Freedom in Control

  Today I took my first baby steps into the world of Medium Format and Studio Photography.  And I lived.  To be honest, it was work, but I had a blast.  After class today, I took advantage of my reserved studio time at the school's photo department.  Working with a camera that has no built in light meter,  requires depth of field preview and a stand the size of a tree definitely took me out of my comfort zone a little, but I liked it. 
  Shooting in the studio has alotted me something I have been missing in alot of my photography so far...control.  I control the lighting, the subject, the camera...the environment as a whole.  The most important aspect to control is the light.  Its all about the light...if you cannot learn to control and work with light, one cannot be successful in photography.  My hope is that this newfound realization will translate into a flood of creativity in my work.
  For now though, I am content to learn my trade.  I have alot to learn yet, but I can say with all honesty, I am enthusiastic for the journey and the new found freedom I have gained to expand my skills and creativity.

   I shot two rolls today using a Hasselblad 501 with a 120mm lens on Ilford Pan F Plus (iso 50).  I plan on developing and printing later this week, so check back soon to see the photos.


Home Studio Project round #2

  As a continuation of my home studio assignment (see previous post), I have chosen another still-life.   I chose this over a portrait mainly due to the fact that we will be focusing more on portraits later in the semester and I wanted to focus on getting down the basics of lighting at this point.  Portraiture, I feel, presents challenges that are unique apart from still life photography, well because generally you are interacting with another or several human beings.  A still life subject doesn't move, talk back, blink, have to go to the potty, etc., etc.  I can do my thing, while it does its thing...nothing.

  Neither of these shots I have presented here were my original concepts when I started each session.  The original ideas, which I am not gonna go into great detail about, slowly morphed into the end result you see here and the previous post.  After shooting with multiple subjects within the frame in each session, simplicity won out.  Especially for this project, the KISS(keep it simple stupid) approach worked best.


Redneck Studio...New York Style

  My first assignment for Studio Lighting, our instructor gave us the task of shooting a still life or portrait using lights that were only available inside our home.  This excludes of course ambient or natural light coming from the sun outdoors.  I suppose we could use some of that as long it was not our primary light source, but the use of daylight is not really the focus of this assignment.  Simply, we have to create our own little studio.  This type of task requires that one get creative and be able to "MacGuyver" a set-up to get the results you envision.  That is basically how I went into this; I had an idea of what I wanted my shot to look like then went around the house gathering lights and other objects to use in what could be called my little "redneck studio".  I wanted to make what I had work for me and then adapt from there if it didn't work out, instead of setting everything up and then trying to figure out what I wanted to shoot.  One thing I have learned is that to be a successful photographer (in terms of images, not necessarily in monetary terms), you have to be able to visualize the image before you can create that image effectively.  I am only posting one image from this assignment at this time, I will probably do another "redneck studio" this week or next, probably with a different subject.  Our class critique is on the 7th of next month and Scott, my instructor, would like us to have 4 work prints to present.
  This was shot digitally using my Nikon D40, a tripod, kitchen placemats, various lights from around the pad, garlic, and (an unlit) candle.  If you can tell me where or how I use the candle in this shot, email me and I'll send you a lollipop.maybe.  Photoshop CS2 was used, but only slightly to correct the white balance.

  (p.s.-------> After uploading this shot, it did seem to lose a little contrast, so I apologize, but I was pleased with my overall result nonetheless.) It was a fairly low contrast to begin with anyway, but I think the softness of the light and shadows works well within the context of this shot.  As I stated before, I will be doing some of this type of work soon as I progress with this project, and will try to post more as soon as I can.
  By the way, If anyone would like a (professional) print of any of  my photos, shoot me a line and I will get a quote out to you regarding price.  Just let me know the specs as to what you would like, i.e. size, type of paper (dont' worry I can help you with this one if you don't know), framing (optional, and also more expensive), and shipping, etc., etc., and if I like you, I might only charge you for cost ;)


Well its almost the end of summer so I figured it is time for a change.  I have changed the location of my blog to our good ol' friends here at Google/Blogspot.  Actually I was fed up with Wordpress, it was kinda glitchy on both my Mac and PC and wasn't allowing me to post my photos in the way I wanted.  So here I am.
  School started yesterday and I am taking Digital Photo and Studio Lighting this semester.  I will be posting some and/or all of my assignments up here, so feel free to follow along with me this semester.  Hopefully you will see improvement in my work as I learn and progress.  This semester is going to be challenging and fun at the same time.
  Below you will find mainly nature related photos taken this summer around Queens and Prospect Park in Brooklyn.  This group of photos is a little "rule of thirds" heavy, but besides that I like 'em and I hope you do too.
  Let me know what ya think...(by the way, here's my old blog in case you wanna take a look at my previous posts)