Street Performance… it’s a living.

Street performers add an element to the tourist environment that sometimes defies historical significance of location, but they do add sparkle. I especially enjoy musicians that add their artistry to soften the harsh sounds of daily reality on the streets, subway stations, etc.

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Santiago, Spain

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Santiago, Spain

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Santiago, Spain

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Segovia, Spain

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Madrid, Spain

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Chicago, Illinois subway platform

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Downtown Chicago, Illinois

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Downtown Chicago, Illinois

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Santiago, Spain with a boot to collect donations.

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Bea: loyal ~ companion ~ friend

Bea

Bea

Hair has always been a challenge when trying to extract a subject from its background and still have it look natural and not “cut out.”

Below is the original image.

schmitz-2004Refine edge to the rescue!  Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m posting the link to the Youtube tutorial I found that seems to be the easiest for me to comprehend and follow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N4HmM6QOYM

Photo info: Canon 5D Mark 2 | Canon 70-200  L lens with image stabilization | Editing done in Photoshop CS5 | ISO 200 | 2.8 aperture | 1/500 shutter | available light

Embracing Winter

Since Gov. Dayton has declared all public schools closed for Monday, January 6 due to dangerous temps and wind chills, it seems fitting to blend some snow images.  While the temps warmed up to -4 degrees F on the day these images were captured, it really didn’t seem all that cold.  (The subject may beg to differ since she had fewer layers on than me.)

Embracing Winter

Embracing Winter

Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark 2 / ISO 160 / aperture 2.8 / shutter 1/800
Two images blended plus a little extra “snow” added in the air with Album DS clipart.  Album DS is a software plug-in for Photoshop which, interestingly enough, is based out of Spain.

I’m glad I’m not outside capturing these images today!  Even I have limits…

Picture Perfect? Nope.

Traditional, eye pleasing, balanced family portraits with each individual  arranged perfectly have always been a challenge for me. I would not last long as a church directory photographer. While it is good to document a period in time for a family unit, we adults don’t seem to like how we look in portraits.  (Oh, I look so old, fat, my ankles appear too thick, can you give my husband 6-pack abs and a smile?  While you are at it, thin my thighs and waist…)   Then to find a background in the midst of Christmas chaos.  Oh, my.

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So, for the annual holiday card, rather than striving for the “perfect” portrait I decided to celebrate our imperfect, unique, quirky lives with a photo that embraces reality.  We are all leading lives that cover quite a wide spectrum of vocations, educations, interests and then you add a two-year-old.  It is what it is.

Thank you to my mother-in-law for crawling up onto a step ladder to capture this chaos.

Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon 24-70 L lens, ISO 3000, Gary Fong flash diffuser on a Canon 580 speedlight

I leave you with a toast for 2014:  Here’s to another year of experience.

CHEERS!

Dramatic lighting ~ Off camera flash

The image below is an example of off camera flash during the day using a pocket wizard and 1 Canon Speedlight flash. The image was captured around 4:30 on a warm, sunny, summer afternoon on the shaded side of the building.  My lovely assistant (AKA his mom) holds the flash set at +2 about 8 feet to the left of the subject or camera right.

F8 at 1/200, ISO 100.  Canon 5d Mark 2.

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