Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Still Lauren

But really the last one.  This was actually one of the first ones we shot, along the railroad tracks.  We really wanted to have the tracks in the compositions too, but they were in full sun and we never made it back there later. I shot through some branches and weeds and really should have used an even wider aperture to blur the branches in the background more but I was going for the contrast of texture and pattern versus her smooth unblemished skin and satin dress.  The background darkened nicely when I used an action by Kubota called Creamsickle that I often use at a low opacity for smoothing skin and here I left it full strength on the background and masked it back some off of her face and skin as she really doesn't need it.  Then I added a new layer in overlay and used a low-opacity soft black brush to darken the branches and tree trunks immediately behind her head.  Luckily we never saw the reported snakes...
Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 lens at f3.2 and 1/2500th.  Flash in a softbox from camera left.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Lauren on a Ledge, the Last One

I can't believe anyone would be tired of seeing shots of Lauren, but this is probably my last post of her....well I may have to show one of her standing in the snake-infested weeds (according to a passerby) next to the railroad tracks.  This ledge is actually about 5 feet up the wall, no stairs lead to it (Shirley brought a ladder) and Lauren did not hesitate when we asked her to climb up there.  I was thinking the cream walls and her white dress would be too bland and although I added a couple of textures here just because I felt like it, the original image itself is not bland either.  Usually I do not like shadows on backgrounds but here I did like the shape of her profile on the door behind her, caused by a flash.
So maybe I should show the uncropped, untextured shot:

so which one do you prefer --- closer and textured, or uncropped and no texture?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lauren, Just Resting TTD 5

Even standing by a fire hydrant, trying to take a break, Lauren still looks beautiful.  We asked her to do so many things during the course of this session and she was game for all of them.  I never want to shoot a wedding or even do bridal portraits but it was fun to pose Lauren all over the alleys of Galveston --- she is beautiful and sweet!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lauren and TTD 4

Here Lauren was posed by Shirley for a boudoir style shot.  The sun was coming from behind her, camera left, and a soft box on a stick was coming from camera right or maybe straight on, and possibly even the juice-Fong flash was aimed at her face but suprisingly all that light combined for a softly lit scene.  I think the black and white version looks like a still from a Grace Kelly movie, classic and beautiful.   
Steve has a similar image, but remembers the flash setup differently than I was thinking.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lauren and TTD 3

While we were waiting for the sun to move off the red door in the alley, we went around the corner in front of the Masonic building and were posing Lauren in different ways when we noticed a woman sitting on the curb across the street and watching us.  She asked what we were doing and then told us she had a ton of ideas, and one was for Lauren to peek in the letter slot of the door like she was trying to see inside and she even knew how Lauren should hold her flowers.  So, this shot was posed by the realtor lady showing an open house nearby.  I wanted to include the carving at the top of the door, it almost looks like a heart. You can tell by the shadow the direction of the light but I don't know if it was only the softbox/flash or if the second light was used here also.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lauren and Trash the Dress 2

Lauren was so patient while we all tried to channel Joe McNally and figure out how to light her in this concrete box.  I kept trying to get the light softer so the shadows behind her would not be so hard and dark and honestly here I am not sure what the flash set up is, we tried so many different things.  I know Shirley was using a reflector to block the sun from hitting her dress on the camera left as I cropped her out, and possibly the flash/softbox on a stick was coming in on camera right, and at one point we tried the juice diffuser flash laying on the ground in front of her and shooting up through the trigrip diffuser panel...I should remember to take some set up shots to refer to, but I get caught up in the shooting and never think of it.
Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 at f5.6 and 1/45, ISO 200

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lauren and Trash the Dress 1

When we first got to this alley we struggled trying to light Lauren in a concrete box with some plumbing, to the right of this doorway.  We had stopped here just for that fantastic red door but at that time the sun was hitting it directly so we started with the box and spent quite a bit of time there trying to get good light on her without harsh shadows being thrown directly behind her.  I may post one of those another day. Later the sun was only hitting the small patch of grass here where Lauren is standing and I think she is lit with the small soft box directly across from her on the other wall as well as the juice-Fong aimed at her face from camera right.  If that isn't correct, Mike,Steve or Shirley can correct me.  Unusual for me, I shot with a smaller aperture to get the texture in the door and wall to show the contrast between her smooth skin and the satin dress and the rough, weathered door and wall.  At this distance the texture is not really noticeable...
Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 lens at f5.0 and 1/60th, ISO 200

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whistle While You Wait

...for that lady with the camera to be finished. I think she is trying to tell me, enough already!  But she is still too cute even when she is being silly. Shot at f2.8 but she was very close to the plant in the background so I tried a texture to make the background recede some.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This little sweetheart is the big sister to a newborn that I got to photograph recently.  She is so much fun to be around and while still a challenge to get focused before she took off again, the ice cream cone worked well here.  She wasn't even upset when the two Golden Retrievers ran over and managed to lick the whole scoop of ice cream off her cone in a flash. At only 3 years old she has the most beautiful hair I think I have ever seen on such a young child --- thick, long, and a wonderful red/gold/brunette, and her eyelashes are to die for!  But her personality is even better --- I had to laugh at her crossed eyes, whistling, choking, etc etc when she was tired of posing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lensbaby Sunflower 2

I used turquoise blue tissue paper taped to foam core for the background here.
Nikon D200, Lensbaby f4.0 with +4 closeup filter

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Interpretations of a Sunflower

I have wanted to try photographing a sunflower for a while and just never got around to it until it was time to come up with an idea for our triptych assignment, where each image in the triptych had to be taken by a different photographer and with all the images working together in some way.  I thought Steve, Shirley and I could each shoot a sunflower, or the whole bouquet, in our own particular style while trying to keep the colors consistent so they would combine well for a triptych.  Of course, I chose to use my Lensbaby because I wanted the petals to distort away from the center, rather than a plain old boring macro. :-)  In this shot I also used the +4 close up filter on the Lensbaby, with the f4 aperture ring.  A texture was added to give some interest to the green area.  Like Shirley said, something about sunflowers just makes you happy!  They are very sunny and cheerful looking.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Calla Lily Curl

Nikon D200 with 60mm macro lens at f4 and 1/500th, ISO 250
natural light

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baby in Black and White

For this image I used a small beanbag covered with a white fur throw and the baby has the tutu on still.  I like the way the tutu adds softness and "girly-ness" to the image but wish I had noticed the distracting ribbon at the time.  I just am not skilled enough in Photoshop to clone it out well enough. Live and learn, it has since been removed from the tutu!  I like this shot just as much in color, but I think her eyes stand out even more in the black and white version.
Nikon D200, 50mm lens at f2.5 and 1/60th, ISO 200

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Baby L

Another shot from my second baby session, this time with her sitting in a "Bumpo" for support.  She is only 4 months old in this photograph, taken in June, so she was not old enough to sit up on her own.  Even with a serious expression, she is just adorable to me. 
I set up a white background near a large window that was on camera left and also used some white foam core hinged together and placed opposite the window for some fill light.  The textures are from Flora Bella Textures.
Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 at f2.5 and 1/125, at ISO 200

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Texas Art

Found in a Friendswood eatery, Jake's Grill --- they make a great Blackened Chicken Salad.