Two Queens

Angaria was a young girl born of a father who ruled a cold and northern land.  In the winter of the third year of her life, her mother came sick and was struck down.  Her father was never quite the same after that.  Losing the 1 true love in his life caused him great pain, but he tried to fill the hole in his heart with his daughter and she became his world.

Angaria grew to a beautiful young woman.  Although she was proud of her royal heritage she never treated people as if they were beneath her.  Her father taught her to treat the people well and she always understood that her primary duty lay in the welfare of her people.

The 17th year of her life brought a change to the kingdom.  Rumors of southern unrest brought stories of a civil war.  The king sent riders into the southern marshes and most were not heard from again.  Still, a few men did return with information about what was happening.

An unknown queen was annexing the various kingdoms and duchies to the south.  She led a vast host of warriors against the southern kingdoms and where her army went, none could stop her.  In the van of her army marched all manor of dark forces.  Trolls and goblins and other fie creatures led her armies and where they walked none could prevail.

Angaria’s father, King Nathon levied his northern duchies and the barons of Northern Tearia marched in the spring of 3167.  He sent riders to the land of the Elves and for the first time in over 1000 years, the white Faerie gathered their archers to join the host of man.

Summer 3167 saw the elves and northern armies approaching the capital city of Lifteria to join the king when tragedy struck.  The king was leading his local troops in horsemanship and archery practice when a Yalta Troll charged the warriors.  The troll was swift and he went right for the king.  The kings guard were struck aside with vicious blows of the troll’s club as he bore down on the king’s horse.

Nathon shrugged his shoulders to set his armor and pulled his lance to a ready position.  Then he spurred his mount and charged the fie creature.  Although it was a short charge, the experienced knight stood and crouched in his stirrups at thew last minute in order to gain power as he approached the animal.

His aim was true and his lance was buried deep and broke in the troll’s side.  However, as the king came even with the troll, it struck out with it’s club and managed to hook the king out of his saddle.  Nathon was thrown to his back on the ground and he lay stunned for a brief moment.  Then he scrambled to his feet and drew his sword.  As he turned to face his opponent it was almost too late as the maddened beast charged him.  It seemed that the lance only served to further anger the creature as he met the king.

The fight was brief and one sided.  As everyone knows, you can’t fight a troll on even footing.  When it was over, the King lay in a broken heap mortally wounded.  As the light faded from his eyes, tears fell unnoticed.  When he drew his last breath, his daughter’s name on his lips and a vision of his long lost wife before his eyes, he couldn’t hear his men as they arrived to fight the troll.

The new queen barely had time to mourn her loss as her northern army and the elves arrived.  She was forced to horse in order to meet the enemy who had killed her father and destroyed her world.

As she began her march, Angaria wiped away her tears and a cold abiding hatred filled her heart as she rode out at the head of her forces determined to destroy the armies of the white queen.

Cast
Angaria – Katie Rycraft
Moria – Carmen Peruzzini

Makeup Artists & Wardrobe Accessories
Rachael Kersey
Cassandra Ramsden

Hair Stylist & Wardrobe Accessories
Donna Latino

Art Direction
Lexy Page

Based on a Concept by
Lexy Page

Photographer
Bob Jones
http://bobjonesphoto.netDSC_6705 Edit1

The principles of good composition

The following information comes from various Web pages and helps to explain SOME of the basic elements of good composition & photography. These elements are true in all forms of photography whether it’s architecture, landscape, or photographing people & models. These rules are as old as paint and canvas and really stand at the core of how our eyes processes imagery. It should also be noted that you should also know when to break these rules.

RULE OF THIRDS The rule of thirds has been used through the centuries and is probably the most recognized rule. The rule of thirds directs that the frame can be divided into three vertical sections and three horizontal sections. Wherever the separating lines connect is an ideal spot for a subject or point of interest. By positioning your main subject at any of the four intersection points, you are giving your subject more emphasis than if it is right in the middle of the photo. The intersection points can also work if there is more than one main subject in a photo. Most famous photographs and paintings have the rule of thirds applied to them in some way or another

SIMPLICITY The simplicity rule directs that you should keep the items in your photo relatively simple. If your main subject is close to the lens, then your background should be very simple in order to avoid distractions. Another good idea is to avoid objects or lines that lead the eye away from your main subject.

CONTRAST The contrast rule directs that light subjects should be placed against dark backgrounds and vice versa.

FRAMING The framing rule directs that using natural surroundings mindfully can add more meaning and focus to your subject. The surroundings could be anything such as bushes, windows, trees or even a doorway. When using this rule be sure to focus on the main subject and not on the surroundings that are framing it. It is also a good idea to use a narrow aperture (high f/stop) when using this rule in order to create a high depth-of-field.

TEXTURE The texture rule can add a great amount of interest to most photos. When people see texture in a photo it can spark their imagination and make the photo more real to life. Texture would be a good idea when taking photos of rocks, walls, surfaces, hands or even leaves. In order to create texture try to compose your photo so the light is coming from the side and therefore casting shadows in key places.

DIAGONALS The diagonal rule directs that diagonal elements or lines can make a photo more dynamic. Diagonal elements could be fence posts, roads or even tree branches.

LEADING LINES The leading lines rule can be used to direct the eye deeper into a photo and commonly to the main subject. Leading lines can lure the eye to a subject by leading to it from any side or depth of the photo. Leading lines could be roads, rivers, tree branches or even bridges.

COLOR The color rule is what adds interest and emotion to your pictures. Different color configurations can inspire and amaze viewers. Colors can also be used to accent certain parts of a photo.

From Bob J About color: In some instances, the absence of color, through the use of black & white images can also create an emotion. Color creates an overall tone or theme, and effective use of color or black & white can set the tone or emotion of the image.

Anna

AnnaSo, I’m editing old photos looking to put together a group of favorites. And this one came up.  Anna was a sweetheart to work with.  Originally from Rio, she lived here in Syracuse for a few years before moving back home.

I really love the lighting we did with this series.  In color, it was very warm and even though I used these cold tones you can still feel the warmth of the photo and feel the emotion in her eyes.

When you ask a model to pose, I sometimes wonder who or what they are thinking of.  This image is that sort of dreamy far away look that brings romance to mind.

In other images from this series, they made me think of Harlequin novel covers.

A Perfect Moment.  Fiction
Her hometown of Rio is shrouded in a late afternoon haze.   Sunset is close by and she walks the sandy beach, one hand on her light flowing dress as she walks along the shore.  Gulls hover nearby searching for a snack or treat dodging in the wind.

She stops for a moment, closing her eyes and lifting her face to the gentle breeze.  She smells the ocean scent, the tangy smell of salt on the air.  Waves touch her bare feet but she doesn’t  move doesn’t change the moment.

Off to her left unnoticed, a fisherman pilots his boat with it’s nets hung to dry as he heads into port.  The engines making a small chuffing sound in the distance.

She smiles as she hears the sound.  One she has heard so often before and yet a sound that doesn’t intrude on her peace of the moment.

Another wave laps at her feet and then retreats, leaving her ebony skin cooler but quickly drying.

Then in a moment, she twirls  and opens her eyes to kick the next wave as it comes to meet her, laughing as the spray splashes all around her.

The water, falling in her hair sparkles with the last touches of the day’s sun.  And then she faces out to sea, again closing her eyes and lifting her face to the sky as anther day ends.

 

Model Shoot – Emily

DSC_6574 Edit1Meet Emily.  She’s a beautiful lady with a lot of class.  She was very fun to work with as we practice getting boudoir style shots.

I’ve been working on directing models lately and I think I’ve come a long way, but I still need to work on it some.  I think I want to concentrate on expressions so I can help the models have more variety in their looks.  If anyone has any ideas I’d really appreciate your feedback on helping the models with different looks and expressions.

Essentially, how do you take a girl who has never been a model and get her to look her best.  To smile with her eyes and look alluring.

I’ve been having a few tough weeks with regards to being sick.  I ended up getting 3 different colds one right after the other.  This last one ended up moving into my lungs as Bronchitis and has really kicked my tail.

With all the junk in my upper lungs I’ve had wracking coughs that leave me nauseous and out of breath.  Top that off with not enough sleep and I haven’t been treating myself very well lately.  Most of my issues are over with and I’ve been forcing myself to go to bed earlier for the last several days.

I hate going to bed early because it always feels like I do more when it’s late than I do early or during the day.

Model: Emily
MUA: +Rachael Keresey
Hair Stylist: Donna Latino
Art Direction:  Lexy Page
Photography:  Bob Jones
http://bobjonesphoto.net

I see in shades of color and tone

Many times, when I’m doing a photo shoot with the models, I’m already visualizing what tones would look nice with them. I don’t always like simple color or black and white. Often, when I shoot, I will preview capture in a toned color.

To my thinking, the red tones in this image capture an elegance and enhance the fire in her hair. Posing the model with her eyes closed creates a dream quality and the Dutch angle creates a tension and also ads to the surreal look.

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What I look for in “friends”, “Likes” & +1′s

So, I look at my profiles on g+ and also Facebook. I see a lot of people trying to add me on G+ and also on facebook. I look at these areas very differently because each group has a different purpose.

Facebook. To me there are 3 kinds of people on facebook.

1. Potential clients. People who keep an eye on my work and want to work with me but don’t know how to ask. They are probably afraid I will judge them as not being good enough for my work. The truth is, I work with new people all the time.
2. People from a distance that like to keep up on what we’re doing. They look at my ideas and sometimes use them for inspiration – or even what not to do in a photo shoot – LOL
3. Guys who want to look at the pretty girls I work with.

How I see Facebook. I like to stay active on FB so I can keep people aware of me. I want to stay relevant in the industry in the CNY area. I accept most friend requests from potential clients, however if some guy tries to friend me from Canada, I will most likely ignore or delete the request as it’s a waste of my time. If you are someone I know or someone I SHOULD know, shoot me a message and I’ll add you, but for the most part, I’m not here to feed your need to see a pretty girl.

I also have a small niche of real “Friends” & “Family” there and I keep in touch with them.

What I’m looking for on Google+. The photography community is very active on G+ It’s very humbling to be on there and listen to well known photographers from Photoshop User magazine like Scott Kelby and RC Concepcione. These guys have the skills, knowledge and contacts that help me to learn as much as I can.

I think the thing I appreciate the most is their willingness to share and teach on a daily basis. These guys live and breathe what I love to do.

There are so many other people out there who have inspiring photos and are very skilled. It’s humbling to look at some of their work and the try to emulate their skills.

What I’m NOT looking for on Google + So, I get a lot of circle requests. I look at people and I have to decide if I want to add them. My main criteria is do they have an interesting and ongoing portfolio of work. If the answer is yes and it’s not just a bunch of snapshots of them and their drinking buddies, I will add them.

I also tend to go out and delete people who are no longer relevant or doing interesting work.

Inspire me

I want to feel emotion. Show me the way with your art. I want to wake up every morning and feel good about what I do. Is there anything that gives us more freedom than our expression?

Show me a study in lighting and different expressions. I want to see passion and fire. It’s that unattainable something that stirs my creativity. I see it out there and hope that I can find it, but I never quite reach that point where I can feel it.

The hair and makeup are always perfect. You look beautiful and, I know it’s my own fault that I can’t quite get it, so I keep plugging away.

It’s a frustration. Frustration is good because it tells me there is something I can correct. But, I’m just not sure how to correct it.

Movement. I want a dancer who will dance like no one is watching. I want a model who smiles and cries and laughs and can do intense emotions in front of the camera.

I look at 1000′s of photos a week and still I can’t see that one thing I’m looking for. Many shots out there, take my breath away, but they’re not mine.

I want to be inspired. To look at my photos, and laugh and cry and feel intense emotion.

Where I find my inspiration

I want to talk about how I find inspiration.

The fact is, I spend countless hours just looking at photograpgs & video. I look at various types of media including TV, magazines and the internet. So how does this spur creativity? Well, as I watch any tv show and youtube video, I try to watch for the artistic side. I notice lighting, composition and I observe how a scene goes together.

On the internet, I use various Web sites such as 500px. There are countless examples of great and inspiring photography there. This site is even better than sites like Flickr. The quality of photography is simply outstanding.

I collect great examples on my pinterest account – Visit here – to see my galleries. http://pinterest.com/rjones315/ Notice how organized these photos are. Each of them in only specific categories.

Someone who wants to be an artist needs to train their artistic eye. Look at thousands of photos and decide what they like about it. When you study a photo, ask yourself, what do you like about it and why. You should also ask yourself what you might do differently. Even small details like the position of the subject and the composition.

Another inspiration point is actually music. When listening to music I like to visualize a scene in my mind. How would you visualize the music and lyrics if you could create a music video?

Plan your shoot

How do YOU plan and execute your photo shoot? Here’s what I do with mine.

Concept
Lighting
Wardrobe
Hair
Makeup
Set design
Choosing the right model

Concept: This part entails sitting down and deciding what genre I am going to do. All of my projects have a specific theme or concept. I use pinterest to really drill down and pick shots I want to do.

Lighting: I like to have a general idea for lighting. Some of my shots have 1 light, while others will have up to 10 lights. It helps to visualize the set and plan that out. Draw it etc.

Wardrobe: We have some in the studio, but for the most part the model will bring their own. One thing I try and do is have the model email me photos of their wardrobe – just so I know they understand my concept.

Hair and makeup go together. I try to pick the correct looks for each model. I’ll literally flip through hundreds of photos until I find one to use for inspiration. Of course, it helps that I have a really killer team for this.

Set design: This is where a lot of creativity comes into play. We use everything from a plain white background to a fake room in our studio.

Choosing the right model: This is harder than you think. Obviously, her look and personal style has to fit the theme of the shoot. Always discuss every aspect of a photo shoot and especially wardrobe.

Some other important parts of the photo shoot include the gear list – including the camera and lenses. Ladders and also food and water for the entire team. We don’t use a caterer, but we bring subs or pizza for a full day shoot. Sodas and water is always on hand. I like to ask the model what type of music will inspire her for the shoot. I like an upbeat tune and as long as it’s not too extreme like Marilyn Manson, I’ll listen to just about anything.

During our photo shoots, I’m usually running slide shows on my pc to keep us all on track and motivated.

Natalie

This shot is from a recent trial/practice for a magazine shoot.  For the final shoot, we used 5 models, 2 makeup artists, 1 hair stylist, 2 assistants, and 2 photographers.  The overall theme genre was alternative.

When we held the trials, we felt that this model had a look almost too much girl-next-door.  However, we decided to go ahead and user her.  He main advantages in this shoot were that she is quite tall and her proportions were perfect for the theme.  Also, with her engaging style and willingness to follow direction, she was a perfect match for this shoot.  Finally, the fact that her personality really is a girl-next-door sweetness, then all of the elements for a perfect shoot were there.

For the setup, we used 2 lights.  The main light was camera left with a large plm and a second light for fill with a softbox to the camera right.  For some of the shots, we used a 22” beauty dish to the camera right.  The background was white seamless paper, but we had her approximately 4 feet from the background which turned it to almost a gray.  For most of the shoot, we metered the shots at f11 although we sometimes kicked things up to as high as f16.  The fill was approximately 2 stops lower.

Our Team
Lexy Page:  Art Direction & Creative Consultant.  2nd Shooter
Donna Latino:  Hiar stylist & Creative Wardrobe Design
Rachael Keresey:  Makeup & Creative Wardrobe Design
Cassandra Ramsden:  Makeup
Melanie Jones:  Primary Assistant
Natalie Teal:  Model
Bob Jones:  Art Direction & Photographer

Photo Concept:  Test shoot in preparation for an upcoming magazine shoot.  The theme/genre is Alternative

Model:  Mallory Otis
MUA & Stylist:  Rachael Kersey
Hair & hat designs:  Donna Latino
Creative concept:  +Lexy Page
Photography:  Bob Jones
http://bobjonesphoto.net

 

A moment of clarity

In every photo shoot, there’s this one moment of perfect clarity. When the shutter clicks and the shot is just “THERE.” I look for that moment and it always happens when I’m totally in my head for the shoot.

It’s like walking through a rose garden in the autumn. When the flowers are all dried up and then you come upon 1 rose that continues to bloom.

Many times when I do these shoots, I switch to Black & white preview. I want to see what I’m capturing at the most basic level. All my images are in camera raw however so the color is captured as well. But this image just works so well in B&W.

Credits
Model: Carly
Makeup: Jamie Sue
Hair & Hairpiece: Donna Latino
Set Design & art Direction: Lexy Page

 

Test shoot

This photo comes from the second model we are testing for an upcoming project.  We are running a full-on test for an upcoming photo shoot.

I was having a bad morning.  Me and Lexy were working full bore on our setup and it took literally several hours for the lighting to work out.  Then we put the model on the set and in my mind the wheels came off.  After shooting for a while, I let Lexy shoot her first sequence, but it was obvious that something wasn’t working for me.

After Lexy was done with her shooting, I decided to pull 90% of the set apart and rearrange the lighting slightly.  I don’t get this way very often, usually it’s just a point of tweaking the lighting.

So, finally, after pulling everything apart, things just started to come together.  We had her standing instead of siting in a chair and it just seemed to work better.

In this image I had pulled an image from the internet for inspiration.  The lighting worked and the pose worked and finally it all came together.

Credits:
Model:  Erinn Wilcox
Makeup Artist:  Rachael Keresey
Hair stylist and Hat designs:  Donna Latino
Primary Assistant:  Melanie Jones-Beauchesne
Set design & Art Direction:  +Lexy Page

 

 

Off Topic – from Oakwood Cemetary

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On November 11, 1982, the Haggerty lion was placed in Oakwood as a memorial to Michael Charles Haggerty who died at age 14 in an auto accident in 1974. His brother Thomas, who was two years younger than Michael, was an art student at Syracuse University when his parents asked him to create a special and original memorial. Michael had always liked lions and his mother thought a lion would be appropriate – a friendly protector, inviting but with claws. Thomas began work on the monument in the summer of 1981. He formed the clay image in his garage, spraying and wrapping his work each night. After this initial phase, the large figure was moved outside of his home and his work was supervised by an SU instructor. After a year’s work, the 620 pound bronze statue was ready for placement. Michael had originally been buried at St. Mary’s in DeWitt, but the authorities responsible for the diocese cemeteries objected to the monument. Michael was then reinterred in a special spot at Oakwood with the lion standing guard. Many people do not know about the Haggerty lion because it is situated in a wooded area and during seasons with leaves, it is well concealed. The lion can be found across the road from the Chapel. At the corner where the woods begin is a small trail which leads about 20 feet up a small incline to the monument.

 

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