I had an engagement shoot with Marisa at Matheson Hammock park. The day was overcast and perfect for images. A beautiful bride, a spectacular dress, and an amazing venue. We were there to make great images. Luckily, many years ago I studied photography at Miami Dade College and FIU working strictly in Black and White film until my final classes a couple of years later. What you are seeing in this image is a woman with very fair skin wearing a black dress. This is a nightmare for the automatic control systems of most, if not all cameras and flash systems. These automatic systems default to trying to average the lighting in the image. So there you are, bright white skin, a dark black dress and a light but neutral background. The tendency is for the automatic exposure system in the camera to turn the entire scene a mid tone of gray. Not what we want here. The only truly effective way to handle this extremely contrasty situation is to manually meter your camera and flash exposure. This is easy if you know what you are doing, but most people claiming to be photographers do not. This brings me to my main point. Everyone is now a photographer, or at least claims to be. I love the fact that so many people are enjoying the medium, however, with that comes some risk and responsibility. Many people who claim to be photographers would love to charge you to make your engagement and wedding images. While they may do a fine job in the average situation, it is situations like this that shooting in auto is just not going to hack it. So my advice is to ensure you trust the making of your most important memories to someone who is familiar with the technical aspects of photography. Did I say this is an awesome dress!
I love my Granddaughters! I really do! Sometimes though it's a mission to try and make a simple portrait. On our way back from picking them up at Cape Town airport we stopped at Primi Piatti, a restaurant chain that you cannot really go wrong with. The stairs leading up had a beautiful brick wall to use as a backdrop for some nice quick portraits. So I thought. LOL! After many tries struggling with flipping hair and "two fingered puckered posers" and "duck faces". And, "my hair is not right." I finally got one image that I really like. The one you like is up to you so I posted them all.
The weather in Cape Town during Winter is much like Miami. It changes abruptly and can be extreme from one day to the next. Yesterday was a bright sunny day with no wind and beautiful waves. Today, very different and very cold. No run for me without cold protection as you see here!
Lately I love experimenting with my photography. Another experiment at a self potrait.
Here is another self portrait. Hopefully, this one isn't scary. I always see people making images in a mirror so I decided to try. I wanted to make it more interesting so I converted it to B&W and ended up with a high contrast image. Images with shadows are much more interesting because it requires you to imagine what may be in the shadows. My365Project - 147/365
My photography group here in Cape Town, South Africa planned an excursion to West Coast National Park near a city in South Africa called Langebaan. I've been hearing for a long time that it's a must see place because of the flowers blooming in Spring here in the Cape. Yes Northern Hemisphere dwellers, it's Springtime here in South Africa. Langebaan is about 105km from Cape Town. If you want it in miles it's a little over 60 miles. We wanted to start out early to avoid the crowds and we planned well, or better said Sarah, the planner, set it up it perfectly. We were the third car through the gate. There is a special area in WCNP called the Pottsberg area where the Flowers are best and the area is only open in August and September as it is a fragile eco-system. I guess I shouldn't say that too loudly or someone will try to drill for oil on it. I was the passenger this time, in the back seat and it was great. We were headed down the road and I saw Ostriches that I wanted to photograph. The South African's I was driving with said not to be silly there are Ostriches everywhere. Well I finally convinced them to stop and I made these images of either an angry or a very sexually driven Ostrich.
As we kept driving I still had my medium zoom lens on the camera and I saw what looked like a Buffalo off in the mist. It was running faster than the car, and I got my long zoom on just in time to catch only one image of a Black Wildebeast.
The rest of the day was just magnificent. The flowers were incredible and the scenery so diverse. A field of flowers at one turn and then boulders, cliffs, calm bays and crashing ocean waves.
I had the opportunity to create images for an upcoming comic book series based on the graphic novel "Into the Basement" featuring the character Kimmy Bennett. The premise was to create an image of a living model that best portrays the character in the series. While I made the images, the imagination behind creating the living character is completely attributed to the model. After the session the portfolio was sent to the author of the novel, Norman Applegate, and he said the images are exactly how he envisioned Kimmy Bennett would appear. So I consider that a success. The original images were shot against white seamless paper. I added the background and border in post production.
I met Tessa and Jeremy at Matheson Hammock Park for a portrait session of Tessa's Baby Belly. It is true what they say about a pregnant woman having a beautiful glow about them. Tessa is beautiful and just to keep you posted Aidan was born shortly after Christmas and is home with them. Jeremy and Tessa are a special couple and Jeremy was a good sport with all of my posing requests. Originally I posted and delivered these in color with a few Black and White images thrown in, in this post I wanted to emphasize and show the strength of B&W. If it was up to me the vast majority of my portraiture would be B&W because you are attempting to gain the emotion and character of the subject(s). It is my feeling that the color in the image is irrelevant in most portraiture. Of course there are always exceptions. Those exceptions in my opinion would be when the color is important to add to the image. Anyway here are six images I picked. Hope you enjoy them, and feel free to comment and/or critique.
On my last post I spoke to a lot of people that love to be photographed. I was able to connect with Jessicuh Art that wanted some images made in a couple of outfits including a new SupergirlCosplay outfit she had just purchased. For those of you who do not know what Cosplay is here is a brief definition. Cosplay short for "costume play", is a type of performance art in which participants do costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centred on role play. A broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context. Some cosplayers choose to have a cosplay photographer take high quality images of the them in their costumes posing as the character. This is most likely to take place in a setting relevant to the character's origin, such as churches, parks, forests, water features and abandoned/run-down sites. Such cosplayers are likely to exhibit their work online, on blogs or artist websites, such as deviantART. They may also choose to sell such images or print the images as postcards and give them as gifts. So as you can see this type of photography is both desired and appreciated. Jessicuh also has several tattoos and like Cosplayers, people that are heavily tattooed are also appreciative of images of the art on their body. We did the shoot in Wynwood using the walls of art as a background. At first I thought that they may be a little too distracting, but because of the Bokeh (blur effect that high end lenses create beyond the subject) it worked out. I did some extra work by adding texture, vignetting, and borders to create subtle mood and to better direct the viewer to the subject. What I am always most concerned with is the reaction the client will have toward the final images. I am happy to say that she was more than satisfied and we had a lot of fun.
A friend was kind enough to notify me of the "Submission Fetish Ball" produced by Antonio Angelo, additionally, an excellent photographer. The event was a first for me in the world of Fetish. I met the nicest, warmest people that immediately accepted me into their world. I made it a point to respectfully ask before making images and it was appreciated. I will write more on the event, however, I wanted to give a bookmark to those that attended. In respect of privacy the more explicit images where individuals are identifiable will be posted to a private password protected web gallery. The images and Gallery will be forthcoming this evening. For event participants, click on the image above or on the FaceBook tab of the website. You will be directed to my page. You will then see a post with the link to a private gallery. The password information is in the post. This is being done for as much privacy as I can give you and still view your images. Enjoy. If you like the images please like my page.
I was asked by my wife to do a portrait session for a young lady celebrating her 15th birthday. I really did not know what to expect. Her 15's as it is known in the Cuban community is equivalent to a Sweet 16 or Coming Out party in the Anglo-American community. The spectrum of these parties range from one extreme to the other. Jeans and t-shirts to a Ballroom Gown with the celebrant coming out of a large clam shell. When I got to the party I found that the girls and the celebrant, Amelia were all in nice but not over the top dress. Amelia was rather reluctant at first to pose for the images but after a few discussions agreed to pose after dinner. I was a little worried because she appeared to be slightly shy but I could see that she was fun. After dinner I started to setup and decided to pose Amelia against some curtains standing and sitting. The location where the party was located limited me to select an area that was rather small. We started the session and Amelia really came into her own. She truly posed and took direction like an experienced model, and also had the body type of a model. I made some images and we talked about doing a session with her and her friends on location in the Wynwood Area of Miami, with brightly colored street art to use as a background. Her friends seemed excited about the opportunity and I will be able to make more images to boost my portfolio. All around a win-win and I had a great time. Looking forward to our Wynwood Session.
Last weekend the plan was to shoot Mariposa Rose at the old Miami Marine Stadium on Key Biscayne, however after mapping the photoshoot in my mind I realized that for the varied shoot that we wanted, the backgrounds were rather limited. Additionally it is much more difficult to get inside. The obvious next choice was a trip down to Wynwood. We chose several spots while driving around and the abandoned toilet bowl was an obvious choice. I used a Canon 5D Mark III and used my Canon 50mm 1.2L Lens. Additionally I lit the shadows with my Canon 600EX RT Flash with a Rogue Flash Bender Diffusion Panel attached. The flash was used off camera with a dedicated three foot cord. I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of the Flash and Rogue Diffusion Panel. The light was incredibly soft compared with other flash modifiers I've used in the past. Anyway the shoot was a big success. You may wonder why I did not use my Canon 70-200mm 2.8L. Well it's rather simple I could not hold the camera, zoom, and flash by myself. Had I had someone else helping me I would have used both lenses. To see more images of Mariposa Rose Photo Shoot click on the image. It will take you to my Facebook Page. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Makeup Artist: Lourdes Gutierrez without whom this photoshoot would not have been possible. Obviously, by looking at these images she is truly an artist. Please visit her website to check out her work and available services at http://www.makeupbylourdes.com.