Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why Wait

I just looked at my "to do" list and none of it seemed like any fun, so what the heck, more Ashley. I think I may have captured the warmth and playfulness of this St Louis University student. If I could only make a living doing this.  Maybe someday when I grow up.

Change Up

Well, last week I made some time to do some lighting test and my friend Ashley, whose eyes you have seen in the past, agreed to be my subject. Yea, spared you the self portraits. I think I'll post more later but this one really caught my fancy. I don't know exactly what it is that stops me in my tracks but I love this image.
Youth, great skin, amazing eyes and a willingness to be patient with my dallying with lights.  Thanks, Ashley.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just in the NIK of Time

I'm about to do something I said I would never do. I've avoided ads and commercial comment, until now, but looking at the last post, I think it only fair that I say out loud or in this case in bold letters how important a tool can be. Without this software I more than likely would have lost interest in a boat load of images I have captured.  There is hardly an image that I have developed (mentally and digitally) that I haven't used a least one of the Suite of software produce by NIK. In my mind it is the second most significant software product a photographer can use short of Photoshop. 
I was introduced to the young man who is the brains behind NIK software maybe 10 to 12 years ago when I was still working for Kodak. Amazingly he still remembers that day and has been very courteous whenever we talk, though I'm sure he knows 10 thousand more important and influential people than I.
There are 5 variation that I used and they have just rolled out the new HDR software that is so very impressive.  
As usual I have gotten away from the point.  
When I look back at the iPhone image, recently posted, I just marvel how that was not much of an image until I kicked it in the head with the NIK software. Sure, the composition was pretty darn nice but the other properties were nothing of which to speak. 
I'm a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to sharing my little secrets or techniques. I say I love teaching young people the trade but there a few things that I feel a bit possessive about.  For the longest time I used a very proprietary system for converting images to Black and White.  I didn't share it with many people because it was unique to me.  Then one day I began to enlighten others and surprisingly as hard as most tried, few were successful at getting the results that I got. I think there is an intuitiveness about it that others didn't have and I couldn't iliterate.
Then along comes NIK and its suite of software tools and at the very least I would tell anyone listening, if you're sharpening your images in Photoshop,  stop now.

Download the free trial version of NIK Sharpening Pro. I'll give you back your investment if you don't love it.

May your love of the trade, blossom beyond your greatest expectations.

Thanks Michael.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Everybody's Doing It... plus one more

 plus one....

Ever since Apple came out with the iPhone, maybe even before, photographers have taken to using it for some niche art opportunities. I, for one, have not taken to it as yet. It is not for the shaky of hand. The shutter release is in a very inconvenient location and add the relatively low resolution and less than stellar lens and I'm pretty much out of luck. Undaunted by my ineptitudes, I keep trying.  Today I found, that if I dink around long enough on the computer I can eventually produce something of interest. This is the recently renovated Continental Building in the Grand Arts Center, just down from my studio. As I look at it, I see maybe, an Orson Wells vintage property or maybe Superman or even Buck Rogers or as a friend suggested, maybe even early Gotham, Batman. Whatever I'm seeing, I like it.  I had this friend who's motto was, "If you shoot enough, you'll eventually come up with something." Got it.

Let me add this quote from Elliot Erwitt.

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."

Since the original post, I've come around to the western view of the Continental Building and added a different perspective, both in angle and style.  Somebody stop me.