Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Learn about shutter speed and you can take pictures like this...
I've been trying to put together a lesson plan for a class (or classes) that I want to teach after the holidays. I meet so many people who have these nice cameras and just don't understand how to use them. The problem for me is trying to figure out what it is that people really want to learn. I have no desire to teach someone what all of the buttons do on their expensive camera. I do, however, love teaching people how to take good photographs. Once you learn how to take good photographs you can do it with any camera.
The trouble with photography is that the hardest thing to learn is the very first thing that you have to learn. The great thing is, once you learn that very first hard part, the rest is much easier. My fear is that people will come to my class thinking that I will simply show them what setting to put their camera on so that they can take a good picture and then be shocked when they discover that I actually planned to teach them how photography really works. The truth is that modern cameras have a hundred different settings for every possible situation and yet none of them will ever be able to take a picture as good as a photographer with his camera set to "manual." Only the photographer knows what he is taking a picture of. Only the photographer knows how he wants the picture to look.
The good news is that you don't have to try and learn what all of the buttons do on your fancy camera because you really don't need those buttons at all to be a good photographer. In fact, if you plan to use all those "auto" settings on your camera then you really wasted your money. While it's true that your $700 camera may take better pictures than your $200 camera, I can guarantee you that it won't take $500 worth of "better."
The bad news is that you are going to have to learn a little bit about photography if you want to be a good photographer. You need to understand shutter speed and its relation to motion blur and ambient light. You need to understand aperture and its relationship to depth of field. You need to understand ISO and its relationship to grain. Finally, you need to be able to put these three things together and understand how they interact with each other. It sounds daunting, I know, but if you can just find your way clear to learn it you will suddenly discover a whole new world is available to you.
You can see much more of my work on www.boorayperry.com.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
For this picture I used a flash off-camera left with a shoot-thru umbrella. This allows me to really frame the face with light.
This shot is all natural light but requires careful positioning to balance the face just right. Turn the face too much towards the window and you will wash out the right side... turn it too little and the left will be dark.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Yesterday being Halloween, I of course wanted to take some nice shots of my two daughters in their Halloween costumes. So, after they were dressed, we went into the studio and took some pictures.
Because they're my family and because I do this quite a bit, I don't typically spend as much time or care when taking pictures of my two girls. As a result, yesterday when I looked at the pictures I had taken of my youngest daughter Mackenzie, I discovered that her Strawberry Shortcake hat was pulled down just a little bit too low over her left eye. The left eye, though visible, was in shadow. As my wife and I were looking at the picture I turned to her and said, "I'm probably the only person who will even notice that." No sooner had I said it when my oldest daughter, Samantha, walked up behind me, looked at the picture and said, "that's a great picture of Mackenzie but you can't see her eye."
Now, I don't know if the shadow on Mackenzie's eye was that obvious or if Samantha, having spent her entire life being photographed, has actually developed an eye for spotting mistakes. What I do know is that five minutes after she said it, we were back in the studio taking new pictures of Strawberry Shortcake.
These two pictures are actually good exanples of how I like to work when it comes to portraits. When photographing Sam (the cat), I lit her in a more dynamic fashion with more shadow on her face. This creates more depth and contrast in the picture which I thought was appropiate for a "roaring" cat. Also, because she is in black, I shot her against dark blue. When Mac came in for her picture, I changed the background to a more red tone to match her color scheme and moved the light more on center to remove most of the shadows on her face. Strawberry Shortcake shouldn't be scary.
You can see more of my work on my website.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
See more Tampa children's photography at www.boorayperry.com
Laurie Keller is a children's author and illustrator. She spent an hour with the entire 4th grade class and tolerated me like a champ.
I imagine that I probably behave a little differently than the other parents who volunteer to take pictures since I show up with my entire gear bag and take pictures like it's a job. (I don't suspect that the other parents walk around with two camera's around their necks!) One of the great things about photography is that you can create something special from any circumstance if you just look for the shot. Once I have the camera in my hand I immediately start to scan for something creative... just the right angle or light... that will make for a good picture. (My wife sometimes won't let me take my camera unless I promise to "take pictures like a Dad, not a photographer." :) )
I mentioned that I brought my entire gear bag with me. I prefer to keep all my gear together all the time. I have a small bag that I sometimes will pack with just a few things if I will be moving around a lot (like Disney World) but otherwise I just take the whole bag. I like knowing that I have everything I could possibly need with me. There's also the peace-of-mind that comes with never having to worry that you left some vital piece of gear in another bag.
After Laurie's presentation I asked her if she would mind sitting for a quick portrait. I couldn't resist the chance to photograph an author in a library. She was a great sport about it and we got a great picture.
You can see more of my photography on my website.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A few weeks ago I was shooting a wedding where the reception was at the beach but the wedding was in a church. Around sunset, I took my bride and groom out to the beach for some nice shots and discovered that the water was about a half-mile from the back of the hotel. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration but it was far.
See more St. Petersburg wedding photography on my website.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
By the way, if you are planning a beach wedding in Clearwater or St. Petersburg than Perfect Florida Beach Wedding has everything you need from arches to chairs... photography and officiante!
The wedding was at the Pasadena community Church which is right next to Treasure Island. The reception was at the Bilmar Resort on Treasure Island. The church is fantastic... very big and lots of light (we photographers love lots of light at a wedding ceremony). The Bilmar doesn't have a lot to offer in terms of ambience but it doesn't have to offer much because it's on the beach. As long as you have the beach and a sunset you have plenty of opportunities for great photography.
This is my favorite picture from the church. As I mentioned, there was quite a bit of light in the church so I had to make adjustments to my shooting style in order to isolate Danielle from the background. Usually, it's the other way around when you're shooting in a church and the problem is trying to get enough light on the background.
Sometimes a church will have beautiful stained glass in it but the windows will be high or far in the back which was the case here. In this situation a big zoom lens comes in very handy because it allows me to make the background look much larger and fill the space behind Danielle and Sean.
All of my favorite shots weren't formal ones, of course. One of my favorite moments at a wedding is when the bride steps into her dress. It frequently takes four people, a crowbar, and several ropes and pulleys to get her into that huge dress. It almost always makes for a great picture.
That's it for now, I'll post some of the pictures from the reception and the beach a little later.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Scott and Katie were married at the Bayanihan Cultural Center. I've shot there many times and it's always a pleasure because there's no travel involved. We photographers love it when everything takes place in one spot because we only have to unpack our equipment once.
Katie had mentioned that she wanted a picture of her shoes and jewelry but I didn't realize how important it was to her until I arrived and she handed me the shoes the minute I walked in the door. Ten seconds later I was on the floor with a long lens getting this shot:
I think that most people don't really realize all the "atmosphere" shots that a wedding photographer has to take. What's even less widely known is how difficult these shots can be to do well. It's easy to take a picture of a cake but not so easy to take a great picture of a cake. For the shot below I had to use a second flash on a tripod with a radio remote because the cake was in a dark area with no walls nearby (except the one behind the cake) for me to bounce my on-camera flash. It may look like a simple picture but it's actually quite involved.
Another good example of a shot that can involve more work than is apparent is the ring shot. You can't just toss the rings on a table and snap a picture. First you have to find a good location and figure out a creative way to show the rings. Then you have to get the rings to sit correctly (this can be a fine balancing act). Then, you have to light it or, in some cases, use a tripod so you can shoot a long exposure using available light.
On the surface these pictures may not seem that important but they are, especially if you are designing large, custom wedding albums. You can't devote a great deal of time to taking fine-art style wedding pictures only to surround them with poor quality "atmosphere" pictures. My goal is always to make each shot magazine quality. That way, the entire album is raised to the level of art.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Not a bad picture but it could be better. With kids the thing you need to remember is that their world looks very different from ours. When you stand above them, they look small and well, childlike. This angle of attack can be fine but sometimes it's more interesting to see the world the way they do. So, I dropped to the floor and took another picture:
Look at the relationship between the subject and the kitchen. In the first picture she is a small person in a big world and now she is suddenly a commanding presence. The kitchen is much smaller in relation to the subject. She has gained power in the image. Instead of being a small part of the scene, she is the driving force. Also, in this shot you might notice that she is offering me a plastic cookie. I eat about twenty plastic cookies a day. Not too tasty but great fiber.
Let's take one more picture:
Now she's no longer the focus of the scene. It's all about the plastic bologna (oddly, tastes just like real bologna). You'll notice that I tilted the camera so that she would fill the space from one corner to the other. This sort of shot is so easy to do yet people don't do it because they are in the habit of taking pictures where everyone is visible and inside the lines. You're not taking a family portrait, you're trying to convey to the viewer what was going on and this picture clearly shows that my daughter was all about daddy eating some plastic bologna.
Less is more.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The thing I really loved about this venue is the variety of backgrounds that were available to me. There aren't many places where you can shoot the bride (through a chandelier) reclining in a well-appointed room and five minutes later shoot the wedding couple in front of a barn!
There's great texture there as well (bricks, etc) and they have fountains in the pool which are nice for shoot-through.
Let me warn you that if you have a cute daughter in your wedding she will be photographed almost as much as you. As the father of two girls (3 and 5 years old) I'm a sucker for little girls in white dresses. :)
It was great fun shooting there and my bride and groom were very accomodating every time I would grab them and ask for "one more shot."
Visit my website for more of my tampa wedding pictures.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Then, last week I was working on a recent wedding that had a picture that seemed perfect for selective color. The reason it was a perfect choice was because it already looked like selective color! The picture below hasn't been modified at all... it just so happens that the tie is green and everything else is black or white. More Tampa wedding photography available on my website...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I shot two weddings this weekend, one of which was stopped halfway through because of rain (we moved under a big porch). In addition to the pressure of photographing back-to-back weddings in Tampa and Valrico, I was also breaking in a new bag.
Yaniv Haramaty is the President/CEO of Naneu Pro in Orlando. His company makes a full line of bags for photographers. One of the unique things about their bags is they are actually two bags in one. There is an inner shell/bag that holds all your camera gear and an outer suitcase/backpack bag that holds the inner shell. It's a unique concept because it allows you to remove all your gear from the bag simply by removing the inner shell, leaving you with a fully functional backpack/suitcase for whatever you might need.
I met with Yaniv today after using his bag all weekend and I'm happy to say that it was a great experience. I was a little worried about working from a new bag but it wasn't a problem at all and I was able to move my equipment around much easier than with my old setup. I was surprised to discover that I could fit all my gear into the bag despite it being much smaller than my old case. It's much more convenient.
Meeting with Yaniv and Ed (Marketing Director) was a great experience too. You really get the sense with these two that they are trying to get it right for us photogs. It's tough to make a bag that fits the needs of every photographer because we are so varied in our specialties (weddings, nature, journalism). Yaniv asked me a lot of questions and really seemed interested in learning what I thought would make a good bag. Who knows, maybe one day you'll be able to buy the "Booray Perry Limited Edition" Wedding Photographer Bag! :)
I've got two weddings to post-process and I promise I'll have pictures online soon!
Booray Perry is a wedding photographer in Tampa Florida. See more of his work at www.boorayperry.com.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
So on another note your photos came in very handy for some detective work I had to do. Haha. Here’s the story. Jared’s black blazer went missing that night and we came home with someone else’s that had been left instead. I had sent a note with the thank you notes to no avail. So, I used the pictures on the website last night to narrow down the possible “culprits” It was so funny- my prime suspect had the wrong buttons on his sleeve… So I finally narrowed down to 2 kids and 2 adults. But the adults left early and never took jackets off. My 2nd call to a parent landed me Jared’s jacket. Hooray!! He needs it for cousin Raquel’s Bat Mitzvah in Maryland on the 12th.
So thanks also for the unintended police help.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
"I bet that's pretty special," I said.
"It is, " she said, "my Grandmother gave it to me...."
More Tampa Bay Bat Mitzvah Photography on my website...
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
See more Tampa baby pictures at www.boorayperry.com
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
When I saw this family posing I immediatly knew that they weren't going to get the picture they were hoping for. This picture taken with a small point-and-shoot camera would look like a group of people standing in front of a black cave with a few lights in it. You would never get the ceiling and background to show up because the lens is too small to let in enough light.
More on http://www.boorayperry.com/
I'll get some of the portrait shots online in a day or two but first, time to un-pack
See more of my work at http://www.boorayperry.com/
Thursday, July 16, 2009
There are so many great locations at Palma Ceia in Tampa for wedding photography that I could have easily shot twice as many pictures. I especially liked the wallpaper:
More pictures from the Palma Ceia Country Club in wedding coming soon so stay tuned! (or, just go to my website, there are more pictures there....)
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This was taken inside the temple. Two sisters and their two sister-in-laws. It's a really nice family grouping.
It wouldn't be a Bar Mitzvah without this picture. I love the Torah because it's such a dominate item in any photograph.Not the Bar Mitzvah boy ( a cousin I think ) but he was such a great sport about posing for me and his portrait turned out great.
See more Bar Mitzvah photography on my website..
Friday, July 10, 2009
What I love about this picture is the way she is holding her left foot.