Fantastic Finds

 

HAPPY FALL!smiling-faces

Fall is full of them … fantastic finds. W-Va-Crackle

On one of the first days of fall, I set out on a “Back to Basics” outing at a nearby farmer’s market. Right away, I was greeted with a handful of challenges, such as really bright sunlight, people milling about everywhere, and a bit of my own hesitation. The hesitation…knowing vendors are there to try to sell you something and thinking they don’t want you blocking their stall trying to get “the shot.” Campbells-kids

One way I probably could have avoided feeling like I was getting in the way, shoot with a zoom lens.  But, it was just me and the 50 mm, and so I made a photo exercise out of it. Turns out, vendors (at least the ones I came across) were happy to have me mill about with my camera and strike up a conversation. . . whether it be about W. Va crackle glass or an old typewriter from the 1920’s (I sure hope it is still there the next time I go back).

And of course, it was not very hard to find all the colors of fall . . .
happy-fall-pumpkins . . . scattered here and there throughout the market.

white-impressions Oh, remember that W. Va crackle glass I mentioned… sunflower-studywell, this crackled little yellow treasure was my one and only fantastic find of the day that actually came home with me 🙂

Til next time,
Maria

 

Thought I would share . . .

. . . since I really haven’t had a whole lot of time to shoot lately.

I’ve been in one of those periods where everyday life has taken a lot of time and energy and my creative endeavors have had to wait.  Even this post has been sitting in draft mode for a few days.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking up new ideas or projects.  Quite the contrary, my idea notebook (yes, I have started to keep one and it comes in very handy), is filling up.

So I thought I would share a link or two today that inspired a couple of ideas for my idea notebook.

I tend to gravitate toward anything with the word creative in it or a derivative there of so of course this title, on may Facebook, got my attention Creative Portrait Photography Tips.  This title actually got my attention because portrait photography has not really been one of my strong suits.  I think mostly because I find it . . . intimidating.   I go through all the tips and tricks I’ve been told such as striking up a conversation, making them forget you have a camera, etc.  But seriously the hardest part for me is to get the words “can I take your picture” to leave my lips.  Oh, so many missed opportunities due to that little bit of hesitation {sigh}.  So I usually take the sneaky  route and shoot from the hip, but of course that is so hit or miss.  Studio photography has not really been an option . . . I don’t have one, no high-end lights & equipment, not even a spare room in the house (need one of the kids to move out for that).  And even for an impromptu, outdoor, natural light shoot, well, having a model would help.   . . . Ok, I won’t keep you waiting any longer.

http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/creative-portrait-photography-tips/

What intrigued me the most was the photographer’s creative process; the artist coming up with the concept, sketching it out, the artistic makeup, and choosing the settings to complete the concept long before the photos ever went into Photoshop.  Oh, and the lack of equipment.

And speaking of portrait/people photographers, I have a few favorites.  There’s a couple of the “Master’s” of course, but there’s a couple others that almost always come to mind first.   First  is my brother; I guess he’s the one that got the people-person gene http://www.spiritdogphotography.com/ .  Then when my daughter went off to college last year, I came across a young photographer by the name of Kevin Wong.  He’s fresh & edgy, but not too in your face or dark . . . for me anyway; he’s creative, young, and I think even a little . . . vintage (which I love).  What a great mix.  I often think if I did portraits, I would like to take something from his style.  You can check him out here http://www.wix.com/kwong07734/kwport.

So hopefully as things calm down in the days to come I will be able to implement some of those ideas in my notebook . . . I can’t wait!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING! (a few hours early :-))

Start to Finish

Time to catch up.  First some Beyond Layers.  Last week (or was it the week before) was from Start to Finish.  Since it’s winter and shooting outside has not been ideal, many of the photos I have been posting have been taken right here in what my family has so sweetly dubbed the “Photography Suite”  (oh how I wish this could actually classify this as a suite).  My setup:  1. A shop light; mine has one of those  energy-efficient CFL bulbs.  You can find these at any hardware store or, like me, I borrowed them from the garage (shh, don’t tell my husband)   2. A roll of white craft paper. I just recently discovered this.  I got tired of dealing with the seams when using the white foam boards.   I do, however, still use the foam board as a reflector.  So I guess I can actually call that No.3 (the reflectors).  4. Off camera flash.  Many times the natural light I get is a strong morning light (blinds not shears on window),  which in  turn creates some strong shadows. So to offset this, I use my flash off camera usually bouncing it off the ceiling.    I also found using the desk lamp helpful when directed behind my subject.   5.  Finally, I finish up in the post- processing.  I do strive for the best possible image right out of the camera, but sometimes when your working with making do, you have to make it up somewhere else.


Here it is . . . the Photography Suite set up.

 

Ta-Da!  The finished image.  (Textures:  Kim Klassen’s Felicity and Vintage overlay)

As American as Apple Pie

My storyboard started out on a completely different path.  I originally started with a “day in the life” theme. I have been taking photos all week.  I shot some photos of my alphabet-less keyboard, the dogs, my monitor with my great new camera vintage wallpaper from Fossil (they have great vintage finds & cute clothes ) . . .   I took my camera on the dog walks which is always a challenge.  I even attempted a self-portrait or two (that’s a story in itself and another post for another day).  It was getting pretty apparent that I wasn’t feeling a story.

But then in the middle of the week  my dad stopped by with an apple pie that he made.   Actually, he made two (one for himself too).  See, he’s always telling me about the pies he makes.  Usually apple; he likes to experiment with different apples, sometimes his own crust, sometimes he gets help from Pillsbury.     This particular pie was made with Rome apples because he’s apparently not a fan of the more traditional Granny Smiths (too tart).  But more times than not he usually finishes his pies before I ever get to take a bite; so this time he made one just for me  . . . and I suppose the family and personally delivered it ~big smile.

And that was that . . . {sigh}. . .  the end of my diet as I had known it.  I had to have a slice (ok, so maybe I have had more than a slice).  Turns out Rome apples make a very tasty pie.    So that is how I got to this storyboard.  I have had apples on the brain, in the form of an apple pie that derailed my diet in all of its As American As Apple Pie glory.

Back to the diet . . . tomorrow.