Wednesday, December 25, 2013

With love from Christmas Past



2R4A0632

I always love coming back -- country quiet, the family friends from 'way back, and our dream house that just seems to attract cooked creations and simplicity.  Even though we only seriously lived in the house for two years and vacationed for ten, I'm not sure I'll have many chances to do so in the future.  We're packing up our house in Virginia and, though I know there will be several more trips to finish the job, there's just something special about a last just-normal-vacation.

I've been spending most of my time putting off business, reading childhood books and convincing myself I'm not going through technological withdrawal (there's no internet or service to speak of).  I content myself in my room while my dad does whatever needs to be done, and my poor flu-induced mamma watches increasingly terrible network holiday movies.  Every once in a while, I'll terrorize my fluffy cat.

I can almost fool myself into thinking that it'll always be like this, despite the little jobs that have been cropping up in my reading time -- cleaning window tracks, rubbing at carpet depressions with a screwdriver so buyers will forget we used furniture...hauling old desks and bookshelves onto a tractor for my dad to drive from the basement to the trailer.

I also pretend I'm not too sad about the childhood memories being loaded up in that tractor.  Nostalgic recollections seem more suited for a spring day in an attic, not grown adults hauling out antiquated speakers to be dumped off at the Community Exchange shelter (even if those were the speakers dad made himself that survived the trip to and from Taiwan -- the ones that would serenade us every Friday night with Michael Card, and the ones that won out in a volume battle at the hands of my brother and me.  Between those, the piano, and my screams, I remember dad storming through the front door from his firehouse meeting across the street.  Whoops.)  But remember we did -- while muscling the awkward dresser, desk or what-have-you, I got little snippets of origins from my dad.  "That chest was made in the 1800s." or "I made this bookshelf when we were in Taiwan."  I suppose we talked more about the stuff while moving it out than we ever did the ten years it existed in our basement.  If this is how we get the memories, I guess I can't complain too much.

And anything is better than last year, where about this hour, dad was trying to come out of the post-op fog that put his back together again.  Cherished (albeit stale) memories weighed against them coming from my dad in the flesh -- no contest. I know he'll miss it all just as much as me.  Probably more; after all he practically built this house with his own hands.  But the more live moments I have with my family, however mundane, pitted against the horrors of last Christmas (and New Year's and Valentine's), it might as well be a holiday every day.  

Merry Christmas to you and yours -- hold em close.





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Barn at High Point | Chris & Ashley

I'm pretty sure this is one of the most unique couples I've ever shot -- lovers of Disney and Firefly, all wrapped into one.  Set it to the sounds of Pacific Rim, add in some weapons, literal fire and rain and you have just a smidgen of all that encompasses this animator and his bride.  

They took the rainy weather (and resulting power-outages) in stride, and made it just as memorable -- in FACT, I'm absolutely in LOVE with the shot we got at the end of the day!

Stay tuned for a little somethin'-somethin' when it comes to their love of Firefly (that will also explain what the weapons were for) -- I may or may not have something in the pipelines ;-) 

But as for the wedding,  Divertitevi ~

Dress Pearls Brooch Dress-in-the-corner Bouquet First-Look-Bride First-Look First-Look-B&W Walking-B&W Bride Bouquet-Wide Shoes Bridesmaids Groom-Boutonniere Groomsmen Bridal-Party-Selfie Windows-and-bottles Signing-the-Globe Bucket-o'-presents Mailbox-detail Unity-Sand Bridal-Procession Ceremony-Front Ceremony-Wide Ceremony-Laughing Vows

Now you may recognize the Best Man; that's Allen, the groom from a previous wedding I had the privilege of shooting. You might also remember the Ring-fetching stunt that Chris pulled when he was Allen's Best Man -- Lol, pretty killer to see karma turn around. (Those are handcuffs btw)

Handcuffs Kiss Parents-Crying-B&W Presentation Reception-Wide Table-Setting Mary-Poppins Table-Setting2 Cake Cake-Fight Grandmother-Reception-Candid Candy-Table Reception-flames Groom-Reception-Candid Bride-Reception-Candid Sparklers1 Getaway

And here's what makes the difference -- time. Rarely do we photographers really get a chance to play around and figure out ideas. I'd had a rain photo before, but wanted to try a warm/cool effect with a sparkler. No way could we've done it without a bride and groom so awesome to give us the time :) With the help of a groomsman, Courtney Herod and Jeremy Bowcock, I think we pulled it off!
  Fire&Rain

Friday, November 29, 2013

[Tips & Tricks] | Prisming

Had a few of you ask how this worked after my shoot with Allie, so I thought it'd be easier to answer all at once -- I can give you some links to some killer examples here too.

It's quite simple really -- 

1.  Grab a prism (possibly from here or any science shop site).

2. Lay it flush with your lens like so: 





3.  And twist or rotate it so it'll catch whatever is to the left or right of your subject.  I like to stand 45 degrees off from a window and throw it into the subject.  

Yes my subject is my adorable cat.


It can be subtle...




Or not as such...



4.  Try a different shaped prism.  I haven't tried it yet -- mine is a 6-inch triangular prism.  Of course different prisms will garner different effects.  Try 'em, go nuts -- and then let me know; I'm curious.



I first wanted to try it when high fashion photographer, Guy Aroch, did a shoot with gymnast, Nastia Liukin.  

If you look up his work, you'll see him use it a lot.  His style is my favorite so far that I've come upon.

After some digging, I found out that he used a prism, which led me to needing to know how he used it, what shape/kind, etc.


[Click the photos to go to the full site]


Nastia Liukin by Guy Aroch

You can use it subtly, or take it all the way to Sam Hurd-style.  

He was who I found next -- I'm not a huge fan of all the huge bright colors, but this is within the realm of possibility.  

Plus, he was the one who actually explained the process on his blog and even has a video that shows the real-time effects.   

(Some call it "Hurding" -- it's an old technique, so that's a bit misguided.)   

Sam Hurd

And just as an added bonus, French fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier used one in a shoot for DKNY.   
Go ahead, click on the photo and be inspired.  Then go do!

DKNY shoot by Patrick Demarchelier






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