Wednesday, April 15, 2009

paying homage to the greats...

as i mentioned in the last post, i'm not sure what the future has in store for my next photo shoots. not sure i can go back to my less than ideal point and shoot, definitely not sure i can spend the money buying and developing film for my slr.

so for this entry, i've decided to pay tribute to my very favorite photographer jeansmith. i address her with both first and last name because i view her as somewhat of a celebrity when it comes to photography. she has been on my side bar for a while now so maybe you've all ready checked her out. i've just spent half of the day stalking her blog and adding all of her photography friends in her comment section to my sidebar. there are a great many amazing photographers on there. jean is still the best. i also pick two new runner ups that i am fondly falling in love with: julieparker and tarawhitney. i'm sure i will continue to add to my list as i discover more amazing and talented people.

i want to be like these photographers when i grow up.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

photo shoot #3

35milli what?

for this shoot i decided to dust off the old camera strap and pull out my long lost love, my Nikon N80. for it's time it was quite the camera in the amateur scene. i bought her about 7 or 8 years ago while i was working for a camera and film finishing shop. as you may have gathered, the N in N80 stands for negative. actually, i don't know that for sure. but that would make sense seeing how Nikon's digital SLR's are now D whatevers- assuming then that the D stands for digital.

anyways, when i say negative, i mean a film negative. you remember those, way back about 5 or 6 years ago, before the digital era took the world by storm, when you used to have to buy a roll of film and load it into your camera by hand? yes, that is what i am referring to. a film camera. it was actually really fun to shoot with again. i couldn't help but feel a little remorseful though as i was remembering how much i really don't know about that camera. it really has a lot of impressive features and options and i should have taken better advantage of it while it was in it's prime.

as fun as it was to shoot with, it was however, equally-if not more so, very primitive and almost archaic. it was rather odd not to be able to view my shots immediately after, and i was much more careful and thoughtful before each shot so as not to waste more frames than necessary. getting it developed also seemed a pretty antique process. i all but had to explain to the little gal working at walgreens what film actually is and show her how to load it into the film processor.

none the less, i did come up with some fairly successful shots and i am pretty happy over all. these are a little grainy, probably because i was using a 400 speed film. and because they are coming from negatives. even with that being said, i'm not really sure how i'm ever going to go back to shooting with my crappy little point and shoot. digital or not, it really doesn't even compare to what i can do with my Nikon.

sissy is not wearing makeup even though i know it looks like she is. she is just that pretty. but of coarse i'm totally biased...

this is what happens when you tell a 2 year old to "smile"...
i find it's better to just let them play and capture them in their most natural moments. like this one...seriously, who is that pretty when they are just sitting?...
i love her expression here. i keep saying she has one million expressions and she is continually proving me right...
i think this one is my favorite...i love the progression of expression in these next three. they probably would have benefited from the use of a reflector or maybe a flash. i don't know if the flash would have been more detrimental than helpful though. the reflector at least could have helped rid these of the shadow over her right eye and on the left side of her face...babies are still very hard for me to shoot. especially the kind that move. i'm just not quite fast enough at adjusting my aperture and shutter speed to keep up with their quick motion. i still have to think about things a bit before i'm ready to shoot. by the time i'm ready, baby is usually long gone...or not at all looking...i was shooting in aperture priority mode and using very large aperture (as big as my camera lense would allow) for this whole shoot. i have yet to figure out a what a good shutter speed is for a wiggly subject while shooting with a wide open aperture. i was also using a tripod...here we are in need of a reflector again. and with my imaginary photo shop i crop in a bit making sure to get rid of the grey decking material in the upper right...same as above; photo shopping to the spit wad on the lip and desperate need of a reflector. or a flash. i'm still not sure. if you know, please enlighten me...these next two are prime examples of a fast moving baby and an unsure photographer. plus we are inside now, which totally throws me, and i was having trouble with my tripod...getting closer. still unsure about a decent shutter speed...this is the best one i came up with. the left side is a little dark and shadowy, but much improved from the last few shoots, don't ya think?...all in all this shoot was the most successful so far. i'm not quite sure what the next shoot will bring. i don't know if i'll be able to bring myself around to shooting with the point and shoot after comparing it with my SLR. but at $5.50 a pop to develop and scan film to a cd, i'm not so sure my wallet will be as accepting of the Nikon as much as i am. not to mention the husband.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

photo shoot #2

Outdoor Lighting: Ideal lighting for one like me...

the light was a little more ideal for me this go around. outdoor lighting is much easier to get a good exposure with when you don't know so much about camera settings.

things i do know about outdoor shooting: no direct sunlight as it can create weird shadows, squinting subjects, and camera glare.
things i don't know about outdoor shooting: everything else.

again, i tried to just take pictures of sissy as she was. no posing.

i love how she is standing here. she was made to be photographed. if i had photo shop, i would take away the shoes and the door mat in the background, crop in a bit, and maybe do something tricky to make the background a little more uniform (like all rocks or something) and out of focus some. not to mention a little color manipulation (brighter umbrella and eyes maybe)...do you love this hat as much as me?...
i realize that when shooting with a point and shoot you have much less control over exposure, but these bad shots could have been avoided if i would have thought about it a little more before shooting. good thing it's digital and i didn't waste precious film frames. here are some that went wrong. harsh shadows, overexposure, out of focus, you get the picture (bawhaha:))...i really like these next three. in my imagination these are a lot sharper because i used my awesome camera with my close up lens and all the trimmings, oh and of coarse some color enhancing with some ever popular image editing software...bingo! this is my favorite. i love the close up, i love the slightly off center, and as always- a most beautiful subject matter...

brother was again a little more tricky. it was too cold to let him crawl around on the hard cement, so he got strapped into his stroller and he was due for a nap. needless to say he wasn't thrilled to be having his picture taken...

a look of surprise and a less than desirable background. i do like the close up factor though...
note to photographer: make sure the wardrobe fits and the subject is happy and comfy in said wardrobe...sissy thought it was time for a wardrobe change and she thought brother would look great in her hat. surprisingly brother was happy about the change and livened up...a little...

too much cropping in and too close for camera's close up rang so here we are out of focus. again...
snapped this one too late...
not terrible, but next time lets try and get the subject to look in the right direction (even though sometimes that can create an interesting and realistic shot- i don't think it is working here though)...
besides the blah background and slightly off focus center, these two are my fav's...
so next time my goal will be to capture little brother in some more interesting scenes- and i may even pull out the old 35mm slr and see what i can do with it!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

photo shoot #1

Indoor photography: An aspiring photographers nightmare...

my baby just woke up. me and big sister head in to greet him. he is oh so full of smiles. sissy wants to play. baby wants to play. mr. sun wants to play. i run and grab my digital point and shoot and start snapping away.

i know enough about photography to know that the flash would have ruined the beautiful natural light flowing in through brother's window. i don't know enough however, to have exposed these just right. with photo shop i'm sure i could take away the green or yellow(i can't tell which) tint that i'm seeing. for that matter i would probably take away the bits of breakfast in sister's smile too:) i can only assume that the pixelated images are resulting from both the slight underexposure and the low quality of the lensing in a point and shoot camera. (?)

either way, i do think that some of these images turned out to be pretty dramatic and artistic. the husband thinks they are too serious. and while they are a bit serious in nature, i can assure you that nothing a two year old and a ten month old would do, are in any way, shape, or form, serious. i just captured these two at play. no posing. no saying cheese. just as they are in their natural environment...

keep in mind, i wasn't posing her... she is just a natural poser. what a beauty...


look at that face...

again, i know these all could definitely benefit from some photo shopping. i dream...

i love the angle and the untamed hair in this one...

isn't she sweet?...

i call this next one "Looking for Ants"...
still looking...quickly tiring of mommas game...
this is what happens to that beautiful natural light when ruined by the harshness of my flash. her expression was pretty priceless though...
she was so done. but i just couldn't stop myself. the light was so gorgeous and she has so many expressions. each one more priceless than the last...

i love this. especially knowing that she is posing on her own...these are the final four. my top picks. i'm not sure i could pick a favorite out of these, but i think i'm going to have to go with number one. i don't know. what do you think?...

#1#2
#3
#4

brother, on the other hand, was a little bit harder to capture. babies sure don't like to sit still do they? not many of these would actually hit the printing room, but i guess i just chalk it up to experience, right?...

the shadows didn't quite work to my benefit with these ones. a little out of focus too...
regretful shadows...


harsh shadows, fraction of a second too slow on the shutter release (thus the lazy eye)...

better luck next time with the little mans.
i look forward to the next session. maybe we'll get outside and experiment with some better lighting situations. i would like to learn however, how to take indoor photos in natural light, without the graininess (i know it's not grain- no film- no film grain. but what do you call it with digital?pixelating?) and sharp focused subjects. maybe a newer more capable camera would help. say a nikon d300? again, i dream.