Game Ready

The last time I photographed my neighbor Dylan playing baseball, he was six years old. He’s now an 8-year-old and still playing ball.resize IMG_2536 crop

Saturday’s cloudy morning was perfect for photography. I grabbed my Canon 6D and 70-200mm Canon L lens and headed to the ball field for an important game. A win for Dylan’s rec team, the Phillies, would mean they would be the #1 seed going into the playoffs.

Dylan played catcher and did a great job! Strrrrike!

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In between innings Dylan found time for silliness.

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Waiting his turn to bat. Things are a bit more serious now.

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At the plate. He got a hit!

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Jason is an all around great dad, good neighbor and committed assistant coach to the team. It’s not uncommon to see Dylan and Jason tossing the baseball in the driveway or cul-de-sac.

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At the game I photographed a few years ago, one of Dylan’s teammates knew I wasn’t Dylan’s mom, but I was taking a lot of photos of Dylan. The child asked if I was Dylan’s grandma. Grandma, really!?! Do I not look like an could be an aunt? The teammates at this game again must have noticed me taking a lot of photos of Dylan, but if they had a question as to who I was, they didn’t mention it. Time has made the boys wiser. Don’t mess with a woman’s age!

The Phillies won the game and this guy is a true team player!

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Way to go, Dylan!

 

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NoDa Street Photography

North Davidson, or better known as NoDa, is a popular arts district located about a mile northeast of Uptown Charlotte. Interesting place to visit with it’s small shops, mural painted buildings, artsy people and fun bars and restaurants.

Being a dog lover, The Dog Bar, Charlotte’s one & only dog friendly off leash bar, is a must place for me to visit.

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Resting…..

An artist was just cleaning up his art supplies when I entered the bar.

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Artwork

You don’t have to go to The Dog Bar to see dogs though. There are several with their owners on the streets.

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Dogs come in all sizes

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A man and his dog

This artist hopes to be rich and famous one day!

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@ work

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Well Done!

Everywhere I looked, someone was holding a Popsicle from Popbar.

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Yum!

Hangin’ out near the Tattoo parlor.

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Smoke Break

My favorite black Lab in the whole wide world is Vic. Here she is waiting near our table at Davidson Street Public House while Jack, Cooper & I have a cool, adult beverage.

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Vicki

This is the scene across the street from our table.

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Love the red shirt!

NoDa has grown considerably over the years. I look forward to its future growth and more photos to be made.

Jack

My husband and President of Visual South, Jack Shannon, needed a photograph of himself for a business marketing plan he’s putting into action. I was more than happy to help out. We headed to one of my favorite portrait locations in Charlotte one Sunday afternoon.

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Jack wanted the photo taken from the waist up and we were looking for a “pose” that said, “I’m approachable, I’m here to help, and I’m a nice guy”.

The photo above was shot with a 100mm macro lens with camera settings of ISO 100, f/8.0 at 1/40 sec. and an exposure compensation of +2/3. A bit slow handheld, but it worked! I raised the ISO when I heard the slow shutter speed and took other photos, but this is the one we liked best.

I initially used an aperture of f/4.5, but soon realized it didn’t give enough depth of field and Jack’s ears were a bit out of focus. Jack wanted his portrait cut from the background and sharper was better. Here’s one of the ways he used the photo. It’s a page on the Visual South website.

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He also used it for his business signature to put a face with a name.

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Now there’s a guy I would contact if I worked at a manufacturer and I were looking for an ERP software solution!

Year 2 of Yes 2 Yoga

Donna Duffy, owner of  the Edison Square Yes 2 Yoga Studio,  celebrated the beginning of her yoga studio’s second year with free yoga classes, giveaways and sale merchandise. The original date in early January was postponed due to snow in Charlotte, but the following weekend was mild and perfect for hosting the event. I photographed the Grand Opening in January 2016 and was asked to photograph the 2017 happening.

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Donna Duffy

At the original Grand Opening, I used both flash and natural light. I found I preferred the natural light images, so didn’t use a flash at all this time around. It was an overcast day and even with windows in the studio, I was still looking for more light. During the classes the lights are dimmed. So, I  cranked up the ISO and used one of my fast lenses. The majority of the photos were taken at ISO 640, but I used ISO settings of 400-1250 throughout the morning. I ran the files through Nik Define to reduce any noise.

I used two lenses – a nifty 50 (50mm, f/1.4) and a 24-105mm, f/4, and handheld the camera for most of the images. The tripod came in handy for group photos and interior shots of the studio. Donna added additional space to the studio during the first year, so I was sure to photograph the new areas.

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I let the yoga students know  I would be photographing during the classes. A few let me know they would not like their picture taken, so of course I honored their request. I enjoyed quietly walking around the room during class, as well as the waiting area, looking for creative compositions.

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I gave Donna a total of 60 images.

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Some of the photos I took at last year’s Grand Opening were used in a neighborhood publication. Donna has copies of the booklet in the waiting area.

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Thank you Donna for giving me the opportunity to once again document your important event. I wish you continued success!

Cute Kids

Emma & Dylan live on my street. They wave every time I drive by, play in my yard, visit while my husband & I are sitting on the deck, and enjoy playing with toys I’ve saved from when my children were growing up. They bring back fond memories of when my now grown kids were younger.

I once again had the opportunity to photograph Emma & Dylan before the holidays.

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I used my usual 100mm lens for taking portraits and stayed with an aperture of 4.5-5.0 because I was working with two people, and I knew they may not be on the same plane of focus when posing.

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They did great during the 40 minute photo shoot, but I was reminded that the attention span of a 7-year-old boy needs to be considered when taking portraits. Work as quickly as possible and change things up often.

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Emma & Dylan’s mom created  a beautiful holiday card using one of the photos from the photo shoot.

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Happy Holidays from the Behlke kids and me!

Will You Marry Me?

When I was recently in Charleston, SC, I went with a friend to photograph at sunrise. We chose the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. While there, I noticed a couple sitting on a nearby ledge enjoying the morning. I said, “hello” and continued to photograph the fountain. They sat for a bit and then got up and walked to the other side of the fountain where my friend Mary Presson Roberts was photographing. A few moments later I was asked to photograph them at the fountain because they just got engaged!

I had my 100mm f/2.8 lens on the camera, and I quickly tried to move my attention away from taking creative photos of the fountain, and focus rather on making a reasonable portrait. We started out right where they had approached me. Although there’s a great catch light in their eyes, I felt the light was too bright on the side of the fountain that was getting the morning sun.

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We then moved a quarter of the way around the fountain, but the side light was causing shadows on the faces and strong highlights on the girl’s hair.

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As we continued to move around the Pineapple Fountain, I found a shady spot that had even light.

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It was wonderful to be part of the special moment these young adults shared at the fountain that morning. I’m pleased I was able to capture the images and share them with the couple. Much happiness to the future Mr. & Mrs.!

Wanted: A Forever Family

I was a volunteer photographer this morning for South Carolina Heart Gallery and it pulled on my heartstrings. The organization helps children in foster care find a forever family. My role as a photographer was to provide the organization with 25-30 images of each child to be used for web display, as prints to be framed for community exhibits, and for a keepsake book for the child. I photographed one teenage boy and two teen sisters.

I cannot share any of the images on this blog or on any social media or website. That is completely fine with me. I understand privacy and I understand that the photos now belong to SC Heart Gallery.

I can share my feelings with you though. I didn’t realize there are SO many children in need of a permanent home. The SC Heart Gallery website shows pages of images of children without a mom, or dad that will be there for them unconditionally. That is sad. I can’t image my kids growing up in that situation, and I’m heartbroken that the ones I met today are in that situation.

I’m thankful I was able to use my talent to help those in need. They smiled for the camera today. I  hope one day soon they will smile because they are part of a forever family.