Photographers at the 2010 Carmel International Art Festival

Contrary to weather predictions of rain, the sun shone brightly warming the crowd that flocked to the juried art fair on Main Street in Carmel today. I was there mostly to check out the photographer artists on display. Last year, Andy Chen’s photograph booth was judged Best of Show. He was there again today. When I entered the booth no one else was there so we were able to talk for a few minutes. He told me he had a studio at the Stutz building downtown. He has a degree in computer science but became a full-time photographer five years ago. He got an Honorable Mention ribbon this year.

He told me he used a Canon 5D. He takes photos from trips around the state and in other states when he goes hiking. They all “went through LightRoom and Photoshop” but he only does “dodge and burn” and does not alter structural components.

His Facebook shows his busy schedule. He participates in various art fairs, including the Penrod this year. First one must develop craftsmanship and artistry then he or she has to go on the road and market the work. I dream about gallery shows but I’m not sure I would commit myself to the marketing. We’ll see. One step at a time.

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Yielding to contemporary tastes in portrait imaging

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If you can’t beat them, join them. The saying dates me and that’s ok. I’ve been processing my portraits and model pictures with traditional color correction but it seems everyone likes their pictures to look like what glamour and edgy for-young-trendsetter magazines display. Images are not longer for showing people’s “true colors” but for showing them in highly unusual color. Color is taking center stage, not far behind the actual image itself. Frankly I kind of like the new trends. My interest in photography started out as interest in simple shapes and color. When I got into people pictures I found out about white balance and skin tone corrections. Now finally I am coming back to my first love. People looking like Dracula, like the vampires that are popular with young moviegoers and novel readers. Maybe realism is getting to be too much with the plethora of reality TV! So, I’ll keep on exploring “special effects” on Photoshop because they seem to be what clients want and it’s going back to my first loves!

Getting serious with lighting food photography

I shoot my food photos without preparing the lighting and camera setup so they’re hurriedly done so the food does not get too cold to enjoy. My food photographs merely document food I prepared at home of which I am especially proud. They have never been taken for the sake of taking a good food photograph. I’m too much a Filipino to think of preparing food then wasting it by simply trashing it after taking its picture. I’ve known all along that this is no way to take a picture. I know. I’m such a coward, slave to irrational beliefs, but then who isn’t?

Nonetheless, if I want to progress with my photography I need to invest real time in learning the craft and shooting my pictures. I’ve come a respectable way with model photographs though even here I’ve learned on the fly, from actually shooting models. I should learn the techniques when I don’t have models to work with professionally. The information is easily accessible. I have shelves of books and, horrors! hardware that I have not read or learned to use.

This photo might be a milestone. I was famished coming home from the gym after my gym run was delayed by an appointment with the heater service people that I had forgotten until the dispatcher called to tell me the service guy was on his way. I brought out the ingredients for the shake then set up the lighting before shaking them together. The results, I think, are impressive.

This was the second time that I’ve used my commercial-strength Vita-Mixer in decades! On a lark I made my first shake with it yesterday when I found out that my Cuisinart blender was no longer operative. I must have damaged it from crushing ice and frozen fruit last year when I was preparing dinner for friends. Down came the Vita-Mixer from atop the fridge and the result was such a delight that I rediscovered why people love shakes made with whey protein. The shake is frothy and rich-tasting without the fat!

I took this picture with a Lowel Pro set at full power five inches from the glass, manually setting the Canon D7 at 2.8 and 70 mm.