Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fantasy Shoot – D&D Elven Raner

Last weekend I did a photo shoot for one of my good friends. She wanted a fantasy shoot similar to what I did for myself awhile back.  While I wanted to go for a Viking theme it turned out to be more along the lines of a D&D elven ranger.  I had limited supplies to work from but with a cloak, a leather skirt, two sarongs, a staff and a drinking horn made for a decent ranger look.  You can see the whole gallery here.


I used a standard backdrop, two stand light, and an off camera flash for lighting. I shot using an 18-55mm lens, at an aperture of f8, multiple shutter speeds and a 200 ISO.  I then post processed the images in LightRoom and then again in Photoshop Elements. Took around a 100 shots but ended up with only 38 good images. I eliminated many of the shots because they were unflattering.  Overall I do like the look of the shots I did keep and think they do capture her inner ranger. 




Friday, April 25, 2014

Family Portrait

Last weekend I had the pleasure of doing a family portrait session for one of my close friends.  This was one of the first family portrait sessions I have done and I’m glad I did it. The little girl was cute and was definitely a little ham at times and very fun to work with.  While the little boy, once we got past the silly faces and not listening I got some nice photos. I will say one thing, he did try his mother’s and my patience I was able to capture some nice images.  The mother and children shots turned out pretty good, but I was disappointed in my capture of the father and children shots. However I was able to capture one very cute father daughter picture.  We did the whole family last, which I think was a mistake on my part since I could tell the kids were tired at that point.  I did my best to make it work.


I learned many lessons from this session. The main one being you have to do the group shots first, and then do the individuals. Also I needed to keep the session less than two hours when working with young kids because they get tired and fidgety.  And the key thing about family sessions is lots and lots of patience. 

I shot the session with a portable studio set with two stand lights and an off camera flash.  I used a 18 -55mm lens with an aperture of f8, variable shutter speeds and a 200 ISO while shooting in RAW. I ended up taking around 300 shots but culling it down to 86 shots. Many of the shots I deleted were of very silly faces, blinking and overall bad composition.  I think what I have is good, and am happy about the number of finals.  I did post process them through LightRoom. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Brother's Birthday

While most people went home to celebrate Easter and chocolate bunnies, I went home to celebrate my little brother’s birthday (he isn't that little anymore). His girlfriend threw him a surprise party with family and friends, at a local restaurant in Ohio. It was a nice party, and he was truly surprised.  I was the unofficial photographer for the party. (pictures here)

My Brother and His Girlfriend

Now an ode to my brother.


My Brother and Me
To my brother Steve, you are a unique individual in every way.  Growing up you would wear buckets on your head; make lizard faces at mom and grandma to make them laugh and had a love for A.L.F (which you still walk like on occasion) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  You loved attention and still do. You are the practical joker; have the special talent of getting people to believe outrageous stories and to get everyone to like you.  While we each did our fair share of things to each other; it was all out of sibling love.  I took care of bullies when you were little because they took your matchbox cars, kept my bedroom door open for you when we move and had separate rooms so you wouldn’t feel alone. Then later when we were older, you looked out for me.  I like the person you have become and hope you never lose you laughter, your uniqueness and everything that makes you special.  And just so you know I care about you and my door will always be open for you.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lovely Lady

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of working with a lovely lady, to expand both our portfolios and take advantage of spring in the Capitol.  We went down to the National Mall early to take advantage of the early morning light and avoid the crowds coming to see the cherry blossoms.  I used the garden behind the castle as the main location for the shoot, mostly because it was quiet and has several nice locations.  We also walked near the tidal basin and found a nice location just outside of the main area to take advantage of the cherry blossoms.  Thankfully that area was not crowded and we left the National Mall just as many of tourists were arriving. 

For the shoot I used my 18-200mm lens. I realize this is not a standard portrait lens but it allows me the most flexibility when shooting outdoor in a public place. It allows me to capture a variety of shots quickly without changing lens.  Though I think I would like to try to do an outdoor shoot just using a prime lens to challenge myself and creativity.  I had the camera set for at a 100 ISO and an f/9 aperture which is the sweet spot on my lens.  I varied the shutter speed based on the available light.  I then post processed the images through LightRoom.  You can see a few of my favorite shots below and additional ones here




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cherry Blossoms


Spring has finally arrived in Washington, DC with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms.  The first day of peak bloom was April 10th this year which is a lot later then the past couple years when peak bloom was the last couple days of March and the first two days of April.  I went down to the tidal basin early in the morning (before 9:00 AM which is when the museums open and all the tour buses unload for the day) to beat the crowds. I glad I did because it wasn't tree to tree people (no walls) holding cameras, phones, or iPads trying to capture that perfect picture. Instead it was small photography groups, other early morning photographers and senior citizens walking their dogs; thus I could actually casually walk along the basin in peace. 

I shot the basin with an 18-200mm lens; while I had my macro lens I didn’t use it. I used a 100 ISO at an aperture set mostly to f8.0 or f9.0; I did bump it up to f16 and f20 for a few wide shots. My shutter speed varied depending on the light, since there were a significant number of shaded areas and I was shooting towards the sun on occasion.  I also brought a medium density graduated neutral density filter which I used to get the lovely tree and monument shot below.  I did post process the images in Lightroom.  You can see all the lovely images here




Waterfalls and Parachutes

Bonus image: Focal length 18mm, Apeture F7.1, Shutter 1/200s I went up to Ohio a few weekends ago for my class reunion, and figur...