I’m not sure why we only have holiday lights in December. Holiday lights seem to illicit such a positive reaction, I often wonder why we do not have them around all year long. I guess, just like anything, they would lose their luster. In any event, I decided to take my walk-about on Sutter Street this year to capture all the sights and sounds. They have done such an amazing job promoting this area of Folsom. With Sutter Street closed off, the street it bustling with extra patrons and hot chocolate goers. The ice rink was filled but to an appropriate capacity for true pleasure skating. It was a balmy 50-something degrees and just a lovely night to walk around. Sutter Street on December 4th, 2020.
May 14, a Thursday I think
Day 61 of Quarantine
I Finally Showed Up/Shut up and Set-up a Garage Studio - Total Cost - $194.00
Time: It took me almost 2 years
3 Color Fabric Backdrop with Frame
2 Umbrella Lights
2 Soft Box Lights
2 Rented Lens - 85mm 1.8f and 50mm 1.8f for 5 days
$62 + $90 + $42 = $194.00
So you see them all the time…blogs, You Tube videos, and social media posts, about creating an at home studio. I had started with the concept about a year ago and bought some lights and a backdrop set-up on Wish. If I remember correctly, the whole set-up was about $60 bucks. A total steal in my book. Turns out the lights and backdrop were not of the greatest quality or really what I needed (as I learned later) but it was a start.
Stay tuned. I usually learn MOST things the hard way so it might prove entertaining.
Fast forward to about 1 1/2 years later, Coronavirus hits and we are all homebound. Those elementary lights and backdrop are looking pretty interesting as month two rages on into what still has no end.
My sister sends me an email with another photography supplies offer from Wish. This time it had soft box lighting. And now…I actually know what a Soft Box Light is!!! They also have vinyl backdrops, cuz as I said, the first round of fabric backdrops was pretty insufficient (=sad).
Update: The backdrop has not come yet but I’m excited. Arrive says it will be here May 20th.
I went ahead and set-up a studio type setting in the garage. To get willing victims, I mean models, I requested my family only give me their “time” for Mother’s Day. Well, they also had to wear what I wanted and be my model, but really, it was their time and cooperation that I seeked.
The hubby entertained my request for a breathing human to just STAND in front of the camera so I could practice lighting and f-stops and shutter speeds and play with new lens. He just sat there on his phone drinking a cup of coffee…which again was all I needed. But OMG. Things finally clicked. Or rather I was able to apply what I THOUGHT was supposed to happen.
Like use the reflector below the person to get rid of the under the chin shadow. I had watched it. I had tried in our in nature during my shoots. But it RREALLLLLY never worked. The gold side made a nice warm tone. But after watching this You Tube video
I decided against it.
So how did it turn out you might wonder??? Over the next two days I shot studio style lighting portraits of my husband and both my kids. I’m in love.
Twice a month, the El Dorado Hills Photography group meets at Mountain Mike’s Pizza to learn and share knowledge about photography. Yesterday, the meeting was a dog shoot for Halloween. Costumes were optional.
A big thank you to Jay Lensch for setting all this up and teaching us students while photographing these dogs.
This was a super fun event. The highlight were the police dogs we were fortunate enough to photograph and well as a singing member of the Ravenclaw house.
Take a look and tell me if these pictures just don’t make you smile.