Jackie Kramer Photography: Blog http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Jackie Kramer Photography northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Wed, 17 May 2017 18:56:00 GMT Wed, 17 May 2017 18:56:00 GMT http://jackiekramerphotography.com/img/s2/v59/u195776678-o308531040-50.jpg Jackie Kramer Photography: Blog http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog 80 120 BEHIND THE SCENES: Adding Textures in Photoshop Mother's Day Rose http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/5/behind-the-scenes-adding-textures-in-photoshop

As the evening light took over day, the glare on petals of the red roses turned into velvet. After a while, photographers' eyes become trained to see this. And while I was heading to another area in the garden, it would have been a travesty to pass up this gift. That's what I love about shooting outdoors. Things change outside of our control - sometimes for the better! Striking a balance and being nimble in the field allows us to receive opportunities we can't predict.

Since I wanted to do this for Mother's Day, I went for high drama, therefore, during the post-processing stage, I searched for a couple of images (textures that I shot) that would kick this up a few notches.

I went with a combination of daytime clouds and a "bokeh abstract" in deep jewel tones hoping the two would pair to yield a galactical sky. Something one might see from the Hubble Telescope.

Take a close look at the panels in Photoshop and you'll see that I layered each "texture" over my base image twice. I doubled the Bokeh Abstract to multiply the effect of deepening the color in select areas and the Clouds twice, rotated horizontally, since they are weighted more heavily to one side of the image and I wanted a more balanced look. Don't forget to test the varying effects of each of the blend modes. I typically land on Normal, Overlay, Soft, Screen, or Luminosity. Of course, after laying down my textures, I added layer masks and painted away the areas I wanted to be revealed from my background & lower layers.

To finish it off, I saved it back to Lightroom, where all of my edits begin and end, and touched it up a smidge by darkening the bottom.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Adding Textures Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop Blending Layers Floral Photography Layer Masks Phlorography Post-processing http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/5/behind-the-scenes-adding-textures-in-photoshop Wed, 17 May 2017 18:55:49 GMT
LUV BLOOMS Floral Tees http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/luv-blooms-floral-tees

LUV BLOOMS!

Fashion-forward & botanically inspired artsy tees for the flower lover in all of us.

The initial release is available in Black or White and is featured below on Phlorographer Charlene Rector, aka Chuck Lee. (Read more about Charlene below.)

I'll be set up soon for online ordering, but until then... please message me if you'd like one with Size (XS-XL)), Color (Black or White), and mailing address. They are $25 each plus $5 shipping and all early orders get a little surprise bonus. (Discounts for Phlorographers.) While supplies last.

Charlene was born in Ketchikan, Alaska. She spent a few yrs in Seattle but then moved to Anchorage in '64 right after the big quake. Always the designated family photographer, Charlene grew fond of photography after she retired and combined it with her passion for gardening. Some years she has grown upwards of 200 Dahlias. She says, "Shooting flowers is the most relaxing part of my photography. No worries enter my head. I'm in a zone and can make total magic. Flowers bring me bliss and joy." Charlene is also a nature lover and excels at shooting birds. Her wildlife is every bit as awe-inspiring as her floral work.

Her goal is to share the beauty with others in the form of cards and to help anyone just entering their photographic journey.

A couple of side notes: Charlene has a wicked sense of humor & can outbake anyone I know!

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Flowers Luv Blooms T-Shirts http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/luv-blooms-floral-tees Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:29:05 GMT
On: Composition I http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/on-composition-i COMPOSITION... The Golden Spiral

It exists in nature... Look up images related to the Fibbonacci Spiral online (you'll find the nautilus shell, sunflowers, and myriad plants and animals). It's all around us whether we think about it consciously or not... When composition is woven into photography, it takes the viewer on a journey. Think about it this way: How much more pleasure would be derived by eating a delicious meal rather than just looking at it on a plate? How about a beautiful sports car? A horse? Wouldn't it be a more visceral experience to drive the car or ride a horse? As photographers, we only have 2 dimensions to work with and effective composition is one of the keys at our disposal. It allows our images to elevate the user experience. While a viewer's heartstrings are tugged when a photo carries special meaning, music plays in their soul if you can engage their eyes by first drawing attention to your point of interest (usually also the brightest spot) and carry them along by way of a natural flow. They may not know why, but they know that they have been touched in a unique and personal way.

Clematis with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 in Deb Hinchey's garden

Allium in the Palmer Visitor Center Garden

Examine some of the photos you find most pleasing and see if composition plays any part!

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Clematis Composition Fibonacci Fibonacci Sequence Golden Lensbaby Spiral http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/on-composition-i Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:56:26 GMT
BOTANICAL GARDENS (Alaska): Alaska Botanical Garden http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/11/alaska-botanical-garden

The Alaska Botanical Garden (ABG) opened in 1993 with gardens nestled in its 110 acres and has continued to grow and serve as a community jewel in the heart of Anchorage. The ABG is home to over 1,100 hardy, colorful perennials and over 150 native plant species in these gardens, each which possess a distinct personality.

A Phlorographer’s Perspective:

It is said that Alaska has two seasons: Winter and “Not-Winter.” After breakup, the arrival of warmer weather hearkens new growth. Around the first week of May small woodland flowers, such as the lavender Alpine Snowbells, (Soldanella carpatica) and china blue Hepatica, begin to appear. Look closely for other small blooms about the same time. From this point forward, a succession of new species will bloom almost daily. Skip a few days or a week and you are bound to miss an entire flower for the season.  On the other hand, many species, such as Bleeding Hearts (Lamprocapnos cultivars, formerly Dicentra), highly prolific and toxic Leopard's-Bane (Doronicum), and Malva (Malva sylvestirs variety Mystic Merlin), can endure for weeks, sometimes months. The Herb Garden, as a whole, is a spectacular example of landscape design employing curved raised beds. It is safe to say that there are plenty of opportunities throughout the spring, summer and early fall to keep floral photographers satisfied.

Himalayan Blue Poppies (Meconopsis x sheldonii), are showcased in at least 4 groupings; one of which also contains the Hensol Violet (Meconopsis betonicifolia). There are numerous varieties of Primula in several gardens, including the Drumstick Primrose (Primula denticulata) found in Lile’s garden in late May. One of my favorite plants is the short-lived Spotted Lady Slipper Orchid found in early June in a small planting under the large tree in the rock garden. Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) is another favorite. I’ve observed them starting in May and growing well into June in the Lower Perennial Garden, as well as Lile’s Garden (maybe also in the Rock Garden). Tufa rock from British Columbia is set throughout the rock garden making delightful “planters.” June is a big month for blooms as evidenced by the metadata on most of my best images from the ABG. I also enjoy photographing the Trout Lilies which I’ve seen as early as July 1st. The Peonies are magnificent, but I have yet to master them photographically while on the bush. In August, mushrooms start growing along the pathways and in the forest, and eventually fall colors start to appear and in mid- to late-September berries get juicy and plump.

Lighting:

Since the gate is open from dawn to dusk, photographers will not be disappointed. Alaskan summers offer long, drawn out evenings with photo-friendly light. It is easy to get lost in the creative process and hit a flow rather than pushing to get in as much as possible before someone comes around to usher you out. There are large greenhouses under construction next to the Lower Perennial Garden. I believe a bonus to having them will be the restroom facilities that will be included. I’m glad they appear not to obscure the delicious light of the setting sun as it filters through the trees to create magical backlighting.

Bears and moose inhabit the area so be cautious at all times. I have personally only encountered the porcupine who likes to munch on the Lily of the Valley plants in the evening.

Getting Around: 

The pathways and grounds are relatively flat and easy to navigate especially from garden to garden. The longer trails leading through the woods make for nice strolls, but if photography is your aim, you will be able to pull a rollerbag with relative ease, encountering only a little friction on those stretches with wood chips, mulch, or small rocks. There are several benches throughout the ABG, which offer nice settings for portraits or simply for a place to rest.


ABG Director Robin Dublin emcees the festivities during the annual summer fund-raiser, An Evening in the Garden, where supporters can purchase art specifically designed for the outdoors by local artisans.

In addition to the annual summer fund-raiser, the ABG also hosts the Beer Garden event and a Wine in the Woods event during the summer months. Thanks to the hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm of the small staff, there are many other programs for all ages, as well. They are listed on the Calendar on their website and posted to the ABG Facebook page.

The Alaska Botanical Garden is one of the best locations in town for photographing couples, brides, families, children, or individuals. Before your shoot, review their policy for commercial photographers and, as with all gardens, make sure you purchase the appropriate membership or permit in advance. Check the website for additional details.

Engagement Photos of Randall & Emily, above & below left. Cassandra & David, below right.

Beth & Ryan

Crystal

Isabel's HIgh School Senior Portraits

Abigail & Dalton, sister & brother

Anna, Luisa, Julia, sisters, and Cousin Bailey

Brittany's Bridal Portraits


Some more of my "PHLORAL" images from the Alaska Botanical Garden...

Trout Lilies Bleeding Hearts

When the garden is asleep for the winter, there are still things to do, including educational lectures, the annual winter fundraiser, and the spring conference. Check the website for a complete and up to date listing. It’s important to note that this is not a publicly-owned garden. As with many botanical gardens, it is an independent non-profit, which relies on support from the community to maintain this treasure for generations to come.

ALASKA BOTANICAL GARDEN

Located at: 4601 Campbell Airstrip Road, Anchorage, Alaska

Garden and Trail map with credits for garden designs HERE.

A BIG SHOUT OUT OF THANKS TO THE MANY VOLUNTEERS WHO HELP KEEP THIS AND OTHER GARDENS DEAD-HEADED, WEED-FREE, AND CLEAN!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Botanical Botanical Garden Floral Photography Flowers Garden Phlorographer Photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/11/alaska-botanical-garden Sat, 05 Nov 2016 13:30:25 GMT
2107 FLOWER & BEAR CALENDARS http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/10/2107-flower-bear-calendars 2107 CALENDARS
 

Order now as quantities are limited. Buy 4 & get 1 free.

FLORAL ECSTASY

Floral Ecstasy Cover 2017 Floral Ecstasy Monthly 2017

ORDER HERE.
 

BEARS OF BROOKS FALLS 2017 CALENDAR

(Featuring some of our beloved bears: Otis, Walker, #402 the sow with 2 cubs this year who adopted Princess,

& Princess, of course!)

Bears of Brooks Falls Cover 2017 Bears of Brooks Falls Monthly 2017 ORDER HERE.
 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Brooks Falls Calendars bears flowers photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/10/2107-flower-bear-calendars Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:35:47 GMT
Bears of Brooks Falls http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/bears-of-brooks-falls BEARS OF BROOKS FALLS

&

VISIT TO DENALI

After the Inaugural AK Photo Fest ended, I was fortunate to have Olis Garber, a good friend and outstanding photographer, accept my invitation to shoot bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai, Alaska. Sure we'd be tenting, but there is a lodge a short walk away that made it almost like "glamping" in that we could sit around the circular fireplace, order drinks at the bar, and eat bountiful meals that we did not have to prepare in the rain. But first, we spent a day in Denali.

The first set of images which follow were either taken from the bus into Denali or on one of the few stops. It should be apparent which were taken en-route, as I decided to enhance, rather than fight, the constant motion of the bus. It's really torture for a photographer to pass such spectacular scenery. It stings even more when the bus driver tells us all to put our cameras away and just enjoy the view. Yes, they will stop on occasion by request; usually for wildlife, rarely for scenery....

Despite the forecast for rain, Denali was visible for at least our journey to the Eielson Visitor Center!

By the time we headed out, clouds rapidly started moving in.

ABOVE: Looking out at the Alaska Range from the Eielson Visitor Center.

Yes, this IS snow in mid-September.

The Toklat River

Trees, Tundra, Fall Colors, & Snow

Colors this year were scarce. Most leaves on everything from ground cover to trees turned brown & fell off. After almost 30 yrs here, I've had the opportunity to experience it in its full glory.

Colors in Denali, particularly in Polychrome Pass are usually out of this world.

Olis taking in the view of Denali.

Olis Garber with Denali in background

Olis & Denali, The Great One.

Olis is a master of landscapes (among other things); I'm a floral fanatic. It was clear by what we were drawn to and how we shoot, our gear, and the rush to upload and edit. I admire the amount of preparation required to help ensure a good landscape; being in the right place at the optimal time of day in the preferred season. Weather conditions may or may not play out. Clouds, rain, snow, and wind are just some of the factors.

And then there's the bus...

ON TO BROOKS FALLS

We had 4 absolutely perfect days. That's not to say we had consistently amazing weather or light; we had it all and that is what made it so magical. Sunrises, at least 4 or 5 rainbows, a full moon, float planes, wilderness, kind and interesting people who became friends, and BEARS!

On the trail to the platform at the falls, we give way to the bears. On this occasion, we ceded to the bear with Ranger Carl while the bear passed by (below). It was a treat to be able to stop and look out from the woods with the perceived protection of a Ranger close by. I felt free to observe the myriad plant life on the forest floor . The small orange mushroom (above) held on to late summer; most of the others were already gone. 

It's all about the Salmon!

On our second night we were held up at the Bridge due to bear activity. As others were making their way back before nightfall, they, too, were stopped and joined the growing crowd at the top of the platform. One of the sows (#402) decided to pay a visit with her two cubs and adopted cub (Princess?). She and the two cubs decided to nap (above) and, just like a kid, one of them couldn't resist playing (below)... The adopted cub wandered off and decided to snack on some fish (also below). Then another nap. And other bears... The Bridge closure lasted nearly four hours! Needless to say, we got back to camp as night fell.

Dawn of a New Day

To jumpstart the morning, Walker and the young bear known as "Cub Adult" got into a little scuffle. It lasted almost 20 minutes; enough time for the light to increase and time to allow me to dance up and down the ISO scale to improve my chance of getting a decent image.

A Lensbaby Velvet 56 image in the Lower River area.

Trail from the Campground.

We saw many bears bedded down approximately 15-25 feet from the trail along the beach in the morning. As we left the campground, we passed bears waking up, bears sauntering by, and others lazily hanging out in the tall beach grass... Sows with cubs in both directions closing in one morning kept Olis and me, along with Ed & Jan Biller, at bay wondering just what we were supposed to do in THAT situation! The stealth of these large creatures was astounding. We watched them slip into the forest and disappear. Silently. Right before our eyes.

Even the trees have eyes. In this tree trunk is the presence of a weathered soul, a sentinel over the creatures of the forest.

OTIS! The Beloved Bear.

After about 10 minutes after consuming yet another of many salmon, Walker dared to go steal Otis's fish. Normally mellow, Otis swiftly put him in his place. Look at Otis's eyes (above) turned toward Walker as he approached. And after Walker retreated, Otis seemed to be saying, "Don't even think about trying that again. I'm keeping my eyes on you!"

Ranger Carl Ramm

Ed & Jan Biller who I discovered had good friends, John & JoAnne Dillon (Lobello) in common! Olis & Me, pictured to the right above. Ronnie, Lisa, & Shannon, friends on the Explore.org Bearcam, met in real life to celebrate Ronnie's Birthday - and the Bears!

Trevor & Lyn Fish from the UK

Pilot for Katmai Air, Kris Robinson, at the end of the rainbow.

Luggage for all types of travelers. The backpack frames with camping gear in the rear (you know who you are...!), the bright pink and spanking clean duffles, and the Think Tanks and roller bags on the right (photographers, no doubt!). As darkness descended, so did the rain. Although I wished for clear skies, the incoming droplets washed up the late-night revelers & sent them straight from their firepit and beer to their tents. Katmai in September is not the same as Katmai in July when days are long. Not many are willing to brave the trail in darkness so, coupled with rain, the short days ensured that we got a decent amount of sleep. It wasn't until the last day that a cold started to take hold.

A beautiful sunrise (above) at 8:08am with a little photoshop. I added the bear which did actually lay down right there at 4:01pm later that day

Thank you for visiting!

Please treat yourself to a look at Olis Garber's images on his blog from our trip.

 

2017 Bear Calendars

ORDER NOW HERE!

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Bears Brooks Falls Brown bears Canon Grizzlies Katmai Photography Salmon wildlife http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/bears-of-brooks-falls Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:45:36 GMT
Blending Layers in Photoshop http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/blending-layers-in-photoshop WIND, WHISPERS, & WONDER

Blending Layers in Photoshop

I just returned to one of my favorite gardens within one of my favorite gardens - that would be the "Z" Garden, made possible with donations from Les Brake of Coyote Gardens in Willow, which is situated in the Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks, Alaska. I suspect it might be called the "Z" garden after Susie Zimmerman, a dedicated volunteer who tends to this garden. This image is dedicated to Susie.

Below is a brief look behind the scenes to see how this came together.

On June 22, 2016, I met Susie weeding the garden (photos below). In the upper right corner of the photo on the right, you can see the gold and rust colored Rudbeckia just beginning to make an appearance. When I recently returned on August 31st, I was surprised at the number of healthy plants vying for space while basking in the sun.

[Note also the single pink flowered stem of Nomocharis in the lower right.]

So, I hunkered down and squinted through my 180mm macro lens set on manual focus. As I watched the transition from blur to clear to blur and so forth, I found that place where art is born - a blend of colors, shapes, and light. And I decided to create an image here (lower left), not yet knowing what I was going to do with it. The flowers were so close together, I knew I had to rule out a clean background. So I embraced it.

And, then I created another image (lower right) by selectively focusing on the center of the flower.

 

These two images were imported to Adobe Lightroom, minor edits were made, and then brought together in Adobe Photoshop.

With the images on different layers, I painted one into the other to taste by varying the opacity of the brush tool.

The final image went back to Lightroom for final adjustments.

 

 

And since we're here, I'll share some images of  the Nomocharis...

Hope you all had a wonder-filled summer!

 

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Botanical Canon Floral photography Garden Macro Phlorography photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/9/blending-layers-in-photoshop Sat, 03 Sep 2016 11:04:32 GMT
CLASSES AT BLAINES: Top Ten Photography Basics http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/top-ten-photography-basics BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY - MY TOP TEN

 Here is an example from tonight's class (14 Jan 2016) - an illustration of some of the basic steps that typically go into creating an image. This vine had some perfect heart-shaped leaves & was hanging under a canopy that produced shade surrounded by very bright sunlight. Follow along as I share my rationale, as well as some artistic choices, in the process of creating an image.

Leaves The journey began on a small footbridge at Jungle Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.

The first thing I noticed (see below) was the distracting bright light on the tree trunk, so I pulled out my diffuser to balance the dynamic range (the difference between the lightest lights & darkest darks).

The light here is much more balanced, but in this shot the aperture is set at f/16 & is introducing too much detail in the bark.

To soften the detail, the aperture is opened to f/5.0. I could have stopped here, but I wasn't 100% satisfied with the composition, the overlay of the leaf with the stem, & its slight angle.

To overcome all those issues, I chose a different leaf & shot from a different vantage point. I decide I'm happier with the placement of this leaf in the image, the shape of this "heart." But.... alas, I'm still not satisfied overall.

I change it up & reverse my position to allow for backlight to enter a leaf. The leaf now appears more dimensional than that in earlier shots, where I found it flat. I decide to stick with backlighting. So I begin searching for a leaf I can shoot from this direction without the intersecting line of the stem & the river of bright light in the background.

The final image is shown below. Adobe Lightroom CC offers options to render the image Black & White, as well as in split tones, & affords options to adjust contrast, whites & blacks, & clarity & color w/radial & graduated filters.

HAVE FUN CREATING A UNIQUE IMAGE OF YOUR OWN!

ANYONE INTERESTED IN FLORAL PHOTOGRAPHY, PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING OTHER "PHLOROGRPAHERS"  ON FACEBOOK AT:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/phlorography/

And, just what are my top ten? They are:

1. Learn the Basics
2. Know Your Gear
3. Prepare for Your Shoots
4. Understand Lighting
5. Make Image which have a Purpose
6. Get Clean Shots
7. Create Compelling Composition
8. Learn Posing & Positioning
9. Edit your Images
10.PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Leaf Phlorography Photography Photography Basics Photography Behind the Scenes Photography How-to http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/top-ten-photography-basics Fri, 15 Jan 2016 10:49:45 GMT
CLASSES AT BLAINES: Posing Basics http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/classes-at-blaines-posing-basics BASICS ON POSING

 Thanks to the Eagle River Camera Club, & Carl Bostek & Adrienne Levine, we had a full house tonight at Blaines Art Supply! Trying to cover basics of posing in a 2 hour block while reserving time to apply some of the techniques was quite a challenge. I just couldn't help but keep thinking about Lindsay Adler's initial reaction to being asked to teach a 3 day workshop for CreativeLive. She wondered how one could possibly spend 3 days talking about posing & then once she got into it, she started running out of time. My experience exactly.

So, what did I do? I touched on some essential elements & broke it down to (1) the FACE, (2) the ARMS, & (3) the BODY. What about legs, you ask? Well, they were subsumed by the body. It's important to show examples of what I like & why. Also to note that rules are really guidelines. I wouldn't say they're meant to be broken, but I would say that a good photographer needs to know when & how to break them.

If I had to summarize, my nugget would be this:

The key ingredient for compelling portraits is "purpose" in the eyes, the hands, & the soul.

My best portraits have them all. The person, or people, in the image must have a connection, be it within themselves, with others in the image, or with the photographer.

Over the years I've discovered that some of those best received, as well as my personal favorites, are void of color, eye contact, & big smiles.

What do you think? Do these images convey a sense of feeling?

[Naturally, my in-class examples included many images with eyes open & smiles!]

Poinsettia 1

 

Many thanks to my wonderful clients above, from top: Rachel, Catey, Rachel, Bailey, & Dawn & Carson.

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Couples Individuals People Photography Portraits Posing http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/classes-at-blaines-posing-basics Fri, 08 Jan 2016 09:39:38 GMT
BEHIND THE SCENES: Lightpainting Basics http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/12/BTS-lightpainting-basics BEHIND THE SCENES:  Lightpainting Basics

 Lightpainting! I can't think of anything better to do in the middle of winter when every bloomin' thing is under a blanket of snow. Subjects don't have to be floral, but they lend themselves so well to this technique that you owe it to yourself to give it a try. The passage of light through the petals and leaves creates a glow that is hard to achieve outdoors.

The gear list includes: camera & lens (macro not necessary), remote or delayed shutter release, tripod, a dark room (not hard in Alaska at this time of year!), a backdrop (doesn't have to be black, but that's what we'll show in this example), a couple of small flashlights, and either a vase to set your subject upright in or a contraption (which you'll see below) to hang it from. 

The basic steps are as follows:

Here you can see the set up in my kitchen. A tri-panel matte black presentation board is sitting over the sink and resting on a long flat surface with a mirror on top. The mirror did not play a role here, but I like having it on hand should the creative bug hit. I keep Windex close by, too. My camera is mounted on the tripod and set for Manual Exposure & Manual Focus, which I do in Live Mode while zoomed in at 5x and 10x. Sometimes it's necessary to take multiple images and vary the focal point as well as the exposure compensation then blend them together in Photoshop for optimal focus and lighting.

My small flashlights. I like to have one that has a variable spread, but I've discovered you can control it pretty easily with your hand and you can dampen the intensity of the light with some sheer fabric.

As you can see here in this recreation, I'm fairly "low tech" as I use twist ties from the grocery store to suspend my flowers. The Poinsettia below is hanging from a small strand of lights threaded through the handles of our kitchen cabinet. Sometimes I stand the flowers upright in a vase and sometimes I hang them like this. It is easier to overcome gravity this way. Each of the flowers in the examples below were hung in a similar manner.

This is the actual set up showing the final image before rotating 180 degrees and adding a couple more refinements. While the shutter is open, it is up to the photographer to "imagine painting the light." You want to shape the light rather than blast the flower completely front & back, top & bottom. It takes a LOT of experimentation. Try JUST doing the backlighting until you achieve a pleasing result. Then adjust your exposure time accordingly. It goes without saying that the more you need to cover, the longer your exposure will likely be. You will learn to finesse the light and make it dance through & across the petals. There is NO recipe for this practice. It requires a lot of trial & error. Practice, practice, practice!

Here are three images shot using this technique:

Poinsettia 1

POINSETTIA  - Canon 5D MkIII, 8 sec, f/20, iso100, 100mm 2.8L IS (3 images blended to reduce a couple of hot spots)

Anthurium Leaf

ANTHURIUM  - Canon 5D MkIII, 6 sec, f/22, iso100, 24-70mm shot at 70mm (single image)

Pink Tulip 1

PINK TULIP  - Canon 5D MkIII, 4 sec, f/18, iso100, 100mm 2.8L IS (3 images; 2 blended for lighting & a 3rd composite for background)

HAVE FUN IN THE DARK ROOM!!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Anthurium Floral Poinsettia Tulip behind the scenes floral photography floral workshop lightpainting lightroom photoshop http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/12/BTS-lightpainting-basics Sun, 27 Dec 2015 08:46:58 GMT
BEHIND THE SCENES: Editing your Images Artistically http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/behind-the-scenes-editing-your-images-artistically BEHIND THE SCENES:  Editing your Images Artistically

You have successfully scouted out a location, found some ideal subjects to focus on, got your composition, exposure, and light to your satisfaction. Now what? What do you do after all that work has been done?

Here is a condensed set of images with notes that take you through a simple composite of two images; one, an iris against a brilliant royal blue background, and the other, an abstract shot with a slow shutter drag.

Both images taken during the workshop in St. Augustine on March 20, 2015.

IrisFINAL IMAGE

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Floral behind the scenes composite floral photography floral workshop iris lightroom photoshop http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/behind-the-scenes-editing-your-images-artistically Sun, 05 Apr 2015 23:23:00 GMT
FLORAL WORKSHOP IN ST. AUGUSTINE http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/floral-workshop-in-st-augustine-features-participants-work FLORAL PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP IN ST. AUGUSTINE

FEATURING PARTICIPANTS' WORK & SCENES FROM THE DAY

What a day! We covered a lot of territory––first laying the groundwork for creating an image that begs the viewer to exclaim, "Wow!" And, in wonder, to ask "How?" I tried to break down and demystify the various elements that go into creating a superb image. We then spent some time putting those concepts into play as photographers focused on flowers of their choice. As evidenced by the variety of images below, we all see the world through somewhat different lenses! What makes a spectacular image? A combination of: Interesting Subject, Complementary Background, Compelling Composition, Effective Lighting,Technical Proficiency, and Skillful Editing.

 

"Jackie was extremely proficient in explaining her techniques, sharing her steps and reasoning for composition of her beautiful work. I couldn't wait to go out and find some new floral treasures to shoot."   ~Carol

"Jackie shared her personal vision and journey, which inspired me to look at flowers differently."  ~Debbie

 

Enjoy some photographs created by the workshop participants,

as well as some scenes from our day:

Floral photographyCollage of Participants' Work Photos by Anna Berger (left) & Carol White (right)

Jan Gold

My ImagesIris & Orchid - Photos by Jackie Kramer

 

"Jackie's willingness to share her knowledge of where to go to find her floral subjects, her set up and beautiful final outputs were excellent. I learned so much. Hoping she will come back again soon!"   ~Jan

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY!

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Floral photography St. Augustine flowers macro photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/floral-workshop-in-st-augustine-features-participants-work Fri, 03 Apr 2015 07:02:48 GMT
RECIPIENT OF: COUPLES' CHOICE RECOGNITION! http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/1/recipient-of-couples-choice-recognition  

CCA-15-Email-SignatureCCA-15-Email-Signature Grateful for having the BEST clients who have honored me with the privilege of shooting their most special day. And now, I'm thankful to them for their reviews which earned me the prestigious WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® 2015 for wedding photography. 

FROM WEDDINGWIRE:

                              The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® 2015 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.

           While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Jackie. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) 2015 Award Couples' Choice Jackie Kramer Recognition Wedding Photography http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2015/1/recipient-of-couples-choice-recognition Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:25:48 GMT
Flower Photography - The Vision & Technique http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/10/flower-photography-SACC PRESENTATION TO THE ST. AUGUSTINE CAMERA CLUB

SACC Flower Talk Hold the Date March 2015SACC Flower Talk Hold the Date March 2015

I am thrilled to share this early announcement about the invitation to speak to the St. Augustine Camera Club (SACC) about something I am deeply passionate about––floral photography. The presentation will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2015 during the SACC evening meeting.

Stay tuned for more information including the possibility of a hands-on workshop on the 20th.

Flower MedleyFlower Medley

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Floral photography Flowers SACC St. Augustine Camera Club photography presentation talk http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/10/flower-photography-SACC Thu, 09 Oct 2014 04:29:06 GMT
RING SHOTS! More Fun with Hue Lights http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/ring-shots-more-fun-with-hue-lights Our very own wedding bands! Yesterday (8/29/14) marked FOUR years of marriage. This images show more possibilities with the Phillips HUE lights! They were shot on a black etched glass table in a dark room with spotlight on the rings for added sparkle.

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Hue lights colorful ring shots rings wedding wedding bands http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/ring-shots-more-fun-with-hue-lights Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:30:00 GMT
BEHIND THE SCENES: Tabletop Macro http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/behind-the-scenes-tabletop-macro FINAL IMAGE - HANGING BEGONIA PINKThe digital negative was lightly edited in Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve this final image in which I removed a few distracting stems and filled in a light spot.

With the onset of winter just around the corner and more petals on the ground than on stems, you know this is your signal to move indoors and try your hand at lighting with a twist. Of course, there is still plenty to shoot outside and oodles of seasonal stories to tell, but if you're like me, it's also a good time to catch up on a lot of photography related business (subject of a later blog).

The three photos below provide a glimpse into the behind the scenes of creating the Gerbera Daisy image above. I was excited to use the new hue lights by Phillips. My heart sings when I shoot wedding receptions with uplighting as it creates a colorful ambience so imagine my joy when Glenn bought me Hue lights for my birthday! You can control the color of each individually from an iphone or ipad. How cool is that? As you can see below, I set a combination that worked with this flower. In addition to the Hue lights (directed toward the side wall and floor behind the flower), I had a diffused LED on the table and a little flash to spot the center. I had all the room lights completely off as shown in the 3rd image below to avoid overpowering and washing out color from the Hue lights and unwanted reflections on the table. And, as if that wasn't enough I bounced my on-board flash up and back off the ceiling. Although I could have done this with a much simpler setup, I found the results flat and dull by comparison. Gerbera Daisy above was shot at 1/25s, f4.0, ISO 2500, & 100mm macro 2.8L IS USM, LED lighting, flash, Canon 5D MKIII.

The purple and yellow Irises below were shot on the same table using only the LED w/diffuser handheld above my left shoulder and projected at an angle down which yielded the nice reflections on the black etched dining room table. The orange glow is from the fireplace. Again, all the room lights were off (the room was essentially dark so I had to prefocus in Live View on a tripod with a remote trigger). Irises were shot at 1/60s, f3.5,   ISO 2500, & 100mm macro 2.8L IS USM, LED lighting, no flash, Canon 5D MKIII.

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Irises on BlackIrises on Black

For More Information from Phillips on Hue Lights click HERE.

Click HERE for Review in PC Magazine.

 

 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Macro experiment flowers how to hue lights low light macro perspective http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/behind-the-scenes-tabletop-macro Sun, 31 Aug 2014 01:16:08 GMT
THE MAKING OF AN IMAGE: PERSPECTIVE - Get Low http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/perspective-get-low FINAL IMAGE - HANGING BEGONIA PINKThe digital negative was lightly edited in Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve this final image in which I removed a few distracting stems and filled in a light spot.

Here is a little insight into the making of an image. In this instance, a macro of a hanging begonia shot from the ground. I love the unexpected and unusual found in the upside down projection of these flowers which are typically planted in hanging baskets set above eye level. In this case, I had to improvise when I encountered them at Chena Hot Springs planted along the rock edge next to a walkway. The photos in the table below take you from the overall bed of flowers to the stem that I intended to shoot. The lower left photo shows what I was able to see from my vantage point while kneeling down and the lower right is the final image prior to my edits in Lightroom and Photoshop.

To make this shot, I got my settings just right then set the camera down on the ground (angled slightly up), put it in Live View mode and focused in using the 5x and 10x magnification option. I wish I had a photograph of the camera set up, but it was really quite simple. To combat the gentle breeze and waning light, I bumped the ISO to 1250 and shot at 1/400sec, f3.5, using a 100mm f2.8L IS USM lens on my 5D MK III.

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CHENA HOT SPRINGS:  If you haven't visited Chena Hot Springs recently, you owe yourself a trip out there. Not only will you feel rejuvenated from a soak in the spring, you will thoroughly enjoy the flower beds (over 250 varieties) all around the grounds. Resort greenhouse manager, Eric Cook, has done a tremendous job with the myriad flowers, herbs, and vegetables. To discover this in interior Alaska is simply astounding! The Fairbanks Daily News Miner recently published THIS ARTICLE about the gardens and greenhouses at Chena Hot Springs.

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Shoot low angle hanging begonia how to macro perspective http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/perspective-get-low Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:50:38 GMT
Rain Ushers in Good Fortune on Wedding Day! http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/RainyAlaskanWedding Jamie & Marco Umbrella-4839Jamie & Marco Umbrella-4839 It's been said that rain on your wedding day brings good luck to one's marriage and if that's the case, Jamie & Marco have a joyous & fulfilling life together ahead of them. That comes as no surprise though, as they are two of the most kind and caring people who are just perfect for each other. Photographing them, their families, and their friends was a pleasure. Their wedding took place at Crow Creek Mine in Girdwood, with authentic Alaskan mining equipment and housing amidst the grandeur of Mount Alyeska and the Chugach Mountains. Glenn and I were elated that Jamie and Marco were up for braving the rain for some couples' shots after the ceremony. Raindrops and umbrellas added to the magic that swirled in the air that special evening! Truly a night to be remembered! For more photos see JAMIE & MARCO'S WEDDING GALLERY.

Location: Crow Creek Mine; Food: Masters CateringHair by Kristin Forbes; Makeup by Tanya Val; Cake by Jamie's friend, DJ'd by Carl

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Alyeska Crow Creek Mine Girdwood Mine Purple Rain Wedding http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/8/RainyAlaskanWedding Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:17:59 GMT
An Alaskan Wedding - Chloe & Steven http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/7/an-alaskan-wedding-chloe-steven SlideshowLr Chloe & Steven 26Jul14

Over the weekend I was honored to photograph a very beautiful wedding here in Alaska. It couldn't have been a more perfect day. The couple, Chloe & Steven, held an intimate ceremony atop Murphy Dome in Fairbanks with only parents, Chloe's sister, Megan, and two witnesses (plus their officiant & friend, David, & his wife). The view from Murphy Dome literally felt like  we were looking out at the entire world. Chloe & Steven couldn't have chosen a better place or day. The weather was gorgeous; amidst an unusually rainy summer, the sun shone through the clouds and created a heavenly atmosphere. This was a truly special occasion in which you could feel the love between the couple and their families. 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Murphy Dome beautiful love mountain outdoor wedding http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/7/an-alaskan-wedding-chloe-steven Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:15:39 GMT
Spirits in the Forest - Bears, Eagles, & Scenery in Anan Bay http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/7/Bears SPIRITS IN THE FOREST

Bears, Eagles, & Scenery in Anan Creek & Anan Bay, Alaska

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I was fortunate to have spent a few days over the July 4th holiday with family and good friends (was delighted that Olis Garber, photographer extraordinaire, was able to fly up from Jacksonville, FL & join Glenn & me, Conrad & Breanna, and Barb & Evan Rose) in the cabin at Anan Bay with the Anan Creek Wildlife Observatory just a short one mile jaunt through the Tongass National Forest––prime bear habitat. Shooting bears in Anan Creek is really a treat because they are truly up close and personal. I never needed more than a 400mm telephoto and, in most instances, that was way too much. Last time there, I relied on my 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM with a 2x teleconverter. Since we walked 4 miles daily (595 stairs each way give or take) I didn't want to haul anything too heavy if it wasn't essential. Thankfully, I was able to get a loaner from Canon Professional Services: their new EF 200-400mm f/4 L IS USM with a built-in 1.4x extender. Yes, built-in, allowing one to achieve a zoom up to 560mm. The lens weighs 8 lbs; not too much to carry with my camera body and a few other essentials, albeit a little more robust than I'm accustomed to hand-holding. I brought a monopod along, but found more flexibility by using the railing which provided a good anchor to rest my elbows on. Shooting subjects in flight, like the eagles, proved more challenging. Image quality was as good as purported to be, although I would have like to have been able to keep it long enough to shoot under "normal" conditions closer to home to really put it through its paces!

The marine life that washed ashore & a few flowers lent themselves to macro shots while the scenery called my wide angle zoom to record its grandeur. 

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northerndesigns22@hotmail.com (Jackie Kramer Photography) Alaska Anan Bay Anan Creek Eagle bears totem http://jackiekramerphotography.com/blog/2014/7/Bears Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:26:03 GMT