin's life completely. He enjoys the free concerts Chicago provides in the summer, he loves all kinds of music and enjoys a White Sox baseball game every now and then. Before his kidney problems, Alvin would make picture frames of all different sizes from thrown away cigarette boxes and sell them for a couple of dollars.
The story of Alvin underneath the Willis Tower will be something I will remember forever. I learned that people are more than what they appear to be. I wasn't looking for a homeless man that day, instead I was sharing my lunch with a new friend.