Monday, December 28, 2009

The Eyes have it!

With all the recent technical talk I've done on Facebook it was great to step away from it over the holidays and just see again.

The camera is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. I can guarantee you, carpenters don't sit around and discuss the finer points of their hammers. They just build stuff.

We, as photographers, should just take pictures.

Chase Jarvis (famous Seattle commercial / fine art photographer) has said it many times, "the best camera is the one you have with you." In other words, it's all about the vision, not the tool. For years fine art photographers have used toy cameras (AKA the Diana and Holga) to create a unique images void of technical mumbo jumbo. Polaroid, too. Enter now, the iPhone, and other smart phones with built in cameras.

Saturday afternoon, needing a visual fix, we ventured out into the world to see. It was a good trip with our eyes wide open. We didn't go to anyplace exotic, just wandered about Connellsville, PA, using our vision and the light as guides. Remembering once again, anyone can buy a camera, but that doesn't mean you have the vision to create images anyone will want. True vision must be nurtured, feed and allowed to grow over years of practice.

I hope you all had a great Holiday and I wish everyone the very best for the New Year!

And BTW, the camera I had with me... was a Canon G11. Spiffy little thingie.

Rust formed on a 55 gallon drum

Tower and clouds

X marks the spot

When the cows come home

Water rushing over a rock

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Another week closer to Christmas!

Wow, that was the fastest Monday I think I've ever seen! Meant to do a blog post all day but just too busy. It's that time of the year. Albums are coming in and going out. Sent out four this afternoon. Two more are awaiting pick up at Post Office tomorrow, err, later today! Still have several more books to design, but alas, they won't be back by Christmas. Still time to get some signature prints done however, thanks to the archival Epson 3800 printer a few feet away from my desk. Several meeting scheduled this week, too. And scouting for a commercial job we're shooting next week. Lot's going on in these last few days of the year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Engagement Session | Katie and Brian

Tuesday afternoon I had the pleasure of spending some time with Katie and Brian shooting their get-to-know engagement session around Pittsburgh. It was a dark and gray day and the the light was failing fast, but we were able to hit several locations and pull off a bunch of very cool images. Katie suggested rail road tracks so we headed off to the strip district and my favorite unused spur line. Because they got engaged at the Point they requested some shots there, too. It was really quite dark by the time we got there, but that really worked in our favor and the photos have a beautiful richness thanks to the "magic hour" light... or lack of light as the case was yesterday evening.

Thanks guys for a great night! I hope you enjoyed dinner at Bella Sera Urban Trattoria, too. Can't wait to photograph your wedding in January!

Without super fast glass and an amazing high ISO this shot lit only by the Christmas tree at The Point would have been impossible!
Tech notes: Canon 5d MK2 and 50 f/1.2

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pittsburgh Photographer | CD Cover Session | Rachel Vere

Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure to collaborate with Rachel Vere on cover and inside photos for her latest upcoming CD release. We talked about a few different ideas, the type of music she writes (alternative-folk-rock) and just some general get-to-know questions. We were very fortunate, just as were started shooting the sky opened and the sun started to shine. It didn't last long, but we got our shots. Thanks RD and all the best for continued success!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Day After Session | Chanelle and Chris

We spent Sunday with Chanelle and Chris doing a "Day After" session.

They were married one month ago today (happy anniversary!!) but because of timing, weather and lack of light we weren't able to make very many casual portraits on their wedding day so a Day After session was a perfect solution. And oh, what a beautiful day we had in Pittsburgh, too!! We started in the Strip and ended downtown a few hours later. It was a great collaboration with everyone suggesting locations.

Thanks guys, it was so much fun spending the day with you and thank you again for a great dinner, it was delicious! We'll see you again soon!!

Youza is that GREEN! Love it!!

Love my tilt shift lenses!

Those 1.2 lenses make for creamy and dreamy images

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bella Sera Wedding Photography | Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Melissa and Jeff

October 14th was my last wedding of the "season" and I could not have had more fun than with Melissa and Jeff. Their beautiful wedding took place at St. Benedict the Abbot Catholic Church in McMurray. Before the ceremony everything was going fine, Melissa was cool and calm, then Jeff's poem arrived and her tears started. Luckily she regained her composure pretty quickly and the ceremony began soon thereafter.

After the family formals at the church we went out for a few relaxed portraits of the wedding party at a local park. The day was quite chilly but the girls were real troopers, goosebumps not withstanding. The fall colors were in glorious splendor and we capitalized on it for awesome backgrounds. Melissa had a lovely cathedral veil that caught the wind a few times making for some excellent photo opportunities.

Their reception was held at Bella Sera in Canonsburg. At the start of the reception a slide show proceeded Melissa and Jeff's introduction. Looking around the room I noticed a lot of damp eyes as the images of the couple traced the major moments in their life.

Nick Borelli and his crew at Bella Sera did their usual outstanding job of pulling together all the details, including a wonderful late night "Pittsburgh" snack of sandwiches modeled after that famous Pittsburgh place that stacks fries and slaw on the meat, smelts and other hometown goodies.

But the dancing was the thing for the evening and the tunes just kept coming thanks to the excellent DJs, Max Phillips and Dreena Buckholt of Maximum Entertainment.

On a personal note, this was my last wedding working with Nick at Bella Sera as he and his wife are moving to Cleveland. So I must say, my friend, it's been a pleasure and an honor working with you these past three years. May you continue to succeed where ever the road takes you and Sarah. I will see you soon.

And Melissa and Jeff, thank you again for allowing me into your most special day. I will be talking with you very soon!

Below are a few of my favorites from the day...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Rosario's Wedding Photography | Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Nancy and Brian

On Saturday October 17th I had the honor to photograph the wedding of Nancy and Brian at the historic Old Saint Lukes Church in Carnegie, followed by their reception at the beautiful Rosario's Banquet Center, also in Carnegie.

While Nancy was cool and collected early in the day, as the time approached her nerves started to show, just a bit. The ceremony, especially their vows, was very emotional. It was hard for me at times to keep shooting because even my eyes were tearing up.
By the time we went out for some special photos the nerves from earlier turned into pure joy. The weather was a bit on the misty side but Nancy and Brian were troopers and braved the elements. The result was a set of stunning photos filled with love.

It was the first time I had the opportunity to photograph at Rosario's. What a grand hall! The staff was exceptional and reception was delightful. Mark Zini of DJZini kept the party going with a great play list. Mark is one of Pittsburgh's best wedding music professionals.

Nancy and Brian, thank you for putting your trust in me to capture the moments of your day. It was a great honor and pleasure. I'll be talking with you very soon!

Here are a few favorites from their day...

Their first dance

Their first dance, close up

Mother / son dance

Father / daughter dance