The portrait you make can mean a lot

Samantha Aarts, Mary Pope’s 18-year-old daughter modeled for one of my lighting classes last year. She passed away from an accidental morphine overdose.

I have my days when I think of what I do for a living to be a joke.

It takes but a fraction of a second to make a picture.

While I was at the newspaper, except for natural disasters which affected many lives, the importance of my photography was seldom real.

Often I would ask myself, “Why am I being dispatched to traffic collision especially if it happened hours ago?”

Was it ever going to change how people drive?

Would people think twice about texting or drinking and driving after reading about it?

I highly doubt it.
Continue reading The portrait you make can mean a lot

Great to be back

It’s been more than 6 months since my last post.

If there is a valid excuse, well, I was working full time teaching at a high school.

I’m back everyone

Not too much has changed.

I’m happy that ugly election is over. Now it’s time to get over the mindset, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.”

I haven’t been posting a lot of work on Facebook because there’s good reason.

I’ve been posting more of my work on Instagram, so if you’re using Instagram follow me there and I’ll follow back.

The 6-month teaching stint was a great experience.

Though I didn’t enjoy the inherent problems of teaching at a high school like discipline, it gave me an even bigger appreciation of what teachers do day in and day out.

Parents are the primary teacher in life. They are the ones who set the standard of what is acceptable behavior. When they defer that responsibility to the teacher in school, I’m afraid that child is lost.

Because at the high school level, there can be no teaching happening in class when there is no discipline.

Outdoor portraits using high shutter speed sync

The downside to shooting in the shade of trees is the greenish cast that comes from sunlight filtering through green leaves. Shooting in camera raw helps.
The downside to shooting in the shade of trees is the greenish cast that comes from sunlight filtering through green leaves. Shooting in camera raw helps. ISO 400 1/160 @f2.8 80mm setting on 80-200 zoom lens. Available light only not Speedlite used.

When photographing people  outdoors, besides the esthetics of your location,  the time of the day is probably the single biggest factor in determining how good your picture will look.

Lighting especially its intensity is critical because available lighting in any scene outdoors determines

  • if your subject will be squinting
  • if you can overpower the ugly patchiness of your background
  • if you can control the contrast between your shadow and highlights
  • the mood and color temperature of your final image

Continue reading Outdoor portraits using high shutter speed sync

High School Senior Portrait 2–Water Polo player Nicholas Barba

The evening light coming through the large windows made it very contrasty. So my 800WL was a necessity. ISO 100 1/160 f4 100 mm lens
The evening light coming through the large windows made it very contrasty. So my 800WL was a necessity. ISO 100 1/160 f4 100 mm lens

Generally speaking high school girls don’t mind having their pictures taken as much as boys.

So when Nicholas’ mum Staci approached me about doing her son’s senior portrait, I sort of expected he would have to be bribed  by his mum.

I’ve had to photograph large groups of VIPs  e.g the newspaper’s board members, university chancellors and other intimidating folks so a high school senior is easy, right? Continue reading High School Senior Portrait 2–Water Polo player Nicholas Barba

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