Blue

 

Blue

Blue

ss 0.8 f 22 iso 100

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle

This image was taken during the evening blue hour on the Pacific Coast in February.  The “blue hour” refers to the period of twilight every morning and evening when the sun is below the horizon and the indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue with a cool color temperature.

To learn more about the blue hour, the golden hour and twilight feel free to read this great article by PetaPixel.

Remember, tomorrow is Thursday and I will be posting a black and white image on Monochromia.  Be sure to stop by!

Dazzled by Your Charms – how to layer two images

Layered Reflections

Dazzled by Your Charms

The Ranunculus flower means “Dazzled by Your Charms” in the Victorian Language of flowers. When shooting a bouquet of Ranunculus one day, I was playing around with different compositions and angles – keeping it simple and minimal as the flower speaks for herself.   In post processing, however, I decided to have a little fun with the images.  The image above is a combination of two images.  The first, was the Ranunculus on the left side of the frame, which I converted to black and white using Topaz Suites.  For the second image, the Ranunculus was on the right side of the frame and I left it in color.  When thinking about the meaning of the flower, I decided to merge the two images so that the flowers look as though they are truly dazzled by the charm of the other.

Creating a Layered Image in Photoshop CC

To create an image with multiple layers or multiple images, you simply open both images in Photoshop.  Decide which image you want to use as the top layer.  Open that image file and go to the menu bar and choose “Select All”.

Once the image has been selected, go to “Edit” and select “Copy”.

Then open the image file that you are going to use for your base layer.

Go to “Edit” and select “Paste”.

The top layer may not be seen in its entirety – you will have to fit it to the image below.  To do so, got to “Edit” once more and select “Free Transform”.   This will enable you to drag the image into place.

Once you have the top layer situated over the base layer, change the opacity by using the opacity slider in the “Essentials”menu bar.

Once your opacity is where you can see both layers to your liking, hit the check mark at the top of the menu bar.  Add your watermark and save your image.

Have fun creating new layered images…if you post any, please be sure to tag Robyn Graham Photography so that I can enjoy your work.

How to Choose a Photographer

Digital photography has opened the door for many people to purchase a camera and call themselves a photographer.  Some are enthusiasts or hobbyists,  others amateurs making their way to become professionals, and others, true professionals.  The question is which photographer is best for you and your needs?  In this post I will outline some specific information you should evaluate before hiring a photographer to; do a family portrait session, take head shots, work with your children, or photograph your special event.  Photographs can last a life-time if taken and printed properly so you want to be happy with your choice of photographer and their work.  If you are unhappy with the final product, you will have wasted both time and money.

To begin your search for a photographer, collect names of photographers from friends and family members.  Friends and family members can often direct you to photographers that they have worked with and have been satisfied with.  If you can see the photographic work done for your friends and family, even better.  From there, you need to be the judge of who will work best for your family and help you achieve your goals of hiring a photographer.

Once you have a collection of names, visit the websites of all photographers recommended to you.  You will know at first glance if the photographer has attention to detail and has a style that you favor and that will work for your needs/desires from the photo session.   When reviewing websites, here are a few things to keep your eye out for:

  • Style –
    • Does the photographer’s style fit your style?
    • Does the photographer use props, if so, do you like them?
    • Does the photographer take only posed shots or does the photographer also do candid or action type shots that really show family life?
  • Quality of images –
    • Is the work over exposed (too bright or flat or lacking detail)?
    • Is the work underexposed (too dark or dull)?
    • Is the work noisy/grainy (not smooth or with distracting lines or dots on the images)?
    • Has the photographer taken good care to use light in his/her images?
    • Do you see catch-lights in the eyes of the subjects?
    • Do the images look too blue or too yellow?
    • Does the photographer have a diversified portfolio?
  • Creativity –
    • Do all of the poses look the same?
    • Are there unique and fresh ideas on the website that you maybe didn’t see on other sites?
    • Can you see the photographer’s love of their art in their work?
  • Location –
    • Does the photographer have a studio?
    • Does the photographer do on-location shoots?
  • Website –
    • Is the photographer’s website easy to navigate?
    • Does the photographer offer details about their photography sessions:
      • Pricing
      • What to wear
      • Contract
    • Is the photographer connected to social media?
    • Does the website load quickly?
    • Does the website work on your mobile device? – This is important for sharing your proofs with your family and friends.
  • Pet friendly –
    • Your pets are part of your family too.  Does the photographer allow you to bring your pets to their studio or on-location?

Once you have reviewed the websites, you need to narrow your selection down to a reasonable number of photographers to contact.  Most photographers will have a contact page on their website.  It is fine to email the photographer, but I encourage you to take the extra time to telephone them directly.  Calling them will give you additional insight as to whether or not the photographer is someone you want to work with.  Here are things to consider when speaking to the photographer you are considering:

  • Is the photographer friendly?
  • Is the photographer warm and welcoming?
  • Is the photographer flexible with scheduling around your schedule?
  • Does the photographer ask you questions that demonstrate he/she is interested in what you are looking for?
  • Does the photographer seem organized and together?
  • Does the photographer seem eager to work with you and please you?
  • Is the photographer open to working with your pet as part of your family?
  • Does the photographer print holiday cards or business cards, depending on the purpose of your photo session?
  • What is the turn around time for orders?  Will you have the prints in time to give them as gifts?
  • Does the photographer offer pre-shoot interview sessions to determine your desires, or to evaluate the setting of the event?
  • How much time should you allow for the photo session?  Hint: a family session should take approximately an hour and a newborn session should be between 2 and 4 fours.
  • Pricing, if not included on the website.
  • What is included in the sitting fee – prints, digital images?  See the information on pricing below for additional considerations.
  • Is the work of the photographer during the session under warranty?

Now that you know the photographers’ personalities, their skills, and their style you are ready to take the last step in finalizing your decision.  The last consideration is going to be pricing.  If you are working on a budget, and who isn’t these days, price must be a consideration.  Below are a few considerations on pricing:

  • How does the price compare to the other photographers you have evaluated:  Much higher?  Much lower?
    • Throw caution to the wind before hiring someone who is under priced compared to other photographers.  If the price is too low, question whether or not they are putting time into post-processing and the details needed to provide quality print orders.  Photographers’ time is valuable.  They don’t make a lot per hour when you factor in the time for sessions, post-processing, order placement, and delivery/pick-up.  If they are under priced question how much they value their expertise, their time and their work.  If the sitting fee is very low, the photographer may be making up the difference on the price of prints or digital images.   See the full picture before hiring someone.
  • If the price is much higher than others don’t be afraid to ask why.  If prints or digital images are included, then maybe that raises the price.  If not,  you want to be sure that you are paying for expertise, not pride.
  • Are there hidden costs?
    • Travel time
    • Mileage
    • Are prints included in the price of the session
    • Are there additional fees for digital images
    • Blemish removal

You have now done your homework and should be able to make a sound decision that you will be happy with for years to come.  Enjoy your photographs!

 

copyright Robyn Graham

All material presented within this page is the work and opinion of Robyn Graham and is under copyright.

 

 

Family of Five

Family of Five

Capturing a Family Portrait with an Active Little Guy

Capturing a Family Portrait with an Active Little Guy

Head Shot - Backlighting

Head Shot – Backlighting

Glamour/Conservative Boudoir

Glamour/Conservative Boudoir

Professional Head Shot

Professional Head Shot

Maternity

Maternity

 

To see more of my featured photographs visit the galleries on my website.

Upcoming Teen Workshops

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Summer Teen Workshops 2014

Learn by Example – A Series of Gallery Talks

Learn By Example – A Series of Gallery Talks

 

Learn from instructor and award-winning photographer

Robyn Graham

 What: 4 x 1.5 hour sessions of learning for anyone wanting to increase their knowledge of photography (Limit 6 Participants)

Dates: Tuesdays in April – the 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th  

Time: 7 pm to 8:30pm

Topics: From Snapshots to Timeless Treasures Exposure Composition Light

Location:     The Bucks County Project Gallery, 252 West Ashland Avenue, Doylestown, PA 18901

You will need:  Camera, Notepad, Pen

Price: $225

Register by: April 1, 2013

Registration and Questions:  Visit Robyn Graham Photography