Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Writing and Blogging

I enjoy writing articles about photography and events. I've written several lens reviews, a series of articles on composition, and some reviews of various events around Oregon and Washington. I've been so busy this summer, though, that I've fallen behind on the list of articles I've been meaning to write, but I'm sure as soon as the winter rains set in, I'll be able to catch up pretty quickly.

I have review articles on the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS, the EF 16-35 f/2.8L and the 24-70 f/2.8L lenses pending, as well as a review of the Canon 40D and the Canon 1DsMK III camera bodies in the works. As I've never reviewed a camera before, that should be a fun challenge.

I'm also planning to write an article about Crater Lake (if I can ever get back down there to shoot), an article on Barefoot Glamour, and maybe a basic studio lighting primer.

Other plans for the year are a potential Glamour Workshop, some pin-up shoots in the fall and winter, and at least one fair or festival. I might also hook up with my friend, Jim, and see if I can do some band venue shooting. That's quite challenging and he's been practicing for a few years now and seems to have it down to an art. I want to learn some new tricks from him.

I'm also open to suggestions about new writings. If any of my readers (all 3 of you) have any ideas of what you'd like to see me write about, please, by all mean, let me know. I'm always looking for new ideas and concepts.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Little Break

I've been taking a bit of a break from my photography projects. I shot quite a lot in March, June and again in July completing several shoots in those months. But I had so many images I needed to process, that I decided it would be best if I worked on those instead of shooting new material.

My plans were to begin shooting again this weekend, but I was unable to schedule a shoot with one model and I had to cancel a shoot with another as I had an unexpected business trip out of town that left me with no opportunity to adequately plan the shoot. It was probably fortunately that I rescheduled as the weather this weekend has been quite hot and humid and I'm sure the model would have wilted during a two hour shoot. She was very gracious about rescheduling and aware that I only did it to make sure we would get the best images possible from our shoot.

I did manage to make it to the POTN (Photography-on-the-Net) shoot in the Columbia River Gorge yesterday. It had been planned for several weeks and it was quite fun to meet some of the people with whom I've been chatting with online for so many years. There was 8 of us total from across the Northwest and we met at 7 am at the Vista House at Crown Point State Park. From there we had a wonderful view of the Columbia River Gorge. Our next stop was Latrourell Falls and then we made our way down the Gorge to Sheppard's Dell, Bridal Veil and Wahkeena Falls before heading out to Hood River for lunch and what we hoped would be some kiteboard shooting. In the image above you can see all of us (well, except me) shooting at Latourell Falls. I also got to experience the thilling adventures of the "Boring Boys" and their no holds barred approach to photography. I think they managed to dunk a good bit of themselves and their accessories (though not their cameras or lenses by sheer luck) before the shooting day ended.

The image to the left gives a bit of insight into the Boring Boys' approach to waterfall photography (wetter is better).

Lunch was good, but alas, there was no wind so our time together ended after lunch and we went our separate ways. although it seems I've been asked to host a glamour and nude workshop for some of the guys sometime this September. That should be fun to plan and execute.

In the meantime, I'm trying to schedule at least three more shoots before the end of the year for this year's projects while at the same time, planning lots of time to spend with my current and future grandchildren! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Past Glamour

I've been seriously shooting for about 30 years now. I bought my first SLR camera, a Canon AT-1, in late 1978. I have always been interested in photography, though. I can remember running around my neighborhood as a kid and shooting images with a small camera given to me for a birthday. Of course, back then it was all black and white and I doubt any of the images have survived the intervening years. In the late 70's, before the birth of my first child, I got very serious with my photography.

I can't say I was any good back then, but I sure enjoyed it. I bought all the books I could find that explained the basics of photography. I took courses from the New York Institute of Photography, and though I had a young family to support, I managed to acquire a decent set of lenses and a 2nd body.

Even back then I primarily enjoyed shooting outdoor glamour and nudes, and I worked with quite few models over the years. I got my first break with models when I moved to Upstate New York and I was able to work with several young ladies from the local area. I was able to get a few of those images published, though the tear sheets are long gone from my portfolio.

I did have one advantage that helped me improve my photography. I had, and still have, a lovely wife who was alway willing to pose for me. In fact, the image you see here is from 1986 (well after our third child) and taken along a rural river in Georgia. She was 26 at the time and this was taken at about 7 am in the early morning light. Back then she didn't mind getting up very early and jumping in a river for me. She's not so keen on it these days, though if I beg enough she'll do it.

In any event, I still love shooting outdoor glamour and nudes, and I still love shooting with my wife. And here she is 20 years later:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Continuing the Project

The Fae project is continuing, although at a slower pace. I was supposed to meet with the next model yesterday, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency (all is under control, so no worries there). The next shoot should be quite fun as the model is both lovely and enthusiastic and the Dance Fairy is the concept we're planning to shoot.

I have two other models who have expressed interest in the project, but neither one have been available for setting up the final logistics, so I'm unsure with those images will be shot, but I'm hoping to get at least 3-6 more concepts shot before the end of summer, including a reshoot of the Spring Fairy.

The image to the left is from my Art Fairy shoot. I have quite a few more images to process from that series, but I'm quite pleased with the ones that I've processed so far. I've made several prints from that shoot for my portfolio and they work quite well as part of the series.

I think for the future images, I'll cast and interview for a specific concept, meet with the model at least twice before the shoot, and have a more detailed script and at least one assistant for the shoot. That will go a long way toward making the shoots more productive and easier to post process the images.