Post twenty-seven.

Post twenty-seven.

Wow, what a ride!!

First off, my photos are now hosted in the Solomons Gallery for sale.  Regardless of whether you go check them out (I hope you do!) – check out my portfolio at www.ryanlott.com and let me know if anything catches your eye.  We can have them professionally printed at our photo lab and mailed to you.  Glass, metal, canvas, and paper are the options that I’m currently offering for my prints.

Next:  As you already know, I had the opportunity to shoot this gorgeous couple on their wedding day – how awesome! You can check out their wedding’s album by visiting my portfolio.  I’ve built a video slideshow for the couple that you can check out.
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Finally, and most recently, I was delighted to capture photos of this lovely couple for their maternity photo shoot.  Their album is also available in my portfolio.  How beautiful!
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Anyway, that’s about all I have for now.  Don’t forget to LIKE and FOLLOW this blog for more!! Thanks for reading!

Yours,

Ryan

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Lighting Tools and Techniques

“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I seeing and feeling this? How am I growing? What am I learning?’ Remember: Every coincidence is potentially meaningful.”
– Ansel Adams

Post twenty-five.

Even for the most experienced of photographers, reaching a certain point in their career doesn’t mean they’re done learning. Just like any other profession, there is always room to further one’s understanding and capabilities. On that note, I’ve again been doing some “continuous learning” lately, working to expand my suite of tools, and my understanding for how and when to use them (and when not).

Tools and Technique

I’ve read up on lighting techniques to a fair degree.  From simple to advanced, I find that in using lighting, having an understanding of how light works to convey mood and feeling in an image is more important than simply throwing money at the problem.  That is to say, the fanciest lighting gear means very little in the hands of someone who doesn’t know why or when they need it.

“But isn’t making a portrait as simple as framing a shot and clicking a button?”

Having used almost exclusively natural lighting in my portraits to date (with exception of Vera’s recent photo shoot), I was anxious to expand my capabilities and unlock another level of creativity and control over my lighting. So, I started off with a single speedlight and a remote trigger.  However, I found that in some circumstances, while a single light could definitely offer value, it was lacking in that it could sometimes cause shadows in the portrait that I wasn’t a fan of.  Alas it wasn’t long before I procured a second speedlight and began operating them both remotely and in tandem.

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Example of using two lights in tandem.  One is sitting near the subject, while the other is less obvious, sitting by the fence on camera left.  This was a test shot only; during a real portrait session, both flashes would typically be mounted on stands.

Today, I find that I can still create nice portraits with natural light – but having the added ability to pull in a couple of remote flashes to open up shadows and lower the dynamic range between the subject and background – can be quite useful. Below are some example shots of using this lighting in outdoor portraits.

Example Images

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You’ll notice that in a few of these photos, I have the subject posing in shaded areas, with their back to the natural light source (sun). I then have configured my lighting equipment to cast lighting on the subject as she faces me. Normally, with a bright light source behind the subject, these photos would have too great a range from the darkest points (i.e. subject’s face and clothing) to the lightest points (the background).  However, illuminating my subject allows me to bring the subject and background into a much closer level of relative light (aka dynamic range).  This ultimately lends a capture that my sensor can cleanly record, as opposed to me having to use other techniques such as HDR which are rather impractical and unrealistic for everyday portrait work.  Alas, as the photographer, I’d have to scout another location to shoot the subject.  Instead of moving locations, this lighting setup allows me to take advantage of yet another photographic opportunity.

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Of course, at the end of the test shoot, we had to snag a couple of captures of the sunset itself:

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That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading!

Vera photo shoot round 2!

“Our feet tell a story of where we have been and hold the hopes and dreams of where we will go.”

Post twenty-four.  Since the last session, I have:

  • procured a decent amount of lighting equipment – flashes and modifiers
  • updated the structure of ryanlott.com to include reflect my two passions in photography – portraiture and architecture
  • published my rate structure on the parent site

Now onto the fun part.  Had a fun little themed portrait session with Vera this past weekend.  She’s simply too cute!  Check out the finished work:

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That’s all for now, but there’s a lot more on its way . . . check back soon or subscribe to my blog using the link in the lower-right!!

Jack & Jess.

“The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing.”
– Unknown

Post twenty-two.

Recently had a really fun lifestyle shoot with Jack, Jess, and their awesome kiddo.  Over 70 photos delivered, but here are some of my favorites!

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I love being able to capture moments in people’s lives. It begins to feel like you’re capturing a person’s soul in an image when you review photos like these!

Yeh, this whole photography thing is pretty cool I guess.  😉

Until next time!

P.s. I also created a social media pregnancy announcement for these fine folks.  Here ’tis: