Tag Archives: landscape

Image of the Week | Platinum Sunset

It is difficult to believe that summer is almost over. This summer was no doubt the busiest summer season I have had yet and things don’t really change gears from this point. School begins next week, kids sports and activities are in full swing and wedding season does not begin to slow down until November.

Portrait bookings are coming in for late summer/fall outdoor family shoots. This is actually the perfect time of year to shoot outdoors as the heat and haze of the summer does not dilute the skies true clarity and color saturation. I am shooting just as many outdoor sessions over the next few months and I am in-studio sessions here at home base.

For this weeks image, I wanted to post one of my favorite images from summer. It’s an image of the fire island lighthouse I took at sunset at the Fire Island National Seashore. As breathtaking as this image looks in color, I chose to have this printed on metallic paper in black & white due to the tasteful tones and contrast the image displays when the color is removed. It places more of the focus on the lighthouse in this composition, because the lighthouse itself is black and white.

I hope everyone had an awesome summer and I look forward to a very picturesque autumn season.

Image of the Week | Sun and Bamboo

Ryane & Michael just left this morning after seeing their wedding for the first time (congratulations post to follow), so I thought it would be appropriate to showcase one of their images as the image of the week. One thing I always do following each wedding I shoot is to have the bride & groom over to view their images with me for the first time. Once we meet and go through all the images, and I mean all of them in a beautiful slideshow with music, then I give them their proofs, disc and access the their exclusive gallery on my site.

Viewing the images with the client is be very rewarding. I get to witness their expressions and reactions to the images as they relive their wedding day. Words can not describe how important this is to me. Instead of sending them a link and possibly never hearing back to confirm if they are truly happy, I am there.

This day, we had a backyard wedding on a beautiful day. As sun began to dip closer to the horizon, I was anticipating a beautiful lightscape background as the sun shined through the forest of bamboo trees. The background is so beautiful, it almost looks fake.

So many good images from this wedding. I am putting together a collection of favorites and will put up a congratulations post later in the week.

Sun glare Rocks!

Image of the Week | Lens Effect

Choosing the right lens for the job is key. Much like post-productions image effects, it’s all based on opinion and over-using any special effect can be a bit much even if the effect is nice. When I am experimenting on the job, it’s important to get the safe pictures first before I attempt to be creative if the end result is not the way you remember seeing it. This effect is done through the lens and can not be corrected in post-production. Knowing your gear is critical when envisioning an image or duh, you wouldn’t know how to create it in camera and will only exist in your mind.

Here I have included two different shots of the same image shot with different lenses. I was backed up against an array of bushes when I shot these and could not go back any further. I chose to shoot this image both with a wide angle lens and a fisheye lens. If I had shot the first image any wider to capture the entire mansion’s width, the couple would be even smaller in the frame and that would not work. The fisheye lens is a much wider angle of view and I was able to move in a bit closer, which made the couple larger in the frame. What also happens is the edges of the image get distorted due to the very wide angle of view combined with the roundness of the glass and that is the effect of the optics.

Both are nice images, I kinda like the fisheye image myself, but it’s all about taste.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts.

Super Moon Engagement Shoot

I was pretty psyched to go out and shoot this past weekend (as I am every weekend), but this weekend was a special case, cause I was in anticipation of the Super Moon. Not for a landscape expedition however, I was shooting an engagement session and I was prepared every step of the way. I use a little app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, which lets me know exactly when and where the sun and moon will rise and set based on any geographical location I set (and I have a few favorites saved).

We had three locations set up for this session and we spent 3 hours shooting. The plan was to finish the evening at the beach to catch some twilight and hopefully the moon rise. The clouds were thick and low on the horizon, so I knew there was no shot of seeing it peek over the horizon, but we waited till it finally did sneak through the clouds and it was still magical.

So off I wend to go meet Brittany & Billy in Babylon Village where they often dine and hangout. We started off the night right with a glass of wine and some laughs. The images will tell the rest of the story. There are too many good images to put them all on the blog, but this is just a taste.

Hit the continue link below to see more images from the shoot.

Congratulations Brittany & Billy! I had an awesome time.

Continue reading Super Moon Engagement Shoot

Congratulations Angela & Mark

Angela and Mark will be tying the knot in less than a month and the weather is warming up nicely. I just finished designing their engagement collage which will be displayed at the reception of the wedding. Wedding season is almost in full swing and after a day in NY like today, who could you not have spring fever.

I hope everyone is enjoying this weather and taking lots of pictures!

Wedding Portraits

I will always will be a student of photography. I look at pictures all the time, because I enjoy and appreciate them. And most of the time, I am not even looking at wedding pictures, because it’s not inspiring to recreate something that has already been done. To me, looking at pictures helps me look a scene as if it were a picture, so I can see the results before I snap the shutter. It’s not cool to constantly follow someone else’s work or always work from a preconceived shot list. It’s important to be different and it’s difficult to do this without trying.

Many photogs tend to get into a routine where every shot looks the same. Every bride and groom are standing the same, or every bridal party looks like it was posed the same way. That works for some people and that is totally fine, but if you can’t challenge yourself to be different on the spot, then your creativity may go stale. It’s easy to bring contact sheets with you and simply shoot through the notes, but when a situation forces you to be different, now you have to think. If everyone shot the same way, choosing a photographer would be as simple as going with the best price.

Two very important factors to consider when trying to recompose or recreate an  already accomplished shot: People do not all look the same (features, posture, etc.), and the scenery is almost always different. When it comes to portraits, I always include soft close up images into the mix, but most of my compositions will include something in the background or foreground to reveal the subjects surroundings. And for me, that usually means outdoors. somewhere in the sweet spot of a beautiful landscape.

 

Occasionally, the weather prevents me form working outside and we are forced to move indoors, but the bride and groom chose the venue because of the beautiful landscape. It’s unfortunate, but there are always opportunities to get good images and when you are hired to do a job and deal with these situations, it is always my main priority to try and kill it. Envision possibilities and work with what you have. Move some furniture or use a mirror to expand a really tight space. The last thing I want to do is present the images to the couple and blame my lack of production on Mother Nature. There are no do overs!

– Mark

Congratulations Lauren & David

I photographed a wedding recently at the beautiful Danfords Hotel & Marina in Port Jefferson. As with every event I document, I visited the location beforehand to scout indoor and outdoor photo locations. I always need to be prepared for both good and bad weather, because you never really know what Mother Nature’s mood will be the day of your wedding.

We were able to capture a few pictures outside by the water, but it started to rain about 7 minutes in. Once the rain started falling, everyone scattered back to the hotel with their umbrellas already handy. Since I happen to carry photographic umbrellas with me as part of my gear, I had an idea to create a “kissing in the rain” photo in front of the hotel’s entrance. The rain actually stopped for a few minutes as the bride and groom assume positions, but it still turned out cool. The back-lit scene would have made the rain drops very clear in the frame if it were still raining. I secured one of my lights underneath the umbrella to light them from the top. I knew I needed to light them somehow, as it was dark out at this point and basic off-camera flash did not seem adventurous enough for me. I grabbed some great photos throughout the day and was very pleased with the result due to being prepared.

I had a meeting with the bride and groom this past weekend to go through their wedding photos with them. I always have the bride and groom come by the house to view all the wedding photos because I enjoy seeing their reactions to the images. It’s the icing in the cake.

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– Mark

Congratulations Rose & Vinny!

It was great hanging out with these two just two weeks after their recent engagement. The engagement sessions are important to me because it gives me the chance to get to know the couple before the wedding. I get to put them in front of my camera before the big day.

Practice usually makes perfect!

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Dorothy & Paul – Awesome Fire Island Wedding

Earlier this year, I was contacted by Dorothy and Paul,  a lovely couple from Virginia who had plans to get married here at the Fire Island Lighthouse. Dorothy is originally from Hawaii and Paul lived on Long Island years ago, but had never visited the lighthouse. The idea was to have an outdoor wedding by the beach and were both pretty excited when they found this spot.

Given the distance between their home and here, they did plan a couple of trips up to check out the venue and meet with a photographer. They found me while searching the internet for long island wedding photographers and noticed that I had covered weddings at the lighthouse before and also had some personal landscape images there as well. We met in person on their last trip up and they decided to hire me after we talked and looked at pictures and albums for almost two hours. I was praying that the weather would be awesome as I had so many ideas for images visioned in my head. I love to visit this place and it’s a home run every chance I have to go there.

They had a very personal and traditional Hawaiian ceremony planned where they both placed leis on all of their guests (including myself and the officiant) which was very cool. We’re not talking cheap paper leis either. They were made and flown in from Hawaii and were some of the most beautiful decorations I had ever seen.

Everything was perfect for this day and I am excited and honored to have been selected to document their special day.

Congratulations Dorothy and Paul!

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– Mark