Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moving Time...

Blogger has been good to me, but I have decided to move this blog to WordPress.  All of the posts from this blog can be found at the new blog.

Please visit me at http://briannadanyllephotography.com/

Monday, August 8, 2011

Swing Times!

Over the weekend I was lucky enough to see Phat Cat Swinger at the Hip Kitty Jazz & Fondue Lounge. My love of swing aside, this band was incredibly lively, talented, and just a lot of fun to experience. I really wanted to capture at least a fraction of the heart and soul this band brought to the stage.

My husband and I went to see them for our 1-year anniversary. I felt bad bringing the other member in our marriage (my camera, bag, and lenses) on our special night. However, how could I pass up an opportunity to photograph a lively band? That's regret that I didn't want to kick myself for later!

Despite my love of getting particular shots, I'm a pretty "shy" photographer. If I'm not assigned the task of taking pictures, I try to stay out of the way of others and remain as generic as possible. Therefore I was pretty limited in photography angles as my home base was our dinner booth. Still, I was very happy with a lot of the shots of that night.

Lesson of that evening: you can still get great shots even if you're unable to move as freely as you'd like.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

May I Borrow That Toy?

When I was little, I heard about a kid who photographed her toys in a makeshift studio in her room. I thought it was brilliant! As an only child, I lacked the constant source material to photograph that siblings could offer. However, toys were never in short demand! I remember arranging stuffed animals on a stool and trying to be as artistic as I could with my little kid skills as I snapped away on my like 110mm camera. Now, again, I was a young child so my lack of employment meant I had to make that roll of film last. Those 24 exposures were precious!

As an adult, I use a digital camera and far more flexibility in how many pictures I take before I'm out of space. While I'm not trying to turn my place into Teddy Bear Portrait Studio, I do find value in photographing toys. Not only do toys frequently offer an array of color, but they can be good practice for honing one's technical skills. Lighting is still important. Composition is still important. Mood and purpose are still important elements that can and should be brought to each picture. It's also great practice in trying to invoke some kind of emotion to an inanimate object.

If you've been looking for an excuse to collect toys (or "action figures"), you can now say that they aren't childish items, they're helping you hone your skills!

Bringing Life to the Lifeless

I find beauty in so many things around me. One of the things that I really like are dried flowers. I love how the pigments remain on the flowers and the way the shape (more or less) stays in tact. Few things remain as colorful long after their lifespan.

I will say this: my husband gets the most bang for his buck when he buys me flowers. I love getting fresh flowers; I think they're beautiful. However, when I receive flowers, their shelf life lasts longer than most since I keep them around long after they're dead.

Too bad flowers become very fragile when they get to such a delicate state. Good thing I can photograph them without causing much (if any) harm to the flowers.

This way, they'll live even longer!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

If I don't have something to photograph, I will challenge myself in order to keep the creative juices flowing. I look around whatever is near me to find something that is common and plain--something that is easily visually discarded and regarded as physical white noise in the background. The challenge is to make that seemingly insignificant thing seem not only significant, but purposefully planned and sought after. (Wow, that sentence was a mouthful!)

On two occasions, I chose to focus on items that crowded my overly messy nightstand. The earrings on the left hang on a holder that is filled with different styles of earrings. In fact, since our move, a lot of the earrings are missing a mate. The earring holder, in an of itself, would make for a rather boring shot--missing earring and all. However, by honing the focus on a specific pair of earrings, attention isn't wasted on the lonely earrings. One can't even tell there are mate-less earrings.

Similarly, the necklace was haphazardly tossed onto stray tissue paper that just never made into the trash can. I had fun using the light to really play off the translucent-colored beads, and the color contrast of the bright pink paper. This wasn't a shot I would have thought to create on own, but I was happy with the result once I was done.

Lesson that I've learned (and try to keep in mind when I feel like there isn't anything to shoot)? Play! Challenge the eye. Take pictures anyway! There are gems all around, waiting for their 15-minutes of fame.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Heart and Soul of an Athlete

Some of the most powerful images I've seen are those from sports. If the photographer is lucky enough to capture those quick moments, he/she is left with an image that shows great honesty, vulnerability, and intensity. Some athletes make it look easy, but if you watch carefully, there is a lot of emotion swirling around on the court/field/rink/arena/etc.. I love capturing the stray moments. I love freezing that moment in time when an athlete's heart and competitive soul breaks free.

The beauty of photography is having the ability to selfishly freeze moments in time that you'd like to remember forever and revisit from time to time. It's a way to pinpoint exact emotions and expressions; it's a way to showcase a facet of oneself that my not be regularly on display. I love photographing sports and action because I feel as though I'm tapping into something special. If "a picture is worth a thousand words," then I'd like to produce volumes.

As a person who loves puzzles, one of the best parts about photographing sports is finding ways to bring the action to life in new and interesting ways. It's about more than just documenting what is happening; it's about capturing an image that allows whomever is looking at the picture later to feel as though they were there, right in the thick of things.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photographing Pets

I am, without a doubt, a huge animal lover. I love watching animals play and move around in their surroundings. The absolute best is watching an animal interact with something new that has it completely perplexed. Watching the animal try and make sense of new experiences is priceless.
Similarly, seeing an animal in a relaxed state can be just as moving. I suppose I like capturing things around me that is different than what I see everyday.

I can absolutely see how people can get wrapped up in taking oodles of pictures of their pets. (Guilty!)