Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ocean Spa


Ocean Spa.
Taken in Grand Turk. Grand Turk is the capital of the Turks & Caicos Islands located 575 miles southeast of Miami, Florida.

I planned this picture a few days in advance.  I bought the conch shell the day before at an open market in Dominica.  We were on a Carnival Cruise Ship, and their bright white towels became a prop.  This location is at the Grand Turk cruise port, but you have to turn right when you get into the public area, instead of left with most of the other cruisers.  My settings were f/8, 1/650sec at ISO-125.
Then after you finish the photoshoot, get to the other side and enjoy the Margaritaville swim-up-bar.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Taking Better Pictures



Taking better pictures……

What’s the difference between a snapshot and a portrait, or a piece of fine art photography? For one, probably price; then the photographer’s skill and experience, the equipment used, the lighting, the post processing, the print quality. That’s a start. Normally, a snapshot comes from your own point-and-shoot or camera phone, then is either printed as a 4x6 by your local department store, or simply shared on social media. Hopefully it’s not kept on your device and never shared, then accidently deleted.

Here are some definitions:

Source: Me

Portrait: Result of the mind of the artist in connection with the subject, taking into account the environment, mood, and lighting.
Snapshot: Result of a camera picked up to capture a moment.

Source: Dictionary.reference.com

Snapshot: An informal photograph, especially one taken quickly, by a hand-held camera.
Portrait: a likeness of a person, especially of the face, as a painting, drawing, or photograph

Then we turn to Wiki:

Portrait: A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position.
Snapshot: A snapshot is popularly defined as a photograph that is "shot" spontaneously and quickly, most often without artistic or journalistic intent. Snapshots are commonly considered to be technically "imperfect" or amateurish—out of focus or poorly framed or composed. Common snapshot subjects include the events of everyday life, such as birthday parties and other celebrations, sunsets, children playing, group photos, pets, tourist attractions and the like.

OK, then - Can you get a snapshot that looks like a portrait? Absolutely, and I hope to help you get closer to that goal.

Can a portrait look like a snapshot? Well, of course the goal is “no”. But it happens! Those are the images that you don’t see! They are left in-computer. Deleted? Probably not – I have a hard time deleting anything.

So why hire a professional photographer? To keep me in business of course, and it IS all about me after all, right?  But seriously. A professional photographer has the experience to quickly analyze the scene and capture the best shot. She knows how to: Best pose a subject; Take advantage of a model’s best features, and diminish the not-so-perfect features; Use lighting to enhance the model; Capture a child’s personality; and Use props to accentuate the scene. And hiring a professional provides that special experience. It says “this is a special day” and “I can be the star”. And lastly, a professional photographer has a “good camera”. And I say "lastly" and rather tongue-in-cheek because it’s so minor. Equipment is important, but it’s not the most essential element. One of the most frustrating statements I hear when a client sees some of my most prized pieces is “wow, these are wonderful, you must have a good camera” arrrrgggghhhh!!!

So here are some tips for getting your snapshots to look more like portraits. This is the outline I intend to follow, but it may change as I get questions or comments, or more ideas.

1. Composition
2. Lighting
3. subject
4. focus
5. surroundings
6. mood, story
7. pose
8. photo editing

Monday, December 21, 2009


What a beautiful, sunny day in Juneau, Alaska.
We took a helicopter and landed on the Mendenhall Glacier, then hiked for an hour. It wasn't even that cold!

Our guide holding on to Mick's belt so he doesn't slip into the moulin. The next shot is the result.

Deep Blue. Taking the shot of this Glacial Moulin was by far one of the most exciting shoots we’ve experienced. You can see the water rushing down the chute to a depth our guide estimated at 1,000 feet. You can see several chips of ice falling, caused by our cleats scuffing the ice as we were getting the picture.

This is a shot from the helicopter on the way to the glacier excursion.

On our way to Mendenhall Glacier

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photos of the Week

One of my fellow "Photographers of Etsy (POE)" offers a Photo of the Week. It is meant to encourage photographers to, well, photograph.
Here is my entry for this week.
Cold Seat at Sundown.
Actually, Mick took this one!

Please visit her blog to see the others. http://jessicarogersphotography.blogspot.com/

Previous Entries:

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This photo of a deep blue crevasse was taken in Juneau, Alaska. We took a helicopter and landed on Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, then hiked the glacier. Majestic glaciers act like filters that absorb red light, making the ice appear blue. The black deposits are years of sediment scraped up as the massive ice flows move across the land.