Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creativity with John Cleese!

One of the hardest things for many photographers to develop is a sense of creativity.  You might be the most technologically proficient person with your gear and know how to edit photos better than the best Photoshop gurus out there but what about making interesting pictures?

Creativity, according to John Cleese is not a talent, but rather a quality that can be learned by the biggest embecile... fortunately for me.  So while you might have the technical know how, where do you rate on the creative scale?

Check out this video by the very talented and humorous John Cleese.  Many of you may know him from Monty Python fame, but what you may not know about him, is that he is a highly educated, imaginative, and persuasive writer and educator.  Maybe this video will help you to unlock your own creative abilities and also allow you a little laugh or two.  Its a little over 30 minutes long, but full of useful info regardless if you're a photographer, an artist, an engineer or a teacher!

Here's a big tip, humor can spawn awesome ideas!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Photographing a Memory

Probably one of the most important things to me about photography is, creating memories and capturing moments.  While we as humans are subject to the aging process (some of us more so than others), photography is eternal.  These small slivers of emotion and feeling we photographers capture can be powerful reminders of events in our history, both good and bad and hopefully, will live on long after us in the minds of those who have them to enjoy for times to come.

Most of us with megapixels to burn, have photographed every conceivable subject matter possible, from our pets, to large commercial assignments to what we had for dinner the night before, regardless if it was for us, or one of our clients.  One of the things I always try to do with my photography is to shoot for myself and/or my family.  Shooting for myself covers an incredulously large spectrum of subjects even though I tend to think of myself as more of a portrait photographer.  However, if you have one of those large families that have members who shoot out kids like a pez dispenser on steroids, its a great opportunity to get better at photographing people while making pictures for the family that they might not otherwise have.

Almost two years ago, I was blessed to be part of a family that brought me a little granddaughter.  While considering myself to be a grand parent in whatever capacity I'm able to produce, is more than I care to think about (again, damn aging process), I have had an absolute blast photographing the life of a very precocious, and curious little mind running around in the family.  Since I have never had any children of my own, its actually been enjoyable watching a little thing that can't even feed itself mature in to something a little more advanced with long curly hair, large dimples and a grin so sweet it can even melt my cold heart.

Angel will be two in just another month or so, and man has she grown!  She's been in front of a camera since poking her hairy little head in to a new world, and for the most part is fairly cooperative in front of the lens.  She's gotten so use to being her own little diva in a baby fashion modeling world, that now she even knows how to view photos on the photographer's camera and offer constructive criticism in the realm of lights and shadows.  I guess this is a good thing, because I can always use a little constructive direction.

I did a quick portrait session of her a little while ago and while I was photographing her, her grandma (my artist in residence) shot this quick video which to me is more entertaining than the photos so I thought I'd share this quick, funny clip.

I can't make up my mind whether Angel is going to end up being a super model, or the next Martin Scorsese, but from the looks of it, she gives direction well.

Oh, and for those wondering, I did this entire session with two speedlights in shoot thru umbrellas camera left and right at only about 1/2 stop difference in settings between the two.  This setup works great for fast moving little divas.

See you next time! :)