The project detailed our plans to create two custom lightsaber hilts. On Saturday morning we returned from Noodle's soccer match. It was wonderful outside. At the same time we were getting in so was Shannon from her job. She was not feeling the greatest and said she wanted to lay down, the kinds and I headed outside to giver her some quiet. I ended up in the garage as Matthew grabbed the mower and started cutting our grass. I swear I did not bribe him he actually volunteered to cut the grass. Noodle was playing with the neighbors so I grabbed the plans and started cutting pieces.
Seven years of photographing the WV state Capitol has lead to the creation of my latest book, Behind the Gold Dome. You can learn more here or purchase it online at Lulu.com or Amazon.com.
Statewide the WESTEST 2 is underway. This means students are spending their days completing exam questions and then relaxing until their peers are done.
Excitement is building in my household as final arrangements are being made for Marty to go to the 2013 Jamboree. One of the adventure areas he will have access to is "The Ropes". The Ropes has taken challenge courses to a whole new level for the jamboree. The Ropes is a network of zip lines, balance beams, cargo nets and other challenges — all suspended 25 feet above the ground. The Scouts will be harnessed up and clipped in for this obstacle-course-in-the-air.
Our destination was Dilleys Mill or Buckskin Scout Reservation. Dilleys Mill is located in the heart of Appalachia and sits on 2000 acres that borders the Greenbrier River, Seneca State Forest, and National Forrest land. The Allegheny Trail crosses the property along with other hiking trails, and a 17 acre lake, Lake Sam Hill, sits in the middle of camp.
Photography is about being in the right place at the right time and having the right settings to capture the right image. That might seem on the surface that it is just happenstance that makes a good picture. While that may occur, and has occurred before, it is really a lot of work to make good pictures on a regular basis. It takes a great deal of planning to make a great image. Let us take a closer look at my list of rights from above.
Right Place – Finding the right place to take a picture requires a good deal of research and exploration. I mostly shoot sports and events, in order for me to find the best place to shoot the action I have to know my sport. That's right, even though I never played any sports I have to understand how they are played so I can get close enough to the good action to get good shots while staying out of the way of the officials and the teams. If I am shooting portraits I have to do some exploration, find a place that looks good, I have to give thought to the background as well as the foreground. This all translates into a lot of work and time spent analyzing the areas around me.
Right Time – In sport and action photography you have to know the game in order to time the shot, the better you understand the player's individual playing styles the more like you are to capture a great image. This translates to spending time at the practice field with the team. If you notice over on UKVphotos.com I have more than few galleries labeled practice. You have another issue with both action and portrait types of photography, light. You have to understand the limitations of your gear and as such you have to understand light and how to work with it not against it.
Right Settings – This one seems a no brainer for a pro or a serious amateur but in reality it take the whole brain, you have to look at the scene you are attempting to capture and adjust as you need to. Sure you can go over to the green rectangle (Full Auto) but where is the artistry in that. Adjusting your settings to make use of the light and deciding to blur or not to blur the action. To make the waterfall stop in time or catch the football just as the quarter back passes. You as the photographer have to make that decision. Personally a little blur in the right cases is a good thing, a lot can be even better, all depending on what you are trying to capture. Remember you are capturing images that will make your viewers react in some way.
Right Image – If you do not get the first three 'rights' this one won't happen. No matter how hard you work to capture that perfect image, the one that you feel is the essence of the model or subject; it is still your concept of what you shot. It is still your opinion. You may love it but the client may take one look and pass it by. Don't let that discourage you keep at it, keep perfecting your methods behind the lens and they will pay off.
Getting that perfect shot is hard sometimes. Play to your strengths and you will do well. Last year not long after I opened up UKVphotos.com I was asked by an old friend to shoot the christening of her daughter. I was honored. I showed up at the church that morning, a location I was already familiar with, and when the ceremony started I did what I always did. I followed the action I once shot a whole group of photos for a client and on a whim I threw my 70-300mm telephoto zoom on the camera and shot an extreme close-up. What I was after was trying to capture the drops of water as they fell from the minister's hand onto the little girls face. I was used to shooting action and freezing it, that is what I do a lot of in sports photography. So I found the right angle, framed it in and waited for my chance. I was happy when I shot the frames and afterwards I was even more thrilled. The part that really made me smile was when the family ordered they loved it. In fact it was the most popular image from the whole set.
Good planning will make for a far more profitable photo shoot than happenstance. Enjoy your weekend folks!