Saturday, March 12, 2011

An Introduction

Jen and I have finally decided to get our act in gear about actually writing our blog (as opposed to staring at the pretty background).  We have been busily brainstorming about blog post topics and have settled on beginning with an introductory post a piece.

It was fairly difficult to select a photo to be the focus of this post.  I knew I wanted one that could introduce me and my photography, but which one?  I've been addicted to my camera for years now, so I have thousands of photographs to choose from.  Even when choosing from favorites, it was hard to narrow the options down.  Finally, after some discussion with Jen, I decided to choose two favorite photos that represent the styles of photography I am most drawn to: nature photography and portraiture. And so, without further rambling

Redbud Blossoms
Yeah, that's right.  This is easily one of my best photographs, and it's also one of those I think of when asked for an example of my work.

I took this in the front yard of my father's house in early March of 2009.  The Redbud tree typifies spring in a lot of ways for me, heralding the season much as the daffodils do.  I love photographing flowers, so much so that it's hard for me to resist a flower if I have a camera at hand.

I tend to more consciously think about composition when focusing on nature photography than I do when taking portraits. I think that can definitely be seen here.  The angle of this photo is designed to make it seem as if the branch is coming towards the viewer. At the same time the branch continues past the frame, positioning the audience within the branches rather than viewing them from afar.

This picture is also very much about contrast for me, which is something I enjoy playing with in photography.  I love how the rough texture of the branch sits up against the delicacy of the clustered blossoms and the blur of the background that swoops down into the smooth clarity of the foreground. And of course, there's the most obvious contrast of color.  This to me enhances the vibrancy of springs first blooms, which are so often found in the stark landscape leftover from winter.  This latter example of contrast was achieved via the technique of color isolation and using Adobe Photoshop.  I'm a big fan of this technique, especially in nature photography, and this is one of my best examples of it.  However, as much as I love the results, I must admit that the process itself can be frustratingly tedious.

As for portraiture, I knew from the moment I decided to post such a picture it would be from the photo-shoot of awesomeness that I did with Jen.

I adore this picture!  There were so many great shots of Jen from that photo-shoot, but this one really captures her essence.  She's sunny, joyous and beautiful.

When shooting portraits I tend to think less obviously about composition, which becomes split second judgements that translate into direction.  Jen is one of my favorite models, because it comes very naturally to her once she gets comfortable. Even then portraiture can be truly difficult; the photographer has so much to consider in this situation. I had to keep Jen at her ease while directing her, taking good shots and worrying about lighting, etc. It's beyond important to have a good rapport with the model, which, since Jen is one of my bestest friends, I certainly have.

The light is one of my favorite aspects of this shot.  It seems to hit Jen perfectly, which is funny actually, since lighting was originally one of the things I had to fix in this photo.  To start, there was a sort of colorless wash of light over the whole photo. But, after some really minor editing I was able tweak the light, contrast and color saturation to get the glowing effect I wanted.

So, I hope that gives everyone an idea of my photography.  I really look forward to posting and playing with photos on here and sharing the creativity around. Haley out. (And yes, I really am that much of a super-nerd).


  1. Hi, guys! Jen here.

    I will personally vouch for Haley's natural talent at setting her models at ease during a photo shoot. A huge chunk of a portrait's success depends on the rapport between the photographer and the model, and Haley manages to balance this and good composition very impressively. In turn, this results in an enjoyable shoot for both the photographer and the model (even though latter may be forced to brave stalker ducks, treacherous rocks, and carrying multiple umbrellas--it's for AHT, people).

    So, yes. Five stars. Thumbs up. She's awesome.

  2. I do put my models through the wringer, don't I? We need to remember to do some fun/blooper posts. I'd love to put the stalker duck series of photos up there. I've got the whole set somewhere in files.