Tuesday, December 29, 2015

One Word ~ Gift

One Word Project ~ Gift

For most of our past words I've been the "director and producer" of the final photo.  Planning out a concept and creating an image.

For this word I decided to go with the spirit of the Christmas season and see what would come my way in the form of a "gift".  Part of the inspiration for this idea came from a post on Joe McNally's blog back on 7-13-2013.  Fittingly my birthday.  Quoting from his post "A Gift Photographically   …the grace of someone’s time, the whimsy of their expression…."  His words struck a chord with me and his message hit home.

Through our camera we are able to give gifts that we produce as a printed photograph.  This young lad gave me the gift of his attention.  He was drawn with interest to my camera and enjoyed touching the buttons and looking at the photos of his monkey that I had made.  We shared a couple of minutes together and as most two year olds he was ready to move on to something new.  Talking with his gramps later in the day our conversation about photography divulged that he doesn't have many printed photos of his grandson.

Now those couple of minutes in the kitchen and a couple more out on the lawn will find their resting place as printed photographs.  Memories will conjure up not only from this day but this year as well.
Children grow up so fast - preserving memories of their younger years through a print that can held and touched helps to keep those memories vivid.  A gift that will stay with you long after the moments pass.  



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Commanding Light

I absolutely love working with Ella - her poise and beauty show through in every move and pose that she does.

For this series we talked about commanding the doorway.  I set up three lights that were triggered off camera to highlight her form as well as the texture of the wall.

The main light was set up on camera right to light her face.  I used a soft box with grid to keep the light tamed on her with some highlights spreading to the wall. A second light was placed on camera left and dialed in to balance the light hitting her limbs and wall.  The third light was placed directly behind her to give a subtle highlight separating her from the darkness inside.  Overall I'm pleased with the results on my lighting but see that my balance of light wasn't perfect.  A little too hot on wall right as well as interior wall left.  What trumps this photo as a favorite is Ella's pose and expression.

The light allows me to see ~ but the pose and expression command me to feel.

She commands her space beautifully.



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Lighting up the Night Sky

This photo has stood the test of time tacked on to the cork board since 1994.  My oldest son Chris' fascination and love of fireworks has been since he was a young boy.

It was fitting that on this Christmas he wanted to contribute a fireworks display for our holiday gathering with family and friends.  The weather cooperated generously keeping a good part of our revelry outside on the deck throughout the day and into the night.

As we all gathered together one by one Chris lit up the night sky with blasts and booms for us to enjoy.  Bringing joy and laughter that will become memories to look back on with a smile.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

What You Do After the Fall

An early Christmas gift from my son Tom.  He took a pottery class at school this semester along with a print making class.  He would come home and share stories of his "creative" process with a spark in his eyes.  He's always been focused towards the athletic side of life so for me to see him embrace the arts brought a lovely sense of pride.  Both of my boys have a giving creative side to them which I like to claim as "my side of the family" as I'm not known as having an overly athletic gene pool!

This vase from Tom's collection took a digger to the floor during the first stages of creation.  Instead of giving up on the piece Tom made it his own.  Bringing it to life with a uniqueness and strength that is Tom.  This year has taught me so many things.  I love that at 55 years old I still think of myself as learning.  This vase will be a treasured piece for our home.  A timely reminder that it's "what you do after the fall" that speaks loudest and shows the world what you're made of.



Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Kick Up Your Heels

Life is supposed to be fun!

Be mindful to never loose the little kid in you



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Studio Work

A great session with Moriah in my studio setting.
It's a nice feeling when I am able to make the person I'm photographing comfortable during our time together.  I take pride in this mostly because of the "pre" conversations we have before the session starts.  Most clients will express verbally or through body language what they "don't like" about themselves.  My job is to have a conversation with them that allows them to let go of all that and just be comfortable with who they are.  I absolutely love how Moriah just settled into the chair and opened up.

Secondly, it's important for me as the photographer to make a portfolio of portraits that offer variety in posing and lighting.  Ultimately creating a set of images that will show different moods and style.  This first image of Moriah had her playing up to the camera for a bit of fun.  While the second one she's taken on a slightly more serious tone while staying engaged with the viewer.

I'll be sharing the batch from the "swing" tomorrow.
Got to love on a cold winters' day when I ask "do you want to take some out on my swing?"…..  and the response is….

Oh Yeah!

Stay tuned...



Friday, December 18, 2015

This Dance

I posted this photo of myself for my profile picture.  It was another of my "practice lighting" sessions that I set up to build on my knowledge of how to see and manage light.  A 7' parabolic umbrella with a silver lining to give a punchier light to this series.    

Reading comments to my FB page made me think there's so much more to it.  One comment on the lighting ~ I was excited that Mary Ann noticed the lighting~!  Don't get me wrong it's nice to receive compliments on how you look in a portrait and I appreciate the kindness extended ….but there's so much more to it for me.  Loved my friend Dorothy's comments - " lush and liberal ?" ~  "the dress is nothing without you in it".  Keeping in mind it's the "you" that is the most important feature.  Not the physical flesh and bones you -  the "YOU"

Just listened to a song on Pandora that sparked this posting.  "This Dance" by Five for Fighting.
The lyrics at the end of the song read "you put the beautiful in life" "you put the beautiful in life"

That's the spirit I believe we should all go into 2016 with.  We all have the capability to "put the beautiful in life"  

That's the road I want to be on…... 



Monday, December 14, 2015

The Village

The Christmas Village is up!  It has spent too many years being cooped up in the attic.  It was time for her to come down and spread joy through the Christmas holiday.

Along with my helper "Elf Chris" we unpacked boxes and set up houses, trees,  people and lights.  Had to make sure there was plenty of snow and voila the village came to life!

Come take a walk down Main Street with us…..

You'll see folks enjoying a campfire by the skating pond in front of the school yard

A family coming back from a trek in the woods to cut down their Christmas Tree

Partners skating at the ice rink on the outskirts of town just over the bridge

Children building a snowman in front of Town Hall and dressing him in a bright red scarf to keep out the winter chill

The conductor checking the arrival time of the next train as it brings family and friends home for the holiday

Take in the view as you ride up the mountain in the gondola to the upper village

Go on a winter sleigh ride through the mountain pass

Take your sleds and saucers over to the sliding hill for an afternoon of fun

Each time I've set up this village it takes on a new life.  But the sense of community and love within is there each and every year.

God bless and Merry Christmas,


Sunday, December 13, 2015

One Word ~ BURNED

One Word Project ~ Burned

This word prompted memory of an expression my mom would say when something made her angry. "That burns me"  
So in the spirit of this project I chose to convey what that is to me through a photograph. 
Oddly enough this particular word did "burn me".  My first attempt was a total fail - I was getting too cheesy in my execution.   Additionally, I couldn't get the flashes to work in the way that I wanted them to.  It was time to put it away to revisit on another day.  

Funny though as I was packing up I looked at the used match heads sitting in the dish and thought maybe I have my photo right there.

It told a story in its own way...
Metaphorically speaking when you get burned too may times in life eventually you will break.  
Luckily though once broken you won't get burned.

Today I noticed my notes and decided I needed to revisit my concept and figure out how to make the repeating flash work off camera.  I'm not one to give up and perseverance after failure is the only option.  So after working through a few glitches I figured out the process and came up with my photo.

Let perseverance take hold and at the end of the day you'll come out on fire!



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pure Silliness

We set up lights and we work ~

Testing varied scenarios using different light modifiers
learning to adjust the quality of light
keeping shadows for interest. 
Feathering and bouncing light around 

Breaking things up with outfit changes…

and a few "dance moves" thrown into the mix

But I must say there is no better feeling than when pure silliness takes over a shoot.
One of the most pleasurable things my photography has taught me is that I don't have to 

take myself too seriously.
Sometimes it's just about donning a furry hat and working it!



Monday, December 7, 2015

Atypical December



Growing Out of Darkness

Trying to bring a concept to life in a photograph.  In my mind I come up with ideas and they grow into thoughts that lead to the next progression which is "how do I convey that feeling into a visual image?"

First of all I want to thank my girlfriends Deb and Cathy.  They are always willing to listen to my crazy ideas and work together to make things happen.

For this one I was getting a bit more complex in nature.  We could have easily gone outside and done this image ~ but instead took on the task of bringing the outside inside and adding light to attempt a natural looking photograph.  As in most of these experiments I learn how much more I need to learn.

The basis for this concept was growing out of the darkness ~ breaking free.  We all have a "darkness" within us that we sometimes just can't break free from. It holds us captive if you will.  We were working on the idea of a faerie shoot so the combination worked in my head and "dark faerie" came to life.  I didn't go with a traditional faerie for this one as she's still being held by the darkness below.  Not to worry though ~ It's not all darkness.  I have "light faerie" and "natural faerie" in the back of my head for the next go around.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

One Word Project ~ Effervescent

I wanted to try to make an image that represented the effervescence within each of us. Who we are - bringing a slice of personality alive through a photograph.   I threw on some bling while keeping with the casual outfit I was wearing that day. The concept was to serve as a reminder to all of us - our internal "bling" far exceeds anything we could possibly "throw on" or "take off" for that matter.   

Let your inner bubbly bring life to the party - or party to your life. Either way sounds good to me.

For setup I put my camera on a tripod and photographed my reflection in a mirror.  I was hoping for a progression from completely out of focus to showing a noticeable progression of clarity ending with the final frame being in sharp focus.  Didn't go exactly as I had thought it would but that's okay - most things in life work out that way.  Learning to be accepting of life's challenges and speed bumps. 
My original concept was to produce a triptych - but after all was said and done I ended up liking four images from the series - I guess some extra added effervescence can't hurt in this case.  



Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Village

 ~ the joy of giving to others for generations.  

at the Laconia Community Center
a fitting place to share the joy and excitement of Christmas~! 



Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Hummingbird Person

I recently listened to a talk done by Elizabeth Gilbert about "following your passion".  A few minutes into her talk I could relate to what she was saying and thought, yes, that's me.  But as she got into the meat of it I begin to shift and see myself differently.

A hummingbird person may not have that one passion that drives their course in life.  They may travel a different path - more like a pin ball bouncing off different elements and getting spit out every now and then as they make their way.

The hummingbird person creates a haphazard travel pattern that would unlikely be taken by someone who is following their passion with a solid route in mind.  It doesn't matter which category you feel you fall into.  Either way works and all the hummingbird people need not feel pressure to "find" a passion.  It's merely a different navigational route.  A hummingbird person shan't let the pressure of not "knowing" dissuade their journey.

Going forward try Curiosity.  "Lift your eyes and turn your head a quarter inch".   Allow curiosity to take the lead.   Don't allow the fear of failure to hamper the direction.  But rather let curiosity drive the bus.  You may not have any idea which road your passion is on but through curiosity eventually you will arrive where you are supposed to be.    

If I were to look back on my personal journey it would reveal a zig zagged pattern of a hummingbird person etched through the years.  I do believe I have found "a" passion ~ but now I'm a believer that life may have something more in store for me.  So on goes the pin ball bouncing and occasional "spitting out" route as I make my way ~ hopefully with a few bells and whistles thrown in for fun!



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One Word Project ~ Effervescent

Once again the wheels start churning upon the selection of our next word.  Number 22.

Effervescent ~
The first thing that popped
into my mind was bubbles.
Fizzy bubbles - champagne or
seltzer - whatever your
preference may be.
A consumable excitement!
Bubbly if you will.

So, in the nature of this project I
had to come up with a different way to
portray this consumable excitement.

This image is my beginning stage in that effort.
A reflection. Casually waiting.  Not much
in the way of excitement -

but then again
I am not done yet…..