Friday, December 19, 2008

Sharpening Action Download

Jodi is back at it again! She has two great sharpening actions available free from her website. Just click here, or visit for more actions and tutorials from Jodi. She's quite a talented lady and a great resource for learning post-processing techniques.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Buying Business Cards

While I'm still procrastinating to upload favorite shots from the last five sessions that I've done over the last two months, I thought I'd post about the websites from which to buy business cards.

I actually bought mine through WHCC and was somewhat pleased. They use digital printers (similar to ink jets), and the solid parts in my graphics didn't appear as continuous as I had hoped. I do like the glossy full color front/back option though and pricing is great at 250 cards for $30.

Another cheap option is from VistaPrint. They offer free business cards using their designs or you can have the Premium Business Cards in full color front/back cards printed with gloss for around $30 for 250 cards (pay for initial image upload and cheaper for reprints).

A friend of mine used 48HourPrint and the cards looked fantastic! Full color back/front and gloss on back/front with pricing at 500 for $55 (price includes Aqueous Gloss Coating which looks great).

My sister, a graphic designer in Atlanta, uses Moo for printing who has fantastic quality. They're based in the UK and offer MiniCards that are really neat! Their pricing is a bit higher than those above but the quality is amazing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Free Subscriptions

Based on all of the recent purchases (upgrades) I have made for the company, I'm always interested in something that is free! MCP Actions's post today listed three magazines that offer free subscriptions (click here to read full post). I already receive Rangefinder but readily signed up for the other two she listed. Links can be found to these in the left sidebar.

  • Rangefinder Magazine
  • Professional Photographer
  • After Capture

Monday, November 17, 2008

Belle Annoucements

A local photog friend was kind enough to connect me with the owner of belle announcements, a local custom card designer. She has a lot of great designs to choose from if you are in the market for custom Christmas cards, party invitations, stationary, etc. Plus, you just might recognize some of the people used as displays ... photos that I've taken!

Check out my byline on the Artists page (click here).

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Official - caseycooperphotography!

Last week, I officially became a business :: Casey Cooper Photography. I've had enough photo shoots lately that I'm starting to create marketing pieces, including business cards. After much feedback, I've uploaded the final cut below. Let me know what you think! I'll be ordering these tomorrow night. Many thanks to my talented sister (ah design) for coming up with the logo design and concept!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Vermont Photo Made MCP's Blog Post Today

My photo that I submitted to MCP Action's blog for "autumn theme" photos made it to the blog post today. Go over and check it out! I forgot to put my logo on it though, darn it!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RAW Digital Workflow for Weddings and Portraits with Canon's DPP

Two photography tutorials in 1 week. Wow, but I did learn some interesting things tonight. From, I participated in the "RAW Digital Workflow for Weddings and Portraits with Canon's DPP" free webinar. I learned a shortcut method for copying and pasting recipes (group of settings applied to RAW images) that should save me a lot of time in my workflow (rt-click, copy recipe to clipboard, close file, highlight all thumbnails to which you wish to apply the recipe, rt-click, paste recipe, and VOILA). I also learned about it's efficient and useful renaming tool (Tools, Start Rename Tool).

Canon's free RAW editor isn't as good as Lightroom, but it sure is better than nothing. Lossless recovery of not-so-great photos is such a great thing!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

External Flash Tutorial

Click here to read a great external flash article.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Color Management for Digital Portrait and Wedding Photographers

I just attended a free webinar by Photography Schoolhouse entitled, "Color Management for Digital Portrait and Wedding Photographers". It was a great discussio on ICC profiles, color spaces, and device calibration. If you're not a member of Photography Schoolhouse, this is a great forum to join just for the informative, and free, webinars that they offer. Click here to see their current offerings.

What did I walk away with?

  • It's highly recommended to perform monthly monitor calibrations using a monitor calibrator
  • Kerry Allan has used both the Spyder and the EyeOne and had some difficult with both. He recommends purchasing one in the $250 price range for good quality.
  • Kerry Allan uses the Samsung 226 CW Syncmaster (22" monitor at 1680x1050 res that sells for around $300) and has been very pleased with the color range it provides. He does note that CRT monitors still can't be beat when it comes to color accuracy and range.
  • Always install the device drivers with your monitor and printer. They contain the ICC profiles for these devices which are needed to accuracy represent that you think you are seeing on the screen.
  • Kerry Allan recommends for downloading various ICC profiles and for tutorials on Color Space Management.
  • Make sure you properly set up your Color Settings in Photoshop (for PS7, select Edit >> Color Settings) to save in the color space that your intended printer requires (most print houses will provide recommendations for what color space to use).
  • You can assign a printer profile in Photoshop to ensure that the correct ICC profile is used (for PS7, select Image >> Mode >> Assign Profile).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maternity Shoot

I had a really busy schedule last week. Three photo shoots in three days! No wonder my arm was sore after shooting with my 70-200 three straight days in a row. But, it takes some awesome pictures.

Here's a few images from the maternity shoot. She's due sometime in the next two weeks. She was a great sport through the entire shoot - even laying down on the cold concrete in my garage for the high-key shots!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Official...

We officially found out that we're having a girl! So excited! I've already been scouring the web for newborn photos for inspiration in March. Now to start working on a birth announcement...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Love of Letters

A friend and I were talking about a photography project that included creating your name out of letters that you find in the surrounding environment. I thought we were being original until I came across an article in Better Homes and Gardens about a company called Create Sticks and Stones that sells this very thing (for $130). To do this fun "I Spy" project yourself, you can visit their alpha gallery to get some ideas and how to start looking for the letters in your name around you.

This is going to be one of my challenges while I'm at the beach. I'll post the results sometime next week of what I'm able to captures.

Monday, October 6, 2008


My husband has played on two city leagues this year, and I finally decided to take my camera with me to one of the games. Since the sun sets shortly after 6pm now, the light changed on me when the field lights were turned on resulting in a color shift. Hopefully, I removed this with Digital Photo Pro (came with Rebel XTi). I used my 70-200mm f/2.8L lens mostly at 2.8 and 200mm from where I had to stand (hubby wouldn't let me on the field while carrying Baby Cooper). Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fresh Look

If any of you have visited lately, then you will notice a fresh look on the site. I've finished writing the html code for my website, but I still need to select photos and upload them to the pages. Either way, many thanks to my talented sister, and freelance graphic designer, Anna Hatcher. She designed the circling Cs logo and the fresh new look. Feel free to head over to her portfolio or blog for more of her wonderful art.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sandy Puc

If you missed her Bellies and Babies seminar, you really missed out on a great learning opportunity from Sandy Puc of Expressions Photography in Colorado. But not to worry, because she's back in 2009 with her Tots 2 Teens seminar in which she'll cover all aspects of shooting (not literally, of course) 18 month olds up to young teens. Registration is only $79. Sandy is a great speaker and a great inspiration for any budding photographer. Read her story here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dodge and Burn Tutorial

Dodge & Burn - nope, it's not a kids playground game but rather a technique used in Photoshop to lighten and add dimension to your photos. Jodi at MCP Actions just posted a video tutorial for a "better way" to dodge and burn using Photoshop. Jodi always does a fantastic job with her blog and video tutorials. So, click here and go check it out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

5D Mark II

As if announcing that the 50D will be available in October, Canon has now announced that the 5D will have a big brother ... the 5D Mark II. This is an AWESOME camera! I've had my eye on the 5D as a "wish list" item, but this camera rocks. I found the info on MCP Action's blog with the press release from Canon that it will be available at the end of November. And don't worry, it's less than the cost of a used car ($2699)...

You can go to Jodi's post to read the press release, but here's the basics (which is anything but basic).

Key Specifications:

  • New 21.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (E.I.C.S.)
  • New Full HD 1080 resolution movie recording
  • 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • High performance DIGIC 4 providing superb image quality
  • Maximum 310 large JPEG images in a single burst with a UDMA card
  • 3.0” VGA (920k dots) Clear View LCD
  • ISO 100-6400 (expansion from 50 up to 25,600)
  • 9 AF points + 6 Assist AF points

Canon 5D Mark II

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How to get natural smiles in children’s portraiture

This was a great post over at MCP Actions' blog. A guest photographer, Erin Bell, actually made this post. She specializes in children's photography.

**Click here to view post at MCP Actions**

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Canon 50D

Just as I was about to look for the receipt for my XTi to send it in for potential service (just isn't taking the sharpest photos that I think it should), I came across this email from B&H announcing Canon's newest camera body: the Canon 50D. Here's an exert from B&H's summary...

Canon's newest entry into the fall season Olympics is the EOS 50D, which sports an impressive 15.1-megapixel APS-C format CMOS sensor that takes full advantage of Canon's new DIGIC 4 image processor.

The EOS 50D can knock out up to 90 Large/Fine JPEGS or 16 RAW images at burst-rates of up to 6.3 f/p/s. If you often find yourself shooting under low-light conditions, the new camera can be set for ISO ratings up to 12800, which means you can not only photograph people standing in near darkness, you can also photograph what they're thinking about. (Just joking folks… don't get alarmed)

To keep noise under control and maintain optimum image quality at higher ISO ratings the EOS 50D allows you to choose from four levels of noise reduction – Standard, Weak, Strong, and None. The camera's DIGIC 4 image processor also features in-camera peripheral illumination correction, which can automatically smooth-over uneven blue skies and other large areas within an image that can benefit from smoother tonality. This feature, along with other image enhancing tools such as Auto Lighting Optimizer can also be performed post-exposure using Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DDP) software, which is included with every camera.

Image viewing has also been improved via a greatly enhanced 3" LCD that employs 920,000 pixels for breathtaking clarity. Canon also tweaked the Live View function by incorporating a 'Quick Mode AF', 'Live Mode AF', and 'Face Detection Live Mode AF' that can detect up to 35 individual faces within the camera's frame.

Other features of the Canon EOS 50D include an Integrated Cleaning System for preventing dust and other forms of airborne schmutz from gathering on the sensor's low-pass filter and a choice of two smaller RAW formats (sRAW1 and sRAW2) in addition to the 50D's standard RAW mode.

The Canon EOS 50D will be available in October as a body only, or in kit form with a Canon EF 28-135/3.5~5.6 IS USM zoom lens, which covers the field of view of a 44.8-216mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera.
I checked B&H's website and found that they are listing it at $1,399 for just the body. Sighhhh, so many things I would like to buy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'm pregnant!

Whew, it feels good to finally get to tell everyone! We wanted to wait for a couple of things. First, the 8 week appointment to make sure the pregnancy test was true and that everything was ok (see the 8-week ultrasound below) which it was. Secondly, we wanted to tell our family first (opportunity occured finally last weekend). And third, I wanted to tell my work first so they didn't hear it second-hand. Now, we're telling all of our friends. We're so excited!

I'm currently starting my 12th week of pregnancy and will have my 12 week check-up on Friday. Almost out of the first trimester! I've been really blessed to not really have any morning sickness other than the stomach cramping caused by the prenatal vitamins. My only real complaint is the severe fatigue and lack of sleep that I've already started getting (or lack there of). I'm just tired all the time. Hence the reason I haven't been blogging much lately. As you can see from the photo, I'm due March 3, 2009.

And you know what this means, lots of fun designing an ultra cool birth annoucement! Good thing I followed through with the Bellies and Babies seminar that I went to a couple of weeks ago in Nashville! I got loads of great ideas that I now get to implement.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Baby L (No. 2)

Thought I'd share this sweet photo of my nephew that I took this weekend.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adobe Lightroom 2.0

It has arrived! Finally! I've been holding off purchasing Lightroom until 2.0 was released. Now, I can finally buy this great piece of software that I've been hearing so much about and try it out! One of the great bonuses about it is that it has an automatic gallery publisher that you can publish to websites with. Now, I can finally push away all of that html code and just use Lightroom. Of course, it has many fantastic things it can do besides this too. You can read more about it on Adobe's website.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Photo Session

It's been a few weeks since I've taken photos of someone other than my husband and dog, and I thought I'd share a few from the session. Thanks guys for your patience!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

f2.8 and beyond

Did I mention that I received my new lens? My dear hubby agreed to let me buy my dream lens, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. Look like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to you? Well, it looks like, and shoots like, sweetness to me! I had to rush out and try it on my four-legged son as soon as it arrived. Love it, love it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bellies and Babies

What a great seminar! I came away totally inspired and in awe of the wonders of the camera. Sam Puc (pronounced "push") is not only an amazing photographer, but she is also an amazing person. She's the foster parent of 4 (or maybe it was 6) kids and also has 4 kids of her own. AND, she travels around the US for the Bellies and Babies tour to help aspiring photographers like me. The biggest thing that I walked away with was the simplicity of what five variations of five poses could equal after 20 minutes of shooting an infant and parent. And, I loved her lighting set up. Simple and straight-forward yet high impact!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I found a link to this ultra-cool website on MCP Action's blog the other day. Does it bring back memories from the old days? It sure does for me. I loved to sketch on my etch-a-sketch. Click here to start your own artwork.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Photoshop Friday Fun

Do you receive Jessica Sprague's Photoshop Friday newsletter in your inbox each Friday? You don't?!?! Shame on you! You MUST sign up now! It's my favorite email each week. She's a brilliant graphic designer, scrapbooker, all things artsy!

This weeks post was on fonts and included a posting of Jessica's favorite fonts - 27 total. And the best part, 24 of these are free! She includes a sample pic of each font AND a link to where you can download each. So what are you waiting for, go download some great fonts (click here)!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Digital Preservation

I'm sure many of you own a scanner of some sort, but this post is for those of you who do not. I read about this service in Southern Living. Shoe Box Reprints (click here) will scan up to 1,000 photos for you for $49.95. The photos will be converted to JPEG format (on a CD-ROM or DVD), and your original prints are returned to you.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Playing with Light

The Fourth of July is an excellent time to practice those creative exposures. We drove up to a field near where they were having the fireworks display on Friday evening, set up the tripod, and took the following photos. For the fireworks, I used my remote to trigger the shutter, used my 50mm prime lens (sharper of my two lenses), set the ISO to 200, set the aperture to around f/11.0, and set the shutter speed to between 2 seconds and 4 seconds (varied it as I reviewed the photos). The key to these is the tripod and the remote (hands-free means vibration free which means blur free).

After the fireworks, we set up the tripod in the backyard and practiced "writing with light". This involves a tripod, a remote shutter release, and light producing medium. We chose the sparklers we had leftover from the last Fourth of July (red, green, and blue). With the same settings as above (50mm prime lens, ISO to 200, aperture to f/11.0), I then set the shutter speed to Bulb so I could control the exposure and thus the light artwork. You open the shutter right before the artist begins "drawing" and then release (close) the shutter as soon as they finish. We experimented writing fast versus slow to get more "sparks" and brighter areas in the final picture. Enjoy some of artwork!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Printing Houses

MCP Action's post the other day was regarding color management. This is a topic that I have just started reading up on as of two days ago. The land of calibration hardware for your monitor, color space settings, ICC profiles ... it's enough to make your head spin (and wallet empty). This post featured Color Inc Pro Labs and even offered a 50% off your first order discount code. Head on over and check out MCP's blog to get the discount code.

As for the first issue - monitor calibration - there are many devices available for calibrating your monitor to ensure that the colors you see (and pictures you edit) print the way YOU expect them too. The Eye-one display 2 (X-Rite), recommended by WHCC which retails for $249, or Spyder 2 (ColorVision) which has three options or price levels are two frequently recommended products.

The second issue is regarding the color space that you work in Photoshop when editing and saving the photos. Each printing house recommends sRGB from what I've seen (select IEC61966-2.1 in photoshop). Just make sure you check the box to save the color space imbedded in the image for the print house to determine your color space. WHCC suggests
set your target Whitepoint and Gamma curve to 6500k and Gamma 2.2. These, however, are only recommendations, you may find that your viewing environment has warmer lights, in which case you could experiment with a Whitepoint of 5000k.

The last issue is regarding ICC profiles. I really don't know anything about these and still researching this topic at the moment. For all of you graphic designers pro photogs out there, feel free to clue me in!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bellies and Babies

I'm really excited about the upcoming bellies & babies seminar offered by the awesome photographer Sandy Puc. It is being held at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville on Wednesday, July 23rd. The trade show is open from 4pm until 5pm with the actual seminar from 5pm till 10:30pm.

I was introduced to Sandy's work at Ed Pierce's Captivated by the Light seminar that I attended in Nashville back in May. She specializes in babies and maternity and does a phenomenal job! She's the owner of Expressions by Sandy Puc in Littleton, Colorado, and hosts this seminar nationwide. Check out her website and some of her awesome work. Another amazing attribute of this photographer is her charitable work. She founded the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep foundation for terminal babies. It's a network of professional photographers who donate their time (any time of the day/night) to travel to a hospital to provide a free photo session for the family and the infant before it passes away (termed Infant Bereavement Photography). The prints are provided free to the families. I wish I had known about this several months ago as a fellow co-worker was unfortunately in this position.

I'm so excited to only be 1 1/2 hours from one of its locations.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I ran across this artist on a friend's website and had to google him. It's a beautiful rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo Ole. He's a Hawaiian musician who became famously known outside of Hawaii with the release of this song in 1993 on his album "Facing Future". Israel is nicknamed "The Little Giant". What's even more beautiful about this song is that it's just his singing with the ukulele. Check out this video I found on YouTube.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Print to Print

Based upon the post from yesterday, I have been conducting my own print-to-print comparison of the most well known print houses. I've been told bad things about the local drug store printers and Wal-Mart printers. Being the engineer that I am, I've decided to conduct my own photograph analysis.


It's an ongoing process, but I now have 8x10 prints from three print houses for side-by-side comparisons. The same .jpg was provided (no imbedded ICC profiles at this time) to each print house for printing. I've included variables such as paper type, finish type, my quality rating from color saturation, and pricing (including any min buy plus shipping). The results are as follows:

WHCC Kodak Endura Paper Matte highest quality $2.10 ($12min but free shipping)

Shutterfly Fuji Film Paper Glossy lowest quality $3.99 + shipping

*print was bent when arrived in the mail

Wolf Camera Fuji Film Paper Matte high quality $4.99 (in-store pickup)

Mpix Kodak Endura Paper Matte not yet rated

Monday, June 30, 2008


I now own I registered the domain last night through, which is a great site for registering domains. This is the second time that I used them. I had really wanted to register, but a search revealed that is was already registered. I emailed the person to see if they would be interested in selling the domain when they informed me that they were not and that Capturing Life Creatively was trademarked and copyrighted. Wow! Not good. So, I have promptly removed anything and everything related to this phrase from my photography data.

Hence, the updated blog name (make sure to update your blog subscription services) and blog header. Stay tuned for my new logo and design! We should be releasing it within the next week.

:: casey ::

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blue Angels

We were quite fortunate to have the Blue Angels visit Huntsville this past weekend at the Huntsville Airshow. They are truly amazing to watch. It's hard to believe that there are even any space between planes. Unfortunately, I still don't have my dream lens (70mm-200mm) so all I had to shoot with was my little 50mm. I was quite pleased with a few of the pictures though. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Print Special

Wolf Camera, the on-location version of, is offering a special for prints by mail. Your 4x6 prints are only $0.09 each when shipped to your address. This offer is good from July 1st through July 10th. Shipping does apply, but for the quality of print you get - it's worth it! Now, get ready to start uploading to and start printing!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back it Up and Protect It

This has more to do with the hardware side of photography. As I previously mentioned, I bought a Seagate external hard drive to begin backing up all of my photos and important documents. I only leave it plugged in when I have downloaded new pictures or images.

Recently, my anti-virus software of choice upgraded to a newer version and didn't offer a "free" version any longer. So I was forced to download AVG 8.0, the full trial version, in the interim. Luckily, AVG has decided to once again offer a free anti-virus program for personal use. Provided you don't use Outlook for email, AVG is an awesome program to serve all of your anti-virus needs. I've used them for over 5 years with little to no problems.

For spyware, I use Spybot and AdAware. Both are excellent (and free) programs. I was reading an article in Publix's Greenwise Market magazine that discussed donating or recycling your old electronics (think hard drives). They advised of a free program called Darik's Boot and Nuke program that supposedly erases hard drives to DoD standards. I don't believe everything that I read, but it's at least worth checking out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fear the Kid

I found this on Simply Splash's blog. It's hilarious (and my fear)!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Local Events

Today has been a fun week since I've been to attend not one but two photography events here in Huntsville. A local photog friend tipped me off on the Huntsville Photographic Society's meeting at the Main Library (7pm) each month. Monday night was focused on light. Local photographer Muril Robertson gave the presentation. His focus is on landscape and panorama photographs, but he did an excellent job of presenting on the broad topic of lighting. He even uploaded assignments for us to do in order to improve one's photographic skills. Even cooler, he used to teach mathematics at Auburn - my alma mater! War Eagle! He's won many photography award locally, nationally, and globally.

Tonight I attended another photography class at Wolf Camera off Hwy 72. It was supposed to be on 'Lighting in the Home', but the teacher got the presentation mixed up and ended up giving a different lighting class. It didn't matter to me, lighting is one topic that I am still struggling to learn.

Lastly, here's a blog 'must read' tip for you. Jodie Friedman over at MCP Actions has been posting an interview over the last two days she conducted with Christopher Becker, a.k.a. Becker the Photographer. Becker is an awesome photographer, and I've been following his blog and [b] school information. Check out both Jodie's blog and Becker's blog sometime.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Storyboard Time!

Have I mentioned how much I love making storyboards? This is a 10" x 20" that I just finished. I love this font! It's my new favorite and found the inspiration (including tutorial on how to make this storyboard) on one of my favorite designer's website, Jessica Sprague. Thanks Jessica for the response to my email regarding the font you used!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Foundations Program - Lesson 2 (partial assignment)

As I previously mentioned, I'm taking an online photography class (partial program) by Vickie Byerley called Foundations (click here for more info). I'm finally moving on to Lesson 2 which focuses on reinforcing the rule of thirds (ROT) previously discussed and also on composition (focusing on the eyes and watching the crops). We have a fairly large assignment of pictures we have to take to demonstrate understanding of the concepts and then posting them to the Foundations Forum (access to Program is only for paying students - but you join the public forum for free). The first post is to demonstrate focusing on the eyes (tack sharp!). I was able to snag a model for an hour today to play with my new gear (including background) that I just purchased. The second photo shows the ROT intersecting lines and middle lines (based upon composition rules, etc.). These are all straight out of the camera (SOOC) with no post-processing in Photoshop (my goal is to strive for minimum touch up in Photoshop).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back Up ... and Back Up Again

I've read countless horror stories in the photography forums of those losing gigabytes of data because they didn't have their PC backed up. I've always backed up my critical data to a DVD, however, my frequency of doing this is something to be desired. So, I polled my favorite computer gear geeks, did a little diggin' on the Internet, and found a good solution. The Seagate FreeAgent Pro is a sleek little machine that will hold up to 500GB of data via USB2.0 (option of eSATA, but I don't have an eSATA port right now). Seagate is an awesome company because they offer a 5-year warranty. As an engineer in the electronics industry, you don't offer warranties unless your product can live up to it (otherwise you won't stay in business long). So, I figure from a hardware standpoint - this is a good choice. I've seen a lot of complaints on the major electronics sights where I shop (TigerDirect, NewEgg, CNet), but anything is better than what I have right now (which is nothing, knock on wood). I ended up buying mine on for $40 cheaper than any other price on the web and free shipping. Can't beat that! I'll come back and post a picture when it arrives on Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stacking the Odds

I'm going to stick with my saying of "You can't ever win if you don't try!" With that thought, I've decided to enter another photography contest. This one is being hosted by Simply Splash (cool logo). Click here to head over to their blog. The theme is babies and children, and the photo with the cutest face or funniest trick will win! There are three prizes of which I would gladly take any of them! First place is a Tracy Joy camera bag (I so want one of these). Second place is a j. lee album credit (luv albums). And finally, third place is a MCP Action set (great actions from this group).

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Always Remember

We should all stop for a moment today to remember those who have died fighting for our freedom. Freedom is something we all take for granted every day! The photo below is of the flag behind Wolf Camera on Hwy 72. On my way to my last photography class there, I was stopped on the way from the parking lot by the beauty of the American Flag. Something so small that represents something much bigger! On a side note: the only post processing of this photo was the use of a Photoshop Action called Glamour Blur. It's meant for portraits to smooth the skin and create a glowing effect, but I really like the "dreamy" look it also gives photos.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Walk to Remember

I absolutely love this storyboard from a recent photo shoot. The sheer symbolism of this little girl beginning her walk of life with both parent in hand.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Story Time

I absolutely love storyboards! They are so much fun to make, and the final product ALWAYS makes me smile. I was working on a storyboard for Baby L. today and thought I would share these with you all. I even found a clever way to simulate a black gallery frame so you could see what they would look like in a 20"x20" frame. Even though the pictures themselves aren't technically perfect (exposure, ROT, background, etc.), it still works.

I have about 5 different configurations that I presented to Baby L.'s mom to review and choose from, but these two were my favorites. Feel free to post a comment and let me know which one is your favorite!


Just like many things in life, it usually takes an investment of some sort to get great results. Today I forked over another small amount in some additional hardware. Later this week, I should receive my new portable backdrop system (Impact, 12' system that supports 11' rolls of seamless paper and is 10.5' high), a 9' roll of seamless white background paper (Savage, 12 yards worth), a remote switch for my camera (Canon, reduces camera shake and for long exposures), and a 43" 5-in-1 reflector (TBD, white, black, translucent, gold, and silver). I can't wait to play next weekend!

P.S. I just saw on MCP actions blog that Canon just announced their rebates for some of their fabulous camera bodies and lenses. And guess what, my dream lens is included! The 70mm-200mm/f2.8 has a $125 rebate (that just tells you how EXPENSIVE it actually is).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Camera Bag

I've been looking for a really cool carry-around camera bag for quite some time. Today's post on MCP's blog is about Tracy Joy's specialty camera bags in awesome fabric patterns. Check them out here at her website! You can even enter to win one of three of Tracy's bags by posting a comment to MCP's blog. I posted, did you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Captivated by the Light Seminar

This is a fantastic seminar by photographer Ed Pierce! He hosts Captivated by the Light seminars all over the country, and I was fortunate to ride with some fellow photogs up to Nashville to absorb as much info as I possibly could. Lighting is crucial to creatively capturing great photographers and a subject that I'm not entirely comfortable with at this point in my journey as a photographer. Ed has some amazing tools and tips to help those like me become better at photography. I purchased his digital calibration target and have thoroughly enjoyed playing with it today on my day off (the seminar ended in Nashville at 11pm which put me home after 1:30am). He holds a patent on this device, and I was impressed enough to purchase one (not cheap). I also signed up for a 1 year subscription to PhotoVision, a video magazine that includes six 2-hr DVDs spread over a 12-month period. I can't wait! He's so energetic and passionate about photography that you can't help but get excited too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Foundations Program - Assignment 1

I finally started my online photography class by Vicky Byerley, founder of Foundations Photography Forum. You can register for free access at the forum (limited access) or you can join her Full Program (8 assignements with upload and critique from Vicky) or her Partial Program (same as full without direct critique from Vicky). You can visit Vicky's blog to get additional information about the program.

I decided to participate in the Partial since I'm staying really busy at work right now. The first lesson focused on Composition and Rule of Thirds. These were not new topics to me, but the assignment of capturing two "up close" and two "rule of thirds (ROT)" shots proved quite challenging. Today was a bright but awfully windy day. With no one to serve as a model, I resorted to using Cherokee and Pinnochio. I should use critique back within a couple of days.