It’s been a while since I last posted. The reason is the book I was working on took a little longer than I expected. I am happy to say I finished the second edit and it is back to my editor for the final proof, sort of . The next step is I get a copy with all the images and text and do a final final edit. Phew….Since then a lot has happened.

I have taught my first online Art Foundation course for RMCAD and I am preparing two new courses , Digital II and Portrait, for the upcoming term. As I mentioned earlier completed the second draft of my upcoming book and most importantly went to Nepal with my family for three weeks. The trip to Nepal allowed me to take more photos and some of them will be appearing in the next book. I will be sharing some of the amazing stories and photos in my upcoming blog.

To be included in my book and how I shot this and used post production in Adobe Lightroom is a scene of Lake Phewa in Pokhara, Nepal

I am in the process of uploading my images and building a new website on Photoshelter. If you want a preview of the site click on the link. My goal is to start selling my prints and books on this site. When it is set up will be able to order my books directly from me and personalized with an autograph …So stay tuned…I am looking forward to 2020 and I hope you are too.

Sincerely Steven

So I am trying to settle on a title for my book that is coming out next Spring (2020). For those who say ” wow that’s a long time from now?” Publishing books ( my sixth one) are not very spontaneous . Once the first draft is completed, it goes to the editor and the marketing department. The marketing department then creates a campaign, the editor slogs through my writing ( I love my editor). It takes time…but back to my first question. What to call the book?

Taken in the historic Roxy Theater in Missoula Montana…Music Producer Jake Birch…taken with one Light…learn more in 2020

Capturing Light: Improving Your Photography Creatively Through Light 

Is what my marketing person came up with at first glance, she’s good, thanks Katie. I sort of like it since that is really the essence of this book is to explain the ” tricks and methods” to improve your photography with simple and yet effective lighting . I should know since I have been problem solving lighting situations for over 30 years ( Yikes, am I that old?) Anyway let me know what you think? Please share this post and sign up to learn some of tried and true methods of creating fabulous fotos ( I know it should be with PH). enjoy your day and happy photographing…. Steven B.

Time for a breather. You get to the point where you just want to stop and I did, for a short time. Then I decided to give it a second read and add more information…then I stopped…and decided it was time to send it to my editor at Amherst Media

An illustration from the book showing the effectiveness of using complimentary colors in styling a photograph. One of my favorite Model/Dancer/Actress Johanna Ciampa is photographed in the studio wear an Ami Davis scarf in Missoula, Montana composited with a shot I took at Lookout Mountain in Denver Colorado.

Tomorrow I am fortunate enough to teach a new class at the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design, lighting 1 (RMCAD). I say lucky because after working on this intro to lighting book for the last year I feel I have a lot of new discoveries to share. Now that the first draft is completed I will have more time to write in this blog. So please share and comment and ask…Happy Shutter bugging Steven

That’s me climbing up Mount Sentinel in Missoula, Montana with about 70 pounds of gear on my back. It is part of the story I explain on ” how I got the shot” in my upcoming book, who’s title is unnamed for now.

My publisher Amherst Media books wrote to me tonight…..

We look forward to publishing your awesome book.

Normally that would be great news, but the truth is I haven’t sent them the manuscript yet. I am almost finished with the first draft and I have to admit it is coming together.

The way I work is similar to the way I write…instincts, observation and execution. I knew I wanted to write about light and how photographers, can improve their images. I wasn’t sure how to pull it together. I have always been fascinated by light even before I started taking photos. It’s quality, ever changing properties and how it could beckon you without knowing.

So after teaching lighting to students for over 15 years and recognizing the difficulty of seeing the light, I decided to formulate a way…to break it down and build it up that everyone could understand. At least that is my goal of this book. I have even invented new terminology to try and explain complex ideas…my own Zone System….So maybe my publisher knows something I don’t know.

The fun thing about teaching and writing is there is always inspiration. In the class, I am inspired by my students ” who show up” and writing this book about lighting. I am always thinking about how to best explain complicated concepts. In this blog I am taking a an excerpt from my up coming book ” Capturing Light: Improving Your Photography Creatively Through Light”   working title.

In discussing the function of the Shutter on a camera I was trying to come up with creative examples of how to use the shutter. One of the things I love to do is called Painting with light. In brief, painting with light is when you hold the shutter open for as long as you want bringing in light to the camera sensor/film, with the camera on a tripod, you can keep the shutter open ….well until your camera battery dies. I go more into detail about painting with light in my book but keeping this post ,short here ya go: I used the LUME Cube to paint with light in the following image. The camera on a tripod and the shutter set for 20 seconds and the lens at f22 I point the Cube at the tulips and outlined the vase and the flowers. That’s it:)

Here I kept the shutter open for 20 seconds and used a LUME Cube to paint/trace around the black milk glass.
The Final Shot…

Got to run ….but let me know what you think and please share…sharing is caring 🙂

I’s always good to review the 10 commandments before a photo shoot…this was taken at the Synagogue on the RMCAD Campus where I was taking photos of the model Astrid

The cover shoot for the book happened yesterday and I would say it was success..although I wish I would had more time with Astrid, the model. Sometimes working under a pressure time crunch is better..The uneasy feeling was I committed myself to shooting in natural light, no auxiliary lights just a reflector. So I was depending on the Sun…It was fun and challenging but reminded me of when I first started this journey 100 years ago…I was always chasing the light…

goosebumps due to the cold temperatures in the Temple..

The other factor was there wasn’t any electricity in the Temple …it was cold, about 40 degrees inside….my fingers were feeling the cold after being there for 20 minutes. It was so cold that when I was editing the photo in Lightroom I notice goosebumps on Astrids skin….which is a compliment to the Canon EOS R’ sensor…it is that sharp…I am not sure which image I am going to use for the cover but this is one of my favorites…

The setup …A.R. Leslie Photography is assisting me with a reflector

Back to the Book

Tomorrow is the shoot for the cover of my next book. Since this is an intro book I am staying away from using strobe or speed lights to create this portrait, a departure from my usual lighting setup.

I will be photography Astrid, great name, in an old synagogue from the 19th century. It is in disrepair, pealing paint, no electricity or plumbing. I have been taking my student there since I have been teaching at RMCAD from the last yearyear, hoping to inspire them.

Despite the cold temperatures the location is inspiring. Some of my students have created great images in the site. As you can see there are a lot of possibilities. 

I am going to rely on where the LIGHT takes me for this shoot rather than creating the LIGHT, as I usually do for commercial shoots…hopefully the spirits will be with me…and of course I will be shooting the the Canon EOS R that CPS has gratefully loaned me…read earlier blog for the story…until next time…happy photo shoots to you all…

the front door of my location

Inside the synagogue
The model Astrid is working with her sister Leslie in the RMCAD studio, during my portrait class…I think she will make a great cover shot….
Winter Space

I have been a CPS member for a long time and I really like the service except the limited amount of time I am allowed to borrow a piece of equipment, one week, from arrival and has to get back to them by the end fo the week. So, I have about 4 days to play….I was hoping to shoot the cover of my next photo book ” Chasing the light” (working the title) for   A that Monday, one day after I received the new Canon EOS R mirrorless camera, when the snow arrived.

I love the weather in Denver, it will snow for a couple of days then be sunny and warm up …but a snow day on the day of my cover shoot…oiy!!! After I canceled the shoot, I email CPS and pleaded with them to hold onto the camera for one more week. After all it was to shoot the cover, I would credit Canon and I thought it would be a win-win. I sent out the email expecting a firm no, since they have never ever let me extend the loan period in 20 years…Here is the response I received within the next hour…

Hi, Steven. 

“Well…since you’re a fellow Queen fan, okay. 😉    I extended the loan for you. Please have the gear back to us no later than 2/6.  Shots on the blog look great. 

Good luck with the book!  Ah-oh! “

When I got that response I started jumping up and down…and couldn’t believe they were going to give me an extension. This has solidified my long relationship with Canon..I promised to be unbiased when I do write about the Canon EOS R, it does have some deficits, that I believe Canon will fix in the next generation. That’s another post, In the meantime I am going to shoot the cover this Friday and according the Denver forecast it will be sunny and in the 40’s F.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to test out the Canon EOS R ( Mirrorless camera) on location with top Teen models, Metika, Maggie, Katie and Rowen at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. 

Metika, Maggie, Katie and Rowen help me stop action

My mission was to visually demonstrate the use of a SLOW shutter Speed and a Fast Shutter speed for my upcoming book ” Seeing the Light” (working title). Once the parents signed the model releases we were off. My number one assistant, Makhesh, was by my side to help me.

It was a brisk day with temperatures in the upper 40’s ( I love Denver weather by the way) The models were excited, chatting about broadway musicals, the latest on Netflix, binge watching and the big payoff after the shoot, ice cream.

When we arrived the museums parking lot was busy, the museum was free that day. I got the eye of the parking attendant and he gave me a big smile and dropped the rope and directed me to turn left since a space had just opened up, my lucky day.

When I first moved to Denver over a year ago, a new friend had told me you can get a great view of Denver at the museum. I stored that comment away and thought that it would make a great background for a shoot that day. I was a bit worried about the weather, gray skies and windy but I also felt this was my luck day and the shoot would be a success.

One thing I learned as a professional photographer for the last 30 plus years is that nothing is ever certain regarding a photo shoot. There are a lot of variables and if it doesn’t t fall into a place the shoot can be a total disaster. So the stars have to line up and you have have to have a bit of luck. To be more metaphysical, it is the things you don’t see that matter the most..

Anyway it was a successful shoot, the models were great and had good energy…to learn about stop and blur action buy my book when it comes out later this year…in the meantime stay tuned for tips and more adventures in the world of creation….oh at the end we did a fun shot for Maggie, a parody of the Queen Album cover. Maggie is big fan of Queen ( so am I) and has seen Bohemian Rhapsody around 4 times ….

Stop Action in Action

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