Adam + Natalie, an Engagement Photoshoot

Way back in January, Adam, my friend and fellow schoolmate, asked if I would shoot Natalie and his engagement photos. I had been wanting to expand my experience into portrait-style photography, so of course I said I said, “Yes!”1

This is my first foray into engagment photogaphy and a steping stone to building a semi-professional photography career (Shameless plug, check out Andrew Ferguson Photography).

January isn’t a bad month to take engagement photos in, but Adam and Natalie wanted more of a spring feel. Se we waiting to schedule something until Spring Break in March. The day we picked couldn’t have been better. It was super nice out and not a cloud in the sky. I proposed2 several locations to them. We eventually decided on Red Rocks and Clear Creek.

It’s déjà vu all over again!

DSC_7067
44.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Morrison, Colorado, United States

This is one of my favorite photos from the set, the coloring reminds me of a HDR3 image, even though it’s not

Adam and Natalie
38.0 mm || 1/125 || f/11.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Morrison, Colorado, United States

Photo they used for their wedding invitations

Natalie and Adam
70.0 mm || 1/500 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Morrison, Colorado, United States

DSC_7019-Edit
18.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Morrison, Colorado, United States

So cute

DSC_7093
50.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/1.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Morrison, Colorado, United States

DSC_7133
70.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Golden, Colorado, United States

I stuck a strobe back in the back of the tube with CTB4 gel, worked out really well if you ask me

DSC_7229
22.0 mm || 1/100 || f/3.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Golden, Colorado, United States

Okay, maybe this is my favorite shot. I’m just a sucker for people jumping…I have no idea why

Jump Composite
Morrison, Colorado, United States

Continue enjoying the awesomeness over at Flickr: Adam + Natalie, an Engagement Photoshoot

I’m looking for any feedback that anyone wants to give: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I promise not to take feedback the wrong way…I’d rather learn from my mistakes here than be doomed to repeat them again. Let them here or, preferably, on the appropriate Flickr image.


  1. …that’s what she said!! 

  2. pun fully intended 

  3. High Dynamic Range 

  4. Color Temperature Blue 

Surprise! It’s Snow!

We got a surprise snow on Monday that caught most people off guard. I think it only snowed an inch or so in the Denver area, but we got at least eight inches up here in the foothills (which is at least 500 feet higher in elevation).

Plowing the Snow
Nikkor 50mm || 0.4 seconds || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || tripod

All That Snow
Nikkor 50mm || 0.8 seconds || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || tripod

I tried a couple of new editing techniques on these sets of photos. The first involves how I adjust the exposure and black settings to maximize the contrast ratio. Ideally, there is at least one black pixel and and least one white pixel. I also tried using a new workflow process where I export from Lightroom into Photoshop and then use Smart Sharpen in Photoshop to, uh, sharpen the image smartly.

See the rest: Surprise Snow

Also, don’t forget that Andrew Ferguson Photography will go live tomorrow. Check back here around noon (Mountain time) the post.

The Birth of a Site: Andrew Ferguson Photography

In a few short days, I’ll be releasing the next step in my photographic endeavor: my official photography website. I’ve spent about two weeks working on the site, which, for me, is quite a bit of time. But I wanted to get it right. Every one who I’ve showed it to thus far has said that it look very professional. I thought I would spend some time discussing how I went about developing the site, in the hopes that it might be interesting to someone.

For a while now, I’ve maintained a Portfolio Set on Flickr. Recently, I used some slick software from Airtight Interactive called SimpleViewer, combined with a PHP script called FlickrViewer (which makes API calls to Flickr and creates the necessary files SimpleViewer needs), to launch a cleaner version of my portfolio: https://andrewferguson.net/portfolio/.

After my Photographer for Hire post from a couple weeks ago, I wanted an even slicker site that was dedicated (in part) to the type of photography I was targeting (i.e. portraits). Originally, my first though was to use this awesome WordPress theme that I’d recently heard about: Monotone. In a nutshell, the color of the site is based on the first picture of the blog post. There were a couple of issues with this method, however. First, the theme was really only designed to handle one image per a blog post (seriously, all the other images were stripped out). Second, I didn’t want to divide my blogging between two sites. Third, I had to manually upload photos that I had already put on Flickr; I wanted to be able to just pull them in from Flickr. So after about a week of messing around, I decided to abandon the WordPress-based site and go home brew.

I already had SimpleViewer working with Flickr, and I knew that Airtight Interactive had another similar program called AutoViewer. So I decided to use that as my starting point. I took my current portfolio viewer…
inspiration
…and designed a main page around that. I got out a piece of paper and drew the following:

boxes

Three boxes. But what about content? I took a quick trip around some of my favorite photo sites and wrote down all the links they had, then dutifully narrowed them down to three categories: photos, about me, and cost. I decided that I’d divide photos into portraits and landscapes (although really it should be “pictures of people” and “pictures not of people”). From three boxes to four boxes: Portraits, Landscapes, Rates, Andrew.

Using Photoshop, I mocked up the following:
afdi

I really wish I had screenshots of all the interim steps. Instead, you’ll just have to trust me that this wasn’t a straight forward processes.

With a design in the bag, I started the process of converting image to code. First I coded the main page. It’s all done with DIV tags and CSS. It was really just a matter of specifying the size of each element box and then making the whole thing float in the middle with some margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; magic. I created a couple of PHP functions to distribute common code elements, primarily the XHTML above and below the BODY tag. And that was pretty much it.

From that, I coded the rates and about me page. The portraits and landscape page was pretty much already in the bag, I just had to tweak the FlickrViewer code (which took longer then anticipated and involved a pretty heavy rewrite of the existing code, but that’s another story). I showed it to some people and got some feedback, incessantly tweaking every little detail until I finally had something that I thought was good:
afdi-final
I think it’s rather remarkable how close the final design is to the mockup. I’ve tested it across several browsers and everything seems to be in order, including fully XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS compliant.

Google Analytics are in place to track my stats; and using Google Webmaster Tools I’ve made the powers that be aware of my site. I also took the opportunity to upload a sitemap, which I generated using an online sitemap generator.

There’s just a couple more things to wrap up before I officially launch, so check back on Saturday for the official launch of Andrew Ferguson Photography.

Questions?