I just won 4 more awards this week at the Intermountain Professional Photographers Association yearly convention. This was the image that won all four awards, the light I photographed when I was stuck in Maine. I just mentioned it actually in my last blog post. It’s titled, “Isle of Light.”
The awards it won were a Kodak Gallery Award (that makes 7 of these for me know), the ASP State Elite Award (called the Best of the Best, my 2nd one), 1st Place Master’s division, and Master’s Court of Honor.
The level of competition is very difficult in the Masters, because the skill levels are all so high. I like competing though, because I like knowing that I can continue to create great images year after year and am always doing better.
I am always trying to raise the level of quality that I offer my clients each year, and to do a better and better job. As expectations and competition rise, I hope that clients see these awards as a sign that my quality and commitment to great images also rises each year.
Well now my print case has been shipped off to regionals and I’m anxious to see how they do. I’ll keep you all posted.
On my way home from New Hampshire, I had trouble with my out-going flight at the Boston Airport and got stranded for the night. They said I needed to fly out the next morning so I took the extra free time to rent a car and drive up to the Cape Neddick or “Nubble” lighthouse. I love lighthouses and this one was new to me. I arrived by late afternoon went up to scout out the place for later. While there I immediately created a panorama, then came back later at twilight, then the next morning at sunrise as I drove off to the airport.
This first one was when I first arrived. I really loved the blue sky, green grass, and the beautiful waves and color of the water. Having a bit of a trip beard, I did a self portrait of myself as well.
I then left the lighthouse to find some food and get a place to stay for the night, but I returned at twilight to create this image below – my favorite from the trip.
Then the next morning I got up at around 4:30 am to get the sun rising in the distance. I shot it a few different ways, first with nice sharp edges…
…and then with soft blurry edges. I really like them both for different reasons.
As I was heading back to my car I created this image of a bench with my same soft lens.
Here’s the place where I stayed the night. I talked to a local who recommended it. They had small one-room cottages in the woods that were quiet and perfect. They also had a very tiny and amazing ice cream shop across the street as well located in the town’s old post office.
My cottage was elevated and up a short hill. It made for a very quiet and quaint night. I wish I had more time to stay there. The place and the entire town was just cool, calm and relaxing with a very fun main street. There were plenty of things to do at night just walking around. Next time I’m out that way, I’ll be sure to go find my way to this fun town.
After leaving the east coast I immediately went to the west coast and found more lighthouses. I’ll post about them in upcoming blog entries.
The other night the moon was supposed to be extra big and bright (news story) which won’t happen again for two more decades. I set out to a secluded place near my home and set up my camera on a tripod to wait for the moon rise. It was a fun and cold night. I had just got back from Texas and was used to the warm weather, and the cool spring night here in Utah made for a fun adventure.
I started out shooting the sunset, as there was about a 15 minute difference from when the sun would set and the moon would rise. I shot for HDR which means you shoot a couple exposures to capture the shadow and highlight details and then sandwich the images together in one image, but ended up just using single exposures as my final images as I feel they look much more natural and esthetically pleasing. Here’s a pano looking west to the sunset.
During twilight, I created some long 30 second exposures of the ground and scenery around me. I really love the next two images and the blue in them.
I especially love the direction of light and the high horizon in this one below.
I was using an iPhone app which pointed to where the moon would rise. I waited for it to peak above the clouds and began to shoot. I really like this image. Everything is so blue.
I pulled back for another image, showing more foreground. I could have digitally enhanced and lightened the grass and foreground, but I prefer it like it is, feeling dark and cool like night.
I zoomed in to capture the moon, but by now it was climbing fast.
The higher moon gave me a bit more light to work with, and I took one more with a lot of foreground and a high horizon, hyper-focal focusing to get as much in sharp detail as possible, especially for such a long exposure.
I really like how these turned out, but nevertheless it was just fun to be outside and enjoying the cool night, looking at the moon. I also created a few images on my iPhone just for fun. Here’s when I first arrived…
My camera and the moon while creating the last image above…
Some weeds against the night sky. I shot this while walking back to my vehicle…
And one more of weeds that I sent from my iPhone to my iPad using PhotoStream, then edited on my iPad to create a pseudo painting. I really like the colors in this a lot.
Well, that was my Big Moon Adventure. If you love photography like I do, and you understand the value of a great image that can stand the test of time, then give me a call. Now is a great time to set up your Spring appointment for your family portrait. Give me a call at 801-728-3317 to schedule a time. And feel free to browse my main website at BryCox.com.
I’m so excited about these images and can’t wait for you all to see them! This is an outdoor commercial shoot that I did for Katherine Nelson. You may recognize Katherine as the actress that played Emma in the LDS Church film, “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.” That movie plays daily at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, and she was also in the movie “Emma Smith: My Story.”
Katherine is also an accomplished singer/songwriter, winning all sorts of awards for both her solo work as well the work she’s done with various groups like the Nashville Tribute Band and Kenneth Cope.
For this project, she had a specific need and concept, so I chose one of my secret locations that matched what she wanted to create.
I set up all sorts of lighting equipment imaginable to take control of the scene. Lighting this scene was difficult, but it needed to be specific and controlled in order to create images that pop, while still being real and natural. The results are phenomenal! I was especially excited that a storm had gone through earlier, giving us great storm clouds to work with. I love a sky with drama!
Katherine is a fantastic model and a joy to be around. I find her easy to photograph, easy to direct, and she really had great expression. She even did her own styling and created her own clothing, accoutrements and flag for the shoot. It all worked together so well. I flipped out when I initially saw her and the details of her outfit. It was all so perfect. I especially love her red skirt against the green grass.
We really had a fun time at this shoot. Looking back over it, two of our initial favorites were the image above and below. I love the sun shining through the clouds in the photograph above, and in the image below, the flag blowing against the awesome storm clouds with a little bit of blue peaking through, really makes this sing!
And this next portrait below is one of my all-time favorites from the entire shoot. I love the stance, the directional lighting on Katherine, and the color harmony with the dominant blue sky. The clouds have wispy pink highlights painted by the sun that has now set. This image is at twilight, and has such depth! I actually put this up on my website’s main splash page today, cropped square.
We were having so much fun that even after the sun set completely, I continued to shoot and create in the dark, using all artificial light. However I did it in such a way that it looks like real sunlight. The scene in these next images was actually dark to the eye at the time, but with the right techniques the scene glows and feels like sunset.
Then to end the shoot, I finished up with some close-ups, again with all artificial light because the sun had set at this point. The idea was to create a fake sunset but with the control of darkness, and these images are some of my favorites! (That’s one of my lights as a fake sun in the image below because it’s actually dark outside.)
You really need to see the entire shoot, but there’s not room enough on the blog, so I created a slideshow set to music. Start it up and enjoy.
It seems funny, but anytime I post a shoot like this, I get a lot of emails and phone calls asking where my images were taken. When I suggest that they hire me and I’ll photograph them there, some will admit that they just want to go to the same spot with a cheaper photographer – as if my locations are what yield great results. This is of course untrue.
Being in a great location with the right gear and a beautiful model certainly doesn’t hurt, but the real key to creating great photographs (whether it be outdoors, in sunlight, at twilight, sunset, or even after the sun has gone down) is specific control of lighting. And lighting people specifically and artistically is my unique skill.
I sometimes point to my list of awards and credentials, not to brag, but to show that when you hire ME, you’ll get something completely unique and personal, you’ll get phenomenal photography.
No matter who you are, I will make you look great, real, and natural, and generations from now people will still love your portraits and appreciate your purchase.
Now is a great time to set up your Spring appointment. I’m sure it’s time for a new family portrait, and high school seniors are getting ready to graduate. Give me a call at 801-728-3317 to schedule a time. And feel free to browse my main website at BryCox.com.