Changing Gears

I have mostly been doing all types of landscape photography for the past 5 years in the Houston area and I enjoy it immensely, it is a great way to relax, get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. However last year I started to mix in some natural light portrait photography, to give me a new change and a change of pace. The last six months I have put in a lot of time and practice to be able to get professional looking images. You might be wondering what I mean by “natural light” it means I use no flash/strobe or any type of artificial lighting. I only use the light that is there.  This adds an additional challenge to find the good light. Plus just like my landscape images I like my images to be exactly how it looked when I shot the images. So this year I will be dedicating most of time to natural light portraits with some landscape sprinkled in just for a change of pace.  Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing two models, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. The model on Saturday was Jaimie Besier from Houston. She had been out of modeling for a little while but had moved back to Houston was starting to model again. On Sunday I was very fortunate the model was Nitika Sachdev an international model that also does many international commercials. Nitika lives in Singapore but she was here in Houston visiting her sister. Being able to photoshoot someone with her experience was amazing. Working with experienced models like Jamie and Nitika teach you some much about different aspect of poses and facial expressions. Wow! I learned so much from these ladies. My next photoshoot is a week from this Saturday with Han Jiang whom I have worked with before. Han lives here in Houston and does modeling on the side. A few years ago she was runner up for miss Chinese North American. This photoshoot will be at a location that I have not shot at before. But I have scouted the place and have a good idea the areas where I want shoot her and how want to shoot her. The top photo is Jamie and the bottom photo is Nikita.  

Settings; F4, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Long Siesta

The last time I shot was over the Thanksgiving weekend in Arizona desert. Since then I took some time off for the holidays and to do some home remodeling. Now that that’s all out of the way I can focus back on my photography. I was planning my first weekend of shooting for the last weekend of January and was wanting to shot the stars and sunrise on the Texas coast. Where I like to shoot there are some concrete slabs in the water, have no idea how or where they came from but you can only see them at low tide. I got pretty lucky on Friday morning the tide would be low at sunrise and the skies where to be clear, perfect for star shooting and getting the concrete in the foreground. Me being the obsessed nut I am I got up at 2:15am to drive to the coast, I arrived about 4:30am. I was ill prepared for the weather, I was wearing a long sleeve T-shirt with another t-shirt over it with a light jacked. Because the weatherman said it would be 50 degrees and calm winds, I even checked before leaving the house. But oh no it was about 45 degrees with a 20 mph north wind so it felt like 35 degrees. So being the nut I am I told myself I’m hear let’s shoot and just try to forget about being cold. And of course the weatherman screwed up again said it would be clear skies but there was cirrus clouds on the horizon and above moving fast so star shooting was going to be a challenge. Sunrise was at 7am so I had about 90 minutes to shoot stars before the sky would start lightening up for the sunrise. I shot for about an hour trying different angles, viewpoints and techniques but was never happy with any shot but one. I decided to go back to the car and warm up, wow it felt good to get out of the cold wind. Stayed in the car for about 15 minutes and headed back to the beach. The concrete slabs where sticking out of the water more than I had ever seen before. The sky was starting to lighten up and the clouds had a faint orange tint to them. I was thinking this could be a very good sunrise. But to get a good shot I could not stay on the shore I needed to go out into the water near the concrete to get the shot I wanted. So I rolled up my pants and walked into the freezing water. I stood in calf to knee deep water for about an hour. Got about 5 very good shoots all different but similar and cannot decide which I like best. I was so focused on the shots I was taking I forgot about the wind and my legs freezing, only after I stopped and was walking out of the surface that I noticed how frozen my feet and legs where, even my hands where purplish and stiff. I never noticed while shooting. Got back to the car dried off and changed into dry socks and shoes. Got into the car turned the heat to high and sat there and thawed out before heading home. I really do not care if I’m uncomfortable when shooting my goal is to get a shot I would be proud to hang on my wall and if that means getting dirty, wet, cold or whatever to achieve then I will do it.  

First Image:                 Settings; F4, 30 sec, ISO 3200

Second image:             Settings; F22, 30 sec, ISO 100