Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Have You Been?

I have always enjoyed that feeling I get when a new piece of photography related gear arrives. The discovery, and the experimentation that will shortly follow can occupy me so much that the rest of the world seems to slip away. New gadgets and the new approaches they offer to my photographic endeavors can be very tempting.

Last year, I made quite a few large purchases. For a new camera body, I bought a Canon 50D...a 15 megapixel DSLR to take the main brunt of my work and give my old but trusty Canon XTi a rest.

In addition to that, I bought a Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS, a beast of a zoom lense that has surprised me by taking a lead over my dependable 17-55mm F2.8IS as my primary lense used for portraits. It is an incredible piece of glass!

This year, I thought I'd be taking a year off from gear purchases. Being quite satisfied with my two cameras and lense choices, and also fully rigged with flash units and wireless gizmos to operate them I felt completely at ease with what was in the bag. Well at least until the bug bit!

A few weeks ago I ran across a couple old Kodak Duaflex medium format cameras in an antique store. I always wanted to try my hand at something called "through the viewfinder" photography. This is done by shooting a macro lense equipped modern digital SLR through the viewfinder of a camera with a waist level viewfinder like the Duaflex utilizes. I have seen quite a few very interesting results from this method. I was able to clean both cameras up pretty well and get both of them functional should I ever decide to put a roll of film in them. In the meantime I am searching for a good macro lens!

My first "through the viewfinder" attempt.

But this all got me thinking...and researching...and well...one thing leads to another...and I bought another camera! This one is a true classic. A very sturdy and dependable Yashica Mat 124G medium format film camera. These were popular in the late sixties and through the seventies with any photography enthusiast who wanted to "step-up" to medium format. It's a great looking and very "mechanical" instrument, and the one I purchased only needed new light seals to make it servicable.

I have shot two rolls of film so far, and am waiting to get the first back from the developer. Id like to see them before I proceed, to be sure my exposure strategy is smart. Stay tuned on this though...as I have a very special project that I intend to complete with this old gear!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lindsey and Alton Tie the Knot!!!

On April 4, Lindsey and Alton were wed lakeside at the scenic Camp Istrouma. It was a beautiful day for a wedding, and the outdoor location was a perfect choice for the affair. It was my pleasure to not only witness, but to also document through images this beginning of their life together. Congratulations Lindsey and Alton!!!

All About Seniors!!!

Admittedly, the on-location senior portrait sessions that I do are among my favorite types of portraiture. Getting to know the young men and women that I photograph, and sharing a part in this milestone in their lives brings me great pleasure. Capturing photographs that will represent their personality in a manner that will be as much in style in the years to come as it is now is a goal that I set and follow with each of them. While clothing plays a huge part in this goal, the type of processing and treatment of the images after they are captured is also a big part of keeping with the classic...yet stylish...look.

I was blessed this year to have the opportunity to photograph seniors from four different area high schools. One drum major, two football players, a baseball player, a cheerleader, three young women who are on a flag team....(all three of whom will be part of the LSU Marching Band flag team next year)...a dancer, and, well, the list goes on and on. All of them great looking kids who seemed actively involved in their respective schools. I think the rest of us are fortunate to have young adults such as these joining us in the coming years in our voting booths, workforces, and communities....as I am sure they will play vital roles in each. I wish warm congratulations to the graduating class of 2009. May your best years lie ahead!

...and now....a few samples from the class of 2009!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Every Time a Bell Rings....

It's been awhile since I have had time to make an entry here on "Through the Lens". Thankfully, that is partially excusable due to the fact that I had been super busy with an April wedding and an influx of senior portrait clients. That is a good thing. I also have been preparing to transition over to a new desktop pc. I chose to build this one myself and it has been a fun project. Aside from that DIY satisfaction, the fact that I built it myself also meant that I could afford extras like...oh say....12 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM. I know...its ridiculous, but what the hay, right?

I am finally getting caught up on my photography "work" from last month. This was further delayed due to super long hours and a seven day per week work schedule at my "real" job. Im not complaining though...not in this economy!

And lastly, I had to say goodbye to a true friend. Our nimble, smart, loving pup became seriously ill and although we provided all the treatment and prayers we could she just wasn't able to recover from her surgery. We later found out that she had cancer. If she had made it through surgery, we would have had to put her to sleep a few months later. Thankfully, God made that decision for us as I think we would have all had a hard time following through with that. She resides now, dust in a box, that we are reluctant to bury.

I think we could all stand to learn a lesson or two from a dog such as she. She always met us happily as we returned from wherever we had been. Loving us as though it might be her last chance. No matter what kind of day we were returning from, there she was...tail wagging...excited grin...relentless companionship. Unconditional love at its purest. She was a good girl...a very good girl....and yes she was well trained and did indeed ring a bell when the need arose and she needed to go outside.

We miss you Pep..... everytime a bell rings....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jesse- Senior Peek!!!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of capturing Jesse's senior portraits. On day three of a four day rain we snuck out between showers, well mostly between, to shoot the photographs. It was soggy, muddy, yucky weather, but the dense overcast skies provided us the opportunity to shoot in an area that normally would be bathed in harsh sunlight, something I try to avoid with portraits. It turned out to be a productive afternoon, and a lot of that can be credited to Trey and his family for allowing us to use their property for the photographs.(Thank You Trey)

Having known Jesse for quite some time, I already knew that he REALLY doesn't like to have a camera pointed at him! Despite that, Jesse made a special exception to his "no photographs" rule and together I think we captured some great senior portraits that his family will enjoy for a very long time.

Jesse is a member of the Central Private School graduating class of 2009. After graduation Jesse has made plans to become a United States Marine. Congratulations Jesse!!!


You are a tough guy! I know this because I know that it is tough sometimes to be a christian in today's world. It's tough to choose between doing something for your church, or having fun with friends. It's tough to keep focused on what's right, and set a good example. It's tough to be a good role model for your brother, and it's tough to be the man of the house. It's all tough, but you are "the man" and I feel privileged to have you as a friend. Keep the faith Jesse, and I want you to know that I am very, very proud of you!

Friday, January 23, 2009

One Soon

I recently spent an afternoon capturing engagement photos of Lindsey and Alton. Their wedding is planned for early April and will be conducted outdoors near a lake. For the sake of variety, they chose to shoot the engagement photos in downtown Baton Rouge. We began on the state capitol grounds and then moved to downtown proper and finished up on the riverwalk atop the levee. Breanna, my youngest daughter, assisted me on this afternoon mostly in aiming and adjusting my off camera flash.

I decided to enter the above photo in an online photography contest. Titled "Head Over Heels", it recieved enough votes for a fourth place finish in a field of superb photographs. It was a no-brainer for me to finish the photograph in black and white. The classic composition and timeless content made it so. The square crop came later as I was preparing the image for competition. Reminiscent of the medium format crop ratios, the square crop also adds to the "classic feel" of this photograph. Admittedly, it is among my all time favorite captures and I am thankful to be able to share it with Lindsey and Alton.

Lindsey and Alton are each remarkable individuals. Together, they make for a great couple. I am not only flattered to do so, but am also looking forward to playing my part in preserving the memories of this momentous beginning.