follow my photoshoots! the good stuff and things that go wrong .....

16th May 2014

Post

Better your ART Competition Odds

What I have learned as an entrant, show organizer and Juror; 

1. Read the rules, a simple thing, one would think!

a) What art disciplines are invited? Does my work fit the theme of the show?

Generally as a photographer, I avoid multi-discipline shows, unless the theme of the show suites my best work or the location or jurors are important to me.

b) the dates? Look at all of the dates, deadline, delivery & pick up, if you cant make the dates or have someone to cover for you, do not expect the show promoter to do work on your schedule

c) how images are to be submitted? if they say to name file images a certain way, there is a reason for this request and no they will not fix for you, quite possible your entry will be eliminated from the competition!                   No you do not get your entry fee back.

EXAMPLE: a common instruction File names must be of the following format:  Smith_Ann_1@jpg.  Your last name followed by first name and the number of your entry to match the image titles you submitted on entry form.”

Samples of actual received file names working to the above rule:

img_1036(2).jpg.png, 14037-2297-3.jpg, DSC08455.jpg, forest.jpg

Probable result: if there are 400 entries for 50 spots on the wall, This could be the 1st elimination round, before any images are even viewed.

d) How are files to be sized? if they say to size a file a certain way, there is a reason for this request and no they will not fix for you.

The file could be too big to load into their system or too small and pixelated to view, quite possible your entry will be eliminated from the competition!  No matter how wonderful they are!

EXAMPLE: a common instruction All images must be in JPG format SIZED AT 72DPI WITH THE LONGEST SIDE AT 1400 PIXELS.”  

Depending on the quality compression, say #8 high  to #12 maximum, the size will be between 300KB and 1.4MB, an excellent monitor viewing size and easy file transfer size.

Sample sizes of actual received files working to the above rule,

ranged in size from 48kb to 21.15mb, far from the expected 300kb and 1.4mb file size!

Now for the show I am using as an example, images were “dropboxed” to my computer so it didn’t make much of a difference, except for a couple small files that were too pixelated to be able to see clearly, these were eliminated. 

Now, another show where I was one of 3 judges, the judging process was via projection screen, the too large size files would not or were too slow to load for viewing, 3 people sitting for 4 hours viewing images, there was not the extra time to size big files, nor request bigger size files, so the files over & under size files were deleted without being viewed.

Probable result: there are 400 entries for 50 spots on the wall, These over/under sized files could be the 2nd elimination round, before any images are even viewed. And No you do not get your entry fee back!

2. Submit good clean images with no background distractions. The judge has seconds seeing the image on the first cut, there is no time to decipher a bad image, don’t be the first in the reject box!

3. Watermarking your images  Even if the rules do not specialty mention this, Do Not put your name on the image! I have seen extra large font across the middle of an image, Do Not Do it!  Besides the need for blind judging, it is distracting, Do Not Do it!

No, your image is not going to be stolen!

CONCLUSION:

Carefully Read the Call to Artist and do as instructed and get the file size and name correct.

Do these simple things and you are already surpassed 20-30% of the competition entries. 

Next, think about subject, composition and lighting!

Competition will make you better and will improve your eye!

best of good Luck

durga Garcia

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6th March 2013

Photoset

Simple tricks for quick attractive portraits!

#1 Look for the Light

With any photography finding the direction of light is #1 job.

Weather it is the the sun, a window or a lamp, turning face into the light is a nice choice. 

Photographer can move around subject seeing the different shadow to light areas to get several different looks.

Another is to have light behind, but then you need to light the face with a reflector, a light or flash, this gives a nice halo effect giving nice separation between subject and background.

The direction of light will determine placement of subject in relationship to photographer, this is always #1

#2 Get closer

A general rule is to fill the frame.  Not to worry if you don’t have the top of their head or end of pony tail in the frame, we know it is there

#3 Find a non-distracting or simple background

Getting close helps when you have an ugly background.

I like making the background go so out of focus it is just muted blending colors. 

Always watch for the exit sign or pole coming out of someone head!

#4 camera aspect

Try shooting Portrait style (images that are higher than wider), Since people are taller than they are wide this aspect is a good choice for portraits. 

While Landscape aspect images, (wider than high) are good for great vistas and Landscapes!

 

The landscape format is good for groups, or head and shoulders shots or to include interesting or relevant background background of the shot.

#5 Camera Level

Having the  camera height level to the subject’s eyes is a good rule of thumb, consistently creating attractive portraits.

Which means with kids and pets, get down!

Shooting from slightly above is good to make eye look bigger and more open, as a bonus any double chin disappears.

Shooting  a full length portrait from below will make someone look taller.

#6 Simple pose

having subject positioned at 45 degrees with face turned to camera, a general rule will give a nice look, without looking “Too Posed”

 

#7 Basics to Avoid

Shoulders square on the camera, if you can see 2 ears, make a change.

Avoid feet being pointed to camera, any change will help

Have hands do something, cross them, put on hips, thumbs in pockets, hold something anything is better than ape arms

Avoid having shoulder pointing to camera

Men look stronger in wider stance

Women will have more shape if knees are close or crossed

When shooting more than one person, try to keep eyes at different heights, not in a straight line. 

Tagged: posinglightingportraitsdurga Garcia

Source: durgaGarcia.com

1st February 2013

Photo with 4 notes

Here is my 1st image taken in 2013.
I needed a picture for “Southern Exposure” magazine,
and it had to be taken on January 1.

I just couldn’t think of an interesting idea …… until I woke up New Years Day!
Got my neighbor to model and we made the 1st image of a series “The Absurd Life of the Unicorn Wilda” that goes with the series “The Absurd Life of Henri, the Horse Head” which I have been doing for a few months.

So I get Sandie, a Latex Unicorn Head and a long piece of tuille and a Canon camera converted to Color Infrared and went out on our dock and waited for a breeze!

We got lucky! The first time out this image won 1st place in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery ‘s “ALL WOMEN 2013” Photography section and 3rd place over all!!
WITH 909 entries from; Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, UK & 36 US states.

AND will be published in next months “SOUTHERN EXPOSURE” Magazine!

Here is my 1st image taken in 2013.

I needed a picture for “Southern Exposure” magazine,

and it had to be taken on January 1.

I just couldn’t think of an interesting idea …… until I woke up New Years Day!

Got my neighbor to model and we made the 1st image of a series “The Absurd Life of the Unicorn Wilda” that goes with the series “The Absurd Life of Henri, the Horse Head” which I have been doing for a few months.

So I get Sandie, a Latex Unicorn Head and a long piece of tuille and a Canon camera converted to Color Infrared and went out on our dock and waited for a breeze!

We got lucky! The first time out this image won 1st place in Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery ‘s “ALL WOMEN 2013” Photography section and 3rd place over all!!

WITH 909 entries from; Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Columbia, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, UK & 36 US states.

AND will be published in next months “SOUTHERN EXPOSURE” Magazine!

Tagged: unicornwildacolor infrareddurga Garciaabsurd life

Source: durgaGarcia.com

22nd December 2012

Photoset with 1 note

Hints for taking Great Holiday Party pictures

1. Get your camera ready, full battery, empty memory card and extra memory cards

2. Flash, use only if you really have to, try the no flash or night time camera setting or, if you, can bounce flash off ceiling. Or party outside! 

3. Take pictures while decorating, food making, gift wrapping, table settings, the tree, ornaments and gifts, special ornaments, the whole room before the party starts and of course the kid tantrums! Show everything at it’s best before everyone descends on your party! This is a good time to    Experiment with your camera,use new settings, different camera modes; a slow shutter speed to give blur to motion; a low Fstop (or use the flower mode) for depth of field, to have just a small area in focus with background in a nice moody blur; Use just candle light or christmas tree lights or outside lights

Photo#1 Mom Corrine’s picture of Rowyn with Santa

Photo#2,3,4,5 by photography student Sloan Millstien

4. The Mandatory Group Photo! I like a big sofa, seat the grandparents & old aunts, than fit in between, pile on and put in front on kids, add presents, pets. Everyone else sits on and stands behind sofa. Have people on the ends lean in towards the center and the back row people lean forward. Photo #6; in my family groups, I will photoshop family that could not be there into the picture, makes it fun, only as the years go by we can’t remember who really was there!

5. Gift Opening! Shoot in continuous/sports/brust mode so not to miss emotions, facial expressions and excitement, especially with kids!  or shoot on a slow speed to get blurred motion! And remember to get gift giver faces for their reactions. Take unPosed pictures to get natural emotions. Fill the frame with face, don’t worry about not getting the top of the head or the end of her braids, we know they are there!

And don’t forget getting the gifts being used or worn, new dress or new bike in action

6 Family traditions,  lighting, reading, baking cookies with the kids,  matching PJ’s,  Don’t miss the little things!  capture those little family traditions that make the holiday special to you.

7. Set up a Photo Station, simple background, a sheet or/and some decorations, have 2 simple lights set at 45 degrees on left and right side, photograph people as they come in. Then leave a simple camera on a tripod for guests to use or they can use their own cameras to do their own pictures during the party. Leave a few props, santa hats, xmas lights, white poster board cut out hearts, candy canes, hammers, whatever.

This is easy and fun at any party, shots are great, funny but be warned … they can get pretty crazy


8. Time-lapse Party, set up a camera or even computer, I have a very simple Time Lapse Camera, position in a good spot in the corner of the room or over the dinning table, have it capture a shot every 5 minutes for the length of party, create interesting series of pictures!

9. After Shots! of the mess! Mess=Fun. Hopefully you have a before picture from the same position!


10. SHOW off your work in a book organize the best of those images into a photo book, they are so easy to do and are such a reasonable cost. I use Blurb.com

MOST IMPORTANT!!  Print them! don’t let your kids be some of the lost generation, who’s every moment was photographed and left on a computer that crashed 


Tagged: christmasholidaypartypicture takingcameraphotographydurgagarcia

Source: durgaGarcia.com

5th December 2012

Post

Even More Sites to Learn Photography…..

http://photographydegrees.org/must-see

PhotographyDegrees.org has put together a very good article highlighting One Hundred Must-See Sites for Photographers.

You can view it here: http://photographydegrees.org/must-see.

It is a great list that showcases resources useful for both amateur and professional photographers.

Some sites on this list offer excellent tips and tutorials, while others are simply quality personal and professional photography sites.

With the tinyest effert todays photographers can be exposed to so much that is being done around the world, I am happy this is my time!

Really, how did people learn before the internet? 

1st November 2012

Photo with 2 notes

"Valley Overlook, North Wales" from my latest series 
Even though I was in Wales to photograph a family, whenever the sun peaked out I would turn around or stop the car to capture some of the most impressive landscapes.
Lucky to get about 12 nice images, guess in a week the sun came out 12 times! 
And this one, was just awarded Honorable Mention in the Countryside Exhibit at Light Space Time Gallery!

"Valley Overlook, North Wales" from my latest series 

Even though I was in Wales to photograph a family, whenever the sun peaked out I would turn around or stop the car to capture some of the most impressive landscapes.

Lucky to get about 12 nice images, guess in a week the sun came out 12 times! 

And this one, was just awarded Honorable Mention in the Countryside Exhibit at Light Space Time Gallery!

Tagged: walessnowdoniavalleylandscapedurga Garcia.fine art photography

Source: durgaGarcia.com

26th October 2012

Post with 1 note

Body Scapes

Here is a simple basic shoot, needing only a bendable model, black backdrop and a single overhead 3x4 softbox.

it helped that the model and I both have yoga backgrounds and I had prepared a shot sheet of the positions I had in mind.

Tagged: body scapesnudefine art photographydurga garciafigure

Source: durgagarcia.com

25th October 2012

Photoset with 1 note

Being in North Wales made me, a people photographer, turn around or stop the car …. whenever the sun peaked though, to capture my surroundings!

A special kind of timeless green beauty

Tagged: LandscapeWalesfine art photographydurga Garcia

Source: durgaGarcia.com

23rd October 2012

Post with 1 note

Trick Shots III

Another fun pose, lay the long haired girl at the end of the table with her head hanging down.

Only need long haired girl and black background with studio or natural window light.

Note this is very hard on the neck, I have someone supporting her head until I am in position to shot and she is told as soon as is becomes a strain for her, to say so and we quickly support her neck again. 

Catherine, receptionist at Palm Beach Photographic Centre came in one day with red tips on her hair …… giving me the idea to do this.

The interesting thing is I wire the frame on both ends so it can be hung to be Falling or Rising!

In post process, black out any areas and stretch hair longer

Here we are using the pose at my lecture at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre

Tagged: poseshairportriatdurga Garcia.fine art photograph

Source: durgaGarcia.com

23rd October 2012

Post

Trick Shots II

Another easy fun pose, black cloth needed and a table for the girl to lay on with hair falling off. For this did not brush hair straight, to get those random lines ….. or maybe I forgot! either way it works! Again just using the available window light.

Just need to make sure the black material is behind all of the hair and lines of the face, in Post process it is a simple paint out of the light areas and rotate image

Another fun shot with interesting results!

Tagged: portraithairfine art photographydurga Garcia

Source: durgaGarcia.com

23rd October 2012

Post

Trick Shots I

Trick shots can be so simple, while producing memorable results.

This is one of my favs, any time I have a girl with long hair I love to use this……..better yet 2 girls with long hair!

So simple, it is almost embarrassing! Only thing needed was a black piece of material, girls put on black tops, we moved some furniture, arranged the hair, natural window light from the hair side was only lighting. The i just stand above them, and try to get them Not the laugh!

Simple and fun with amazing results! my kind of work!

And the same pose being used in a lecture i did this summer at the Palm beach Photographic Centre!

Here another time with dark hair, I used white background.

Tagged: hairdurga garciagirlsposingartfine art photographyportrait

Source: durgaGarcia.com

29th September 2012

Photoset with 1 note

MAKE-UP Artists;

I use a make-up artist/stylist, or MUA, for portraits and commercial or fine art shoots, whenever the budget allows, which to me, is not often enough.  By choice I would have a make-up artist or MUA at every shoot, I envision having a full time MUA.
A huge benefit of using a MUA, it gives the subject time to relax and feel special, to be comfortable with me and the camera. I will sit and talk with them, take a few shots, confirm my camera settings, just watch, see angles or get ideas, I need to relax too, this time gets me in the shoot mood, to keep my mind soley in the shoot and not outside distractions. And this time seems to do the same for the subject, when they walk onto to background with lights set, they seem to have a confidence they didnt have when they first rushed in. That bit of makeup gives them protection or separation from the camera lenes.
I expect my MUA to stay for the shoot, preforably standing beside me watching from my camera angle for any clothes, hair or makeup fixes.
MUA’s can be found by word of mouth or professional connection sites such as Model Mayhem. I like getting to know how a MUA works and more important for them to know how I work. Communication is so important, a weak point of mine, to be able to describe what you expect. What works best for me, I save pictures of makeup ideas, to pull out when during the shoot plan meeting.
Planning a shoot is important, to save wasted time if nothing else. I will go over my Shoot plan (with photos/drawings of makeup, prop & pose ideas) with my assistant, MUA & model(s) while encouraging their input and ideas. 
You can find MUAs, like models, who will work for free or portfolio pictures, something I really dont like.
Respect their time and talents, I always pay, for now I can’t afford much, but I pay. Just as i expect to be paid, just as a 12 year old babysitter gets paid!
Pictured here and who I love to work with is
Trina Williams of http://www.makeupmasterpiece.com 
with the awesome! Ayize Hanif of HUE Model management, www.modelmayhem.com/785343

Tagged: make up artistmodelportraitphotographyfine art photography

Source: durgaGarcia.com

23rd September 2012

Photo with 7 notes

From at June 2012 photo-shoot, this image                                                             “Learning to Dance into the Storm” was awarded 1st place in an all media show!
The 22nd Annual All Florida Juried Art Show
On exhibit until November 14, 2012 at the Court House Cultural Center, Stuart Florida

From at June 2012 photo-shoot, this image                                                             “Learning to Dance into the Storm” was awarded 1st place in an all media show!

The 22nd Annual All Florida Juried Art Show

On exhibit until November 14, 2012 at the Court House Cultural Center, Stuart Florida

Tagged: tutustormdurga garciafine art photograph

Source: durgagarcia.com

23rd September 2012

Photoset with 3 notes

This is just one photo-shoot of a year+ long photo documentary

"The story of a Cheri Mittermaier Bronze sculpture”. Here we are at the St Croix Foundry in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the pouring of liquid bronze into the molds as the artist watches.

The whole story started with the original 7’ clay sculpture and will follow to its first public appearance, 2013, in Florence Italy, the International exhibit tour, ending with photographs of the bronze in its final home.

This morning arrived at the foundry at 8:30am, shot each step of the preparation, molds coming out of the kilm, the bronze ingots being put in the fire to melt, the artisans suiting up in protective gear and the actual liquid bronze being poured into the molds, which happened at 10:00am

When put together this will be a 800 pound 7’ sculpture.

I want to show the amount of work, planning and people it takes to make this one piece of art

Tagged: cheri mittermaierst croix foundrybronzeartsculpturedurga garcia

Source: durgaGarcia.com

22nd September 2012

Photoset

Here is part of my crazy busy 2 weeks,

*5 days in Orlando at the Florida Professional Photographers Convention,                         *a family portrait,  that could only be done on one certain day when everyone would be in town, outside in sweltering heat!                                                                                                                                  *As Volunteer curator at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre a show to be hung and labels made for a Friday night opening “Olympix 2012” an exhibit of photographs from the London Olympics by Adam Stoltman                                                                                                                          *a portrait of a very pretty girl, who does not like being photographed, before she leaves for college.                                                                                                           *a executive head-shot                                                                                                             *a trip to Miami to be photographed by the Sun Sentinel with Danell Leyva,  gymnastic Bronze medal winner just home from London  and my guide dog in training Patrick                                                                                                      *a wedding to photograph of a couple, who had both been bitten by a camera as babies, and really wanted me to do their wedding. Still I don’t do weddings, but I love the images!

And then Sunday the photo-shoot for a yoga book, was cancelled …………….. I slept all day!

The variety of jobs, each with its own particularities make being a freelance photographer a great life! 


Tagged: photographer

Source: durgaGarcia.com