Tuesday, April 27, 2010

8 States in 15 Hours

Over the past weekend I took a quick spontaneous flight to Atlanta, Georgia with my friend Jason to go and retrieve a car and drive it back to Rochester, New York.  Besides being a complete tourist and shooting everything from inside and out the car, I steadfastly took at least one photo an hour starting at 6:30am until 9:30pm Sunday evening.  Looking back at the photographs was a nice progression of the time and environment.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Behind the photograph, Sleep Solutions Promo

Sometimes I get asked about photographs, posing and lighting.  And when I can, I oblige the idea and explain what I can on the end result and processes in getting there.  Here is an example of some recent promotional/advertising work I've done in studio.  The face of Sleep Solutions needed an updated head shot with both the assistant and head merchandiser, otherwise known as being the brains behind the catalog. 

The concept started with ideas of nail polish and slumber parties and ended with ideas of pillow fights and sleepwear.  So with those ideas, I added a simple, fresh and clean concept keeping with the catalogs main goal of selling sleep care products for a mainly female audience.  Ultimately, the idea was feminine, fun and fresh.

Now about the lighting.  As you can see it's mainly soft and front directional.  The main lighting is a 2x3 soft box hanging from front above angled down 45 degrees and another bigger 3x4 soft box below tilted up 45 degrees. A bare bulb behind the models filled the white seamless and created a slight separation between the models and background.

This lighting is pleasing on skin since it softens angles and evens skin tone.  In a sense, the main goal was to "shed some light" on the normal women behind the products, their personality and charisma. 

As for post editing?  There was little to none since the clean white background was something that was desired in the end.  There was no need to mask out hair and since the lighting was pleasing enough on the skin, very little retouching!

In the end, the women loved their photo and I as the photographer loved the efficiency of the shoot.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Survival of the fittest

Courtesy of Engadget.com
Today, I just found out that one of my favorite TV series' finale, House, is being shot solely with the Canon 5D Mark II camera!  [Thanks Thom for sending the article to me.]  Not only does this excite my inner photo nerd but also the fact that these cameras will start to be taken seriously now in the video realm. 

Presently, the video capabilities on some of Canon's higher end models are mostly used for many indie short films, commercial shots and/or short films.  It's a mark that has been quietly made but nothing ever as massive like a big motion picture or nationally acclaimed TV series.

Like digital cameras swiftly taking over film, I believe that hybrid cameras/video cameras will begin to make themselves known in the video category competitively and very soon.  Honestly, who didn't see Canon and Nikon jumping on another opportunity like this?  Just knowing a little bit about videography, you would know that the video cameras themselves are worth thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Whereas a digital camera with video capabilities can be a lot more affordable and presently, boasting the same high image quality as leading video camera competitors.

Where one critic put it, it's common sense.  A Canon 5D Mark II with an L series lens would range anywhere between, $4000-7000, whereas a professional video camera would start at, $80,000+, body alone!  And the clincher here is that both equally hold high definition capabilities and amazing image quality.  And because of the state of the economy, there are now smaller production budgets.  Smaller production budgets take into consideration affordability along with quality.  It's no wonder that big shows like SNL are now relying on the 5D Mark II.

Hopefully we'll see more great things to come with Canon and their exceptional image output capabilities both with still photography and motion picture.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Growing pains

When I was younger, perhaps thirteen or fourteen, I had the chance to tend to my family's small outside garden all summer long.  I'm not sure why or how I started and perhaps it was as simple as a boring day with nothing to do and a small garden overgrown with weeds.  But I remember standing out in the sun and turning the dirt with a rake to let air down in the soil.  I remember hauling links of hoses from the house to the garden and watering the plants diligently every few days or so.  And I remember the feeling of success and pride over my summer yield, rough hands and dark summer tan.

And all the great weather so far this year, has awoken my summer desires of cotton sun dresses, barbecuing and of course, dreams of growing a humble vegetable garden yet again.  This year I actually started to grow some herbs in pots on my windowsill and have successfully kept some sweet basil, parsley and oregano alive! 

Notice my wording.  "-successfully, kept alive".  Yes, you can assume that I don't necessarily have the greenest of thumbs.  Even when I did tend to my family's garden, I couldn't have done it without the help of my late grandfather.  [He was an amazing farmer and gardener]  I'm not sure why, but when it comes to indoor growing, I just can't seem to keep plants alive.  Chia Pets, air filtering ferns and two Bonsai trees have all fallen victim to my unlucky hands.  I'm now lucky enough to keep an African violet alive, even though I've heard that they are the easiest of all house plants to do so.

The BF and I are moving into the city come June and I have hopes of planting a few vegetables [in pots, since I don't really have sprawling yards of land] in my itty-bitty space of a backyard.  And as silly as it is to say, I can't wait!  I'm sure Thom must think that I'm crazy because now I'll be able to not only successfully kill plants inside a house, but outside as well!  All joking aside, I would really like that opportunity to again feel the pride and satisfaction in watching something that I had tended grow and thrive. 
Yesterday, we visited a local greenhouse and farmer's market, Gro-Moore Farms on East Henrietta and Caukins Rd.  It was nice to be able to walk into a green house full of blooming flowers and just see the different varieties of plants that were already available to purchase.  I thought it was clever of the farm to create their labels on most of the pots sold.
Though most of the business is a greenhouse with many different kinds of plants, shrubs and trees available year round, there is also a country store attached to the main greenhouse.  Home made jams and preserves are sold, along with hand crafted decor that any dear mother would want to add to her country home.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Cat and Greg's Engagement Shoot

So finally I received my computer charger in the mail Wednesday evening, (thanks again Shinay!) and I've been editing Cat and Greg's engagement photos ever since.  There are so many good photos too!  Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to add a few more, so for now, here's a sneak peak at what Shinay and I captured last Saturday, March 27th in Chelsea, New York.  It was a lovely place to be and shoot at and having to walk the High Line (now finished) was a plus!

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