How to take a picture of an iris flower (or any flower)
Seemingly a monster, it might look like one up close, an iris is a contradiction in many ways. I chose to see beauty in this flower, but most definitely an edgy one.
So, to accomplish my vision, I went against the most common advice in flower photography, as one of the first words you would normally read is “defuse.” In this case I say: CONTRAST; every shot is lit from underneath and against a dark background.
My vision, my rules. Final result: a beautiful iris flower with attitude.
Budapest, Hungary: Camouflaged Building
I came across this cleverly camouflaged building on the trip to Budapest back in 2011. Major restoration work was taking place behind the wall and I found the finishing touches delightfully entertaining.
Of course I used Exposure 5: 600-Yellowed from the Polaroid panel at 60 % opacity.
Exposure 5: Kodak Ektachrome 100G Simulation
Today, I unintentionally told a lie: the words “no, this is pretty much out of the camera” left my lips and it was not until hours later that I realized that I was talking about a very different image then the one I was asked about. It was the puzzled look that I could not quite place and then it hit me as I set down to work on this image. Whoops.. .
I love to process just as much as I enjoy shooting and today I found a new favorite filter for a sunset scene: Kodak Ektachrome 100G simulation filter which is part of the Exposure 5 package. Slightly modified to remove noise as the original had an ample amount due to 1600 ISO, it’s an instant preset. I kept wondering why this was “the one” and after a little poking around, I learned that this was the one used by National Geographic for years in low light situations.
Familiarity…. film nostalgia satisfied once again.
Three Brandt’s Cormorants, Pismo Beach
I’m not a wildlife photographer but these three guys were just hard to resist.
Beautiful birds with a funny name.
Found a great article on California coastal birds and very much enjoyed reading about these guys, turns out we have a lot in common: we both like fish and squid.
Creating Smoky Water Effect
Alas, so little time for fun! I did manage to get to some images from our Pismo Beach trip this year and quite a bit of fun working on this one.
Creating smoky water effect takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice; sure, I’ve gotten lucky sometimes and got a beautiful shot with
Making a Statement, Developing your Style
Developing a style is probably the hardest thing to achieve in any form of art; there are always expectations, comparisons and endless criticism. Self imposed more than anything and constantly wanting more.
I say: use it. Push yourself, do more, do better and settle only if you’re happy; let others judge your work but listen and if you disagree strongly, do it anyway!
I settle for reaction; love it or hate it.
Improve your portrait photography with self-assigned projects
Envision it, execute it, own it, learn from it
I greatly enjoy the inexhaustible learning opportunities that photography represents. I also believe in the practice makes perfect theory when it comes to photography. This makes for a very simple formula which I have been following using these simple steps:
1. Learn from the best
2. Practice what you’ve learned
3. Do it again
4. Do it better, don’t move on until you can do it with your eyes closed (well, maybe just one eye so that you can see through the viewfinder)
Getting better at portrait photography can be as easy as planning a fun-filled self-assignment project. This is the time when you can do whatever you like and experiment as much as you want. NO PRESSURE. How else can it be done? Practicing or experimenting on a client is really not a good idea. The only thing is not to forget all the crucial steps and plan the shoot as if it were for a real client, otherwise there’s no point. Envision the project, plan it, sketch it and prepare for it. Afterwards, analyse your work, learn from your mistakes, learn from your successes and do it again.