Sunday, November 29, 2009

Family of Four for Mom

Yesterday I did a family photograph in the home of four sons for their mother for Christmas. The oldest son actually bought his parents' house, and we photographed the four of them there to make it just that much more special to their mother.

After the family portrait, they also wanted all but one (who had a wedding earlier that year) to do individual portraits to update the ones their mother had. I was originally only commissioned to do two instead of three, but the one son brought me his school portraits. They were so horrendous (seriously, who leaves glare in glasses when it can be gotten rid of?) that they wanted to do a different one of him for their mom as well. No big deal, they were all there anyways. And I'm happy to say that mine are glare-free.

Sadly, we were unable to go outside for the portraits like we wanted, since it was a pretty windy day; and once the winds are in excess of 40mph, we just don't go outside for photos. Honestly, the wind was bad enough that a gust hit my car while I was driving over to the home, and almost blew me off the road. Definitely not the kind of day to be outside.

Overall though it was a very enjoyable session. Everyone was very excited and happy to be there, and they were all smiles. Especially since they were laughing at the idea of the third child being chased by a duck-bill platypus. Hey, whatever gets the smile I say! And I have to admit, the idea really is funny.

The prints have been ordered as well, and I know the boys are as excited for them as I am. As always I went through Adorama Pix, because their lab quality is fantastic. I've never had an issue with their service, and the process is so smooth that you really are getting far more than your money's worth with them.

So now that I've blabbered on about these photos, here they are! And as always, to see larger versions, please be sure to check them out on my Website!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

North Creek Studios

Yesterday I went to a client's house to photograph his glass pieces that he created via lampworking for his Etsy. Overall we photographed thirty pieces, with a total of fifty-two images that needed cropping and minor touch-ups! That's a lot of glass! Thankfully, I LOVE to photograph glass, so it was a very fun challenge!

Lampworking, for those who are curious, is the art of working under a torch (yes, fire, big flames, lol) with glass that you melt together in order to create a piece of art. In Larry's case, he finds that making pendants, marbles, and ornaments are her favourite things. He's slowly getting better at making buttons and earrings too!

I used to take lessons from Larry at his one studio in Ballston Spa (it's a part of the National Bottle Museum), but sadly life got in the way and I haven't been able to go back for about a year.

Shockingly enough, I found this whole thing through my High School portfolio class. It's a treasure among the heart of Ballston Spa. So if you're bored and in the area on the right days, reserve a spot and take a class!

The whole session with Larry at his home-studio though was very fun, and it reminded me why I love people like him so much. He has an interest in what I (as a photographer) am doing, he's an artist that truly loves what he's doing, and he's a very sweet old man that you can't help but want to get to know. Good people like that are difficult to come by.

It reminded me of back in Hallmark as well, when we were working on learning to photograph metal. Metal is a pretty difficult thing to learn to photograph, and as such most of the class was swearing to never photograph it again. And Dick Delassandro was kind enough to tell us all "Without fail, your first commercial assignment will be to photograph metal. It always is. Just watch." Well Dick, mine was glass. Looks like that makes me a winner.

Anyways, of the fifty-two images, my favourite one was of my favourite marble:

Seriously, I will own this marble some day. I fell in love with it when I photographed it. Picked it right out of a whole bunch. It's not very big (maybe about as big as a quarter), but the simplicity is stunning to me!

Here are a few of the other pieces:

I hope that you enjoy the imagery, and visit his Etsy or the National Bottle Museum to further your experience!

To see more of my photography, please be sure to visit my website.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Origami Project

As of recently I started a new project based around origami, which is the art of folding paper. I'm not all that talented at folding paper, but someone close to me is, and has been helping me pursue this project in-depth. Together so far we have created three images. Already I have plans for at least two more. It would have been three, except Halloween's idea was pushed to the back of my mind in lieu of more pressing things.

Now that the opportunity has presented itself again though, two ideas are in the works to create two fresh images! One is going to be holiday themed, and thus won't be ready until around Christmas sometime, possibly not until the day of. The other I have been searching designs for, and deciding on how I want to light and colour it. I know the background will be blue, now I just have to decide on the colours of the origami in the photo. Not sure if I want to go with a cool-coloured theme, or maybe a contrast of some sort. It is quite the dilemma.

Eventually, I'd like to piece these pieces all together as a book of fine art available for purchase, but that's a bit of a ways off right now. I'd need a minimum of twenty-five photographs, and I'm nowhere near that. Someday though, someday. I'm aiming for the end of 2010, simply for the fact that getting the folding right can take a lot of time and practice. Mix that with brainstorming and you have quite the process ahead of you already. So this project will take a bit.

For now though, I'll share what I already have. If you'd like to see them at a larger size, please visit my Fine Art gallery at my website.

The lotus is what started it all. The person I'm close to who knows how to fold well was looking through one of his books of flowers one day, and I pointed out that I found that one very pretty. So he said he'd fold it for me. Seven tries later, plus one failure of my own, he created that. I folded the simple lily pad while he worked on the difficult stuff. Overall I'd say the folding took about four hours to get right. After that I set to dying the water blue for this shot, and then set everything up. The background is part blue-gel covered lighting bounced off a white reflector, and part water. I side-lit this with a soft box and a couple of go-bos to get the effect of the shadows you see. After doing the photography, I popped it into Lightroom and Photoshop to do some minor touch-ups. There were these horrid clumps of dye that needed to be smoothed out in the water, and a little dust on my lens.

This one was created with the complementary colour scheme in mind. That flower was such a pain to create for it, not because it was complicated, but because it had to be assembled. Each petal is made separately, and then hooked together. We're talking seriously time-consuming. The stem was a bit difficult too, since the first one wasn't strong enough to hold up the flower. So I had to find a different folding pattern to make it stronger. Overall though, the folding for this only took about three hours. I set this one up with the same side light, and put it on glass over a yellow-gel covered light that reflected off a white background. I aimed the light as well to create the spotlight effect you see. Took a lot of go-bos to control the light spill in this one. Not too much touch-ups though, just the same dust spots, and a few scratches in the glass to be rid of.

This piece took days to complete. It was created for a friend who was down, to raise her spirits, and thankfully well worth the effort. If you hadn't already noticed, this piece is photo-manipulation. It took about two hours total to fold both the butterflies properly and all the stars, but about four or five hours in Photoshop to get the image how I wanted it. This took a lot of patience in cutting out all the objects off the white background, smoothing the edges, and placing it how I wanted. After that I found the brushes I wanted to use, and went to town in designing. Overall, I really enjoyed the effect I created. The colour scheme is also on purpose.

Of the three, I'm not sure if I'd include the third one in the book I want to create, since it's nowhere near pure photography. But I still enjoy sharing it because it is a beautiful piece.

I hope you're looking forward to my newer origami pieces as well!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hi there!

Hi there, and welcome to the blog built for my website, Photographic Phantasy. Over the past two days I overhauled my poor site to version3, and I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself! I'm not the best designer in the world, but I really feel like I outdid myself this time around. Take a peek and let me know what you think!

In other news, I am currently working on an Origami project. It started with two origami flowers, and is slowly evolving into something awesome. As soon as I have a few more images to that project, I'll be adding a separate gallery for the project. Definitely look forward to it!

I will also be working on designing this blog soon enough, so don't fear, it'll be as pretty as my site soon enough! I just need to find the time and motivation to do so, since I don't seem to have either right now. It might have something to do with the fact that I just overhauled the main site. Hmmm... >_>

Anyways! I hope that you enjoy my imagery, and I look forward to hearing your feedback!