Skin Tone

People can become upset when ethnicity is brought up, which is not my intention in this post. This post simply is to draw out the courtesy which photographers should extend to others whom may have preference to their appearance.

Skin tones vary from person to person and it is not so much the slight variations we will discuss here, but the contrasting tones.

Photography, as we have been discussing on recent posts, is in general terms the art of capturing the subject in the “perfect lighting”, or as I have put it “properly exposing” your focal point.

An interesting point of history quickly; the use of the word “expose” comes from the time when film was the standard medium product for transferring current events to two-dimensional record because of the chemical reaction begun as the film comes into contact with light and the heat created by it. Thus the film was “exposed” to light and heat.

Light sensors in our cameras can be tricky especially when in this case we want to be sure that we show-off the face of our subject. If that means taking a darker shot so that our subject is not “washed-out” or adding light so that our subject is not a silhouette, we know what should be added to make that great shot.

Family photos are always more appreciated too when mom can see the each face of her loved and ever irritating children. (Oops! Did I just type that?) It is important however to realize that art is not void of science and utilizing the foundation of science for artistic creativity in your family photos, is exactly the inspiration we desire for you. I may sound like an expert, but please remember an expert is only a drip, under pressure. So please, enjoy your leisure!

Holiday Parades

Since yesterday was Labor Day, “Happy Labor Day!” I am grateful for the opportunity and ability to earn a living by labor!

Parades are some of the best times to get shots of the children and the excitement on their faces of the candy flying in their direction or fantastic clowns pulling their usual antics. Keep your camera handy because these moments can come faster and more frequently than every day events! In addition to those great shots of the children there are plenty of opportunities for any number of shots and a wonderful way to meet friends and neighbors.

The plethora of shots I speak of can pose some wonderful opportunities for learning the speed at which your shutter should open and close depending on your style. Artistic shots may use some motion blur while viewers of portraits prefer eyes perfectly in focus. However, more than talking about techniques in this post which we have more than amply covered before, I encourage you to take these opportunities to train yourself to anticipate each shot.

In a spontaneous environment such as a parade the subject of a shot seen is all too easy to forget. When the subject is forgotten, proper lighting can be one of the most elusive prey to capture. Thus when the photo is taken, the subject is either under or over exposed. So be wary to survey the amount of light around your subject rather than the light filling your general surroundings. It is an easy mistake to make, but “perfect practice, makes perfect!”

So enjoy the opportunities you have for pictures, because if I have learned anything it is this, if I don’t pick up my camera and take some shots, I give myself less opportunity to get better by learning from my mistakes!

Photography; Art, Science & Fun

We have spent a lot of time discussing specific parts of photography and different aspects of art and science; but now I would like to take some time and step back for a moment to say “Do not forget to have fun!” If photography has become “a job”, “a chore” or “the daily grind” then change things up. Find something you are passionate about. Research its details, study it and find a way to capture what you learn in photo.

For instance, I love history. So when I get stuck on the routine tasks I begun reading about a century of time past; researching the pieces of equipment used in that time, learning their manufacturing process and where I might find a replica or historic artifact of the time today. If all I can do is find it in a museum that will do, but it is even better if I can capture it in the surroundings of the period!

Have you ever considered going to Mid-evil or Renascence re-enactments? What about finding a re-enactment group in your area who practice sword fighting or falconry? They do things up to the “Nth degree” and more than likely would give you an intriguing perspective of this period from their own studies of history.

If you focus on portraiture, you will have plenty of opportunity to get portraits from that time period, or you may find a member of the re-enactment group willing to suit-up your family/children in period costume for portraits! How fun that would be! If you descend from European familial ties, you may be able to connections to your family crest, Scottish Clan or Irish Clan. That would be the ultimate vacation or photography experience to be able to record family ties at the same time as studying the surrounding events of their day!

Remember, Photography is a skilled Art and it ought to be fun, so work to keep it fun!

History Immortalized

One of my favorite periods of history is the 1800’s. From this time we gained several wonderful entrepreneurial inventions, one of them being the camera, but I enjoy most from this point in history, the active intent of men and actually believing in something for which they held to be worth dying. Those from this time, whose auto-biographies we can read today were very capable of articulating their reasons for their decisions and from this basis did not hesitate in their action to accomplish them.

What do these things have in common with cameras? I recently visited a replication of the “Arlington House” which was the residence of Gen. Robert E. Lee (Commanding Officer of the Confederate States of America Army). He with millions of others took a stand for what they believed. They knew the cost and consequence of their decision, but they were willing to pay it. General Lee would make comments of his decision to participate in war like; “It is well that war is so terrible, lest we should grow too fond of it!”

It is the vision of Foetoss Light to produce images that articulate truth to our viewers. Among these truths are Life, Joy, Peace, Liberty, Right and Moral Purity.

As we photograph our children, travels and the world around us, we are cataloging our time in history for generations to come as the auto-biographers and historians of the 1800’s did for us. Let us be honest, pure, honorable, respectable, loving, intentional, articulate, wise and true about our beliefs, the consequences of our choices and product of our time spent among the living.

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Construction Zone – Part 3

I cannot be sure that I can say enough times that safety is very important in Construction Zones. So without belaboring the point I will let you know that being always observant of your surroundings and scanning the work area will not only show you new possibilities for your next shot, but could very well save your life.

If you have been invited into a Construction Zone, the Safety Officer will give you some very important information and guidelines to follow, both for your safety and the safety of the workers with whom you will come into contact. Please pay special attention to these instructions!

Even if you are not allowed into the Construction Zone, it was well worth the asking!

Another minor point of discussion would be not to assume the Construction Zone to be road construction alone, but also housing construction, business zoning, and what about small projects around the house or artists such as sculptors? There are many items Constructed from many substances! Use your imagination and consider the possibilities!

How do these mentioned projects fit into the category of backgrounds for portraits? Is this not getting a little far afield of the original post intent? I will let you judge that, I only wish to help you cultivate a fertile imagination for your photography. Small projects around the house are great for portraits of children and perhaps an artist wants to showcase themselves as well as pieces of work.

Portraiture and Stock have an odd way of working across their lines of definition. As well they should; to keep us on our toes, showing us that life is not all cut and dried. I have just finished several photography projects. As I bring them to a close, I am learning a lot about what it means to put into practice what I have learned as well as some finer points, just so that a photography experience with my studio is natural, coordinated and inspiring.

We all have our own “Construction Zones”.