Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Abstract Architecture

I would consider myself primarily a portrait study photographer. Even though I am interested in all forms of photography and often challenge myself with avenues that are new or uncommon for me.

One of these "avenues" is the subject of architectural photography.
This is not something that "catches my eye" when I am observing the world around me with camera in hand. However, I found it very hard to pass up this incredible structure while in Hong Kong.

It is the Hong Kong art museum and presents a fascinating geometric pattern that goes on for several city blocks, producing interesting details and design elements.

I found this stairway particularly interesting with it's curved, sweeping lines.

These lines can be used to lead, connect, separate, define and unify the composition.

Another option was to include a natural object, like these palm trees, into the image foreground.

I found this contrast of natural and abstract to be a strong visual statement.
Photographing stagnant objects is a big difference from photographing my usual more animate subjects! The former patiently wait for me - the photographer - to set the shot, compose and review the results. It's something to consider.

Even though this model is the same for EVERY photographer that comes strolling by.

But will he/she pose exactly the same for them? Will they find just the right angles to portray their "best" side?

Possibly, but in the meantime I thank my rigid, stabile model - I enjoyed our photo shoot just fine.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Session

Outdoor photo sessions can be very fun, because your studio space is ENORMOUS! Many scenes to work with, the beauty of nature, and at times gorgeous natural light.

Unfortunately, outdoor sessions can be a real challenge. Well, you have Mother Nature to deal with, sometimes harsh lighting and maybe too much space to work with. It can get a little overwhelming.

I try to set up several small "sets" for the photo session, working with the light and taking the background into consideration.

Last Sunday, I had a wonderful opportunity to photograph a couple of terrific siblings - outdoors! We had a breathtaking space to work with, mild weather (a bit chilly), blooming forsythia, and a tranquil lake.

Working with children is so much fun. Give them your full attention for a couple hours and you will get it back in return.

They are not impressed with your flashy equipment, education, or awards - they just want to have fun. And fun we did.

I loved the input I received from the both of them - they had as many ideas for poses and picture ideas as I did! It's great to have collaborators! We climbed up hills, climbed down hills, skipped rocks in the steam, balanced on a shaky pier and had some running races. I'm not sure about these two, but I was quite exhausted by the end of the session.

The best part of all is I think they really liked each other!

It was all quite worth it. Beautiful morning + beautiful children = beautiful portraits!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Teddy O'Connor - "Super Pony"

One of the stars of last year's Rolex event, was the performance by a pony named Theodore O'Connor - lovingly known as Teddy.

Teddy's life ended tragically last May 28, 2009 - one month after he performed exceedingly well at the Kentucky Horse Park. He was humanely euthanized sustaining catastrophic injures in an accident at the farm he lived on, owned by Karen and David O' Connor (Olympic equestrian legends).

Teddy was a 13 year old champion 14.1 hand Shetland Arabian Thorough breed cross eventing pony.

Prior to his accident, the United States Equestrian Federation named Karen O'Connor and Teddy to the short list for the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

He had already won both Team and Individual gold metals at the 2007 Pan American Games and finished third and sixth at the Rolex Kentucky Three-day Event in both 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Teddy represents the quintessential underdog. He was "the little horse that could". Giving hope, and allowing us to believe in our dreams.

He beat the odds! This little pony exceeded and surpassed all of our expectations.
He was a legend is his own time. Thank you Teddy for your time with us. Dreams do come true!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rolex Three Day Event

Equestrian eventing has been called the ultimate riding challenge!

The Kentucky Rolex Three Day Event is held every year at the Kentucky Horse Park. This annual event takes place next weekend and is usually one week before the Kentucky Derby.

No matter if you are an eventer yourself or just love the outdoors and the athleticism of these majestic creatures - this weekend has something for everyone!

The first day of competition is Dressage. This discipline judges the gaits, suppleness, and obedience of the horse through a series of prescribed movements.
The second day is the cross-country course. Also known as the real meat of the sport! During this phase the team, of horse and rider, compete through speed, courage, boldness, and trust.

The course consist of 12 - 20 fences placed on a long outdoor circuit. They are solidly built natural objects as well as water, ditches, drops and combinations. Speed is a factor, with the rider required to cross the finish line within a certain time frame.

The stadium jumping is the third day of the competition. In this phase 12 - 20 fences are made into a course to test the obedience, fitness and stamina of horse and rider.

Grand Prix riders must have a plan as to how they want to meet each jump in terms of speed, distance, and angle as well as a plan for the pace and balance needed between each jump.

The horse and rider able to complete all three challenges are awarded the prestigious honor of winning Rolex's Three Day Event!

The course is filled with thousands of spectators walking from jump to jump or even setting up in front of their favorite jump to watch the steady stream of competitors gallop by.
A long lens and fast shutter speed are needed to capture the excitement and energy in these competitors.

The horse provides the athletic effort. The rider is the brains of the operation, making swift and often subtle adjustments as the competition progresses.

Any bond between man and horse is strong, but in eventing that bond is more exaggerated than in any other venture. Riders have to know their horse emotionally and physically - and use this knowledge to work as a team.

While viewing and photographing this event I am fascinated by how close a spectator could sit and watch, experiencing the physical and emotional bond shared by competitors and their mounts.
I love combining my love of photography and horses. This event brings the best of both worlds. The willingness of these beloved creatures and the partnership that is formed over years of preparation. To see the results of this dedication and commitment makes for a wonderful weekend in the blue grasses of Kentucky.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Acceptance / Prejudice

I'd like to share a piece I created for an upcoming international juried traveling exhibition made possible through the Printmaking Council of New Jersey.

The theme of the show asks the question "What Does It Mean to be Human?"

As the American half of an international print exhibition exchange with artists from Johannesburg, South Africa, this piece will travel to South Africa for 6 months, from October, 2009 through March, 2010.

My representation in the show is a photomontage titled "Acceptance / Prejudice". Photomontage is a single pictorial composition made by superimposing two or more images or graphic elements.

Each image was created separately to create the look of a graffiti wall.

All images were taken in various parts of the world that represent religious symbols. The state of Israel is made up of a majority of Jewish citizens represented by the Star of David
as well as the Arabic writing found in Jaffa - a city in Israel with Arab influence.

The cemetery statue of an angel was captured in Italy, with it's strong Catholic influences. The Christian cross - in France.

Each of these symbols represent our human need and long history to worship, pray and be followers of religious beliefs. Religion can be defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of a superhuman force, usually involving devotional and ritual observances.

It is a conscious relation between Man and God, and the expression of that relation in our human conduct.

However, this conduct separates us more than bringing us together. Religion has caused bitter conflict since the beginning of our human existence! And will most likely continue until the end of our existence.

Why is that? It is what makes us human.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Session with Kerri - Part III

What can I say about my friend Kerri, in a wedding dress, that she needs to trash..........

Well, nothing that these pictures can't say for themselves

As mentioned in an earlier post, a "trash - the - dress" session is about having a fun photo shoot in your wedding dress (prom dress, or any dressed up attire), in locations that are in complete contrast to your formal wear.

This session with Kerri, was on a relatively mild March afternoon. After much snow and rain, the conditions were perfect for creating mud, muck and lots of it.

Our first location was in a pasture, in perfect conditions, is lush and green. But in early March we have a setting that is quite muddy with much manure.

Surprisingly, Kerri feels right at home! Place her in down and strike a pose! (or two).

Next, we come upon a parked field tractor. What the heck, climb aboard - wedding dress and all!

Our next scenario is to have Kerri "frolic" with some horses turned out in the field. As she approaches the horses in her big white dress, they take one look at this "uncommon ghostly figure" and tear off into a full out gallop across the pasture. Oh well, so much for that idea!

Fortunately we did come upon (right at that moment) two semi-white 'barn' Westies. They didn't hold any prejudices against our lovely bride and came running over for some fun and attention.

If we couldn't convince the field horse's to play with us, than we would find some stabled horses that didn't have the luxury of running away. Oz was most accommodating for the shoot.

Finally , we wrap up the afternoon up with some incredible light pouring in from the upper hay loft. Stunning.

What a trooper Kerri! Beautiful, adventurous, and always up for the challenge.

Bravo girl! And thanks!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sibling Session

My recent session with three siblings gave me a wonderful opportunity to work with these great kids, and to get to know each of them a little better in the process.

Their relationship with each other was a pleasure to work with. You could tell that they enjoyed being together which is a huge plus for a family photo session!

Posing the group created a challenge because of the age differences - but we were able to create some interesting shots that demonstrated their connection to each other.

I also wanted to focus my attention on each of them individually. Hoping to capture a unique quality that is just their own.

The sweetness of the little sister..........

The intensity of the younger/older brother.....

The confidence of the big sister...........

And what session wouldn't be complete without handfuls of girl scout cookies and milk to wrap the afternoon up!

All in all a good time was had by all. No sibling rivalry here - at least not in this afternoon.

New friendships were formed as well as some great images that will be a part of this family's history for years to come!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin