Length Of A Dream Photography: Blog https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog en-us (C) Length Of A Dream Photography info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Mon, 13 Aug 2018 04:53:00 GMT Mon, 13 Aug 2018 04:53:00 GMT https://www.lengthofadream.com/img/s/v-5/u904679455-o507602004-50.jpg Length Of A Dream Photography: Blog https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog 120 82 Milan, Emilie and Scott https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/8/milan-emilie-and-scott "Live in the sunshine.

Swim in the sea.

Drink in the wild air."

- Ralph Emerson Waldo

"Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August."
 - Jenny Han  

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Family Portraits Portraits https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/8/milan-emilie-and-scott Mon, 13 Aug 2018 00:52:16 GMT
Dena and Steven at The Mission Square https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/6/dena-and-steven-at-the-mission-square On a sunny day at the Mission Square in Whittier, CA...

Steven and Dena, thank you for trusting us to photograph your wedding! We wish you health, and more than wealth, we wish you love!

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) mission square wedding southern california wedding wedding photography weddings https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/6/dena-and-steven-at-the-mission-square Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:02:09 GMT
NuVision Federal Credit Union Celebrates Memorial Day https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/5/nuvision-federal-credit-union-celebrates-memorial-day Nuvision Credit Union was Honoring Veterans at their Huntington Beach location with a few events early Memorial Day morning.

Free gasoline for military members.  Active and veterans.

Cadet volunteers were helping out where they could.

Volunteers along with NuVision C.E.O. Roger Ballard were filling up tanks for veterans.

This image gives you a tip-of-the-iceberg idea on how many veterans and active military members were able to fill up with the free gas.

Image above and image below show husband and wife volunteers at the Mobil gas station at Beach Blvd and Edinger Ave.

A good amount of bikers turned up for the Poker Ride.

Dani Romero and Cynthia Nicole from K-Earth 101.

Hell's Kitchen Motorsports Bar & Grill (https://www.hellskitchen74.com/) was serving up smoked BBQ treats.

Most of the volunteers;  The Nuvision team, U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, Marina H.S., and family members.

The team from Hell's Kitchen Motorsports Bar & Grill. 

NuVision Presented Veterans Outreach OC (www.VeteransOutreachOC.org) with this check.

K-Earth 101 (https://kearth101.radio.com) DJ Gary Bryan was there to hand out prizes.

Free gas, a Poker Ride, Music, Raffle Prizes, Good eats, and Remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.   An awesome community event brought to you by NuVision Federal Credit Union.


To view the entire gallery of photos from this event, click on this link here or visit NuVision's Facebook page.




info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) community day community event cynthia nicole dani romero event photography gary bryan hell's kitchen motorsports bar & grill huntington beach event photography k-earth 101 memorial day memorial day free gas nuvision poker ride https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/5/nuvision-federal-credit-union-celebrates-memorial-day Wed, 30 May 2018 20:56:17 GMT
Womens AIPLA at Knobbe Martens 2018 https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/5/womens-aipla-at-knobbe-martens-2018 Once a year Knobbe Martens hosts the American Intellectual Property Law Association's Women in IP Law and this year it was co-sponsored by Xact Data Discovery.

This event transforms the 14th floor of Knobbe Martens from an IP Library to a posh restaurant.





info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) aipla corporate event knobbe martens" orange county event photography https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/5/womens-aipla-at-knobbe-martens-2018 Wed, 30 May 2018 06:43:48 GMT
Newborn Shoot, Featuring Levi https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/4/newborn-shoot-featuring-levi A happy baby has shining eyes. It walks open hearted into the world and spreads magic. (Sigrid Leo)



You cannot buy happiness, happiness is born.

The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.

Baby Levi, thanks for being a fantabulous and cooperative model :)

Kathy and Peter, thank you for inviting us into your home to photograph your bundle of joy!

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) children photography newborn photography orange county newborn photography https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/4/newborn-shoot-featuring-levi Sat, 14 Apr 2018 02:04:20 GMT
Betty and Danny: an Elopement at the Old Orange County Courthouse https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/4/betty-and-danny-an-elopement-at-the-old-orange-county-courthouse A visit to a historic courthouse in Santa Ana, California for Betty and Danny's Friday Elopement!

It was a very busy day at the historic courthouse in Santa Ana.  With the hustle and bustle of long lines and tight schedules, a perfect day was brewing for this couple. 

Betty and Danny, thank you for having me as your photographer for your big day!  I wish you both happiness and prosperity to go along with the love you have found in each other's arms!

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) courthouse photography courthouse wedding elopement orange county courthouse elopement orange county courthouse wedding photography santa ana wedding wedding photography https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/4/betty-and-danny-an-elopement-at-the-old-orange-county-courthouse Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:18:38 GMT
Nuvision @ HB Hyatt: Outlook 2018 https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/4/nuvision-hb-hyatt-outlook-2018 Featuring Nuvision Federal Credit Union at Huntington Beach's Hyatt Resort and Spa.

The featured panelists for the evening were Christopher Thornberg (rightmost), Steven Thomas (2nd from right), Scott Jackson (2nd from left) and Thomas Turk (leftmost) .   They provided insight and their expert outlook on the economy and growth.

Former NFL linebacker Thomas Ray Williams was also at this event; here he is talking about Nuvision's Essay Challenge.  More information about this HS Scholarship program sponsored by Nuvision, visit www.http://essaychallenge.com.

The evening's entertainment featured the resident illusionist from Las Vegas' Wynn Resort:  Shimshi. (http://www.shimshimagic.com/) This guy is amazing and entertaining.

A great evening of information, inspiration and entertainment.

An excellent event put together by the Nuvision Federal team and Shannon Keany of Keany Events, Inc (https://www.facebook.com/KeanyEvents/). 


info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) christopher thornberg event photography huntington beach hyatt keany events nuvision nuvision federal scott jackson shimshi steven thomas thomas ray williams thomas turk https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/4/nuvision-hb-hyatt-outlook-2018 Sun, 01 Apr 2018 08:47:18 GMT
The Sound Of Music https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/3/the-sound-of-music I just completed my assignment to photograph a Rogers and Hammerstein musical: The Sound of Music at Cornerstone Christian School in Wildomar, CA.  As always, it's a fun experience to get to watch and document a production that showcases the impressive talents of the student cast and the leadership of the CCS Performing Arts Staff of Tiffany Williams, Sarah Cleveland, Scott King and Carolyn King.

Being a HUGE fan of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plumber in Sound of Music movie, I was not sure what to expect in seeing it performed by a younger generation in a school production, but all questions were put to rest once I saw the dress rehearsals and experienced the talent that these young actors and actresses brought to the stage.  

These photos will not do the show justice, as even though a picture may be worth a thousand words, perfectly delivered notes in songs just bring one word to mind: Awesome!

Brianna Whitlinger as Mother Superior with the Nonnberg Abbey Nuns. Brianna's performance of Climb Every Mountain was absolutely impressive.

Madison Shipley as Maria Rainer.

Lincoln Ward as Captain Georg von Trapp, Stasiu Kieta as Franz, Brianna Whitlinger as Elsa and Zach Voss as Max

Alex Sotello as Elsa for opening night's cast.

Do - Re -Mi scene.

Leisl (Kylie Coppola) and Rolf (Daniel Rodriguez) performing Sixteen Going on Seventeen.

Lonely Goatherd Scene.  A bit of a variation from the movie as I think they sang "My Favorite Things" for this scene, but movies and live performances do not usually line up identically.

The von Trapp family singers!  (L-R) Lincoln Ward, Madison Shipley, Shelby Kulek, Breanna Whisman, Teague Rodriguez, Hannah Leverett, Alexis Langley, Joseph Campbell and Kylie Coppola.

The Wedding Scene.  For some reason I love the bouquet hand-off shot.  


If you are looking for the Sound Of Music Photo gallery, click on this link.


Camera Gear info - Canon 5D Mark III and 5D Mark II with 70-200 and 24-70 lenses.  No flash used, just available stage lighting. For those aspiring theater photographers, do avoid using flash for the safety of the performers and not to mention it changes the mood that the director is trying to convey.  

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) alexis langley breanna whisman brianna whitlinger carolyn king daniel rodriguez hannah leverett joseph campbell kylie coppola lincoln ward madison shipley sarah cleveland scott king shelby kulek stasiu kieta teague rodriguez the sound of music theater photography tiffany williams von trapp family singers zach voss https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/3/the-sound-of-music Wed, 21 Mar 2018 18:52:35 GMT
A Pick Up Hockey Game https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/3/a-pick-up-hockey-game I wanted to try out shooting a hockey game just to get a feel of the fast paced action, so I asked a friend if it would be OK to shoot at his pickup game.  Once I got the green light, off to the Blizzard Sports Center in Lake Forrest I went.

I initially tried shooting @ 1/250 then ended up close to 1/1000 just to freeze some action.  ISO was pretty high @ 3200 upwards to 6400.   I was shooting mostly @ f 3.2.  Camera used was my 5D Mark III and the 70-200 2.8.  I was planning to use a couple of 600ex-rt flashes to lift some shadows but that didn't really happen as the light stands that I brought with me could not clear the glass around the rink, and there was not any cat walks that I could mount the lights above the rink, so available light it was.  I did try out a few shots with the flash bouncing off the walls towards the ceiling, but I don't think that helped.

I was shooting through the glass on a 6' ladder.  I had to locate a portion of the glass that was not too scuffed to shoot through.  I was hoping to shoot above the glass, but my ladder was not high enough.  Lesson learned for next time: taller ladders, taller light stands and a thicker jacket and maybe a 7D Mark II.


info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) hockey sports photography https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2018/3/a-pick-up-hockey-game Fri, 16 Mar 2018 03:15:00 GMT
Justine Castillo Senior Portraits https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/12/justine-castillo-senior-portraits  

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different..." - C.S. Lewis

"Chase your dreams but always know the road that will lead you home again" - Tim McGraw

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory" - Dr. Seuss

“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind



info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Length Of a Dream Portraits Senior Portraits https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/12/justine-castillo-senior-portraits Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:52:12 GMT
Allison and Fernando https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/6/allison-and-fernando "If I get married, I want to be very married."

"The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides."


The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. - Audrey Hepburn


Congratulations to Allison and Fernando!

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) length of a dream weddings wedding photography weddings https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/6/allison-and-fernando Wed, 01 Jun 2016 20:45:34 GMT
Friends Off to the Prom https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/5/friends-off-to-the-prom

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/5/friends-off-to-the-prom Wed, 18 May 2016 06:55:02 GMT
Bustillos Family https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/3/bustillos-family Once upon a Sunny morning in Mission Viejo, I had the chance to photograph the Bustillos family.  A beautiful couple, handsome sons and a pretty daughter is a good recipe for great photos!

Roberta and Mike, Isaiah, Noah and Ella, thanks for letting me be part of your day to capture memories of your family!

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Family Photos Family Portraits Length Of a Dream Portraits Mission Viejo Orange County Family Portraits https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/3/bustillos-family Fri, 18 Mar 2016 23:15:11 GMT
2016 Workshop with Neil van Niekerk https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/3/2016-workshop-with-neil-van-niekerk I was able to (finally) meet and attend a photo workshop by Neil van Niekerk.  This particular workshop was in Nelson Ghost Town in Las Vegas.  The weather was a bit chilly and windy, although the light was very good for photography.  Our models for the shoot were Shawna (@ShawnaLaing) and Travis and Haley G (http://travisandhaleyg.com/).  Hats off to these folks for braving the weather for the sake of art.

Neil provided the Profoto B1 and individual triggers for us to work with, and I must say it is pretty neat to have gear like that for a free flowing shoot like this.  No wires, no battery pack tethered with wires...just a monopod and the Profoto B1 in TTL mode :)    ...for those wondering why it was in TTL and not in manual mode, this was due to the number of shooters sharing the light.

First up to be photographed were Travis and Haley.  They're Oklahoma based wedding photographers, and for this workshop, they are working in front of the camera.


Here's a pull back view of the group.


These next photographs are of Shawna, taken inside one of the decaying buses parked in the town.  These photographs were without the B1.


Neil is giving some instructions here to get a similar shot to those taken above while avoiding the hot spots on Shawna.

I posted two of the same pose here to show natural light (only) and a shot with a bit of kick from the flash to get a little more "oomph" for the shot. 

Here's Haley posing with the 38 Chrysler Plymouth.

There's the Profoto B1, taking a break.

...Would not be complete without a photo of myself with Neil. 


That was a great experience overall.  It was awesome to be able to ask questions while being on location with Neil and other photographers that share the enjoyment of the art.  

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Las Vegas Workshop Length Of a Dream Portraits Lighting Workshop Neil van Niekerk Nelson Ghost Town Profoto B1 Shawna Laing Travis and Haley Garrett https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/3/2016-workshop-with-neil-van-niekerk Thu, 10 Mar 2016 08:28:58 GMT
2016 Edwardian Ball https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/2/2016-edwardian-ball I was invited by my friend Greg Autry to take photos at the 7th Annual Edwardian Ball (www.edwardianball.com) at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood.  It was my first time to cover and take photographs for this party of fantasy costumes, steampunk fanatics, out-of-this-world performances, live music and Hollywood-style revelry.   For those not familiar with the event (as was I until a week ago), "the Edwardian Ball is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey." http://edwardianball.com/wordpress/about-2/


The costumes were incredible and made you feel like you were in a totally different time zone.  Some of the guests look like they're about to hop aboard the Titanic, some look like they just got off the Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow movie set, and some look like they are ready to fill the timelines of everything in between.  

This fine Banjo-totting Troll is with the Mystic Midway.  And for a sharing a story that is most terrible, he gifted me with a Mystic Midway dollar. 

Clap for fairies.  CLAP!

This fine gent is James Lopez, a Disney animator.  His current project is Hullabaloo, a Steampunk animated film.  Hand drawn cartoons are a lost and dying art.  Just compare the cartoons you grew up with to the CGI crap..., I mean cartoons that are on TV now.  Anyway, if you would like to support James' project, click here.

These fellas are The John Brothers Piano Company.  These guys are beasts on their instruments!

This was part of "The Deflowered Tours", a homage to Edward Gorey's "Recently Deflowered Girl."  ...Just go with it.

Le Cancan Bijou

Christopher Buttner, President of PRThatRocks.com, presenting an award from the City of LA to the Edwardian Ball for 7years of gaiety.


Click here to check out the gallery of photos.

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Costumes Edwardian Ball LA Splash Magazine Length Of a Dream Portraits Mystic Midway Steampunk https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/2/2016-edwardian-ball Tue, 01 Mar 2016 03:54:33 GMT
Cassandra and Peter at Green Gables Wedding Estate https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/2/cassandra-and-peter-at-green-gables-wedding-estate Cassandra and Peter's wedding at Green Gables Wedding Estate was an awesome wedding at a gorgeous venue.   The weather was great, the mood was perfect and the guests were ready to party! 


Cassie and Peter, we wish you the best in your bright and fun future together!


info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) garden wedding green gables wedding san diego wedding wedding photography weddings https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/2/cassandra-and-peter-at-green-gables-wedding-estate Sat, 27 Feb 2016 08:00:00 GMT
Playing The Blues (not really) https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/2/playing-the-blues-not-really I had a chance to take some photos with my shy and hesitant teen model, Dawson, a few weeks ago....  I had two goals....Get some cool photos of the cool cat for his yearbook, and test out the Sigma 35 1.4.  I've used the Sigma a few times now and I have been extremely pleased with the results.  I'm not a proponent or opponent of prime lenses; but I am a fan of the clarity and the speed of this lens.  If my 24-70 2.8 was a 1.4, then that lens would probably never be taken off my camera.  

We started past 5:30ish pm, so we were losing sunlight pretty quickly on this shoot, and by the time we were done with the brick wall shots, there wasn't much ambient light.  I had to use a flashlight pointed at Dawson's face to get the lens to focus. 

This is a shout out for the natural-light-only photographers out there, you can still get good shots after the sun goes down.  Get a flash (GASP!) and drag your shutter a bit to get some light in there.  Steady hands definitely help and it's a good way to find out what your limits on keeping a shot steady at different focal lengths.  I probably wouldn't shoot 1/10sec @ 200mm, but you won't know till you've tried it.

ISO 160, 35mm @ f1.4, 1/80 sec.

ISO 640, 85mm f1.8 @ 1/15sec

ISO 800, 35mm f1.8 @ 1/30 sec.

The first and third images were taken with the sigma.   Off camera lighting was with a flash minus any modifier attached...The reason I did this was for hard-edged shadows....it felt appropriate for the look i was after.  The second shot was with an Canon 85 1.8 with the flash positioned behind Dawson.  I tried some shots with some lens flare peeking at the side, but I didn't care much for it...felt too wannabe JJ Abrams...not for me :)  

Gear used for this shoot:  Canon 5D Mark III, Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM Art, Canon 85mm 1.8; a couple of Pocketwizards and Canon Speedlite 600EX.  Whitebalance @ 5500 via Adobe Lightroom. 

Special thanks to my cool, cooperative model :)  

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) Grad Shots Off Camera Flash Senior Portrait Teenager https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2016/2/playing-the-blues-not-really Fri, 12 Feb 2016 23:53:19 GMT
Theater Photography and White Balance https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2015/3/theater-photography-and-white-balance This is a follow up blog post to A Basic Explanation Of White Balance.  I now delve into Theater / Stage Photography. 

The Beast looking at the magic mirror.  He's a bit blue, but you know what?  It's all good.  That was the scene.  I added some warmth to the photo to how I remember it to be, but the director wanted the scene to be like this, so the final photo will have casts of blue. (Beauty and the Beast)

First Thing's First!  For Theater Photography, follow some common courtesy concepts (think of them as "hints") so that you don't get people around you upset and may lead to an escalation of incidents that usually turn out bad for you, the person with the Camera.

  • Are you allowed to be taking photos or recording the performance?  This is usually not an issue for school plays and such, but it's always good to ask the Director or any of the Administrative people if you can take photos.  It will save you the embarrassment of being approached and possibly being asked to leave.  Getting permission is a MUST if you see that they are selling photos of the performance at the lobby or online.  Get it in writing way in advance if possible.  Doing this prior to the event may have its merits... if the venue needs a photographer for the event, you may get a chance of shooting and getting a gig.
  • Put that huge phone or tablet away.  Doing this is this just inexcusable!  You see this everywhere... someone decides to take out their iPad / Tablet to use it as a camera and is holding it up to get a good angle of the stage.  Forget that the people behind them can't see the performance any longer, and are having to duck around to get a view.  Don't be this fool!; you are blocking the view of other patrons and you are probably distracting the performers and embarrassing the life out of your child / friend that you are recording.  Block your own view if you need to but be courteous to others.  If you do this, I hope someone gets security to lead you out of the venue.   You ruin the experience for everyone.  Put the tablet away.
  • No FLASH please!  You are putting the performers in danger if you are blasting a strobe into their eyes as they are moving on the stage.  Distracting the other patrons is another reason not to do this, the safety issue should be concern number one.
  • Set your camera to silent mode.  Turn off the beeping as well as the preview on the LCD after each photo.  Don't know how to do this?  Read your manual or don't use the camera for performances until you figure it out.  The key here is not to be a bother to people around you. 
  • Get that tripod off the isle.  That's a trip hazard.  Dark venue, broken camera, another person gets injured, embarrassed actor and a potential lawsuit!   Sounds bad already?  Just wait until their lawyer contacts you.
  • Don't walk to the front of the stage, and start blocking everyone's view while rationalizing that you are entitled to do that because it's your child you are photographing.  News flash...if everyone there uses that same reasoning then everyone will be standing in front of you as well.  Sit down and shoot from where you are.  Lens not able to zoom in close enough?  Too bad.  That still does not give you a right to be the village idiot and block everyone else's view. Sit down.
  • If you think you are bothering other people, ask them if you are, and be prepared to stop what you are doing.  Try to practice common courtesy.

Okay! With those courtesy suggestions out of the way, here we go with WB for Theater photography.


Adjusting White Balance for theater photography can be a nightmare if you are fighting it and you are trying to get skin tones that you would expect from portraits and studio shots, but remember, this is Theater (or Stage) performance, not studio portraits.  Those color casts that are overwhelming your sensors are what the director wants.  This is the director's vision, not yours.  All you are doing here is capturing the work of other artists... the Director and the performers. 


These photos have a LOT of magenta on them  I chose to keep them this way because that's how it was in the show. That's how the director wanted it, that's how the audience saw it that night, and that's how it gets preserved in photos. The photo below is a pulled back shot of the scene.  Notice how a the actor's positioning on the set changes the color cast on his skin as well? (Aladdin)


One of my friends was directing a Christmas concert and he had photographers approach him saying the color casts were not acceptable for their photos!  As the photographer, this is not your moment to direct, change colors, tell people to move their chin up or hold a pose a few seconds longer so that you can capture it...Nope!  You are here to capture things as they happen.  Capture the energy, capture the drama, the moment... you get the drift. 

So how should you do this?  This is where your creative brain comes in to observe and adjust; but here are some tips that may help you out:

  • Shoot RAW.  Why RAW?  You have more leeway in post processing if you want to adjust some color casts to get better skin tones.
  • Try to shoot during rehearsals or press nights so you can walk around freely and change angles.  
  • Familiarize yourself with the show. I can't emphasize this enough.  Even if you feel you are just that good with your shooting skills, and your ability to cover events is impeccable; having an idea on how a scene develops will give you better photos than just shooting without this information.  Knowing what angles to shoot at certain scenes will give you an idea of the flood lights and when and when not to shoot.

The colors in the scene above changed drastically in a matter of seconds.  Positioning and familiarity allowed me to catch this before the blue lights flooded the scene to give the ominous sense of despair. (Les Miserables)

Unbalanced lighting is also a part of shooting theater.  You can't fight it, so learn to work with it.  This shot was color balanced off the actors' costumes.  Look for a piece of the costume that you know is white, and balance off that. (Cats the Musical)

Isn't that a lot of work to get a few photos of your child / friend's performance?    Well yes, yes it is.   The performers, stage crew, lighting, sound and the Director have already put in weeks or possibly months of work, so get out of their way, let them do their work, and just try to do your best to get good photos... and put that tablet away.

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) actors aladdin beauty and the beast cats performance stage theater theater photography white balance https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2015/3/theater-photography-and-white-balance Fri, 06 Mar 2015 22:38:57 GMT
A Basic Explanation of White Balance https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2015/1/a-basic-explanation-of-white-balance Concerning White Balance (WB)

I had a friend visit over the holidays and we had a few discussions regarding topics that involved WB and stage / theatre photography, so I'm hoping this article helps a few people in understanding what WB is, regardless if you are in front or behind the camera or admiring photos.  (This first article is basic WB, and the next article will be about Stage / Theatre photography and WB.)  

It happens every now and then that after taking photos, and loading these images onto a computer, people take notice that the subjects have Greenish, Orange, or Blue tones.  The scene that was shot did not look that way when the photo was taken, so what happened?  The camera snapped a photo of the moment, but the camera, unless instructed to use a specific color balance, will use an algorithm with the colors present to decide how warm or cold the photo should be.  ...ok, in English, the camera is giving you its best guess on what color temperature the existing light is.  Light can be either warm or cold, tinted green, or anywhere in between.  In some cases, the best guess your camera can offer is good enough, but with some good guesses, there will be terrible guesses that can leave skin tones less than flattering.  For serious photographers that are trying to convey a feeling, or capture the moment, using the correct WB can make a big difference (or using a different WB to create a mood).   Auto WB is fairly good in modern cameras, but relying on it may lead to inconsistent color tones.

White is white,  what's the big deal?  

White is white, but how many tones of white are there?  A human eye sees a white car and your brain has marked that car as white;  now look at a wall and your brain also says that the color is white, then look at a white shirt, a white refrigerator, white clouds, photo copier paper...they are all white, albeit different tones of white.  Your brain is doing your white balancing for you.  

When you take a photo with your digital camera, you will have to specify what temperature of light should be used for that photo. This affects all the colors of that photograph (and the next photos you take), not just white surfaces; the white color is just easier to reference.  So if you set the incorrect WB, or if your camera uses a bad guess (Auto WB), your photo may result in strange skin tones, and the colors may just look "off" and unflattering.

Here is a sample photo with three different values set for the white balance.   One of them is set to a WB value of daylight, one is set to Tungsten and one is a custom balance set from a white portion of the image (the letters).  Can you tell which one is which?

The first image is the Custom Balanced image.  The second is the Daylight balanced and the last one is the Tungsten balanced.  The slight difference between the first two photos is the warmth that the Custom WB shot has compared to the Daylight balanced.  Not such a huge difference, but adds up to the final image nonetheless. 

How does this affect skin tones?  Check out these next set of images.  One is balanced for Shade, one for Flash and one for Tungsten.  Skin tones are less forgiving...unless blue or orange skin is what you are looking for.  The image balanced for Shade can work as the warm tone is acceptable, but if the skin tone is a big deal for your clients, then be aware of that concern.

So what to do to prevent or correct this?  

If shooting in JPEG format, you will want to set your WB prior to taking the photo.  Locate the WB settings on your camera and specify the type of light you are shooting in (daylight, flash, fluorescent, etc). 

If shooting in RAW format, you can use any current post-processing software to adjust the WB when processing.  If you like to crank up the colors by adjusting saturation and making blue skies really blue, and green grass almost-neon-like; please do take care that you preserve the correct skin tones.  Deep colors are great, but orange skin just reeks of over-processing.  If you are not familiar with how to adjust WB in post processing, I would suggest going to YouTube and locating a tutorial for your software.

There are companies that sell white balance assisting devices that can range from $ to $$$. Some people will swear by them and some people will say use a Pringles cap  or any translucent food container to achieve the same thing.  If you shoot RAW, just do it in post processing.  Save your $ and get a good photography book instead.  If you shoot JPG, look into using your camera's Custom White Balance feature.  Learn and master your gear instead of buying more gizmos.

So Hopefully that gives you an idea of what White Balancing is.

Drop me a message if you have any questions or comments.  

info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2015/1/a-basic-explanation-of-white-balance Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:56:36 GMT
Cats the Musical https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2014/8/cats-the-musical I'll be in Lakeside HS in Lake Elsinore CA later this week to shoot Cats.  Come on by to watch this group of very talented performers put on a Purr-fect show :)



info@lengthofadream.com (Length Of A Dream Photography) https://www.lengthofadream.com/blog/2014/8/cats-the-musical Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:51:05 GMT