Monday, February 28, 2011

From the Streets of Santa Fe (part one)

Bevy: f/4, iso 125, 24-105 @ 95,  1/80

Blanket: f/5, iso 100, 24-105 @ 73,  1/100

Peppers: f/6.3 (?) , iso 100, 24-105@80, 1/125

Half Norm: f/4, iso 400, 24-105@88, 1/80

I belong to a theology discussion group. We planned this retreat to Glorieta probably 6th moths ago and I  was ready for some time outside Lubbock.  For those like me who are not familar with Glorieta; Glorieta  is a gigantic conference ground for churches and been around forever.

Fri/Sat: The retreat was pretty intense (in a wonderful way) and I was  incredibly wiped out afterwards. I regret that I don't have any pictures of our tea time at the St. Francis Hotel. Regret. Didn't have my cam. I wish I got a good shot of our waitress. She was very beautiful and polite, and the light situation in the hotel was ideal. Gigantic windows.  

Sun:  Norm and I went back into Santa Fe so I could take some pictures. I was very excited to try the new monopod. Truly loved the monopod and also just being there.  

I took the first picture just off the main square. I was totally unprepared when this gaggle of gals were strutting my way but made a quick move and got this. Note their expressions. I later encountered them again at the Blue Corn Cafe.  I am discovering that f/4 is always too open for direct daylight. 

The blanket picture is from the jewelry vendors on the North side of the square. More on this area to come. Great colors. 

I thought the pepper light thing looked very Santa Fe. This is a door of a Xmas shop. I am now wondering if I could have shot this from the side and got more of the show window and the stretch of the sidewalk. 

The final picture is Norman in a cool bookstore whose name I can't remember. Santa Fe has so many great colors.

Tomorrow, I'll post some fashion shots. It's all about the fabric in Santa Fe. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Be or Not to Be Stocked (An update)

^ ABOVE: my first 3 submissions to istockphoto

^ ABOVE: My second round of  submissions to istockphoto
I've been interested in pursuing stock photography work although from what I've read it's become increasingly competitive. I spent a good part of today fidgeting with my best "keeper" photos--most of which have been seen here, preparing them for the istockphoto judges. They strictly judge your work per their manual and only except highly professional quality.
About a month ago I submitted the top three pictures. They got back and told me my submissions were okay but they wanted to see if I was capable of producing a variety of styles besides macro. So, this time I submitted the bottom three. I will be so happy if these get excepted. I've heard a lot of rejection stories.  It would be good to make a couple of pennies too, but for now the acknowledgment would do. It took about a week for them to get back last time. So, I'll report that here.
I'd love to hear your opinions or experiences.
Can't wait to go to Glorieta tomorrow!

I'm thinking about moving my blog to Wordpress. I'd like to hear some opinions about that.

Well, istockphoto got right back this time, and approved (!!)#1 (two college girls) and #3 (pure agony).
Brooke holding the balloons was rejected due to too much photoshop. I'm so proud of myself. 2 1/2 months since getting my camera and some more approval. I need to get one more approved to complete the application process. Truly, I must get someting in Santa Fe. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Short Contemplation about Portrait

Brooke on Bridge : f/6.3, iso 100, 25-105@105, 1/100

Brooke face outdoor: f/7.1, iso 100, 25-105@80, 1/100

So, this might be the final picture I share form this photo session. Here's a little what not to do:
not good to cut joints off your model. I did not notice this at the time, and actually just discovered it now.
I raised the color temp a little bit to give this portriat a warm or Western kind o feel.
David du Chemin, a photographer who I respect, just posted a blog on portrait shooting titled Portriat: Waiting for the Soul and cited patience and interest in people as the greatest traits for portrait photographers. Something to consider.You can read it here, as well as appreciate some amazing photographs of his.

btw 1: This location is a park on MLK blvd. & 19th (Lubbock, TX)
btw 2: Out of the blue yesterday, Norman whipped out a Gitzo GM 2341  monopod from underneath the couch. It's aluminum. He said he thought I needed one. Thank you Norman!

I'm completely wiped out from my free boxing class, so I'll say good night and good luck.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Style Photoshoot Part 2

TTU: f/11, 1/100. iso 100, 24-105@95

TTU: f/11, 1/100. iso 100, 24-105@105

Morgan at Angle: f/7.1, 1/1000, iso 160, 24-105@55 (sutter priority)
Hair Fun: f/4, 1/1250, iso 250, 24-105@45 (sutter priority)

A couple more fun pics.
Technique wise, I should figure out how to solve highlights and grain.
I thought the Hair Fun picture is fun, but it sure looks grainy. Does high sutter speed introduce more noise?? Out door shooting is much more difficult than indoor portrait, at least for me. But I guess it would depend on what one is trying to do.

*** Big leap in topic***
I want to blog more about video, but the nature of the video making process does not seem to lend well to daily blogging. I spend a lot more time with video making and I want to get really good at it!
I will try to include one thing I learn about video making each day and see if that leads to anything. If you're not into video making, you will save your time by skipping this part.
So I will start by saying that I leaned about a company called Automatic Duck  that makes software by which one can jump back and forth from Final Cut Pro to Affter Effects.

Btw- I now jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. Please join me on twitter @amykimpix if you wish!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Outdoor Photoshoot Part 1

Prints and Legs: f/4, iso 1001/80, 24-105@95 

Brooke is Watching: 
f/5, iso 200, 1/1000, 24-105@60

Like a Student: f/4, iso 100, 1/80, 24-105@95

This is my first outdoor photo shoot. Took place this past Sat around town, again with my beautiful friend Brooke and her beautiful friend Morgan.

In the second picture, Brooke was just watching me shoot Morgan, but I like how it came out.  I must say, I like the non-scripted pictures a lot better than the posing ones. We tried the cheesy happy student pointing nowhere in the third one (over-posed). Still, I am thinking about sending this one to a stock photo agency.

I learned a lot and found some things that I should do differently next time:
  •  I still haven't mastered how my camera's focus features work. I had a lot of things that were out of focus for reasons that I can't understand. 
  • The way I communicate with models. Not that we didn't communicate, but sometimes we all didn't know what to do or try next.
  • Controlling outdoor daylight (Probably can't learn in a day).
Anyway, hope everyone enjoys my selection for part 1. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Update: BodyWorks Part2

Last night I recieved an email of appology from the COO at Bodyworks. I posted it below.
I did not expect anyone to get back to me, so it was a bit of a surprise.
I think I will try to let it go and try to get ripped instead. Although I must say that no one offered me anymore boxing cupons. 



Please accept my apologies for any issues experienced during the enrollment
process. A lot of information is discussed during the enrollment process. I
will investigate the situation and make my best efforts to ensure there is
not a communication issue in the future. 

I want to make sure our clubs offer you with the best fitness experience as
you move forward with your membership. I know we have a lot to prove to you.
If we are not performing up to your expectations in the future please
contact me. My desire is for you to be fully satisfied with your membership.


Pat Rose 

Bodyworks Family Sports Centers
Pat Rose
Chief Operating Officer

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Eye and I: Cuty Grungy

The Eye and I: Cuty Grungy: " Three Cuties (before): f/2, 1/50 Three Cuties (after): f/2, 1/50 I've been meaning to try out thi..."

Cuty Grungy

 Three Cuties (before): f/2, 1/50

 Three Cuties (after): f/2, 1/50
 I've been meaning to try out this effect in photoshop as I've been reading about it a lot in photoblogs and forums. It's called the high contrast look and apperently made famous (or invented?) by photographer David Hill.
My wonderful photoshop book Adobe Photoshop cs5 for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby (highly recommended!!) has a demonstration on how to do it, and I've been searching for the right picture to apply the effect.  Then, I came across this picture: Granpa Norm's super uber cute grand kids who played with me this past summer in PA. I love love how this effect worked on this picture. The item that looks like a cannon is just that, a mini antique cannon. Nora on the far left is holding a light-saber. Just to clarify, these kids are very well behaved and not militant at all. Are they cute or what?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More street shots, Lubbock style.

Bike in Cold: f/10, 24-105@97mm, ISO 100, 1/50

Tech Student: f/7, 24-105@ 105, ISO 100, 1/320

I took these pictures this past Tuesday when is was friggin cold. The day before, I was passing Broadway & Univ. and saw all these Tech students freezing thier asses while waiting for a walk signal.  I then thought it would be interesting to take pictures of people doing just that, and see how the human posture changes when we are cold. I don't think I accomplished the latter so well, but did get what I think is worth sharing.  My only wish in these takes are more compression in the background. Would this be possible with a smaller f-stop or do I need a longer lens? Something to investigate.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My photo made it to the Avalanche Journal!

My pic in the AJ! Note the credits.

  Well,  this morning Norman told me I should look in the paper, and I said, " Is there any news?" 
 Here's the news: My pic made it to the paper!
  I took this picture while Soup's on Troupe were doing thier rehearsal maybe a month ago. I wrote an entry about it hereDorey Schmidt, the producer, told me afterwards that she would send this picture in as a press release to the AJ.  I thought the AJ takes thier own pictures and didn't think too much about it.  Anyways, this is neat. Talk about a little encouragement. " Very encouraging week!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Video Making is *&%^&^ Expensive

I decided to take a break from researching lighting kit options and work on my blog.  I've been extensively researching LED lighting kits (new the buzzword in the video lighting world) for my video work these past couple days. As I read the forums on DV, I see that many--mostly males from what I'm seeing--get a real high discussing and buying gear.  For me, gear talk and research not much fun and almost feel like a waste of time, but I'm on a budget and need lights so I do it as a have to.

My budget for an "inexpensive, bare bone" lighting kit was $1000 originally. Now, of course, it's looking like it's pushing $2000. For those of you who are not familiar with video and film making this might sound like a lot, but within the filmmaking community I am fully sensing that $100 is like a buck and $1000 is like ten bucks.

Anyway, the outfit that I'm thinking about patronizing is CoolLights and thier stuff is quite popular among filmmakers. I think I will get the LED 600 flood + LED 600 spot + LED 256 spot + softbox kit + batteries. Believe it or not, batteries consists of 20% of the expense. And, this is just a mere beginning of all the things I need to make a decent video.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TaDa, ma logo!

Above: Ma Logo!!

I am pleased to announce my logo!!

I LOVE my logo. I think it represents what I'm doing in a simple yet sophistecated way. I also think it represents my personality and the work I aspire to create.  This will be on my card and on my website as well. 

My friend's son Kyle Poff is the designer.  It looks simple, but it took about a month plus many many back and forth eamils to get it done. If you are in need for a chic logo, I recommend you see Kyle's work in the link. 

Stay warm everyone-


Monday, February 7, 2011

File Organization

Harley Glam: f/4, ISO: 160,  24-105 @ 47 mm

Three Indian Bowls: f/5, ISO: 160,  24-105 @ 84 mm

Not a hugely interesting day.  I missed a rare opportunity to learn about photogaphing stage lighting at Tech Theatre dept. due to forgetfulness.

Yesterday, I had set my mind to organize the thousands of photo files that were dumped into my hard drive today. My picture files were accumulating at a fast rate (maybe 30-100/day), but not in an orderly fashion and it was beginning to create problems such as:

  • eating up hard-drive space
  • taking forever to locate a file and find a picture
  • confusions created by saving duplicate photos in various formats and sizes

I deleted 1300 pictures today, but have still not figured out a system to make work flow efficient. This is something that is different from video. In digital video editing, the hierarchy of the folders is more of a concern than work flow. I am beginnig to understand why photographers use Adobe Lightroom. I see myself using Lightroom in the future, but I'm sick of reading yet another how-to book, and I don't have any money, and Lightroom won't solve all my storage problems, so I'm gonna pass for now.

These pictues are those I didn't get a chance to post  found burried in the jumble of files. I'm getting pretty good at taking bowl pictures. Again, if you're interested, the bowls are for sale for $30.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Street Shots

Newspaper Guy: Shutter Speed:1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 250

Charitable Coffee: 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

Had a very busy day. I'm making a promo video for my first client (!) United Church of Christ.  So, I videoed the service. Stay tuned for the final product March 1st! The concept for this video is  from large to details.

I was driving back home from Five Guys Burgers and Fries  when I saw this guy on 50th and Quaker selling papers in front of Mc D's. The orange pancho caught my eye, of course, and the snow was pretty dramatic. So I went home got my camera and went back to the location. I aksed if I could take a picture and he was cool, so I set my camera to shutter speed priority to catch the snowflakes and fired away.  I'm still trying to figure out why the sign didn't get tack sharp. I aksed if he was going to see "The Game" and he said he would leave right before the game starts.

The coffee was given to me by a stranger in a pickup. He motioned me to his vehicle and handed it out.
Maybe I looked like a street person? Or he thought I was working too hard in the snow? I don't know, but in retrospect I think it was a left over because it was not really hot and it was not really filled. Anyway, I drank some and Norman finihsed it.


My friend and great photographer  Bill Mueller pointed out why the sign wasn't tack sharp.  You can 
find his work here. 

Here's what Bill wrote: "I don't expect that you shot through your window. If you notice some of the snowflakes in the foreground are the sharpest. I would say you probably had it on autofocus (right?) and that the autofocus picked up on the snowflakes in the foreground placing your subject slightly out of the range of the depth of field at f4. when it is misty, rainy, snowing, etc., you will find more consistant results with manual focus expecially in low light with a shallow depth of field."

I did have my lens on auto focus. Thank you Bill.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Model Shoot Part 3

f/11, iso 100,  24-105 @ 80 mm
f/11 iso250 24-105 @ 60mm

f/5, iso 100,  24-105 @ 92 mm 
Probably my last postings of Brooke and Cassie for now.  We're going to give it another shot in a couple weeks.
Basically, I'm pleased with how it all came out. All the backgrounds seem a little blue after adjusting white balance, and I think that's because I didn't use any supplimentary light sources. It's my first model shoot, so I'll give myself some slack.
The baked goods are popovers also known as Yorkshire pudding. Norman made those that morning.
They were sooo good. Let me know if you need the recepie. We used the one in Joy of Cooking.

By the way, I've been getting a lot of hits on my blog for my portrait/ fashion series. Norman took me out for dinner at Las Brisas to celebrate my increase in blog readership!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Portrait Shoot

I intended the Sunday shoot to be a fashion shoot, but I got some beautiful portraits of my models Brooke and Cassie.
Are they beautiful or what? Not only are they beautiful, but they were amazing to work with.

I intended to post several more pictures today, but I'm having trouble cranking out photos from photoshop.  I am especially pleased with this photo, I hope you think it looks as good as I do.
If you don't, I would like to hear how it could have been better.
Again, more to come!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Ever Fashion Shoot!

On Sunday, my beautiful models Brooke and Cassie Allison came by for our photoshoot. I told them to bring what they like to wear, and each of them brought half thier wardrobe. The pile o clothes above is about a third of what they brought!  You can also see that I included pics of my low-tech bedroom studio. The window on the left is a bay window which is nice. The seamless backdrop was 53 inches and proved to be WAY too narrow for fashion portraits. 
The rainbow stockings are one of the several looks we tried. Stay tuned for more photos!

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