posing practice, and much more

June 12, 2010 | Filed Under practice shoots | 3 Comments 

so even though the summer season is picking up, i couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet up with some old photography friends for some practice shooting this past week… back in october of 2008, just a few months after i had first joined the most incredible photographic community in the world on flickr, i was able to travel up to frederick to join a bevy of photographers with much more experience (and more batteries, huh, bill?) than me, and had an amazing day trying to learn how to take better pictures of people… ideally, pretty brides in wedding dresses. i learned about reflectors, off-camera flash, composition, focusing and more – and particularly the importance of having back-up batteries, as mine ran out of juice just before the brides got into a stream to “trash the dress” – and made some good friends among a disparate group of people with one thing binding them closely together: geekhood. for cameras. i’m sure you guys are all cool in other respects!
anyway! so… i’ve missed many meetups since then, but found out that the fantastic folks at hopeland studios were putting together a meetup with some real-people models focusing on flow posing, and i thought it could be extremely helpful, as posing for portraits is an area i’ve been looking to work on. plus, as much as parenthood thrills me to the bottom of my heart, i have to admit that the luxury of an evening out, by myself, among other adults, indulging my creative side, was pretty darn tempting…
well, we absolutely lucked out, i must say: a generous and kind hostess, a dedicated and friendly group of photographers, gentle sunshine, clear skies and warm air through the evening, and – our models? two couples – one getting married in two weeks, the other having been married for 20 years – both classy, gorgeous, funny, patient, both absolutely radiating the love they felt for each other… the list goes on. kathlyn, rob, marcie and pedro – i mean, dan – i can’t thank you guys enough for letting us contort you around for hours while keeping smiles plastered on your faces :) it was SUCH a pleasure meeting you all and i truly hope you get as much joy out of our pictures as we did learning to take them properly :)
a note: the off-camera flash shots shown here of the two couples used a hotshoe flash inside a large softbox, triggered by alienbee cybersyncs, which was set up by my friend and sometimes-second-shooter, the amazing rehan bashir, and the photos of kathlyn in her gorgeous wedding dress at the end used a hotshoe flash firing through a shoot-through umbrella, triggered by pocket wizards, set up by bill millios of hopeland studios. me – i’m still working on being able to set up lights properly and get results like these… might be investing in a good softbox in the near future!

canon 85 1.8: new lens

May 5, 2010 | Filed Under practice shoots | 2 Comments 

just a few shots from today, which i took soon after my new lens came in the mail! this is the canon 85mm 1.8, a portrait lens just a little more affordable than its “L” cousin, the 85 1.2, which i rented a couple of months ago and really, really enjoyed. if you know me, you know that my favorite lens for weddings is canon’s 35mm 1.4L, which is so versatile and reliable and gorgeous that i could easily just shoot a whole wedding with that alone… but for portraits, i wanted something a little closer, a little more intimate, but with similar qualities of color, clarity and background “bokeh”… if you know what i mean. so i had some fun with this today – on my everpresent subjects: musa, his toys and the flowers outside.
i also played around on a few of the images with some premade photoshop “actions” i’ve been meaning to try out for a while… i generally don’t process my pictures very heavily, but sometimes an image benefits from the effects added by a unique black-and-white conversion, or the timelessness evoked by nostalgic tinting and fading. i don’t trust myself to do it very often, but… like i said, just playing. hope you enjoy these!









cherry blossoms

April 30, 2010 | Filed Under friends, practice shoots | Leave a Comment 

it’s a little late, but while i still had the 45mm 2.8 tilt-shift lens and my beloved 35mm 1.4L after yasmin and tyseer’s wedding, i had the chance to take it out to DC at the tail end of the peak of cherry blossom season, and used them to practice on one of my favorite subjects – a dear friend of mine. so, here are a few of the images i took that day – thanks, shaf, for climbing in that tree, and jumping out again :)

spring at the harbor

March 21, 2010 | Filed Under friends, practice shoots | 14 Comments 

i cannot tell you guys how thrilled i am that the season is finally turning… with a day like today, we couldn’t help but go up to baltimore harbor to spend the afternoon with family and friends, enjoying seafood and sunshine. i had rented the amazing canon 85mm 1.2L lens for a shoot this weekend and wanted to play around/practice with it, so this was the perfect opportunity. it also helped having a couple of extremely photogenic and photo-happy friends who really didn’t mind my experimenting ON them with the lens… as well as experimenting with them in photoshop… :) thanks humera and jawad! i really love you guys!

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