I’ve been very lucky to have had a handful of portfolio showings as of late. One question I’ve gotten is “How much is done in camera and how much is done is post”? I think it’s a 50/50 thing for me. Not to sound in any way pretentious, but honestly, it’s all about the vision I’m following. Whether that be mine or an art director’s. What does the image need to accomplish it’s vision?
The image below, for whatever reason, gets a fair amount of compliments. Which is always followed up with, “is that done in post?”
The quick answer is: no, it was done in camera.
Now to be honest, there was some post work done on this portrait. I mean it’s digital, right? Half the fun is putting it into my computer and doing whatever the heck I want with it. (As long as it answers to the vision.) But the only post work I did was some clean up and, as always for me, a color treatment. That’s it. The octagon flares were all done in camera.
I would love to give you all the techy stuff that went into getting this image. Why can’t I? Well, it’s because I don’t really know. I’m not saying it was complicated because it wasn’t. For better or for worse, this information generally goes in one ear and out the other. Not because I’m above it but because my brain just does not process this information well. My brain: You want me to put this at f8 and then add Pi to the half powered strobe while flagging the red calibration line? This is when I get the twitchy eye.
Sidenote: I once had an assistant switch my iso to 50 after I told him my camera didn’t do that. Now that was a bit embarrassing. I should have known better. But seriously, have you seen the manuals for these cameras nowadays! [twitch!]
Here is what I can tell you: We set up an octobox at camera right. Just your standard 45 degree down towards subject. Then just outside the left frame is a 580 speedlite pointed at the lens. It’s about 1-2 feet away. We played around a bit with zooming the speedlite and to be honest I don’t remember where we ended up. The slightest little movement of the speedlight would sometimes create a whole new flare design. So I just kept messing with it until I got what I liked. Finally, we shot with a 50mm 1.2 at f11 or somewhere close to that.
The fun part was just messing around with different lenses and speedlight settings. It was really cool to see how many looks you can get with different lenses and slight movements. For instance, the image at left was shot with a 17-40 at 40mm then cropped in. I really love the green color that we got.
In the end, I didn’t want something too intrusive. I still wanted a simple clean portrait but with just a little bit of texture to it. The 50 1.2 at f11 gave me exactly what I needed.
Oh, I can give you one more little technical thing. At f11 your ‘flare’ is gonna have a sharper edge, a more octagon shape. As compared to, say, an F3 which will be more of a round flare. I’ll let you Google why that happens [twitch twitchy eye].
My uncle refers to these people as ‘youngins’. He doesn’t use this term to refer to trouble makers. Those are the ‘youths’. Youngins are the ones that despite their age seem to have a good head on their shoulders. Just from the short time I talked with Scotty, he seems to fit this description.
He’s enrolled in college, keeps up his very busy touring schedule. And somewhere in there he found time to film a commercial, record a radio spot and spend some time in front of my camera. All in one day.
Oh to have the energy of a youngin.
One of the greatest things for me is to be able to create and collaborate with the talented people around me. So I owe a huge thanks to our model Emily Harding (@earth2emily), Elizabeth Boyette of Dapper Paper (stylist) and Moss Robot (woodworker and skateboard maker) and assistant Austin Simmons .
I recently had the chance..no..the privilege of visiting Corral, a non-profit dedicated to bettering the lives of troubled teens and rescued horses. Last week was my first, of what I hope to be many trips, out there. I had the chance to hear some great stories about a couple of the rescued horses and how the organization is helping teen girls to get ‘a leg up in life’.
Here’s a couple shots. Stayed tuned for many more!
Check out there website, http://corralriding.org/
There is nothing better than getting together with your friends. Laughing. Talking shop. Being creative. Discussing the different flavors in bourbon, the vanilla in Woodford’s or the blast of spice in Buffalo Trace. Discussing how we’ve matured since our 20′s, how we are finding our passions, our niches. Critiquing each others work, challenging one another to take our talents to the next level. Fine tuning our skills to be better creatives, better businessmen, better fathers and husbands.
And then, we started throwing things.
My hope is that these words some how come together to some how form some sort of Thank You.
On September 2 (2011) I found out what community really means. I found out that community is there at the wee hours of the morning to the wee hours of night. I found out that community lends it’s heart to yours. When your heart is crippled, it steps in and beats for you. It sustains you in a time of unthinkable sorrow.
On September 2 (2011) I found out that my Mom left this world and was welcomed into Heaven with open arms.
To say that my heart is broken is the biggest understatement of my life. I understand now why people use these cliche terms to describe these moments. There is simply no words to humanly express what is going on in our hearts.
My mom loved her family like crazy. We were everything to her. At times, it was almost comical. At 34 and 36, my brother and I were still referred to as “her bunnies”. And my 2 children and nephew were her “precious angels”. There are no bigger cheerleaders of our life than my mom and dad.
When my brother and I, and our families, arrived at my parents house in Virginia Beach there was already a group of family and friends waiting for us. In all honesty, I wanted to enter that house alone. Just me and Matt. I couldn’t look at anyone else in the eye. I was just too devastated. In the minutes, hours and days to come, family and friends descended on our house like falling leaves. Food was coming out of every corner and at times we had no idea where it was coming from. Close friends of ours began arriving from our now scattered locations. New York to Georgia. They were there to lend their hearts to Matt, Lisa, Regan, me and my dad. But they weren’t just there for us, they came because they loved my mom. I can’t tell you how many messages we got about the influence my mom had in other people’s lives. “She treated me like her own son…like I was part of her family” was the summary of so many emails.
I now realize how important it was for so many people to flood our home. You hugged us, feed us, made us laugh and showed us that we can not manage this world on our own. We are built to live life together, to live in community. To do it any other way would be a disappointment to our Creator.
To the friends of my parents: You have been praying together for 25 years. I suspect us kids drove you to it. Nevertheless, your strength and wisdom delivered. You surrounded my dad. You circled, protected and were not going to let him go through this alone. What an amazing testament to your friendships. I pray that you would continue this not only for my dad but also for my brother and I. It’s gives me comfort to know that while we are in Raleigh you are there to provide comfort, laughter or what ever that conversation needs.
I’m am so grateful for my dad’s brother and wife, who suffered with my dad in those last moments. You provided the support for him to get back home to Matt and I. We are eternally grateful for you.
To my own friends: I love you. My family has always talked about what a rare and wonderful group we have. You, once again, proved this to be true. And this is where I get stuck. I don’t know how to fully express how much you made a difference in just being there with us. We could not and still can not get through this without you. Sitting on the back porch, telling stories, listening to the amazing accomplishments of the ‘successful’ one and just hanging provided so much laughter and comfort.
Turning around and, unexpectedly, seeing you all from Raleigh at the services brought tear after tear to my eyes. I know that gave my dad comfort knowing we had community and support in Raleigh. When we arrived back here I realized our yard had been mowed. I don’t even know who did that. Our house had also been cleaned. I don’t know who did that either. Was the toilet still clogged? Sorry
I still don’t understand why she’s not here. I still have moments that just take my breathe away. I don’t understand why a woman who doesn’t give a shit about her family is still able to walk this earth but my mom isn’t. It’s not fair. I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is with Jesus in Heaven and wishing I hadn’t written that last sentence. But at this point that doesn’t provide me with much comfort. It has been all of you, The Woodberrys, The Woods, The Kennedys, The Morris’ and all of my countless friends. I would love nothing more to thank you all of you personally for the phone calls, emails and support but I hope some how this formed some sort of Thank You.
‘We adored her. Glenda adored us. And everything we are is blessed because of the woman she was.’