Monday, August 17, 2009

Got a cute prop today..

I guess it'll be seen on the next baby or little girl picture.. :).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beauty and the Beast Tour: My thoughts

Thursday I spend all day at the "Beauty and the Beast Tour". Now one can speculate why is it called Beauty and the Beast, and I think I know.. I hope that isn't the reason. Ok, I'll explain it a bit.

So, not to take away from the fact that I really did enjoy it and learned alot, it was kind of "interesting" to say the list. Two photographers were giving the classes, Hanson Fong and John Woodward. While I am a member of NAPP, read ton of blogs, books, magazines etc. it was actually the first time I heard of those two. I had looked them up when I heard about this event, though. Hanson Fong, an asian guy who is a master at posing large groups tends to speak about himself in third person. That was easy to get used to. I realize thats a cultural thing. So, he was talking about posing - about "labeling" the people A and B. (obviously as a photographer, you do this in your heard, and don't verbalize it). A is the slim one, and B is the heavier one. An A can be a B next to a skinnier person, and a B can be an A, next to a heavier person. Get my drift? While I'm not so oversensitive to think it was rude to say out loud, ok, you're a B.. these "models" are adults, but he kept on picking on the other guy, John Woodward.. "hey, we need someone with a huge belly in here" or the like (can't remember the exact words).. While this may be the banter they're used to, I think it was a bit overdone. Once, twice, fine. But every single time.. and of course the opposite.. to crack a little joke, he asked "now, whats wrong with this picture?" The audience is quiet, and the picture seems fine to everyone. He says "John, get out, and insert a good-looking Asian guy".. Ok thats funny, but again at the the other guys expense.. lots of those jokes. oh, well. I guess it works for them.

So I'm thinking that he named it Beauty and the Beast - Beauty for himself and John Woodward is the beast - not nice, not nice...

The big difference I found between this event and events from NAPP is also there is clearly stuff being sold. I learned to keep my radar on, and not bite at every "recommendation" that is made. They definitely make a commission and they are definitely there to sell their stuff. It is up to me, the participant to weed out the stuff that I don't need and do my own research to what stuff I do need. You can take the lessons, and ignore the sale pitches. Works for me.

John Woodward had a lesson about Self assessment, which was interesting, and I'm not sure who spoke about the curves of the mouth, and what side to light the face. Mmm.. Is that true, that everybody's mouth has a bigger down curve on one side? Oh, well.. I will definitely be more conscious of that if a person has a mouth thats slanty.. (yeah, and they openly look for someone with a distorted mouth, how nice...)

Overall, the event was great. Hanson's personality gave the audience a laugh, and poor poor John.. he's the underdog.. :). The top picture was a quote he put on the screen. I guess its something like "If you don't take Nissen, you don't know what you're missin''" haha..

P.S. I played around with blue gel today, and this is what I got.. What I did was, I put these glasses on a black poser thingy, in front of my reflector, put the speedlight with blue gel facing the reflector and tada! This is what you do when the kids don't want to cooperate.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Heshy is 8 months old today

And I just reminded myself of that now, about 11 minutes to August 13..  and at the same exact point that he woke up from his sleep.. I took a picture of him today.. Will add it to the post manyana. Gotta run  make a bottle for the kid. Good night.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finally, pictures of someone other than my kids...

and here they are.. My sister, and her two youngest. Baily sees a camera and yells noo... oh boy.. but we got some good shots anyway especially after she settled down with an ices. Come again with the full brood, sis! (and my other sibs as well.. I'm waiting for you). Of course, paying clients are EVEN MORE welcome.. ha :). Hopefully I'll have some practice shoots for the rest of the month and then start charging a small fee..

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Today was a great day, and I didn't even leave my house!

Y'all know how I've been kvetching about my space, or lack thereof, for the studio. You've heard my complainin' about all this stuff that I don't know what to do with, or where to move them. Thing is this. While I'm a technical person, when it comes to light stands, and those little "hardware" pieces, clamps, etc. I'm lost. Its like taking me down the plumbing aisle at Home Depot. I have no idea what to do with that stuff.

So, today I had my photo lesson in my studio and we solved a lot of that. J.C. (his name is Joseph Carey, by the way) showed me how to maneuver some of these equipment and hopefully it'll make me less frustrated with my studio.

One advantage of doing it at my house was the cutest subject in the world, of course. I got some great shots. I gotta admit that using the light stand for him to hold on to was JC's idea, but when it (and Hershy) fell down, I decided it looked so cute and we left it that way for a bit. I think part of my problem with composition is that I over think it. I stress out about it and the simple things right in front of you work out so well.

I also learned a bit about Adobe Lightroom, (yeah, I got lightroom finally.. Woohoohoo!!) so I'll play around with that. Going to the Lightroom event seems to have been a waste of time mostly, since I didnt have the program yet, a lot of the information went right over my head. Oh, well, I'll use a book or something.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

There's something about me, you might already know...

I'm a gadget junkie (besides being a caffeine junkie, and a makeup junkie, and a - ok.. I'm going off topic here.. Focus!). So, lets start again. I'm a gadget junkie. Most of the time, I am surrounded by my little electronic friends here: iPod, iPhone, laptop, camera, lenses, flashes, etc. With that said, especially when you're in the creative field - there is no limit to how much stuff you want. There is always some new gadget out there that claims to make graphic design or photography much easier, and they all swear you just can't live without it, or your life will change dramatically if you have it.  With photography especially, these things are darn expensive. Good glass can run you $800+ bucks. Since I am always reading graphic design and photography magazines, blogs, etc., listen to podcasts, I hear about all those new gadgets and get excited for them. What I'm trying to say, is that my wish list is so huge that I must win the lottery. Ok, I don't know where that came from. Thats what happens when you just write without any prior planning.. Whatever, I'm silly sometimes.

So, heres my new addition to my photo stuff. The Lastolite Kickerlite. I heard about it on PhotoshopUserTv, I think. It was definitely Scott Kelby that was showing it, so it could have been his blog or PhotoshopUserTV.  I bought it at B&H. Duh! (The hubs works there, for those invisible people who may or may not be reading this blog, and may not know who I am in real life). I hope to give it a whirl soon.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ha, Ha, Ha: I've been moving the clarity slider the wrong way... and I must get Lightroom!

Rewind to the days past, where I didn't know how to take a clear picture. Back when, I was taking every shot at 18mm with my zoom lens and didnt know how to focus... (In reality, not too long ago, but with my photography progress, feels like eons). I would take some mediocre pic and pump it up a bit in Camera Raw, draggin' that clarity slider up to the wazzoo and hoping that nobody will notice that it was blurry...

I just realized while processing some pictures, that in order for the face to look more smooth, you have to move the clarity slider the other way.... It may not be noticeable to the untrained eye that that's what I've been doing, and maybe since a baby's face is naturally smooth, it wasn't that obvious.

That brings me to Lightroom. I need a copy desperately. That would allow me to smooth out the face while upping the clarity on the rest of the photo without going into major photoshop work. Oh, well.. I'm workin' on that.