Photo Of The Day 004

Some of the steps I take when editing my sunset photos.

Ignited with the final light of the setting sun. The sky was set ablaze with color.  For the past week the sky has been alive with color.  While busy with work and errands I make time at the end of the day to stop whatever it is I am doing to watch the setting sun.  Each one is different from the last.

When I shoot a sunset I lean more toward editing with the foreground in shadow rather than going with the HDR look.  I feel It helps draw the attention toward the main focus of the image.  Also I will add a subtle vignette to the edges and finish with a graduated filter in Lightroom at the top to give the sky a cooler feeling as your view draws further from the setting sun.

I took this photo with my 85mm prime as ISO 400, f/4.0, and 1/250sec.

How do you edit your sunset photos? Do you prefer the HDR look or having the foreground in shadow?. Let me know in the comment section below. Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Photo of the Day 003

Hitting the streets of San Fernando in the Chevy looking to do a little off-roading. 

image.jpg

When Tavern picked up this truck it wouldn't even run. But with some automotive knowledge and a little elbow grease he was able to breath some life into this once dead vehicle. For most this would be a family vehicle or some daily driver. Not the case for this Chevy. Now that he has the truck running it has remained  under construction toward becoming a beastly off-roading machine.

We hit the trails out on the back side of El Cariso park. The truck handled the steep hills and rocky terrain with no problems. Taverns years of off-roading expierence made running this track a breeze. Coming from the central coast where it's all about driving the dunes in Oceano this was a welcomed change.  I took this photo at ISO 400, f/4.0, and 1/800sec with my 50mm prime. I also positioned myself on a higher vantage point to photograph the truck, and crouched down to get a view from down under. My camera was set to a continuous focus to keep the grill sharp while moving. 

Have you ever been off-roading or taken photos while out on the dirt track. Let me know in the comment section below Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Portrait session with @Laurie Love

Laurie is a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner serving the people of Santa Clarita/Valencia, and providing education on how to protect health & prevent illness.

I meet up with Laurie and her husband Donald around mid morning in Santa Clarita, CA. For today's shoot the goal was to get some awesome portraits for Lauries' website, and finish the session out with some photos of both her and Donald.  We began with a traditional behind the desk shot. Whenever I work with someone new I like to go through a few simple poses to help with becoming comfortable in front of the camera. Lauries office was heavily backlit by the natural sunlight coming in from the morning. This is where knowing your camera really helps. I knew that the dynamic range my camera could capture was pretty good.  I wanted to play it safe though so I shot this photo slightly under exposed to prevent blowing out the background in camera. When it comes to editing its a good rule of thumb to preserve as much data in the image as possible. If you blow out the light or crush the black point that information is lost and cannot be pulled out in Lightroom.  Its nice to have more to work with when editing anyways. I shot my indoor portraits at ISO 640, f/4.0, and 1/400s

From there we moved outdoors for more candid photos. A few yards from the office were some trees and a nice hill covered in green plants.  The shade helped to soften the light while the hill provided a nice backdrop.  When taking portraits I like to offer a wide range of looks. I feel that a good portrait is determined by the client. I may have a selection of images that I really like but more often than not the clients tend to have a very different list of favs. The outdoor portraits were shot with my 85mm prime lens ISO100, f/4.0, and 1/250s

DSC_4988-Edit20160522.jpg

Winding down toward the end of the shoot Donald got some camera time along with their two little pups.  In the beginning of my photography career dogs were my fist models when learning to take portraits.  So I love whenever I can get a chance to work with both people and their pets.  Working with both Laurie and Donald was a lot of fun. They are a great couple, and I got to learn a lot about them both during our photo session. The final images were shot at ISO 400, f/4.0, and 1/320s with my 85mm prime.

DSC_542020160522.jpg

Be sure to follow Laurie on her Facebook page (here) for helpful tips and advice on living a happy and healthy life. Also If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Photo Of The Day 002

Exploring new vantage points while photographing in Woodland Hills

It was a hot day without a single cloud in the sky while out in Woodland Hills. We were out getting some weekend errands taken care of. After we had some lunch I took a little time to explore some parking structures surrounding the Warner Center buildings.  I ended up finding a great view from on top of the Westfield Mall parking lot.  Normally when I set up to shoot a landscape or architecture photo I get my tripod out, and take my time framing my image.  However it has been my experience when photographing in public parking lots that security isn't far from coming in and telling me to leave.  For this picture I shot five exposures handheld so that I could get a higher dynamic range when editing in Lightroom.  The sun was extremely bright on the windows so I knew I would need that range to preserve some detail in my shot. For most of my landscape and architecture photos I use an aperture around f8 to f16.  For this I shoot I changed things up and shot a little wider placing my focus point on the buildings.  Another thing I took into consideration while shooting without a tripod was to use a fast shutter speed so the photos would merge nicely when editing.  I took this photo using my 85mm prime at ISO 100, f4, and 1/1600s.

Have you ever explored new angles at places you photograph often? How did those photos come out? Let me know in the comment section what you thought of that beach. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Exploring LA -cooling off in Santa Monica-

This week has been hot. Sweltering to put it mildly. So after work on a Wednesday we packed our things and headed for the beach.

the godmother

We were on the 405 south by 4:00pm and the temp for the day was over a hundred degrees. After managing through some normal traffic for that time of day we made our first pit stop at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery for some cold cut sandoes. A friend had recommended this place and also suggested we order their godmother sandwich. Over the years I've come to trust a good source when it comes to trying a new food, and boy was I not disappointed. My sandwich came loaded with flavors all nestled between a sliced loaf of chibata bread. It is easily one of my top ten sandwich spots.

With our appetite well satisfied we headed for the beach. I was going on 8 weeks without the smell of the ocean air in my lungs. It was a trip long overdue. The weather was welcoming at a cool 78 degrees and slightly overcast. We made our way to the pier where we acted like tourists and observed all that is the Santa Monica Pier. There were people from all walks of life on this small stretch of sand ranging from vendors, musicians, and entertainers all looking to capitalize at the historic location.

Santa Monica deffinately felt like a very hip and trendy stretch of coastline. After all these years I am surprised that I hadn't taken the time to check it out. So for this midweek adventure I got to try a new sandwich, and marked another California beach off the list.

Have you ever been to Santa Monica? Let me know in the comment section what you thought of that beach. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above. 

Fitness Shoot with @a_cabrera805

Amanda Cabrerra is an Air Force Veteran, gym/fitness enthusiast,and part time model.

Amanda and I met up at the gym early on a Sunday morning for our shoot.  I arrived early so that I could get my camera set up and ready to go. During this shoot Amanda was working toward her goal of entering her first fitness competition. Her show was still a few months out but at the time of our shoot but her focus during the workout was on point. I've learned in my time working with fitness enthusiasts. Among a few of those things is when it comes to taking your training to a competition level a lot changes with your approach toward both dieting and training.

We started out warming up on the stair climber. It was a cold morning so that meant some light cardio was needed to get the blood flowing.  After a quick ten minute climb we moved straight into the weight room. For todays workout Amanda was scheduled for legs and shoulders.  She started with the Hammer Strength Plate-Loaded V-Squat machine. This pice of equipment was among one of Amanda's favorite to use for the legs and over all lower body work.  From there we moved to the leg press where her strength began to show.  Loading the sled up with 230 lbs. (not including the weight of the sled)

This shoot marked my first time photographing an entire workout. I had taken photos many times before in this facility however The lighting had been upgraded since my last visit.  I used my 35mm prime lens on this shoot. My settings were all over the place while I learned the lighting at each of the equipments locations.  I started out with a shutter speed of 1/30s f2.2 and ISO400.  This resulted in a lot of motion blur and because of the low depth of field I had a lot of the shots taken in the beginning out of focus. I compensated by boosting my ISO to 800 changed my shutter speed to 1/100s at f2.8 and found that those settings worked best under this gyms new lighting conditions.

On leg day we train legs. So after warming up on the stairs, hitting sets on both the V-squat machine and leg press it was time for some smith machine squats. Everyone is different when it comes to their choice of gym equipment. I am more of a free weight lifter doing movmints like backsquats, front squats, and deadlifts with a barbell. That doesn't mean that there is one type of lifting to rule them all. Durring the breaks between lifting Amanda shared her expierence with both free weights and machines. It was after years of training that she found her body responded best when training with a machine vs free weights.

When we finished with the last set of squats it was time to put the shoulders to work. Moving to the cable machine for some standing shoulder press and then finishing the workout with some strict over head press work with the barbell.  Afterward we went over to the fitness room for a few posed shots and called it a day.

After finishing up with the shoot I had my settings memorized for future shoots at this gym. I also got the chance to add a few more photos to my portfolio and learned a lot more about the mentality an athlete has when training for a competition. For some the goal might be the expierence of entering a show where as for others the goal is to win. That focus on success can be seen in the eyes of athletes while they train, and with Amanda that look was very apparent as she lifted. 

How about you? Have you ever prepped for a fitness competition? How far out did you begin your cut, and if it was your first show did you have fun? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

A Bakersfield Engagement Session

Making a day trip to Bakersfield for some Engagement photos

A few weeks before deciding on plans for the memorial weekend my fiancé was contacted by an old co-worker who had recently tied the knot.  She had gone through the process of planning her own wedding and didn't book any engagement photos or wedding photographer.  Her Husband owned the tux worn on the wedding day and her dress was still in immaculate condition. Instead of trying to re-create the day we decided on taking very formal (dressed up) engagement photos.

One of the things I enjoy about photography is the ability to tell the story you want. The audience viewing your photos doesn't know if you took the photos before or after your wedding making an engagement session something that can happen at any time.

Before meeting up at The Park at Riverwalk in Bakersfield CA we made the day into a family road trip.  With the car loaded, and all batteries charged we set out from Van Nuys on a short one hour drive north.  Being the lightweight that I am when it comes to driving our first stop was McDonalds for some iced coffees.  Now were off and cooking.  With caffeine in my system I was charged and ready for the rest of the day.  Traffic on the road was really light given that it was a Holliday weekend. Once we hit Bakersfield we took some time to stretch our legs and give our son a break from his car seat.  The outlets at Tejon served that purpose for us.

After a brief break from the drive we were back in the car and off to meet our couple for their photo session.  The park was packed with lots of locals all with the same idea to cool off and enjoy some BBQ and ice-cream.  Taking a short time to survey the area I knew I would need to focus as much on my couple as I would on what or who is behind them.  Any random person, cooler, or BBQ pit could easily take away from the focus of the photos. 

To start out I had them standing in front of a stone pillar.  It adds some texture to the background and we started our shoot a little early so we had a little time before the sun would be offering premium lighting conditions.  This pillar was located at the front of the park and offered time for all of us to get comfortable with taking photos around such a large crowd. 

From there we moved to the water.  Kids were swimming in the background so again I adapted to the surroundings and positioned my couple accordingly so as to not have anyone interfering in the background.  By now we were all settling in and becoming comfortable.  This is the time where I break out the posing ideas.  My fiancé carried her phone with a few photo poses but I find its one thing to tell people how to stand or position themselves and its another to make them look natural or comfortable.  Here is where I provide the internal monologue for them as they pose.  I suggest what they might be thinking or what they might be looking at off in the distance.  Anything that breaks their concentration and gets a laugh or moment of relaxation.

By the end of the shoot the sun was offering some amazing light.  I shot this entire session with my 85mm prime lens and got some interesting lens flare with it.

Have you ever had your engagement photos taken after your wedding? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Exploring LA -visiting the fashion district-

Taking a trip to the LA fashion district and snapping a few pics along the way.

We had planned to get an early start on the day and head down to Los Angeles around 9:30am. Living in Southern California offers a great deal of things to do and all within reasonable reach if traffic permits. When we got to our destination we didn't want to have to hunt for a parking so we just popped into the first payed lot we could find. At ten dollars for the day it wasn't too bad but as we walked around we found plenty of other places for even less (live and learn).

Instead of going out there to look at clothing this trip was geared toward the fabric stores in the area.. Never have I seen so many bolts of different fabrics. From silk to sequence there was something for everyone and at unbelievable low prices. In a location like this with prices and products relatively similar I wondered how each shop works toward gathering the most business. The answer I found was customer service.

While my fiancé went from store to store we found that some shops wouldn't even approach us to ask if we needed help or were interested in buying. Other shops were on it coming up to us and really trying to sell us on the quality of the material and moving quickly for the sell asking how much fabric we needed and what we might be using it for.

After a bit of walking around we made our way to the food stands. With lots of different options I looked for something new that might catch my eye. At the end of the block was a stand selling Pambasos a sandwich with chorizo, potatoes, cheese, lettuce, mayo, and you choice of beef, chicken, or pastor. They then threw it on the flat grill to melt the cheese and toast the bread. This sandwich set me back about eight dollars but was well worth trying at least once in my life.

The Pambaso

The Pambaso

I got lucky getting this photo. There was a woman working that booth yelling "no pictures" to people with their cellphones trying to get a pic for their Instagram and snapchat posts. To wash this sandwich down I bought a strawberry lemonade from the stand to the left of this one. They had tons of different flavor to choose from and even offered samples of each. With my food and drink in hand it was time to dig in.

Cecilia St

Cecilia St

Have you ever been to the fabric district? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Fitness Shoot with @lift_mor Part 2

If you haven't had a chance to read part one you can click HERE for that blog

Back in the gym with Garrett who during the time of this shoot was five weeks out from his show. This time he has invited his girlfriend/ lifting partner Melissa to join in on the workout as well.  Both Garrett and Mellissa have been on the road to the big show for a few months now, and seeing their progress in comparison to the first time we worked together is unreal.  The photos only show a small part of the work involved to achieving greatness.  For these two there are hours of hard work put in each and every day.  From early mornings of fasted cardio, to working out twice a day at times to shock the body while trying to  force it to retain every ounce of muscle during the cutting phase.  The gym isn't the only place where they put in the work.  Outside of the gym things like calorie counting, meal prepping, low carb days, and re-feed days are meticulously monitored, tracked, logged, and tweaked along the way.

For todays session Melissa came prepared with a workout routine.  They both started with some cable moments to warm up with then moved to the cable rows and cable lat pull downs.  Melissa along with being a personal trainer has also competed before and has developed a muscle maturity that comes with years of training.  

After the light cable work we moved to the weight room for some free weight arm work as well as training the legs.  Garrett had shed quite a lot of his bulking weight since we last saw one another and he is beginning to show more chiseled definition to his physique.

 I tried a few different things during this shoot.  After talking about my style of work with my engagement photographer DeeDee (link to her website HERE) she recommended I try using my 50mm lens because it was her in experience better than the 35mm in low light situations.  Another new style I tried was shooting wide angle photos.  Melissa was interested in seeing the entire physique in the photos so to deliver those types of images I reached for my 18-55mm kit lens (the nikon 14-24mm glass just yet).  Shooting with both a 50mm and 18mm lens was a fun and welcome challenge.  For the 50mm my workspace was a lot tighter looking through the viewfinder, and with limited space to back up in the gym it was fun learning to adapt to the new conditions.  With the 18mm lens I had to keep distortion in mind when framing my shots.  For anyone who is unfamiliar I will give you the short and easy. When shooting with a wide angle lens anything near the edge of your frame is stretched or "distorted" you can read more about it HERE.  

When taking photos with the wide angle lens I made sure to center my subject in the frame and tried to leave extra space all around the edges so that any excess distortion could be cropped out during processing.  

After a great workout session with these two we moved into a separate room to finish with some pose practice. This session was shot on a Saturday when the gym opened. We were all surprised at the amount of people in at that hour. I prefer working in a semi empty facility so as to not weird out any members with my camera, and mainly to not have anyone that might be a distraction in the background of my photos.  Once I imported the filesinto Lightroom I went through my selection process.  I was really pleased with the images I got from both the wide angle lens and 50mm prime. Having worked in this gym a number of times before I have memorized all the camera settings for each room, and I feel like I've been able to capture much better shots when I don't have to look at my camera to see if I have the right exposure or shutter speed.  It also makes editing in Lightroom so much faster.  All in all it was another awesome time working with Garrett and Melissa.  

You can follow their instagram for more updates as they make their way to the big show on May 28th in Culver City, and Melissas YouTube channel for some great vlogs and fitness advice, links down below.

How about you? Have you ever prepped for a fitness competition? How far out did you begin your cut, and if it was your first show did you have fun? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above. 

Garrett Instagram : @lift_mor

Melissa Instagram : @melissa_fitlifestylz

Melissa YouTube : Melissa Weatherby

Little Planet In the Park

"Sunsets in the Park" as apart of a little planet series I worked on a while back.

Shortly after moving to southern California from the central coast I received an email from an old co worker. He isn't the social networking type. To be honest he only recently upgraded his flip phone for a smart phone. He lived down in southern California for years before our paths crossed in the city of Santa Maria. I have asked him about places to go and things to photograph out this way. For me growing up on the central coast I could point my car in any direction to find beautiful landscapes, old towns, stunning beaches, and ocean life. I can't say I have found the same beauty here as of yet. Granted there are plenty of beaches, grand cityscapes, and tons of interesting places to exploring each day. In my friends email reply he encouraged me to "Take the common, and look at it differently." In the past whenever I lived somewhere new I kept to a routine until I felt comfortable enough to venture out and see my surrounding areas. I would go to the same market, gas station, and drive the same roads to work. After reading his email I decided to brake from my norm. I try to take a different route home (if traffic is within reason), go out to a different market each weekend, and explore new places. Looking at the common, differently.

How about you? What are some of your favorite things to photograph? Have you ever moved to a new area and explored new and interesting places? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Exploring Pismo Beach

Photos not only capture a moment in time but are also a way to re-live a memory.

I was born and raised on the central coast of California. With that being said I am a little biased when I tell people that one of the best beaches in my book is Pismo Beach.  For as long as I can remember the ocean has always been a force that I have been drawn to. So naturally it is also a place I photograph often.

Most of the times I have been to Pismo to take photos it is down on the beach or at the end of the pier. For this photo I was spending the day with my mom when she asked if I'd like to catch the sunset from a new perspective.  She drove us to a spot I had not been to before, and the views of the beach from there were amazing.  To the far left of the photo is the Oceano Dunes and not included to the far right was a clear sight of the coast line leading to Shell Beach.

Once I had my camera set up we sat there for about an hour talking and laughing while waiting for the sun to set.  I took five photos to create this panoramic image.  I used my 50mm prime lens and stitched the photos together using Photoshop (lightroom had not yet added the panoramic feature) The sky that day was on fire once the sun began to set, and The small beach town below had a dreamy look to it.  The ocean was calm and the skies were clear.  This is a time I reflect upon often.  Life is an adventure, and the people you experience it with makes it that much better.

If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Fitness Shoot with @lift_mor Part 1

Garrett Glover serves active duty with our United States Air Force, graduated with an MBA from Oklahoma State University, and is an NPC Bodybuilder who trains primarily on the central coast of California.

Garrett and I both trained at the same gym (Western Village Health Club) in Santa Maria. However it was through Instagram where we found our common interest for the sport of bodybuilding. After Garrett mentioned he would be competing in a Bodybuilding competition so we scheduled a time to shoot some pre competition photos.  We talked about having two photoshoots. The first would be thirty weeks out, and the second would be much closer to his show.  Its good to see the progress you've made as well as have photos to critique physique and areas you may want to build upon.

We met up early on a Sunday morning when the gym opened for the day.  It was quiet with only the regulars getting their morning workout sessions done.  I like an empty gym for photo shoots. All the equipment is readily available and there is less of a chance to distracting someones workout with my camera.  Garrett started out warming up with some cable movements before moving into the weight room for some free weight work.  Today was an accessory day so the workout consisted of a wide range of movements.  Afterward we headed into the spin cycle room for some pose practice.  Since he was so far out from his show the progress he would see in the weeks to come would be tremendous and having these picture to study and look back on would act as a motivator on the road toward the competition. 

The lighting in this gym was really great for our shoot.  I decided to only use my 35mm lens for the workout portion. My settings were ISO 800, f/2.8, and 1/125 of a sec.  The lighting is slightly brighter in the weight room so I compensated by increasing my shutter speed and left the rest of my settings the same.  Be sure and follow for Part 2 with Garretts transformation pics just days out from his show.

How about you? Heve you taken any gym photos? When did you take yours, and were you the model or the photographer? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Family Photos with Johanna and Her Boys

Mother's Day is a celebration honoring our mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society

My fiancé has known Johanna for over twenty one years, and has watched her boys grow from tiny babies to young men.  We met up for out shoot on Saturday and went over to Balboa Lake in Van Nuys.  The lake is a great place for photos here in the city.  With plenty of trees, bridges, and water to work with. It was slightly overcast this day so we went to the lake two hours before sunset just to ensure we had good light to work with.  

Our first location was by a wood fence around the perimeter of the lake. I picked this spot for a few reasons. First it was farthest from where we met so as we made progress through our shoot we would also be making our way back to the car, and secondly I think people relax more when they can sit or lean on something.  Walking between locations helps with small talk and getting to know each other if your working together for the first time. This helps ease people I work with into getting comfortable in front of the camera. If the people I am working with are up for a little walk on our shoot I recommend comfortable shoes. Being able to move around to different locations provides a diverse collection of photos by the end of our session.

Johanna and her boys were great about walking to each place at the lake. It was during those walks between shooting that we got a chance to catch up with her boys to hear how they are doing with school and what plans they have for summer vacation.  

Before heading out on a shoot I take the time look up photos of where we will be on google and even Instagram.  This helps me decide where we can meet and unless the client has a specific place they want to shoot, I will have a few places picked out ahead of time. When searching a locations photos online the first to come up are usually the most popular spots. I like to save those for the end of our photo sessions because it takes time for people to get comfortable. Also the light tends to get better near the last half of the shoot if you time it right. 

Have you recently had your family portraits taken?  What was your experience like, and did you shoot at multiple locations? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Our Engagement and Family Photos

With our wedding on the horizon, going over final details, and checking off the list of things we need to book. We took some time to meet with out wedding photographer DeeDee Stolz for our engagement photos.

We met at Shell Beach on a quiet stretch of sand located along the central coast of California. This was very windy weekend to shoot outdoors but fortunately for us the rocks provided a natural wall dampening the harsh winds. It was a short walk down a set of stairs to the beach.  DeeDee had come prepared with a blanket for us to sit on, and talked to us about the location we were shooting at.  She guided us through our poses very easily and was helpful in explaining the shots she was capturing. With the photos that included our son DeeDee was very much in her element getting him to laugh and smile for the pictures.

image.jpg

I've known DeeDee for years, and her work with families, weddings, newborns, and engagements photos really caught my eye.  The colors of her pictures and the moments she is able to capture are amazing. She has a real eye for people and is a natural at bringing their emotions out with her camera. 

As a photographer I tend to be my own worst critic. I pay attention to every detail before I send a photo out into the world. However when I look to other artists for their services I want their creative vision. I didn't want a photographer who would take the photos I wanted.  Instead I wanted them to have full creative freedom when it came to capturing my fiancé and I. When we decided to working with DeeDee we had seen her previous work and trusted 100% in her artistic ability. The opportunity to have DeeDee take photos of us and our family was really great expierence.

image.jpg

Photos included in this blog are by DeeDee Stolz. Check out here website for more of her amazing work (here) and be sure to follow her Facebook page (here) for deals on photo sessions with her.

Photographing A Classic Car

 Photoshoot with a SoCal classic

America Classic

Timeless

Down here in Van Nuys I've had the chance to meet a few people with a strong love for classic cars. The late hours they put into the restoration process , and thorough searches for original parts is what makes their cars passion projects.

I met the owner, TJ at his home in Van Nuys before he drove us over to the location for our shoot. The interior had a vintage smell to it like an antique pice of furniture.  Once we parked people started to take notice to what we were doing.  We were approached twice by strangers who wanted catch a closer look, know what the story behind that car was, did TJ travels to car shows, and if it was for sale. TJ told me this was all normal whenever he takes his car out, and that people really like older cars because you don't see them that often.

I began our shoot with my 85mm lens. I like this lens because it gives me the chance to study the cars lines from a distance. I took a few snap shots to dial in my settings and then we were off and running.  TJ parked his car at an angle with the sun off to the upper left (behind the car). It was a few hours before sunset and the light I had to work with was perfect.

Photographing this classic was a lot of fun. The people we met during the shoot seemed to be just as passionate as TJ. The challenging part of photographing someones car is capturing the vision that they have of their prized possession. 

Do you have a classic car?  Have you ever had photos or taken photos of your car? Do people stop to come up to you whenever your out with your ride? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

 

Fitness Shoot with @miss_suarezz

Crystal Suarez certified personal trainer, sponsored athlete, and in full prep mode for her upcoming competition. 

While most people are still asleep Crystal was starting the morning with her first workout of the day. She started with a few warm up movements to get the blood flowing while I dialed in the settings on my camera. With an empty gym we had uninterrupted access to all the equipment. Crystals workout was focused on accessory work. This included biceps, abs, squats with varied foot positions, and triceps.

focused on the movment

The gyms lighting was perfect, shooting conditions were great. I prefer to shoot under natural lighting conditions. Especially in a public place like a gym. I used my 35mm prime lens for this workout with my ISO set to 800, shutter speed 1/100s at f/2.5. Before I work with any athlete I tell them that this will be a real workout. I don't ask for poses, and I try not to interrupt the workout.  I like to let each person do what they do best while I capture the shots.  I take a very candid approach to my fitness photography.

We ended the fitness shoot with a pose routine. After a workout is the best time to flex.  The muscles are pumped, and look a lot fuller For this part of the photoshoot I used my 85mm prime lens.  I like this lens for portraits, and posing photos when I have the room to stand at a distance.  If the area is too small I use my nifty 50. These last photos were shot at ISO 800, 1/125s, f/2.5. 

Front Double Bicep

The compression, and bokeh this lens delivers is amazing.  We photographed in the yoga room where they had mirrors mounted to the walls on either side of the room.  One thing I don't like doing is going into photoshop to edit myself out whenever there are mirrors.  Hiding behind the model, equipment, or out of the frame is just another thing I add to the checklist when looking through the lens.

How about you? Heve you taken any gym photos? When did you take yours, and were you the model or the photographer? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Making Large Prints

So you've taken lots of great photos and they are just sitting on your phone or computer. What do you do with them now?

Pismo Pier

I am a huge fan of large prints. An amazing photo is not only furniture in your home but a conversation pice.  It can bring a room together, and it will always bring life to a bland wall.

In the early years of  instant camera photos I remember asking my parents to take me to the store so that I could have my film developed.  The idea of taking a photo and not being able to see the finished product seems so foreign to me now but thats the way things were before digital cameras.  I would thumb through the photos I took and over the years they would make their way into "the box" where all memories go to retire.  

Once digital cameras hit the market the way we viewed our photos was now instant, and you had even more selective power on what you may or may not want printed.  "The box" had been replaced with a CD for storing your digital pictures, and computers became ever more user friendly. As computers operating systems and programs grew so did your files.  Computer photo albums replaced the albums your grandma or your parents had laying around the house. But even with all the upgraded tools of photography people still went out to get their photos printed.

Today we have cellphones, and making prints is almost non existent.  Sure we have Costco photo, and even some online photo printers but we are living In the era of instant news, live stream, and snapchat. Our photos have gone from a tangible item to something consumed and discarded.  I post my photos online, keep library of digital images, and my cellphone has over two thousand pictures (a small amount compared to others). 

Lately within the past three or four years I started ordering prints again.  Looking at a photo on a cellphone is not the same.  I am reminded of the commercials just before the movie starts in theaters. Their is an epic action sequence, slowly the picture begins to shrink until it is the size of a tv or small device.  Then the picture explodes and the commercial says something like "some things are meant to be viewed on a big screen".  The emotion, the mood, even the feeling can be felt with a large format. It is something that just doesn't translate over to mobile devices, no mater what the screens resolution or color display is. A print is what it is. you see it the way the photographer intended it to be seen.  

Big Prints

Big Prints

One of the things I think about the most when I post a photo online is "how does it look to everyone else?" Depending on the monitor, brand of phone, lighting conditions, screen brightness, and a number of other things that are out of my control. The way I see and post my photo may or may not be the way you see it. That is why I'm a fan of prints, and why Ive taken a renewed interest in them.  Like all art photos evoke a feeling, and the bigger the photo the bigger the feeling.

What do you think?  Do you still make prints?  Or do you keep your photos on your phone or up in the cloud? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Photo Of The Day 001

Whenever I make a trip to the central coast I make it a point to visit SLO at least once.

Railroad Square

Railroad Square

After a long drive out the night before I was not too happy to get up before the sun.  But on this trip I made it a point to visit key locations, and my visit was short. When I arrived I set up my tripod, composed my shot and took 5 photos at different exposures.  I did this so that I could stitch them together in Lightroom and have an HDR image.  An HDR (high dynamic range) photo would give me a huge range of detail to use in the shadows and the highlights. I shot this photo at 18mm, f/16, with an ISO set to 400.

Have you ever shot an HDR photo?  How did your photo come out?  Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.

Street Photography

What is street photography anyways?

"I tie my hopes and dreams tied to the sea"

"I tie my hopes and dreams tied to the sea"

To a lot of people I talk to about my street photography it looks like i just go out and shoot random photos while in public. For me it is something a lot more.  

Whenever I go out with my camera I like to look for the "moments" as they happen. My favorite images are those of people looking off into the distance. I feel like a small pice of the emotion they were feeling is captured in that picture.

Time in a bottle

Time in a bottle

Other times I look for composition in my surroundings.  People in embrace, matching groups of three or more like a grandmother, mother, and grand daughter, or people in the same outfit/uniform.  I found it to be a good exercise for me to always look at the world with a photographic eye. It also helps break any nerves when it comes to photographing a stranger in public. I have yet to be approached or asked what I'm doing taking their photo. However if asked I would gladly delete a picture for someone if they asked.

Motherhood

Motherhood

What are your thoughts on street photography?  Do you set rules for images you avoid capturing? When you first started did you feel nervous taking photos of strangers, and have you ever been asked to delete a photo you've taken? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.