Been a busy work week so far. I’ve also been working on processing the head shots from the photo shoot I did last week. I love taking portraits and I really enjoy working on them as well. The more I photograph people the more I’m convinced that it is much easier to photograph wildlife then people. 🙂
There are just so many variables in doing portrait photography. I mentioned in an earlier post that I used to use a green screen for my portrait work. It was a real struggle to get the skin tones correct. I finally decided to shoot with a neutral gray background and that made all the difference in the world. It is much easier to get the white balance correct and once that is correct the skin tones are much easier to get right.
Then there is the lighting. It is very easy to over power the portrait with too much light and by the same token you can create too many shadows with not enough light or with the lights in the wrong position. I’m always looking for the right combination of lights to properly expose the portrait.
Finally I want to help people look their best in the photograph without adding too much enhancement. It is always a fine balancing act.
All told, I’m pretty happy with this session. I will deliver the final product tomorrow and hope that everyone is happy with their photograph. If they are then I consider it a great success.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Hope you enjoy your day and be careful.
I hope you had a wonderful Easter. Please indulge me today as I have images of my three grandchildren. Saturday we celebrated Gabby’s 3rd birthday. Ben’s parents and younger brother Nick were there and it was a wonderful time spent with family.
It’s so much fun to watch the kids interact. At his age it is sometimes difficult for Josh to let Gabby be in the spot light but he managed pretty well. He is very good at thinking things through and making the right decision.
Austin now smiles every time I put a camera up to my eye. I’m not sure if it is because it covers my face or that he is now conditioned to the camera. 🙂
Anyway it was a wonderful weekend and we got to spend time with the family on both Saturday and Sunday. Mark made it up for Easter so it was a great time.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Friday / Good Friday!
I have four images for you today that I’m showing because they tell a story and not for their image quality. I have saved these images for sometime now because I didn’t want to embarrass the eagle. 🙂
So as you view the first image (which was taken at the 16th Street Basin) you can see there is ice on the water. This eagle had been up rooted from his sitting place by a larger eagle and so he was moving to a new spot. He clearly thinks he is landing on another patch of “solid” ice. This was the last day, by the way, that there was ice on Basin.
This is that “Oh damn” moment when he breaks through the ice and sinks deep into the water.
It all happened so quickly I didn’t have a chance to feel concern for him and you can see, as he sinks deeper his powerful wings are providing some lift to extricate him from his predicament.
Free of the water and with his pride still in tact he flies off to another area, probably to the river where no one knows of his faux pas. How do I know that this is a male eagle? Simple a female eagle would have never made such a silly mistake. 🙂
I had an interesting experience yesterday. Normally when I don’t have a lunch meeting or someone to go to lunch with I will grab my camera, get a quick bite to eat and go looking for images. It was a nasty weather day yesterday with freezing rain and wet snow showers, so I didn’t take my camera with me. After eating a quick-lunch I drove out to the “Duck Pond” just to watch the geese (that’s all there is there right now) and to clean out my center console looking for my binoculars. I hadn’t been there very long when a car pulled over in front of me to park. I didn’t even glance up but I was aware that a person was approaching the driver’s side of my car.
They knocked on my window and when I looked up it was my good friend Andreas. He was on his way home from a business trip in Chicago. He saw my car from the highway and made an unscheduled stop. We had a wonderful conversation for about 30 minutes and got caught up on what each of us had been doing. It made my afternoon. 🙂
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I’m sorry I have more eagle images for you today. I have over 2,000 high-resolution eagle images and I can’t just walk away from them. 🙂
I won’t show them every day but when I have a day like today (I don’t have anything else in the cupboard to show you and I’m running late then I’m going to pull out some eagle images.
A couple of these images are from the LeClaire shoot (late February) and one of them is from the Bee Branch Canal shoot early March. Doesn’t really matter to me as they are all eagle shots.
Nothing much on my mind today so I’ll leave you with these images and say so long.
Remember you can click on them to make them larger. They do look much better larger.
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Back to wildlife images for you today. I’m still working on the portraits but I went out yesterday afternoon looking to see what I could see and finally ended up at a popular fishing lake. These ducks caught my eye as I drove by so I turned around and decided that since my memory card was empty I would practice on them.
It was fun photographing these guys as they paid no attention to me and in fact came pretty close. At one point I had to go from 600 mm to 400 mm to get all the duck in the frame. Also unlike most of the wildlife I have photographed I didn’t have to make any butt shots because they walked toward me more than away from me.
I have to throw in an image of this Blue Heron. I did visit the Basin yesterday and he was the only critter present when I was there. The Basin has really been busy the last few times I’ve been there but yesterday it was more or less abandoned except for this guy.
I’ll leave you with this little Duck. He was very curious about me and the way he and his buddies were constantly walking by me gave me the idea that probably many of the fisherman’s children feed them, so they were looking for a handout. Unfortunately I didn’t have anything for them. I’ll have to remember to take some bread with me the next time I wander over to the lake.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Monday / Happy First Day of Spring!
I have three images for you today from my corporate photo shoot of last Wednesday. This first shot is of the “Color Checker” tool, which is used to make sure your camera’s color balance is correctly given to the editing software. I always shoot in RAW so I have more control over the color balance and white balance of the image. I load this image of the color checker (actually a larger image) into the software and then every image I make with that camera in the shoot is perfectly color balanced.
Normally when I photograph people I use a Green Screen for the background. There is software designed to make extracting the subject from the green background much easier. What I have found over the years (even with upgrades) is that the software tends to mess with skin color and requires a lot of tweaking, which makes it hard to get the skin gradation correct.
So I have gone to a neutral gray background. I have noticed that most professional photographers tend to use gray or white backgrounds so I decided to try it and I must admit I’m very please with the results. The extraction of the subject from the gray background is not that difficult with Photoshop and its refined edge detection. It does take some tweaking to make a good cutout but the skin colors remain true and for me that’s the payoff.
This is my friend Hannah who works at one of our banks. She was the project leader for the shoot and endured many poses for me while I balanced the lights and got everything set up. She is a great sport and it’s so helpful to have someone standing there so you can adjust all the settings.
When extracting someone from the background the hardest part is always the hair. Men are usually pretty easy with their normally shorter hair. The small strands and fly away hair can take a lot of time. Hannah’s hair is a good example of that. Again I was pretty happy with the results.
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy day and be careful.
It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been busy processing images from the corporate photo shoot I did last Wednesday and the last couple of days have been busy with domestic chores and things that just needed to be done, so not much time for photography. I hope to correct that today. 🙂
I have three eagle images for you today from my shoot at the Bee Branch Creek project in Dubuque.
If you recall I spent about three hours there and shot over 2,000 images of the eagles and gulls fishing. It was a fun experience and offered some real challenges that I haven experienced before. Lots of background clutter and things for the auto focus to pick up on. So I did have a larger than normal amount of blurry images as well.
I still have eagle images that I haven’t looked at and evaluated yet. 🙂
Exciting news for me. I have enrolled in a photography class that is going to be taught by the great Joe McNally and Bill Fortney. Two of the biggest names in professional photography. The cool thing about this class is that it is 4 days long and there are only 14 students, so lots of one on one instruction. The other really cool thing is that my entire family is going with me, the Queen, my children, grand children and son-in-law. No they won’t be going to the class but they will be doing fun things while I’m doing fun things. 🙂
Anyway stay tuned because as Mr. Fortney told me on the phone, “This will be epic.” I hope so.
That’s it for today. I hope you enjoy your Sunday (snowed here last night.) Oh and as a side note, my “brackets” are pretty much toast. Be careful.