Sister Portrait Session – 1

Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta
Portrait in natural setting by Notes Of Light ~ Photography, Atlanta & Gwinnett

I love working with people, so portraits are my preferred niche of photography.  I got the opportunity to shoot these two sisters together in a couple of photo sessions, the first of which is represented in this post.

These girls are both beautiful and full of personality, and in portrait photography it is a fun challenge to try to capture that in the pictures. Letting the personality of the subject show and project outward can turn a simple image into a portrait to keep a lifetime.

This session was taken on a mountain in the late afternoon. We had great lighting and scenery which made for a perfect mix of natural beauty. With portrait photography I try to let the scene enhance the subject without taking over entirely.  But that sometimes is a fine balance.

Macro Photography ~ Indoors

I had a great response to my last post Macro Photography ~ Outdoors, so I wanted to try a different slant on the same theme: close-up photography taken indoors. I hope you all enjoy this, too!

These experiments were attempted on two different days when I had some extra time to get the lighting set and adjusted the way I wanted it. I kept the lighting fairly consistent with tungsten and a little accent lighting for color for the water drop photo. The shutter speed for that shot was 1/4000 of a second so as to freeze the water with little blur as possible.

The toothbrush picture is probably my favorite, as I’ve been known to have a quirky sense of humor, but I’m happy with all of these results. Next time I try it, I would use brighter lighting for the stop-motion photograph of the water-drop.

Macro Photography ~ Outdoors

A world exists where few take time to look. A world of complex patterns and details. A world that, I’m finding, can be captured by camera.

Macro photography has existed for a long time and incredible photos have been taken and shared over the years, especially with the advent of digital photography and increasingly accurate lenses. Inspired by those minuscule worlds and those who’ve recorded them, I wanted to embrace the form and try my own hand at macro photography, but with a basic 50mm lens.

I found that being in the right place at the right time is just as important as fancy equipment. The bark mushrooms I photographed were not there four days later.  And the dew in the feather? It floated by me at the right moment.

Performance by the Young Africans

There is a fantastic organization called the African Children’s Choir which travels the world performing and raising awareness. The bio from their website tells us that:

The African Children’s Choir is composed of African children, aged 7 to 10 years old. Many have lost one or both parents through the devastation of war, famine and disease. They represent all the children of a continent and they demonstrate the potential of African children to become strong leaders for a better future in their land.

I was blessed to get to see their alumni group called the Young Africans perform and get to hear their stories of the impact the children’s choir made in their lives. Besides sharing their compelling stories, they were a tight-knit group of performers and vocalists who put on a great show of cultural music and dancing and contemporary songs.


Animals are so cool. Not only are there so many varieties, but there are so many differences within each kind. Whenever I see an animal I end up pointing the camera in its direction and before I know it, I have a clicked off several shots.

These five photographs are some of my recent favorites.  The goat was the surprise of the bunch. He was really fun to photograph and seemed to be into the whole process–who knew goats were so photogenic?–but then again, maybe he was just wondering if the camera was edible.

Snow Day

Atlanta gets a good snow about once every three years and this year we’ve already had two. Because its usually such a rarity, everything from work to school gets cancelled, and with that extra free time I get to experiment more with photography.

Everything is different when shooting in snow: lighting, colors, reflection, handling the camera, shivering — you get the idea. But for me it is a opportunity that doesn’t come around too often, so I enjoy it a lot.

I grabbed a pear to add some color to a few shots, setting it in different places, and I liked the contrast between the white snow and mottled skin.  For the photo in front of the barn I used a flash to reflect off the falling snowflakes, highlighting them and making them more noticeable.  Thanks for visiting, time to go sledding…

Photographing People At Work

I’ve been meaning to add a category, in my photography pursuit, on people at work.  It’s always fascinating watching those who are good at their jobs doing what they do best. Seeing how other use their focus and specialized skills enables me to learn a little while I people watch.

This first set of work photos proved to be a challenging photo session.  I chose welding as the subject because I believed the pictures could be spectacular visually.  Well that’s true, but the same thing that makes it spectacular also makes it difficult to capture.  This would be the wildly fluctuating light source.

After practicing awhile with test shots I finally ended up with several pictures that I liked.  This work set included both grinding and welding and you can see the various “light shows” that the camera captured. Click on the photos below to see the sparks fly!

’31 Ford Model A coupe

I had the great fortune of meeting Rob Powell and his wife recently.  My doorbell rang and Rob had brought his ’31 Ford Model A Coupe along to photograph in front of my house.  After talking with him I could tell he was a great guy and proud of his classic car. And I’m telling you he should be proud, this is a nice car.

This particular car was being photographed for the cover of a magazine for a national Ford club. We photographed it in two settings: both with the house as a backdrop and with it sitting in the barn. Up close, I could really tell what great condition it is in. Click on the photos below to see for yourself.

Drummer Bill

A fantastic drummer on the greater-Atlanta music scene is Bill Osborne.  Bill needed some promotional shots done and I was excited to work with him, so we traveled around one day to some locations.  As he is a serious rock and country musician, I wanted to put him in some areas that would visually compliment what he and his playing style is all about.

We got many great photos during this session and had a blast at the same time. Thanks Bill!

Modern-Day Fairy Tale

With the popularity of modern-day fairy tales on TV and the movies, such as Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Snow White And The Huntsman, and Maleficent, I decided to try my own take on the theme.

These shots of Red Riding Hood were taken during the winter and near dusk to help with the overall mood of the photos. The model did a great job of maintaining a lonely/apprehensive expression throughout the shoot to help convey the story. I used several props, but the cape really was the clincher.  Because of the velvety material the red color looked super-saturated in the photos and needed no enhancement.

I thought the photo set turned out great — tell me which photo you like the most.

Historic Shiloh Methodist Church

Last weekend I spent two cold pre-dawn hours shooting the historic Shiloh Methodist Church in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. This church has survived as a congregation as early as the 1700’s and this building, shown in the photographs, was built in 1825. This is a pioneer church of upstate South Carolina.

Multi-generation families in the area tell that a Revolutionary War skirmish was fought along a nearby creek and that the dead were buried here, but it is unknown whether the church existed at that point in time.  Directly behind the church building is a large and old graveyard; simple standing stones do mark the resting spot of a couple dozen unknowns. In the dark of early morning it is a quiet and solitary place except for the arc of stars, slight stony silhouettes along the ground, and white-board church. White-board that’s a shade of grey with almost no light.

Camera set on tripod, I began shooting with a 30 second exposure.

Stone Mountain model

Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Portrait photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

This young gal nailed her photo shoot that we did last month! Besides being a beautiful subject, she was easy to work with and gave me a variety of expressions during the time we had. She had an open mind in regards to my suggestions for looks and poses. When the model is relaxed and natural it not only helps the photographer, but everyone involved.

The day’s weather had a large impact on the tone of the photos and gave us some great diffused lighting with which to work.The photo against the woodsy backdrop turned out to be one of favorites, but was only taken at the last minute and spur-the-moment. The location was almost passed by. It goes to show that you should keep an open mind because you never know what might work out to be better than expected.