Archive for May, 2011

30
May
11

kids in the memorial day parade

Just posting a few grab shots from the Memorial Day Parade in my hometown of Darien, CT.  I couldn’t help wondering what the kids of some other countries  are doing today – Somalia or Yemen, Libya or Malawi. I hope someday the children of each of those countries will have a fun day such as our kids had today. It won’t be the same of course, nor should it be. But I pray for a better life – peace, stability, hope and joy – for all the world’s children. Some Day.

26
May
11

Dance Skirts!

This week, I had the pleasure of photographing dance skirts for my friend, Neeta Maniar. Neeta and a partner in India have a business selling beautiful Indian dance skirts. Their website is Taal Dancewear.  The images we shot will go on the website soon. For the shoot, Neeta brought in six models and over 20 skirts – a big production for my modest-sized studio, but somehow everyone fit in!

For each skirt, we shot one full body image, usually in a dance pose, and then one closeup shot of the lovely waist bands. Both images will appear on the website, so Taal Dancewear’s customers can really see the beauty of the skirts.

All of the models are experienced dancers and most had danced together many times.

For the lighting, I had two lights on the white paper background and two lights in front on either side, to provide a fairly soft, low contrast overall lighting setup, which I felt would be appropriate for the website.

I know very little about proper dance poses, so Neeta was just behind me, checking the view from the camera and coaching the models on the poses she wanted.

Neeta and the models could see each image on my laptop as we went along – a big help in getting just the right look.

The shoot was great fun for me and I think for the models as well. I truly hope these images will lead to a big jump in sales for Taal Dancwear!

In a few of the pictures the models hammed it up a bit. Wonder if this one will make it to the website? You can see more images from our shoot here.

07
May
11

pictures from in and around Santa Fe

I’ve just finished a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on a terrific workshop with Marti Jeffers.  Tonight we’ll post a few images I took during the week. The picture above was taken near Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch. Although I used a polarizing filter to punch up the color of the sky, it really was a rich blue. The light in this area is amazing and one can see how O’Keeffe chose this as a place to live and paint.

This is an abandoned building near Taos. It has apparently been for sale for many years. I have to be honest and say there was only one bird in the picture – I added a second one in Photoshop.

This was the exterior of a fancy hotel in Santa Fe. The luminaries are common throughout Santa Fe, as are, of course, adobe structures. For this image, I used a wide-angle lens and positioned the camera just a few inches away from the big luminary.

The sunsets in Northern New Mexico are fabulous. It may be the altitude and the dry air. This shot was taken on a hill overlooking Santa Fe. I haven’t shot many sunsets and vow to do more. You have to work fast, as the light changes very quickly.

And finally, below, taken back at The Ghost Ranch, is an image that includes a silhouette of your humble servant. As always, thanks for reading my blog posts!

07
May
11

model shoot in Santa Fe – part two

Just posting a few more images from my shoot with a young model in Santa Fe this week. If you missed the first post, check it out here.

07
May
11

churches of northern new mexico

 
This week, during a photography workshop in Santa Fe, we had the opportunity to photography some beautiful New Mexico churches. The one above is St Francis of Assisi Church, outside Taos. This adobe church has no windows. This view, from the back of the church, has been photographed by Ansel Adams and painted by Georgia O’Keeffe. It was privilege to walk in these hallowed footsteps.
San Geronimo Chapel is at the Taos Pueblo. The church just dates back to the mid 1800’s, but the pueblo has been inhabited by Native Americans continuously for 1300 years. The pueblo still does not have electricity or running water, following long standing native customs.
Pictured above in the church in Chimayo, about halfway from Taos to Sante Fe.
The Mission of San Miguel in Santa Fe was built in 1610 and is believed to be the oldest church in the country.  Excavations under the altar have uncovered a pueblo that some archeologists date back to the 12th century.
San Loretto Chapel, in Santa Fe, has a Gothic exterior, and looks a bit out-of-place among all the adobe structures in town. The church was built in 1873. In a lot of the churches, I used a wide-angle lens and often lay down in the aisle to get the perspective I wanted. In this image, my feet appeared, and while I could have easily removed them in Photosohp, I chose to leave them in the picture.
 
06
May
11

the best laid plans…..

Recently, I took this photograph for Fairfield Insulation Co. Emily Johnson-Russo, of mootsa design was working up a marketing campaign for the company. By the way, Emily is terrific to work with and she is a great designer as well  – do check out her website and blog.

The company wanted to replicate an image that was taken in the early 1950’s, shown here:

We scouted out the location a few days ahead of time. The assignment was to shoot the employees in their warehouse space in Norwalk. The warehouse is a big, cavernous and dark space – a nightmare to take pictures in. There’s a large overhead door leading into the warehouse. My plan was to have the truck and the people right in the doorway so we could use the sun to partially light them. I’d fill in with strobe lights and shoot from the parking lot, about 30 feet from my subjects.

Everything was set and I felt comfortable with the plan for the shoot. But…

On the day of the shoot, it was raining – steadily. I couldn’t very well have my camera and lights out in the rain. So, we went to Plan B and moved everyone back towards the rear of the space, so I could get just inside the doorway. Thankfully the space was big enough to accommodate the move.

But I worried about having enough light. My big studio lights could have handled it easily, but what I brought with me were three small Nikon speedlights (SB 900’s). It took a while to figure the lighting setup, which is why I always come extra early for a shoot like this.  As shown above, we had plenty of light.

The Fairfield Insulation folks are a great group and act like a big, happy family. It was a pleasure and privilege to photograph them.

04
May
11

model shoot in Santa Fe

 

This week, I’ve been in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a photography workshop. Before the workshop started, I had a model shoot with a teenager, who came to Santa Fe with her mom for the afternoon.

This young lady is rushing to finish high school a year early, trying to get started in modeling, and is heading towards college and a career in medicine. Whew!

Most of these shots were taken in the main plaza in Santa Fe. It was a very windy day, with harsh sun, so we were trying to stay in the shade and out of the wind. The shoot made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have a studio to work in, where I can control the light and the weather. But this was a fun shoot and I always enjoy figuring out the technical challenges of shooting outside.

We’ll post in a few days more images from Santa Fe and the surrounding area. As always, thanks for tuning in!