Monday, May 25, 2009

Cinderella

I'm very excited to release my first image from my most recent wedding in Australia!!!  I have named this image, "Cinderella" for obvious reasons.  This is one of the last images I shot as part of the wedding. As a photographer there are a few distinct areas of the world that you have to shoot before you consider yourself, "Complete."  For me the Sydney Opera House was and will forever be one of them.  

This unbelievable piece of architecture creates lines for photography that are out of this world. It is also one of the most recognizable buildings in the world...and I was determined to get this shot.  I can't thank the bride and groom Mike and Melodie enough for working so hard with me to get this shot.  I also can't thank Kara and Cameron for providing the lighting that made this work.  A shot like this takes many people to create...and for me it took our team to make it happen.  1 Photographer/Director (me), two lighting assistants (Kara and Cameron), and the bride and groom....a total of 5 people....but it was worth it....I truly love the shot and I hope you do too!  This will be my first entry into the WPPI competition coming it.  I hope you like it!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Kuranda Railway

The day after the Great Barrier Reef we went took a train ride on the historic Kuranda Railway which leaves from the Cairns train station and goes all the way up through the city and into the rainforest.  It truly is amazing to take a train through the rainforest...it goes all the places cars can't go and gives you sights of things you haven't ever seen before.  


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bracketing for Portraits using HDR

Even though I have a studio...I still prefer to do most of my portrait and photography work outside the studio....I prefer making a backdrop like the one you see below rather than taking a boring backdrop on paper....and those don't look real anyways.  So there are a couple of things to consider when shooting portraits outside.


2.  Put your subject in the picture and take the shot worrying only about the exposure for the subject, exposing particularly on their skin.  The key focal point for the portrait should be on their eyes.  So now you have some terrific focal points for your picture because you expose for the entire frame on your landscape shot while you expose for the eyes on the landscape....so now both are exposed...fixing another chronic problem for photographers.

3.  Using photoshop merge the backdrop shot and the subject image into one.  Put the subject image over the backdrop in photoshop, and using a mask wipe away all the boring areas of the subject image except for the subject (person)..in this case my son Michael.  Dodge and burn a little to make sure the person looks like they match the exposure of the backdrop and now you have created a beautiful portrait.


The result: you get a picture perfectly exposed and in focus.  The sky, clouds, everything in this image is natural even though you may look at it and think I photoshopped the heck out of this....I didn't.  I didn't add or take away anything...the only thing I did was underexpose the landscape shot for the sky and then using dodging to brighten up the plants and mountains, and a little burning where necessary to darken.  This was especially important in this shot because the forest was pretty dark while the sky and ocean in the background was very bright, so the only way to get it all exposed was using HDR bracketing.  

If you have any questions let me know!!



Daintree Rainforest

This is one of my favorite shots so far from Australia.  This was taken at the Daintree Rainforest which is in North Tropical Queensland in Cairns, the most beautiful and lush area on all of Australia...as you can see by the picture.  We took an awesome 4X4 and went off roading but before we got to all the wild stuff we came along this overlook that was nothing short of breathtaking.  We got some great family shots as well.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Australia Day 2- Blue Mountains

The day after the wedding we went to see the Blue Mountains National Park which is about 1.5 hours out of Sydney.  The park is best known for the picture you see immediately below...the Three Sisters Rock Formation.  This place was amazing and beautiful.  We started off by visiting the Three Sisters and then took a sky rail over the canyon to a place called Scenic World.  




Monday, May 11, 2009

Sydney Day 1

I have traveled to Europe, Asia, the Americas, Hawaiian Islands, and now Australia....and it's my favorite!!!!  I can't tell you in words how amazing this place is, and how wonderful the people are there.  They are like close cousins to Americans...so laid back, friendly, and genuinely happy to have you in their country.  



We then returned to the hotel to pick up Cameron and Kara so we could find our locations for the wedding the next day.  I took the boys for breakfast in the restaurant and the Host accused me of having Swine Flu because I sniffled...and seriously refused to sit me.  I told him he either sat me or he left the restaurant...but that I wasn't leaving.  He decided to see things my way.  We went scouting locations the entire day which was awesome.  The top two pictures were taken at the end of the night...one of the Opera House, and the other taken of the Sydney Bay from the Manly Beach cliffs which is where we were shooting the wedding the next day.  I was in heaven with all the picture opportunities.......and I am SO excited about the way the shots from the wedding turned out....but that's for another post.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

St. Peters Castle- Australia

We are loving Sydney!  This is a picture of a beautiful castle in Manly Australia....this is the place where Nicole Kidman was married.  This was taken during a beautiful lightning storm  which is what made the sky so blue and bright...this was taken shortly after we finished the wedding which was amazing!!!!  I can't wait to share the pics.  

A big thanks to Jared and Melanie for housesitting while we're gone...and for taking care of the pets.  Sydney is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen and I can't wait to see more.  I'll be posting more later!!