Photography

Posts tagged “Photography

Finding a Vision

Vision

 

Vision is seeing the potential purpose hidden in the chaos of the moment, but which could bring to light new possibilities. In our current and probable future environments a certain amount of chaos is inevitable. Often emerging possibilities must be sought out and acted upon before all relevant information is known. Old predictable patterns must be relinquished as comfortable as they seem. For many, this is a terrifying prospect. Vision is seeing what life could be like while dealing with life as it is. Vision deals with those deeper human intangibles that alone give ultimate purpose to life and in the end, vision must always deal with life’s qualities and not with its quantities.

If we wish to be open to new possibilities we also need to be aware of the unexpected ways in which they can surface. Limiting the creative process to officially designated “brainstorm session” we may miss something that may have been there all along, something not visible catching the sun. We must be aware that spontaneous moments of possibility exist, the things that owe cannot touch but know instinctually that they are there.

Take a moment to think about your own experience, core values and what you truly care about in your life. What types of habits, people, things, situations do you gravitate towards and what do you avoid and move away from? Recall your past and identify times where you felt closest to inspiration and vision, and the times you were furthest from it. This should provide a few useful signposts.

In the words of a great German writer, Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”

It all starts with a vision…


Inspirational Leadership… “Shine on you Crazy Diamond”

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Hi, Erik again….

I used to Blog every single day for almost three years! Crazy! I have been a Slacker as of late…must get back on the horse that bucked me off!

Anyway, at my other work , I found a book that was discarded like a piece of used snot rag …. I grabbed it! (Wiped off the snot)

It was written by Richard Oliver and it is all about Henry the 5th and interpretations of Shakespeare. It is called “Inspirational Leadership””

“Henry V is Shakespeare’s greatest leader – inspired and inspiring, visionary yet pragmatic, powerful yet responsible. In this fascinating book, acclaimed director and creative consultant Richard Oliver draws on his intimate knowledge of the play, and its absorbing central character, to unmask the secrets of Inspirational Leadership and reveal the timeless lessons it holds for Managers and Leaders today.”

….from the back cover…I am not so eloquent…..such a good find!    Here is but a tiny  snippet….

“O for a muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention…

         But pardon gentles all

The flat unraised spirits that hath dared

On this unworthily scaffold to bring forth

So great an object….

And let us, ciphers to this great account,

On your imaginary forces work.”

………………………………………………………………………

Thank you so much for visiting my Humble Blog

http://www.kerstenbeck.com

@ErikKerstenbeck


Friendly Faces

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It has been a long time since I have blogged and my Year End Statistics are lame. I used to blog every day, time to get back on the horse! 🙂  2013 was a Roller Coaster of a year for me due to rapidly changing circumstances – perhaps I will discuss at some later time, but not today. Day One 2014 is one for reflection and watching Hockey!

I would simply like to post some pictures of all the wonderful people whom I have met and gotten to know as friends. (Hopefully I don’t miss anyone, and if so please chastise me with a comment or two).  They are, for the most part,  Artists with their own special talents, troubles, turmoil, but as I have noticed, always positive, smiling and happy (at least when I am Photographing them). So I will write a brief note for each…no particular order, I am not that organized! 🙂

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This is Crystal Montes – she is a trooper, runs through mud, climbs anything and likes to make goofy faces!

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Dani Kovache introduced me to many wonderful people this year, set up a bunch of fun projects – thanks D

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Chary from Temptress Fashion – Thanks Temptress for inviting me to all the special events – always fun

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Felina Vie – first real photo shoot with her – it got a bit nuts with the Voodoo Theme 😉 Thanks May for the Makeup work and Daniela too!

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Carmel – always willing to try new things, and is an exceptional Burlesque Artist

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Lady Borgia – A Temptress Fashion Model, Burlesque Artist and just good people

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Eva Mae – a True Southern Belle

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Erica Joleen – mysterious creature “Nevermore” 🙂

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Veronica from Ramona – her first time doing pin-up, how exciting!

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Melanie Monsters – Gave up a lucrative career as a Shrink, Classical Pianist, plays in a Ska Band, Pinup Model…its all about the Music for her *meow meow* 😉

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Caitanya Cook – yes she can hot wire a car!

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Remele Sparks and Josie Bunny – creatives that will set you back on your heals 🙂 …with 150 lbs of Organic Carrots as props and hours of body painting preparation!

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Catherine Madinger – always scheming about new Projects and a fine Lady from Riverside

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Dean LeCrone – Chauffer, Creator of Doc Smith Comics and one tough fella – he was so hot in this  outfit with temperatures in the high 90s that there were pools of sweat on the ground!

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Chewie – RIP my Friend 🙂

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Simone Strauss – meticulous self preparation for any project

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Gia LaDolce – wowza, a Spanish Doll from SoCal, and her Mom is awesome!

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Kitty Von Rose – always smiling and happy

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Sandy Summers never needs direction unless you ask her to use a prop that does not make any sense, like a huge spanner to fix a car

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Jean – mysterious and strange animal 🙂

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Carrol Morrow – legs! Also really fun!

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Megan Martine – Model and Ex US Marine …Semper Fi!

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And me, Erik Kerstenbeck, Owner of Kerstenbeck Photographic Art from Ramona California, which is close to San Diego. I am an Army of One. I don’t have a Production Crew, Marketing Manager, Sales Team, Social Media Machine and yet I seem to get along just fine. Always learning from peers and like-minded people.

Remarkable things have happened in 2013 and I feel like I am on the cusp of something really special (More details later, don’t want to jinx it)

Thanks so much for the kind visit to my Blog and wish all a healthly, prosperous and Stellar 2014…Erik 🙂


Broken

The space between

The Space Between

 

Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like the in rushing tide. We are soaked with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness with  feelings that often cannot be put into words. The idea of healing can seem so enormous that often we don’t even try for fear of further damage. This leaves an enduring mark upon us and by no means does recognizing that this is not permanent dull its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to listen to our feelings and be in them fully. There is a saying that time heals all wounds, and this may be true to some degree. Time tends to dull the pain. Most importantly, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced.

I discovered this fissure in the rock at Sunset Cliff’s in San Diego during a low tide at sunset. It is quite a challenge to get to the beach from the cliffs above, the final descent is down a 30 embankment where a rope has been secured to assist hardy souls getting up and down – a beginners introduction to rappelling of sorts. Having a hefty Manfrotto Tripod and a pack full of photo gear made this even more fun! The waves were quite vigorous this afternoon and this called for a Neutral Density Filter which allowed a 30 second exposure to smooth things out and capture the many tiny waterfalls. I used a Variable ND from Singh-Ray on a 10-20mm lens. Mounting the tripod on a sturdy rock outcrop stabilized the shot with the tide sweeping  around its feet (and mine). There are many such geographical features along the coast of Southern California which emerge during the low tide and will be subject of further exploration in the coming years!

Please have a look to our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com for more scenic landscapes and other gems which would look amazing framed and on your wall!

Thanks so much for the visit!


Transformations

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Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.

Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.

To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short-term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative.

This was shot one evening on the beach in Del Mar, California before covering a Press Event for a local Artist. The smooth waves and ripples were achieved by using a very long shutter speed (30 seconds ) and letting the waves wash over the sand. Using a Neutral density filter, the available light was reduced by 6 stops – these filters are great for making silly waterfalls, flowing rivers, musty waves etc. Also, and often overlooked, one can use these filters in strong sunlight to control the exposure to allow portraits to be shot with a wide open aperture. There are many manufacturers of such filters, this one was from Singh-Ray. Lee, B&H and other also make great products – The Big Stopper by Lee is a 10 stop Neutral Density filter, which can allow exposures of several minutes – awesome for moving clouds against fixed foregrounds!

This image is available for purchase on our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com/International/Domestic-Landscape/23603331_JrbKxX#!i=2293421194&k=9X4jJsP&lb=1&s=A

….or just drop by and have a look around!


Gestures of Solace

Angels among us

Sometimes it is difficult to see someone we love struggling, in pain, or hurting. When this happens, we might feel like we need to be proactive and do something to ease their troubles. While others may want our help, it is important to keep in mind that we need to be sensitive to what they truly want in the moment, since it can be all too easy to get carried away and say or do more than is really needed. Allowing ourselves to let go and simply exist in the present with another person may actually provide a greater amount of comfort and support than we could ever imagine.

Perhaps we can think back to a time when we were upset and needed a kind word, hug, or listening ear from someone else. As we remember these times, we might think of the gestures of kindness that were the most healing. It may have been gentle words such as “I care about you,” or the soothing presence of someone holding us and not expecting anything that were the most consoling. When we are able to go back to these times it becomes easier for us to keep in mind that giving advice or saying more than is really necessary is not always reassuring. What is truly comforting for another is not having someone try to fix them or their problems, but to just be there for them.

This shot was taken in Vancouver, British Columbia on a cold,windy and rainy day in October. The statue is located close to the passenger ship terminal in downtown and is really special. To see more of Vancouver or the many other wonderful places we have documented, just click the link and you will be transported to our  Website Kerstenbeck Photographic Art


Motion Blur Tutorial

Using a fast shutter speed will freeze motion in its tracks, and using a slow shutter speed with moving objects will spread the image over time. This creates a sense of motion. There are many methods to achieve this motion blur, such as panning on a moving object, shooting from a moving platform (train, car etc), using the zoom feature while the shutter is open, moving the camera on a still subject, or keeping the camera fixed while the subject is moving. Here we will focus on the latter....Keeping the camera still while using a slow shutter speed will generate a blurring of the moving objects giving a sense of speed. Slowing the shutter even further may exaggerate this and tend towards the abstract. Blur is nice, but keep in mind the basics of composition for all the objects that are not in motion, such as buildings, street signs with the Rule of Thirds in mind. Remember, you are trying to convey a storey and not just execute a technique. Imagine the lights as a river and compose the flow as if it were a landscape photograph. Look for low angles, and perhaps use a wide angle lens to exaggerate the motion as the subjects pass through the frame.I have found that traffic is a great place to start and especially in an Urban environment. Shooting just after sunset provides just the right balance between ambient light and the ability to catch the oncoming or receding lights. When it gets darker, lights become highly saturated and non-moving objects a bit more difficult to expose properly.If you have time, check out the traffic patterns before it gets dark and take a couple of test shots to check your composition. Also, try to get as close to the traffic as possible by looking for traffic islands or other vantage points. This will save some frustration later once you want to execute your shot. Look for some other vantage points as well, so you can quickly relocate if you are not satisfied with your first results.The Set UpYou will need to have a camera that allows control over Aperture and Shutter speeds, or even better a DSLR that you can set to Manual. A good sturdy tripod will help to avoid any unintentional camera movement when the shutter is open to keep the non-moving objects crisp. You can also weight down the tripod with you camera bag hanging it from the center hook to further stabilize it. Using a remote shutter release helps as you will not even have to touch the camera, but if you don’t have one, use a self timer on your camera after you have composed and see the shot emerging.Some DSLRs allow a “Live View” from the back LCD display. This allows you to have a bigger view, but more importantly, locks up the mirror for less shake when you trigger the shutter. If you have a lens hood, use it to avoid unwanted light intrusion.The Camera SettingsHow slow is too slow? It depends on the light and the speed of the subjects. Try a shutter speed of between 3 and 10 seconds and start with an aperture settings of f8 to f16. If you like the blur but it is too dark, open your aperture and take another shot. If the exposure is right, but not much blur, slow down the shutter and compensate with a smaller aperture. I always shoot in RAW, so I can make some adjustments later with my post processing software. Keep your ISO settings low (100) to avoid noise. Also look at the scene and try to judge the temperature of the light. Is it mostly incandescent, neon, sodium vapor and try a few test shots to adjust your White Balance. Often it can be a mix, so some experimentation might be in order.Using a fast shutter speed will freeze motion in its tracks, and using a slow shutter speed with moving objects will spread the image over time. This creates a sense of motion. There are many methods to achieve this motion blur, such as panning on a moving object, shooting from a moving platform (train, car etc), using the zoom feature while the shutter is open, moving the camera on a still subject, or keeping the camera fixed while the subject is moving.

Here we will focus on the latter….Keeping the camera still while using a slow shutter speed will generate a blurring of the moving objects giving a sense of speed. Slowing the shutter even further may exaggerate this and tend towards the abstract. Blur is nice, but keep in mind the basics of composition for all the objects that are not in motion, such as buildings, street signs with the Rule of Thirds in mind. Remember, you are trying to convey a story and not just execute a technique. Imagine the lights as a river and compose the flow as if it were a landscape photograph. Look for low angles, and perhaps use a wide-angle lens to exaggerate the motion as the subjects pass through the frame.

I have found that traffic is a great place to start and especially in an Urban environment. Shooting just after sunset provides just the right balance between ambient light and the ability to catch the oncoming or receding lights. When it gets darker, lights become highly saturated and non-moving objects a bit more difficult to expose properly.If you have time, check out the traffic patterns before it gets dark and take a couple of test shots to check your composition. Also, try to get as close to the traffic as possible by looking for traffic islands or other vantage points. This will save some frustration later once you want to execute your shot. Look for some other vantage points as well, so you can quickly relocate if you are not satisfied with your first results.

The Set Up: You will need to have a camera that allows control over Aperture and Shutter speeds, or even better a DSLR that you can set to Manual. A good sturdy tripod will help to avoid any unintentional camera movement when the shutter is open to keep the non-moving objects crisp. You can also weight down the tripod with you camera bag hanging it from the center hook to further stabilize it. Using a remote shutter release helps as you will not even have to touch the camera, but if you don’t have one, use a self timer on your camera after you have composed and see the shot emerging.Some DSLRs allow a €œLive View€ from the back LCD display. This allows you to have a bigger view, but more importantly, locks up the mirror for less shake when you trigger the shutter. If you have a lens hood, use it to avoid unwanted light intrusion.

The Camera Settings: How slow is too slow? It depends on the light and the speed of the subjects. Try a shutter speed of between 3 and 10 seconds and start with an aperture settings of f8 to f16. If you like the blur but it is too dark, open your aperture and take another shot. If the exposure is right, but not much blur, slow down the shutter and compensate with a smaller aperture. I always shoot in RAW, so I can make some adjustments later with my post processing software. Keep your ISO settings low (100) to avoid noise. Also look at the scene and try to judge the temperature of the light. Is it mostly incandescent, neon, sodium vapor and try a few test shots to adjust your White Balance. Often it can be a mix, so some experimentation might be in order.

Click on the Image to jump to our Photo Website other examples of this technique and for more Free Tutorials and cool Images for purchase or just to have a look around!