5 Years Strong

by on Apr.22, 2011, under Client Slideshows, Photo Talk

It's hard to keep up in a world that's changing ever-so quickly. This year alone has seen numerous changes to Kaufman Kramer. Brad has moved to D.C., Chris is getting married, and I'm engaged... as if we all aren't busy enough right? The thing that I'm most proud of is how our company has grown right along with us. We've been in business for a wonderful five years and so I thought that now would be a great time to put together our five-year reel and to also announce some up-and-coming blog posts we are planning to release.

Along with our posts about our engagement sessions and weddings, I plan to showcase more posts about technique, image processing, travel photography, food photography and photo gear. We're also running full swing into wedding season, so between edits and album designs, I thought it would be nice to read up on some of the things going on in the industry.

We've always been grateful to our family, friends and clients for all the success we've had thus far, and we're all looking forward to another five years of great photography with amazing people. :)

One thing that will never change is our commitment to using our passion to tell our client's stories... Enjoy the reel!

-Steve

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Photoshop World 2011 (Part 1)

by on Mar.31, 2011, under Photo Talk, Travel

It has been one hectic week! I've been lucky enough to chaperone a trip for Ashland University to Photoshop World 2011 in Orlando, Florida. I haven't been to this conference in a few years, and I can't tell you how nice it is to surround yourself with tons of people who are addicted to creativity and learning cool new tricks of the trade. I was explaining to my four students who came down here that this conference is one of the best opportunities they will have to take classes from world-renowned instructors. The courses range from web design, to photography, to digital copyright and all offer the unique perspectives of seasoned professionals. If you haven't gone to PSW before, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Here are a few photos that I've shot thus far!

 

The first three images were shot on my iPhone. The next shot is the view out of my hotel window, and the final two are model shoots.

More to come!

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A Chicago Beach in Winter (yeah…it’s cold)

by on Feb.28, 2011, under Photo Talk, Travel

I thought I'd share a video I shot a few months ago while I was hanging out in Chicago.  On this trip I decided to focus on creating more landscape/cityscape images, and through my research on google maps I found this small beach by the Navy Pier that proved to be a great setting for an early morning photo excursion.

At the end of the video you'll see all of the individual exposures that went into creating the end result (click to see larger version):

Copyright © 2010 Christopher Clements.

The individual exposures were imported into Lightroom. I used Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro to do the exposure blending.  From there I exported the image to Photoshop for some additional cleaning, dodging and burning.  I then used Nik Color Efex Pro to tweak the color and mood of the photo before importing back into Lightroom for some final tweaks to get to the final image you see here.

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35,000 Shots + Tilt Shift Lens = AWESOME

by on Sep.02, 2010, under Photo Talk

As I was perusing the internet the other day I found this really awesome video by a VFX artist named Sam O'Hare. The video that he produced was simply amazing. It's a time-lapse video using a Nikon D3 with a tilt-shift lens. The effect that he achieved makes the video look like a city of "miniatures". It's not quite the same as shooting straight video with the D3, but the time-lapse turned out great and achieved a unique look.

The article of how he did it is here.

Check out his awesome work. Very cool.

-Steve

(Watch it in HD for the best look)

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

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Arbor Research Company Portrait

by on Jun.17, 2010, under General, Photo Talk, Portraiture

 A while back, I got a call from a friend asking me if I would be interested in shooting a company portrait for her.  After we worked out the details of the shoot and did some location scouting at their building, I was ready to roll on the day of the shoot.  

The concept was simple and straightforward.  Shoot a portrait of the company (60-70) people outside in their parking lot.  Make sure everyone is visible and try to make them look good. I said to myself "sure, no problem...I do this all the time at weddings".

I got to the location, and then the fun began. Here's how that conversation went:

Client: "Hi Chris, lovely weather we are having today!"
Me: "Ah yes, cloudy and drab.  Change of plans?"
Client: "Yes...and by the way, the company meeting is running late, and the management team has a conference call sooner than expected, so you'll have five minutes, OK?"
Me: "Sounds perfect, I'll start setting up."

I even had time to do a little video describing my setup. I've also included the final product for you to see. Enjoy!

(Click for a larger version)


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Alternative cameras

by on Apr.20, 2010, under Photo Talk

Photography is a constantly evolving, ever changing monster.  Keeping up is hard, and doing so takes more and more of our time each day.  A great deal of the information I read on a daily basis has to do with software updates, new features of cameras, trends in the industry, etc.  Every so often among the deafening surge of information, I stumble upon something that makes me stop and take a second look. 

I happened upon such an article the other day as I was browsing Thom Hogan's website (www.bythom.com)  Thom is an accomplished writer and one of the best resources for photography and Nikon news, reviews, industry analysis and camera guides out there on the interwebs today. 

Thom has written an intriguing series called 'State of the Camera, 2010'.  He is breaking down what the current industry looks like, where we have been, and were we are likely to head in the future.  I would highly recommend reading through his website if you want an insider's perspective on the industry.  Reading Thom's articles got me thinking about the tools we use to tell stories and how they might change drastically in the future.

Right now, we live in a DSLR world.  The DSLR is the holy-grail of on-location, photojournalist photographers, and is the camera body of choice of most professional photographers (including KKP).  These cameras have rapidly evolved over a very short period of time.  The 2.7mp Nikon D1 was introduced in 1999 and was heralded as one of the first professional DSLRs to be really 'usable'.  Since then we have seen an explosion in the DSLR market with more camera choices and lenses than we have ever seen before.

Even though we have access to some of the greatest DLSRs that the industry has ever seen, I find myself looking toward the future and having doubts about continuing to invest in DSLR technology.  I've got a few concerns like mechanical mirrors and shutters, outdated connections, limited customization options, and having to buy a completely new camera body just to add a few new features. But the real question becomes 'is there an alternative?'.  Three years ago I would have said 'no', but today I'm able to say 'soon, there will be'.

Lets take the (soon to be released) RED cameras for example.  Epic and Scarlet.  They call them 'DMSC's, which stand for Digital Motion & Stills Camera.  Video and still capability in one camera is old hat now, but one of the key differences with the RED cameras is that they will be configurable and upgradable.  They are modular. Want a huge rig for shooting motion pictures?  Good to go.  Want a small portable rig for shooting stills on the go?  Check... oh and by the way you don't have to buy a new camera. 

I want the ability to tell a story using motion or still images.  I want the ability to custom tailor a camera so it can become transparent and fluid.  I want flexibility, affordability, and a piece of equipment that isn't going to be obsolete in two years.  RED just may have figured out the right formula that can satisfy all these needs.

It's part of my job at KKP to be on the look out for new and innovative technologies that can benefit our business and in the end, our clients.  Could a camera like the RED change the way we shoot, the way we tell stories, and even the way we market ourselves?  I have a feeling the answer is a resounding 'yes'.

Of course I can't be sure until we get our hands on one : )  When I do, you'll certainly hear about it.

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A Trip to Bowling Green…

by on Apr.12, 2010, under Photo Talk

We got a hold of our photography professor, Jeff Hall, from Bowling Green State University the other day and he thought it would be a cool idea to come back and lecture to a group of up and coming Visual Communication students. Chris and I being alumni, we jumped at the chance to talk about what we love to do. I think this was also a great opportunity for Brad to talk about his creative side. (We usually keep his head buried in the everyday business stuff...)

Our presentation was focused primarily on what it takes to start a creative business, finding your inspiration / creative style, and lessons we've learned along the way. It was very humbling and a fantastic experience for us, and one that I don't think any of us will forget. I think it's through sharing ideas, insights, and inspiration (ha... alliteration!) that you gain a sense of where you've come from... and the experiences you've had.

Chris, Brad and I really enjoyed presenting at BGSU, and I hope that we get a chance to do it again. It was also very flattering that so many people stayed to chat with us afterward. I think we'll be doing some photo-walks soon so hopefully we'll get a chance to work with some of the great students we met.

I wanted to share a couple videos that we showed during the presentation, as well as some video clips of our lecture. (Thank you Rebecca for snagging those for us!)

This video is of an old Kodak Commercial that we LOVE. It's so well done, and its fun to watch! If you need some inspiration to shoot photography, this is a must see.

This video has the reel that we showed as well as clips from our presentation. Enjoy, and thanks again to all the VCT majors who came out to see us!

-Steve

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