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.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Little Nervous

I just entered my first photo contest. I don't expect to win anything, but you can't win without trying! The contest is sponsored by MCP Actions (click here to visit blog). Voting starts on May 8th on her blog. The winner will be decided by whoever receives the most votes. So if you wanna support the rookie, go here and vote for me! I've posted my entry below. Per the contest entry, " The photo should convey what motherhood means to you. " Thanks L.B. for the inspiration!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Too Precious

Isn't this just precious?!? I saw a similar photo on a photography forum and was so happy to see that Baby L. received some alphabet blocks for her first birthday. We used them as props for Baby L.'s first birthday pictures. I'm post some additional pictures from the photo shoot tomorrow. P.S. Her hat is from Bella Jane Originals.

Baby L.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

First Birth Announcement

I just finished my first birth announcement. Post a comment and let me know what you think! The names have been changed for the sake of the innocent (or client in this case).