Friday, April 9, 2010

Writing with Light Lesson #1

Although photography means, “writing with light,” light is often the most overlooked element of picture taking. Whether you have a small pocket camera or an SLR, most come equipped with a built-in on-camera flash. Voila! Light! But, is that all you need to know? You can’t simply “point-n-shoot,” and expect to get great results for a number of reasons. To understand why, you need to understand how light affects your final image.

To begin with, we all know the old rule of shooting outdoors means keeping the light at your back in order to light your subjects. Shooting with an on-camera flash essentially does the same thing and it works, but does it give the best results?

This type of light is called frontal lighting, and the end result is a flattened subject. There’s no roundness, and no dimension. The light is smooth and even on all surfaces. Is this a bad thing?

Consider this…the objective of writing with light is to make a 3-dimensional scene look 2-dimensional, and frontal lighting makes it one-dimensional. However a type of frontal lighting can sometimes be the most flattering for older people, women, in particular.

When light comes from the side, it rakes across the surface creating shadows and emphasizing texture. Women, generally speaking, don’t like lines and wrinkles emphasized. Moving an off-camera flash to a 45-degree angle and having your subject face it will give a more dimensional effect and still be flattering.

Using an on-camera flash requires special knowledge, skill, and experience. It isn’t applicable for every occasion, and knowing when and how to use it is a subject for future discussion.

Next time we’ll talk about how the distance of a light source affects your images. Until then…write with light, and create memories!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jim and Lacey Norwood Wedding

Jim Norwood, Jr. and Lacey Wright were introduced in 2005 at the wedding of Jim's cousin, Caleb, who married Karen, Lacey's now best friend. They didn't really impress one another at the time and thought nothing of the introduction. Lacey was in college in Kentucky, and Jim had his life here. Then, in 2009 after Lacey moved home from college, they were reintroduced by Caleb and Karen, and it was love at "second sight," as they like to say. On January 17, 2009, they went on their first date, and on August 1, 2009, Jim proposed at a Sounds game in front of thousands of people. They have a commemorative baseball that says, "She said yes! August 1, 2009." On exactly the one year anniversary of their first date, Jim and Lacey said, "I do!" at Historic Riverwood Mansion. A bountiful buffet provided by Chef Penelope's Catering followed the ceremony, and guests ate, drank, and danced the afternoon away. It was a joyful celebration as these two beautiful fun loving people became one.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Photography Conference in New Orleans

Hello Everyone!

I'm new to blogging and don't know what took me so long to get started. I love photography and love love love talking about it. Friends tell me my face lights up, and it probably does because I know I light up inside.

Last week, I attended my first photography conference, and I can tell you that it won't be my last. Wow! Great photographers were there giving seminars like the famed Joe Buissink, Beverly Hills wedding photographer, Jay Goldman, Los Angeles photojournalistic wedding photographer, and Amber Holritz, Chattanooga Lifestyles photographer and others. They were so personable, warm, friendly, and open to sharing their craft and experiences with us. They gave us food for thought, sound advice, and crammed more knowledge into those three days than we ever could have gotten on our own. We all left inspired to stretch and create beyond anything we've ever done. It was amazing.

The last day we were there, I went on a shooting workshop with Kurt Gerber, Chicago photographer. A newly wed couple were our models. The best part for me was that they were tux and no long gown. Don't get me wrong...I love the traditional stuff, but this was an opportunity to shoot something completely different. The bride wore a vintage dress, and the groom wore black jeans, a vest, a hat with a joker in the brim, and they wore matching black cowboy boots with a black bandana tied around the ankle. They were both beautiful and very much in love. A few of their images follow: