The idea of getting better at taking pictures is to avoid having to do a lot of work afterwards in toning on the computer. Nowadays we can make nearly any photograph into something with the help of photoshop or other programs. But this takes a lot of time. So we want to get our pictures nearly client ready in camera. This is where the craft of photography comes in. There are technical things to learn, know and put into practice. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a techy guy. But I do believe its not worth beating your head against a wall repeatedly when it isn't necessary. So learning certain basics is something that is very good to do. I teach photography so I'm cautious of 'rules' of photography, yet I teach them. The 'rules' are in place to help us learn how to be better. I break these rules often, but incorporate other, what I consider higher 'rules' or practices....and then I often break those looking for the next level of 'rules' to learn and perhaps someday learn to break. The constant learning and getting better...thats what I'm interested in. That is the way an artist lives--work and try to find a new expression for their technique! The image above has a lot of post production. It was actually a pretty well made image, but I decided to play a little in photoshop with the colors and the next thing I new I was making it into something much different...not sure if I made it into something better, but different and in so found some interesting things to perhaps try again. Maybe learn how to d it and make it into a 'rule' of making an image...then break it! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
I have always made dark work. My drawings were always pushed to the point of darkness, even when I thought of my pictures as being in sunlight, they appeared to others as night. I see light emerging from the shadows so much more than any other kind of light(with the possible exception of reflected light.) So pushing myself from time to time to see and make work that is high key is a challenge. Admittedly I've been doing a lot of the washed out over powered flash stuff in the last year or two, but true high key, I'm still trying to find that. In fact I have a set up in my studio right now for a high key still life that I need to work on soon--lighting and exposure is the key. I just hope I can find my way with it...its a good thing to really feel comfortable with in commercial photography and even though I know I can technically do high key work, its finding the vision in it that I'm searching for. I'm hoping to explore this idea more in the next month or so with a couple clients coming in that will be great to photograph white on white. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
One of Harmony Motter's favorite assignments was covering the duck release at the annual Duck's Unlimited Waterfowl expo in Linesville. I hadn't planned on covering this, but scheduling made it difficult for me to get to all the places I needed to today so I chose to do this. I got to thinking about Harmony and how she is leaving fro Italy today--just a few hours after I was trying to focus on these ducks being released after banding. So when I saw this picture I figured I'd make it the featured picture of the day to commemorate Harmony's flight to an exciting adventure across the pond! Photograph by Richard Sayer.
This is a big weekend for motorcyclists. The annual ride from Conneaut Lake to Diamond Park for the POW/MIA 24 hour vigil takes place Saturday beginning at 3 p.m..Today on my way to work I was behind a cyclist at a light. I know several riders taking part in this year's and other year's rides and I know how they are advocates for motorcycle safety and awareness of motorcyclists on the road. I don't ride but I do understand the appeal of it and I certainly understand the issues with safety etc... I often try to get pictures from mirrors. Someday this is how I want to photograph someone smoking, I've seen the picture, but have yet to get it. Photograph by Richard Sayer.
Seems like it rains everytime I need to go out to take pictures these days(ok it was nice today, but chilly). My feet feel like they have puckered for good from being in wet grass for what seems like 8 weeks in a row. I do like rain and really don't mind weather, but man...lets change it up a bit. I'd like a couple of warm sunny days in a row just to dry out! Then bring it back--its ok! I like the road when its wet and reflective--just as long as its not slippery! Photo by Richard Sayer
I never know what the design is going to be for a memory mate/sports mate. I really don't. start with the team photo and get a feel and then pull one individual picture up next to it and see what my mind starts to see. Most sports mates are simple--a team photo and an individual photo on a background that is designed to fit the sports. I've mentioned this before, but when I first started looking into what a memory mate was I saw a lot of really crappy examples and thought about quitting the business because if thats what people want--I really don't want any part of it. But before I quit I decided to try to re-think the memory mate and came up with a design that I could live with(looking back now I'm not too thrilled with that one) and it was received pretty well overall--only a couple of complaints. But since then I've had fun trying to design something unique to each sport and each school or organization. So far the feedback has been overall pretty positive which is good, because doing it this way does requires more work and more time. If people aren't responding well then I'd be wasting my time. But with every new design comes that little bit of anxiety that maybe this one isn't any good...so I send it out there and wait for the feedback.... fingers crossed. Today I designed and processed the Saegertown varsity football pictures. It was a long day but I got them done and ready for the printer. I just hope the folks that ordered them like them. SayerMotter Photograph and design by Richard Sayer.
That is so 70's or 80's. The giant wicker chair! This was a staple in photography studios for years. Great prop/chair to put little kids, dogs and high school seniors in. It became cliche. So when I was getting back into portraiture and commercial photography, of course, I didn't want anything to do with the giant wicker chair. But then, I was thinking about getting one by asking a friend who had one for years in his studio if I could borrow his....that is if he still had it. Then a good friend asked me if I wanted one...I didn't even think about it...YES! I'm not sure why...I didn't really have any direct plans for one, but just thought it was too good to pass up. Tonight I got a chance to photograph another friend and during the shoot we discovered something with that chair and the new set of lights I recently obtained!!!! What started out as a simple--'hey look at that shadow..do you know what I'm thinking?' turned into really playing with shining this light through the chair to see what we could find. It was a small shadow really...it was in the corner of the room really close to the chair. I pulled the chair away from the wall to create a bigger shadow and started to plan a shot. We shot probably 150 pictures of this alone really exploring the possibilities and I see so many more things I can do with this light. This is exciting! I was emailing with one of my students tonight about how great it is to be a young photographer and having each experience be something new and exciting. I mentioned to him that I miss that in my work---even though I'm sure I'm a better photographer now than I've ever been in the past--that feeling of making something new is sometimes lost in my experience---but I do still feel it a bit when I see something and decide to explore the possibilities of it---light is still pretty intriguing if you;re willing to experiment and go with a gut feeling when you see something small that can be made into something so much bigger! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
This morning I woke up at 5 a.m to meet up with my nephew, Levi. He was about to start his second day of headstart. But, this morning was special because, he was getting on the school bus for the very first time in his life. I think that I was more excited than he was. I brought him his favorite donuts and we had a wonderful morning.
I think that Levi has spent enough time with me that he now poses for the camera. The shots above were taken as we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the school bus.
The time has come for Little Levi to be a big boy and hug his Mommy good-bye. We hear the school bus turn the corner and it is on its way to pick him up.
The big yellow bus is here and off he goes.
Photos By: Aunt Harmony
The studio we rent recently had a new roof put on. This disrupted things for a few days but overall it wasn't too bad. Yesterday I drove into the studio parking lot and there was this palate leaning against the fence. It really caught my eye. I think the marks are from tar paper rolls. This made me think of all the hipstamatic pictures being taken of mundane things that suddenly look really great with in these funky retro looking photos. I still don't have that iphone I've been talking about getting for so long now, so I took out my slightly more expensive camera and made a picture of it. Its one of those things....is this really a picture worth looking at, or for that matter even taking and posting and writing probably far too many words about? Is it beautiful? and if its not worth taking a picture of why did it catch my eye in the first place? I admit I do seem to have my attention grabbed by the unusual. I also thought about natural 'drawing'. Things that leave an impression of themselves in some marks on surfaces. We're coming up on that time of year when leaves will start falling. Ever see what happens on concrete when a leaf lands on it and is wet so it sticks there for awhile. When it finally dries enough an leaves there is usually a really beautiful impression that looks like a rubbing or a drawing left behind. This reminded me of that. I speak with my friends all the time about how even though I'm a professional photographer getting paid to do what I do, I still think about the hobby of photography as well--that which we do for the pure joy of it--no strings attached. Thats why I take time to make pictures like this--the pure joy of making photographs of what I see. Photograph by Richard Sayer.