Mar 29, 2012

Macro Photography

by Sally Mk LRPS

Residing in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, and amidst a busy schedule as both a wife, and a mother of 3– I've managed to squeeze in a second life of passion, through the lens of my camera. 

Photography started off as a distraction after a slightly complicated birth of my third child which resulted in a protracted house arrest. My brother thought it would get my mind off my confinement. A few snaps here, and shutter click there, and my photography took off; and I have never looked back since. 

As a self-taught photographer, I find my greatest inspiration and influences from the photo-sharing site Flickr and its community of photographers- amateur and professional alike. I would spend hours scouring the site for images and then studying the EXIF information where possible for a particularly inspiring image. 

With my initial foray into photography (house bound), I started out with food and flowers as my main subjects – being that they're easy subjects in the home. My interest in photography has flourished since and I am keen to expand my vision and horizons beyond that comfort zone. Recent explorations have me moving on to water droplets, landscapes, sports, birds and weddings.

I am grateful that the persistence in my photography has given me the opportunity to receive recognition from Canon Malaysia and I was given an opportunity to exhibit some of my floral work in DCIM Show 2011 last year.

The encouragement of recognition has spurred me to further my commitment to my photography and I am currently on the road to obtaining the Royal Photographic Society Distinction; having completed the first level and currently pursuing the second level. 

I, now, conduct individual one-to-one classes on floral work which covers how to shoot and edit the photos to produce a final product.

When I work on my floral photographs, the lines, curves, details, angles, and background have to come together before that decisive shutter goes off.  I try to avoid taking the flowers in the typical sense or making them look ordinary. Often times, I shoot with a large aperture for shallower depths of field, to further divert attention to the flower itself – softening the background to reduce further distractions. Post processing, often entails adding textures to give it a dreamy almost paint-like effect.

 Macro Tips
Macro work has always been my favorite .  I love shooting flowers, insects (particularly ladybirds) and water droplets. The essential tools for macro work are my 100mm L f2.8 lense, a tripod ( i usually use this for my droplet shots), a shutter release, kenko extension tubes (to get real close to subjects like insects), and finally my Canon MR-14EX Macro Ring Lite.
Here's how this droplet shot is made...
Camera: EOS 7D
Exposure: (1/50)
Aperture: of 3.5, ISO 400 ,
Lens:  100mm macro, and a sturdy tripod.

Water droplet shots may look difficult but with some practice and patience the results could be very satisfying.  I applied the droplet with a srynge on a bird feather and shot this beside a window with lots of light coming thru. To have it tact sharp use a tripod and a shutter release. The colour of the droplet was enhanced in photoshop.

My gear:
-Canon EOS 5DMK2 and EOS 7D.
-EF 50mm f 1.2 USM,  EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 17- 40mm f/4 USM, EF 24 – 105mm f 4L IS USM, EF 70 – 200mm F2.8 L IS II USM, EF 400mm f/5.6L USM
-14 EX Macro Ring Flash and the 580 EX II canon Flash.

More of my work can be seen {HERE} 

Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Photographer

by Amy Leavitt of Mad Love Weddings

You’ve planned the perfect wedding, one you’ve always dreamed about. From the carefully selected colors, decorations, centerpieces, flowers and all the other details, you want a professional wedding photographer to capture it all. Whether you’ve splurged on your dream wedding photographer, or if you’re on a budget, you really want to be sure you get the most out of your photographer. After all the time and money spent on the dress, flowers, reception, food, cake, etc. the photographs are the only thing you will have that documents your wedding day. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you get the very best from whatever wedding photographer you choose.

1. Do your research: Be sure you are hiring someone reputable, who at least has an online presence where you can view their portfolio. This is really a service where “get what you pay for”. The best wedding photographers in Las Vegas are not charging just a few hundred dollars. Your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister who wants the experience may not create lasting memories for you to treasure. This is a one shot deal, so be sure you are getting a professional wedding photographer whose photos you absolutely love. Keep in mind that all of us photographers have to start somewhere, and there are many new wedding photographers who are talented and are producing amazing work. Just be sure to check their portfolio. The kind of work you see in their portfolio is the kind of photos you will get of your wedding. I cannot stress this enough. What you see is what you get. How are their Photoshop skills? Are their images too dark or too light? Are they consistent or are they all over the place (some are fabulous and some are really bad) Do their images move you? Do you connect with them?

2. Make sure your photographer knows your priority shots: Many photographers will have a Shot List – a list of traditional wedding shots. Be sure to let your photographer know which shots are most important to you. Don’t assume the photographer knows what shots you are expecting. We can’t possibly know that your childhood best friend will be there and you really wanted a photo with her.We wedding photographers do best when you tell us exactly what shots you want!
3. Create an timeline of events: A big problem many wedding photographers have is there not having enough time scheduled for portraits. Problems may arise on the big day, and weddings often run late. Be sure to talk to your wedding photographer in advance about setting up a schedule that gives plenty of time for wedding portraits. If your photographer isn’t rushed, she can take her time getting the best, most creative and most flattering photographs of you and your spouse. Be sure to let your photographer know when and where you want to take photos and keep in mind that certain locations at certain times of day may not work. Inside a church may be too dark, and if there’s not enough time to set up lights, it may not be the best idea. A good photographer will always tell you what will and won’t work. Wedding photographers are not magicians, and they should tell you if something just won’t work.

4. First Look: Some brides don’t want their groom to see them in their wedding dress before the ceremony. We know this is a personal choice, but as wedding photographers, we highly recommend you consider a “first look”. When the groom sees his bride for the first time in her dress, it’s a wonderful, intimate moment that should be captured! But before you make your final decision, talk this over with your photographer.

5. See the Light: When you are checking venues, be sure to notice the lighting situation and report this to your photographer, or better yet, have them go check it out! Lighting varies greatly between the ceremony location, reception, etc. and it’s important that your photographer is prepared. In general, the most flattering type of light is in open shade, or the “golden hour”, about an hour before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky. This can create beautiful, warm, romantic images, so keep that in mind when planning your timeline. Even pro photographers have a difficult time focusing in low light situations, so keep that in mind during the reception – the photographer may need a place to set up a light in the reception room.

6. Does the photographer provide a second shooter? Having a second shooter provides the best possible coverage of your event. Here at Mad Love Wedding Photography, both Cindy and I shoot all weddings, so you always have a team of professional photographers. For example, one of us concentrates on the bride and the other concentrates on the groom to ensure we capture both sides of the same event. Also, equipment failure is always a possibility, but with two photographers, you lessen the damage substantially as it’s highly unlikely both photographer’s equipment will fail at the same time. Ask your photographer if they provide a second shooter – if they don’t, ask for one.

7. Group Shots: Consider assigning a family member or friend to help with the group shots. Everything goes much smoother if someone who knows the family is there to help herd people into each type of grouping. Also, be sure to add more time for group wedding shots if you are planning to do a large group shot. Larger groups always take time to arrange.
We hope these tips will help you in selecting and working with your wedding photographer. Of course, we hope you choose us – but we realize that there are many different styles to choose from. If you have any questions about our Wedding Photography services, please email us here: Las Vegas Wedding Photography.

Pssst!!!  We're having a Wedding Photography Giveaway!!! 
Click {HERE} to enter

Getting There: Podcast Learning

By Bob Kulon
Bob Kulon, originally from Northeast Ohio, is headquartered in Southwest Utah within easy reach of some of our most treasured National Parks. Bob has been in professional photography since the mid-70’s. His current interests lie in fine art representations of outdoor scenic, overlooked remembrances of yesteryear, and the human lifestyle. Along the way, Bob obtained a BS degree in Computer Science, certification as a Project Manager, and honed his skill as an adult trainer. Bob Kulon teaches a wide range of Photography and Digital Workflow courses at Dixie State College in Saint George, Utah. Bob is an ongoing member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals). He leads field workshops and provides private 1-on-1 mentoring. He has been a frequent participant in juried regional art shows. Contact Bob at

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get free training on a specific topic, whenever you want it, as you need it, in a concise format? Wouldn’t it also be great if this training was repeatable and always there for you to mine for more insight? Would you like the flexibility of being able to tap into this training from your computer, TV, iPod, iPad, or iPhone? All of this is a reality, with of course, a few caveats.

There are literally thousands of photography-related podcasts being generated regularly. All of these reside on the Internet for free access by audiences just like you and me. There are many obtuse ways of finding and mining these resources, but for the sake of discussion, let’s concentrate on the big daddy clearing house for all things “podcast”: Apple iTunes. Aside from its manifold purposes as a music player, movie player, audiobook player, and media organizer, iTunes is what’s known as an aggregator for podcasting. It runs flawlessly on all computers, PC or Mac, and, best of all, this best in class application is free. You can search, discover, subscribe, play, and even list your own podcast.
I find that learning from topical podcasts suits me just fine. At this point I find it to be my best resource for advancing my personal knowledge without making a mandatory time investment. Time is precious. My attention span is not what it used to be. I enjoy the convenience of having multiple options for playing a podcast. Before we discuss those options, we need to cover one basic concept: podcasts can be found that are strictly audio (no visual content, like radio) or full video (audio and video content, like TV).

Regardless of the format, here are the options available for finding and playing podcasts:

·         Apple iTunes – accessing the online iTunes Store through this program makes it all possible. After you zero in on a podcast you can “stream” an episode for immediate viewing (or listening) or subscribe to it to have new episodes accumulated to your computer. Within iTunes on your computer, you can sit back and absorb the podcast as it plays. The only downside to this is that if you plan to follow along on your computer with your application software (let’s say Photoshop), you probably should be using two display screens. Any podcast saved in iTunes can be transferred to an iPhone, iPad, or most iPods. Also, all iTunes content can be streamed to your Apple TV devices around your home.
·         IPhones, iPads, and iPods – these portable devices can play podcasts. You can either load the podcasts during synchronization with iTunes or stream them from a Wi-Fi home sharing setup. Here’s what I have found. Audio podcasts are flawless experiences. This is a perfect portable solution. Video podcasts are probably a bit compromised on the iPhone and the iPod Touch because of the small screen size. I am pleased to report video podcast nirvana on the iPad’s big screen in a handy form factor.
·         Apple TV – 99 smackers bucko! You mean you don’t have one yet? These little buggers plug into you HDTV and provide an amazing full-screen viewing experience for Podcasts. These can be sourced directly from online connection to your iTunes Store via Wi-Fi or streamed from your saved subscription material on your computer running iTunes. Now, you just kick back in front of your 55” wiz-bang LED/LCD home theatre and see everything big and clear. Amazing stuff! A competing technology called Google TV is being introduced with similar features in a stand-alone box ($299) or built into newer HDTVs. This technology does not have the handiness of being an integrated part of the Apple ecosystem.

There are so many good podcasts out there that I think each of us would land on our own set of favorites. In the next installment, I plan to share a list of podcasts I tend to visit regularly and highlight their goals and tactics. For now, here is how I classify the photography podcasts that can be found on iTunes:

  • Technology Training – using the software, hardware, and workflow that are ubiquitous in this digital era.
  • Field and Studio Training – the photography methods that are used to create professional-class images.
  • Bull Sessions – entertaining banter that takes on the tone of a radio talk show.
  • Gear Reviews – features and comparisons that will turn you into a salivating fan-boy.
  • Critiques and Aesthetics – insightful opinions and recommendation for improving and showing your work.
  • Celebrity Insights – the big names hold court for their subjects. This is often combined with another category listed above.
That’s it for now. Please return next month for a rundown of specific photography podcasts that pass through my Internet connection on a regular basis. Cheers!

This is article part of a monthly series provided to you by Las Vegas Photographer Magazine. We hope you enjoy it and return for more.
The material is an excerpt from Bob Kulon’s book entitled Getting There: Discover the best approaches to boost your personal skills in Photography and Processing. It is available in paperback and downloadable PDF file from
Bob Kulon is a professional photographer that residing in St. George, Utah. He has been a practicing pro for over 35 years. Bob’s current activities involve training and mentoring, fine art photography and printing, and business consulting.  He is a staff instructor for Dixie State College Community Education. Bob’s internet presence can all be accessed through the homepage. From there you can reach his Blog, Gallery, Podcast, Facebook, etc. You may also reach Bob at or 435-275-5975.

Mar 2, 2012

March 2012 Cover


Q&A with Cover Photographer Meg Bitton

(Note from Amy) Cindy & I hand pick our cover photographers. When I came across Meg's work, I was stunned. Her emotional, dramatic and pure work captures the sheer humanness of her subjects. It's a pleasure to view her images, and I find myself returning again and again to certain photographs.

Q&A with Meg Bitton

How did you get into photography?

Back in high school a looooooong time ago, my dad bought me a film camera, and its been deep in my soul ever since.

Are there any photographers who inspired or influenced your work?

There are a lot of artists out there, be it photographers, musicians, interior designers, fashion designers, sculptors, painters that influence my work.

What is your photography philosophy?

Shoot what you love and the way you see life through the lens. Make no excuses and never apologize for your vision.

What is your photoshop philosophy?

Learn it, all of it. Understand the whole program.

What equipment do you use - and please describe your work process:

I am a Nikon user.


Your images have a hazy, dreamy feel with a tinge of something I can't quite describe; sadness? humanness? Please describe how you go about capturing this in camera and enhancing it in photoshop.

I go about capturing it in my heart and my soul. I click when I see and feel the moment. When I process, I close my eyes and remember the moment, how it really was and then I think about how to enhance that moment with color. Then, I start….

How do you pose and interact with your subjects?

I stay very far away from my subjects. I speak softly, sometimes not at all. I wait. Sometimes a long time.

You have developed a unique look to all your images. How would you advise someone just starting out who would like to find that special something in their own work?

No two people see life the same way. Put out into the world your vision and your passion. Dig deep inside of you and find it. It's there.


Styled Shoot with Michelle Edmonds and Lainee Read

 by Lainee Read

This was such a fun couple and with this shoot we really wanted to capture their personalities in the almost fairy tale story line that they are walking in the woods, find this perfect table waiting for them, hanging from the perfect tree and begin to live in the moment. Moments full of romance, beauty, laughter and love.

With this shoot we wanted to capture and inspire an almost masculine table. Something to contradict the almost girly, pretty inspiration shoots you see all over the place. 

We wanted to create a table that reminded brides the season between fall and winter. That border season, where the air has a bite to it but snow is yet to fall. The time where natural colors like browns and white are prominent but the bright colors of autumn refuse to give way just yet.

Although this table is simple and masculine, the details are in the textures. We wanted to capture both winter and fall with frayed white linen, dark cork place mats, weaved silver chargers and smooth white plates with textured gradient cakes, one for the bride and the groom. The glasses found along the table had a frosted sugar look, reminiscent of early morning frost before snowfall. And the metal gradient balls and fallen leaves add to the table’s texture and contribute to the masculine feel without making this a “man’s” table. The perfect balance between masculine and feminine is found in the orchids on the branches and the textured bouquet the bride carries as well as the flower details on her gorgeous dress.

Location- Baker, Utah
listed below are all the vendors involved.

Design, Style and Coordination by:
Taylor Made Weddings and Events- Taylor Proctor

Floral Design by:
My Favorite Flowers- Olga Goddard

Cake Design by:
Bridal Cakes by Yvonne - Yvonne Borrowman

Dress by:
Lauren James Bridal

Make Up and Hair Styling by:
Kelli Miller Beauty- Kelli Miller

Photography by:
Michelle Edmonds Photography- Michelle Edmonds
Posh Photography- Lainee Read

Kyler Watson and Kaity Read

7 Ways to Pay it Forward

Photography is an accessible, universal tool that can have great impact. There are so many opportunities to help people using the power of photography. These are just some of the ways that you can pay it forward.

1.  F.I.L.M. Project:
Family Images for Lasting Memories - F.I.L.M Project provides free professional family portraits to cancer patients and their families during their most fragile time.

This project launched January 1st 2011 in a small town in Indiana. It has grown from a handful of photographers to hundreds.

For more information on how to join the F.I.L.M. Project, click here.

2.  Hearts Apart was created to keep families connected while our military men and women are serving abroad. Photographers provide soon to be deployed servicement and women with family portraits. The portraits are printed on waterproof, durable cards which fit securely in their uniform pocket. The goal of is simple. As long as servicemen and women are in harm's way and separated from their families, we will be taking pictures. There is no end to the project - just a commitment to continue to serve our Armed Forces while they continue to serve us.
Lana D'Apriele

Lana D'Apriele

 For more information about joining Hearts Apart, click here.


3.  Help Portrait

Help Portrait is a national movement started by celebrity photographer, Jeremy Coward. It consists of photographers, make-up artists & hair stylists to help people in need. The event this year will be held on Dec 8, 2012. The idea is simple. Find someone in need. Take their portrait. Print and deliver their portrait. For the past several years, Las Vegas has taken portraits for the homeless youth at Shannon West Homeless Youth Center.

To get involved, go to, click on "find my location" and join the group in your area. Las Vegas Help Portrait Group

4.  Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep 

NILMDTS offers the free gift of professional portraiture to parents suffering the loss of a baby. Often, the parents will go to the hospital expecting to have and bring home a baby and leave with nothing. Through the gift of portraits from a professional photographer, parents can have tangible proof that their baby was here, that he existed and was loved. This is a difficult experience for photographers, and not all photographers may be suited to this type of volunteer work. However, from experience, I can tell you that the experiences I've had with NILMDTS are very special, even sacred.

Click here for more information on joining Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

5. Operation Love ReUnited:

Op Love provides a free session to deploying military families. An album of photos is sent to the soldier overseas, providing a much needed morale boost. A second session is given as well, capturing the soldier's homecoming.

Inspired Images by Tammy

Inspired Images by Tammy

For more information about joining Op Love, click here.

6. PhotoPhilanthropy

PhotoPhilanthropy is a place that connects photographers with non-profits. They strive to promote and reward connections between photographers and non-profit organizations around the world to tell the
stories that drive action for social change.

7.  Create your own way to give back

There are many non-profits, churches, hospitals, and other charities that would love help from a professional photographer. Keep an eye out for opportunities to serve. Kendra Dyson, a local photographer, worked with Club Christ or CCM, a locally born non-profit that serves urban youth through mentoring, educational and literacy programs. She states, "We set up small (50-100 students) center's in the middle of low-income housing and provide free programs to students' grades 1st-12th.
The photos were taken to commemorate the closing of our Henderson campus. The complex that houses it is being demolished and all of the resident are being relocated. The center will also relocate. The photos were taken and compiled to share with CCM's supporters and volunteers." Check out the full set of photos here.