Guest Post Today

Hey Everyone, I’m guest blogging over at Terry White’s blog about an awesome new product the Saberstrip. It’s a really cool product made for speedlights.  Check out the review here SABERSTRIP

 

Ring Girl Fun!

Not long ago I got the chance to shoot the Ring Girls of AAMMA for a promotional piece. The Goal was to shoot the girls for a poster that we’d be selling at the event. Before the shoot I brainstormed and looked to other Ring Girl photos from other MMA leagues for inspiration. I knew that I wanted to do something sexy with them but it had to be more than that. We needed a way to tie in the sport with the images. We did some images with the girls hands wrapped with the hand wraps that the fighters use but that was a little too literal and not quite sexy enough. What we ended up with was wrapping the girls in the hand wraps as an outfit (as you see above). As soon as I looked through the viewfinder I knew this was going to be the poster. The playfulness of Jamie tugging on Dawn’s strap mixed with the great look on their faces really works.

Along with the main shot above we did some individual shots of each of the girls and some other poses/looks. Hit the jump to see all of the outtakes and the shots that turned out awesome, but just didn’t make the poster. Jason

[Read more...]

Meet Kayla and Jake!!

Meet Kayla and Jake!

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing the beautiful Kayla and her dream man Jake. Jake is in the army, stationed in Korea, but he was back for a few weeks to marry the woman of his dreams. They were married at a beautiful church in Dayton, Ohio and I was lucky enough to be there to capture the entire event. The reception was held at the officer’s club at Wright Patterson Air force Base (also in Dayton, Ohio). Having never been to the officer’s club at Wright Pat, I was a little nervous about the photographic opportunities we had available to us. Luckily there is an amazing golf course that surrounds the club that we were able to make use of.  While I was worried about the scenery, I was ecstatic about what I was seeing in the sky. One thing I always hope for as a photographer (at least when shooting outdoor portraits like this) is an overcast sky with clouds that have contrast and definition. We were very, very fortunate this day with our sky. We (the bride and myself) couldn’t have been happier. When you have a sky like this, you know two things. First, you know that it’s not going to take much power to light the subjects. Since the light levels are low, you’re usually shooting at a higher ISO which in turn allows you to bleed down the power on your lights, or allows you to use speed lights and work really quick and light. The second thing that pops into my head when I see a sky like this is the drama. My plan of attack when shooting against a sky like this is to underexpose the sky by 1 to 1-1/2 stops then using my flash to light the subject. By dropping the sky 1 stop underexposed, I allow it to become very saturated and very contrasty as in the image above. The One thing to look out for when doing this is your ratios. It’s not a set subject to background ratio, rather a “seat of your pants” judgement call. What you have to watch for, and avoid is making the background too dark. If you make the background too much darker than your subject, the viewer doesn’t know where to look. There are competing areas of the image for the viewers eyes to move to. You obviously want the subjects to be the focal point of the image, but your don’t want them to look like they are out of place either. You want the background and the foreground to look believable. As with anything, practice makes perfect and it takes a little while (and a lot of bad photos) to finally figure out where your sweet spot is. Check out a few more from that day below, and I hope to see you here again soon! Jason

[Read more...]

Family Fun at the Krohn

Recently I did some family shots at one of my favorite winter shooting locations here in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Krohn Conservatory. The Krohn Conservatory is our local green house and conservation center. Inside the glass walls is 1,459 acres of lush greenery year round with one room changing “displays” with the seasons. Right now (as I’m sure you can imagine) they have a wonderful Holiday display including a poinsettia “tree”, several model train tracks in an elaborate display, as well as a Christmas tree that goes from floor to ceiling in the large entry way. It’s truly a great place to visit all times of the year, but especially this time of the year when things are colder outside and beautiful greenery outside is months away.

The family I had the privilege of photographing came to me through my sons football team. The little boy in the photographs was on Jackson’s team. The two of them were a blast to spend some time with and we really were able to get some wonderful shots. All of my shots this day were done with a 28inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. I used the one Apollo in conjunction with the beautiful diffused light coming through the aged greenhouse windows.  Hit the jump to see some more images from the day, and to see how they were made…

[Read more...]

More From Don…

Day 2!

As many of you know my buddy Don Giannatti came to town last month to teach one of his awesome work shops. While he was here we got to do lots of shooting and I wanted to share a couple more shots from day two with you. You might remember Amanda (pictured above) from my recent fitness shots. She’s a lot of fun and has great lines and poses so I asked her to join us! As you can see from the shot above, she has looks other than the fitness model look. The lighting for this shot was a single 4foot by 6foot softbox camera right with a white reflector camera left. I was really happy with the way this image turned out mainly because I love the carefree look on her face.

[Read more...]

2011 Holiday Gift Guide

2011 Holiday Gift Guide

Every year I get asked what are my favorite things. What things do I recommend for people to buy. For the past two years I have started using Amazon to make those recommendations. Click on the picture above or HERE  to see my guide. I will continue to update this list. Happy holidays and feel free to send me any of the things you buy off of the list ;)

Wedding at the Oasis

A couple of weeks ago I did a post about why I loved the rain and Sally and Ben’s wedding at the Oasis country club in Loveland, Ohio. Today I was forwarded an email from the Oasis, telling me that they were featuring that wedding on their site! If you are a bride in the Cincinnati area, you should definitely check out the Oasis. They’re an amazing staff, and it’s an amazing location for a wedding or group event. I have worked with them a few times now on weddings and events and it gets better every time I’m there.  So check out their feature of the wedding here, and be sure to check back here on Friday for some great photographic work!

 

Epic Jason

My buddy Tom Seibert took this shot of me last weekend down by the Ohio River. We had a lot of fun shooting with Don Giannatti for two days. I love it when he comes to town. If you haven’t checked out his Learn To Light workshops, you’re missing out. It’s definitely worth going! We had the always lovely Tarah Sand join us for this first day of shooting and she looked a lot better in front of the camera than I did. I think you’ll agree seeing the following shots. Don called the shot above “Epic Jason” lol. I know this is a short post today, but I have been backed up like crazy with sessions to edit. I have something pretty good scheduled for later this week so be sure to check back on Friday. Until then, check out a few shots from the weekend. Jason

 

 

Don Giannatti Himself :)

X-Rite Color Checker… Why YOU need one

You all know (or should know) that light is the most important thing when it comes to photography. When it comes right down to it, without light there would be no photography. When we talk about light though, we talk about it not only as a whole, but we talk about the different aspects of it as well. We talk about the quality. Is it soft, hard, wrapping, etc. We talk about the direction. Is it a loupe pattern, is it a butterfly pattern etc. We also talk about the color of it. Are we talking golden sunset light, are we talking sickly green light from florescent lights, are we talking the warm glow of tungsten light… The descriptions go on and on. The important thing is that we are aware of the different light colors and that we adjust our images accordingly. That’s where the Passport Color Checker from X-Rite makes life a whole lot easier.

[Read more...]

Bodybuilders are MADE for Hard Light

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Amanda, a local bodybuilder and fitness competitor here in the Cincinnati area. She is sponsored by Enso (a performance apparel company), as well as GX supplements. We worked together to create images for her portfolio that brought out her muscle tone and definition (I’m pretty sure she could kick my ass), as well as her attitude and style. To accomplish this we worked with solid background colors of black and white to contrast her outfits and really make her images pop.

Having clothes and backgrounds that work well together is one part of these images, the other is the right lighting. History (and pretty much everything everything that you’ve ever been taught) tells us when you’re working with females you want a large soft light, and most of the time this is a good idea. Shooting fitness models, female body builders, and women athletes is the exception to the rule. For these types of subjects, hard light is the style of choice. Hard light makes every ridge, and every muscle stand out with the harsh shadows created by the extreme angles and level of the lighting. The image above was shot with two strip boxes behind the model and to the sides. This created the hard, rim light you see around the subject. To light the subject area facing the camera, I used a large octobank on axis and above the lens. This helped to open up the dark areas of the skin not being lit by the rims light, and also (because of how high I had the light mounted) created shadows on the muscles. Check out more awesome images of Amanda, and the lighting explanations after the jump….

[Read more...]