Meadville Tribune Photo By: Harmony Motter
This is a shot that I snapped this evening at the Meadville Community Theatre's play rehearsal of 'Dead Man's Cell Phone.' Shout out to the "Deadman" Mitch Micosky! For more information on the upcoming play call (814) 333-1773.
Meadville Tribune Photo By: Harmony Motter
Yesterday I toured Hurry Hill Maple Syrup Farm in Edinboro. The farm is home to approximately 1,000 tapped trees. As I was taking a tractor ride though Northwestern Pennsylvania, I learned many fun facts about maple syrup (like you need 40-50 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of syrup). During the tour I saw all of these buckets hanging from the maple trees and it made me smile. I think that sometimes in my everyday-life I forget what a pretty place Pennsylvania is. This photo reminded me!
Photo By: Harmony Motter
20 some odd years ago I would look through Cosmo, Vogue and all those magazines looking for the way fashion photographers used light and created poses. I kept thinking--'man that looks awkward!' So years later when I began working with people looking to build portfolios I would use the line--'if it feels awkward it probably looks cool!' Learning poses is one thing--finding the poses that work for each person is its own thing. I ask people to move this or that way and I get the line back...'it doesn't move like that' or 'i can't twist any further without falling down.' I'll even try to get into the pose myself(maybe thats why I have back problems). I do know certain looks work for certain people. Real skinny people seem to look great with more angularity and extreme elongation--actually everyone looks better elongating their poses. In working through a shoot its fun trying to work our way into finding the right combination of outfit, lighting and pose. When we bring all three together with expression we have something. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
I admit--I don't know much about color coordination. My recent want to learn more about white on white or high-key portraitures and photography got me thinking about the idea of what if you have all the same color too. I've seen work done this way--highly thought out work. I'm a reactor-photographer. I react to make my pictures more than plan them out. So when I can react to something and move quickly toward making the picture I ultimately want to make--a picture that have expressive qualities I see that the images become a little more sophisticated. And even though I see need to improve really all my images, I am glad when I find something that really seems to work. I photographed Angela last evening and her red hair begged to be photographed with a red background and red clothing. I think I've used a red background at most 2 other times and was never quite sure how to make it work. I feel I moved a step closer last night. This week was filled with making some images of beautiful women, and in the days to come I'm sure more of these images will be our featured picture of the day. Last night Angela said to me--'you have the best job in the world!' I agree. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
Those of you who know Harmony and I know we're trying to establish our photography business from the ground up. We both love photography and making pictures, so we want to do this and bring this love we have into the lives of the people in our community. But, we're doing it slowly and building. Last year Harmony did an job for the 70s prom for a high school senior project. It was a theme--so we wanted to create a background to go with that theme. So we made a tie dye--now we don't know how to make a tie-dye or a background really so it was an experiment. It turned out ok and now we have this really colorful background. It really stayed sitting folded up after the prom, but I've thought to bring it out on occasion and its quite a bright bit of color and fun to work with. Last night I brought it out and made some pictures. This is a quick edit grab of one of those pictures--I'll have more later to show. And about building our business--we see that nominations are now being made for the best businesses in the area--last year we were surprised given we hadn't had much exposure yet to come in third. So if you're a reader of the Tribune and you have a couple of moments and would like to give us your vote--we'd love to have it--in fact take a picture of you with your ballot and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll give you half off our standard photo shoot---and then we'll make a really really good photo for you.
Teaching at Allegheny and covering stories at Allegheny is a fine line of sorts being a journalist. I have to be very aware that my dedication is to the story and not to the institution. I find it a little easier than you might think because that is also my attitude with the newspaper. My dedication as a journalist is first and foremost to the story. I can't worry about advertising revenues or whether or not this group or that group might find something offensive or they wish it wouldn't be in the newspaper(we have people at the paper whose job it is to worry about that stu. My dedication is to the story I'm telling--whatever that is. I'm not one that should be placing my thoughts or biases or concerns into the work--I need to report. So in covering a rally Wed. I was trying to keep in mind that even though I know some of the people in the rally, some are my colleagues and some are even my boss that I can't be part of glorifying or being an agent of propaganda to make the school look better--I need to simply report on what I see and experience. What is the story? That is always the first and last question we need to address as journalists. Even when the story is less provocative like a senior project involving a solar panel--what is the story--and how can I make a picture. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer.
I talk to a lot of photographers and many have ways that they do things. I go to an event and I do this this and this--and usually in that order. Its smart to have plans and go in knowing ways that will work to get the picture you need. I often challenge myself to not do this. For instance this past basketball season I shot the majority of my games with the 300 mm lens. Its really too much lens for shooting the whole court. The action closer to you is very difficult to capture because in needs to be so compact and tight in a small area that I almost never get a frame worth using. The other end of the court however is great and half court when something happens just right-- like a collision or diving for a ball its a great lens to have. But mostly its harder to shoot basketball with the lens--its a challenge. I also have been looking a lot at my commercial work over the last year and discovered I am more geared toward the darker pictures and my lighter--high key images often lack. I don't like this. So of late I've been thinking more high-key and trying some things to see what I can figure out and add it to my bag of tricks. I even have some white face paint thanks to a great clown friend of mine and through some experimentation started figuring out some high - key things that work. This image...well it got a little crazy. I've also been experimenting with some surreal ideas in my personal work and this image began moving towards that and I just let it. There is always much to say in this world and figuring ways to say it to connect with different people is a difficult task--I may communicate something with this piece to one person--or a group and communicate absolutely nothing to another--I guess that is the nature of art. Digital manipulated photo from a high key shoot with Jessica by Richard Sayer.
As soon as I was done posting above I had another thought and --yes I have yet another thought on this piece that I may try and post soon too--This is the part of the creative process that I love the most--the 'what else?' thoughts that I have--and I just had a 4th idea--maybe idea three will have to wait!
Ok--I have to quit now because I have to head to Edinboro to talk about ethics of photojournalism--you know the idea that you can never manipulate a photograph and present it as real.....and yes I see the irony.
Not sure about this--going to walk away from it for awhile. Don't think I'm a surrealist.
I intended on only going to meet a friend for a few moments on Sunday and it turned into an event. Roff's School House Tavern on a Sunday is my kinda place. I know businesses like busy and crowds--but I like a few people and good music. I met Seth Brewster today. It began with me finding out if it was ok with him if I made a few pictures as he played--he was actually just practicing and checking out the sound at the place,but this was our treat. This young man is a talent. We chatted about music and the creative process and he gets it. There is no ego--at least not in the bad way(everyone who puts their work out there has some sense of ego). He got up and played and played and it was a wonderful thing to watch and listen. He'll be at Roff's on March 26 to play for real and if he delivers even a fraction of what he delivered today--the patrons that night will be very pleased. Photographs by Richard Sayer.
PS-the title I put up top --'Its a plant" refers to a Keller Williams tune that we talked about tonight!
I have to admit--I'm much too tired to edit my photos from today with clarity. It was a good Sunday with good people, but the Spring ahead hour has made me quite tired indeed. I started my day with an old friend--well someone I've known for a few years now making pictures for her possible future modeling career. I met Angela a few years ago when she was modeling for a student of mine and we have since gotten together for a shoot or two ourselves. I made several shots today, this was one in front of a promo display piece we made last year that I thought might make for a good background today(I always see potential and hope it works out!). I haven't really gone through my edit completely from today, but this one caught my quick eye. I also photographed a very talented Seth Brewster tonight who came to Roff's School house tavern for a quiet night of practice and ended up being attacked by a photographer and few other fine beer lovers who thoroughly enjoyed his craftsmanship as he tested out his equipment and the sound system. I'll plan on posting a picture of Seth tomorrow after I get some shut eye! This was a fine Sunday. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.