Corbin Family

Here are a few from the previous session in early December. We met before sunset in a park and the lighting really came out to my advantage in post processing, despite the rainy overcast day that preceded sunset. Thank you, Corbins, for the opportunity to photograph your beautiful family. I hope you enjoy these!

Corbin-Spain Civil Ceremony

I had the good fortune earlier last month to photograph these two and their family during and after their civil ceremony. Check out these highlights of a handful of my favorites! After learning my clients love more dramatic imagery toward later editing of the set, I began incorporating HDR styles with greater detail and color to make them pop. I've enjoyed the style so much that I plan to continue the aesthetic in my future portraiture work! Do you prefer more soft images, or more dramatic images with clarity and oomph?

Focus & Exposure in Smartphone Cameras

November 15, 2018 Let's talk about focusing and exposing in cell phone cameras. This is a simple topic but I see a lot of people misusing or misunderstanding the method; although most everything is automated in our phones, there is a little bit we can do to better guide our cameras and their softwares here. I'm going to cover a few things in this area. Generally, I post images from the professional camera, but over the past couple weeks I was on vacation and was wary of the possibility of losing mine somehow, so I reluctantly opted to use my camera built-in to the Pixel 2 cell phone, which I feel renders quality images in an efficient package. What I cover today will not be specific to Pixel 2's; generally speaking, all new smart phones seem to have these settings. I have used both Android and iPhone devices, and, in terms of focus and exposing, they are pretty much the same. Be sure to clean off your lenses with a microfiber cloth prior to shooting for less glare and smudging.

  1. So first, let's take a look at some screen shots.


You see the little circle in each of the above images? That is what focuses on various objects within your screen. It also exposes your image for the object in focus. So in the first example, I'm focusing on one of the brightest subjects in the image--the lights. This brings the lights themselves into focus; however, it does darken the rest of the subject around it. This can be fixed in the built-in editing feature later, but that's a topic for another day. When, in the second image, the circle is focused on the more grey area within the mirror, you can see that you'll get a bit more bright over all image, although there's a little less detail within the lighting. Similarly, when the focus is up high in the shadowed ceiling, you get an even more bright image with many of the highlights far more overblown. This can create a nice effect sometimes, but as a general I try to avoid overblown highlights since detail cannot be recovered in them. Wherever you want to focus within an image, tap that subject.

2. Ok next, some basics for your selfies and portraits:

The first rule here is that you want to go ahead and make sure light is falling onto your subject. This means that you'll want to face a lit window or a light if indoors, or if outdoors at night. If you're outdoors in the daytime, you should be fine, just beware of harsh shadows if it's midday on a sunny day--get up under a tree and photograph from a shadow's edge.

For example, take a look at these selfies.


These three were taken within the same unlit room. Granted, the natural lighting in this room is pretty good. There are three large windows along the outdoor wall. In the first two, my portrait has been backlit, with my back to the brightest lighting source rather than my face, which is our subject in this case. You can see here that, when focused on the nose, or the subject, the camera automatically exposes for what you're shooting, and the highlights in the background spill around your subject. In the second image, when focused on the lighting source, you can see that less detail is available on your subject and that I am darker. The extra ISO or exposure work that the camera has to perform causes it to render a more noisy image in terms of quality as well.

Let's turn me around. Now I'm facing the windows, or the main lighting source. I point on my eyes or bridge of my nose (in portraits, that is where you want to focus for best detail), and now the camera doesn't have to work so hard so your image quality isn't noisy. The subject is the main thing that's lit, and because I'm facing the window there's a catch light in my eyes. The catch light livens the face(s) of whoever you're photographing.

One more note on this: when taking portraits, there's a nifty portrait feature often built in to smart phone cameras. Go ahead and use that. In the android device I use, it gives me two images in the end--one with the background more blurred (the strength of which can be altered in editing afterward), and another with the original, sharp background.


Alright! Go out and try these suggestions for yourself and show me what you come up with! Let me know if you have any problems I may be able to help with and I'll send further suggestions if you need.

Fireworks at Jardine Stadium, Independence Day, 2018

Every year, I improve a little on photographing fireworks. See some of my favorites, along with an experimental image of a family playing with sparklers. Settings ISO 100, F/13, shutter open 8 seconds. Mostly done with a 24-70mm, one with a 16-35mm wide angle lens, and another with the zoom 70-200mm.

Southern Grown: Assignment Highlights

June 12, 2018 Check out some of the highlights from various Southern Grown assignments last issue. Enjoy! :)

Well, Hey There. What's New?

June 11, 2018 It's recently been brought to my attention that I haven't updated this in a while or really done much at all with any of my social media business profiles. I'm generally a bit lax in that area because I feel sometimes like if I spend much more time behind a screen I'm just going to merge with it and become a robot. Nevertheless....

So what's new with you?

What's new with me? I moved to South Georgia to my old hometown. I've been gone for about eleven years now and decided I'd finally give into the homesickness. So I sucked it up, decided I had to take the good with the bad down here, and came on home.

Fortunately, two of my friends were tired of working for a negative magazine CEO and decided they wanted to to it on their own, if only they could find a photographer. Joy had been doing advertising and sales, and Josh had been graphically designing, and then came Victoria. We're covering all of Southeastern Georgia and plan to eventually branch into Northeastern Florida. We cover largely ag related businesses, but we also document a bit of historically interesting places, and we list upcoming events and things to do within our quaint little towns.

We've got our first magazine out; it was our test magazine. The book was thin because it was our test prior to shoot for more. The quality was magnificent--the magazine is properly bound without staples, the prints came out nicely, and I'm not sure if we're going with that same print company for upcoming editions, but I hope we stick with them or either find another company with comparable quality prints or either even better quality outcome.

In this edition, we covered everything from blueberries to a rodeo. I'll list a few highlight posts during the coming week, but that's all for now in this update!

Go check one out! You can find a copy at one of these locations for only $3.00:

Douglas: Waldron Farm Supply Fuller Supply Company General Coffee State Park Papa's Gun Shop Ryland's Title Lending Badcock Home Furniture & More

Nicholls: Nicholls Pharmacy

Alma: The Blueberry Barn

Vidalia: Phillips Pharmacy

Baxley: Mr.Ray's Bbq The Whistle Stop

Tifton: Southern Pride Produce and Country Store Rutland Farms

Blackshear: Country-Gypsy

Waycross: Sassy Sisters Consignment Breezy's Boutique & Gifts

St.Simon's Island: Athena Spa by the Sea

Walnut Creek Greenway, Raleigh

Walnut Creek Greenway extends about 15 miles. Beginning from East Raleigh, not far off Barwell Road, the trail moves westward, has a short disconnection in town near the water plant, passes through several tunnels, becomes an NCU walking trail just off campus, and runs into Johnson Lake. Once at Johnson Lake, there's a trail around the lake to loop back around, which is about 2 1/2 miles. I recommend taking it to the right from Walnut Creek trail because there are steep hills to come down that way, rather than go up, so it's more fun.

Neuse River Greenway Trail

Situated East of Raleigh and moving into Clayton, the Neuse River Greenway Trail spans 33 miles alongside Neuse River. It's a part of the mountain-to-sea trail, which spans from Western North Carolina mountains to the Outer Banks.

Baby and Family Shoot

Here are my top three favorites from the last session.

For these I used natural studio light from the skylight and from a larger window to the right. Translucent white drapes were used to soften the light spill, and a white reflector to the left was used to fill in shadows. Everything was edited through Lightroom and then Photoshop.

Artistically speaking, I like how the color combinations, texture, detail and exposure came out in these three in particular. Enjoy :)

French landscape series at Night Kitchen Bakehouse at Seaboard Station

January 24, 2017 Grab some delicious baked goods and check out my French landscape series on display at Night Kitchen Bakehouse and Café. They're limited edition prints on fine art paper, of 7.

Final 366 Slideshow

Sunday, January 8, 2017

This is the final day-by-day photo slideshow, set to the 1959 recording of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, from Leonard Bernstein’s album An American in Paris. The project involved a photo a day of my son for his first year alive. The song and slideshow are about 16 minutes in all.

Facello's Fall Photos

Nov. 7, 2016 Taking these photographs for the Facello family last month was my pleasure. We had fun shooting glitter portraits, and the evening sky over Lake Lynn was romantic.

Location Research - Downtown Raleigh, Fayetteville/Capital District

There were a lot of homeless people sleeping at sunrise in downtown on Fayetteville St. Another issue would be the endless festivals each weekend on that street. There was a bit of nice light in pockets, but as far as the sun went, the buildings generally blocked it. The capital area is very pretty. These are unedited shots of my husband, he was a stand-in for research this morning. His expressions are perfect. What might be nice is Nash Square or Moore Square, but again, homeless people might be trying to sleep.