March 29, 2016
SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?”
SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?”
SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “If you must know, I make $100 an hour.”
SON: “Oh! (With his head down).
SON: “Daddy, may I please borrow $50?”
The father was furious.
DAD: “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.
DAD: “Are you asleep, son?”
SON: “No daddy, I’m awake”.
DAD: “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $50 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: “Oh, thank you daddy!”
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.
DAD: “Why do you want more money if you already have some?”
SON: “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do.
“Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $100 worth of your time with someone you love? If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.
Some things are more important.
June 2, 2015
84 degrees Fahrenheit in New York. I’m strolling through aisles in the grocery store in my neighborhood. I know I checked everything on my list but just in case I forgot something, I’m still strolling. I remembered while I was in Japan, I had a very nice and light beer, Asahi. I really like it, it wasn’t bitter and easy to drink. I’m not great fan of beer but cold, light and after good dinner was refreshing.
Well, I’m looking (and hoping) I will find Asahi beer in random grocery store in Harlem. I was always an optimist. Then something draw my attention. It was little sign: “Ask at register for Stella Artois Chalice with your six pack purchase.”
That turned on my “idea” lamp. I’ll practice my studio photography today with Stella beer and artsy Stella chalice. And that was how this story begin.
I have picture in my mind. Seeing all those “cold beer” adds on tv and in magazines, I’ll try to reproduce same. First I need to cool down my six pack and wash this chalice. I need to find good and straight label. (Only one bottle in this pack had straight label on). Then I’ll set up studio for my first idea.
Set up one: Black table and background. Light through bottle and chalice from behind. I’ll have dark everything except green bottle and beer in chalice.
I already realize that I have a problem with not enough flash heads to do it right. I have three heads. Not like cerberus…but flash heads 😉 I have to use two soft boxes on sides to get nice reflections on bottle and chalice. I will need one strong spot back light through bottle and beer. Label on bottle will be in dark. I will need one more spot just on label to do it right. Also nice gradient on background would be nice too. And one on boom for top light. Well, I had to work with what I have.
This is my set up. Black wood table and black board for a background. I set up two medium size soft boxes on each side. 90 degrees from camera and background. Then I add one head with 10 degree grid as a back light for bottle and chalice. Ratio between main lights (soft boxes) and back light is 1:2. I moved background far enough to not get light from soft boxes on it.
But I had to move soft boxes closer to camera and more in front of the bottle and chalice. That is the only way I could get light on front label.
Didn’t quite achieved nice “back through” light with that grid. Also for shooting beer in glass, you don’t have much time. You pour the glass (enough to have foam and liquid, on perfect level so you can see text on label and to have bubbles in liquid), and after few shots – all gone. You have to do it again.
Bottle needs to condensate water droplets, chalice too. Or you can fake it with spray bottle like I did later.
I was alone and didn’t have time to do it all at once. One more thing that I realized later on, was that I could remove label on the back of the bottle. It just made ugly appearance on this shot and it’s totally necessary. (You will notice absence of it later in the session).
At least I know what I’m missing and where I did wrong. So time is for my second try, this time I will change lights set up.
Set up two: Bright background and mirror like surface. Spot light on the white background and soft boxes from front.
This time I put black plexiglass on table. That will act as my reflection surface. Plexiglass is better choice for reflections then mirror. Mirror make strange double reflection. This is trick that my friend Dragan Kurucic taught me. He is one of the famous Serbian photographer that I had chance to work with. Check his great work on his website http://www.dragankurucic.com
I set up one flash head, with reflector on, pointing on backround. This time I’m using white board for that. Two other flash heads with medium soft boxes I put like letter “V” from front, with my camera between. Light ratio between main light and background light is 1:3. Soft boxes made nice reflection on the glass of bottle and chalice and background made nice reflection on the surface.
I tried several camera angles, close up with my 100mm macro, different positions for bottle and chalice. I tried to make bottle compliment shape of the chalice. I think I made it in my final shot, but these are my shoots that lead me to final one. I add that ‘cold’ look with sprayed water and I removed label from the back of the beer bottle.
After about two hours and spent 4 bottles of beer poured and not even drop of it drank this is my choice for two best shots. I have little more favor for the first one. Lower angle of the camera gives more closeness to product. On the second one I just like reflection 🙂
Time to relax and enjoy in cold beer after successful photo practice. What do you think?
April 17, 2015
Yesterday I took one red rose flower and give myself challenge to make a perfect shot of it. Perfect in lighting, angle and artistic way. This is what I manage to do. First night of shooting (usually I work overnight so I don’t get disturb) I shoot some angles and variations. I chose some of them for my Instagram page but I wasn’t too happy with them. Let me first describe my equipment and my setup. I’m shooting with Canon EOS 6D with 100mm f2.8 macro USM lens. For lighting I use Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4 flash heads. I have 3 of them. I have black and white panels, grids and soft boxes as light modifiers. For light metering I use Seconic L-308s. This is my first setup: Two Flash heads with grids on both sides of rose. Angled 60 and 240 degree related to camera. They were slightly higher then flower so I got some light on top of it. Left head was my main light. Light was set up f16 and right was filler with with one f-stop lower. I did have white panel background behind flower, but no light on it.
This is how that looks like. Straight approach to flower, dark background, strong red color of petals. I sprayed some water over it just to make it more interesting. Not bad, but something was missing.
I decided to get close. I used my Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro and got close to flower. I angled camera and moved middle of flower to side adding some dynamic. I changed right light to be my main light set up to f16 and switch grid to softbox for more softer light. Left flash was still have grid but I lower it one f-stop to f11. I got nice defined edges and good texture of petals but still I found that picture – hm, too aggressive. Red color was so intense.
I decided to “calm down” whole picture. I switch sides for lighting and didn’t change power. I straighten up my shot and in post process desaturated colors and I changed my grey background to rose color to mach flower. Ok, that is much better. Now picture is more subtle and colors are not that aggressive. I called for a night. I thought I had good shot for my portfolio and website. Tomorrow I had busy day and didn’t had time to think about my red rose. But when I got home, my studio was still set up and my red rose was still there. So I decided to give it a shot one more time. I set up my lighting: one RX4 on both sides 120 and 240 degree, set to f16. Then I used my red painted wall at home for a background. I put third RX 4, set to f11 as background light. I put it on ground, centered, with 6″ reflector pointing up so I got nice gradient red. I set up my camera between two black panels which were used to block light coming straight to lens. I left them until the end of this session. I moved rose little off center and up to break frame a little.
I got nice defined outlines on flower. More artistic, but I lost softness of petals texture and front of flower was to dark. Still I like a lot soft red gradient background. It really add up to red rose flower. To fix my light, I moved my RX 4 to 90 and 270 degree to camera lens. Also I slightly move them up. Left is on f16, right on f11. I also add one 30° grid on background light.
I got back texture on petals and more light in front. I got different gradient background but I didn’t like that spot of light. Especially because it was centered and my flower wasn’t. Also from this camera angle, you can’t really see top of the flower so for next shot I put my tripod little higher and I centered it in the frame. I kept my flash heads on f16, same angle. And for background I pointed more up and set to f8, two stops slower then main light.
This is almost perfect Shutter-Stock photo. Nice soft light on Rose, plain nice gradient background. I liked shot. I like it a lot but I needed one more change. I needed more drama, more art, more 3D rose. So for my final shot, I chose to turn off right light and replace it with panel for a fill in light.
And voila !!! This is my favorite shot.
This goes to my professional portfolio and my website.
September 15, 2013
Available for Print and Download on my website.
Prints start at $14.99
September 14, 2013
Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall subway exit at Chambers and Center.
In 1909, when the newly consolidated city of New York needed more office space, city officials seemed to realize that a forward-thinking metropolis should have triumphant architecture.
So they commissioned the McKim, Mead, and White–designed Manhattan Municipal Building at One Centre Street, which was completed in 1914.
One of the building’s loveliest features is outside: the vaulted ceiling at the south arcade.
Here, surrounding the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge-Chambers Street subway station, are beautiful columns and white Gustavino ceiling tiles. #nyc #newyork #subway #architecture #blackandwhite #bw #brooklynbridge #chambers
July 30, 2013
April 3, 2010
For some reason, most people find it easier to think in a negative way than in a positive manner.
It seems that some effort is needed to think positive thoughts, whereas negative thoughts come easily and uninvited.
This has much to do with education and the environment one has been living in.
In order to understand how positive thinking works, and how to useit efficiently, it is important to understand the power of negative thinking.
If you have been brought up in a happy and positive atmosphere, where people value success and self-improvement, then it will be easier for you to think positively and expect success.
If you have been brought up under poor or difficult situations, you will probably go on expecting difficulties and failure. From an early age people let outside influences shape their minds.
They view everything through their predominant mental attitude.
If their thoughts are positive, that is fine, but if they are negative, their lives and circumstances will probably mirror these thoughts. If you believe that you are going to fail, you will unconsciously sabotage every opportunity to succeed.
If you are afraid of meeting new people or having close relationships, you will do everything to avoid people and relationships, and then complain that you are lonely and nobody loves you. Do you often think about difficulties, failure and disasters?
Do you keep thinking about the negative news you have seen on the TV or readin the newspapers? Do you see yourself stuck and unable to improve your life or your health?
Do you frequently think that you do not deserve happiness or money, or that it is too difficult to get them? If you do, then you will close your mind, see no opportunities, and behave and react in such ways, as to repel people and opportunities.
You let the power of negative thinking rule your life. The mind does not usually judge or examine thoughts and opinions before accepting them. If what it hears, sees and reads is always negative, it accepts this as the standard way of thinking and behavior.
The media constantly bombards the mind with a lot of information about disasters, catastrophes, wars and other negative happenings.
This information sinks into the subconscious mind, and let the power of negative thinking grow. By occupying the mind with negative thoughts and expectations one radiate negative energy into the surrounding world, thus creating and recreating more negativity, failures and disasters.
The mind can be directed towards positive thinking or negative thinking. The power of thoughts is a neutral power. The way one thinks determines whether the results are positive and beneficial or negative and harmful.
It is the same of energy acting in different ways. Persistent inner work can change habits of thoughts. You must be willing to put energy and time to avoid negative thinking and pursue positive thinking, in order to change your mental attitude.
Each time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, changeit into a positive one. If you catch yourself visualizing failure, switch to visualizing success.
If you hear yourself repeating negative words, switch to positive ones. If you hear yourself saying, I cannot, say to yourself, I can. Do you repeat useless and unnecessary negative words and phrases in your mind? Change them to positive ones.
Open your mind to positive attitude, happenings and events. Expect them and think about them, and soon you life will change for the better. Decide that from today, from this very moment, you are leaving negative thinking behind, and starting on the way towards positive thinking and behavior.
It is never too late. Soon your life will turn into a fascinating, wonderful journey.
GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.
The least we can do as individuals is to motivate and inspire another human being!
Because a candle loses nothing by lighting another!