Monday, April 28, 2008

On the shoulders of giants!

Friday evening was filled with questions, answers, and more questions. I met with a local photographer to talk about the different aspects of studio photography. I wanted to find out more about what it takes to run a studio and do portraiture. We talked about photoshop and how it is essential to produce good photographs. In the age of film everyone used a darkroom to produce their pictures and now photoshop becomes that digital darkroom. Anyone got $500 I can use to get photoshop? However, I do think that it will be a great addition and tool to my photography but I am not sure I want to make that jump just yet.

We also covered what their typical studio session looks like. It is amazing the difference between a studio session with a professional and a studio session in Target or JCP. At the commercial studios there can be professionals but they are stifled because they can't move the camera or they only have 15 minutes to get "that shot". In a home studio or somewhere else there is the ability to spend more time with the client and make sure they are happy with the end product.

Saturday I also had the chance to be part of a professional photography shoot. (woops no trip to the mountains) It was in a private setting and I was able to see a relaxed model who enjoyed working with this photographer. It was ended up being quite a long session because the model needed to get ready at the shoot. I am told that is usually the case but maybe not quite 2.5 hours.

It was a wonderful learning experience but there is also a lot to buy. I would need to get at least photoshop to edit my images and learn it. I would also need to get some lights and backdrops to convert my garage into a studio. We will see how it goes.

I will be adding something to my list from this experience!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Deafening Silence

A good friend and I went for a bike ride yesterday. It was about 15 minutes away and once were a mile into the ride we did not see anyone the rest of the ride. Amazing views, great company, and most of all deafening silence. Once we came around a bend and were behind Cheyenne Mountain only the occasional plain could be heard and distant running water.

How often in life do we just sit and listen? Those decisions in our lives that require thought rarely get the attention they need. I previously mentioned that I am trying keep balance in my life and add photography as a semi-professional hobby. I am thinking that if you want to find me Saturday morning I will be in the mountains.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is that feeling?

Lately I have been trying to improve my skills as a photographer. I have the desire and I think that I am catching on quickly. I have run into the problem that I an enjoying it so much that it is all that I want to do. I try to keep my life simple so few things occupy my time. Be a good husband, work hard at work, go mountain bike riding, hike and that is about it. You wouldn't think that taking up one more hobby/semi-pro activity would be difficult.

I have moved so fast through a lot of the beginning learning curve I think that I am now as a small cross roads. Do I hang out where I am and enjoy being good at taking some pictures or push forward and make another priority. Maybe I should take a break from the extra things in life for a month or so (going out to dinner with friends, making sure the house is clean, biking every chance I get) and concentrate on getting a strong base to a business. Who knows I am sure that I will decide subconsciously or my wife will tell me!

On a lighter note I read a friends blog that talked about taking the road less traveled. She made a list of 40 something things she wanted to do that people either told her she couldn't do or she though were out of reach. She did them all. Click here to go to her post and read it and keep your eyes open for my list that will be coming soon.

Lastly my wife and I are going on a road trip to California to see my aunt in Half Moon Bay. We are so excited to get out there and see her not to mention this will be a wonderful break from the everyday. If you have any suggestions where we should stop along the way please leave a comment.

Thank you to everyone for reading and be sure to leave some comments so I know I am not the only one reading this.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekend Light Class Slideshow

One Full Weekend

I have so much to share about this weekend but it was so busy that I have not had time to sift through all the pictures and thoughts.

This weekend included a hike in Waldo Canyon on Friday, Saturday was an all day lighting class both studio and outdoor as well as theory behind lighting, another hike on Sunday through Cheyenne Canyon with the pups and passing out about 7 Sunday night. Passing out that early was not helpful for house work and I feel like I didn't get any sleep anyway.

I will get through the pictures as soon as I can and get some slide shows up (once I figure out how to do that through blogger).

On the bright side I may have found the lens that I have been looking for! We will see though because Craigslist is always a gamble.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Canon EOS XTi

Last weekend I went to dinner with 3 professional photographers. We just ate and talked. I mentioned that I was frustrated with the image quality my camera was producing so I was looking at getting some new lenses. After talking for a while it became obvious that the two big guns in photography (Canon and Nikon) were going to be a better choice to move into professional work.

I went to a local camera store and looked, held, tested both bodies for about an hour. Then I left so I would have some time to think about it. I returned to buy the Canon EOS XTi because it felt better in my hands, was light, the lenses were less expensive, and I liked the quality. It is a great investment because there is so much that I can do with the camera so I can build some good glass first then move into an upgraded body as needed.

I will start posting pictures taken with that camera soon. On a side note we kept my old Olympus because my wife said she would like to start learning dSLR!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The More I Know the Less I Know!

I was talking to a good friend of mine a few nights ago and he has been shooting with a dslr for about 5 years if I am not mistaken and film for years before that. We were sharing ideas back and forth and I am still amazed at what I have to learn. What amazed me more was his admission that he still had more to learn. He always sees pictures that he wants to recreate. I guess I still have a long way to go.

I was at a dance competition a last weekend in Denver and I took some pictures there. I have posted them in a slide show. I thought that after I shot at the Fiddler I would improve but that was not the case. I had pictures that were blurry and way under exposed. I am finding that I need to bring the tripod and try pictures with that and I might need some better lenses.

With that said I am still always excited to get out and take pictures. I think that I first need to learn to be good at what I love and then move into the professional field. I guess I will see how it goes. I also have the fear that someone will pay me to take some pictures of them and they will hate the quality of the pictures.

"Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fiddler on the Roof

Last night I had the privilege of seeing a dress rehearsal of Pine Creek's production of Fiddler on the Roof. The are a great group of kids with a wonderful production. The play will run Wednesday through Friday this week and you can get tickets here.

I learned a lot with the 400 some picture that I took in 3 hours. It was the first time that I ran out of room on a card before I ran out of battery. The lighting was low and we were not allowed to use a flash. So to get pictures I used the manual setting with a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second and an aperture of 4.5 as that was the largest and fastest aperture that I could use. The pictures would have turned out ok if I didn't have to boost the ISO to 1600. There is a lot of noise in these pictures and the sensor seems to have a line on it at the higher ISO's. There were a couple people there that were using ISO of 3200 but I guess they had a much better sensor than I did. Let me know what you think of the pictures. If you have any advice I welcome that as well.