One of the challenges I wanted to tackle this month is shadows. Mostly because when shooting I am only aware of them when photographing faces. You know, those pesky harsh lines that age your subject 20 years? Gross.
But aside from that, I don’t photograph them like I’d like to. When it doesn’t pertain to people in my shot.
Shadows add drama and excitement to photos, assuming you want that in your shot. Take this image above. If the sky was the only thing reflecting in the water, no shadow fell onto the rocks, how would the photo look? A little quieter? Simpler?
Or how about this image:
Would the names sharpied onto the wood under the window pane, framed by the dust and cobwebs look the same if it was bright and evenly lit? Probably not.
So here’s a tip on shooting shadows and something to be aware of: Make sure that when you are shooting shadows that the highlights don’t get forgotten. If too bright, details can get lost. Same goes for shooting faces, compensate by filling in light with a white board on the shadowed side of the face. Don’t forget even in barely shadowed situation to fill light under the chin. Light there can make your subject look heavier and older. No bueno.
Got questions? Comments? Tips of your own?
Tomorrow’s my fave challenge: Sun Flares!
Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of listening to three amazing author ladies as they talked about writing, romance, and teens.
Lauren Oliver author of the Delirium trilogy as well as a few middle grade books and an upcoming adult book called, Rooms, talked about the challenges of writing. Namely, that she likes to keep thing fun and interesting and each book she writes is different. She enjoys making her characters a little weird and unexpected.
She also talked about how she liked a certain character,Julian, so much that she couldn’t bring herself to kill him like she had originally planned. She also confessed that she doesn’t enjoy plotting but loves to write descriptions all day long as she had when she wrote a book in grad school, twice, that was just 1600 pages where nothing happened.
Lenore Applenhans (author of the now re-titled Level 2, The Memory of After) on the other side said she loves to come up with plots but has no idea what her endings are until she’s written them. She also talked about some of her favorite memories and those she wishes were real like the prancing musical goats in her book. Audiences got a chuckle when Lauren Oliver, shocked, asked, “Those aren’t real?”
Lenore also made everyone a bit green with jealousy when she said she’d lived in more countries than I could name. She had her father to thank, being an army brat. When asked about her series she says she’s not sure if there’ll be more books but there is definitely more story to tell.
Lauren Morrill, a local author to the Atlanta area, joked at the onset of the panel that her book is all love. It’s a romantic, fun contemporary that many bloggers have fallen in love with. When asked about writing a city which she’s never seen she said, “thank god for Google Maps.” Lauren had to click through the streets of London so she’d know what details to include and what her characters would see as they drove through the streets. Lauren also said her strength in writing dialogue and unlike the other authors who either favored plot or descriptions.
And while there’s sort of romantic triangle in Lenore and Oliver’s books Lauren pointed out that Meant To Be is more about the journey of her main character than who she would end up with.
Fans were able to ask questions and get their books signed by these authors and there was much fun to be had all around. I know Little Shop of Stories and Decatur loved having them in town.
If you want signed copies by either of these authors you can call Little Shop of Stories in Dcatur, GA and order. They will ship! Their number is (404) 373-6300!
1. Mio (and Crystal Light): I can’t stand water. I mean I’ll drink it if I’m thirsty and there’s nothing else, but ugh, me no likey. So, here comes Mio and Crystal Light liquid drops. Squeeze some in and DONE! And it gives it enough flavor for me to get in my daily needed amount of water. And then some, because yum.
2. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: Last month’s book club. We all loved it. I can’t stop talking about it. I LOVE historical YA books and this is so brilliant and amazing. From page one, I’m sucked into the world and the colorful characters and it by far has one of my fave first lines.
“My mother is a prostitute.”
3. Revlon’s Just Bitten Stain Balm sticks: I am now a stick addict. I go and look for stick lip stains and lipsticks and even now eyeshadows. The nice jumbo size is great for easy application and even more precise application than lipsticks. Also, it’s so easy to store and carry around. These are soft andnon-drying and last long with little fade and are so wonderfully pigmented. Lighter colors of course, less so but the darker the better! These are my faves by far even though I’ve tries CoverGirls’ and Sally Hensen’s. I still have yet to get a Clinique one. And have also seen and swatched Nars’ new ones and I like those too.
4. Pureology: A slightly expensive hair care line but so worth it. My color says in much longer and the shampoos are so frothy that a little goes a long way. Their newest lines for redheads is Godsend especially the oil. It’s meant to deposit red back into your hair making color vibrancy last up to 30+ washes. I have had some sort of red in my hair for over 2 years now and after a week of use of this I will give my firstborn for this line if it means it never goes away. It makes my hair glow, you guys!
5. My new lens: I am a Canon girl. And this is one of my fave lenses I recently got. It’s the 24-105mm L Glass lens. It’s pretty sweet.
I had spent a long time away from this great site of mine and now I’m here to say that I’m back. Thing is, I’ve spent a long time online and most days you can find me Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr. And while you can still find me there, I will be coming to this blog to showcase my photography in one location and also more of my personal stuff like books, travel and so on.
One of the things coming up soon is a trip out west to Phoenix, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I’ll be bringing you lots of photos and updates from there, and not just the moment by moment tweets and instagram photos. Also in May/June is BEA so be sure to keep an eye out on things from there and NYC as things unravel. Things should be really fun in June and July (and not just because of BEA) since I’ll be going home to Bulgaria to visit family for the first time in seven years. Lots of photos will come from that but also I’m looking forward to sharing my expereince with you all.
And for those wondering what the difference will be from Tumblr blog to this blog well… while some things might be cross posted here you’ll see more personal stuff and more photos especially in May when I launch my Photo-Class-a-Day Instagam challenge (which I’m really excited about). Tumblr will serve more for my faster update stuff and even the Gallery Tumblr page will stay as is with the occasional photo posted as new work comes in (that’s more my portfolio). Also for now, and until I can figure it out, the Tumblr will house all things social media/author promo stuff.
Also, check back soon for news on the Instagram challenge and this workshop I am doing in June while in NYC for BEA.
So, I had this idea a while ago for a story. And I really didn’t know I could do it, in fact I rebelled against it. But by the time I knew it, it was haunting me. (I’m a photographer, after all.) A month later and 13K+ words this idea isn’t letting me go.
So when my author buddy Frankie Diane Mills told me about her 3rd annual No Kiss Blogfest, I thought, “hey, why not?”
So, I am going to share with you an almost smoochie scene. Be gentle with me, readers.
The branches parted for her, leading her way through the thick walls of forestry. The woods held her hand and guided her in, and through and to him The wind carried her. The beaten paths un-curved and roots retreated back into the ground easing her way. Sia found herself by the bend in the river. The water licking her way up the shore and up Alden’s legs that were dipped into the edges of the water.
The sun was retreating behind the hills –wrapping itself in its own personal blanket. Reading the land for sleep as well as it darkened. Alden would have only a few more moments left to draw and she hated to interrupt him. He looked so beautiful with a sketchpad in hand, his teeth biting his lower lip in concentration.
She knew he wouldn’t hear her, even without her invisibility. He wouldn’t hear her feet shuffle on the ground. He wouldn’t hear her heavy breathing from the hike over the hills to the river. He was too far gone into his masterpiece to notice.
She walked behind him and took off the spell. She leaned over him and whispered, knowing this he would hear.
“Draw me.” She whispered, her breath hot on his ear. He hadn’t heard her approach so he stiffened but didn’t move to turn. He just tilted his head back to look at her bending over him.
So close that he could have touched her.
So close that he could have felt her breath on his face.
So close that they could have kissed.
But instead Sia heard his pencil move as it scratched its way up and down the paper. The pencil moved circles and lines across the page. But his eyes strayed from her. They just raked over her face, memorizing her features. Sia didn’t dare move her body from the close proximity to his. She just placed her hand on his shoulder to brace herself and closed her eyes. She could almost feel his eyes on her. This close she could feel his body’s pull to hers.
He licked his lips, “Don’t move,” was all he said as the sun fell and the night cloaked them further into darkness. Unable to touch her –yet –only being able to draw her on his page. A page he could touch.
Sia resisted the urge to touch him. Though it would futile. She wouldn’t feel him for a few more days. She wanted to put her hands in his hair. To pull him into her. To have his mouth hot on hers.
It was such a painful ache that she tried to quench it –ignore it, hide it –as Alden drew in the dark, his eyes never leaving her. Eyes that sought out her secrets. Her thoughts. Her whole being. He wanted to find her.
But Sia wasn’t ready for that. “Alden, we must stop. It’s too dark for you to even see the page.”
“Nonesense.” He wouldn’t be deterred so easily.
So Sia flopped in his lap, encircling his neck in her arms. Finally getting close to him.
“You are such a distraction,” he laughed.
“A good distraction, I hope.”
“Definitely good.” He nuzzled her neck. Wishing he could feel her. They had this gravitational pull two bodies had when skin was next to skin but the feeling of the touch was lost. A fathom of a caress.
Sia hummed in his ear. Content to just be there with him. In his arms.
“Alden…” He looked up at her with eyes that shined for her. Even in the dark.
She kissed him.
But like the empty way one falls in a dream so was her kiss. Seen. Heard. But not felt.
So a local author and friend, Shelli Wells, approached me a few months ago about working with her to get her fabulous book a book cover.
It’s a thrilling book, what Kirkus recently called “A riveting tale of family ties, friendship and community loyalty,” with a strong, female heroine that many readers are already falling in love with.
And what bestselling author, Kimberly Derting, author of THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE, calls “Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn’t need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!”
I am thrilled to share with you the cover for Shelli’s UNTRACEABLE…
So follow Kirkus’ recommendation and get yourself a copy this week, Nov 28th! (ISN’T THAT EXCITING??)