Archive for March, 2010


Fashion Shoot – Continued

There was a lot of interest in my post of March 30, about a shoot with a fashion model, Sarah. So, I wanted to put up a few more pictures from that day. Sarah will use these with her New York agency, hopefully to get additional modelling gigs.  Each of these shots was set up very carefully and with a specific look or feel in mind.


Savannah Photography Workshop

The image above is titled “The Accidental Tourist.”  I took it during a six-day photography workshop in Savannah in late March. Perhaps this is obvious, but it is a setup shot.  Three of us working as a team conceived and executed the image. I took the picture and did the Photoshop editing. Doe this image work for you? Does it make you laugh?

The workshop was run with Craig Tanner and Marti Jeffers of The Mindful Eye. The workshop was fabulous – exhausting, but exhilarating. Lots of great creativity ideas and exercises, a terrific and fun group of students (just eight others besides me), and a wonderful place to take pictures.

This post will show a variety of images from the workshop. We walked up to a lot of strangers and asked to take their picture. This seems daunting at first, but one learns that with the right approach, 90% will willingly say YES to the ask.  Here are a few of the strangers I shot, all in one morning, all in the beautiful squares of Savannah:

Here’s a portrait I took of one of the other workshop participants:

We did some abstract and semi abstract work, including this image of a street lamp.

As those of you who have been to Savannah know, there are many “flower guys” who make flowers out of palm leaves. Here’s a picture I took, by coincidence, on Palm Sunday:

We went out to Tybee Island one morning to shoot the sunrise. Here are a couple of shots from that morning:

This has been a much longer than usual post – but it’s almost over! In addition to our classroom work, shooting assignments, social time with the other students, we also had to do Photoshop editing of our images on our laptops, to turn in for critiques. We’d look at everyone’s work on  the slide screen. The quality of  the students’ images was very high, so there was pressure to do your best work – not pressure put on us by the instructors, but we each felt it inside, for sure. The Photoshop editing went late into the night – or into the early morning, and often caused a lot of frustration:


Model Portfolio Shoot

Last week I did a shoot with Sarah, a lovely professional model. I’ve been doing a number of beauty shots recently, in the style of the one above. In this setup, there is a large softbox behind Sarah, which provides a nice wraparound light, as well as a second light over the camera, aimed down at her at about a 45 degree angle. This second light was in a small parabolic reflector called a beauty dish. The beauty dish provides a wonderful soft light as well. Notice the small catchlights in her eyes, which are indicative of a small light.

I like the fact that Sarah’s face is not completely square to the camera. The slight tilt of her head and turn to her right gives a bit of interest and dimension to the image.

Part of our shoot was to help Sarah develop some new images for her NYC agency to use in her portfolio. Sarah wanted dramatic, high contrast lighting.  In the image below, I just used one light to camera left, in a big umbrella to light her whole body.  Sarah is turned toward the light to bring in enough light to her face.

My good friend Maria Dominici did the makeup for this shoot. Her work was fantastic, as always. Check out Maria’s website here.


Three Many Cooks

Recently I had the pleasure of shooting with the Three Many Cooks. I did a food shoot with them back in the fall. To see those images, click here. But this was more fun for sure – to shoot the ladies behind all the delicious food. These three dynamo women have a fantastic cooking blog. Check it out here. In the “About” section of their blog is another photo from our shoot.

In this image above, I was trying to replicate to some degree the illustration of Pam, Maggy and Sharon on the heading of their blog.

We also did headshots of each of them as well. Here’s one of the images of Sharon:


Shooting Flowers

While shooting people is my first love, I do enjoy photographing a variety of other subjects, including flowers.  There are not many flowers available at our local florists yet, as we are at the tail end of winter. But I found a few flowers to shoot at the local Korean fruit and vegetable market.

A few tips for shooting flowers:

1) Get in really close. you don’t have to show the whole flower. As you get closer in, the image may be begin to have an abstract quality – not a bad thing.

2) Make sure the flower is still (shoot inside, or outside with no wind). Make sure the camera is still – the best way to do this easily is with a tripod.

more tips below –

3)  Consider buying a macro (that is, close-up) lens. For these images I used a Nikon Micro (Nikon’s word for Macro) 105mm F2.8 lens. The macro lens can provide really nice detail for close-up shots.

4) Focus very carefully. Macro lenses tend to have a very narrow depth of field, so the area in focus may be very small. decide what you want to have sharp in the image. Focus manually. Autofocus may not yield a good result.

5) Watch the background. You don’t want it to compete with your flower. I have in the studio a bunch of poster-sized boards of many colors, which I used here.

again, more tips below….

6) Try lighting from different angles.  The star-gazer lily at the top was mostly backlit, so you can see some of the translucent qualities of the flower. Both of the gerbers were lit primarily from the side, to show dimension. Avoid lighting from behind the camera – will usually make a dull, flat image.

7) Take lots of pictures.  They’re free (in digital, anyway). Try different angles. Try shots you think might not work – they often do. Take risks.

Lastly,  take time to marvel at the incredible variety of the natural world. If you believe in God (as I do) , give thanks for the incredible beauty God has created for us to enjoy. If you’re not a believer, be grateful anyway!

I’m having a solo photography exhibit in the fall (watch this space for details). The theme will be “Up Close.”  All or most of the pictures will be close-ups – of people and other subjects, such as flowers.  Hope to see you at the show!