A few of my favorite shots from our last wedding — taken on the Temple Grounds of the Salt Lake City Utah Temple. We shoot color and convert to black and white after the fact. We also shoot formals and candids and send two photographers. Our wedding coverage is creative and comprehensive. The candids are my favorites!
I’ve been working — again — on all the online advertising for Altus Photo Design. We have an Etsy shop where anyone (with enough money, of course) can buy digital images of our Temples, Visiting Teaching Messages, and Chalkboard Art.
We also have a facebook page:
Our website has been down for a while, but I am putting it back up soon. I’m working on the layout now. We will also have an Altus Photo Design Events site showcasing our weddings and family portraiture.
Here is the newest listing in our Etsy shop:
Now that wasn’t too hard. And I even have six minutes to spare before my next piano student arrives!
A few years ago, my business partner and son-in-law and I were hired to photograph all the Mormon Temples in the United States. We shot about 2/3’s of them before the funding ran out. It was a singularly satisfying experience. Not only were the temples themselves interesting to photograph, but the details — small and often overlooked — were also fascinating. We learned that when photographing architecture, it was as important to get the little picture — the small details — as it was to get the big picture — the entire temple.
The gallery below is a compilation of some of the circle and square symbolism found on many of those temples.
The circle symbolizes heaven while the square symbolizes earth. In this instance, the circle and square combined stands for the temple itself: the place on earth where heaven and earth meet. The circle also represents infinity while the square represents the finite. The combination of the two is spoken of as eternal. The circle can also symbolize woman and the square symbolizes man. When combined, the circle and square represent marriage. And when these last two ideas are combined, it represents eternal marriage.
Late Saturday afternoon I left my home to shoot some abstract images for a contest on flickr. I thought I would visit downtown Salt Lake City and shoot abstracts of building facades. You’ve seen them — straight up views of glass and windows! I love those shots, but never shoot them. So I started out on my quest. I left Saratoga Springs on West Lake Road (which is really Redwood Road if you’re familiar with Salt Lake) and drove north to Bangerter Highway. As I turned east to enter the freeway, I looked for the Draper Temple — which I always do. There it was — beautiful and stately in the late afternoon sun — waving at me! So I abandoned all my plans and drove straight to the temple. These are some of the images I took. Remember, I was looking for abstracts.
Can you tell which image I used for the contest? And can you tell whether it won or not?
Since last fall I’ve been shooting product photography for a company who sells merchandise on ebay. Mostly clothing. I do about 150 shots per day and only shoot for about 2 hours at a time. That’s a lot of images in a short period of time. Let’s do the math — hm — mmm — a-a-a — that’s an image every minute and 15 seconds! That means the item has to be presented — put on a mannequin, delinted, pressed — and shot in about a minute. Why so fast? Can’t I slow down the process and take some really good images? Sure I could, but the company won’t pay me to do it. They want down and dirty, as fast as I can go.
So what’s the process? I think this is beneficial to know — because almost everyone, including you, wants to sell merchandise on ebay. And frankly, things sell better if they are photographed well.
- First, find a clean, uncluttered space. A blank wall on the outside of your house works well or a cleared-off table top.
- Make sure it’s a place with good light — available or artificial? That is the question. Just know that fluorescent lights can add a green tinge to the photograph. Incandescent makes things look orange or yellow. Light in deep shade looks blue. I actually use flash (3 lights: one item right, one item left, and one pointed straight at the item. The two off center lights light the background while the main light lights the item. Same set up for every item. I do have to make exposure changes on the camera to compensate for black and white items. But I shoot all the black together and all the white together. It is the best way I know for fast, consistent shooting. Available light, or natural light changes too often for a lot of items.
- It’s time to dress your item. Does it need pressing? Delinting? The dog or cat hair removed? Now is the time for that. Make sure the item looks good — straightened, not hanging skeewampus.
- Then shoot. Make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/60 or you may experience camera blur. You don’t want that. You want your item sharp and clear.
- Shoot several from different angles. Choose the ones most flattering. Duh.
- Getting the Most out of Your eBox Studio (brighthub.com)
- 1/2000 Shutter Speed (brighthub.com)
- How to Make Money Online with eBay (shoutmeloud.com)
- Using shutter priority mode. (minorsmajor.wordpress.com)
- Knox Know-It-All: Fluorescent bulb disposal requires care; city can help (knoxnews.com)
- Review of the Sunpak eBox Portable Studio (brighthub.com)
- The io9 guide to selling your collectibles online in a bad economy [How-to] (io9.com)
- Creative Ways to Earn from Your Photography Knowledge (blogs.photopreneur.com)
Altus Photo Design, Black-and-white, bride, brides, Camera, Digital camera, Digital photography, Flash, Image, Light, Motion blur, photographer, Photography, Portrait, Shutter speed, sisters, twins, wedding
Another indoor shoot — this time at the Utah State Capitol Building. The setting is important, so a photographer must light the subject and expose for the background. Simply put, a photographer lights the subject and then uses a slower shutter speed to expose the background. That means the camera must be set to manual mode, the subject is metered and exposed correctly. This is best done by adding some sort of flash or external lights. Then for the background, the shutter is set to expose it correctly. Typically, a flash syncs at between 1/60 and 1/250 — but can be set manually. Instead of using these speeds, you set the shutter speed at 1/30 or 1/8 or whatever will give you the amount of detail in the background you want. The flash should freeze the motion of the subject — but for me, there is always some motion blur. Most of the time, I like it. Sometimes it’s distracting. So if you shoot this way, shoot mega extra frames. You’ll probably need them.
Apart from the technical, this was a joy to shoot. Two brides playing off each other! What an opportunity. And the best part — they are family. My family. Heidi, the brides’ mother, is my almost youngest sister. She’s always doing things for me. It’s nice to have something I can do for her!
- Blur to convey motion (pixiq.com)
- Using Slow Shutter Speeds on Your Digital Camera (brighthub.com)
- Using a Fast Shutter Speed on Your Digital Camera (brighthub.com)
- Use HDR to Improve Indoor Photography (brighthub.com)
- 8 On-Camera Flash Tips: How To Get Better Lighting From Your On-Camera Flash (digital-photography-school.com)
Sometimes, not often enough (to quote Karen Carpenter), photographers establish a relationship with their clients which continues photographically through the years. Such is the case with Melissa and Ryan Elliott. The first time we met Melissa was at her bridal shoot. She was stunning — and natural — and seemed to know exactly the right thing to do in front of a camera.
Unfortunately we have no images of their wedding. It was shot on film when we were still shooting TMAX 3200 at iso 800. Why did we do that? Because we loved the grain. And shooting it at 800 instead of 3200 refined the grain enough that most of our clients loved it! Unfortunately, the negatives were lost in one of the 4 moves since the wedding was shot. But when their first child was born, Mia Grace, they found us again and had us shoot their family pictures.
Their son was born a few weeks ago and again we had the honor to photographically record the event.
Shooting at home requires an entirely different set of skills and tools. You’ll need lights, a tripod, and the knowledge to know what to do with them. For us it’s harder. We are natural light photographers who lean to the candid instead of the formal. But the goal is the same. Get something that works and have fun.
My brother, Lon, sent me this link. I loved it! I’m going to ask him to send me an ipad for my birthday. It’s this coming Sunday. Do you think he will?
- Set Up Your Digital Camera for Wireless and Router-Free iPad Tethering [Photography] (lifehacker.com)
- Internet Tethering coming to iPad? (Mark Gurman/9 to 5 Mac) (techmeme.com)
- The iPad 3G Might Get A Tethering Feature? [Unconfirmed] (gizmodo.com)
- Using a Droid Phone as a WiFi Hotspot? (ask.metafilter.com)
- Extending an eReader with a Smartphone (jwikert.typepad.com)
- T-Mobile said offering $15 tethering plan November 3 (electronista.com)
- The Washington Post Comes to iPad (eon.businesswire.com)