Ian’s Senior Portraits

Ian Senior Portrait

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. I’ve been crazy busy, but it’s been so much fun. This month has been especially wonderful since I’ve been shooting more portraits and events than I have in so very long. One of the portraits I did this month was for Ian. He’s quite a talented young man and I’ve been very impressed. He’s quiet, doesn’t say much, but he does have a very sharp sense of humor. He’s a Eagle Scout, so you know that he’s dedicated and works hard. Those rewards aren’t just handed out. In addition, he’s a cross country runner. The morning we took these pictures he clocked his personal best time for the event.

Ian doesn’t smile much but he did for me. His mother was pretty amazed that I got that out of him. I’ve been around Ian since he was small and he’s always been a great kid. He’s related to the folks who live next door to me and though I didn’t see him often, it has been fun watching him grow up. He does have some plans for after college and I’m sure that what he sets his mind to, he will succeed. I’m hoping to keep an eye on him to see if he fulfills his goals.

We shot these images at one of the local metro parks. I’ve lived here for a long time and this was the first time that I had been in this particular park. What a gem it is. The landscaping was fantastic and they had finished putting in all the fall flowers. The weather was perfect for the day, mid-70s with some clouds, and gorgeous sunshine.

There were lots of really cool places to pose for pictures. Near the entrance to the park is a large rose garden with a wonderful pergola and bench area. We didn’t get up there today. There were two wedding parties shooting up there.
Next, they have a large herb garden with beautiful walks and hedges. Beyond that is a waterfall with walkway that goes down a hill until you get to the collecting pool at the bottom. We didn’t get much beyond that, but I think that the paths continue on for a long way.

We got into trouble with that third image. There was a spot there where you could see that other people had been standing to capture an image. Just as we were finishing there, one of the park rangers scolded us for being in the flower bed. He was right to give us a hard time, but I was very careful to make sure that Ian stepped only on the bald spot and didn’t disturb any of the other flowers. I know that the Ranger was there to protect the flowers and the grounds and we were in the wrong, but it was such a great spot for a photo, I couldn’t resist. Maybe I better make a donation to the park to pay for my stepping into the flowerbed.

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Ashley’s Senior Portrait

Ashley's Senior Portrait

Last week I took Ashley’s senior portraits. And this week, I spent most of the week selecting and editing the images in preparation for posting them to the gallery I created for she and her family. We had a great time and you could tell that she was so excited to be getting her portrait made. I think they turned out quite well and I have a lot of good ones to work with. I also got to work with my daughter, Fiona, who did Ashley’s hair for the session. Who knows, maybe that can turn into a full time thing–her doing hair and makeup and me doing the photos. Instead of King and Son, it will be King and Daughter!

We went to a local city park that has a farm on the property. The farm was one of the original farms in the area and at one point, the family donated the land and buildings to the city. The city has done a marvelous job maintaining the buildings and grounds.

The farm house has been turned into office space and the barn has been turned into a venue that you can rent. There’s also a small pond on the property with a large weeping willow tree near it. Perfect for a great image. I noticed that I wasn’t the only photographer there that day. Someone else was getting their photos done and we seemed to be swapping spots as we worked.

I really enjoyed working with Ashley on her photos. She’s grown up so much lately, but she still has that innocence of a younger person. She has gone through a lot in her 19 years. It’s good to see her finally turning into an adult.

The image I included with this entry is one of my favorite images from her set. And you know me, I love black and white.

My Photography Workflow

In my last posting, I wrote about the tools I use to manage my blog. I figure I should also share the tools I use for my photography. For the bulk of my work I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. In addition, I also use a couple of add-on tools, like OnOne software’s Perfect Photo Suite. I also use a Wacom Bamboo tablet and stylus for finer control when I’m working on the image.

I use an expo disc when I shoot to set a custom white balance. This has to be the best $99 dollars I’ve ever spent. Once you set your white balance in the camera, the images come out perfectly color corrected. I’ve almost never had to adjust white balance in the computer after I started using this tool.

Adobe Lightroom is my main workhorse in my photo workflow. I start out by creating new catalog for each client and maintain all of the images from that client in his or her specific catalog. I used to use just one big catalog for all my images, but when you get a lot of images in it, the application slows down. During import I add keywords and set up the metadata for the images.

I’ll jump out the Photoshop when I need to make additional corrections and if I’m going to be using Perfect Photo Suite. I like to take this extra step to send the image through photoshop so that I can easily compare before and after views of the image before I pull it back into Lightroom.

Once I have everything to my liking, I output the images into the gallery I’ve created for the client. I use SmugMug.com for fulfillment of my images for the client. I love what they just did to the user interface and the site designs they created. I hope that keep updating the user experience. You can check out my portfolio at Michael King Photography

Well, that’s pretty much covers it.

Piano In The Home

Piano

Piano

I didn’t get a chance to post this one last night, but here’s the photo for Jan. 20.  We got this piano a while ago.  My wife wanted a piano in the home for the sound of the music. I find the sound of the piano to be very relaxing.  She and I both took lessons when we were kids, but haven’t played much since.  Our children both played instruments in the High School Marching band and did a lot of practicing sitting at this piano.  My sister also plays (and plays really well) so sometimes she plays when she comes over (though not often).

I’ve read that you can keep the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by learning a new language or learning to play a musical instrument.  Maybe it’s time to start practicing again.  It does need a good tune up and some of the keys are sticking, but that can be fixed.