Entries in Florida (194)
Long time DSLR photography student Stacy invited me to her home to photograph her daughters for their family Christmas card. She said I could bring Kiki along as well (more about this below). This was an unusual shoot as Stacy worked with me to learn how to make portraits and I used much of her own photography gear (note the use of a Nikon D4 for all these shots!). I had shown her my wedding couple wrapped in Christmas lights shot before, which we did with the three sisters for the above image.
When editing this black & white image I wanted mainly the lights of the tree to be visible in the background framing the girls.
Using the new 2x teleconverter Stacy recently got, I took advantage of an effective 400mm focal length to create extreme bokeh in the background of the above shot of the same Christmas tree lights used in the B&W shot.
A more formal shot before the lit fireplace, which made things pretty hot for the girls, but throughout our shoot they were great and knew how to get into proper positions unprompted! It was like working with professional models!
Now when I try to photograph Kiki she is never happy about it and ends up looking like a sad puppy (see here). However, she was all too willing to get into every photo with the girls and smile! For the piano shot we let a sleeping dog lie and framed the portrait around her. She just wanted to participate and be involved!
It was a fun shoot and a chance for me to try a few new things shooting inside someone's home, as I most often shoot outside on location. I look forward to seeing the photos in print on Stacy's family Christmas card!
Even though I merely observe, come the start of every October I find myself looking forward to the St. Raphael Festival that transforms a soccer field in the middle of a Snell Isle neighborhood into a carnival. What really amazes me is how fast it comes and goes. Sunday night at 8pm the festival is full of people on the rides. By 9:30am Monday morning every ride is already packed up and loaded onto a truck. It is only open for three days. How fast it appears then disappears adds a lot to its mystery for me. It just does not seem possible.
Again this year I did not go on a single ride. I did, though, continue my custom of eating deep fried Oreos. They warmed my insides for hours after.
Where does the carnival go after it leaves Snell Isle? I am very curious about that, but would not want to know the answer. It occurred to me today that this could be its last stop of the year before winter, and that is why everyone packs up so quickly because vacation starts as soon as they finish. As much as I like this annual visit, for many reasons I hope I am never here to see it again.
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At any given moment, you can find a brown pelican to photograph in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Chances are you already have numerous pelican photos in your archives. This can be said for any number of common subject matters. So how to make such a common subject stand out? One way is to use a more creative composition, like having the subject fill the frame corner to corner. Use the shape of the subject to fill the frame in the most complementary way. For the pelican, with it's long narrow head, going diagonal corner to corner allows for filling the frame with the subject. Also, going through the edges of the frame creates a very different impression than fitting everything inside (with any subject it also helps to have a good, clean, complementary background; in the above photo the dark water of Tampa Bay combined with the large aperture I chose creates a smooth, gray bokeh).
When you go out shooting next time look for a subject that you can frame corner to corner.
This morning I met long time DSLR Photography Lesson student Stacy in Crescent Lake Park, where I knew it was very likely we would be able to photograph a goose or two. I suggested she bring a blanket so that she could lie down comfortably on the grass in order to be able to get at eye level to the birds. I got down low myself for the shot above.
In this lesson I pointed out even more to Stacy that the meter gives just a suggestion, as to get a good exposure of the geese in the deep shade they were standing in, it was necessary to use settings that the meter thought would result in an overexposed shot. That was mostly due to the background being much brighter than the foreground. Also, I recommended that there is no need to change aperture to fix the exposure. The aperture should be set first (when shooting in manual mode) so to set the depth of field, and then the shutter speed should be set as needed to get the desired exposure.