Bill & Emily’s Engagement Portrait Session

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

Two friends of mine just recently got engaged, so you can imagine how honored I felt when they asked me to shoot their official engagement portraits. It’s very exciting to get to take part in something that beautiful and special.

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

We scheduled an afternoon at a farm outside of Atlanta for the photo shoot and hoped for great weather. When I got there that day, they had already prepared one of the amazing locations there for a particular shot. Because they’re both musicians and because music is such a huge part of their lives, we wanted some of the photographs to really show their mutual love for it. As you’ll see, guitars and drums were incorporated into several of their portraits.

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

It was a great, productive time. I had a blast working with them both–besides individually they also make a great couple. I want to thank them both again for letting me take part in that day. For the readers, I want to leave you all with this last photo of Bill & Emily: I think its a powerful portrait of the two heading into the future to begin their lives together.

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

Urban Decay

Urban decay photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Urban decay photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

I’ve been interested in this relatively new field of photography called urban decay. There are many great photographers who seek out abandoned spaces and who specialize in capturing the latter moments of a building’s life before its complete demise. And the better photographs can only be described as “hauntingly beautiful,” a term best suited to this genre.

On recent trip to Tennessee, I found a great spot at an old factory to practice taking a few pictures in this style. As much as any other type of photography good light is essential, but also trying to capture and highlight the decay in an effective way, to evoke aspects such as waste, former glory, loneliness,  imagination, and beauty in an overlooked landscape, is equally important.

Here’s a few of my tries–click on a picture to see it full size–I would love to hear what people think.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Nighttime photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

What conjures more imagery in an urban environment than a brightly lit theater at night? Notes Of Light Photography would like to submit these photos of the beautiful Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga for the weekly theme of street life.

Although the Tivoli Theater resides not only on a prominent spot on Broad Street but also in the hearts of generations of Chattanoogans, the scene depicted is easily recognizable from our own memories and could be from any city we imagine.

These shots were taken at 4/10 of a second at f7.1 for the image with the blurred car, and 1/50 of a second at f2.0 for the image with the pedestrians.

Photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett
Street photography by Notes Of Light, Atlanta & Gwinnett

Plant Life

Here’s a few shots of flowers and berries that I like.  I took these all at different times and the only indoor photo is of the African Violets. The hydrangea flower was left over from last season and is dried out, but has an amazing almost-translucent quality when back lit. Enjoy…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

Perspective can make all of the difference in photography and that makes this week’s photo challenge so very appropriate.

If you are a photographer, what do you want the viewer to see? By cropping you control the emotional tone of the photo. Only showing particular elements can completely alter the story or lead the viewer to make assumptions that might not be true.

A photo of a violinist’s face grimacing without showing the instrument he’s playing is — a man in pain? A close-up of someone running, is he being chased or — at a track & field event? A detail shot of a horse’s rear-end is really — a girl shoeing a horse (scroll down to see the cropped and uncropped entry photos side-by-side)…

A Look Inside

On Peachtree Street in Atlanta, right in busy midtown, is a beautiful church set among the high rises, restaurants, and stores.  Traffic is nonstop along the street as people rush to their work places, appointments, dates, or the latest show at the nearby famous Fox Theater.

Most never stop and take the time to realize the beauty inside the stone building or what they are missing. Truly it is a magnificent space from many points of view. The sanctuary is full of a multitude of carvings and stained glass, and symbology fills the visual field. And one of the largest pipe organs in the southeast calls the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer home.

I volunteered during a day of service to help clean the church, and took several pictures that day to share with those who may never have seen some of the treasure inside. Even as a longtime member, I haven’t discovered everything there is to find. Here is just a small sampling…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Hello everyone, I’m entering my first photo challenge with this post on the theme abandoned.

Just this past weekend I discovered an old house that has seen better days, and I chose four shots that show the place in detail. All were taken in color and then converted to monochrome in post-processing.

Finding, seeing, and photographing old houses is one of my favorite hobbies so I’m excited that Notes Of Light gets to take part in this photography challenge, especially as it is my first one here on WordPress.

Geometry Of Light

“Music is the arithmetic of sound, as optics is the geometry of light.”

Life is all about patterns: patterns of experience and happenstance; patterns both natural and man-made. When first I read the above quote of the 19th century composer and pianist Claude Debussy it appealed to me on several levels. As a musician I quickly identified with the first half and nodded as I recalled the many connections of organized sound and its thinly veiled counterpart — numbers.  Music is math as they say.

But also as a fan of and experimenter with photography did the second half of the statement strike a chord. Light and shadow reflecting through a piece of glass onto a sensor or film in patterns, random or not, define the art of photography. Not only is the connection between the two essences a wonderful analogy, but also immediate and realistic. And for me personally, a perfect duality.

Inspired by Monsieur Debussy’s wisdom I took these three photos, aiming to present obvious and intriguing patterns.

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.