Spring is in the Air!

Well we certainly can’t complain about Friday’s weather…other than the rainstorm that sped through in the AM. The afternoon and evening temperatures were wonderful.

Earlier this week I received some new photo equipment and spent some time wandering around the house with my camera. I captured this image of a lone daffodil. It seems like I take one of these each year; the daffodils are some of the first things to turn green on our property.

So enjoy this flower has a symbol of other green things to come. Pretty soon the whole world will be green and we’ll take for granted these early flowers as signs of a new season.

Partial Color Photography

Here is a great image of Lena in a classic Jazz pose.

I finished this image in “partial color”, meaning I converted most of the image to Black and White, and then pulled the color of her costume through from a color layer.

Lena is fond of my partial color images, and adds one to her collection each year that we take dance photos.

Dance Competition!

This weekend saw our studios’ second competition of the year. This one was in Youngstown Ohio, at the lovely Stambaugh Auditorium. Arriving before 8AM to get decent changing rooms, the girls were dancing all day, until we left near 11PM.

Everyone performed very well. Since the event was covered by the very capable Perfect Pix photography company, I took a day off from shooting. We checked out some of their work and will be ordering some images from them of our daughter. Parents – check our their website.

This image was taken at the very end of the night. The team is giving the studio teachers and parents a Standing-O for their/our hard work, which we appreciated. It was great to see the energy and positive attitude from these ladies after 14 hours of activity.

My candids from awards will be available on Winkflash for anyone who would like to see them.

Maternity Portraits in Erie

This image was taken from a recent maternity session. Maggie was just a couple of weeks away from her due date when we took these images. She was remarkably relaxed and comfortable.

I have been working with Maggie since she and her husband Steve were engaged. I have taken their engagement, wedding first maternity, and baby photos, and now their second maternity images.

As you know I am fond of high key images, and this was no exception. This was taken with no light other than that of a south facing window to her back.

Maggie, you look wonderful!

Easter Traditions

Tonight at Sts Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, we celebrated the Matins of the Resurrection followed by the Divine Liturgy. In the Byzantine Catholic church, this evening is one of the most significant, both for the celebration of the faith and for the reinforcement of family and culture.

Many Byzantine families use this night to reinforce their faith as well as their cultural history. Following the Liturgy, dozens of families gather in the church hall to have their traditional Easter baskets blessed. These baskets do not contain much candy – instead, they contain several food items significant to the Byazntine families’ traditions. Each item in the basket has symbolic meanings relative to the Resurrection.

Our basket for example contains: ham, kielbassi, boiled eggs, a butter shaped as a lamb, a spicy mixture of beets and horseradish, a loaf of Pascha bread with a rich cheese center, a small pot of salt, a horseradish root, and a candle.

Most other families have similar items in the basket. Some may have a bit of chocolate, a bottle of wine, or some homemade cheese. The foods are simple but each has a special meaning, and each are a rich reward to follow the lenten fast.

Our family, along with many in the church, spend time during the week before Easter to prepare these items. After the baskets are blessed following the Resurrection Matins, we take our blessed basket home and have a late night supper of the items and celebrate fellowship and the beginning of the Easter celebration.

Have a wonderful Easter!

Black and White Photography in Warren PA

Here is an interesting edit of a dramatic number entitled “Nightmare”. The ladies’ costumes are all in black, white and gray tones, so it was natural to emphasize the contrast and render the image in black and white.

Even though I pushed the contrast, I did soften the image a bit to create an organic look.

This is another example of dramatic edits that can come from high-key lighting and creative posing and post-processing.

High Key Dance Imagery

Here is another example of high-key photography for dance. This number, Cirque, was composed for strong visual impact of the color elements and the unique costumes.

For High Key, we light the background evenly and with a bit more intensity than the subjects, which blows the whites to pure white. For this large group, we lit the front pretty even as well.

In post production, we enhanced the color saturation and applied a unique font color and style. Some creative layering of the text under the subjects gave the image a three-dimensional effect.

Nice image, ladies!

High Key Dance Photography in Warren, PA

Tonight we had three fun-filled hours of competition team photos. We captured several hundred images of Jamie’s School of Dance – TAPS competition team.

Here’s an example image of tonight’s session. Shot against a white vinyl backdrop with white cloth on the floor, we lit for a pure white background. You can see that primary colors stand out very well against the white.

These ladies were modeling their costumes for their dance number, set to music from “Will Rogers Follies”.

Next step – a great big team collage!