Words & Stuff
Paul & Ellie Mullins ©2011 Melissa Olson
Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with father-daughter team Paul and Ellie Mullins who photograph together under the name Mullins². They have a great relationship, are very encouraging of each other and bring different perspectives to their work, helping create a very unique dynamic.
Picture Fresno: How did you get started in photography?
PAUL MULLINS:I grew up in Orange County, and had a graphic design studio in Newport Beach for maybe 3 or 4 years. The reason we moved to the Central Valley is because I have a twin brother and my mom and dad moved to the valley, so we followed them here. I'm a family guy. I worked originally at an ad agency as their art director then after 3 years there I started my own graphic design studio.
The reason I got into photography, I was hiring photographers and I just loved going to photo shoots and seeing how they did things and it was really creative to me, so I went back to school 20 years ago, right when Ellie was born. We added the new skill to our creative studio and then eventually just focused more on the photography.
ELLIE MULLINS: Until high school I never really played around with a camera, but the journalism teacher in high school assumed that I would be a good photographer since it was my dad's career. That's originally how I got started but quickly realized I really liked it and had a passion for what I was doing. From there my dad taught me a lot of the basics, but at first I had this big camera and I didn't know what to do with it. I remember the first picture we took together at Kings Canyon, it was on that trip that I fell in love with how much you could do with the camera.
PF: Were there cameras around when you were growing up? Did you get the chance to shoot, even just for fun, at an early age?
Ellie:There were always so many pictures of me because he was always taking pictures. We would go sketch up in the mountains, and my dad would have his camera, but I didn't have my own camera or anything.
Paul: I bought her a D300 Nikon for her first camera during her Journalism class.
Ellie:I started out doing digital, but now I'm playing around with film and trying to use a Polaroid Land Camera I have that uses the pull-apart film.
PF: Are the other members of your family involved with photography as well?
Paul:My son Aaron worked for us for 15 years, he bought part of the business and now runs it in Clovis. He was a journalism major at Fresno State and worked for me when he was in school. Now he does the fine art reproduction. He loved the precision and the perfectionist approach to the very technical photography work. For me it was okay, but I just really didn't like doing the same thing repetitively every time.
Ellie: Aaron doesn't do photography for fun, he's a technical guy.
Paul: He loves being around creative people, but for Aaron it's more important to him that he be able to match a color exactly and produce the detail and texture of the brush-stroke in the reproduced image.
PF: What is your favorite type of photography to shoot?
Paul: I've always loved the outdoors, I get inspired there. I love the creation and the glory of what God has made. That's inspiring to me. Just being outside gave me an excuse to slow down with a camera and enjoy myself.
Ellie: He's been to yosemite more times than he can count. I'd say it's really fun when we go out shooting together at weddings and stuff. We've started to do that since I've worked here.
Paul: She's really in love with doing portraiture and events. I had done maybe 12 weddings over all the 20 years that I'd been doing it. I'm having fun doing it, weddings are a bit more creative than some of the commercial stuff. I like commercial too, you don't have to make a building smile. It's very technical, it's really a specialty that I do.
PF: What are your inspirations when it comes to photography?
Ellie: I've always grown up admiring my dad's work. Then in summer of 2010 I worked at Hume Lake as a staff photographer. I think I learned a lot there just being around a lot of other photographers and being involved in that creative atmosphere along with being forced to shoot all day every day. I was really inspired by my supervisor there, he's very talented in both photography and design.
Paul: Galen Rowell was one of the first nature photographers who was really successful. I had a video of his it was called "Mountain Light" about 20 years ago -- it was really inspiring to me. He wanted to record his experiences, that's why he took his camera with him. Then he started selling stock and people started hiring him and he thought "hey there's an opportunity here" -- that was 25-30 years ago, so there weren't as many shooters. I think the amount of competition today is good inspiration to do better work.
PF: Any tips for our Picture Fresno photographers?
Paul: I remember when I was in school, they were just setting up a photoshop lab. If you look at the history of photography, we're living in the most exciting time of transition and change. It's opening it up to so many people to express themselves and have fun. I love that, seeing people get excited about something. When I do my workshops I get to see that. I'll wait hours just to get one shot. I don't mind being quiet and by myself. I'm patient; I don't have to be doing something all the time. I don't like to even get my camera out when I first get to a place, unless the light is going away really fast. Just experience the place, slow down and don't put that pressure on yourself right away.
It's a good exercise to just go shoot as many photos as you can, it frees you from thinking critically about your work. Then take the same location and make yourself focus on bringing back 2 or 3 images. Slow down, think about the light, think about the angle, be more intentional. It's a good practice to do both of these exercises.
There's three parts to good photography: communication, composition (the way you see) and craftsmanship. You've got to be able to rely on your tools, tell your story and have a method for the way you compose. Those three things have always have to be balanced.
Ellie: The other day we took portraits of a couple who got engaged at the Fresno Fair. In my mind I decided we should take less images and only take the best photos rather than a large volume of photos. I don't like having to edit through thousands of images, it's a lot of work. I'd say I try to just take a couple shots of a certain scenario. I'd rather have a few good ones than a lot of okay images. I think in the beginning they're more nervous and as you get going they get comfortable. I want them to be more interactive with each other or the setting and feel free to be themselves without me having to tell them what to do.
For more information about Paul's landscape photography workshops, visit his website. If you'd like to see Paul & Ellie's work in person, be sure to stop by tonight, November 3rd, at ArtHop in Broadway Studios.1 comment
Stereogram courtesy The Library of Congress. [Stage Coach Robbery]: Collecting Toll ©1911 July 24. Ed. Tangen, Boulder, Colorado No. 1975. LC-USZ62-66326 (b&w film copy neg. of half stereo)
I just returned from a trip to Washington DC. I'd been there many times before and have seen the national monuments, the museums and most of the historic and politically important sites. On this trip, though, I wanted to see what other amazing things our nation's capital had to offer. We decided to begin with the Library of Congress, determined to actual library shelves.
Upon arrival, we began in the fairly touristy Thomas Jefferson building. While it is an amazing building, this was mostly the face of the library, containing very little access to the library's actual collection. We were able to see some of the books (behind glass) from the library of Thomas Jefferson himself. There is a great interactive technology in place which allows visitors to use a small paper passport to "save" digital versions of the books on display to an online database that could be viewed later. Many of those documents contain very intricate, well crafted drawings instead of photographs, but sometimes they were so detailed it was difficult to tell the difference.
The best part of our trip to this building was information given to us by a volunteer docent at the main information desk. She gave us instructions on obtaining readers cards, which would grant us access to the repositories and reading rooms in the other two buildings that make up the whole of the Library of Congress. We spent about 45 minutes obtaining our free readers cards and having our photos taken for the printed ID badges, then headed for the Prints and Photographs Division with about an hour left to do our "research."
I was a little disappointed when I was told that my request to see ambrotypes and tinplates couldn't be honored that late in the day, but my mood improved when I saw two aisles filled with stereographs with almost a dozen stereoscopes atop the cabinets. I'd seen stereograph prints in antique stores before, but was excited to be able to view them with an actual antique stereoscope. These types of prints utilize very simple technology to create the illusion of a 3D image for the viewer. My favorite section was the "stagecoach robberies," where the scenes were obviously set up complete with prop deblunes and turned over stage coaches with contents of luggage strewn about. The collection at the Library of Congress was very impressive, and an amazing learning experience.
Let's help each other out and make a list of suggestions for places to be sure to visit that are photography related:
- Have you stumbled upon a great gallery on a weekend trip or even here in Fresno?
- Did you discover a wonderful photography shop last time you were on a business trip?
- What has been your favorite photography exhibit or museum experience?
- Is there a museum of gallery on your list that you think everyone needs to know about?
Add your suggestions to the comments below or tweet them @PictureFresno for us to share!Leave a comment
From Foie Gras and Flannel, Blueberry. Tart. ©James Collier 2011. James utilizes his love of photography to showcase his passion for food.
PF: What started your interest with food as more than just sustenance?
Fois Gras & Flannel: I started cooking in my early teens as a way to help out around the house - my parents taught me basic technics, and taught me a few recipes, but we ate a lot of canned veggies and Hamburger Helper. In college, I moved out and decided to start trying new things, and actually learned quite a bit from watching Food Network. It wasn't until I moved to Fresno, that I realized just how much food is a part of who we are--we need it for sustenance, energy, life, but it's also essential for defining community and experiencing culture.
PF: When did you start photographing food & what were your initial inspirations for style?
FG&F: I started photographing food shortly after starting TasteFresno (say, 5-6 years ago?). I took pictures just to take pictures at that point, so I can't say I had much inspiration for style, but I liked sharing what I was eating with others; that's become increasingly easier as social media has become a part of our daily lives. I shot with hobby equipment for a few years, but transitioned to just using my iPhone for quite a while. Inspired by a handful of food bloggers, and even more by photo storytellers like Penny De Los Santos and our own Ryan C. Jones, I have become increasingly intentional in what and why I shoot, and now look at a few different styles for inspiration.
PF: How much styling goes into your photos? What about lighting and location? Do you try to keep it natural, or do you move things around to get it perfect?
FG&F: Little to none. First, I don't know much about styling, and I'm not sure I have the patience to learn it. (I also don't have many props, aside from a few placemats and a large roll of butcher paper.) More important to me, though, is authenticity and context--I rarely eat off a perfectly arranged plate, or from a perfectly arranged table. I eat from sandwich shops, or from the grill, or at events with other people. Going back to the idea of food helping to build community, it's important for me to capture interaction and people--this is one of the reasons I love to shoot while people are eating, though I'm told (by just about everyone) that I'm not supposed to.
PF: How did the Fois Gras & Flannel blog come to be? What are your plans for the future of the blog?
FG&F: Long story short: I spent years building a community around TasteFresno, trying to encourage other "food voices" while also trying to avoid having one of my own. Earlier this year I was both frustrated and inspired by that realization, so I created Foie Gras & Flannels as a way to document my personal explorations--in Fresno and beyond. It may seem strange, but it also feeds me new ideas for TasteFresno.
As for the future, I'm not really sure; it's become more of an obsession that I had expected (at least, in such a short time frame), and it's led to conversations with people connected to, and inspired by food outside of the Valley. I look forward to seeing where some of those conversations go, and to finding new stories to tell--or, new ways to tell old stories.
PF: What tips would you give to someone with no food photography experience to help them translate food to film er -- digital images?
FG&F: Take pictures. The camera and equipment are important, but good photos can be composed on any camera, if you're intentional with the shot. When you think you've captured a dish, or a scene at a dinner, take more pictures--find a different angle, get up close (or stand back to capture the context), and get out of your comfort zone (this was hard for me). Look at every photo you take, critique yourself, and then only share those that capture a moment or have potential to make someone else hungry.
When it comes to light, try to find it. Even in a dimly lit dinner, I'll opt for grainy photos at a high ISO over a dish drowning in flash.
PF: Just for fun: If you could only eat one meal over and over again for the rest of the year, what would you eat? Why?
FG&F: Just about anything off the grill - including fresh fruit. That, or anything cooked in my cast-iron Dutch oven. I'm planning a large pot of fresh chili (with tomatoes and peppers from the farmers market) this week!
PF: Who else in the area is doing similar things?
FG&F: That's a tough one. I'll point to local people I pull inspiration from:
- Nicole Hammaker (aka Pinch My Salt) - Nicole takes amazing photos of the recipes she creates, and sprinkles in pieces of her life (like pics of her Boston terrier) that make her food all the more interesting.
- Ryan C. Jones - I'll go as far as saying that I've tried to mimic Ryan's style at times--I'm constantly pulled into the story in his photos, even when I'm completely removed from the subject (like someone else's wedding). He's an amazing storyteller.
- Keith Seaman - Keith obviously has the patience for food styling, as shown through his portfolio. He's one only a handful of dedicated food photographers that I know of in town.
Astronautalis, Wet Plate Collodion Ambrotype ©Daniel Carrillo 2010. This is a modern Ambrotype of a musician by a traditional process photographer who is originally from the central valley and now lives and works in Seattle.
Photography started out as a way to capture a realistic true-to-life image of reality. Daguerrotypes were very common, outputting an image on a shiny surface. Soon after Ambrotypes were introduced as a less expensive way to document family members for future generations. Both Daguerrotypes and Ambrotypes were more affordable than very-costly oil portraits. Most early processes took quite a bit of time and any sort of motion was easily visible in the final image. Studio photographers used windows to bring in bright sunlight and head braces to keep their subjects from moving during their 10-15 minute exposure. Imagine if this was still the case. How would you take a photograph of Strangevine on stage if your photo took 15 minutes?
Luckily, technology has brought us a long way from the days of the Daguerrotype and Ambrotype. The cameras that are available today can shoot in very low light with shutter speeds that can capture fractions of a second. This is fortunate, since we've asked you to photograph live music for the current challenge. It may seem daunting and a bit overwhelming at first, but don't be afraid to get close to the stage and really go for it. Some of the best music photography (according to both fans & the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) capture more than just a performance. Think about turning your camera on an audience member, the equipment or even the shadows of the performers.
As with any challenge, we are looking for creativity and relevance to the theme. If you're new to this type of photography, we don't want you to be nervous. I've asked local live-music photographer, Ryan C. Jones, to offer a few pointers:
"As for live photography, its all about ISO and lens choice. The faster the lens you have (f/1.2-2.8) the better chance you have at freezing action, and the same goes for cranking your ISO up. I wouldn't recommend introducing on-camera flash into the mix; for a live show it tends to distract the audience and make your subject look flat. Work with the existing stage lights and shoot a LOT. If you shoot 10, maybe only 1 will be sharp and in focus, but sometimes 1 is all you need."
(Coincidentally, Ryan also volunteered as a Picture Fresno judge for the first year of the project.)
It's all about volume in the challenge, both in the venue and in the amount of images you take. Good luck, and get those photos submitted!Leave a comment
This camera belonged to my mother, she used it when she was a teenager and into her early twenties. She gave it to me when I was in high school and it started my collection of vintage and historic cameras.
Everything changes with time. When television was first introduced, if you missed the new episode — that was it. Now we have the option of watching a lot of television shows on the internet on our own time, or we use DVR to record and watch what we want at our leisure.
When photography was first introduced, it took a lot of expensive equipment, a lot of time and a good amount of patience; all for one single image that could not be reproduced. Today, however, it's much less expensive if you're using a digital camera, and the accessibility of the technology is expanding each day. It's no longer necessary to have a stack of extra money to take photos, nor is it required for you to have extensive technical training: the camera does all that for you.
Some people will claim this is causing the death of fine art photography, others will say that it's helping people find and express an artistic voice that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to access. With all this growth in the medium, it would seem that everyone selling cameras and all the additional accessories one could want would be doing great, right?
This isn't actually the case. This past May, Boot's Cameras went out of business after 37 years. After competing against internet sales, the company was hit hard after the devastation in Japan made it hard for the store to maintain stock in both Nikon & Canon digital equipment. The store carried hard-to-find essentials for fine art photographers such as film and paper for use in traditional darkrooms.
It seems more and more that these kinds of retail locations are being replaced by online retailers. One local shop that seems to have a firm footing is Horn Photo. They carry several types of film and other wet photography (traditional, darkroom based), in addition to digital camera, printing services and even photo framing. They are a great asset to professionals and enthusiasts alike.
Let's begin a dialogue here to serve as a sort of directory for all of Fresno's photographic community:
- Are there other photography stores in town where you are purchasing your equipment or finding that they carry hard-to-find items?
- Do you do all your shopping for these kinds of items online?
- Tell us where you like to shop, get your film developed or go to get your tough questions answered. Where are some of your favorite galleries in Fresno to see photography?
- What do you wish was easier to find in a traditional retail photography setting here in town?
Let's see what kinds of other questions come up and help each other find what we need.1 comment
It seems we've given you quite the challenge--night photography during the time of the year with the fewest non-daylight hours. Don't worry, as your trusty Picture Fresno intern, I am here to help!
As a photographer myself, I know this can be challenging for beginners; heck it can be challenging even for seasoned veterans. Without the sun, we're forced to rely on artificial light, and that changes everything, especially color. (Side note: Did you know light comes in many colors? Not just white! ) See if you can notice the difference next time you're walking or driving around at night. Noticing these subtleties and using them to your advantage will help you on your journey to capturing a photo that just might catch the judges' attention.
A common issue with low-light photography is motion blur from longer shutter speeds. Here's a simple solution: a tripod.
"I don't have a tripod, Melissa! I guess I can't take part in this Picture Fresno challenge. Sad face."
No, no, no. Not an excuse, my friend. You see, any flat, level surface can act as a tripod if you're patient and take time to steady your camera before you take the shot. This can be an especially great trick if your camera has a built in timer or if you have a cable release.
These are just the first few tips that came to mind when I considered what to suggest for your night photography needs. I've done some detective work and gathered some tips from the community:
- From qwirky-fun San Francisco based Photojojo: "'Night' portraits are actually more effective when there is some ambient light. Shoot just after sunset, or use the glow from streetlights and neon to cast some light on your subject. Ambient light is much more effective than flash alone, and if you have enough of it, you can forgo the flash altogether."
For more amazingly awesome night portrait tips from Photojojo (that also apply well to night shooting in general), check this out.
- From our Facebook Wall, Jen Franklin makes a fun suggestion: "...consider bringing flashlights or colored lights to do 'light painting' for some cool effects."
- From our twitter feed, one of our judges, Sal Hernandez (@LasherPhoto), offers advice: "If there is IS (Image Stabilization), it should be turned off when using long exposure times. Otherwise will result in blur."
Now get out there, enjoy the cooler night temperatures and get snapping!Leave a comment
Friday, July 1 marked Picture Fresno's first birthday (we assume that's what all the commotion was about over last weekend, what with the fireworks and all). We—Alisa, James and friends—started this project last summer to help tell a visual story of the community. We weren't sure where it would go, so we only committed to the project for one year.
That was silly. We've loved the photos and stories too much to leave PF in the darkroom. We'll continue with the photo challenges--in fact, here's a new one!
We've recruited a Picture Fresno intern to collect photography tips, share stories of local photographers and more (see "Other Duties as Assigned"). You might have met her already: she's a local creative, a photographer, an artist, and all-around cool person. In case you haven't met, let us introduce you to Melissa Olson:
Here's a few of our favorites from Melissa's Flickr stream:
In her own words:
I moved to Fresno last summer and in that time I've had plenty of opportunities to explore with my camera. I'm constantly shooting in my own neighborhood, probably because it's so convenient... it's literally right out my front door. I live in the neighborhood just North of Tower, famous for it's early summer block sales and amazing examples of mid-century architecture. Photography has been a great way for an Ohio native to get to know her new street, her new city and her new state.
I always gravitate to photographing things that I "know," which in almost every case has helped me understand those things better. I love learning about a place through the lens. It's a really precise way of exploring, and forces you to focus on details and subtleties. It allows you to explore a place many times over without running out of interest. As seasons, time of day, and weather change, so does the place. I like to think of my photographs as snapshots of the lives happening in my neighborhood, only without any people.
I've never thought of photography as some inaccessible, cumbersome artistic method. Granted, there are times when it's appropriate to location scout, wait for the right light or to bring a tripod. If the reason why you aren't taking photographs is because you don't have an expensive camera or a tripod or models to photograph, I believe you're missing the point. Photography should be accessible, especially in a time where nearly everyone has a camera. Point whatever instrument it is you have (a cell phone, a digital SLR, a medium format Hasselblad) at something you find interesting and press the shutter. Photography is really as easy as walking out into the world, slowing down and capturing a moment. Start with what's in front of you.
Welcome, Melissa!Leave a comment
Since Friday's NOtown bout is...well, Friday...we're closing down the Victory challenge this afternoon. Here's last minute inspiration, courtesy of Picture Fresno contributor and bout photographer Richard Flores.
Post your "victory" photo by 2:00 p.m. today, then join us on Saturday at the Fairgrounds to cheer to ladies on...to victory!Leave a comment
Photogs, let's skip the small talk: You need to be at Pecha Kucha tonight. Maybe you've been before; maybe you're still asking, "Pecha what?" Either way, be at Starline at 7:00 p.m. (earlier if you want a seat).
Seriously, this is storytelling at its greatest. Each presenter (here's the lineup, which includes photographer and Picture Fresno judge Ryan C. Jones ) will be given 6:40 to share 20 images—that's 20 seconds per slide. It's a great way to connect with fellow creatives, and the event offers countless lessons in creating a visual impact/telling a story through imagery.
This is the ninth installment in Fresno, and tonight's theme is "Tradition." See you there!Leave a comment
It's time we put faces to Picture Fresno members—to show who's on the other side of the lens. Up first: Alexa Westerfield, who many of you may know as SwellDesigner (Twitter | The Swell Life). She won the Fulton Mall challenge with her photo of the Security Bank building
Alexa's a recent transplant to Fresno, with a flare for the creative. She's a photographer, a designer, and among other things, creator of the Snooki pumpkin. She also claims a Southern accent, but we can't hear it.Leave a comment
If you looked to the east on Sunday, you know what the Valley sky can look like: crisp, clean, with a clear view of the foothills. It was beautiful. Just imagine if that were the view every day. Can you picture it?
We hope so, because that's the challenge this week.
The Valley Air District is our partner for "A Breath of Fresh Air," encouraging our photogs to show activities that lead to clean air. Jaime Holt, chief communication officer for the organization, shares more:
"Wow, the air is really clean today, I can see the mountains."
Five years ago, we didn't hear this very much around Fresno. There were more smog-filled days with unhealthy levels of pollution. But over the past few years, we have been seeing the mountains, and experiencing cleaner air, much more frequently.
The Valley is a beautiful place when the air isn't fouled by cars, fires, trucks, industry, lawn mowers and the myriad of other sources that spew pollution. Every person living in the Valley plays a role; over at the Valley Air District we call it "Healthy Air Living." Everyone pollutes and everyone can make choices to be greener…drive less, don't use your fireplace, buy electric lawn equipment, make green purchasing decisions, and pay attention. This week Picture Fresno is looking for that great "Clean Air" photo, a photo that reminds us how amazing the Valley is when we all do what we can to clean up the air.
Find out more about Living a Healthy Air Life by visiting www.healthyairliving.com. You can also find the "Valley Air District" on Facebook and Twitter. And remember, this winter, if you plan to use a wood burning fireplace, stove or outdoor fire pit, check and make sure it is ok to burn by call 1-800-SMOG-INFO.
Chief Communication Officer
Valley Air District
The prize package for "A Breath of Fresh Air" is sponsored by the Valley Air District: Reminding you to live a Healthy Air Life.Leave a comment
You might think of an old rusty thing as…well, an old, rusty thing. But rust creates texture, and the slow breakdown of an object tells a story.
We asked judge and photographer Sal Hernandez (Lasher Photo, Club Flys) to expand on this. He offers his thoughts below, and encourages participants to look beyond the surface for this week's challenge.
History and age go hand in hand. The elements of this world will gradually destroy anything that exists—as this process happens, you find objects "aging" and showing visual signs of their years in existence.
This, to me, is nature's way of writing a story out. We may observe a thing and not entirely catch the obvious story, but we'll draw our own conclusions. It's a spark of our imagination—even as involuntary or unnoticeable as it is,it's still a spark and it's entirely up to us to take the time to contemplate or indulge in such a thing.
I am hoping this theme of "Old Rusty Things" will cause shutterbugs to take the time and observe the silent things in our environments and imagine great things. Or, go even further and inquire into the history of ancient objects, found around us in our everyday life. Objects unobserved, obscure, and hidden or even overlooked.
We do not simply just exist. We all have a story…the living and the inanimate.
Congrats to Picture Fresno member Jen (jentwo)—a frequent contributor—for taking top rank this week with her photo of Lines! A comment from judge and photographer Ryan C. Jones reads, "Boom! I freakin' love symmetry like this."
The judges looked through 59 photos submitted for this theme, and the tallies were close, so we're breaking new ground and listing the top five. Check these out (note that they're in no particular order):
Bus Stop at Dusk by TracySouders
Fresno's Tower Theater by RFlores
Sunset Lines by sawilhelm
Lines of Light by dR0Ck
Lines, new and old by jentwoLeave a comment
We could make obscure connections between rock climbing and lines, but with a prize this cool, there's no need. Here's the deal: this week's pick from the judges receives two Learn To Climb packages from Yosemite Fitness, which include an all-day pass, climbing equipment and a one-hour Climbing 101 class. W00t!
A little more from Yosemite Fitness:
Rock Climbing is exciting, physical, and very social. We do more than get you off the couch—we get you off the floor! The Valley's first and only indoor rock climbing gym provides a fitness solution that the entire family will enjoy. (Oh, and climbing burns about 1,000 calories an hour!)
Family Fitness Center
We also offer your family a premier family fitness center, featuring:
- Cardio Machines with Private LCD Screens with Satellite Radio & TV
- Strength Machines with The "Wellness Circuit System"
- The Largest Indoor Climbing Walls In Central California
- Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts & Self-Defense
- Kinesis Classes
- Personal Training
- Free Weights
- Fixed Gear Cycling Room
- Technogym Wellness System
- Digilock Lockers & Private Showers
- Youth Classes & Programs (our daycare is a little different, youth are actually active)
Excited? Upload away!6 comments
Friends, meet Danielle McEntee, aka Dani Mac. She's one of our incredibly talented judges, and she's a fan of lines. She offers a few words for this week's theme, along with some of her favorite photos of, well...lines.
In every photograph I take, the subjects in the image are the main focus, or at least that's where I try to draw the focus of the viewer. To accomplish this, I have to take in consideration all the "shapes" and "frames" around them. Composition is very important in drawing your eyes towards, in my case, the bride and groom.
I LOVE LINES.
For some reason, I am just drawn to them, and not always on purpose—a few of these photos I looked at and realized I wasn't even using the lines intentionally. It's different for every photographer and when I'm trying to capture a "moment," I don't always have time to stop and think about my surroundings. But when I do pose a couple in front of the camera, and take time to compose it, I make a conscious effort to make all linear objects and shapes point in their general direction.
Once you start looking for them, you'll begin to notice that lines are all around us. It's a beautiful thing.
Leave a comment
Last week, Ryan C. Jones shared tips for capturing sound through photography. This week, judge and artist Wendy DeRaud (blog) talks to us about staycationing, sharing some of her favorite experiences. Spoiler alert: "goose-poop."
A Family-Friendly Fresno Staycation
Over the years, our family has discovered many treasures right here in Fresno, making memories and filling many a lazy day with adventure.
Walks in Woodward Park have been a tradition for us. We take a trail around the perimeter of the park, usually starting at the lake, where we feed the 'duckies and geesies,' careful to dodge patches of goose-poop. My husband likes to fake throwing pieces of bread, especially if we forget to bring some, and then watch the ducks flock in droves to the spot of his flailing arms. Children love the freedom of running in wide, open spaces. Rolling down hills, hide-and-see under massive tree branches, collecting pine cones, feeding koi fish at the Japanese Garden, kite-flying, hiking to the San Joaquin River to skip rocks, there are endless possibilities in this sprawling diverse park.
When our kids were little, we liked to walk down Olive Avenue for a Sunday afternoon in the Tower District, visiting our friend’s used bookstore (which no longer exists). We still like taking our now teenagers to let them experience the one colorful and authentic neighborhood of our fair city. We often have enjoyed eating at Irene's Cafe, mainly because their dad painted the murals inside (and the adorable toucan at the entrance) and part of the payment was a year's worth of burgers!
Shopping at Cost Plus is a great way to pretend you’re somewhere else, since shopping with the whole family in tow is something you only do on vacation elsewhere (Fun, right?!).
What about the Forestiere Underground Gardens or swimming at Airways by the airport? There's the wonderful Chaffee Zoo, Storyland, and fireworks after a Grizzlies Game. We still love exploring our City, and teaching our kids to enjoy adventure closer to home.
Forestiere Underground Gardens - 1995
Feeding the Geese - 2005
Have ideas to add to Wendy's list? Leave them in the comments! Better yet—show them in a photo!Leave a comment
This week's challenge is for the kids. And the parents. Well, the whole family, actually. To encourage further staycationing, the judges' favorite gets:
- Fresno Chaffee Zoo Safari passes for free admission to the Zoo—two adult one-day passes and two child one-day passes
- Fantasy Annual Membership to Rotary Storyland & Playland Family Amusement Park—unlimited use of both parks for a family of four
Seriously, those are awesome prizes. Do it for your (inner) child!1 comment
Meet Ryan C. Jones. Hopefully, his is a familiar face.
In case you haven't seen Ryan's photography, it's awesome. He's such an incredible visual storyteller that we asked him to share a few images for this week's challenge, Sounds of the City. Then, we asked him more questions, and recorded his responses. (Just click play below.) Ryan talks about his latest work shooting bands with Love The Captive and shares a few thoughts on photography in general. We start out by asking how he chooses which pictures to take:
For those thinking through this week's photo challenge, "sounds of the city" encompasses more than music. Ryan shares a story of one of his favorite sounds to capture on camera: silence.
"I took a road trip to Portland last year, and on my way there, I stopped in a small coastal town called Trinidad right on the border of California and Oregon. I had some dinner, and by the time I had left the restaurant a thick fog had crept in.
I had a creepy, eery feeling as I walked back to my car. The only sounds I could hear were the sounds of my own footsteps; so I took this picture."
That being said, we are giving away tickets to see Mayer Hawthorne, so music-inspired photos are certainly welcome. Here are a couple of Ryan's:
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Ask us to define Fresno "culture," and we'd have to include in our description an obsession with the Japanese language, and a passion for giving presentations in a dimly-lit room. Case in point: PechaKucha Night, which returns next Monday to Starline for it's eighth installment.
See, "pecha kucha" is a Japanese term for "the sound of conversation"—it's chit chat. We're fans of the event, which allows creatives to show off their works and passions, so it's our inspiration for the new theme.
We know that the last two weeks have been exhausting, what with all the hiking and exploring national parks. So now it's time to relax a little—to sit down with cup of coffee, or a cold beer, or a glass of kombucha. To enjoy the company of friends and family, or strangers, if you're outgoing like that. To make sounds of conversation (it seemed too repetitive to say "chit chat" again).
As always, the theme is open to interpretation.
We love everything this organization is doing, and think you
should will, too, so this week's pick from the judges becomes a bonafide Creative Fresnan. What makes membership so cool? Your Creative Fresno membership gets you in to local concerts and events at a discounted rate, discounts at creative hangouts and retail spaces around town, even lease deals at Broadway Studios.
Okay, so maybe you're already a member of Creative Fresno. Time to sweeten the pot; how about two tickets to Monday's event? If you're 21 or older, we'll throw in two drink tickets, too. (Obviously, this means we'll have to announce the winner on Monday!)Leave a comment
You've heard it over and over. A picture is worth 1,000 words. But what does your picture say? How do you get the reader passed the first paragraph?
Paul Mullins included communication in his 3 C’s of photography. Let’s delve deeper into that aspect. Paul started by asking questions. This is critical. Don’t just accept the photo as something of beauty. Dig into it, tear it apart, put it back together.
When photographing, knowing your audience is essential. Step out of yourself and see your work from those you except will view your work. A message may be clear as day to you but interpreted entirely different by your audience. You can take this in two directions. Carefully craft an image that will likely be interpreted in one strong direction. The other route is, craft your image to have multiple interpretations, but be sure to think through those interpretations.
And again like Paul had suggested, ask your photo questions. Start at visceral responses. How’d your eyes move across the image and where’d your gaze settle? How’d it make you feel? If your audience gets a visceral reaction they will read on. Then think about action. What is happening in the image? What happened before and after? Where is this all taking place? What is the point of view?
If you’ve really grabbed your viewer, they will piece together the story. Is there conflict? The most compelling stories have conflict. What does it all mean? Could you explain it in 1,000 words?
The image shown is from a series called handlebars. The handlebars in the foreground draw the viewer in to experience it in first person. My audience is Fresnans who will recognize City Hall and interpret it differently. That interpretation is then modified by being framed by a bicycle.