Chase Lanier Photography: Blog https://www.chaselanier.com/blog en-us (C) Chase Lanier Photography (Chase Lanier Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:05:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:05:00 GMT https://www.chaselanier.com/img/s/v-12/u1063312337-o90004698-50.jpg Chase Lanier Photography: Blog https://www.chaselanier.com/blog 75 120 Best of 2016 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2017/3/best-of-2016 16 from 2016

2016 was another great year for me. The business continues to grow and I had the opportunity to photograph more weddings and engagements than ever before. I learned new techniques and acquired new equipment in my quest to become a better photographer. I had the opportunity to photograph weddings all over the state from the mountains in North Georgia to the coastal plains down south.

Every year I like to compile a group of my favorite images to share with my readers. This year was particularly hard since I had so many great photos to choose from. In the end, my favorite photos were the images that told a story. The story could be about an emotion, a personality, or just an aspect of a wedding day that made it unique. Here are my 16 favorite photos from 2016....

CLP-Castleberry-33CLP-Castleberry-33 Meghan and Nick got married last July at the Reid Barn in Cumming Ga. The day was absolutely perfect for photography, however a dark cloud started to appear above the barn during the ceremony. The rain started as soon as we started their formal portraits after the wedding. Luckily, the rain only lasted for a few minutes. After getting a lot of great photos, we went inside to grab a quick bite to eat before the reception started. Suddenly, the wedding coordinator ran up saying that a rainbow just appeared over the barn. Needless to say, I skipped the rest of the meal. We only had about five minutes of photography with the rainbow before it disappeared. The rest of the night was a blast with lots of dancing, however the image that always stands out for their wedding will always be the five minute rainbow that appeared on their wedding day. CLP-Komlo-BW-5CLP-Komlo-BW-5 Morgan and Zach got married last July at Gallery 51 in Forsyth, Ga. The venue was an old warehouse that had been transformed into an art gallery/event space. The girls were a little behind on hair and makeup, so they were working hard to get ready in time for the ceremony. In this photo, Morgan is working on her makeup while her bridesmaid works on her hair to get her ready for the wedding. I always love the behind the scenes photography that happens during the early parts of the day for a wedding. While everyone gets to see the beautiful bride walk down the aisle, not many people get to witness the frantic energy that goes into making everything perfect for the day. CLP-33CLP-33 Every once in a while you get a groom that is set on a certain idea for photos. Howard was so excited about doing this photo with his wedding band and groomsmen once the ceremony was over. The faces and reactions make this photo. I've done similar photos in the past with couples and sometimes with the bride, however I've never had reactions quite like this... Carroll-Larson Edit-7Carroll-Larson Edit-7 I love doing engagement photos. It is the perfect time to incorporate different places and ideas that might not be feasible on the wedding day. I met with Cody and Courtney last year and one of their first questions was "where should we do our engagement photos?"  I asked what they enjoyed doing together... A couple of ideas later, and we started discussing the possibility of doing the photos at Sweetwater Brewery. I called the people at Sweetwater and they were kind enough to let us come in after hours for a private session. The light. The atmosphere. The kiss. The beer.... It all added together to make the perfect engagement photo for their story. CLP-21CLP-21 One of the great things that I love about weddings are the traditions. They can be cultural, religious, or even family traditions that make up parts of the day. Candace and Michael's wedding at the Conservatory in Acworth had a unique tradition that I had never seen before. Michael is of Scottish decent and one thing that they wanted for the ceremony was to have a Celtic knot. The Celtic knot signifies the bond of marriage by literally tying the bride and groom's hands together. I always love getting opportunities to witness (and document) new traditions. CLP-44CLP-44 I photographed Keri's wedding last October at Foxhall in Douglasville. Her dad wasn't the type to normally wear a suit, so Keri wanted to make sure that she got some good photos of her dad while he was all dressed up. You could tell just how proud he was for her on the wedding day. The side-light coming from the windows just momentary lit up his profile as he glanced at her halfway down the aisle. The returning look of pure happiness from Keri makes the story. These are the kind of moments that I love being able to witness. CLP-33 (2)CLP-33 (2) Not every emotional photo is taken at a wedding. I was working at a commercial event providing photography for a corporate retreat when I was approached by one of the people there that alerted me that one of the guys was planning to propose to his girlfriend that night. I met up with the guy (Ben) and asked him how he was planning to do it. He wanted to propose to her down by lake Oconee behind the Ritz Carlton. I went down to the lake and waited for the couple to arrive. I was able to get Anita's reaction to the ring and the couple's kiss afterwards. The soft glow from the early evening sky and the Ritz made for the perfect atmosphere for the perfect proposal. CLP-42CLP-42 Ben and Caroline were so much fun in front of the camera. I always have a soft spot for first dance photos. Every couple is different... Some immediately go to a slow dance with tears, while others go to full blown jazz routine. I'm noticing more and more elaborate dances over the years. Maybe there are a lot of Dancing with the Stars fans out there... I love the look of absolute excitement and happiness on Caroline's face in this photo. This photo was only the start of a super-fun reception that night at Little Gardens. CLP Pepper-Harris-13CLP Pepper-Harris-13 Rebekah and Aaron got married last May in Patterson, Ga. Never heard of Patterson? Neither had I... It was a long drive down to their wedding in rural south Georgia. You definitely see a change in landscape once you cross the fall line in Georgia. The soil gets sandy, the pines become more numerous,  and the Spanish moss starts to appear. I've known Rebekah all of her life. In fact, she is my cousin however I rarely got to see her much growing up since her parents are missionaries. She has spend the majority of her life in Guinea (Africa). This photo was taken during the ceremony when friends and family laid hands on the newly-wed couple for prayer. The prayer was finished with Rebekah's father (man to the left of the frame) saying a prayer in Pular (regional language in Guinea). I love the mixing of American and African traditions and the emotion in this photo. I had a lot of great photos from their day, however I felt that this one told the story of their wedding best. CLP-Edit-15CLP-Edit-15 We saw a photo of Candace and Mike's wedding earlier in this post (Celtic Knot), but I had to share this photo from their engagement session also. For the engagement session, we went to Dalton, Ga to Walnut Hill Farms. The area there was spectacular. You could literally see the mountains in Tennessee at the top of the property. The landscape was spectacular, however Candace and Mike had one photo request in particular that they wanted to try to get... They got engaged at a county fair and wanted to try to incorporate the fair like atmosphere into their session. They brought some balloons to try to help setup the idea. I staggered the balloons in the background and back-lit them against the setting sun to create a colorful aurora around them. It turned out to be one of my favorite engagement photos of all time... CLP-59CLP-59 Genine and Todd got married last fall at the beautiful Tate house in Tate, Ga. The property there made it legitimately hard to get a bad photo since there were so many great locations for photography. The Tate house is a historic antebellum home built out of pink marble in the north Georgia mountains. A few years ago, the owners decided to turn it into an event space for weddings and it has become one of the premier locations to get married in Georgia. This past year I've started incorporating more off-camera flash into my photography. This has opened up new opportunities for me to create images in places that I wouldn't have thought possible before. For this portrait of Todd and Genine, I used one strobe behind them to back-light their figures. The powerful white light bouncing off the brides dress helped provide some ambient light to light up the pillars also. I had a lot of great portraits of the two of them, however this image probably remains the most striking of all the photos from the day. IMG_2216IMG_2216 Many of my favorite photos from the year revolved around the bride or groom, however this photo from Nicole and Dmitry's wedding was an exception. During the Hora, both the bride and groom gave up their chairs for other family members to take a turn. The brides younger brother and grandmother decided to hop on... This turned out to be one of the harder photos to get due to the amount of movement (and jostling) during the scene. I took a lot of photos, however this one was sharp (enough) while still hinting at the movement and energy during the dance. The swirling crowd, the excited faces, and the atmosphere make this one of my favorite reception photos of all time. CLP SE-6CLP SE-6 Shanna and Daniel have their wedding coming up later this year, however we were able to meet last October for their engagement session. We met up at their home in Hoschton, Ga for the session. They had some beautiful hay-fields right next to their home that provided for the perfect backdrop for some of the photos. I sometimes help couples with posing, especially if they don't feel comfortable in front of the camera, however I typically like to photograph a couples natural body language. When Shanna and Daniel sat down next to one another, they automatically held hands. As soon as a I saw the pose, I knew what photo I wanted to get. I moved in close with a wide angle and focused on the hands. The out-of-focus faces in the background pull it all together. CLP-56CLP-56 So you might ask "what's happening in this photo"? This is the Nigerian money dance. The brides family originated from Nigeria where they have a tradition of showering the couple with money during the reception. This started with the father-daughter dance and lasted the rest of the evening whenever the bride and groom got together. Did I mention that I love traditions? CLP-SP-31CLP-SP-31 Tom and Jing contacted with less than a month to go for their wedding. Normally, I book up months in advance for weddings, however their wedding happened to fall on a Tuesday, so my schedule was still open. They got married at the 100 Acre Farm in Madison, Ga in June. Their wedding was the first wedding to be held at the newly moved and renovated Sugar Creek Chapel there on the property. It rained pretty heavily for the first part of they day, however the rain stopped just in time for the ceremony. We worked on a few photos in the chapel after the ceremony and then went to move outdoors. With the heavy rains earlier in the day and the Georgia heat, the humidity was outrageous. As soon as we walked outdoors, my lenses fogged instantly. I ended up having to set a camera outside to get accustomed to the humidity while we worked on a few more photos indoors. I figured it was a good opportunity to work on a silhouette photo... This photo from within the church remains one of my favorite couple photos from 2016. CLP-135CLP-135 Keri and Graham had one of my favorite night-time images of 2016. The full moon rising over the pond at Foxhall made for the perfect backdrop. I normally like to set the light on a stand, however the hill leading down to the pond did not allow for that setup to work. Instead, I asked one of the groomsmen to hold the flash for a few quick exposures while Graham and Keri shared a moment together. The glow from the flash balancing out the glow from the moon made everything fall into place. The soft kiss and the perfect clouds make the photo for me.  After I snapped a couple of photos, I told the couple that we got what we needed... Their response was "but you never told us what to do?" I showed them the back of the camera and they agreed... We got the shot.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Available Light Best photos 2016 Conservatory at Waterstone Engagment Photogaphy Georgia Foxhall Gallery 51 Little Gardens Photojournalism Wedding Photography Reid Barn Sugar Creek Chapel Wedding Sweetwater Brewery Tate House https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2017/3/best-of-2016 Thu, 02 Mar 2017 20:06:22 GMT
Tom & Jing https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/10/tom-jing In early June I was contacted by Tom to check availability for his wedding date later that month. Luckily, his date was on a Tuesday, so it was still open. As hard as it is to believe, Tom's wedding was not my first Tuesday wedding and it won't be my last (I have anther one coming up this December). His wedding was being held at the Farmhouse Inn just outside of Madison, Ga. I grew up in Madison and have been by the Farmhouse Inn numerous times, however I've never had the opportunity to photograph on the property. Jing (Tom's wife), was very familiar with the property since her aunt owned and operated the Farmhouse Inn. Tom and Jing's wedding was unique because it was the first wedding at the Farmhouse Inn that had the newly renovated Sugar Creek Chapel available. The forecast called for rain, so the chapel definitely came in use for their wedding. We did the first half of coverage in the chapel and then transitioned to outdoor portraits before finishing up with the reception at the Farmhouse Inn. The afternoon was so hot and muggy, that I had to leave a camera outside just to clear the condensation caused by the abrupt change in temperature/humidity when walking in and out during photos. Even thought it was hot and muggy outside, I think we got quite a few good options for photos...
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(Chase Lanier Photography) Atlanta Wedding Photography Available Light Farmhouse Inn Wedding Madison Ga Wedding Outdoor wedding portraits Photojournalism Wedding Photography Sugar Creek Chapel Wedding https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/10/tom-jing Wed, 05 Oct 2016 11:26:26 GMT
Sarah and Spence https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/8/sarah-and-spence I was contracted out to do Sarah and Spence's wedding this past June. I was really excited for the opportunity to photograph their wedding because it was taking place at the Federal Courthouse in Atlanta. I have never had the chance to photograph a courthouse wedding and their wedding was in the big Federal building downtown. I guess it is either go big or go home. Security was tight and I had to have a special order from a federal judge to allow me back to the courtrooms with all of my equipment. We got some getting ready shots in a vacant office upstairs with Sarah before going back down to the lobby for the first look. As soon as we were finished with our first look photos, we transitioned to the actual wedding ceremony in one of the larger courtrooms. The ceremony was intimate with both family, friends, and co-workers in attendance. We went downstairs for a quick reception and some cake before leaving for portraits at Piedmont Park. Even though it was roughly one million degrees outside, we were able to get some fun photos of the two of them around the park.
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(Chase Lanier Photography) Atlanta Wedding Photography Courthouse Wedding Outdoor wedding portraits Piedmont Park Wedding Photography https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/8/sarah-and-spence Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:02:05 GMT
San Francisco https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/8/san-francisco

Last month my wife and I made a week-long trip to San Francisco. We briefly visited the city back in 2014 during a day trip from Sacramento, however we did not have enough time to truly experience the city. Since my wife was there for a solar conference, I was in charge of finding the best places to visit and eat while she had free time to site-see. The first two days were dedicated to just seeing the sites of the city and the surrounding areas. She had to go to her solar conference for the last three days of the trip, so I wandered the city on foot with my camera those days.

 


Day 1: For our first day in the city, we decided to try to visit as many landmark sites as possible. Luckily our hotel was right off of Lombard street, so we didn't have to walk far to see the crookedest street in the world. I had always heard that San Francisco was hilly, however I was not prepared for the sheer steepness of many of the climbs. The weather was a pleasant 68 degrees during the day, however you could easily work up a sweat by constantly climbing up and down the hills in the city. After visiting Lombard St, we made our way down to Fisherman's Wharf and visited the nearby Ghirardelli factory. After getting a taste of some fresh chocolate, we walked to Chinatown and then to the financial district. From there, we walked down the Embarcadero back to Fisherman's Wharf and got on a open-top bus tour to cross the Golden Gate Bride. After nearly freaking out the we missed the last tour bus, we lucked up and caught the last tour of the day to cross back over the Golden Gate Bridge and back into the city. Unfortunately, the tour didn't take us back near our hotel and dropped us off at Union Station instead. I quick trip via cable car and we were back near our hotel and ready to eat dinner at a little restaurant near the bay...

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Day 2: Our second day started with a car rental to visit areas outside of the city. We drove north across the Golden Gate bridge and travel to Muir Woods. Since childhood I have always wanted to see the redwood trees. It is truly awe-inspiring how massive the giant Sequoias and Redwoods are. We were lucky enough to get a parking spot right by the entrance for the park and we were also able to see a mule deer grazing in the ferns amongst the shadows of forest. After walking through Muir Woods, we traveled east to Sonoma for lunch. After seeing the town of Sonoma, we traveled to Napa to see the wineries there. After driving through the area, we decided that we wanted to see Sausalito since we wouldn't have another chance to see it on this trip. We drove back to the coast and enjoyed the cool breeze coming off of the bay waters. Our last stop took us to the famous painted ladies houses. Unfortunately the best view of the houses was unavailable since the park across the street was closed due to renovation.

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Day 3: My wife's solar conference started on day three, so I was alone for the day. I drove our rental car to the Presidio and then went on to Bakers Beach before returning it to the rental company at lunch time. I spent the rest of the day exploring Union Station and downtown San Francisco on foot.

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Day 4: The next day was more of the same for me. I walked from Union Station to Chinatown and later to Coit tower. The views from the top were worth the climb up to the tower. You had a great view of both the bay and the downtown area. This also allows for one of the best views of Lombard St. A quick slice of pizza served as my fuel before walking back to Chinatown and later to the Embarcadero.

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Day 5: For the last full day in San Francisco, I decided to see as much of Golden Gate Park as I could. I rode a MUNI train to the Pacific Ocean and then entered into the western edge of the park. I believe that I must have seen most of the park since I got turned around quite a few times while walking around. After wandering around for a few hours, I walked out of the park and traveled back down towards Union Station. I was able to photograph City hall and then I went back to the hotel to rest my feet.

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When it was all said and done, I found that I took over 2,000 photos and walked over 30 miles in 5 days. After experiencing the San Francisco area, I can see why the real estate prices are so high. My wife and I were already joking about how feasible it would be to buy a home in the bay area. I definitely didn't miss the Georgia heat when returning to Atlanta at the end of our trip. I certainly hope that we are able to visit the city again in the future. To view or purchase photos from our San Francisco trip, click here.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Chinatown Coit Tower Golden Gate Bridge Golden Gate Park Lombard Steet Photography Embarcadero Photography Muir Woods Photography San Francisco Union Station https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/8/san-francisco Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:26:03 GMT
Aaron and Rebekah https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/7/aaron-and-rebekah

I've known Rebekah for her entire life. In fact, we are cousins; however I don't get to see her too often since she grew up in Africa. Her parents, Rhonda and Robert Pepper have been missionaries for as long as I can remember. They have spent much of their entire life dedicated to spreading the ministry to different parts of the world. They have spent the last 15-20 years in Guinea, Africa. Guinea got world-wide recognition in the last few years with the Ebola outbreak since the illness originated from the region. Luckily, none of the Peppers were not exposed to the virus.

Last year, Rebekah got engaged to her college sweetheart and asked if I would do the photography for her wedding. I was happy to be a part of her special day. They decided to get married at Aaron's church in Patterson, Ga. It was a long drive down, however I was happy to see the change in scenery. South Georgia has a certain charm with the flat landscapes, pine forests, and Spanish moss. Unfortunately, the gnats were out in full force while we were working on photos outside.

One of the coolest aspects about their wedding was the amount of people that traveled thousands of miles to Patterson, Ga to be a part of their special day. Missionaries from all over the world can to see them get married. One of their close family friends from Guinea made Rebekah's wedding dress with traditional African cloth. Rebekah's father prayed a special prayer in Pular and the ministry was split between both of their childhood ministers. I certainly don't get to see many couples dance to Waka Waka (this is for Africa) for their first dance...

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Available Light Missionary Wedding Photojournalism Wedding Photography South Georgia Wedding Wedding Photogaphy Patterson Ga Wedding Photography https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/7/aaron-and-rebekah Wed, 06 Jul 2016 16:10:15 GMT
John and Jill https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/6/john-and-jill These days I don't get many chances to work as a secondary photographer... It is sometimes a nice break to just sit back and document everything instead of having to direct and coordinate every scene. Earlier this year, I was asked to provide secondary shooter coverage for a Marietta wedding. John and Jill wedding started at the Stonebridge Marietta Church. After the ceremony finished, we went to the Marietta Hilton Conference Center for photos. After those photos were finished, we went on to the reception at the Brickyard. John had one of the coolest wedding gifts ever for his new bride... A surprise trip to Paris in two days! The look of shock on her face was absolutely priceless...
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(Chase Lanier Photography) Indoor Reception Photojournalism Wedding Photography Reception at the Brickyard Wedding Photography Marietta Ga Wedding Photography Marietta Hilton Conference Center Wedding Photography Marietta Stonebridge Church https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/6/john-and-jill Thu, 16 Jun 2016 01:18:11 GMT
Bhavya & Robert https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/6/bhavya-robert Bhavya and Robert were so sweet in front of the camera. I photographed their wedding at Little Gardens in Lawrenceville earlier this May. It was very interesting working with the two of them since this was technically their second wedding... They were originally married last year in India but wanted to have a wedding ceremony in the states so that more friends and family could come... It is rare to have a couple go through so much effort to make sure that everyone could be there for their special day. The weather was perfect for their wedding and the crowd was so much fun at the reception...
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(Chase Lanier Photography) Indoor Reception Outdoor Wedding Photojournalism Wedding Photography Wedding Little Gardens Wedding Photogaphy Georgia Wedding Photography Lawrenceville Ga https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/6/bhavya-robert Tue, 07 Jun 2016 19:32:30 GMT
Mike and Candance https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/6/mike-and-candance Mike and Candace got in touch with me earlier this year to see if I was available to photograph their wedding in September. We meet up for lunch and we were able to book the date for their wedding and decide on a time for their engagement photos. One thing that they requested was to take their engagement photos at their wedding venue. The venue they decided to use was Walnut Hill Farms in Dalton, Ga. I traveled up to Dalton one afternoon and meet them there for the session. I normally like to arrive a little early to scope out possible locations prior to the shoot, however both Mike and Candace beat me there. No worries though, the venue was so pretty that it was extremely hard to get a bad photo... Mike and Candace were awesome in front of the camera and the views were breathtaking... I very rarely get a chance to see Tennessee from many of my wedding venues in Georgia...
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(Chase Lanier Photography) Available Light Engagement Photogaphy Dalton, Ga Engagement Photogaphy Walnut Hill Farms Engagement Session Engagment Photogaphy Georgia https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/6/mike-and-candance Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:21:15 GMT
Meghan and Tim https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/5/meghan-and-tim Meghan and Tim were perfect in front of the camera. We meet in downtown Monroe for their engagement photos back in April. They were both a ton of fun in front of the camera and we ended up exploring the downtown area while taking photos in a variety of different locations. Believe it or not, all of the these photos were taken within two blocks of the old courthouse... Needless to say, there is a lot of variety for imagery in Monroe, Ga.
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(Chase Lanier Photography) Engagement Session Engagement photography Monroe Engagment Photogaphy Georgia Photography Monroe https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/5/meghan-and-tim Wed, 25 May 2016 19:05:22 GMT
Courtney and Cody https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/5/courtney-and-cody

Courtney contacted me early this year to inquire about availability for her wedding in October. One of the first things she asked when we met was 'where should we do the engagement photos?'. After brainstorming for a few minutes, she asked if I had ever shot engagement photos in a brewery... I like the way she thinks. I reached out the staff at Sweetwater Brewery and they were kind enough to allow us to come after-hours for a special engagement shoot.

 

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One of the things that Courtney wanted to include in her engagement photos were both her and Cody's dogs. We both wanted the dog photos to be in a natural environment and we wanted to be able to do all of the engagement photos in one afternoon. I looked around online and found a couple of suitable locations for the second shoot. After discussing our options we decided on Tanyard Creek Park near the brewery... The park offered the perfect wooded area for both Courtney and Cody to finish out their engagement session with their dogs.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Engagement Photography Atlanta Engagement Session Engagment Photogaphy Georgia Sweetwater Brewery Engagement Photography Tanyard Creek Engagement Photos https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/5/courtney-and-cody Sat, 21 May 2016 01:47:21 GMT
Carl and Debbie https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/5/carl-debbie

Nearly every one of my engagement sessions start with a brainstorming session with the couple. If they don't have a particular place they want to have their photos made, we then have to figure out a good location to meet their needs. To figure out the best location, we must first find out about the couples needs or desires. My first question is what kind of photos are you looking for (outdoorsy, rural, grungy)? If we still don't have any ideas, my next question is 'what do you enjoy doing together?'

 

Carl told me that he and his fiance, Debbie enjoy hiking and exploring new places. When looking at the map of Georgia of good locations near their home, Stone Mountain stood out as being the best location for our shoot. It offers both hiking opportunities as well as iconic Georgia imagery. We met near the bottom of the trail leading up the side of the mountain and explored the space to create some memorable images.

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Available Light Engagement Session Engagment Photogaphy Georgia Hiking Stone Mountain https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/5/carl-debbie Thu, 12 May 2016 02:43:27 GMT
Best of 2015 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/2/best-of-2015 15 FROM 2015

2015 was another great year behind the camera. I got to photograph multiple weddings including my sister's wedding in September and I got to photograph multiple families, children, and couples throughout the year. I was able to watch my daughter turn two and gain more vocabulary and personality than ever before. I worked with new photographic techniques to expand on my capabilities behind the camera and with post-production.

It is always fun to go over the previous year to see how my business and my photography evolved. The business is continuing to grow and doesn't look like it is slowing down anytime soon. I feel that my photography is constantly getting better each and every year. Every new shoot contains multiple photos that I would be proud to have in my portfolio. I always like to see what was created and to see what memories were made. Here are my favorite 15 images from 2015.

Amelia 2015-34Amelia 2015-34 This is one of my favorite photos of my daughter with my grandmother. I've found that most of my paid photography either happens in the afternoons or on the weekends. With this sort of schedule, I am able to watch my daughter most days of the week while me wife is at work. This of course saves on the cost of daycare, but also allows for me to spend as much time as possible with her since I'm usually busy on the weekends. Since we are together so much for daddy-daycare, we have started a routine of visiting my grandparents about once a month. My grandparents love the visits and my grandma can't stop talking about the visits once we leave. Grandma is not able to get around around as much as she used to, however she always seems to have a little more pep in her step when Amelia is there. When Amelia asked to go see the lake, my grandma didn't hesitate to go with her. They spent a few minutes together watching the lake while sitting on the swing. This is one of the few times that Amelia was content to just sit. I remember when I was a kid and sitting beside my grandma on the same swing.  CLP Vaughan-Thompson WDG-239CLP Vaughan-Thompson WDG-239 This is one of my favorite images from Jeff and Jill's wedding from last October. I've known both Jeff and Jill for a long time. I went to school with Jill at both Morgan County and at Georgia Southern University and I worked with Jeff at Camp Twin Lakes during high school. This photo was about two hours before the wedding ceremony and the girls had just got finished at the salon. They went over to their room at the James Madison Inn to put on their dresses. Jill's mom buttoned up her dress while her sister (the bridesmaid) walks through the background. Blaine12mo-48Blaine12mo-48 You never know when the next photographic opportunity will present itself. I was asked last year about doing 6 month photos for a friend that I used to work with. Blaine is her first child and she wanted to document his first year. After the 6 month session, she wanted me to continue at both 9 months and 12 months. This photo is from Blaine's 12 month session right around Christmas. We did the session at their home and incorporated some of the Christmas decorations because his birthday was in the middle of December. The interesting part about her home is that I actually grew up in the same house. It has since been renovated by her husband, however it is always surreal to come back into a childhood home years later. Blaine did great for his photos and was always ready to strike a new pose at any given moment.  CLP-139CLP-139 This photo is from Kimberly and Alan's wedding from December of last year. Kimberly contacted me about photography in the summer after she got engaged. I was happy to be her wedding photographer. I didn't meet Alan until our engagement session last October. I quickly realized that he didn't like taking photos, however he was much more comfortable in front of the camera with Kimberly. On the wedding day you could tell that they were both nervous. We had agreed to do a first look photo prior to the wedding, so I brought Kimberly to meet Alan in a discrete part of the grounds. Once they saw each other, you could see the anxiety run away from both of their faces. This photo is taken once they met up to each other while shooting through the bamboo garden. Lou-48Lou-48 This photo is from my youngest sister's prom last year. Elizabeth asked me to do her prom photos when I realized that I didn't have any major shoots that Saturday. She wanted her photos to stand out from everyone else. While taking photos, she would take out her phone to check her makeup and snap a selfie. I'm not big on selfies, however I love the look of a frame within a frame. I got her date, Michael to hold up his phone like they were taking a selfie together while I focused on the screen. While the resulting photo might not be the image that is hung on a wall, it is certainly a reminder of high school and (hopefully) a photographic fad from the early 21st century. CLP Vaughan-Thompson WDG-471CLP Vaughan-Thompson WDG-471 Here is another one of my favorite photos from Jeff and Jill's wedding. This photo was taken just a few minutes after finishing the group photos after the wedding ceremony. I typically try to pair down as many photos as possible after the ceremony so that family and the wedding party can go to the reception while I'm left with the bride and groom. Once we starting taking the photos, Jill unexpectedly wrapped her veil around Jeff's head and gave him a kiss. The moment only lasted for a second. The resulting photograph is one of my absolute favorite kiss photos of all time. Other photographers have seen this photo and have taken snapshots of it to use as a wedding pose idea. The thing that I love most about this photo is that the moment was not a pose, but a flash of emotion from the bride on her wedding day. Condra-Hewitt CLP-583Condra-Hewitt CLP-583 This photo is from Kayla and David's reception from their North Georgia wedding in October of last year. The DJ had a fun game where the bride and groom sat back to back with paddles with 'Mr' and 'Mrs' printed on them. The DJ asked the couple questions that they had to answer in tandem about their relationship. This photo is from the DJ's last question when he asked 'who do you love most in the whole world?'. The smile on the brides face, the instant reaction from both, and the onlooking family in the background make this photo so special. Amelia 2015-102Amelia 2015-102 As you can probably guess, this photo is from Halloween last year. When looking at potential costumes at the store, Amelia was quite adamant about being a panda for Halloween. Our first Halloween that we went to was a 'Trunk or Treat' event that was held at our church. Like any other person, Amelia has both happy days and grouchy days. The day for the Trunk or Treat was a grouchy day. She didn't want to have anything to do with Halloween, her costume, or the candy. We went anyway and she just sulked in her panda costume while waiting for the next candy handout. She later changed her mood once she got enough goodies in her basket. After that night, she was looking forward to the other Halloween activities. She still asks to wear her panda outfit from time to time with the expectation of getting more candy. Condra-Hewitt CLP-381Condra-Hewitt CLP-381 This photo is from David and Kayla's reception. This was the start of the father-daughter dance. You could just tell that there was so much emotion in the embrace during the dance. That is one of my favorite parts about wedding photography, there is just so much emotion and meaning behind every gesture. Kayla's song started slow and blended into a more upbeat tune halfway through. The dancing of course, changed with the melody. It led for wildly different photos from the beginning of the dance to the end of the dance. This quick embrace on the verge of tears is one of my favorites from their wedding. CLP-157CLP-157 This photo is from my sister's wedding from this past September. Amber is walking down the aisle with my dad in the church that I went to as a kid. You could just see the excitement in her face as soon as they opened the doors. The man in the far right of the frame is my first boss. He gave me my first SLR camera. I learned the basics of photography on that camera and still use it today when teaching. CLP-221CLP-221 This photo is from Kimberly and Alan's wedding. This is definitely a happy accident type of photo. I was taking photos of the bridesmaids when I saw Alan blowing smoke rings. I asked if he could blow one for a photo opportunity. He was up for it, but the wind kept distorting the rings as soon as he blew them. He then happened to blow one that the wind briefly distorted into the shape of a heart. I was lucky to get the quick image of the heart-shaped smoke ring before it dissipated. Now his friends ask him how they too can blow heart shaped smoke rings... Condra-Hewitt CLP-695Condra-Hewitt CLP-695 This is one of the absolute last photos taken from David and Kayla's wedding. The venue that they held the wedding and reception at had a lot of great outdoor spots for photography, however it rained all day for their wedding. No one really wanted to go out in the rain for photos, so we managed to do almost all of the photography in the barn or on the covered patio area. Once the reception was starting to die down and I was getting ready to leave, I asked them if they would brave the rain for one photo for me. I told them that there are certainly good photos that you can get in the rain, sometimes you just have to get a little bit wet for the best results. They held one of my lighting umbrellas and I backlit them with a wireless flash to highlight the rain and to add some light to their face coming down from the bounced light on the umbrella. The photo turned out to be one of the favorites from they day because it embraced the rain and gave them a story to tell about their wedding. CLP-689CLP-689 This photo is from Leanne and Patrick's wedding reception. Leanne and Patrick got married last May in Franklin Springs, Georgia. This photo was during their first dance. I just love the look of intimacy between the two while the crowd looks on. The traditional dances at most weddings make for great photos. There is always an extra bit of emotion and intimacy on display with the traditional dances. The last bit of sunlight of the day served to back-light their heads and help separate them from the background. CLP Vaughan-Thompson WDG-620CLP Vaughan-Thompson WDG-620 This photo is one of the last photos taken during Jeff and Jill's reception. Jill provided me with a shot sheet for her wedding of photos that she wanted to get. One of the photos that she asked for was a silhouette photo. I normally like to try to use the sky for a silhouette, however it was mostly overcast throughout the day and the white sky typically doesn't make for the best silhouette. Once we started the reception, I kept my eyes open for potential photo ops. The venue was at the bottom of a hill and I realized that the top of the hill provided a great focal plane away from the background. I waited until it was dark and asked Jeff and Jill if they would come outside with me for a photo opp. I also asked a bridesmaid if she would hold a light for me for the photo (Thanks Elizabeth!). I hid Elizabeth behind Jill and used the flash to back-light the couple. The hardest part about this photo was framing and focusing. It was so dark that I had a hard time just seeing them through the viewfinder. All of the particles in the air are dust and dirt (I often get asked if it's raining in the photo). Amelia 2015-115Amelia 2015-115

My daughter is constantly gaining more personality and individuality. We spend a lot of time together playing around the house, so I get to witness these changes and see the different influences that make up her understanding of the world. At some point in time, she has realized the super heroes wear capes (probably from Super Why). Since figuring that out, she has decided to become a super hero. This involves me shoving a flag down the back of her shirt to create a red cape for her to wear. She will then put her hands on her hips and say "Super Duper Hero!" and run around the house. She then wears the cape around the house, yard, and neighborhood. This photo is of her walking down the sidewalk to the neighborhood playground. The wind picked up the cape to create a dramatic effect of movement against her tiny stature.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2016/2/best-of-2015 Wed, 24 Feb 2016 19:51:35 GMT
Boswell-Wooten Wedding https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/12/boswell-wooten-wedding BOSWELL-WOOTEN WEDDING

Kimberly and Alan were such a cute couple yesterday at the Thompson House. They have been on and off together since high school and you can just tell how comfortable they are in front of one another. They were so much fun in front of the camera... When working with them, you could tell that one was nervous when the other was calm and they switched emotions throughout the day. Since Kimberly is also a photographer, she was calmed by the sound of the camera. It is always such a privilege when another photographer chooses you for their wedding. Alan was calm when arriving, however you could tell that he was getting more nervous before seeing his bride. Once he saw her during the first look, his entire face lit up. It is always fun to see how the bride and groom react when seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day.

Even though the weather was unseasonably mild, they decided to hold the ceremony indoors. They were surrounded by friends and family while Kimberly's uncle served as the minister. After the wedding, the party began with plenty of music and dancing. They sent off with a beautiful sparkler exit. I wish for nothing but the best for such a fun and loving couple...

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Photojournalism Wedding Photography Thompson House Bogart, Ga Thompson House Wedding Photography https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/12/boswell-wooten-wedding Sun, 13 Dec 2015 19:40:47 GMT
Effects of ISO https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/11/effects-of-iso ISO example 3ISO example 3

Tip of the week: Remember that ISO effects not only your exposure, but also the quality of the photograph. The ISO number gives a numerical value to the current sensitivity of the film or digital sensor. For film photography, the ISO is determined by the type of film used (Kodachrome 64, Velvia 50,  T-Max 400, and Tri-X 125). For film photography, photographers are stuck using the same ISO sensitivity until they change their roll of film (typically every 36 exposures). Digital photographers have the opportunity to change the ISO in camera to determine how sensitive the digital sensor is to light. Since the ISO is manipulated in camera much like shutter speed or aperture, digital cameras can alter the ISO in between each and every photograph. This gives a tremendous advantage for digital shooters when working in unpredictable lighting situations.

Lower ISOs deliver superior image quality, however are less sensitive to light. Since lower ISOs are less sensitive, the camera will have to let in additional light either through a larger aperture or by increasing the length of the shutter speed. For digital cameras, lower ISO settings will create cleaner images with less grain (digital noise). Lower digital ISOs also allow for a greater exposure latitude and capture additional detail in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows. For the ultimate image quality, most photographers try to use the lowest ISO possible on their camera. Higher ISOs are more sensitive to light, however they have degraded image quality. If you are OK with additional grain and less exposure latitude, higher ISOs will allow for a brighter exposure without having to increase the amount of light coming through the lens or shutter. For many photographers, low ISOs are used in bright lighting conditions and high ISOs are used in low light conditions.

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/11/effects-of-iso Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:47:19 GMT
Thompson-Vaughan Wedding Sneak Peek https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/10/thompson-vaughan-wedding-sneak-peek JEFF AND JILL'S WEDDING
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Jill and Jeff got married yesterday: October 10th, 2015. They held the wedding and reception at The Variety Works in downtown Madison. I knew both of them from high school, I graduated with Jill and worked with Jeff at a summer job. They didn't date in high school, so I was pleasantly surprised when Jill contacted me about wedding photography and when she mentioned the name of her groom. Their wedding was beautifully unique with careful planning going into every last detail. From the bridal song to the sweet tea braised chicken, the wedding and reception were full of small details to the make the experience more personal for everyone.
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The best part about working with the two of them was their absolute relaxation throughout the day. They seemed to go with the flow more than any other couple that I've worked with. When there was a chance for an bridal alpaca photo, Jill jumped at the opportunity to embrace the unique photo-op. Where many couples seem to focus on the timeline for the wedding day, Jeff and Jill were focused on each other.
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I can't wait to relive and edit through their entire wedding in the upcoming days. I hope you guys enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. More photos to come soon...

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) madison ga wedding photography wedding and reception at Variety Works [venue] https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/10/thompson-vaughan-wedding-sneak-peek Mon, 12 Oct 2015 02:10:42 GMT
Hewitt-Condra Wedding Sneak Peek https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/10/hewitt-condra-wedding-sneak-peek
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Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph one of the most beautiful weddings ever seen. The attention to detail was fantastic. Warm wood tones, mason jars, and sweet tea set the tone for the perfect north Georgia wedding. Even though it rained the entire day, David and Kayla had a beautiful wedding and reception at The Barn at Ross Farms.

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The steady rain made them alter their plans for an outdoor wedding, however the barn was large enough to host both the wedding and reception within the space.  Where many couples are disappointed with rain on their wedding day, David and Kayla took the weather in stride. I was even able to talk them into venturing into the rain at the end of the evening for some special photos to remember their wet and fun wedding day. I have a lot of editing to do because there were so many great photographic stories to tell throughout the day. Stay tuned for more photos from David and Kayla's beautiful north Georgia wedding...

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(Chase Lanier Photography) georgia mounting wedding details north georgia wedding in the rain the Barn at Ross Farms [venue] wedding https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/10/hewitt-condra-wedding-sneak-peek Sun, 04 Oct 2015 15:49:04 GMT
Effects of Aperture https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/9/affects-of-aperture

Tip of the week: Remember how the aperture affects both the exposure and the depth of field within an image. Depth of field is the area of acceptable focus in front and behind the focal plane. In other words, the depth of field will determine how blurry the background and foreground are from the main subject. Shallow depth of field images are used to create separation from the background to highlight the main subject. This technique is used a lot in portraiture. Images with a lot of depth of field are used to showcase the entire image from foreground to background. Images with maximum amount of depth of field are also used to help abstract an image due to the relative lack of apparent focal plane. This affect will help flatten the image and minimize dimensionality within the frame. Many landscape images are taken to show the maximum amount of depth of field.

 

The aperture is represented by a f/number. The aperture is calculated by dividing the focal length by the maximum diameter of the entrance pupil of the lens. So a 300mm lens with a maximum diameter of 75mm would be an f/4 lens. Apertures that let in the most amount of light have lower numbers (ex: f/4 lets in more light than f/5.6, however f/4 lets in less light than f/2.8). Many people have a hard time thinking about the lower numbers letting in more light, however it can be easier to understand if you realize that all of the apertures are fractions (much like shutter speeds). 1/4 will let in more light than 1/5.6. Larger apertures (smaller numbers) allow for shallow depth of field while smaller apertures (bigger numbers) allow for deep depth of field.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/9/affects-of-aperture Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:38:05 GMT
effects of shutter speed https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/8/effects-of-shutter-speed

Tip of the week: Remember that shutter speed affects not only your exposure, but also how movement is emphasized in the frame. This will include both subject and camera movement, so prepare to use a fast shutter speed when trying to freeze action. Slow shutter speeds will allow for more motion within the photo.

For most handheld photographs, it is best to keep your shutter speed faster than your focal length. For example, a 50mm lens would be best if handheld at 1/50sec or faster. A 200mm lens would need to be at 1/200sec or faster for reasonably sharp results. Bracing the camera on a nearby stationary object or using a stabilized lens can help capturing sharp photos at slower shutter speeds. If you do find yourself needing to use slow shutter speeds on a frequent basis, a tripod is a wise investment.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/8/effects-of-shutter-speed Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:09:17 GMT
Leading Lines https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/8/leading-lines

Tip of the week: Use leading lines within a photograph to draw the viewers eye to the subject. Leading lines are visual elements that create a visible edge that guides your eye through the composition. They  help give a definite sense of perspective within the photograph. Our brains are wired to automatically look at the foreground of an image and then move on to the background. Leading lines give an image depth and are typically more interesting since they provide a guide for our eyes to follow throughout the image. I like to use leading lines when possible for portraiture. I like to use the visual lines that are created by sidewalks and roads to provide a definite perspective and to draw the viewers eyes to focus on the main subject.

 

For these two photos, I decided to go with a black and white conversion. The gray tones help simplify the composition by breaking everything down to light and dark. This simplification helps give the grass and sidewalk additional contrast to form a stronger leading line. The loss of color also removed the distraction of bright colors within the photograph that can automatically draw the viewers eye away from the main subject.

50mm                            f/2                             1/1250sec                          ISO 200

100mm                             f/2.8                               1/500sec                     ISO 800

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/8/leading-lines Sat, 08 Aug 2015 11:40:49 GMT
Praying Mantis https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/praying-mantis

Tip of the week: Be prepared to change focus and photograph the unexpected when new opportunities appear. One day in September of 2010 I decided to go out and take some nature photos. I didn't feel like driving, so I was committed to trying to capture something interesting around my apartment complex. For this task, I used my macro lens to focus on insects and other small animals. Even in that residential space, I was able to find interesting subjects...I just had to look closer to find them. I found some interesting looking ants and beetles that had taken over part of the kudzu thicket surrounding the complex. I got in close and worked different angles to try to get good photos of the insects. I was looking through the viewfinder  at max magnification when I noticed something moving in the background. I changed focus and suddenly realized that I was not the only one hunting for bugs in the kudzu. A praying mantis was also stalking the bugs, but for a different reason. I suddenly had my opportunity to tell a story with my photos. The other bugs in the kudzu were interesting and the mantis was interesting, but the hunt between the mantis and everything else brought a new dynamic to the compositions.

 

 I changed compositions highlighting the tension between the bugs in the foreground and the mantis in the background. The dynamic created by the hunter and hunted was my subject in the resulting photographs. I worked different angles and used various apertures to help emphasis the looming threat in the background. Even after I took a few photos that I was happy with, I waited around to see what would happen to the mantis. He moved in closer and closer to the beetles, but never struck. Suddenly a bumble bee flew by and mantis grabbed it out of the air. The mantis quickly tried to disable the bee but it was not going down without a fight. I quickly started taking photos, realizing how lucky I was to witness the scene. The struggle for life and death was intense and fast. The bee eventually managed to squirm out of the mantis's grasp and flew away to safety. The mantis cleaned it's claws and then resumed the hunt....

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/praying-mantis Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:22:45 GMT
Photo Restoration https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/photo-restoration

Tip of the week: Digitalize old family photos to save, repair and distribute for everybody in the family. This morning I had an opportunity to work on some old family photos from my wife's family. The photos were of her grandfather from when he was a young man. He has since passed away and the old photographs of him are extra special to everyone in the family. The original film for the photos has either been lost or destroyed over the years. Now all that remains are the prints that are passed down throughout the family. Many parents and grandparents have boxes full of old photographs of loved ones that are only saved by the one remaining print. Digitalizing old prints is a great way to copy and save some of these old family memories. Once they are digital, they can be repaired and altered to create a bigger and better version of the original print.

 

For this print, I decided to have a little bit of fun and to create a color version to share among the family. Coloring black and white photographs is not something that is new. The process of hand-tinting black and white prints has been around since the 1850s. Digital processing makes hand-tinting much easier since you can go back change each part of the image to your liking without worrying about ruining the original print.

 

To start, I had to repair the original image to get rid of all dust, bends, and scratches that were present on the original print. After cleaning up the image, I created various layers in Photoshop for various colors and portions of the image. The ground, chassis, truck body, trailer, tires, person, and background were all different layers in Photoshop. I colored over every part of the image in the appropriate layer and used the 'soft light' blending mode in Photoshop to help blend the colors to the tonalities of the original image.

 

I used various shades of the same color to give a sense of dimension and space to make the image more lifelike. I used various opacities, saturation adjustments, and hue adjustments to make the image appear as real as possible. I also had to do a little research online to find real color images from the same time period to make sure that I was using an accurate shade of the original color. After the entire image was painted, I saved my Photoshop work and flattened the image to create a Jpeg to post online. I made further Saturation and hue adjustments and also adjusted the levels to create the final image shown.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) restoration photo in loganville ga saving family memories https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/photo-restoration Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:37:03 GMT
creative thinking with client requests https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/creative-thinking-with-client-requests

Tip of the week: Find creative ways to meet a client's wishes. Last November I had the opportunity to photograph a  senior portrait session in Madison, Ga. I spoke with both the senior and his parents about what they wanted in the photos. The mother said that one of her favorite aspects was her sons facial profile. During the session I had to keep my eyes open for opportunities to capture his profile while he was facing the camera. Luckily his session was in the late afternoon with strong side lighting. I found various locations that lit the side of his face and caused a silhouette of his profile with the shadow. We did various photos in different locations that had strong side lighting to help emphasize his facial shadow. I felt that the resulting photos from his session met the mothers request in a unique way. Now she had photos that show both his face and profile within the same shot.

For exposure in many of the images, I focused on keeping detail within my highlights of the frame. I felt that the shadows could stay dark to help give his facial silhouette extra contrast against the background. I metered off of various lit parts of the scene including the sunny side of his face. This gave me a good starting exposure to insure that the highlights on the face were not blown out.

80mm              1/1000sec              f/2.8            ISO 200 148mm               1/640sec                  f/4                    ISO 400
105mm               1/640sec                     f/2.8                    ISO 100

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) senior photos in downtown Madison [city] senior portraits in Madison [city] Georgia https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/creative-thinking-with-client-requests Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:53:28 GMT
background contorl (exposure) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/background-contorl-exposure

Tip of the week: My last tip for controlling the background of an image is to change your exposure. If you are able to control the amount of light on the subject (with electronic flash), then you can change your overall exposure to adjust the background. For best results, I like to recommend trying to place your subject in the shade or in a darker environment from the background. This will help you control the amount of light falling on the subject with less effect from the ambient light in the background.

For these images I used a off-camera flash to light the car during the different exposures. The first exposure was with no flash and only using the ambient light. I exposed for the car in the shade and let the background be overexposed. The next exposure added flash and exposed for the background. This way I was able to capture a good exposure in both the foreground and background. My next two exposures underexposed the background and added more power to the flash to help showcase the effect of foreground flash lighting versus the background ambient lighting.   

1/160sec          f/5.6           ISO 400        No Flash 1/160                f/5.6              ISO 200              1/16 Flash
1/160sec                  f/5.6                ISO 50             1/4 Flash 1/160sec             f/10                ISO 50              1/1 Flash

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/7/background-contorl-exposure Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:06:20 GMT
background control (focal length) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/background-control-focal-length

Tip of the week: My third tip for controlling the background of a image is to change the focal length and changing your position to insure similar framing for the main subject. This is a technique that I use frequently when I want to highlight or use only a small part of a scene as my background of the image. To insure similar framing of the main subject, be prepared to move closer or further back to insure that the subject remains the same size within the frame. For this example, I used my 50mm for my first photo and then backed up and used the 300mm on the second shot. Both of the these images were shot from a similar angle, however all the leading lines within the photograph are less exaggerated with the longer focal length.

 

To insure that you keep the same magnification of the subject, be prepared to do a little bit of math. The 300mm has 6x more magnification than the 50mm. To insure similar framing of the subject within the frame, I had to back up 6x further away from the subject. So if I photographed the original photo with the 50mm at 6 feet away from the subject, then I would need to back up to 36ft away to keep the subject a similar size in the photo with the 300mm. Conversely, if I wanted to shoot a 3rd shot with a 25mm lens, I would need to half my distance from the original shot and photograph only 3 feet away from the subject for similar framing.       

50mm           1/1000sec                f/1.4              ISO 100 300mm                1/500sec                 f/4                  ISO 400

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) prespective control in Walnut Grove [city] Ga https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/background-control-focal-length Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:51:00 GMT
background control (dof) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/background-control-dof

Tip of the week: My second tip regarding background control would be to think about how much of the background you want in focus. The easiest way to adjust the blurriness or sharpness of a background is to simply change the aperture on the lens. Remember that the larger apertures (f/2) allow for more light (faster shutter speed/lower ISO) and more background blur. I like to use shallow depth of field to hide distracting backgrounds within many of my photos. The difference between what's in focus and what's not also helps draw the viewers eye to the subject. Conversely, if you like the background within the image, you can use a smaller aperture (f/16) to insure that everything within the photo is sharp.

Using a wide aperture while shooting does have some drawbacks... The range of acceptable focus will be very narrow, so it can be easy to miss focus on the subject entirely. Portraits can be especially difficult since the face has to be lined up perfectly parallel with the focal plane to insure proper focus on both eyes. When the correct focus is achieved, it can create wonderful images, however be prepared to edit out many images where only the nose, ears, or eyebrows are in focus.

50mm                 f/16                   1/40sec                    ISO 400 50mm                     f/1.4                   1/1600sec                  ISO 100

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/background-control-dof Thu, 18 Jun 2015 19:52:10 GMT
Background control (perspective) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/background-control-perspective

Tip of the week: For the next few weeks I'm going to cover different ways to control the background in a photograph. The first tip would be to consider your angle from which you are photographing your subject. A variation of just a foot or two can drastically change what's behind the subject in the photo. This example here is from a photo from the front yard. Our front yard has a hillside on it with the hill topping out at the street. My daughter was sitting on the hillside picking flowers (pretty typical). When standing away from her and shooting, I noticed that the neighbors house was somewhat distracting in the background of the image. To get rid of the distraction, I laid on the ground and shot the next few photos on my belly. This new perspective allowed for the elimination of the house in the background.

For the second shot, I did not change my focal length or focal plane. I only changed my perspective from where I took the photo. I find the second view much more engaging since the perspective is somewhat hard to figure out without any background elements to give a sense of perspective or scale. This photo almost looks like a green-screen production with the background digitally placed. Without the distracting backdrop, the viewer is now forced to focus on the subject of the photo (her).    

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/background-control-perspective Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:14:16 GMT
Editing https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/editing

Tip of the week: Remember to edit photos to present them in the best way possible. Many people are disappointed when they download their first photos from a DSLR. It is easy to be disappointed when you are used to the vivid photos that are created by many point and shoot cameras. Those smaller cameras are typically set up to create a pleasing image directly from the camera with saturation, contrast, and sharpening set to high levels. DSLRs are typically set to record a more subtle image, they are often required to capture as much data as possible. This can make photos appear dull and flat when they are first seen. To get the most from your digital images, prepare to spend some time in front of the computer to make the appropriate adjustments for the best possible image.

When editing, I usually like to first focus on setting the correct tonality for the entire image. I will adjust my white and black point on the histogram to insure maximum tonality and contrast in the image. After setting the tonality, I will usually tackle any color alterations and work on the clarity and saturation of the image. I will then clean up any spots that are distracting in the image and adjust the cropping if needed. My last step is usually adding a vignette to draw the viewers eye towards the center of the photo.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/6/editing Mon, 01 Jun 2015 19:22:29 GMT
Gear Prep https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/gear-prep

Tip of the week: Plan ahead and prepare equipment before a large shoot. I'm currently prepping and packing equipment for my wedding this weekend. This process can take some time since I'm cleaning and examining all of my equipment prior to the shoot. It involves cleaning all of the glass, cleaning the camera sensors, charging batteries, cleaning out my camera bags, and double checking all miscellaneous equipment prior to packing. I will also use the time to research my locations for the wedding if available and also memorizing names for the wedding party. This memorization can help me facilitate the photos during the day when dealing with larger groups. I will usually go through this same checklist of preparations prior to any large shoot. For my California trip last year, I studied photos from the area that we were planning to visit and made notations of the best places to be and when to be there for the best lighting.

The wedding this weekend is going to be out of town at a venue that I've never been to. For this reason, I am going to bring a large variety of equipment to insure that I will be prepared for anything that the location can throw at me. I'm bringing three cameras, seven lenses, two flashes, wireless flash transmitters, two flash stands, two umbrellas, a reflector, a tripod, a step-stool, six camera batteries, 24 AA batteries, and around 80 gigabytes of memory.

IMG_0320 copyIMG_0320 copy IMG_0333 copyIMG_0333 copy  

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) wedding photography gear preparation https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/gear-prep Thu, 21 May 2015 19:15:00 GMT
Condensation https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/condensation

Tip of the week: Weather can affect your photography when you least expect it. This past week I went to Florida with my family for a vacation. When taking photos of my daughter on the beach I realized that the high humidity had caused my lens to fog up as soon as we came outside. I snapped a few photos and then waited for the next ten minutes to allow for the fog to dissipate.  Something that many southerners are familiar with is the high humidity during the summer months. Some days are incredibly balmy, especially after a summer rainstorm. The extra moisture in the air will instantly form as condensation on a lens if the lens just came from a cool environment. When moisture forms on the front of a lens, the best solution is to let it dissipate on its own. This can sometimes take up to twenty minutes. For this reason, it is best to allow the camera equipment to 'come up to temperature' in a bag in the warmer air. This will help prevent most condensation forming on the lens when you are ready to take photos.

The haze created by condensation will lower contrast and sharpness in the resulting photographs. If you try to wipe it off the lens, the condensation will just reappear with smudge marks until the lens reaches ambient temperature. This same phenomenon can also be experienced during the winter months if coming from a cold outdoor environment to a warm interior. For this reason, I recommend keeping trying to keep gear in a bag until it settles to the ambient temperature. This can happen at any time if you are not aware of the temperature of the equipment vs the environment. Even the difference between an air conditioned car and the outside environment can cause the lens to fog up.

   

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/condensation Tue, 19 May 2015 19:08:24 GMT
Histogram https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/histogram

Tip of the week: Learn how to use the histogram to judge exposure while taking photos. Many cameras will have the option to change the brightness of the LCD screen. If you have the screen brightness set to low, all of your photos will appear too dark in bright light. Conversely; if the screen is set too bright in a dark environment, the photos will appear brighter than they actually are. The variations of environmental brightness and screen brightness can change your perception of the photos. For this reason, I strongly recommend using the histogram when judging exposure. The histogram is a graph that displays the tonal range of the image from pure black to pure white. On the graph you will see various undulations showing the amount of pixels for different tonalities in the image. Dark images will be weighted toward the left side of the graph (shadows), neutral images will be weighted in the center, and bright images will be weighted on the right side of the graph (highlights).

Many people like to have as much information as possible in their file. Because of this, many will study the histogram to insure that they are capturing the maximum tonal range in their photos. If the graph shows most of the pixels as being on the left side with none touching the far right side of the graph, that would indicate that the image is underexposed. If all of the pixels are on the right side with none touching the far left side of the graph, then that image is overexposed. If the graph has the majority of the pixels in the middle without touching the extreme ends of the left or right, that would indicate that the current exposure has full tonal detail from the darkest shadow to the brightest highlight in the photo.

This photo is a neutral exposure, however the screen brightness is set very low... The result is that the image appears underexposed on the camera.
Again, the same neutral exposure with a medium screen brightness. The image appears well exposed on the camera.
Neutral exposure with the screen brightness set too high. The photo appears overexposed on the camera now.
Neutral exposure with the histogram showing full tonal detail within the image. Notice how the graph is weighted towards the center on the histogram.
Overexposed image with the histogram. The histogram is now weighted towards the right side showing that the image is now too bright with detail lost in the highlights.
Underexposed image with the histogram. The histogram is now weighted towards the left side of the graph showing the the image is now underexposed.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/histogram Thu, 07 May 2015 20:48:13 GMT
Twilight https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/twilight

Tip of the week: Sometimes events are so big and varied that no one photo will be able to tell the story of the day by itself. Photograph various subjects from various positions to try to tell the whole story with a portfolio of images. This past weekend my wife and I went to the Twilight criterium in downtown Athens. This was the fourth twilight race that I've attended over the years and this time I was focused on capturing a portfolio of images from the event.  I was focused on trying to capture images that would be unique for this particular event. I circled the entire course with the camera and experimented with various angles and focal lengths to document a comprehensive version of the race.

 

Twilight is unique due to the sheer number of people that come out to the race. There are very few races in the US that have the attendance that Twilight has. Because of that, I wanted to make sure that I made the fans of Twilight a main focal point during my coverage. This year was extremely crowded with spectators sometimes four deep in the corners. This made for wonderful framing opportunities to frame the race around the throngs of people gathered to watch. The other thing that sets twilight apart is the location. The race circles through downtown Athens and speeds past various landmarks along the way. I made sure that I captured some of those landmarks in the background of the images with the cyclists serving as my main subject. The last thing that sets the race apart is the timing. Twilight is the oldest night criterium in the US. The race starts around sunset and last for nearly two hours under the street lights of Athens. I wanted to make sure that I captured the ambiance of the scene by using the natural light as much as possible. In the darker parts of the race course, I used a handheld flash to help highlight individuals during the race. To find my full photographic coverage from the day, check out my Twilight gallery under the 'Current Work' tab.   

 

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) Athens [city] Twilight event photography https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/5/twilight Sat, 02 May 2015 02:52:03 GMT
Macro Abstracts https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/macro-abstracts

Tip of the week: Use a macro lens to get close and to create abstract images of everyday life. With the narrow DOF provided by a macro lens, you can create very surreal images by using the extreme selective focus. Place various objects in the foreground and background to add interesting colors and patterns to the photos.

When using a wide aperture with up close, prepare to shoot a lot of duplicate images. The slightest movement will drastically change the focal plane in the image. For best results wait for the wind to calm, hold the camera firmly, hold your breath, and fire in continuous bursts.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/macro-abstracts Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:07:11 GMT
Moonlit landscapes https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/moonlit-landscapes

Tip of the week: Use moonlight to light up nighttime scenes for an otherworldly image. Nighttime landscape images that are taken by the light of the moon always stand out to me. They are evenly lit compared to electronic lighting, however they have deep shadows much like mid-day lighting from the sun. The moon is much like the sun since it serves as a small light source from far away. Use long exposures on a steady tripod to allow enough time for an exposure to build in the image.

I typically find that there are three lighting scenarios for nighttime images: Moonlight (pictured), artificial, and starlight. Moonlit images are typically bizarre because at first glance they almost appear to be daylight images with a strange white-balance. Sometimes you have to look close at the image to realize that it is indeed a nighttime image. I try to take advantage of opportunities when there is a full moon with relatively few clouds to create unique landscapes. Using artificial light in nighttime images opens up a whole new realm of opportunities for the photographer since it allows total control of some of the lighting in the scene. I typically use artificial lights to highlight certain details or subjects within a nighttime scene. Starlight is interesting because it is typically too dim to light the landscape, however the lack of other ambient light sources allow a better chance to view the milky way. If only using starlight for an image, the landscape in the photo will typically be a silhouette due to the lack of light.

19mm         f/4          15sec.          ISO 6400

17mm            f/4               6sec            ISO 6400

40mm           f/4        13sec.         ISO 3200

29mm             f/4         13sec.          ISO 3200

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/moonlit-landscapes Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:36:46 GMT
Telephoto Portraits https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/11

Tip of the week: Telephoto lenses can be extremely helpful to create wonderful portraits. When thinking of uses for a telephoto lens, many people think of sports or wildlife photography. Telephoto lenses are also commonly used for portraiture; the narrow angle of view provided by telephotos can help isolate the subject against a small part of the background scene

 

These photos were taken during a senior session in 2011. I like to use my 70-200 almost exclusively when taking photos of an individual. This focal range allows me the opportunity to work at a comfortable distance from the subject while allowing full body and head/shoulders photos with a twist of the zoom ring. The narrow angle of view provided by the telephoto allows me the opportunity to be more selective with my background by moving the location of the camera. Telephoto lenses also do a great job with subject isolation due to the narrow depth of field. With the telephoto, I can select a small part of the scene to serve as my background and then I can use the narrow DOF to give a painterly feel to the image.

150mm              f/4.5          1/200sec        ISO 50

 

125mm             f/5.6           1/200sec          ISO 100

195mm           f/3.2           1/160sec       ISO 320

155mm          f/3.5         1/200sec       ISO 50

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/11 Fri, 10 Apr 2015 19:22:44 GMT
10 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/10

Tip of the week: A fast 50 is something everyone should have in their camera bag. 50mm lenses can be found cheaply and they are extremely small and sharp. All 50's come with a fast maximum aperture for superb DOF control.  I like to keep the 50mm on the camera while out and about in the house. It is so lightweight and unobtrusive that it easy to forget that it is on the camera.

Another reason that I like to use the 50 for documentary photography is because of its role in the history of photography. 50mm lenses where one of the first lens designs for SLR cameras, this allowed them  to be included with most camera kits in years past. Because of the popularity, most family photos taken at home from the 1930s to the 1980s where shot with a 50mm if shot with a SLR. The focal length has become what many consider as a standard focal length for many photographers. I find that images taken today with a 50 have a timeless quality to them since they are aligned with so many other photos from the past. The relative ease to design a 50 has made it one of the cheapest and fastest lens designs out. Almost every manufacturer makes a 50 f/1.8 for around $100. This allows for excellent DOF control and the ability to shoot in lower light levels than most zoom lenses. Most consumer zoom lenses are around f/4 at the widest aperture at 50mm. This difference in maximum aperture would allow a 50 f/1.4 lens to let in 8x more light at its widest aperture. That's the difference between shooting at 1/25sec. and 1/200sec.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/4/10 Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:59:17 GMT
9 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/9

Tip of the week: Shoot wide and close to give a unique perspective in your portraits. It is usually not recommended to take portraits with a wide angle lens due to distortion and the wider perspective. You inevitably have to get close of the person that you are taking the photo of to help fill the frame with a wide angle lens. I find that sometime the wide angle can help tell the story of the photo with the extra surroundings providing context for the main subject. I usually only bring out the wide angle for portraits of close friends or family due to the extreme perspective it gives (you have to be uncomfortably close to ensure that they are well represented in the frame). Here are some of my favorite wide angle portraits of my daughter from the past year. I place the camera very close to get a good view of her and the wide angle will help show all of the background around her to provide a unique perspective and extra context for the photo . All photos were taken at 17-24mm.

When using a wide angle for portraits, make sure that you try to keep the subject within the central part of the frame due to elongation of the frame edges with wide angle optics. You have to really consider what part of the background is going to provide the best 'context' for the photo. Sometimes I will shoot low to help emphasize the sky and other times I will shoot high to emphasize the ground.

17mm                   f/4                 1/80sec               ISO 5000
24mm                    f/5.6                      1/80sec            ISO 5000
17mm                f/4                  1/200sec             ISO 6400
17mm                 f/4                     1/1000sec              ISO 1600

17mm           f/4                 1/400sec               ISO 400

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/9 Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:56:09 GMT
8 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/8

Tip of the week: A picture is worth a thousand words, especially if you have to take photos to match a prewritten story. In 2013 I was commissioned to photograph Dr. Paschal at Paschal Orthodontics for a editorial in a national orthodontics magazine. I received a copy of the text that was going to run in the story and was given a list of photographs that they were requesting for editorial purposes.  My goal as the photographer was to make sure that I captured the appropriate photos to match up with the written story.

The editorial focused on what made Dr. Paschal's practice stand out and excel.  One of the major themes of the story was how Dr. Paschal's two dogs help comfort the patients throughout the office. For this particular shot I wanted to make the dog the focal point of the photo with the background being the context for the story. I got down to his level and shot with a wide aperture to separate the foreground from the background.

Another aspect that stood out was about Dr. Paschal visiting local schools and giving a presentation on how to brush teeth while using a broom. I was not able to photograph him during one of these presentations, however I got a photo of him holding a picture of the presentation in one hand and his broom in the other.

One of the last aspects that the editors wanted me to focus on was their environmentally friendly way of collecting and saving patient data. Again, I got low and made the reusable patient form the focal point of the photo with the out of focus computer as the background to provide context.     

24mm                f/2.8                   1/200             ISO 800

42mm                    f/2.8                 1/200                 ISO 1250

50mm                  f/2                    1/160                    ISO 320 The photo of Dr. Paschal holding the photograph is actually a composite image. We did not have a printed image to use since the local printer was having technical issues the day of the shoot. I ended up having Dr. Paschal hold a 5x7 white card up to use as a template for a digital composite later. I had his office email a copy of the image and then I carefully layered it into the original photograph of him holding the white card. I altered the color balance and sharpness of the file to help promote the idea that the image was 'as shot'. I even dodged the image to give the impression of a slight transparency of the paper caused by the strong backlighting in the original photograph.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/8 Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:22:53 GMT
7 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/7

Tip of the Week: Experiment with different shutter speeds and different angles to create new photographic opportunities. These photos were from the US Crit Championship in Augusta from 2011 and 2012. I worked with a variety of different focal lengths and shutter speeds to create a wide variety of photographs of the cyclists during the races. When using the wide angle, I shot low in the corners with a fast shutter speed to help isolate the cyclist against the busy backgrounds. In other photos with the wide angle, I used a slow shutter speed to emphasis the speed of the cyclists while making the environment the focal point.

When using the telephoto lens, I photographed from a higher position to ensure that I could still see the pack in the background of the leaders photos. During one of the races, one rider broke off the front by himself and I had a couple of opportunities to practice my panning technique. The first photo is with a fast shutter speed. This photo is fine, however the guy was going very fast and the image did not convey the sense of speed. I lowered my shutter speed for the next lap and photographed him while panning the camera as he passed. The panning motion combined with the slower shutter speed ensured that he stayed sharp in the photo, while the background was heavily blurred due to the camera movement during the exposure.

225mm                 f/5                 1/800sec                 ISO 800
17mm                      f/5.6                   1/500sec              ISO 800
130mm                f/6.3               1/2500                   ISO 400
40mm                  f/9                  1/125sec               ISO 160
28mm                f/13                     1/20sec                 ISO 100  

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/7 Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:00:49 GMT
6 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/6

Tip of the week: Look close for a whole new world of possibilities in front of the camera. Spring is just around the corner. With the coming warmer weather, expect to see more bugs and flowers when outside (and probably some inside too). When I want to take nature photographs, I don't always have the time to go to a truly natural place. With a macro lens, I don't have to go far to find some unique nature photos. The macro lens allows for me to focus extremely close and to see a details that the human eye normally can't see.

The best part about macro photography is that you don't have to go far to find a interesting subject.....bugs are everywhere (you just have to look a little harder). The unique images bring the viewer into a truly exotic scene. The macro lens does present a couple of unique challenges: very narrow depth of field, less light coming through the lens, and exaggerated motion in the photos. There are a couple of ways to try to overcome these shortfalls.

Stop the aperture down a couple of stops to gain extra depth of field at high magnification (even stopping down to F/11 will give you just a few extra millimeters of usable focus). All lenses lose light gathering ability at close focus versus focus at infinity. With the high magnification of the macro lens, expect to lose a couple of stops of light when focusing on something near the start of the focusing range. To combat this light loss, either shoot in sunny conditions or raise your ISO from what you would normally shoot at. Motion is the last pitfall to overcome with a macro lens. The slightest breeze can send your subject swaying out of the viewfinder altogether. To combat this exaggerated motion, be prepared to shoot a much higher shutter speed than normal. Again, I find that raising the ISO can be the biggest help. You can also try to light the subject with a flash, however it's best if you move the flash off-camera to allow for dimensionality in the lighting.

100mm             f/6.3                    1/250sec                     ISO 200
100mm              f/5             1/800sec                ISO 1000
100mm                f/5.6              1/500sec              ISO 3200
100mm                 f/10               1/500sec                ISO 1600
100mm                 f/7.1                 1/800sec                  ISO 3200
100mm                f/10                   1/500sec                ISO 3200

For example on macro exposure: Assume that your normal exposure at a normal distance is 1/500sec      f/4           ISO 100.........

The Macro exposure would be:      1/125sec                       f/4                     ISO 100...........

You will need a higher shutter speed than 1/125 for sharp photos so..........    1/500              f/4                ISO 400

You will need a smaller aperture for added DOF........         1/500                   f/16                       ISO 6400

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/6 Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:50:21 GMT
5 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/5

Tip of the Week: Take advantage of unique weather to create unique photos. I figured that now would be the best time to talk about snow since it appears that about half of Georgia will experience it within the next day. These photos were taken a few years ago (2009) after experiencing around 8 inches of snow in Athens. We took the dogs out and they were thrilled to find the ground covered with cold edible fluff. They ran around while I took photos of them enjoying the change of scenery.

For exposure, I set the camera to manual mode and metered off the snow in the sunlight. I overexposed the camera reading around 2 stops for my base exposure. I overexposed to ensure that the snow was white in the photo while retaining some detail in the highlights. With the exposure set, I could focus on the timing and composition of the photos without having to worry about the camera making the wrong auto-exposure.

135mm                f/8                     1/1250sec                   ISO 200
200mm                 f/8                        1/1000sec               ISO 200
185mm                f/13                       1/250sec                 ISO 200
100mm                     f/8                     1/1250sec                ISO 200
100mm               f/7.1                       a/1000sec                 ISO 200  

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/5 Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:36:42 GMT
Number Four https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/number-four

Tip of the Week: Always have a camera ready (especially with children around). There is a popular saying among photographers that "the best camera is the one with you". You can never predict the next photo opportunity, so it's best if you keep a camera ready to capture the special moments when they happen. I like to leave a camera out when I'm playing with my daughter in case something happens that I want to photograph. When she came out of the room wearing her mom's shoes, I knew that was a great photo opportunity....I grabbed the camera on the table next to me and started taking photos without her noticing. If I had to go to another area of the house to retrieve the camera, she would probably quit playing with the shoes to follow me (ruining the possible candid photo opportunity).

If something does happen when I don't have my camera available, I make a mental note to have my camera with me for the next opportunity. I did not have my camera with me the first time I washed Amelia off in the sink after eating spaghetti for lunch (she is a big spaghetti fan). I knew that the next time that we had spaghetti that I would need to have a camera ready because I loved the natural light coming in the window on her face. I waited a few weeks later for another sunny day to have spaghetti and I made sure that the camera was waiting beside the sink after the meal. The mixture of natural light, red sauce, and blue eyes make the photo for me. Even though the image is a 'planned candid' it remains as one of my favorites.

   

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/number-four Wed, 18 Mar 2015 19:27:59 GMT
The Third https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/the-third THE THIRD ONE
17mm                  30sec.               f/5.6                     ISO 6400

Tip of the week: Remember that the camera sees differently from our eyes, so experiment with a wide variety of shutter speeds, apertures, ISO, and extra lighting to create a scene that is wildly different from our perceived 'normal' vision.

These photos were taken towards the end of 2013 in Greene County. I left the shutter open to allow for the ambient exposure to build in the sky. While the shutter was open, I would walk through the scene and highlight various objects with a combination of electronic flash and flashlight. Our 'normal' vision would only see the objects the flash or flashlight was currently focused on, however the camera was building all of the highlights and mid-tones within the image as they were illuminated. Many photographers like to call this technique 'painting with light' since the 'brush' would be the flashlight and the scene through the lens is the canvas. For best results, I would recommend setting the camera up on a tripod and experimenting with various shutter speeds over five seconds. Most DSLRs have shutter speeds up to 30 seconds with a 'bulb' option for longer exposures. If the exposure last for more than a minute, be aware that the image will probably start to get noisy due to heat build-up on the camera sensor.


The shutter speed that you will have to use will vary depending on your ISO and f/stop used. For these exposures, I wanted to show the stars in the sky without the streaking effect caused by the earth's rotation. For this to happen, I had to keep my shutter speed under a 30sec exposure. I raised my ISO and opened the lens wide open to allow in the maximum amount of light. Focusing is another tricky thing to undertake when shooting in the dark. I had to use live view on the camera and shine a flashlight on the distant trees to give a contrasty edge to manually focus on. Once focus was set, I made sure to turn the autofocus off and to trust my original focus with the flashlight.

17mm                30sec.             f/5.6                      ISO 6400
19mm              30sec.                 f/5.6                       ISO 6400
17mm                 30sec                          f/5.6                  ISO 6400

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/the-third Tue, 17 Mar 2015 03:55:21 GMT
Number 2 https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/number-2 NUMBER TWO........

17mm            f/10      1/500sec      ISO 100

Morris Island Lighthouse

 

17mm               f/11                   1/250sec                 ISO 100

Tip of the Week: If life hands you lemons.......well you know the rest. The tip this week focuses on how to identify a problem and how to minimize the problem for the best photo. In 2012 my wife and I went to Charleston for a vacation. This was our second trip to the area and we wanted to go see the lighthouse on Sullivan's Island. I was excited for the opportunity to take some photos of the lighthouse since we got some great photos of the Morris Island lighthouse just a few years prior.

When we arrived at the Sullivan lighthouse, we were disappointed to find the lighthouse surrounded by a chain-link fence with barb-wire. I knew that I would not like a photo of the lighthouse with the fence, however removing the fence was simply not an option. I could either crop it out of the photo or block the fence with the foreground of the image. I looked around the lighthouse and finally found a small hill with flowers to serve as my foreground. I shot low to cover as much of the fence as possible and focused on the flowers with a large aperture to throw the background out of focus. The final image is was wildly different from my expected image of the lighthouse, however I was happy with the result when considering the challenges that the scene presented.


I reference this series of photographs often during my teaching sessions. One thing that I strongly recommend is to alter or totally abandon your planned image to try and find a more creative option. Sometimes the light won't work for the planned image, or people are standing around the subject, or subject doesn't want to be photographed. As a photographer, it is up to you to find the image in the scene and to capture it as best you can.
17mm               f/9                         1/500sec                 ISO 100

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/number-2 Tue, 17 Mar 2015 03:18:13 GMT
Hello and Welcome.... https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/hello-and-welcome HELLO AND WELCOME...... To keep the website as up to date as possible, I going to continue my tip of the week advice to the blog. This blog will be for my rambling purposes and will hopefully contain information that can help you with your own photographic struggles. For the basic information on the tip of the week, please tune in to my Facebook page. All tips will be posted there also. The blog will be used to provide additional information from the tips for anyone that is interested in my way of thinking with the camera. So on to the first tip......
1/2500sec             F/4              ISO 1000               300mm Tip of the Week: Remember to move and consider all angles when taking photos. These two photos were taken seconds apart with the same exposure and represent a move of just a couple of feet to allow for a radically different photo. This new location did a couple of things for the photo: The mesh backing of the bench acted as a diffuser to help soften the light falling on her and also it helped bring down the highlights in the image. The mesh also added a interesting pattern to the image to make for a more dynamic photo. With her interest of the rocks on the bench, the change of location also increased my chances of getting a good photo of her face or profile since she was less likely to completely turn away from the bench.
1/2500sec              F/4              ISO 1000                 300mm There are some more aspects of this image that I like. The soft glow on here face is actually caused by the ground in front of her bouncing the light back from the sun. The warm bounced light adds a whole lot of warmth to her skin tones in general. With the added warmth of her face, it helps here skin stand out better against the gray sweater. I ended up cropping the second shot just a little to make sure that the horizontal bars along the top and bottom of the image were parallel with the edge of the frame. I shot with a wide aperture on my 300mm to soften the hard edges on the mesh as much as possible.

 

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(Chase Lanier Photography) https://www.chaselanier.com/blog/2015/3/hello-and-welcome Tue, 17 Mar 2015 02:51:38 GMT