Friday, June 17, 2011

Hello, Again

So here we are . . . updating again.  Fancy that.  As Jen has previously explained, we've both been super busy lately, you know, with life and stuff.  So, since we've ditched our weekly themes, I thought I'd post some photos that I've either taken recently or have been thinking of lately.

This first one, was taken during a set of portraits of my father.  He requested that I do a portrait shoot with him a while ago, and we finally got around to it in the last week or so.  I'm very fond of this photo because of the clarity and the great lighting. I really love the effect of outdoor natural lighting.  This was taken in the shade of my father's heavily wooded backyard, a quality that really helps balance the lighting.  I also like the natural pose and posture and slightly contemplative look on Da's face.  I think this is a pretty good representative photo of him, which is the goal of such a shoot.

This next shot, also a portrait, shares a lot of similarities with the previous: natural outdoor lighting, shade, etc.  One big difference however, is the nature of the moment in which it was taken.  This shot is completely unposed; in fact, the model featured was wholly unaware of my camera sniping ways.  What's really great about the shot is that it manages to capture a certain essential Jane-ness: she's smiling, her eyes are open and bright, and her hair is curling sweetly.  I think that her being unaware of the photographer is part of helps this photo be so cute.

This last photo has little to do with the previous two.  I took it last fall in the backyard when we got a surprise visit from a mushroom colony of some enormity.  I really loved the shots that resulted, but never really got around to using and/or editing them.  This one I like mostly because the contrast in focus between the foreground and the background is eyecatching. I'm also fond of the feel of the photograph.  This photo has a very autumnal feel to it with the browns, ochres, and yellows as well as the general dampness of the wood.

So anyway, that's what I've been working on of late. This weekend, tomorrow in fact, I'll be visiting a lovely yert garden for some photo awesomeness.  So, look forward to some more nature photography soon.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm a Bad Person, but Not Really

Er.  H-hi, guys.

So, some things have happened, lately.  First, there was this:

And then there was this:


And then there were a multitude of things that made me feel like this:

Courtesy of

So, that's pretty much the reason for my lack of posting.  And the fact that the cat is trying to dominate my lap and licking my hand as I type.  It's all very effective, let me tell you.

Anyway, many apologies for the lack of updates.  It is the plan to continue as we had before this real life stuff, with the exception of regular Wednesday posts.  Both Haley and I are quite busy, unfortunately, and eliminating the Wednesday post as a regular feature actually gives us more incentive to update this blog as intended.  They won't be gone forever, but until we actually have the energy, these posts will just have to wait.

Anyway part II, it's nice to be back.  I'll leave off with some photos I'll be working on over the next couple of weeks.  No narrative right now; that will wait until I complete the editing.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Outings and Gatherings

So, it seems everything in the blog this week has been running a little behind.  In large part due to the very subject of our posts this week.  Ah, well, on to some photos!

The best part about photography at social gatherings is the opportunity to capture some candid shots.  Really good candid shots are all about recognizing a good shot and taking advantage.  Personally I love the shots that both grab a viewers attention and illustrate some essential aspect of the subject's character.

To start with, we have this one of my very good friend Lizzi.  Being a bit leery of cameras in general, Lizzi is a difficult one to capture a truly candid shot of.  She tends to notice quickly when a photo is being taken, so you have to act fast if you want to get an unposed view.

The sunlight in this photo really makes it great.  It adds dynamic patterns of light and shadow, while creating flattering lighting for Lizzi (though, I'm told it was also rather hot).

Then we have our second photo, a candid shot of Jen facing off against her arch-nemesis, Archie.  It captures a hilarious side of their friendship as well as demonstrating Jen's own sense of humor.

Again, the lighting is very good in the photo, one of the benefits of outdoor summer gatherings.  It's particularly good here, since its filtering through the leaves of the trees, which has a softening effect on the lighting.

In our third photo, we see Archie in his natural state - that of evil laughter.  I love this photo because of how well it captures Archie.  It's difficult to get a moving shot of someone that doesn't blur, making it quite hard to photograph anyone, though especially Archie, while laughing.  This shot also recalls the great time everyone had that day by being a snap shot of a reaction to that fun.

And, yeah.  We'll see you next week, hopefully with more prompt, detailed and well written postings.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Social Gatherings

 Hi, all.  Yes, it's one of those weeks--when real-life stuff gets in the way of a decent (and punctual) blog post.  However, attending a very fun social gathering with friends this weekend got me looking at my photos at various events and how sometimes photos taken just to document a good time actually look like Ahtsy works of art.  And, no, they're not entirely unplanned photos--indeed, both Haley and I subject our friends to modeling even during these occasions--but it is pretty cool when really good photos crop up just from hanging out with friends.

Jane at Green Mountain - May 2011
At left is a lovely shot of my dear friend Jane at Green Mountain.  I had taken this shot just last Saturday, and though many people had come and had a great time, I managed to take some (read: a lot of) time out to do some photo studies while also taking a lot of candid shots.  Jane didn't really realized I was taking this photo (much to her chagrin), but I think this shot benefits from the model being unaware of the camera.  Jane's complexion goes very well with bright sunlight and a woodsy background, so everyone join me in telling her shuddap, it is a good picture.

These two photos make me smile, particularly since they consist of an adorable boyfriend and girlfriend pair: Haley and Phillip.  We had gone on a day trip to good ol' Chattanooga, and though these two photos were taken at different times and different locations during that day, they still compliment each other very well based on expression and posture.  Also, they're just so gosh-darn cute, aren't they, kids?  Yeah, they're sickening.  Just sickening.  However, I do like this series of shots, and I am quite pleased with how they turned out.

Lizzi and Sarah - Munich, Germany (May 2008)
This last photo, seen right, is actually a bit more candid.  It was taken in 2008, when my college history class took a trip to Munich, Nuremberg, and Berlin, Germany for two weeks.  Here, we see my friends Lizzi and Sarah enjoying the spoils of the outside market in Munich.  I am fond of the ladies' expressions, which depict their characters very well: bright and sunny.  This photo also represents a very enjoyable time of my life, as this was the first time any of us three had set foot in Germany (and I liked it so much that I returned to work).  Carefree nostalgia comes into play, and the photo's visual interest is just good enough to catch the audience's eye.

Well, that's it from me.  Perhaps you'll see some candid social bloopers for tomorrow's post...

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Pets!

Because, you know, we thought you were dying for more cuddly animal photos. But really, I'm not sure why Jen thought this was a good topic for the week:  I only have hundreds of photos of my furry friends, and that's hardly enough to base a blog post on. Seriously.

Louis, Sleeping
One of my favorite parts of photographing animals is catching them in a moment that's completely unplanned.  Those moments where I have gone out with the express purpose of taking a photo of a pet, but instead happened to have a camera in my hand or nearby when the pet in question did something unbearably cute.

Of course, for the chihuahua featured in our first photograph, unbearably cute is his natural state.  My father's chihuahua was cuddled up next to my leg when I noticed how adorable his little paws were stretched out in front of him.  It was a difficult shot to get really, since I had to lean around and engage in some acrobatics to get it (I'm actually facing the same direction as the dog in the chair). But, yeah, it was worth it, and I really like the composition that feels like you can reach out and squeeze a paw yourself.

Avi Roar!
This second picture was taken shortly after I discovered my cat Avi (who has since moved on, sadly) playing in the monkey grass.  Technically, I think he was yawning in this photo, but it's all about timing.  You'd never know without being told (oops) that he was fearsomely roaring.

I also really like the vivid colors of this photo, with the green standing out so nicely against Avi's black, silver and cream colored fur.  The clarity of the photo, with each of his hairs distinguishable was also a pleasant surprise, since I was shooting on a camera prone to blur at the time.

Thelma in the Snow
In this next photograph, I was actually romping in the snow myself, when I notice our family dog, Thelma doing the same.  Then, she paused at the top of our deck and surveyed her kingdom.  Click.  It was just too perfect to pass up really. I love this shot, particularly for how poised and elegant Thelma looks.  For anyone who knows my dog could tell you that she's anything but. However, for this photo she sets aside her rather comic perpetual puppy nature and decides to be a model. I also enjoy the composition of the photo, the direction of Thelma's gaze drawing our eye to the line of snow covered railing, and the wintery landscape adds a certain softness to the photograph.

And, we have time for one last photo before our weekend break.  This last photograph really illustrates my point about how fun it is to catch a pet just being himself.  I give you.... Sebastian!