Mastroluca

Generational Family

MastrolucaEvery photoshoot has its unique joys that come along with them:  meeting new people, getting reacquainted with old friends, documenting a multi generational family, etc. With this shoot, I benefited from all of these.

Martin is a friend from high school.  A few years back we reconnected via Facebook.  He’s a little bit further ahead of me in life in that, a year ago, he and his lovely wife became grandparents. She’s a beautiful and fantastically fun little girl.

Martin and his wife have 3 daughters (one married and the mother of this precious lil girl). We were also joined by his two sister-in-laws and their husband, and his fabulous mother-in-law.

One of my favorite pictures from this shoot, and there were many, is the shot of Four Generations of Women. Gathering a beautiful family like this, together, to take a snapshot in time, is so amazing. One day, lil K will find one of these photos and look at with fondness.  That’s a pretty amazing thing.

Thank you all for allowing me this opportunity to photography your family.

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© 3 Penguins Photography

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

When photographing families, especially families with young children, I find myself reminding the parents – “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” (Pun intended).  Most people are not comfortable with having a camera pointing at them, even more so young kids. There are those “hams” that love to show off and have fun but, it’s not the norm.

This shoot took place late in the day and even though I knew these kids somewhat, one wanted to showoff and have fun and the other just wanted to go home.  No problem.  I get it.  The moral of the story is that I will still get the shot.  Maybe not exactly as planned but I will get the shot.

© 3 Penguins Photography

You can see by this shot that the little may not have been at her happiest but it still turned out to be a great shot, in my opinion.

Father and Daughter

Here comes daddy to rescue.  A few tickles and we had her back AND got another great shot of her.

Mother and Daughter

Now mom got a second change with her beautiful and happy girl.

Kardemark Family

Kardemark Family

Siblings

Brother and sister out for a stroll.

Mom and Dad

When all was said and done, we got a great shot of mom and dad.

Kaplan-Family-Door-04-web

Before They Moved

Before they moved, I had to opportunity to photograph this wonderful family.  A loving couple with two really fun boys makes for a wonderful afternoon.  This shoot took place in Downtown Fullerton, a place that offers really nice backdrops.  At one point we were even offered a bicycle to use in the shoot.  Hey, why not. It was a really fun afternoon.  These two young boys kept us all laughing.

Would love to spend an afternoon with your family.  Give me a call and let’s set something up.

Sports Photography Auto Focus

Sports Photography For Parents – Auto Focus Mode

I see more and more DSLR’s at kids’ sporting events. It’s sports photography opportunities for proud parents. Some parents have even moved beyond their kit lens and purchased a zoom lens.  Cameras, like lenses, come in varied qualities. The quality of the equipment does have an consequence on the quality of the pictures you take.  You, the ‘picture taker’, can increase your chances of capturing that great shot of your kid catching the ball, making that block or scoring that shot.  Here is one suggestion.

Most parental sports photographers I meet up with shoot in one of the many program modes.  Knowing this, as smart as  your camera is, until you get off the program modes and on to manual or semi-manual modes, your pictures will never be GREAT.  That said, one thing you can do is change the AF (auto focus) mode on your camera.  If you have a Canon, set it to AI SERVO.  If you have a Nikon, set it to AF-C (the C is for continuous).  Refer to your manual to change the AF settings for your particular camera make and model.

What this does is when you depress your shutter button, half-way, the camera will continue to focus on the moving object.  You can also fully hold the shutter down and the camera will auto focus while shooting. When doing this, your camera will enter “release priority mode” and it will take pictures when the shutter is down regardless of if the image is in focus or not. This will increase your chances of getting an in-focus shot when your kid is running down the field.  Take into account some lenses focus quicker than others.

Taking in-focus photographs is dependent on more than just your AF Mode, and we will talk about those in future articles.

If you’re interested in private lessons give me a call.  You can also check out the Lessons page.

Oak Show Choir

Shooting In Low Light: Show Choir – Closing Night

The Oak Show Choir had their closing night performance for the 2015-2016 season.  I had to pleasure to photograph this last concert. The biggest challenge was shooting in low light conditions.  This was overcome with fast glass and high ISO.  I couldn’t sacrifice shutter speed due to the fact that the kids were dancing.  But, I couldn’t go too fast as my shots would have been far to dark.

Other challenges included: Irregularly lit stage (many hot and dead spots), not being able to move from my location, and stationary items that sometimes blocked the kids. That said, challenges are meant to be overcome.  Get the shot no matter what.

The low-light was overcome by, what I mentioned earlier, fast glass.  Fast glass refers to lenses with large apertures. The aperture is the opening of a lens.  I shot with a f 2.8 and a f 2.0.  I used the f 2.8 only for a short time.  It is a wide angle lens and I wanted shots of the entire ensemble. This did not work as I had hoped since the piano player, in the live band, was right smack in the middle of every shot.  So, I switched to my f 2.0 zoom lens and focused in on single or small group shots.

I also mentioned that I shot at a high ISO.  It wasn’t too high, 1600 ISO.  Most cameras today can easily handle this.  That being true, due to the low-light there was some graininess. Don’t be afraid of grain though.  Far too many think grain is a bad thing.  We are getting so used to High Definition TV’s that we want everything crystal clear.  The end results is that we think that any grain is bad.  It’s not.  So, don’t stress on it. In the days of film, we didn’t stress on it. What is more important, in this case, is capturing a point in time that is very important to these kids and their family. If it was a commercial shoot, that would have been a different story and we would make allowances to address it.

I ended the evening with around 300 really nice shots.  If you’re a parent or student, and you wish to purchase any shots, please contact me to view a private gallery.

Added Person - Joe Randeen

Adding a Head to a Group Photo

There are times when we (photographers) have to take group photos (staff or family) when someone is missing.  In this specific case, I had to add a head to a group photo. Since Photoshop has become an everyday verb, the client asks me to “Photoshop him/her in”. Depending on the situation, that can range from relatively easy to virtually impossible.  If you know in advance that someone is going to be missing from the photograph then you (photographer) have an opportunity to set the shot so that photoshopping will be somewhat easier.

Staff Photo Joe Randeen

Photo 1 – Group Shot

Photo 1 is the group photo I shot.  In the spirit of full disclosure, this is the second group photo I shot.  The first one was missing one of the shorter ladies in the front.  It is far easier to add a person standing in the back than in the front, for obvious reasons.  When we scheduled this second shoot, everyone was present but by the time we shot it, one of the people went missing.  Since we ran out of time, I shot the remaining people and had to shot the missing person at a later time.

Missing Person

Photo 2 – Missing Person

Photo 2 is a shot of the our missing gent.  Luckily he was the tallest of the group.  When I shot the group I left a spot where I knew I wanted to place him. I didn’t leave too much room as I was unsure of the lighting and other conditions that I may encounter.

Uncropped Group Shot Joe Randeen

Photo 3 – Uncropped

Finally, Photo 3 is the finished, uncropped photo. I got his head in the shot okay but notice he’s got no legs.  Thus, the final shot had to be cropped in such a way that no legs would be shown.

Having to “Photoshop” in someone that was missing into a photograph is never ideal but it can be done.  You need forethought as to where the missing person is going to stand or sit, in addition to making sure the background and lighting is a similar to the original shot as possible.  Plus, you need know something about masking in Photoshop.

Looking for a photographer?  Give me at call

Bands of Santiago Sharks

Great Year With The Band

I am nearly finished spending a great year photographing BOSS (Bands of Santiago Sharks).  These young musicians led by Kris Parish and Joe Dudek comprise the award-winning bands that have marched in the Rose Parade and performed at Carnegie Hall, just to name two.

It started off just before school started, at “band camp”.  Three days of MARCHING under the hot sun.  Most of the kids didn’t know me, nor where they entirely comfortable having a camera pointed at them.  This quickly changed.  Over this past year they have learned to ignore me, in a good way.  It’s been a combination of me becoming somewhat invisible to them and they becoming more comfortable with the camera.

The first half of the season they MARCHED – football games, parades and competitions.  The second half, they performed in one of four bands and/or one of four jazz ensembles.  In being the photographer, documenting there growth visually, I had the added honor of hearing them grow as musicians.  This is especially exciting since my son is involved, playing multiple instruments in multiple bands. I spent a large portion of my life in the music business as a player, audio engineer and producer.

It’s been an amazing ride.  I got 7 more years to go with BOSS, can’t wait to see what is captured.

For more images go to 3penguins.shootproof.com/santiago

Joe Randeen
3 Penguins Photography
714.225.7674

BOSS BOSS BOSS Band CampSocial Media Badge

Before and After

Those Pesky Limbs

I’m sure you have heard the cliche, “the devil is in the details.” That is certainly true in photography.  Those pesky limbs, or evil tree branches that pop up out of nowhere in our photos.  What can we do?  Often we resort to Photoshop, Lightroom or some other form of photo editing software to fix our mistake. As a novice photographer we might just leave the photo as shot, or not even see the offense at all.  As a pro, semi-pro or serious hobbiest, this mistake mortifies us because it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

The fingers appear

click to enlarge

Take, for example, this photo.  The couple you see is one of two couples in the shot. I cropped out the other couple for illustration purposes. It looks nice enough until you see that alien hand creeping up around the woman’s neck.  Fingers coming out of nowhere.

It looks incredibly unnatural since his arm seems to be laying against his body in a downward positions, yet these fingers appear. CREEPY!!!

In this example, I edited out his fingers but in an actual shoot I would scan my scene for things like this; anything that might be growing out of the heads, like a tree limb, light pole, or. . . These sort of things are pretty easy to spot but, when shooting, you have to keep your eyes out for missing or hidden arms, hands or legs.

If you’re subject places one arm behind their back, in the photograph, it will look really strange.  Granted, most people will assume the other arm is there but it still doesn’t look right, nor professional.  It’s far easier to fix things like this before you shoot versus spending time in Photoshop trying to fix your mistake.

Be aware of your subjects, their surrounds and their pesky limbs.

___

For more information about private/group photography lessonsContact Joe Randeen

Square Crop

Moon Shot

f8 - 1/160 - ISO 400

f8 – 1/160 – ISO 400

A couple of nights ago, while walking into my kitchen I saw this beautiful moon outside my back window.  It was dusk, slightly hazy and the moon hung just above this leafless tree.  I had to get the moon shot. What you don’t see in this shot are the rooftops of my neighbors homes, for which I’m glad.  I was able to frame the shot without including them.

Not wanting anything to change, I didn’t have time to get my tripod and set it up, work out my exposure, etc.  I grabbed my camera out of my bag, which already had a 100mm lens on it,

Square Crop

Square Crop

took some rough readings and shot about 15 frames with very slight variations.  The winner turned out to be the shot above, shot at f8 at 160, ISO 400.

Color Version

Color Version

I converted the image to B/W so to add to the drama of the moon and a seemingly dead tree. I also did a couple of different crops to vary the feeling a bit.  My only regret, yes I have those as well, is that the moon was bit too close to the tree.  It would have been, IMO, a slightly stronger photo is the moon took up a bit more of the negative space to the left.  I could have easily moved the moon using Photoshop but I had two issues with that.  First, it wouldn’t be integrous. I know, I probably could have argued ‘artistic license’ but NO!  Secondly, upon looking at the image longer I began to appreciate the emptiness to the left.  It says something of the night.

There is one other version that I did publish, and that was a square (1×1) version for Instagram.  I do like the square version but, it also reinforced that, again, I really like the negative space.

Portrait of Kevin

Priestly Portrait

Here’s a shot for recent portrait shot. The end use of this portrait shot was for a website “About Us” page. Kevin was recently ordained and interning at an Anglican Church is Orange County [Holy Trinity Anglican Church]

The morning started off foggy and dark but 40 minutes after arrival the sun broke free.  I put Kevin in open shade and set a speedlight off about 45 degrees with a diffuser to ensure we had a decent catch-light.

It was a easy shot, which made Kevin extremely happy.  He was still have nightmares from a “long” engagement shoot that he’s still not over.  ha ha ha