Blooming Flowers, AKA photoshoot in Downtown Ottawa!

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My friend Ylimay makes flower crowns for weddings and events in and around Ottawa. I’ve previously worked with her on some photo shoots, and every time I go I end up having a blast, so when she asked if I’d like to do a shoot downtown, I immediately said “let’s do it!” Continue reading

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Wedding Flower Crowns AKA My First Ottawa Outdoor Shoot in 2015!

http://chrisquiroz.comMy friend Ylimay makes stuff. For Christmas, she once made me a Fallout Munny Figurine, and for my birthday, a retro Mario bros! So I was not surprised when she told me that she had rented a booth at the Tie the Knot Urban Wedding Show right here in Ottawa. She will be making flower crowns for weddings and events, and I told her I’d love to photograph some for her!

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Playing with fire aka my 10 year old self just high-fived me through the space time continuum!

 

Playing with fire

Playing with fire

Despite officially beginning on March 20, Spring really began in Ottawa last Saturday, and after a long winter of barely using my camera, I was very excited to hit the snow-free ground running!

Like most boys, I went through a small pyromaniac faze. Fire is exciting! It’s in constant motion and you can literally feel the energy in it! With this in mind, I have had many photography ideas based around fire, like a trash-the-dress shoot or an engagement session with a fun, and probably a bit crazy, couple! But to do any of this I need to learn how to create, control and photograph fire!

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Flying Away to Your Destination Wedding!

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When I was approached by Viky and Lee with the idea to photograph a 50’s style engagement session, I was ecstatic! I have always wanted to do a shoot that brings a couple back to the golden age of cinematography, home to Frank Sinatra’s rebirth and 25 cent a gallon gasoline.  And when I heard that they were planning on having a destination wedding, I knew the perfect setup for their session!

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5 Things I Learned Attempting Levitation Photography

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Spring could not come soon enough! While I enjoy the beauty of the snow, it is immensely hard for me to do photography during the winter, as the bitter cold is like Kryptonite to me, so during these cold months, I watch tv, read blogs and gain weight.

On one of these blogs I came across, someone had taken a cool levitation photograph, and I told myself “How hard can that be?” So when the snow melted, and the sun stayed out for longer than 4 hours during the day, I took my camera and started figuring out how to get some fun levitation pictures for myself! This is what I learned:

1-The setup:  There are two ways that I accomplished the effect of floating or flying in the air. One is to use a ladder, or a step stool to gain height, then take two pictures; one of you posing on the ladder, the other the scene without you or your ladder. Then you merge them in Photoshop and take away the ladder

chris falling into water Continue reading

If You Want Trouble, Find Yourself a Redhead

My sister and I used to live in Mexico. While redheads are not that uncommon here in Canada, down there they are a rare occurrence! Hence, my sister would always be at least partly defined by her hair. Her nick name down there is Chori, which is short for chorizo, a red sausage.  Ale is definitely a special person! She has lots of character, knows what she wants, moves mountains to obtain it, and, true to her red hair, has been known to have a slight temper at times.

As I continue to add to my portfolio, I decided it would be fun to do a quick portrait with my sister where I emphasized her hair. I borrowed her husband’s camera, since mine does not fare too well indoors, and placed her close to a bright light source to lighten her face. It would have been nice to have a flash, or a camera that you can bump the ISO without the picture getting grainy, but, as is the story so far in my photography life, you work with what you have!

Ale Looking away

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It was fun working with my sister! She laughs a lot, and it was really great that you can see her smile even though her face is hidden! I wish that I could have gotten a bit sharper focus in the pictures, especially her eyes, but that will teach me to not use a tripod for these situations!  Thanks Ale for letting me take some pictures of you! We’ll have to do it again!

Creating a Galaxy in a Bathtub

I’ve always loved black light photography. It lets you play with vibrant colors, without having to resort to over saturating your picture in Photoshop! I wanted to try it out, but didn’t really know where to start. What do you use to get that glow? Will any type of paint work? If I buy a bunch of glow sticks and cover a friend’s face with them, will that work? And who would even let me do that?

My friend Ylimay. That’s who.  And so, on a Sunday evening, I came to her house with a bunch of cheap glow sticks I purchased at the Dollar store and my camera.  Yli is a dreamer, an artist and a lot of fun to hang around with, so when I wanted to do a photo shoot involving things that look like galaxies and stars, I knew she’d agree!

I had a hard time finding black lights. The reason, or so I was told, was that it was right after Halloween, and they sell out. So lesson #1- buy black lights before Halloween!

We started doing the photoshoot in Yli’s living room, but problems aroused immediately. The first problem was that there was a window that let too much light come in (it was nighttime, but streets are pretty well lit!) The second and more important problem, was that the glow stick liquid, being cheap, would stop glowing on Yli’s body after about 3 minutes. We were splashing the paint on her in the bathroom because we didn’t want to get her living room all messy, and this did not give us much time to get decent shots. Add to the fact that my camera performs extremely poor in low light, and this was not going well.

So after thinking about it for a little bit, we decided to put Yli in the bathtub, and use the wall as a canvass (I had previously already splashed the crap out of the walls with glow stick light while trying to get it on Yli) This proved to work a lot better, as we had more time to play around and the shots just looked nicer!

Camera issues: Of course, the problem with my camera, is that it doesn’t take in light as quickly as I would like, which meant that Yli had to stay still anywhere between 5 and 10 seconds per shot. The problem with this was that while Yli’s body was very dark, the  lights from the glow sticks where pretty bright! So I was getting an underexposed model with over exposed lighting around her…and on her!

My Macgyver solution to this was to use the light from my cellphone (the backlight, not the actual mini flash that comes with many of them) and illuminate Yli for a couple of seconds at a time. This way, she would actually show up in the pictures as opposed to just blending in with the universe (though that’s not such a bad idea!)

This worked better than having no light at all, but if you’re going to try this, think about having enough light on your subject! Again, it’s tricky because if you put even a little bit of light on her, the colors and brightness from the Glow stick lights vanish…

This would be a good time to thank Yli for helping me out and letting me splash neon lights all over her, her windows, her walls, the floor, and a little bit on the ceiling (no idea how lol) It was a really fun shoot to do, and it gave me a lot of ideas on how the next one could be done better!

For anyone interested, I used a Canon xti, iso about 800 (any more and my camera just destroys the picture with graininess As it is I had to do some serious Photoshopping to cut it down), a 50mm, and a 10-22mm lens, and generally 5-10 second exposures, which of course didn’t help the blur, but Yli was very good at staying still!!

All in all, it was a fun experience. I wish I had better gear, as this is definitely a shoot where having expensive toys actually helps out, but I’m happy with how things came out!

Ylimay has her own WordPress page which you can check out right here! http://anemoimuu.wordpress.com/

SELF PORTRAIT IN A BASEMENT

I’m starting to create a facebook page for my photography, ans decided that I needed a new profile picture. Seeing as I have no money, I ended up using what I could find in the house. It’s always surprising how much stuff we have! Hats, ornaments, books, suitcases, blankets, decorations… it’s a wonder how I don’t do a different theme shoot every day!

One of the things I found in the basement, was a very old fan. It’s probably at least 50 years old! It’s made entirely of metal and looks like it belongs in an old office! It gave me the idea to do a portrait with a little bit of classic in it. Of course, seeing as that was all I really had that was very old, I did my best to look the part and used the oldest camera I could find!

Once again, it all comes down to having fun. As long as I continue to love taking pictures, I’ll keep on doing it!

As for the technicalities, this was taken with a canon t4i, in RAW, and edited with photoshop cs6. Still no full frame camera for me, but hopefully soon!

Me, Myself and I

It’s been 11 days since I finished my 7 month long trip around the world and arrived in Ottawa. The first couple of days, I adjusted to the time difference, the next couple of days, I adjusted to the amount of food being served to me, and for the last couple of days, I have been trying to adjust with the boredom that comes from not being out and exploring all day long.

Pictured: Me not bored

 

I wanted to be creative and have some fun, be distracted and excited for something again! Sure, I’ve started to look for work in BC, where My wife and I are planning to move (wink wink to anyone hiring!), and I’ve had fun hanging out with friends and family, but I needed a small project to keep me busy! 

A while ago, I found a photograph of someone who had taken many different pictures of himself in different positions and combined them into one amazing portrait. So I thought to myself, “How hard can that really be?”

A bit. A bit is the answer. But also fun!  With the help of my brother in law, we rearranged my parents bedroom and got to work on figuring out the best positions to place me in.

 

After all the pictures were taken, it was just a matter of overlaying them one by one in photoshop and adding the next “Chris” into the picture!

Things to look out for if you are going to do this:

Lighting. Be careful because you’ll be using the same scene with the same light, and if it changes (ie, the sun goes behind a cloud) that’s extra work for you to balance it all out! I had lots of problems with the lighting and it makes some of the figures look fake or clumsily Photoshopped in.

Tripod. Make sure you use one, and try to not touch it! The pictures are supposed to be exactly the same with only you moving around! If the camera moves even just a bit, it could mean that the pictures are useless! 

Scene. Be creative and find a good place for you to do things! We thought the room would be a nice place, but in the end, I didn’t really like it that much. 

For the first time doing one of these multiple pictures of myself, I’m happy about the results. It takes practice to get everything right! The best advice I can give is to just have fun with it! This picture was supposed to be my facebook cover for my photography page, but it didn’t turn out right. That being said, it was fun to do, and I learned a bit in the process! I guess that’s the point of it! 

If you have any tips on how to make life easier while doing this project, comment away! It’s always great to read someone else’s perspective on this!