Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dog Portraits

Hello again!

This week I went to pick up the newest addition to our family, a German Shepard puppy and while I was there I spent some time shooting dog portraits. I have never really shot “dog portraits” other than the few photos of our first dog. Photographing pets is something that I really love and found that if you follow them around for a while you can really capture some beautiful moments. There is an element of surprise that comes with every frame especially with dogs. They will run from invisible chasers, they will lick you, and occasionally you end up on the wrong side of a dog pile. After a while they usually treat you like a pack member and just go about their business… This is when the magic happens.

This group of dogs were no different. Gladius is a pure breed GSD that whelped her first litter of 6 puppies on February 24th. It wasn’t without difficulty, one of the puppies was born with out a birthing sack and had to be stimulated for over an hour to survive. Another puppy lost a toe in the early chaos. The breeder (my uncle) poured his heart into these dogs and because of this everyone of them survived. Nine weeks later I was able to photograph all of the dogs including mother and grandfather. Here are my dog portraits.

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I would love to hear your thoughts.

~M

Portrait Lens

Hello again!

I know I am a bit late updating my blog. I had a lot around the house I had to do and put this on the back-burner for a few days. I am excited to update though because I finally got it; My Portrait lens. It is the Nikon Nikkor 85 f/1.4D. I had put in an order for the 85 f/1.8G but I grew impatient. I am so glad I purchased this lens though. Here is just a few images from this week (received it on Wednesday, so these have all been shot in the past 2 days!). I know I will be using this lens more and more throughout my work. It just has a distinct look that is hard to create using any other len. I also decided to try something a little different, I am used a few Nik filters on some of the images. They are plug-ins that are used in Lightroom to create highly stylized photos or to mimic film. Let me know what you think.

 

My first image taken with my new to me 85 f/1.4D

Lila on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Lila on the Blue Ridge Parkway edited with the Nik plug-in.

A quick snap shot of Melody and Lila with my new 85 f/1.4D portrait lens.

Another snap shot of Melody but processed with the Nik plug-in.

 

~M

YogaSlackers

Hello again!

This week the YogaSlackers Sam and Kathryn made a stop in Asheville and gave me the chance to do some out of the ordinary portraits. The YogaSlackers are a group of my friends that have found balance in slacking. They travel the world doing expedition style adventure races, teaching yoga slack lining and acro-yoga, as well as just doing good.

Initially I had big plans for portraits in the yoga studio with high ceilings and hardwood floors. When I found out they decided to move the workshop they were doing outside it was time to get creative. After spending a few hours watching them set up and start teaching I knew what photos I wanted to capture and just where to photograph them. My house sits quite literally on the side of a mountain and we have a HUGE window that faces east. Every afternoon when the sun sets I watch as the mountain to the east is basked in this beautiful enveloping warm light. Every afternoon I think to myself how can I use that in a photograph. The only problem is the light is available for about 10 minutes before its gone and the mountain is lit with only the afterglow of the sky. After dinner I quickly set up my lights and got to work. It was no easy task, I had one light mounted 10 feet up in a tree, another on a tripod behind my subject and the last was nearly tipping over due to the rental breeze we had. In the end the photos came out great (although I wish I used a little less fill) and pretty unique.

 

 

I also got a fun photo of my dog enjoying the early afternoon sun. :-)

~M

Street Portraits part II

Hello again!

I wasn’t planning on doing back to back blog posts on Street Portraits but after last week I wanted to show you some of the street portraits that I had got back from the lab. These were also shot with my Mamiya RB67 with Kodak new Portra 400. This is my absolute favorite color negative film.


Street Portraits: Barcode
Barcode is living in a little trailer near Commercial Street in Springfield, MO. His landlord, High Priest, introduced him to me. I asked about the names and he told me “If you live on Commercial Street long enough you get a street name. Barcode is his street name.”

 


Street Portraits: High Priest
High Priest has a storied background who has been living near Commercial Street in Springfield, MO for over 26 years. He moved there because he has a tool and die company behind his house and it was too noisy for a residential area. He also owned a parcel of land where he rents a small trailer to Barcode. The land, not far from his front door, has everything on it from scrap metal, to stray cats, to old moving trucks.

 


Street Portraits: Underpass
A man stops for a beer and a smoke on a hot day at an underpass in Springfield, MO.

 


Street Portraits: Chris
Chris was walking around downtown Detroit when I ran into him. I asked him what he did before he retired and he told me he wrote schedules for trains and busses for the City of Detroit. This morning he was out for a cup of coffee and stopped to let me take his photo.

 

~M