Jan 31, 2012

The Photographer behind The Bobby Wheat Gallery

Growing up on the plains of Oklahoma, Bobby always had a fascination with the grandiose scenes of the western United States. Road trips with his dad from early childhood into his college years solidified his desire to continue exploring the natural beauty throughout the world. "I was always so enamored with the big scenes out west that even from a young age, I had what seemed like an innate desire to take a sense of ownership in those places. Taking a photograph was the best way for me to do that". 

Soon after marrying his wife Haley, they packed up and moved to the rugged mountain town of Jackson, Wyoming, where he continued to fine tune his craft while working as an electrician and later an elementary teacher.

"Out of the Ashes"

Unsatisfied with the print quality from digital cameras, Bobby soon resorted to building his stunning body of work using old-school techniques.  After 4 years enduring cold winters up north, Bobby and his family moved to the heart of the desert southwest, Las Vegas, where he taught elementary for 3 years before opening his debut gallery at Tivoli Village.
"Streets of Venice"

The Bobby Wheat Gallery features the exquisite fine art photography of the young and ambitious Las Vegas local.  From the deserts of the American southwest to the streets of Venice, Italy, Bobby captures his body of work using vintage large -format film cameras yielding a portfolio with unparalleled detail, integrity, scarcity, and archival permanence.  His unique purist approach cultivates within him an organic grasp on fine art photography that is extremely rare amongst contemporary photographers, elevating his natural expertise and ability to convey the wonder of the world around us.  Awarded 8 times internationally before the age of 30, Bobby's work is being recognized along side that of his contemporaries 20+ years his senior by the world's top art critics.
"Infinite Solace"

Bobby continues to seek out the hidden beauty of the world yielding an alluring body of work that is guaranteed to keep viewers excited as he explores new terrain and exotic locations in upcoming shoots.  Collectors can look forward to Wheat’s bright future as he continues the tour de force that is his exploration of our landscape and the manner in which we experience it.  "Inspiration is Everywhere"™ Bobby Wheat.
"Sounds of October"

To stay in tune with new releases, gallery events, photography tips, shot locations, etc. please find Bobby on Twitter:  @bwheatgallery, his facebook page: Bobby Wheat Photography, his website http://bobbywheat.com, and his gallery in Tivoli Village.

Tips from Bobby | Aperture & Shutter Speed

Aperture & Shutter Speed:  The World's Greatest Photoshop Effects (without using Photoshop)

It’s time to take your camera off of the automatic setting and even the shutter priority / aperture priority setting and start taking your creative potential to the next level.  Yes, that means you have to use that scary “M” setting on your camera, meaning you manually control it based on what you want your images to look like.  Aperture and shutter speed are God’s gift to realism.  They allow you to present your unique perspective on the world with the utmost creative control.  Knowing how to effectively use both will allow you to accomplish effects in the camera that 99 percent of the world saves until post production.  Cloning people out, blurring the background a little more to eliminate the twigs, brush, a stop sign, etc. and even achieving exaggerated color palettes are all possible if you know how to use aperture and shutter speed to your advantage.  The digital camera is one of the greatest learning tools ever invented in that it allows you to instantly see the effects of your creative choices when shooting.  You instantly get to see what happens with even the slightest tweaks to your camera settings.  Putting your camera on manual mode, and noting what happens when you change your camera settings is the first step in becoming a picture maker, rather than a picture taker.

Aperture | Basically, this allows you to control the amount of the scene that will be in focus (it does other things as well, but for now, we will stick with the basics).  It allows you to eliminate unnecessary background elements by blurring them out.  Large apertures (smaller F numbers) mean a more shallow depth of field (less in focus).  Have you ever seen a shot of a flower where only the grains of pollen are in focus and the rest is a beautiful blurred color palette?  That is aperture working its magic.  It would not have the same effect if all the imperfect green leaves and scraggly details in the background were in focus.  Large apertures f2.8, f3.5, f4, f5.6 give you a shallow depth of field that will turn unnecessary background and foreground elements into a nice dreamy color palette accentuating your subject matter.  Small apertures like f16, f22, and f32 will give you a greater depth of field and more will be in focus.  Broad landscape scenes are usually shot with apertures f16 and smaller (larger numbers mean smaller apertures).  Just think, a little f-number f2.8, f4, f5.6, etc. (larger apertures…I know it’s confusing)=little focus.  Larger f-numbers like f16, f22, etc. (smaller apertures) mean larger depth of field and more in focus.  Practice shooting scenes with a variety of aperture settings and note the subtle differences between each one.  An aperture of f5.6 might have rendered too much detail in the background elements causing you to want to open up the aperture to an f4 or f3.5 to blur out a smidgen more.  You will soon learn exactly which setting you want to achieve your desired result.

Shutter Speed | This is your greatest paintbrush-like tool in that it allows you to paint movement, freeze fast moving objects, erase moving objects, capture streaks of light, and even exaggerate the color palette of a scene without cranking up the saturation in Photoshop.  Longer shutter speeds like 1/15th of a second or more can give your composition a very dramatic and dreamy feel.  Silky ocean tides and waterfalls, streaks of light through a cityscape, and even those Van Gogh “Starry Night” star trails are all the results of using long shutter speeds in which the movement of the subject is captured.  I’ve also used longer shutter speeds to erase people in front of a busy cityscape.  As long as the people aren’t wearing the old school British Knight light up shoes, they will disappear in the composition when using longer shutter speeds.  Longer shutter speeds can also greatly exaggerate the color palette of any given scene due to the extended time that your CCD or film is exposed.  It’s almost as if your film or CCD is a sponge that becomes more saturated the longer it is in contact with the light.  Faster shutter speeds like 1/125 of a second or shorter can freeze moments in time.  Water droplets coming out of a sprinkler, Kevin Durant dunking on just about anyone who gets in his way, and a lion sprinting across the Serengeti can be frozen in time using faster shutter speeds.

As you become more familiar with aperture and shutter speed, you will be able to achieve whatever result you desire, thus turning you into a photo maker rather than a photo taker.  I approach each scene with a desired effect and use the two features to bring my vision to fruition.  Sometimes, I need a longer shutter speed and set my shutter speed to the desired setting and change my aperture accordingly.  Some scenes I approach in a completely opposite fashion knowing that I want a certain amount of the scene in or out of focus; therefore, I set my aperture to the desired setting, and adjust the shutter speed accordingly.  The point is to know your camera well enough that you are making all of the creative decisions and not your automatic camera setting.  Mastering these two aspects of photography will drastically improve your body of work and by extension, increase your credibility and the demand for your work or services.  Uprgrading your gear is always better when you have to do it because your clientele demands it.

"Higher Love" :: Session Share

"think about it, there must be higher love
down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
without it, life is wasted time
look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine
bring me a higher love…"

"I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
let me feel that love come over me
let me feel how strong it could be…
bring me a higher love…"

"bring me a higher love
bring me a higher love
bring me a higher love
where’s the higher love I keep thinking of?"

PHOTO CHALLENGE~ "Reflection" :: Southern Utah Photography Guild

Interview with Kevin Hulett
Southern Utah Photography Guild~ President

K Hulett Photography: http://www.kevinhulett.com
How did SUPG come about, and what is the main goal for your guild?
Being in business here in St. George since 2005 there has always seemed to be animosity between the professional photographers. It's something I have always had a bad taste in my mouth about. Photography is an art, or it should be, and as an artist I feel there is room for all of us to create, share and be a support for each other rather than just treat this as a cut throat business. My goal for SUPG was to bring like minded artists together in a space that was comfortable, supportive and fun.
Andi Watkins:  www.andiwatkins.com

Annette Belnap: www.littlegemsphoto.com

Kellie Larsen:  www.elementsphotographystudio.com

What are the geographic boundaries for your guild?
There are no geographic boundaries for this Guild. However, since it's the Southern Utah Photography Guild, most of us are somewhere close. So far our meetings and events have all been held in Southern Utah, but I don't want to be limited to that. I don't want us to be limited to anything. Anyone who wants to be a positive presence in the Guild is encouraged to join.
Cindy Larkin:  http://cindergirlphotography.blogspot.com

Rachelle Kolb:  http://rachellekolb.com/

Bob Kulon:  http://www.bobkulonphoto.com

What are the benefits from being involved in a guild?
There are many benefits to being an official member of our Guild. It's a list that we're working to expand. SouthernUtahPhotographyGuild.com has links to member's pages, there's a network of helpful photographers with experience and insight, membership photoshoots and events, etc. But most important to me is just the community of like minded artists sharing what they love and being supportive of each other. It's been amazing to watch all of these artists come together and interact on their own.
Cher Houston:  http://www.facebook.com/speaknowphotography

What are some of the things that you focus on in SUPG?
SUPG is just still in it's growing phase so we seem to be focusing on new things all the time. To me, right now, I'm focused on knowing our members on a personal level, having fun with the other artists, and creating ways for us to give back to our community.

Deone Thornton:  http://www.deonethorntonphotography.com/

What kind of photographers are in your guild? 
Many different levels of photographers have joined our Guild. We have pros and noobs and people who just love the art of photography and don't own a camera. It's open to anyone.

Dustin Buchanan:  www.choosefunny.com

How often do you meet as a group?
Right now we meet on the first Tuesday of every month for general merriment and salsa. I try to throw together coffee meet ups every so often when the mood is right.

Errin Andrus:  http://www.errinandrusphotography.com/blog

Tell me about your monthly Photo Challenge.
The photo challenges are a fun project for everyone to participate in if they want. Last month our challenge was "Reflection", however the artist interprets that, and this month is "Silhouette". There's no judging or critiquing. Everything is done in a positive way to encourage our members to go out there and create!

Marla Webb

Randi Gardner: http://www.rgardnerphotographs.com/

Valerie Hart: http://www.valeriehartphotography.com

Teria Brooks: http://www.teriaphotography.com

Ryanne Day: www.MoxiePhotoz.com

Tell me about some of your other guild projects. 
Before Christmas we set up a family photo event to raise money for the local homeless shelter here in St. George. We invited anyone to come down and have their family portrait taken for $10 and all the proceeds went to Dixie Care and Share. I'd like to point people to an important video that helps shed some light on the problem here in Southern Utah and why we felt so strongly about doing something.  I want to make sure as an artist community we are using our medium to do what we can when we can.
We've had other events as well, but I'm the most proud of our Guild for this one, the support from our members to put this together was amazing.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to get involved in a guild, or start their own?
My advice to starting a Guild?? Get involved in an existing Guild, that's why they're there. If there isn't one, make sure you're starting it for the right reasons and have some free time on your hands. It's also important to have people you trust in your corner. SUPG wouldn't be where it is without Randi Gardner & Amberly Judy, among many others who have taken it on their shoulders to care about and help build SUPG.

Miss America Pageant Exclusive Photo's

Behind the Scenes with Rex Winterton and Dixie Henrie

It's the Super Bowl of the Beauty World.  The pageants have been held across America.  The queens were all chosen six months earlier.  All contestants, parents, and their individiual teams have worked hard at getting sponsors for additional financial help.  These pageants are not cheap by any means.  What the girls and their teams earn, learn, and put to good use, will be remembered forever.

The girls all arrive one week early in Vegas so they can not only have fun, and go to special sponsored events sponsored by the City of Las Vegas and also the Miss America Pageant. 
Photo by Rex Winterton
This is Rex's seventh year covering the Miss America Pageant.  He always brings an assistant so they can take photos from various positions during the preliminary shows and during the final show on Saturday evening. 
Photo by Rex Winterton

They pick up our credentials upstairs at Planet Hollywood from the Miss America Organization.  That's where they meet up with Bonnie MacIssac.  Bonnie has been with the MAO for several years too and they have become close friends.  Bonnie was very happy to see me this year.
Photo by Rex Winterton

After picking up their credentials from the MAO they line up a few interviews for Thursday afternoon with Miss Nevada, Alana Lee, and Miss Utah, Danica Olsen.  For a photographer and writer interviewer they always hope that the contestant doesn't think they are a "dummy" compared to other press members.  They do well and get real with as the contestants laugh and cry, and seemed to enjoy their time being interviewed.
Photo by Rex Winterton

Miss Nevada, Alana Lee, she was very relaxed and very much at ease when describing her ambitions of being a news anchor woman on the news, and how she's has dreams  of being the President of the United States of America.  Big dreams, big aspirations, but atainable.  Her dreams for being a news anchor take her to three major U.S. cities.  Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York.

Photo by Rex Winterton
Miss Utah, Danica Olsen, who won the swimsuit/fashion portion of the pageant on Tuesday night, was asked during her interview if she had any special bond with any of the judges.  She indicated she felt like she had a special bond with Chris Powell who's in charge of the show "Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition."   The photographers get up-close and personal and get to ask her about her family life.  She has an older 26 year old brother and each summer Miss Utah, her brother, and their parents travel around the U.S. to several baseball parks and watch Major League Baseball games. Her favorite team was the LA Dodgers.  Her favorite park you might think Chavez Revine being where the Dodgers play, but it wasn't.  Her favorite is the infamous Fenway Park in Boston.  Lots of history!
Photo by Rex Winterton

Photo by Rex Winterton

The photographers interview a few more contestants and discuss the lenses and photography equipment they will need for this event.  Dixie carries with her a Canon D70; and Rex his Nikon D300.  From past experience the only lenses they'd need would be a 17-85, and a 70-200, f 2.8.  The latter is by far their favorite lens.
Photo by Rex Winterton

After touring the "Miracle Mile" halls cluttered with people looking for exceptional deals, both Dixie and Rex figured it's time for a good old cheeseburger or maybe even a yogurt.  One of the sporting good shops found lured them inside by two girls dressed up as referees.  Inside the sporting good facility they had four professional athletes signing photos and letting people like themselves take their own pictures.  There on location was the Hall of Famer for the Chicago Bears, Gale Sayers.  On the other side of the store were three boxers of years gone by.  Ernie Shavers, Ken Norton, and Leon Spinks.  Later that evening there was also another NBA former player that dropped by.  The great Dennis Rodman and his two body guards. 
Photo by Rex Winterton

It's now time for the big production.  The show starts at 5:30 PM, with the doors opening at 4pm. 
Excitement fills the air.  Ladies in beautiful evening gowns flowing with sashes and diamonds.  Men wearing all different colored tuxedo's and also a few others in regular slacks and long sleeved shirts.  There were also an army of State's winners of the Miss Teen Pageants.

Chris Harrison (The Bachelor) and Brooke Burke (Dancing with the Stars)  were the hosts of the Saturday night performance.

The Miss America Organization gives hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in scholarships.  The new Miss America will receive a $50,000 scholarship to the college of her choice, and after she is crowned can expect to leave right after her press interviews early Sunday.  She will fly to New York City, to be on Good Morning America, on Monday.  She has appearances all over the country including other shows in New York, and the Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis.

Photo by Rex Winterton

As for the photographers, they wrap up another great season with the Miss America Organization.  Next year will be another year and maybe another camera and another lens.  You know photographers...they like to dream too.