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Archive for January, 2009

 

After numerous visits to the Nelson Atkins Art Museum, I strove for a more original angle. Due to the ice on what is usually a large reflection pool, I was able to walk out and take this image. Moments later I was ordered off the ice by an anonymous security guard over the speaker system. I promptly walked off the ice, but not until I made sure I had in deed gotten the shot I wanted. ūüôā

MT

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Here is the link to my new set on flickr. I will be periodically be adding to the folder, so check it out more than once.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthewsphotography/sets/72157613122623060/

MT

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I took some images on Sunday that are somewhat unique but seem to contain artistic value. I hope you find pleasure in viewing them. Here is what I did.

I was in the passenger seat of a vehicle with my Canon 5D and was thinking about how I could make an overcast day exciting. I have done a hundred shots from my car, but they all have looked the same. You have a road with streaking lines and maybe some lights from cars in the image. A pretty typical shot. Well, I mixed things up a little by panning horizontally with objects alongside the road. Slowing the shutter enough to capture motion, but just short enough to contain some sort of sharpnes. I really enjoy the emotion of these images and I hope they stimulate some sort response from you too.

I am off to Kansas City with my buddy William now. I have some real cool ideas that will hopfully turn out how I imagine them. I believe we will be hitting the Nelson Atkins Art Museum, but probably won’t even go inside. The architecture around the museum is outstanding! I highly recommend a visit there. I am thinking we will have to get under some lit up buildings and shoot the lights at night.¬†Be ready for some HDR madness!!!¬†

MT

Blurred Triptych

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This week for my Editorial class, I had to come up with a fashion, portrait, and event photographer that I admired or found interesting. I have taken a few screen grabs from the photographers sites so you can have a preview of their work. Click on the image to go to there site.

I will start off with event photography. I found Sal Sessa Photography as a great example of candid event and portrait work. Take a look at the slideshow, the photos are a lot of fun.

Sal Sessa

 

The next here is portrait photography. I know the photographers personally and had the opportunity to work with Lagow family. Lagow Portrait Design specializes in protraits and weddings, but my favorite is the “Touch of Rockwell” family portraits they do. Using familair scenes to the family, they capture a more candid and natural look of the family.

Lagow's

 

Finally, I have chosen David Lachapelle as my fashion photographer of choice. Lachapelle has one of the most outrageous and many times controversial collection of fashion photos. Lachapelle uses heavy post processing to create the looks he is going for. Often the scenes are of half naked or naked women with demolition and debris strewn about them. It is qutie outstanding to look at his image simply because they are so unique. Not all of the fashion shoots are so extreme, buth the ones that catch your eye are definately the wild ones. (Be adivsed: his photos can be disturbing)

fashion

 

MT

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Using a Canon 5D and a pinhole body cap will be my newest addition to a variety of techniques I already have used with the camera. A pinhole camera body cap is exactly what it sounds like: a body cap with a tiny hole in the center. Using the cap instead of the lens will produce less than sharp images, but that is exactly why you use it. I am combining an ancient technique with high tech equipment. Instead of going on and on, I will just show you the results within a week. Deal? But in the meantime, check out the images I took with my Canon 30D combined with a simple metal plate over the lens mount with a needle size hole in the center.  http://flickr.com/photos/matthewsphotography/sets/72157604049385227/show/

MT

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Going out a second time to Knob Knoster turned out to be productive once again. I went out¬†yesterday¬†morning and snagged this HDR image of the sunrise. I love taking photos of the sun shining through the tree tops. Something about the emotions it can evoke always has interested me. I was going to go out this morning but the weather was less than pleasing. I don’t mind cold and I don’t mind snow but when it is cold and there is no¬†snow as well as no interesting sky, I seem to value sleep more. So I sip my Espresso blend coffee and enjoy the climate controlled environment.

Check out my new page I added last night. Click here to see what gear I use. Also, you should see my latest photos on flickr. I apologize, but many of the images are also seen here on naturallycomposed. This is done so that when you click on the image, you are sent in a separate window to flickr. If you experience any problems on my site, please notify me so I can fix them. Have a good day.

MT

Knob Knoster Day 2

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This morning I traveled the short distance to Knob Knoster State Park. I was fortunate enough to have beautiful clouds and lighting. Instead of writing in past tense about my expedition this morning, I will share excerpts from my journal. I hope you like it.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “…Beautiful. I think to take a picture, even though it won’t compare. How can it? The viewer won’t feel the slipping ice or the wind down their back. They wont see the leaves frozen in time. Why do I try then?…”

The Lounge Chair

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “…The wind hits my journal and passes on to the shuttering leaves. Glowing like ambers of a fire, the leaves vacillate on their branches. The air is brisk and cool. Each gust cools my fingers ever so slightly. I sit at the base of a tree I dubbed “The Lounge Chair…”

To My Left

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “…To my left is the lake. I watch as dozens of dried and frozen leaves slide their way along the ice….It¬†seems I am perched on a peninsula that contains the right formula of earthly elements to create a vast area of moss. Even in the dead of winter, the moss contains pigments of green. I pause a moment to capture an image…”

Opening My Eyes

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “…I don’t want to go. I don’t want the trees to think I am not loyal. I love them, I really do. I will stay a little longer. I close my eyes and ease my head back against the tree. It has been a magnificent morning I cannot forget. I will not let myself forget…”

 

MT

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When shooting in Iowa this last weekend, I was surrounded by black and white photographic opportunities. There was enough snow to create harsh contrast, but not enough to create excessive contrast. The snow accentuates the textures and shapes in a landscape and especially a close up shot. A great characteristic of black and white photography is its innate ability to exhibit detail. Eliminating color is one less step our neural network must process when viewing an image.

BW Triptych

If you look closely at the image to the left, you can see every granule of snow and every speck of dirt. The middle image has excellent contrast between the shadows and the highlights, characteristic of black and white. The image to the right has examples of the previously mentioned traits of black and white. Why am I discussing this? I am pointing out in a round about way that snow is an excellent element for photographers, especially combined with black and white processing. The thing to remember with snow is that it is not easy to photograph in. When done right, it is great. But when done incorrectly, it can wreak havoc on our memories of how we saw the scene. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

1) Overexpose: You must remember that with any camera whether it be a piont and shoot or a DSLR, the internal meter attempts to create an overall equal exposure. In a more technical explanation, the camera tries to create an 18% grey exposure. We all know¬†that snow is white, therefore grey is unnatural. In your menu settings there is a setting usually labled “EV compensation”. When shooting snow I would set this to +1.0 to start. Many modern point and shoots have built in modes including a snow mode. I would experiment with both.

2) Work the angles: With water in any form, there will be angles that display more or less relfectance. Use this to your advantage. You might be able to get some refraction images if you are lucky. In other words, colors refract all the time and its up to you to find them. Here is a little info on getting rainbow shots. Fun fact: rainbows are located 42 degrees off the axis of the sun.

3) Minimalism: Many of the best shots we see are ones that have a single subject and minimal distractions. Look for the single twig, or the lone tree on the horizon. Remember, with black and white the details really “pop”. Keep it simple and intimate and I know you will get some winners. This applies to any camera and any photographer.

Well, I hope this has helped at least one person. I will say one last thing: This last weekend in Iowa was a successful photographic trip for me. The main reason being that I was out searching for images for hours every day. Light is changing every second and therfore creating new opportunities constantly.

MT

P.S. Sorry that this not dicuss my Iowa trip in great detail, I had some things on my mind and now they are in words. Thanks.

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Here is my choice of a few photographers I found well known in their fields of editorial photography. The first is a fitness and health photographer. Alex Ardenti is based on the West Coast and has been published on a regular basis with magazines including Oxygen, Reps, and Muscle and Fitness.

fitness

Second photographer is a specialist in food photography. His list of clients includes McDonalds, TGIF, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Michael Ray is the arguably the best and most definately the most succesful food photographer I could find. All of his shots really will make you hungary.

food

The third photographer is my personal favorite. Brad Mangin routinely shoots for Sports Illustrated and even has one of his images on the front of an Xbox 360 game. I especially appreciate the photo story he did on Barry Bonds. I get a real sense of emotion or intimacy with his images.

sports

 

MT

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Good afternoon to all. I had an excellent weekend in Iowa as many might who have been following along with my posts might have seen. I am almost completely finished editing the 576 images from Friday to today brought me. Obviously many of the images were thrown out, but I feel my success rate was very good this weekend. I believe that the confidence I have in my Canon 5D may have a play in my success. Using the camera has allowed myself to focus on capturing images and less on worrying that I might miss the shot before me.

Starting in chronological order once more; the first image is a prime example of keeping compositions simple. This was taken in extremely overcast conditions with a Canon 70-200mm f/4L telephoto. I picked my shots wisely with such a bland sky, and sometimes eliminating the sky from view completely. I enjoy minimalistic subjects because they enable the viewer to really focus on the detail present. Many landscapes I photograph are sometimes overwhelming I am sure. Further reducing the distractions, I converted this image to black and white in Photoshop CS3. I always shoot color and if need be, convert to B&W in PS.

Looking up to the Future

 The next image is a landscape captured on top of Murray Hill, near Pisgah, IA. Murray Hill is a steep hill with numerous draws and spurs along both sides. The view from the top is outstanding and very peaceful. I was dumbfounded at times by the steepness of the Loess Hills. It was an excellent surprise to visit these hills as well as photograph them. I am told that the Loess Hills are rare in that there is only one other place in the world with these type of geographic features. I will research more on this and get back to you.

Murray Hill, Pisgah, Iowa

 

This next image was a must in showing the sites in Iowa. Windmills have long been used for generating power as well as for pumping water. If you feel so inclined, more information can be found here. I personally find the most use out of a windmill by photographing it, but I know that thousands of individuals use these still to this day.

Slowly Turning

 

The final image is one that I am quite proud of. I spotted this 65 foot tall building on Friday afternoon in Rock Port, Missouri. Due to the weather conditions and my “photographer’s instinct” I chose to wait on this photographic opportunity. Today however, the stars (or in my case, the clouds) aligned for a great image. Shelton Fireworks are seen in many states and consistently claim to be the largest warehouse fireworks provider. I believe them with a building this size. Using my tripod and my 17-40mm lens, I bracketed for an High Dynamic Range image. I was fortunate enough to be the only vehicle present, therefore adding to the ominous size of this geometrically appealing building. I hope you like it as much as I do. I must mention another photographer who captured a photograph of this same building.¬†One of my photography professors, Wilson Hurst, has a great site that I check regularly and you should too. Here is his site. Search “Shelton Fireworks” to see his interpretation.

Shelton Fireworks

I hope you have enjoyed this installation of images. Rest assured, more will soon be on the way. Now I must go play secretary for Photo Society here at UCM.

MT

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