I recently had the opportunity to photograph two amazing models. Paul Ishel is a bodybuilding champion. He captured the Muscle Beach (Venice, CA) International Classic – Best Overall Physique award in 2012. Sarah Riley is a fitness and swimsuit model as well as a personal trainer. Both of them were great to work with. The lighting used was harsh so that muscle definition would be prominent in the photos.
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I came across this photo story about Grand Central Terminal turning 100 this year. I love to see vintage photographs of this New York icon. Enjoy!
On September 12, 2012, St. James Episcopal Church celebrated The Renewal of Ministry with the Welcoming of its new Rector, The Rev. Kenneth L. Erickson. The Celebrant was The Rt. Rev. Wendell Gibbs.
Photography by Rod Arroyo, www.CityPhotosAndBooks.com
It was a perfect September evening for a PhotoWalk in downtown Birmingham. This great session featured Andrea Gothard, Birmingham Seaholm Senior and amazing volleyball player for the Seaholm’s Girls Volleyball Team. In fact, Andrea was featured on the cover of the Birmingham Eccentric the day of the shoot.
We started at Booth Park, made our way along the Rouge River, and then headed into Birmingham. The temperature was so comfortable and the light was very special. Andrea was a natural in front of the camera. It made for the perfect recipe for a great senior photo session.
Portraits by Rod Web Site
I enjoyed spending some time along the Detroit Riverfront today to visit a Tall Ship (the Niagara) and take in the Marine Corps Band from New Orleans. It is all part of Navy Week and the Celebration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. Detroit is the only major U.S. city to ever surrender to a foreign power. General William Hull, Commander of U.S. troops in Michigan, surrender to the British in August 1812. He was later convicted of treason and sentenced to death for his cowardly surrender. President Jackson later commuted his sentence to discharge from the Army since General Hull was a hero of the American Revolution.
It was a picture-perfect day for the 2012 Woodward Dream Cruise in metro Detroit. I am sharing a few of the photographs I took in Birmingham and Royal Oak.
Fall Color Choices for Senior Portraits
Many seniors ask for advice about what to wear for a senior portrait. The basic advice is always to wear clothes that match your personality, but are not overly trendy. It is also best to avoid complex patterns in fabrics.
For color selections, Pantone issues a fall color report from New York Fashion week that is helpful for making fresh color choices. The Fall 2012 Palettes for women and men and shown below.
Portraits by Rod Web Site
It is also helpful to see how top fashion designers are selecting color choices for individual outfits. Combinations from Nicole Miller and Lela Rose are highlighted below.
You can also seek out advice from friends that have a sense for style and from fashion advisers and sales associates at clothing and department stores. Your photographer is also a good resource as you prepare for your photo shoot.
For more information: Pantone Fall 2012 Color Report
10 Tips for Photographing Classic Cars
It’s crusin’ season for car enthusiasts. The Woodward Dream Cruise is approaching in metro Detroit along with many other classic car shows and cruises. Photographers will be snapping thousands of pictures, hoping to capture the moment and possibly relive a classic era.
Here are a few tips to get the best pictures of classic cars.
1. Prepare – Get familiar with the settings on your camera. A review of your manual can help you decide the best settings for moving cars, still vehicles, sunny days with lots of contrast, and night shots.
2. Panning – When cars are moving fast and you want to catch the action, pan your camera with the movement of the car. This will help keep the car in focus and provide a nice blur of the background image. I often set my shutter speed to about 1/40 and pan to create an effective background blur. This takes practice and a steady panning action. Try to practice before you head out for the big day.
3. Use the Right Shutter Speed – If you are using a telephoto lens, increase the shutter speed to compensate for the greater impact of camera shake. I like to use double the focal length of the lens (2:1 ratio) when I am shooting moving cars. For a 200mm lens, I use a shutter speed of 1/400 second or faster. I consider a 1:1 ratio to be the minimum, recognizing that you may end up with more slightly blurred shots at this lower speed. When cars are stationary and you can hold a steady stance and grip, it opens up more options for slower shutter speeds.
4. Consider Rear Curtain Flash at Night – The rear curtain flash mode on a DSLR camera fires the flash at the last second before the camera’s shutter closes. If we break rule number 2 above and slow the shutter speed at night to 1/40 (for example) to take in more low-light background, the rear curtain flash setting can provide a cool effect and still give you a sharp image of a moving car. Try it out and experiment, and don’t forget to pan with moving car.
5. Change your Angle – Try to get away from the standing up position / point and shoot mode. Bend down and shoot from close to the ground to get a unique angle on the front grill of a classic car. Alternatively, find a higher vantage point. Mix it up and you will reap the benefits.
6. Look for the Details – Hood ornaments, door handles, license plates, tail pipes and more are all possible subjects for great classic cars. Try to find a clean background and use a wide open aperture (e.g., f 2.8) to blur out the background.
7. Watch for Background Clutter – For all shots, quickly scan the background for unwanted distractions (utility poles, ugly signs, etc.). If you can’t avoid clutter, open up the aperture and let the camera blur out the background.
8. People – Don’t forget that every classic car has a story, and the person behind the restoration effort is likely nearby. Most will be proud to be part of the photograph. Consider taking one shot with just the car and another with the owner. You may end up hearing a great story.
9. Context – Sometimes a classic car parks near or drives by a historic structure of a similar era. This might be an opportunity to capture the vehicle in a historic context. Go to the highest f-stop setting you can to maximize depth of field. A tripod is helpful on overcast days. Also try shortening the depth of field (lower f-stop number) to provide a totally different look.
10. The final tip is related to post processing. Experiment with conversion to black and white, tonal contrast adjustments, and other techniques. Sometimes I like to boost the contrast and levels in the sky in Photoshop or Lightroom to bring out more details, while keeping the balance of the shot at a different setting. This allows people to see images that are closer to the tonal range that the human eye sees. If you have a tripod, take multiple exposures at different exposure values and process with high dynamic range (HDR) software to increase your creative options (tip: keep the same f stop and change the shutter speed so the depth of field remains the same in each shot).
Best of luck and feel free to share your links. You can find many of my Dream Cruise photos at Patch.com
Seaholm High School Senior Portrait Session in Birmingham
I had a great time shooting senior portraits in downtown Birmingham this week with Jack Corbett of Seaholm High School. Jack is a natural in front of the camera, and the varied backgrounds provided in downtown Birmingham make provide so many options for senior portraits. It is no wonder that downtown Birmingham is a top choice for students from Groves High School, Seaholm High School, Detroit Country Day, Roeper, Cranbrook, Brother Rice, and Marian.
Portraits by Rod Web Site
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A Case for the DIA Arts Millage
By Rod Arroyo
On August 7, voters in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties will be asked to approve 0.2 mils for 10 years, which is approximately $15 per year for every $150,000 of a home’s fair market value. This money will go to provide one of many sources of funding needed to support a world-class art museum: the Detroit Institute of Arts. As the vote nears for the Arts Millage in southeast Michigan, I feel compelled to share some of my thoughts.
The Detroit Institute of Arts is an irreplaceable resource that brings incredible works of art, film, music, and so much more to our collective Detroit community. I personally choose to pay for a membership so I can enjoy these treasures many times throughout the year. My experiences at the DIA have been positive, exhilarating, educational, fun, and memorable.
Residents living in counties that approve the millage will receive free unlimited general admission, including students taking field trips to the museum, and there will be enhanced programs for students and seniors and bus subsidies for visits by seniors and students.(1)
I believe making this resource available to residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties for no admission fee will broaden the ability of the DIA to reach out and enrich the lives of the people living here. Additionally, it will put the DIA on sound financial footing, helping to off-set the losses in other funding sources that have occurred over many years.
I also see the DIA as a resource that can help lead the Detroit region out of a recession. Detroit is already attracting young people, and it has particularly seen a surge of young adults under 35 years old with technology-based backgrounds.(2) Inc.com tagged Detroit as “Start-up City USA”.(3) The writings of Richard Florida and others have documented how young people are seeking “place” over the highest paying job. A world-class art museum and the other cultural resources in Detroit will help to fuel the growth in young professionals living in the City.(4)(5)
The overall value of the arts in a community is well documented. Adrian Ellis wrote about four sets of partially overlapping arguments that have been influential:
• Economic – investment in certain arts has a high ‘multiplier effect’, generating direct and indirect expenditure, through the first round of construction or other investment related activity and subsequently by attracting inward investment and tourism, and thereby creating jobs;
• Social – investment in the arts can ease social divisions by creating a context in which otherwise socially disempowered groups can participate in society on a more equal basis; and it creates ‘social capital’.
• Psychological and personal – participation in the arts can accelerate intellectual and motor skills.
• Civic – the civic argument, an amalgam of the above, is that a city with a vibrant cultural infrastructure, in which a range of different forms of public and private sector investment in the arts are undertaken, can create a virtuous circle of high economic performance, high inward investment, high educational attainment and high levels of civic engagement.(6)
I believe the case for the DIA millage is compelling. Its failure would be disastrous for the region’s economy, its culture, and its people. By approving the millage, the DIA not only maintains the treasures of the past, it enables the museum and the region to leverage these resources for future growth in the arts and the economy. That is pretty good return for about $15 per year.
Rod Arroyo is a city planning consultant and photographer.
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