I’ve been making steady progress in my studies of photography over the past 10 years. This year I finally bought an DSLR (a Canon D7), and it has been a joy to really learn how use the controls of a high-performance camera.
My 14 year old daughter JuJu and I have been attending photography classes for the past year. Today we attended a model shoot at St. Louis Photo Authority in St. Louis, Missouri, where the owner, Ed Crim provided four models and excellent guidance. It was a lot of fun, as you can see from my work.
Today the theme for the models was “guns,” which made me a bit apprehensive, but we had a great time shooting models who all had access to guns as props. Here’s a sample of the portraits I took. Nothing like having the right equipment and some good teachers. Click for higher res images.
I hiked through some mud in north St. Louis this afternoon to capture this photo of the new Interstate 70 Bridge, which is almost spanning the Mississippi River. Due to open in 2014.[caption id="attachment_24814" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Image by Erich Vieth[/caption]
Madison Avenue has worked hard to convince ordinary women that they are not beautiful, and that only Photoshopped anorexic models are worthy of public display. The “Nu Project” set out to photograph ordinary women, in the nude, in a way that displays their natural beauty. I saw this article on Huffpo and just clicked in to see how I would react. Although I didn’t react the same way to each of these photos, I found this project compelling for the reasons stated by the creators:
[Photographer Matt Blum] sees the photos as filling a void. “When I started shooting nudes there was no project like it,” he told The Huffington Post in an email. “The things that I had seen either used models with typical model bodies or average people who were made to look extremely unimpressive. I figured there was a way to treat women (of any size/shape) like models and photograph them beautifully, respectfully without a lot of sexual under or overtones.”
I’m reading Evan Sharboneau’s new Ebook on “Trick Photography” and having a blast trying out some of his hundreds of ideas for having fun with your DSLR (he stresses that it’s not important to have anything more than an entry level DSLR). Many of his suggestions don’t require any version of Photoshop (for instance, “light painting”). Other tricks he offers (like layer masks–see the attached photos I took today) use Photoshop, but they most don’t require anything more than the $70 version –Photoshop Elements. Pretty cool stuff. Evan is an excellent teacher–he looks like he’s only in his 20′s, but he is bursting with creative ideas. Check out “PhotoExtremist” on YouTube for many of his ideas. Here’s his site if you’re interested his Ebook.
I’m glad that I invested ($60 sale price) in Joel Sartore’s photography course at Great Courses. Sartore, who shoots for National Geographic, offers an immense amount of insight to aspiring photographers. He stresses that his course is not about buying lots of expensive equipment (though he certainly demonstrates what one can do with tripods, flashes and various types of lenses), but rather how to see, how to work a scene and how to cull through one’s images for the ones that are really worth sharing. He does this in 24 30-minute lectures, most of which I have already watched, and I consider his course to be an excellent investment, at least at the sale price that was offered a few weeks ago.
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