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Well hello, people! I know. I know. It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I’ve decided to wipe the dust off of my trusty Nikon and get back into this photography game. CALM DOWN! I know you’re excited, but I’m going to ease my way back into this. So don’t expect a barrage of posts … at least not right away.
So, for some strange reason, I realized today that I’ve never taken my son to Coldstone before. For those of you who don’t know, Coldstone is an ice cream shop that is, well, EVERYTHING. Imagine eating the ice cream that you love the most. After eating Coldstone, that ice cream will taste like hobo underwear dipped in a garbage juice au jus. Anyway, I figured today would be a good day to take him. We could eat the ice cream outside, and I could snap some pictures.
Everything went very well. He enjoyed the ice cream. “Can we come back here and get the same thing again, Daddy?” BTW, we had the Apple Pie a la Coldstone. My favorite one there. I also took these photos while he was eating.
So not only is the photo above my favorite of the 3, it’s probably one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken. I love LITERALLY everything about it – the depth of field, his eyes, the ice cream on his mouth … EVERYTHING.
Finally, I’ve decided that going forward, I’m going to dedicate a paragraph or two in each blog post to talk about how I took the photos in the post. Most of what I’m going to say will probably seem like a foreign language to the vast majority of you, but for those of you still learning photography – actually, let me rephrase that – for those of you just starting to learn photography (we’re all always learning), these paragraphs could be helpful.
All of these were very simple shots. There was no work put into them as I was shooting them. These were all shot at f/2.8 on my 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. My camera was in aperture-priority mode, so I set the aperture, and the camera selected the shutter speed based on the available light in order to give me a proper exposure. My ISO was at 200, which is where I keep it unless I have to change it.
One weird thing that I’ve always noticed is that, in-camera, when pictures look like they’re properly exposed, they always look too dark when I view them on my computer. That was the case with these. When I opened them in Photoshop, I changed the exposure on all of them, increasing them about half a stop apiece, basically until they were pleasing to my eye. I sharpened them a bit, whitened his eyes, removed a blemish a two or on his face, smoothed his skin a bit, and that was it for any post production.
So that’s it for now. Feel free to leave a comment here or my Facebook fan page, and I promise I’m going to start updating this more often.
I didn’t work at my day job this day, but even if I did, I still consider this my true work, so I would have taken this photo regardless. It’s probably my least favorite photo out of the month so far. I don’t know. It’s a little too over-processed, and I could have put in more work creating better light so that each individual photo was better. It’s difficult to get a cell phone photo without noise, but it’s possible. Anyway, I shot those 4 shots with my iPhone 4s camera, and processed them in Instagram and Stitched.
Sorry for the delay on the official blog posts. I’ve been sick the past couple days, and didn’t really have the heart nor energy to sit up at the computer for extended periods of time. I did, however, insist upon not missing a day. So I continued to take my photo each day with my iPhone, and process and post them on Instagram. However, if you don’t follow me on Instagram (or Twitter), then you didn’t see the pics. So here are the pics for the past few days.
For Day 11, I knew that the immediate go-to move would be to photograph my son in some way. I’ve already used him a few times already, and we’re not even halfway through the month. So I didn’t want to go the obvious route and use him today. So I decided to take a photo of my dSLR camera, with my iPhone camera.
Even though I shot a few more shows, this will be my last runway show post from #MBFW. I think I’ve dragged these photos out long enough. I have one more post coming up about the different types of people you see at fashion week, but this will be the last post featuring images from shows.
Aside from Kimberly during the Project Runway show, Tracy Reese is the only black designer that I saw at fashion week. Hell, I don’t know if there were any other ones anyway. That’s part of the reason I was pulling for Kimberly so much. Anyway, I have very mixed opinions on what I saw during Tracy Reese’s show.
For the most part, there were a lot of very elegant pieces. I loved the summertime hats and umbrellas, and I felt a lot of the pieces had a classy southern look to them, but updated for 2012.
There were still a few things I found troubling about the show, though. My main issue with the Tracy Reese show can be seen in the image below:
1. That shirt…ugh. That print looks so cheap and janky – like a bad curtain or table cloth. She uses it (or a variation of it) several times in several different ways throughout the collection, and it always looks very Salvation Army-ish. That print looks like it’s not good enough to be sold at Family Dollar, let alone be featured at fashion week.
2. That bird’s nest hairstyle. It looks like she couldn’t care less about how her models looked going out on the runway on the largest stage in fashion. This was my first fashion week, so I can’t speak as to how the hair styles typically look, but that just looks sloppy/messy.
3. You can’t see this one in the photo above (but it’s probably visible in several of the other photos in this entry), but a lot of the models sported VERY visible baggy eyes. Again, I don’t know much about what is “supposed” to happen at fashion week, but baggy eyes seems like it should be an easy fix for a fashion week makeup artist. Why was no care given to that? If you’re the only black designer at fashion week, shouldn’t you be making sure that all you’re “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed? Why send models down the runway with messy hair and baggy eyes?
For obvious reasons, I choose to feature only the best photos from a show on my blog. If I have a photo that is out of focus or poorly framed, I won’t post it. Additionally, if I think a model just looks bad in a photo, I won’t post it either. Tracy Reese benefited greatly from this. There were a lot of images that featured the 3 things I didn’t like about this show, and I’m choosing to only post the one. But, take my word for it. There were several instances of that ugly print being used, lots of sloppy hair, and many pairs of baggy eyes.
Aside from those three things, as you can see, there was a lot to like about the collection. Personally, I’d like to see more from what I believe to be the only black designer at fashion week. If I were the sole representative of my race/gender/ethnicity or whatever, I’d make sure that I brought my A-game in every aspect of the presentation – from hair, to eyes, to clipped toenails. This is part of the reason that I was so disappointed that Kimberly from Project Runway seemed to be dismissed so easily as not being “as good” as the other contestants – but I won’t harp on that.
I hope you all enjoyed my posts from #MBFW and Project Runway. It was the experience of a lifetime, and I’m so thankful for anyone that played even the slightest part in molding me into the photographer I am today, and making it possible for me to go to New York. I’ve met so many great people since I moved back to Detroit, and the kindness within our art community can not be stressed enough. People who barely knew me at all have helped me along the way, and during the course of the time I’ve been back, have become highly-valued friends. So again, thanks to all my Detroit artists who helped, encouraged, or motivated me, and thanks to anyone who has ever commented, shared, retweeted, or even viewed any of my blog entries. None of it is lost on me.
Finally, I want to thank myself. I know that sounds very arrogant, but you guys have NO IDEA how hard I am on myself and how little credit I give myself. I constantly find ways to take away from my accomplishments, and the time for that is at an end. While I owe a great deal of thanks to a great many people, when it comes down to it, I did this. I picked up a camera 3 years ago. I taught myself how to use it, and I brought myself from offering free shoots on Craigslist just to learn, to photographing at the biggest stage in fashion, and it’s time I give myself the pat on the back that I deserve.
Thanks for reading. Share, reblog, and/or retweet this post, and I’ll catch you guys in a couple of days with some street shots from New York.
(UGH! It’s that print again! lol)
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I had such a great time shooting Amy and Jamie’s wedding, or as I shall now call them, Ames and James. I met Ames and James at another wedding I shot (Carl and Michelle’s, which you may recall from a previous blog post), and I lucked out because they were just as fun to work with as Carl and Michelle were.
The cool thing about working with a fun couple like Ames and James is that their creativity helped fuel mine. They came up with great ideas for shots, and once the creativity juices got flowing, it helped me come up with some stuff that I may not have thought to do otherwise. Also, when the photographer and the clients are truly enjoying themselves, the magic will come through in the photos – and I feel like we struck gold with a lot of these images.
Ames and James also had some great ideas for places they wanted to take pictures at – as did Carl and Michelle. Never underestimate the power of great scenery. See the photo above and the photo below as an example. I also tried a few new strategies in regard to how I photographed certain things, and I absolutely love how one of those strategies turned out. I’ve sort of figured out a way to tell a story through the reception, and I think that will help enhance my wedding photos in the future.
The love and chemistry between Amy and Jamie comes through in these photos. I had fun working with them, photographing them, and even editing the photos! They’re a great couple, and they’re great people. I wish them the best! Enjoy a few more pics, and I’ll catch you all in a couple days.
AND THE RECEPTION WAS BANGING! Look at Jamie hitting the dance floor like Puff Daddy entering the club! lol
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Heading into Thursday night’s “Project Runway” finale, Viktor is probably the favorite to win. Over the course of the past 4-6 episodes, Viktor has increasingly ran away with the competition. He’s been strong, week-in and week-out, and has created some truly stunning pieces.
For the finale, he took his creativity up another couple of notches. Note the dangling bit of glass on the top above, and the … well, the EVERYTHING below. lol
Viktor showed a little bit of everything he could do during the final runway show, and my gut tells me that it will pay off for him. I absolutely love what Kimberly put together, but the momentum is in Viktor’s favor, and this collection speaks for itself.
However, while I don’t think Viktor drops the ball on any one piece in his collection, I will say that the look above and the look below don’t really speak to me or evoke any sort of emotion. I find both of them to be …. meh. And I didn’t find ANY of Kimberly’s looks to be “meh.” #JustSayin
While I do find a couple of Viktor’s looks to be somewhat bland, he does have one huge thing playing in his favor: The Jacket. The jacket shown below was not only a huge hit on Twitter, but also among his fellow finalists as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think my photo does it justice (well, if you enlarge it, it does…), but it truly is an amazing piece of work.
Viktor has the support of the judges, the fans, and the quality work to back him up. His chances of being the winner are strong, and while a large part of me prefers Kimberly, I would have absolutely no complaints – not one – if Viktor wins. Check out a couple more of Viktor’s pieces, a shot of Viktor himself, and join me on Twitter ( @Michael_Aaron) Thursday night as I live tweet the finale. Ciao!
Kimberly went from being one of the least noticeable designers on the show, to one of my favorites. Her improvement as the weeks went on was remarkable, and she’s clearly quite talented. The collection she put together to show at #MBFW, in my opinion, puts her in a strong position to be the first African American individual to win.
Kim, (I wonder if she’s OK with being called that…) became known for being able to design a mean pair of pants. But it was when Kimberly ventured away from the pant, that she really began to shine. Some of her strongest looks in her #MBFW collection are, as I would like to say, pants-less.
I love how the way all of her models are styled. Additionally, I don’t think I’ve seen any of the designers feature any bags – much less one so gigantic. lol I like it though, and it works well with the dress pictured above – which I find to be stunning, and fits the model perfectly.
I also love the diversity I see in Kim’s collection. There’s diversity in wardrobe, and well as style/color. For instance, there’s the elegant and sexy dress 2 photos above in a solid blueish/purple. Then above we have the silver jacket, which I feel is great (although I’m not sure I like it with that … what color is that? Fuschia? lol … with that fuschia dress). Although on its own, I also dig the (fushia?) dress. It appears to be cut very well, and fits the model magnificently. Then, as you’ll see below, she goes in a completely different direction…
… and again, I feel like she largely succeeds. Then below, you’ll see she goes back to her trademark pants, and again meets with success.
The skirt below did not go over well with the judges on the first part of the finale. What did they call it? Bubble butt? I like it though, and she uses it well here.
Overall, I think Kimberly SHOULD stand a very strong chance of winning it all. I think it comes down to her or Viktor. While I’ve absolutely loved Viktor’s work over the course of the past few episodes, for obvious reasons I’d love to see Kimberly become the first African American individual to win. While I’m new to all of this (fashion photography, that is), I’m aware of the difficulties that blacks face breaking into this industry, so it would be truly inspiring to see her go from being virtually unnoticed, to becoming the winner. Come back tomorrow to see photos from Viktor’s collection, and join me Thursday night on Twitter (@Michael_Aaron) while I live-tweet the finale! See you tomorrow!