Photoshoot with Carol

I have been on a bit of a hiatus recently. I got super busy with school and work and then I got really sick so it didn’t leave me much time for writing posts. Now that I have a little free time and I’m not sick in bed..it’s post time!

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Earlier in the week we had a model shoot in photography class with volunteer model, Carol. Once again it was pretty challenging to get the shot you were looking for since it was about 15 to 20 of us all working with one model. It all worked out good though and it seemed like everyone was able to get what they were looking for.

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This time around we basically were the ones posing and interacting with the model unlike the photoshoot earlier in the year that we did with Mike Owen. Carol was a great model to work with! She has really great positive energy, you could tell she was excited for the shoot and I think that got all of us excited too. Carol was easy to work with because she was super into the shoot. We had some of our own ideas and Carol had a bunch of good ideas as well. Throughout the shoot she would just try things too see if it worked or not and I liked the fact that she was so open to just going for stuff. It helps when your model enjoys getting creative.

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Carol was down for whatever pose we needed and when we asked her to hop into a fountain she didn’t hesitate for a second. I think she had her shoes off before we finished asking her haha. Like I said…it helps to have a model that isn’t afraid to get a little out of the box to get some really good shots. You have to do what you got to do sometimes and not everyone is always ready to hop into a fountain.

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This shoot was a lot of fun to do. I think we all got in good practice of all the things we learned when we were with Mike Owen earlier in the year. Carol did an awesome job as a model. She made the whole process a lot easier and fun with her outgoing attitude and by being up for anything.

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Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Caterpillars and Butterflies

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On one of the mornings I was out doing a shoot of the Estero Bay and the Estero River for Visitestero.com we ran into an Estero Bay Budies board member who happened to have a butterfly garden. She asked if we wanted to see it and maybe get some photos and I was all for it. It was one of the coolest things! She had all kinds of plants and flowers that different butterflies like. There were about ten to fifteen flying around and she told us that ther is normally more haha.

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One of the coolest things she showed us was this chrysalis that was hanging off of a wooden stick. There was this whole mesh container in her garage with a few different chrysalis and caterpillars but this one must have gotten out and decided to change into a butterfly on the stick. It was awesome because you could pick up the stick and get a really close look.

DSC_3332This orange caterpillar was my favorite because it looks super scary. It has these back spiky looking things all over it that just look terrifying but it really is completely harmless haha! Very cool experience!

Photoshoot with Sammie

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Last week I headed back to Koreshan Park to do a photoshoot. My friend Sammie volunteered to model for me. (Thanks Sammie!) While at Koreshan Park with photography class the week before I saw a couple places I wanted to take photos at but I never got the chance to have the model pose at those spots before I had to run and go to work. Also I wanted to practice some of the things I had learned on the trip with photo class that guest speaker Mike Owen taught us.

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I wanted to practice working with a model and posing a model because it is actually way harder than it sounds. You have an idea in your head how you want them to move and how you want the shot to look but it can be hard to explain to the model what you are thinking. Practice makes perfect though…The more you get out there and actually shoot photos and work on things like learning how to pose models the easier it all becomes.

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I really need to invest in getting some reflectors. When I was at Koreshan with photo class we were using them a lot to create even lighting or to block the sun a bit because it was really bright out. It was the same situation when Sammie and I went last week. It was super bright and finding even lighting was a bit of a challenge.

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It was a really fun day and it was a painless photoshoot. Sammie did a great job modeling and she was super easy to work with. It was funny because as soon as I started posing her for each shot it was like she figured out what I was going for and before I finished telling her how I wanted her to pose, she would pose the way I wanted and say “You mean like this?” haha I don’t know if she realized it but I did and I found it pretty comical.

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It was a good day and a great shoot. I hadn’t seen Sammie for a while before we did the shoot and it was nice to catch up a bit and hang out while we got the photos. Hope everyone likes the photos as much as I do!

Koreshan Park with Photo Class

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On Monday, October 15th, FGCU Digital Photography class took a field trip to Koreshan State Historic Site. It is a really cool place with an interesting history. It is also a great place for photo shoots. Tons of different buildings, trees, lighting, landscapes, and anything else your heart desires. Guest speaker and professional photography Mike Owen did a hands on workshop for all of us with the help of volunteer model Aastha.

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The first thing Mike went over was what sort of gear he would bring to a shoot like this and why you would need it. Everything from reflectors, flashes, extra batteries, and a variety of lenses. Some of it a tad bit expensive for a college student but he also gave us ideas for great alternatives to some of the gear that was more than doable on a college budget.

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After a quick overview of what sort of gear we should bring, Mike got straight into it and began showing us techniques for interacting with clients while shooting to make sure you get the shot you need and how make it a fun experience for you and the client. One of the most important things is to make whoever you are taking photos of feel comfortable and relaxed. If they are feeling uncomfortable you will probably see that uncomfortable feeling come through in the shots and that wont make for very good looking photos.

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Koreshan Park is full of all kinds of different lighting scenarios so it was a really good place to practice. We also practiced with reflectors to create fill light or to diffuse some of the sunlight in the brighter areas with less overhangs.

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Mike gave us a lot of tips on how to pose models. It sometimes can be hard to explain how you want someone to move. As Mike demonstrated sometimes the best way to explain to someone what to do is to just show them. Do the pose yourself so that your model can see what you are going for.

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It was a great afternoon and I learned a lot from listening to what Mike was saying and then attempting to try what he was saying right away by shooting photos of Aastah. I am happy with the way my photos came out especially since there was 20 plus of us in the class all shooting the same model at the same time haha! It was sort of a race to get the best angle.

If you want to see the rest of the photo set you can head over to my Flickr page. The link is on the sidebar to the left. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Naples Botanical Garden

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My girlfriend Laura’s Mom and Grandma came for a quick visit last Sunday and we all took a trip to the Naples Botanical Garden. I was pretty excited because I have been wanting to go for a while I just never got around to it. I heard from more than a few people that it was a great place to explore and get some really cool photos. I was more than impressed when I got there, it was like photographer heaven! I am not that big on plants or flowers…I couldn’t tell you a single name of any of them. However I love taking pictures of them. There are so many different shapes, colors, patterns, and sizes when it comes to plants so they make for really awesome subject matter. Naples Botanical Garden has lots of variety too. I had no idea I could be so interested in plants. I saw plants That I didn’t even know existed all with crazy shapes and colors.

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This is a type of bromeliad (don’t ask me which one you’re lucky I know it’s a bromeliad) and it was my favorite plant that we saw that day. The colors are so bright and vibrant. It reminded me of a plant that you would find growing in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I think I will rename it the Cotton Candy Plant haha!

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I liked this plant a lot because it is red and red is my favorite color. This plant reminds me of the lava lamp I used to have because its leaves look like red blobs. I wanted one so bad when I was a little kid and when I finally got one I was super excited because it was red and had red lava! So just another cool plant that is a bit different than you would expect.

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They have a butterfly enclosure with I would say about 20 or so different butterflies and all of the plants that each one likes. Once again I have no clue about butterflies but I love taking pictures of them because of all the different colors and shapes they come in. I might not know the names of butterflies but I know which ones I have seen before and there where tons of butterflies I never saw before in the enclosure. I spent a lot of time in there chasing around a bunch of butterflies to try and get a shot.

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All of the butterflies seemed to cooperate besides the one in the photo above. It just wouldn’t land anywhere to give me the opportunity to snap a photo of it. The first time I was in the enclosure I didn’t even get a shot of it. We wound up going all around through the different gardens and then before leaving I went back to the enclosure with the mission of getting a photo of this one before we left. I just really liked how bright and blue it was so I wanted to get a shot of it. Finally it settled down for just a few seconds and I was able to get the shot. The butterfly wound up landing on a really cool patterned plant which I think adds a bit more to the photo than if it was just on normal looking leaf or flower.

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My favorite photo from the trip to the botanical garden is of this yellow grasshopper. I would have completely missed it too if it wasn’t for Laura’s Mom (thanks Mrs. Metzler!!) I wound up walking right past it but Mrs. Metzler spotted it hanging out on the leaf. It is kind of funny, it looks like it is lounging on the leaf because it was on its abdomen and its back legs were hanging off. He hung around for quite a bit and allowed me enough time to take a really good photo of him before he jumped away.

I had a great time at the Naples Botanical Garden and I want to go back soon. It was a beautiful place with hundreds and hundreds of photo opportunities. I suggest everyone go check it out if you want to see some really cool plants and flowers that you probably will not ever see elsewhere.

Bokeh Photoshoot with Bianca

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This post is about another photo assignment we had in digital photography class. The assignment was to creatively use the bokeh technique by having it interact with your subject. Bokeh is a Japanese word and it basically refers to the aesthetic quality of the blur in the out of focus area of the photo. This shoot wound up being one of the more frustrating things I have tried to do. I decided that I wanted my subject to be a person and I had no idea how difficult it would be before I actually tried shooting photos. One of my good friends, Bianca, agreed to model for me and I have to hand it to her because it was a painfully tedious shoot haha.(Thanks again Bianca!) The first night we tried to shoot I came to find out that my living room actually wasn’t big enough for the shoot because when trying to get the bokeh affect you have to zoom in pretty much all the way if you are using a zoom lens so you can get shallower depth of field. I was backed up against the wall and I could barely fit a smidge of Bianca in the frame. So the first night was a bust but we were going to try again the next night at Bianca’s apartment because she had way more room than mine. Even with about another 20 feet of room it was still really difficult to get the shots I wanted because I had to zoom in all the way. After fighting with Christmas lights and push pins on the wall for an hour or two I got a few shots that I am happy with.

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I really wanted to get full body shots as well as close ups but I just didn’t have enough room to back up far enough. It would be cool to try this again sometime with maybe a 35mm prime lens.

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This one is my favorite out of the whole set

DSC_3861It was a super exhausting task to get these shots but I’m glad they worked out. The effort was definitely worth the reward. I will have to try and do another shoot similar to this soon.

Mysore Fig Tree

I recently had the opportunity to work with some really great people, for a little over a month now, shooting photos of Estero, Florida and surrounding areas for an upcoming website for the city. (more on that in a future blog post) This post is about one of the places we visited to shoot photos for the website.

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This is the Florida State Champion Fiscus Mysorensis or the Mysore Fig Tree. It resides on the corner of Sandy Lane and Broadway Avenue. The Mysore Fig Tree was planted 117 years ago in 1896. It was brought over from Mysore India to the United States. At the time it was a custom to plant unusual plants or trees to mark property lines which is why the tree is on the corner of the lot.

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The tree really is massive and it can be hard to tell how big it really is just by looking at photos. The tree is over 93 feet tall, its branches spread out more than 130 feet, and its circumference is about 40 feet. One of the coolest things about the monstrous fig tree is its roots which have grown up to 6 feet above the ground and spread out in all directions for 10 to 20 sometimes even 30 feet.

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Now here is one of the most interesting parts. If you go visit the Mysore Fig Tree you will find that the property owners who maintain the tree have created a small shop where you can buy nic nacs having to do with the tree and even buy some awesome home made jelly that is made with the figs from the tree. If you visit you can try a taste of the jelly for free. I encourage you to try it..it was delicious. All of the proceeds from the shop go to maintaining the massive tree which is almost a full time job.

DSC_0943If you are in the Ft Myers, Estero area you should drop by and see it for yourself!

Photo Assignment: Observation

This semester I am sitting in on a Digital Photography class. I really wanted to take the class but I wasn’t able to and will not be able to take it because of scheduling/credit hour issues. That’s a whole other story for another time though haha. Anyways James Greco, the professor teaching the class was super nice and did me the favor of letting me sit in as an observer and participate with the class this semester.(Thanks James!!) I am really happy that I got such an opportunity to learn more about photography especially when I thought I wouldn’t get to.

One of the assignments we recently had was about observation. The assignment was to pick an object and put it in the window. We were supposed to observe our object in the window and take photos of it from different angles and at different times of day.

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The object I picked to put into the window was this self assisted knife. The point of the assignment was to experiment with different lighting, focal length, aperture settings, shutter speed, and angles. I took about 50 or so different shots of my knife in various different positions and settings and then picked what I thought to be the best 10 for the assignment.

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I thought it was a really cool exercise to do. It got my creative juices going and really had me thinking about all kinds of possible ways to shoot my object. If you are looking for a fun and creative photo assignment I highly suggest you try this one.

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DSC_2826If you would like to view the rest of the set from the assignment you can head over to my Flickr account. The link is in the sidebar! Hope you like the shots!

Chasing Butterflies

This post is really really past due since the photos I took for it have been edited and sitting on my laptop for forever now haha. Sometimes you just get super busy and there isn’t time to make a proper post. That being said, now that I have had a few moments to myself I can actually sit down and write what I would like to.

About a week ago I noticed this bush at the bus loop on FGCU’s campus. It has these green stem looking things with blueish purple flowers all over, up and down the stems. I think it looks really cool so after class I went back to my dorm, grabbed my camera, and then headed back to campus so I could get a couple shots.

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I have no clue what kind of plant this is so if you do feel free to comment and let me know haha!

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After only about 2 minutes of shooting the plant I realized that the bush was a hangout spot for at least 20 or so giant furry bumblebees that were the size of peanuts! I was worried at first but they didn’t seem to mind me being all up in their business trying to get some photos. I tried to get some shots of the bees, but they weren’t really cooperating with me.

After getting over the fear of being stung by the camera shy bees, I spotted a butterfly floating around the bush as well. The butterfly was cooperating with me more than the bees were so I was able to get a few shots, but man did I have to work for it. The butterfly kept going around the bush in circles only stopping for fractions of a second on the green stems every once in a while. This was giving me an extremely small window of opportunity to get a good shot of the butterfly. Also my auto focus was giving me issues because it had to many things it was trying to focus on since the butterfly wouldn’t hold still. As I was running around this bush chasing the butterfly I was manually focusing and refocusing because the butterfly would move out of focus. I have a great collection of blurry butterfly pictures now but it was worth it to get the few shots that I did.

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I only shot photos of the bush and the butterfly for about 45 minutes but I was exhausted and I probably needed a shower. It was 97 degrees out and I was chasing a butterfly around a bush, you would be hot and exhausted too haha.

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Once again, just like the bush, I have no idea what kind of butterfly this is, so if you do, don’t be afraid to leave a comment and let me know.
Enjoy the photos!

Fort Myers Miracle – Baseball Game

So I am not exactly what you would call a baseball fan. I don’t have a favorite team or anything like that. I think it can be fun to watch sometimes though. My girlfriend, Laura has a friend at work (Thank you Diane!) who gave us some tickets to go see the Fort Myers Miracle play. They are a minor league team in our area so that was pretty cool and I mean come on they were free tickets, if it’s free its for me. Anyways I thought it would be fun to bring my camera along and get a couple photos.

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DSC_1582All in all it was a fun filled day of hanging out and relaxing with great people. It was a much needed day of relaxing too haha! Hope you enjoy the pictures.