Friday, January 28, 2011

Prom Shoots

Cat's Eye Photography presents Prom Shoots! What an awesome way to preserve some of the best years of your life! Let us help capture those memories of you and your friends on your very special night. Individual sessions as well as group sessions are available. Group sessions start at $25 per person! You choose the your favorite hangout, your home, downtown, etc....the possibilities are endless! Just gather your friends and get ready to have fun! You will walk away with an unforgettable experience and priceless memories that you can cherish forever. By the way, if you are a rising Senior head over to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and you will receive 40% off of a Senior Portrait Session! Spread the word to your friends and you'll receive referral bonuses for free prints too! What do you have to lose? Give us a shout today to schedule your Prom Shoot today!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let It Rain

"the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It's cold and rainy here in the South today. They thought it might turn to snow, but all we've seen is rain with a little bit of sleet mixed in. I know, I blog about weather...a lot. I'm a weather nerd and I don't mind sayin' so. Not only do I shamelessly follow Jim Cantore on Twitter, but I have one of those remote weather monitors that tells me exactly what temperature it is outside before I even get out of bed. I love it.

It's fascinating to watch this complex atmosphere that our God created...full of power and tiny delicate wonders. I think part of the fascination comes from the fact that weather is still somewhat of a mystery. We might be able to forecast what might fall from the sky, but we really don't know exactly what is going to happen until we're in the moment. I guess it's kind of like life. Every snowfall has it's own unique snowflakes and every rainstorm has it's own unique raindrops, just as every person has their own unique life and experiences. The key is how we look at it. And when we have faith in God we don't have to worry about what falls from the sky, because we rest knowing that He already knows what is to come and He knows what we need. It might be a challenge to look out the window today and see sunshine, but if you look close enough you just might see a beautiful day....

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there, but water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
-Isaiah 55:10-11

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sweet Treats Photo Challenge

Anyone who knows me the least little bit, knows I absolutely LOVE pastries and any sort of yummy miscellaneous bakery item. When I shoot food (and I shoot a lot of it), I am rarely tempted to dig in and take a sampling of my work, mainly because the dish I'm shooting is usually lacquered up with some unthinkable spice/oil concoction in order to achieve proper texture or coloring. Something you definitely would not want to ingest. But, when it comes to bakery items, as long as they are delivered fresh, I rarely have to disturb their natural state. Darn. :)

So, that got me thinking and I thought it would be fun to offer a photo challenge, in honor of Valentine's Day. What's your favorite Valentine's Day treat? It doesn't have to be specific to Valentine's Day, just shoot your favorite sweet treat and see what you come up with! It's always fun to share thoughts and ideas about each other's work! Click on the Linky Tool below to enter! Challenge starts today and runs through 2/14/11.

I captured the following images from a recent Valentine's Day bakery shoot. So, now that the shoot is over...I don't mind if I do....

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Goes Around...

What goes around always come back around...eventually. That especially goes for photography styles. Lately, I've really noticed that a lot of what's hot now used to be hot "back then". Isn't that creamy, faded-out vintage Photoshop action an amazing new "look"? Actually, that's extremely reminiscent of my parent's 1969 photo album, (which by the way, I love to look through!). It's an awesome look that is timeless. It is somehow warm, moving and organic. A very cool look that is very popular...again.
It's so funny to think about, because back in the way back in the day...photographer's would have given their right arm to have the equipment we have today that can produce the most crisp and clean photographs you can ever imagine. (I am still blown away by my 21meg baby on my hip and I recently read a release for a new 48meg! Seriously?!) What is so hilarious to me is that the cameras and equipment have never been better...they keep getting better. I personally don't think this digital age went exactly as planned. Instead of coming up with new processes and styles, we keep wanting to go back...way back. Some photographer's pay good hard cash to buy all sorts of newbie Photoshop actions to make their photos look like they came out of 1950! Take an excellent photo, throw it into Photoshop and click your favorite action which probably consists of something like this: desaturate the mess out of it, layer fuzzy filters and orangey-tan tones throughout, rearrange all of the color levels and curves, and don't forget to add the fake film flaws and lovely vignette...all to make it look "old". Hmmm....let's think about this.
Why do we like everything to look "vintage" all of a sudden? Whose idea was that? Now, mind you, I'm not knocking it, because I love the look. I just think it's interesting how we as photographers in the 21st century have every available tool at our finger tips to make our photos look pristine and "new", but yet we choose to go back to some of the roots of photography and the beginnings of an art that was already as cool as it gets back then! Keep in mind that back then, the photographers were shooting film and they used different lighting and special films and processes to achieve a desired look. Today, all we have to do is capture an "okay" picture and toss it into our computers and press a button and the work is done for us. What's organic about that process? I know I've said it before and I'll say it is just too easy these days...but is that good or bad? I guess it's all a matter of opinion. I guess as long as it's your original work, it's art...right?

I thought about suggesting a real vintage photo challenge to anyone that reads this and is interested, but even if you had a real old-school film camera, you probably wouldn't be able to find film for it...sniff-sniff...:( But, hey if you can get your hands on it, go for it! Go out and shoot something vintage style with film, then do the same image with digital. It's fun and eye opening to compare the two processes.
Hey, it all boils down to fads too. They come and go. Who knows maybe 40 years from now we'll be doing the 1979 fro's and matching sweaters....hmmm, something tells me that this one is gone and is never coming back....sorry, I couldn't resist. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Sale: 20% Off Gallery Wraps!

Need a Valentine's Day gift idea? This week only, take 20% off ALL Canvas Gallery Wraps! Includes Thin (0.75"), Thick (1.5") and Chunk (2.5").

With such a great savings, consider multiple canvases for an artsy wall display....

Or just keep it simple...

What's so cool about gallery wrapped canvases?
  • Canvases make a bold statement.
  • They appear to float on your wall
  • They don't need a frame; the structure is inside the art.
  • Not to mention...they just look cool.
Here's a secret...
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Call or e-mail us today to place an order. Offer ends January 22nd.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tips For Shooting In The Snow

For those of you who love snow (me!) and really enjoy shooting great pictures in the snow, you might appreciate this small list of helpful tips for achieving proper exposure while shooting in the snow.

For starters, it's important to know a little bit about metering. As the amateur digital photography market continues to absolutely explode, more and more folks are buying awesome DSLR's with very spiffy TTL (Through-The-Lens) metering capabilities, but are totally unaware how to use them. Metering is key when working in the snow, especially if the sun is shining brightly. Most TTL meters register @ 18% gray, so your whites are typically going to be underexposed if you trust the meter. You are going to have to adjust your camera settings by a 1/3 of a stop, (so you are absolutely going to have to shoot in manual mode in order to perfect shooting in the snow.) Opening up the f/stop is going to allow that snow to be a brighter white, as it should be.

If at all possible I would suggest using a spot meter when trying to gain the proper balance between your highlights and shadows in such challenging "white out" conditions. I learned to "bracket" my exposures back when shooting film and I continue to do so while shooting digital. Find your reading and shoot one f/stop above and below the suggested exposure. (There's lot's more to say about metering in general, so we'll have to touch on that in a separate post later.)

Another useful tip is to pay attention to your light source(s) and where your subject is in relation to the key light and reflective light. Depending on your subject (dark, light, midtones), you'll probably have to blow out the snowy background to obtain proper exposure. Just be careful, because it's easy to underexpose your subject while shooting in the snow. The trick is to find that proper balance by adjusting shutter speed, ISO and f/stop. (This is another topic that we'll have to come back too, because "proper exposure" is such a subjective notion these days.)

One more thing to mention is your color temperature. If it's off, it's going to show up for sure while shooting white snow. Most digital shooters adjust their color temperature during the editing phase after they have already captured their images. This is very achievable if you are a RAW shooter. RAW files make these types of adjustments possible, especially if you are using the proper editing software. If you don't have RAW shooting capabilities, then pay attention to what your white balance setting is on in your camera. This is yet another beast to post about!
While some of you may have found this post totally boring, I hope it was helpful to those of you who are curious about the technical side of photography! Take the time to learn about your equipment and don't rely solely on "P" mode!

Until next time...happy shooting! (hopefully in the snow!) :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011!

Happy New Year! 2010 was a year full of exciting opportunities, new challenges and many blessings. It's hard to believe that it's already behind us! Even though it's always a little sad to see the beautiful Christmas season pass by, I love the beginning of a new year. It's fresh and new...full of hopes and ideas...and plenty of surprises, I'm sure!

This time of year might appear drab to most people, with its bare trees and brown grass. There are no flowers to smell or vegetables to harvest, but I still think this is an awesome time of year. It's amazing to me how God created the different seasons and all of the intricacies of each one. That's one reason why I love this time of year, especially when it snows. Even though it doesn't snow an awful lot here in North Carolina, when it does snow, it's such a treat! (We were just surprised with a white Christmas for the first time in over 50 years!) Snow is so unique, exclusive to the winter season. The beautiful blanket of white falls ever so silently but yet it covers everything around us...just like God's love and mercy.

Have you ever noticed how amazingly clear and crisp the sky is the day after a snowfall and how fresh the air smells? I have no doubt that this is just a tiny reminder from God that during this season of quiet and rest, old things are being washed away and new things are being planned and prepared for us. Be blessed in 2011!