Learning to Shoot: Part 3

All photos in this post were taken by Jack Masci.  Jack is 9 years old.

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3-4

Jack was ready to shoot beyond his house, so for this lesson we went on location to Silverstrand Beach.  It started to sprinkle just about the time we arrived.  Everyone was open to the unique opportunity of shooting in the rain.  We talked a lot about quality if light during the session, and Jack captured some truly magical moments. Can you spot the raindrops?

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3-3

Jack Silverstrand

Photography Lessons

Tall Poppy offers lessons for the young and the young at heart.  Whether you’ve just purchased your first digital camera, or you want to take your photography to the next level, Tall Poppy can help you make the most out of your vision and equipment.

We offer a flexible schedule and pricing based on your needs.  Browse the galleries on this page and if you are interested, contact me and we’ll figure out a plan that works for you!



Learning To Shoot: Part 2

All photography in this post is by Jack Masci.  Jack is 9 years old.

We were back at Jack’s house for our second lesson.  I really wanted Jack to work on depth of field and perspective for this one.  He took some great pictures of a little army man in their pond, changing the aperture to adjust the look he wanted.  I also challenged him to move around–forward and backward, up and down, to get different angles on his shots.  Then we worked on some more textural shots with nuts and bolts from the garage and the pebbles in the pond so he could get a feel for the smaller aperatures.

Jack Masci

Finally I gave him a homework assignment.  I call it “Fill the Frame”.  Which basically meant I was looking for him to exclude the background…to fill the frame entirely with only his subject.  You can see a couple of his favorites here and I think he did a great job.

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3-2

Jack Masci Lesson 2 & 3

Locations: Silverstrand

These are sample photos from just before sunset at Silverstrand Beach on an somewhat overcast day.  Note: No marine layer, just higher clouds.  From a portrait perspective the benefits of this location are the color and subtle edge of the murals and the beauty of the ocean all in the same place.   This allows a lot of versatility.  It’s a similar idea to changing clothes in the middle of a shoot.  I often will blur/blow out the background here, so really we are just considering the mood and color the background provides.  The challenges of this location are dealing with all the sand in general, the unpredictability of coastal skies, and possible wind.  Having said that, the water and murals give us some really creative possibilities.  Locations Distinctions:  Accessible jetty, murals, graffiti, barbed wire, sandy varying elevations, long sloping shoreline, off shore oil rigs.  Alternative location:  The Scary Dairy.

Sample Backgrounds:

Learning to Shoot #1

All photography in this post is by Jack Masci.

I have started something new this month.  Last month, a friend of mine approached me about doing photography lessons with her son, Jack, as part of his Christmas gift.  I’ve never really taught photography before, but I’ve worked with kids a lot and I figured I knew enough that I could help a 4th grade boy.  Besides that, I liked the ideas I saw in his sample work and it seems like an excellent opportunity to combine two of my favorite things:  teaching stuff to kids and photography.

Last weekend was our first lesson.  His dad came along and after a quick explanation of camera settings, Jack spent most of the time just shooting.  As Jack took pictures on his own I started to see what interested him about photography and after awhile I’d step in and ask him questions or give him tips to help him convey his vision.  Jack is really big on both color and details.  He sees the subtleties of color very well and seems to enjoy capturing the minute detail of everyday objects in a new way.  This is all really fascinating for me of course, to see through the eyes of another photographer is inspiring to me–especially a 9-year old boy that views the world in such a different light than I do.

Primarily we worked on moving around and getting closer to the subject.  I was impressed at how fast Jack made the adjustments to his shooting process.  Next time we will work on aperture and I look forward to challenging him on some of the photography biases he’s developed.  Here’s my favorite three shots that he took during our first session.

Learning To Fly

My brother was down for the holidays, so I got to shoot his family including my adorable little niece.  We headed over to a local park and what we grew up calling “the gulley”.  I think we got some keepers here, which is good because “Aunt Koala” took way too many pictures.

Love On The Beach

Headed up to Santa Barbara yesterday to shoot engagement pictures for some friends.  We were graced with some gorgeous light and a beautiful sunset.  These two are pretty special people.  What a treat it was for me to do this shoot for them.