Wednesday, August 22, 2012

T.A.P.P.A. Meeting Print Competition

Last night was the monthly meeting of the Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association and I entered three images in the print competition.

This image won 1st place in the "Portrait" category:

This image won 2nd place in the "Portraits" category:

This image won 2nd place in the "Weddings and Events" category:

Unfortunately, the meeting was cut short before we could have our presentation because the entire city block lost power!  Still, we got to socialize and eat so it was still a good time.  :)

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Four Types of Light

Kristen and Shawn were married at Mirror Lake Lyceum in St. Petersburg and during the course of the day I managed to use four different kinds of lighting. Naturally, I think that I rock all four types but my point is not so much to make myself look good but to help you see light in a different way.  There are many photographers in Tampa Bay who can do what I do and the first step towards finding the right one for you is understanding a little about how they use light.

1. Natural Light
Every photographer learns early how to place someone in front of a window to get good light.  What I like to see is someone who uses natural light in a more artistic way than just lighting the face.  A big, natural light source can provide something that our flashes and umbrellas can't.  The trick is to be able to recognize it when you see it and use it to your advantage. 

I'll be honest, there was a time when I didn't see light the way I do now.  I used to think only in terms of how I could use light to illuminate my subjects.  I started getting more creative when I started seeing that light could also be a way to isolate my subjects.

2. Off-Camera Light
I've written about this many times.  Any photographer who uses OCL will tell you that it is a game-changer.  Having the right equipment and knowing how to see a scene and light it quickly is huge when you only have a few minutes with your bride and groom.

For this image, you need to first be able to see the composition in advance and know how to frame it.  Do you zoom in close or shoot wide?  Stand straight or crouch?  Then... where does the light go, how do I pose the couple for maximum impact and finally, how do I set up the camera and the light so that I see everything the way I want it to be seen?  I conceived, posed, set-up and shot this image in under 2 minutes.  That's all the time I had...