Kevin Burdick portrit at the Grand Canyon

Kevin Burdick at the Grand Canyon

Kevin Burdick portrit at the Grand Canyon

 

For those of you following the Struck by Lightning story, this photo was taken of Kevin Burdick a few minutes before he was struck by Lightning on Shoshone Point at the Grand Canyon.  So far, Kevin is just fine and now has additional super powers that cannot be mentioned here, as sharing that information may be seen as a national security breach and I may have my phones tapped by the US Attorney’s office.    I can tell you that, with his new super powers, Kevin is often seen in tight stretchy pants and a luchador mask, but it is possible he was wearing those before the lightning strike.

In all seriousness, Kevin is fine and a bit more electrifying when he plays his music in front of an audience.

I shot this portrait with my friend Carlos Martín’s Nikon D800.  It’s a nice camera.

Child Life Portraits by Jared Platt, Taken in Shanghai, China

Portraits from China: The Driggs Family

This is my 3rd post of the China portraits I shot in Shanghai, China.  A few more posts on China to come.

This series of portraits was taken at a Buddhist Temple in Shanghai, China.  The grounds were fairly spacious and offered a lot of great opportunities for backgrounds.  Both of the boys are young enough not to be all that interested in the surrounding architecture and symbolism, but they did enjoy the coy ponds and the many small walls and walking paths.

The slideshow has a lot of great images in it, but I was particularly interested in a small few for the purpose of discussing the lighting.  In the next image, we were on the back side of the property where the light was getting dimmer and softer.  The main light-source was the open (sunless) sky, what we could call “north light”, although I don’t know if it was truly the northern sky.  That open sky was to the child’s right and just behind him.  Notice, how the size of the light source helps to wrap around the child’s face, making smooth transitions extremely soft and smooth.  Of course the sky is a huge light source.  But if the sun were visible in the sky, the sun would become that light source and would create harsh shadows and would not be so pleasing.

I like this shot.  This little boy is always on the move and always paying attention to everything, not just where he’s going.  I think the image describes that well.  While he is climbing on the wall, he is still keeping track of everything else in the area.  Probably keeping tabs on his little brother…

Here is the little brother.  Those eyes were the subject of most of my photos with him.  This was the perfect outfit to intensify them.  That large open sky, makes a perfect light for portrait.  But notice that I am not shooting with him facing the open sky directly, which would flatten the subject.  Instead, the open sky is off to his left, my right.  The shadow side of his face is toward me.  The soft highlights are coming from his left .  It’s all about volume and depth.  Without some shadow, you have none of that.

OK.  I have been looking forward to writing about this photo for a while.  The basic scene here is lit by the open sky off to the children’s left (the camera’s right).  You can see the lighting effect on the boys’ faces.  Highlights on the right side of their noses, shadows on the left sides.    But there was one very real problem, the background was quite dark.  Everything back there was sucking up the light and with a thick canopy of trees over the background, the open sky was not lighting the back ground with the same exposure as the foreground.  In essence, it was a black hole.

Enter a small Canon 600 RT camera flash placed off camera to the camera’s left and behind the boys.  You can see the light’s glare in the top left corner of the frame.  It is also lighting the grass and the bushes in the background a bit and most importantly, it is catching the edge of the kids’ shoulders and hair to separate them from the background.  Without this little flash, the photo would not be worth showing.  But notice, I only needed one little light to get a very well exposed and expertly designed shot.  This shot could have been designed with many more lights to get practically the same shot, but why?  The point is, that one small, lightweight flash or even a flashlight can escalate the production value of the shot with very little additional cost or effort… efficiency isn’t just for post production.  Efficiency during a photo shoot is just as critical.

If you are interested in these issues, I am teaching a free workshop called The Efficient Photo Shoot online at CreativeLIVE.com on Dec 6-8, 2012, where we will be demonstrating these very concepts.

This kids started running around and around on this little path and I realized, my light from the first shot could still be used to accomplish the same goal right where it was.  It just had to be turned slightly.  With Karen Liu at the light, that was easily done.  I ran to my new position and told the kids to keep circling the path and kept firing away as the got into the positions I liked.  I think they must have run around that path 50 times, over and over, which was good for me, I needed a lot of opportunities to get the right shot.  And good for mom, they must have slept well that night!

I love how the light cascades across the long grass and kisses the little one’s cheeks.  Imagine, without the light, his little hand would be completely lost in the shadow of the trees.

Now, with the open sky light coming from camera left and the flash also on the left, behind him, the light wraps all the way around his left side.  This makes for an even softer look because the rim light is not so pronounced and looks more like a slightly brighter continuation of the sky light.  Again, volume is created by the direction of the light.  The shot is slightly dramatic, but still pleasingly soft.  I love these shots.  If I had gotten nothing but this little series of shots in the tall grasses here, I would have been trilled.

 Child Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Shanghai, China

Slideshow Music by Fisher, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

A+T: Engagement Portraits in Gilbert, Arizona

My wife and I have known Allie since she was in high school. Neither one of us thought that there was a man out there as cool as Allie, but of course Allie had to prove us wrong . . . . and found the lid to her pot.  I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Allie and Tyler in a grove of pistachio trees in Gilbert, Arizona. Here are some of my favorite images:

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Note to self: buy mirror sunglasses.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

I had a great time playing with the colors in this photo.  If I were 14 I would say it looks “chill” even though it is warm.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Long before he fell in love with Allie, Tyler fell in love with the outdoors. Not one to shy away from a little competition, Allie drummed up this little number to catch her man’s eye. I was laughing the entire time we were shooting.  Which is problematic because laughter creates camera shake.  But I kept it under control.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

  In today’s world of social networking we have all at one time or another written up a personal profile – a brief description of who we are and of the events that have occurred in our lives to make us that way. I told you that I have known Allie for a long time. Her personal profile is full of strength, hard work, optimism, and survival. I am so pleased with this next shot of Allie. It does what photography does best and provides a visual representation of that description of who we are and the events that have made us that way.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Is it possible that Tyler likes her even better without the antlers?

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Yep!

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

As the sun set, I opened up the aperture on my 50 mm 1.2 lens all the way to 1.2 which gave us this extreme limited depth of field.  I told Allie and Tyler I was going to be making some extremely grainy old looking photographs.  They were excited about the idea.  I think they turned out well.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

This is definitely on of my favorite shots of the day.  The grain, the encircling branches, the soft light.  It is all there.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Ever the hunter!

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Tyler brought several deadly weapons to this photo shoot . . . and I just brought my camera.

Engagement portrait in Gilbert, Arizona

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: The Groves, Gilbert, Arizona

Slideshow Music by Fisher, “It’s a Beautiful Life,” courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (9)

The Curtin Family Portrait in Phoenix, Arizona

I photographed the Curtin Family at The Farm in Phoenix, Arizona. Some years ago, I helped photograph Nicole and Harry’s wedding and have been in touch with them since that time. Nicole is also a photographer. I enjoy working with photographer’s. There is a trust between photographers… we appreciate the style of the other and turn them loose to do what they do best. So it was a pleasure photographing Nicole and Harry’s family.

And now, on to my favorite images from the photo shoot…

Meet the kids… all of them are cute, only one can walk and the baby boy can sit up for only a moment.

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child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (10)

I was impressed with Nicole’s sister’s baby.  She didn’t try to eat all the leaves.  Nicole’s baby boy did.

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (6)

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (4)

I love this shot.It’s got beautiful color.  I am very happy with it.  For those of you who are photographers, this is accomplished with negative saturation.  Try it.  Too many people these days are pushing the color up or taking it too far down, when just a small 8% color desaturation makes things look just right.

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (3)

Nicole’s little girl is doing a little twirling.  Why not, she’s in the perfect ballet outfit with those furry boots.  Right?  Too cute.  By the way Nicole, when my wife sees this post she will be coveting this outfit for our daughter.

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (20)

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (21)

The baby wasn’t too into smiling, and Harry looks pretty cool when he’s serious, so I thought this worked out quite nicely.  I suppose that is a mantra of mine… no smiling necessary.

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (23)

child portrait at The Farm in Phoenix Arizona (25)

Family and Children’s Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: The Farm at South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona

Slideshow Music: Nancy Falkow, “I Wish You Love” Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

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The Nelson Twins: A Child Portrait in Chandler, Arizona

two twin boys in their sunday suites (1)

Yes sir, the Nelson twin boys look handsome in their brand new suites!  These are a few of my favorites from a quick portrait session here in Chandler, Arizona.  I love the black and white on these images and I added a little grain to give them that film look.  I didn’t go into Silver Effects Pro 2 though, this is straight out of Lightroom 3, the grain in LR 3 is very respectable.

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two twin boys in their sunday suites (3)

two twin boys in their sunday suites (4)

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Chandler, Arizona (one of many neighborhood green belts)

Photograph of Paul Scott by Jared Platt

He’s Kind of a Big Deal: A Portrait in Chandler, Arizona

Photograph of Paul Scott by Jared Platt

You may not know who he is, but he’s kind of a big deal.  Let me introduce you to my good friend Paul Scott.  I was taking portraits of his grand-daughter (coming next blog post) and used him as a test for the shots.  I loved this portrait of him and wanted to show it to you, but I thought I’d tell you how cool this cat is.  He’s the most down to earth man I’ve ever met, patient and unconditionally loving.  I couldn’t begin to give him credit for what a great guy he is.  He’s a big music buff as well, he always has some obscure band to introduce me to, and you’ll never find him at a big rock concert.  It’s always the hole in the wall bar with twelve people listening to a fantastic band… that’s where you’ll find him.  But aside from all of that, he’s kind of a big deal!  He’s quite the unsung hero, or kind of like a super hero.  I can’t say any more because I think he likes his anonymity (he’s kind of shy), but I just wanted to give a shout out to my good friend Paul, who, though you may not know it, works quietly behind the scenes to make your comfortable little world a cleaner, nicer, better smelling place.

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Post Processing by Lightroom and Silver Effects Pro 2

Four women friends portrait photography (2)

Just the Girls: A Portrait of Friends

My friend and client and fellow photographer, Jessica Brownell, put together a group of her closest and oldest friends for a portrait session.  We spend an hour in the streets of Shreveport, Louisiana.  I lead the way and the girls laughed and chatted and told a million inside jokes.  A good time was had by all.  Here are my favorites shots of the group.

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Four women friends portrait photography (3)

Four women friends portrait photography (2)

Four women friends portrait photography (1)

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Shreveport, Louisiana.

Slideshow Music: Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

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The Herrera Family Portrait 2011

The Herrera’s family portraits were taken in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, which is one of my favorite down-towns in the country, and I’ve been to a lot of cities around the world.  There are several reasons for it being my favorite, the first is the beautiful textures, the second is the impressive number of different options in a relatively small area, and third is that is it not a busy metropolis (parking is not an issue, there are not a ton of people getting in the way, etc).  The Herrera’s are on their way to Spain I believe where Mr. Herrera will be forming a Christian congregation, I wish them the very best.  God bless you Herrera’s.

Here are a few of my favorite images of the Herrera children.

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child near textured wall, child portrait (8)

child near textured wall, child portrait (7)

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child near textured wall, child portrait (5)

child near textured wall, child portrait (4)

child near textured wall, child portrait (3)

child near textured wall, child portrait (2)

I guess it is my own daughter that makes me prone to love shots of fathers and their daughters.

child near textured wall, child portrait (1)

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Shreveport, Louisiana.

Slideshow Music: Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (4)

Go Devils! Megan’s ASU Graduation Portrait Session

Megan is an ASU Cheerleader (was, now se’s graduating), so needless to say she is a big ASU Football fan.  My wife was an ASU Marching Band musician, so I understand the fervor for the Devils.  Go Devils!  So Megan and I took to the streets in Tempe, Arizona to get some ASU Grad shots.  We were after a mixture of school spirit shots and graduation cap and gown type shots.  Here are a few of my favorite images from Megan’s ASU graduation portrait session.

This location is a parking garage on the ASU Campus in Tempe, Arizona.  It provided the open shade with something interesting in the background.  It is only partially covered.  The roof is a latticework of solar panels.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (1)

I love this shot with the GO DEVILS block in front and Megan’s got the attitude, so it’s perfect.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (2)

This is one of my favorites.  I know, it is just a close up headshot and nothing super fancy, but Megan looks great in it.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (3)

We snuck into the basketball arena.  I like to sneak around when taking portraits.  It turns a normal portrait session into a possible security guard chase, which would be exciting…

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (4)

We parked in a reserved spot next to old main and ran out on to the lawn to get this last set of shots.  Old Main is the only building on the ASU campus that feels like a old style university.  ASU is more of a modern city.  So, I like the feel of Old Main, it makes the shot feel more collegiate.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (5)

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (6)

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (7)

So now we come to the end of the day.  The sun is down and we are operating on very little ambient light.  Here is where the Canon 1D Mark IV shines.  I am shooting this image at 4600 ISO and leaving them in color (thanks to Lightroom 3‘s incredible noise reduction).  There is a bit of grain in them, but its manageable grain and looks cool (of course I like grain).  You can’t get a better available light scenario than this, but you have to have a serious camera to make use of this light.

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (8)

ASU Senior Portraits in Tempe Arizona (9)

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: ASU Campus, Tempe, Arizona

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

The Basha Family: A Family Portrait Session in Chandler Arizona

Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, Arizona makes a great setting for family and children’s portraits.  It’s a big park with lots of options.  One of my favorite areas at the park is the old farm where they hold the Ostrich Festival each year.  This is where we shot the Basha family portrait.  The Basha boys are good looking kids and quite expressive, so I enjoyed making their portraits.

I always hope for clouds, but in Phoenix, Arizona, serious cloud cover doesn’t happen all that often.  So in this case, I had to pull out the off camera flash on a Lowell light stand with the TT1 and TT5 Pocket Wizard set which allows me to fire my flash manually in high speed sync mode.  This means I can match the background ambient light with my fill flash at high shutter speeds.  Otherwise this first shot would have been either over exposed in the back ground or the family would be severely underexposed.  The Pocket Wizards have their challenges in their communication range, but they are invaluable to me in challenging lighting circumstances.

Of course, shooting in the open shade is always my favorite way to photograph.  No off camera light needed, just pure beautiful north light.

This is my favorite photo of the day.  He’s wearing a great shirt for the shot and the texture is fantastic.  We found an old apple box near this wood pile and after checking for scorpions and black widows, we let the little man play in around and on the box.  He was quite the ham though and this little pose was perfect.

Children’s Portrait Photography Information

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
Location: Tumbleweed Park, Chandler, Arizona

Camera: Canon, Mark IV, 70-200 2.8 IS Lens