Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Thoughts

Whew- after a great Christmas in Georgia, and a really awful return journey home, here are a few photo thoughts from the holiday. 

I have always wanted to take some really good Christmas tree photos, and somehow they never seem to come out right. David Hobby, at Strobist, had this post on how to light a room for the holiday with two off-camera flashes. I only had one, which produced some imperfect results, but the improvement was pretty great.

Here is an old tree photo.

Not the worst photo ever, but definitely in the competition. It is flat, the wall is not well lit, and though you can see the lights, this is a long way from the picture I want to take.

This year we were at my Aunt and Uncle's new house in North Georgia. I brought an SB-600 along with me, and used the CLS system to make this tree image with my D300.

You can see the shadow from the single flash on the wall to the left of the tree, but the overall  lighting is much improved. If I had two flashes, as Hobby recommended in is post, it would have been even better.  The lights stand out, there is separation from the background, and the overall feel is much better.

The flash was on its stand on top of a breakfront in the corner of the room, angled towards the ceiling with a diffuser on it. I left the flash in this position for three days. It really changed the lighting in the room and I ended up with some pretty good holiday photos.

My favorite, of my daughter, is here. I really like the way her face is lit by the tree lights, and while the background is darker than I would like, the off-camera flash is still giving it a little more depth than the on-camera flash ever could.

Finally,  a picture I took in the living room of the house we stayed in. It was about 4:30pm, and the house is on a ridge facing south. There was this great orange sunset light coming in the big windows, and a very cool brass lamp hanging in front of a side window. I really liked all the muted colors and tones of wood and brass, and the reflection of both the sun outside and a lamp inside, in the glass..

Sunday, December 21, 2008

First Post.

Happy holidays and welcome to the new blog! I'm not really sure what I will do with a blog, but here goes.

2008 has been the start of taking this seriously as a business. I am looking forward to 2009. With a list of resolutions I am hoping to grow JG Stott Photography into a steady part of my professional life. I'm not ready to quit the day job yet...yet. But in the future, who knows?

On a business note- this has been a great season for family holiday card photos. I want to give a special shout out to Bird Dog Press
- Alli runs a custom print shop here in Lyons and I have done photos for several of her Holiday Card clients- its been a great combination and I am looking forward to doing more next year.

So, I am getting a jump on one of my New Year's resolutions- starting a blog. Here it is and a very happy holidays to anyone who finds it!