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A Day of Hiking at Enchanted Rock

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This weekend we had a great time shooting a wonderful wedding at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg, TX. We stayed at the Hangar Hotel, which is a fantastic little place to stay – it’s literally a converted airplane hangar and it’s quite nice but it has this WW2-era vibe to it that’s so much fun.

I was fortunate to be able to work with Reginald Campbell as my second-shooter this weekend, and the morning after the wedding we had a nice late breakfast at the Airport Diner. In the photo below Reggie is trying to decide whether he wants the 37-egg-white omelet or the double-chicken salad… haha. And that’s MT, my wonderful assistant, posing in the lobby of the hotel. Not sure who that handsome fella is in the mirror.

After parting ways with Reggie, we decided to go hiking at Enchanted Rock [at 1pm… yeah it wasn’t the best time of day exactly, but was miraculously only like 80*F out]. MT and I went up once and then her husband and daughter joined us for a second go-round in the evening. These are the images that followed – hope you enjoy.

The Joys of Printing In-House

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Doing my own printing in the studio gives me a great deal of control over the end results of my work. I have the opportunity to print on a variety of media that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to, which play such an important role in the look of the finished print. There’s also a great feeling of connectedness with my work as I watch it [magically] come out of the printer, inch by inch, as I hand-finish my canvas prints, and finally, carefully package everything…

Every once in a while I get a request to do some prints for fellow photographers who appreciate the care that goes into what I do and the level of quality that results. I was contacted by Stephen Bonnau in Michigan to help him create some fine art prints for an exhibition he was putting together. They came out absolutely amazing, and I just wanted to share his work. Below are a few of the beautiful photographs I printed for Stephen – enjoy!

Behind-the-Scenes : Corey + Jenna Oahu Engagement Edit

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I’m in the process of doing yet another pass at editing the full set of images from a recent wedding, as I prepare to create the album. This must be the fifth or sixth pass I’ve made, and each time I find that I see some of the images a different way or find things that could use some tweaking. While the actual process of shooting engagements, bridals, and a wedding may take 12-18 hours, there is so much more that goes on besides just capturing the image. To illustrate this, I just thought I’d post an image that I just spent a good 2-3 hours editing to show a before and after. There’s actually an in-between as well, more of a quickie-edit to get it in the general direction which I’d previously blogged.

Straight from the camera. Looks pretty blah straight from the camera, doesn’t it? Not the beautiful sunrise we’d hoped for, but I exposed this to retain detail in the highlights of the image, and you’ll see that clearly in the final edit. As for the composition, I shot a lot of close-ups during the shoot but I needed to capture some great, wide, landscape shots. After all, when you’re shooting an engagement session in Oahu, Hawaii (or doing wedding photography in Hawaii, for that matter) you’ve GOT to show the environment. Otherwise what was the point of going somewhere exotic, right?

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Quick edit for blog. In hindsight, I made this edit appear a bit too ‘cool’ (that’s blue in photographer-speak). When doing the initial passes on images, it just doesn’t make sense to spend an insane amount of time on an image as it may not make the cut to begin with, so here you have it.

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After a couple hours of editing this one image. I’ve gotten pretty much exactly what I saw in my mind when I captured that plain looking thing you saw straight from the camera. So what do you think? Worth all the extra effort? (I think so!)

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Across the way

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Across the wayShot with Canon 5D, 200mm f/2.8L II
@ 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 640, 1/2500s

You always hear about people in NYC owning telescopes so they can [creepily] look in the windows of buildings across the way. So just for kicks, one of the shots I was constantly on the lookout for was a through-the-window ‘gotcha’ moment. Nothing dirty… I mean, I don’t really know what I was expecting to catch, but every once in a while I had to remind myself to look up into the windows as I walked in the streets of NYC. Here’s one such moment. About half a second later, he closed the curtain. I don’t think he wanted to be my friend.

Processing doesn’t get much simpler than this one. My custom Lightroom preset, Grayscale, Punchy started things off, upped the exposure by about half a stop, and played with the tone curve a little.

(I love shooting with Canon’s 200mm f/2.8L by the way… wish I had more reasons to use it day-to-day.)

City rooftops

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City rooftopsShot with Canon 5D, 200mm f/2.8L II
@ 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 640, 1/2000s

I don’t know if I’m alone in this or not, but I really find this shot interesting. The lines, the shapes, the textures, the tones… they all combine to make something special to me. And maybe it’s the little boy inside of me that sees these rooftops like some sort of cool urban tree-house. I’m also fascinated with ‘the city way of life,’ as I’ve mentioned several times before.

The view from my back porch is a large, open field. With cows. The visuals in the city… the simple things that New Yorkers probably don’t notice or appreciate in the same way as I do… are 180 degrees from what I’m used to. And that’s one of the things that I’m trying to capture in my photos of NYC. The essence of the city. The simple elements that help define its character.

In processing this shot, I started out with my custom Lightroom preset Grayscale, Punchy. From there, I adjusted the color temperature, exposure, contrast, clarity, black clipping, cropped in just a tiny bit, and finally I made some very minor exposure adjustments in key areas with brush strokes.

As a sidenote, I highly recommend experimenting with color temperature adjustments when working in grayscale if you’ve never done that before. It might seem counter-intuitive to adjust color temperature when you’re not working in color, but it actually makes a huge difference in the tones. You can really make extreme adjustments when you’re not working with a portrait, as well.

Through the kitchen window

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Through the kitchen windowShot with Canon 5D, 200mm f/2.8L II
@ 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 640, 1/160s

I enjoyed the way that the cook was partially obscured by the slight reflections in the kitchen window. Look closely and you might see yours truly.

Processing started out with my custom Lightroom preset, Sepia 2, then I adjusted the tone curve, cropped, added clarity, and brushed in some slight exposure adjustments to even out the tones on his shoulder.

Beg your pardon

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I just wanted to take a moment to apologize for not keeping up with my photo-of-the-day posts lately. I’ve been out of the office a lot recently and I’ve also been working very hard on a few things:

  • Re-designing the Kurtis Kronk Photography logo
  • Designing business cards
  • Designing a custom print portfolio
  • Making my first prints on the new HP Z3200
  • Rearranging things in the office / doing some custom wiring

Any one of these things would be enough to keep me busy in addition to actually getting work done. But juggling all these things at the same time, you can probably understand my lack of energy to keep up with the POTD.

These things are all wrapping up soon, so I should get back on to schedule soon. Thanks for your patience!

logo_v2In the meantime, here’s the newly designed logo. I wanted something very simple, understated, and easily adaptable to any medium, any color.

cardsAnd a couple of the newly designed cards as well – a little background info: I’ve got 8 different versions of this card, each with a different photograph on the front and the name of that photo is referenced on the back of the card.

Note: I’ve since edited the email address in the business card, in case you’ve noticed my contact info is different than what’s in the design. 🙂

Untitled

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UntitledShot with Canon 5D, 200mm f/2.8L II
@ 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 640, 1/400s

I’m not exactly a proponent of smoking – cigarettes stink, and they will, slowly and painfully, kill you. Nonetheless, there’s just something about seeing someone puff on a cigarette when they’re all alone in the streets of the big city. Absolutely oblivious to the world around them as they indulge in their selfish little micro-suicidal pleasure.

This was one of those shots where I had an opportunity to look at my subject for more than a split second – by which I mean I had like 3-5 seconds to observe. It’s surprising the impressions (maybe they’re judgments) you can take away from such a brief encounter.

In this case, I got the impression that this guy has seen better times. I could only guess what the specific circumstances are, but that’s half the fun (sorry, street-smoker-guy).

Processing for this shot started out with my custom Lightroom preset Grayscale, Portrait 2. From there, it got a little more complicated. This was a VERY high contrast scene, so I had to do lot to keep shadow and highlight details in check throughout. So I proceeded by adjusting the color temperature and then tweaking each color in the grayscale mix. Then tweaking it some more. Then I adjusted the exposure and tint a bit, followed by another color temperature tweak. Some tone curve adjustments. I rounded things out with a bunch of brush strokes to adjust exposures (mainly bringing exposure down on the subject to pull in clipped highlights), and then cropped the image.